Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fusion Fridays

The USC Pacific Asia Museum host Fusion Fridays during the summer.  I was able to snag a ticket through Yelp! and checked out the event.  This was probably the most interesting part of the gallery.  True Chinese American experience captured here.

This amazing Bollywood Dance group performance.  Those guys had some banging bodies.   We missed the henna.

It was there that we met this random young white gay guy who recently moved to Los Feliz from the South Bay.  He was the doer type going on a hike with an interest group and stoping by random events like Fusion Fridays by himself.  We invited him out for a drink at the Gay Karaoke bar The Boulevard.... and that was the end of it.  It was cool to chat with a seemingly harmless stranger to chat with.  I was hoping that sparks would fly between Phil and him, but nothing really happened.  We'll probably never see him again.

Other Fusion Friday events include Korean drumming and other things.  Pretty low key and great for the community, but it was too far in Pasedena for me to attend more frequently.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Should Consider Modeling

More than often Jimmy asks me to be his model to do some test shoots.  And I'm always surprised by the results.

I really should consider modeling!

Seriously H O T.

Hidden Abbot Kinney

Obligatory street picture of palm trees to signify LA Life

Abbot Kinney is a great place to bring friends from out of town.  Lots of cute shops and fun places to eat.  Though what I discovered was a handful of hidden alleys that led to more shops!

 We started our day at Lemonade.  Jimmy loves their salad bar; I enjoyed their avocado tuna fish.  We met up with Tommy and Martin and took a stroll stopping by shops of interest with no intension of buying anything.  There are many little wooden signs along the street.  We almost missed a couple of shops, but luckily I looked up from my phone and ventured down what seemed to be secret paths.

We found a hat store, chocolate shop... clothing boutiques etc.

I was impressed with the use of outdoor space.  It seemed like each store was built to be both inside and outside.  The open space felt fresh and welcoming.

We spent a lot of time at the Tom's Shoe's brick and mortar store.  Way in the back was an awesome patio where we sat in the shade and rested.  I heard from a comic that west side does one thing really well: create life styles and "things."  It's not just Tom's Shoes.... it's a thing.  A life style.  Sushi is no longer just a food... it's a thing, a life style.. kombucha, soul cycle, naked yoga etc...  all of it.  It's like you're reborn again when you discover these hobbies, activities and objects.

Even this round about was cute

The homes around Abbot Kinney were ridiculously cute and beyond affordability.  It makes me wonder how... but old money could only be the explanation... otherwise only wealthy execs and entertainment king pins are the only ones can put up a high enough bid.

It was a nice visit to the west side

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Father's Day Weekend

My company flew me up to the bay area for training.  I went a few days earlier to see my family and catch up with a couple of San Jose friends.  Instead of focusing on being efficient and doing/seeing as many things as possible, I concentrated on being present.  Which I can tell is all my parents really want when I visit them.

I was rewarded with homecooked Vietnamese food that my mom had prepared for me.  She also made her bun bo hue which I love with extra chili and fish sauce.  My savory taste buds were pleasantly shocked.

I've mentioned before that my parents let me decide on the restaurant when I visit.  On Father's day I made reservations 2 weeks in advance for a popular Burmese place.  Though my parents enjoyed the effort, it was too similar to Vietnamese food that it just felt off to them.  Everything was just too salty or too bland.  My dad even told the waitress, "this would be much better with fish sauce."  The waitress politely smiled and told her that she will let the chef know.  I sat there a bit awkward with my brother.  My dad felt like he was doing them a great service by making that suggestion.  I guess it can go in either way.

I gave my dad a Father's Day card which I rarely do and he got teary-eyed.  My parents always send me a birthday card and I finally provided one back to show that I loved them.  The gesture was greatly appreciated.  I guess I should send cards every year knowing that my parents are sentimental in that way.

Caitlin was also in town for the weekend from Idaho so we caught up for Father's Day.  Her dad actually cooked breakfast for us which a bit ironic.  Caitlin responded, "no no.. it's an honor for him to cook for us on Father's day."  So we enjoyed his famous pancakes and slices of bacon.

I'm pretty lucky to have multiple families to visit.

The better picture was taken inside, but I accidentally deleted it.  Caitlin's dad's beard is pretty epic.  I donated money to a charity he was fund raising for to see him shaven and it was weird. 

I got to visit JV and Andy for a random evening.  I was pretty drunk so I was giving them my thoughts on open relationships and threesomes.  It was like word vomit.

Danster gave me the idea for Burmese for Father's Day.  When I hung out with him and Tim he took me to another Burmese place to get these noodles.  It said that this dish is very comforting.  He loves it.  The rest of the day was spent ordering cheap boba.

Danster also showed me his favorite view in San Jose and took me around San Pedro Square which was pretty happening.   Lots of food and music for those who want to hang out until 11PM, but not drink.  

And Madeline.  Who I've known since middle school.  She moved back from So Cal months back and we shared this intense dessert.  

It was nice to be home for a bit and not really do crazy things.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Eating Out May

Pine and Crane (Silverlake) - Dan dan mien... it didn't do it for me.
Suberba Snack Bar (Venice) - Homemade pasta... so good.  so chewy!
Cafe Vida (Culver City) - White sangria
Pho Broadway (Chinatown DTLA)- Duck in Egg Noodle Soup
Grimaldi's (El Segundo - Tiramisu.  Probably the best I've had
Bun Shop (Koreatown) - Just buns... over priced
Tsujita Annex (Sawtelle) - Tsukemen which gave me the shits.
Ruen Pair (Thai Town) - Blue Crab Papaya Salad
Cha Cha Chicken (West Side) - Their fried chicken special.  Could use more SPICE!
Pho Cafe (Silverlake) - Tumeric Fish on Vermicelli
Wako (Koreatown)- Tonkatsu
Suberba Snack Bar (Venice)  - Toast with Balsalmic drizzle and gooey cheese
Suberba Snack Bar (Venice) - Squid Ink somethannng
Pappa Rich (Koreatown) - Laksa... yumz!
Bun... not sure where.
Jazz Cat (San Gabriel) - Veggiessssss

I'm starting to get lazy... you guys can google this stuff.  But damn, I ate well in May!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

February House Party: Hayyyy - Lunar New Year Party

Ernesto said that 321 would make a very good anthropological study.  Such a subculture... the mysterious gay asian... what do they do?  what do they talk about?  what is important to them?  What is 321?  Lol... It's a gaysian frat house that throws parties, but as predicted we've slowed down as we've started to (kinda) grow up.

Our last house party was "What do Gay Horses Eat?  HAAAAAYYY"... a lunar new year party.  Year of the Horse celebration.  This happened back in February and the decorations are still up!?  I usually would schedule this post closer to when it happened, but thought it would be nice to relive it since it's been so long.  Also my hair looks great... you look great.  I did write about preparing and the trauma I experienced hunting for decorations.

I was excited to get everyone drunk off of Fireball shots and play Rage Cage, but I was more excited to introduce a gambling game to everyone.

There was no photobooth this time, but people actually brought coins to play Bầu Cua Cá Cọp.  I was so happy to share something cultural to our usual drunken house party festivities.  I was super hyper - I was yelling and encouraging everyone to bet their laundry money.  People seemed to enjoy it.  It was something different.

Group pictures in the living room
Chilling in my bedroom
Balcony and Hallway
These pictures were selected and edited by Jimmy for Facebook to share.  As I go through them.. it really does look like a worthwhile cultural study.  What is this community of friends... what do they all have in common?  Why do they seem to be having so much fun?

So much happiness

The night ended at 2AM somewhere in the 626....places are still open?!! .... fascinating.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Supporting Ernesto

Ern texted me after I attended his fundraiser show to say thank you for always supporting his dance through out the years.  Well of course.  When your friends have talent, you support them.  And what Ern does is pretty admirable.  The fundraiser was to help his Philippine Folk Art dance group Kayamanan get to France so that they could perform at the Festival International de Folklore de Chateau-Gombert ....  We got to sample the show and it was pretty epic.  I was able to snag some shots sitting on the ground near the front.

Ern bares it all.  He nailed the facial expressions

I don't know much about Filipino Folk Dance, but as you can see there's Spanish influence, tons of styles and lots of movement.

We're supporters!  

When the show was over, the DJ took over and Jlo and myself did our own Folk Dance called the Cupid Shuffle.  Life is complete.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

DTLA - Walking Around

 On a random weeknight, the boys took me out in DTLA.  I was able to knock out of a couple of to-dos which always makes me happy.

We started the night at Honeycut which is this small lounge / dance venue down an alley near LA Live.  There's always a line, but we were early enough.  I was actually surprised at how small the venue was, but we had a good time dancing away to random music and drinking artist-anal drinks.

This is the type of place that I would love to gay guerrilla bar.  Lots of straight energy that needs some jolting.

What I love about J.lo is that he loves to dance to any beat.  Latin beats are his favorite and I dance along while our bae sit and watch us awkwardly.  The light up dance floor at Honeycut makes for fun pictures.  Shake shake shake those hips.

Ghostly Andrew

 The night was a bit of a mixed bag.  There was an impossible line at the Standard hotel rooftop bar so we took a rest stop at Library bar.  We stopped by The Falls which spelled like BO.  We quickly left and discovered Peking Tavern hidden away on Spring Street.  You wouldn't know to go downstairs unless you saw their sandwich sign.  And bam... a glorious light night bar and restaurant.

Why Yes McKenzie, they have authentic Chinese food in DTLA at 1AM in the morning for a few bucks more than it should be, but that's okay considering the location!  A gastropub nonetheless.  You can read about it all here.

J.lo was a little buzzed and went up to flirt with the bartender to guess his age and ethnicity.  Chuckle chuckle.

Oh and next door to Peking Tavern is Crane's bar which is a dive bar except it has this crazy bank front entrance.  #hiddenLA I love it.