Sunday, May 25, 2014

Arts District and Little Tokyo

Every Umami burger location has their specialty.  The "Arts District" burger has a slab of pork belly with their manly burger which I found difficult to eat and not worth the price.  But I managed to get something unique by getting order the Hatch Burger - Poutine style.

This was perfect since I was watching my weight and didn't want to eat the empty calories that came with the bun.  Poutine style: cheese gravy and bed of thin fries.  It was pretty perfect and not regrettable at all!  The Umami Burger in the Arts District has little to no wait and a hidden backyard.

We stayed inside.  Andrew was caught enjoying his fry here.
The restaurant gave us chips at the end of the night to place into jars based on how much we enjoyed our meal.  We could be as honest as we wanted however... they were watching us place the chips into the jars.  How awkward.  Thankfully we had a great time so we didn't have to lie when we all placed the chip into the positive jar.  We noticed that the staff was really bro-y.  But that's cute.

The Arts District section next to Little Tokyo has a ... meat packing feel.  If you must compare it to New York.. there is grit, art, factories and tons of development.

Lots of "boutiques" popping up everywhere.

The Santa Fe One project is massive.  It's going to bring in a new population to this area which can either destroy or patronize it's charm.  It's an interesting view from 1st street.  You can see the roof of this giant building that looks to extend for miles.

While the class arcade closes down in the Little Tokyo mall.  82 barcade is the new hotspot featuring mixology drinks for $14 and arcade games.  I thought it was cool how they projected Street fighter on the walls above the bar.  Other people can see how much you suck if you're able to sneak a game in.

Jimmy was doing well at this pinball machine until i distracted him with my camera.  Sorry babe.

Back in Little Tokyo Plaza I noticed how late this gift store stayed open and how much work it was to bring in and out all of the merchandise every day.  I hope this place stays around for a while.

Happy Birthday Martin.  We were able to gather at Wolf and Crane which I love.  The energy is young and Asian American.  Drinks are good.  People are hip.

I had this venue as a possible spot for my birthday, but ruled it out when I started planning with James.  But I'm glad that I was able to celebrate something here and checked it off my list.

Twas a nice warm evening.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Finding Inspiration from Bruce

I have a slight headache because I just browsed through 5 years of blog content.  I was introduced to Bruce's blog and could not close the window until I finished.  Took me about half day.

I have not met him, but I enjoyed his stories about bike rides, camping trips, urban adventures and supper socials - Many things that I would love to emulate.

Below are some of my favorites:

Family Trip to Arizona and New Mexico
Decorating His Studio using Found Furniture
Walking Through a Tunnel Between Ktown and Culver City
Exploring Temecula
Camping at Buckhorn
Taking a Big Group to Catalina Island
Hot Springs in Bakersfield
Facilitating Community with a Neighborhood Block Party

His has found a community of do-ers.  People who love local adventure, who get married in random places, who work on various creative projects.  There's a lot of substance here - art, city appreciation, sustainability efforts, community building.  All of it is very admirable.

He has an email newsletter that lists events for the week.  I might just crash a couple before he moves to the East Coast and ask him to fix my bike.

There are a lot of blogs out there about backpackers, explorers, dare devils, but Bruce resonates with me because he's a Silverlake/Echo Park Gaysian blogging about his adventures.  Basically, he's the type of person that I want to be, doing things that I want to do... except bike everywhere and eat donuts (both activities are dangerous to me).

Time to clean up my blog - I've already started with better pictures.  Now to fill it with amazing adventures and activities!

Alright 2014 - let's try this again.  Let's look up to people instead of being bored and complacent and complaining about it TWICE on my blog.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Visiting Whittier

Alysia lives in Whittier which is on the wrong side of a triangle of highways to LA.  Basically, it's really inconvenient to get there so she rewarded us by giving us frozen homemade soup and a new mattress pad.  How nice!

She lives in a country time back house with neighbors that play reggae non-stop at a ridiculous volume.  She's excited to move out.  I'm excited for her to live closer to me.

We took a stroll around the quite college town and noticed this odd tree.  Not sure why it's doing that.

Alysia brought Jimmy and me to Bizarra Capital which is owned by the same person who does Guisados.  Who thought Whittier would be it's home.

Amazing amazing place.  Everything was delicious and unique.  I gave it 5 stars on Yelp!

We took an evening stroll burn the calories.

What a lovely evening.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Night Time in Silverlake

The windy streets of Silvelake were really pretty.  It took me a while to find parking and so I was a little late to watching "The Moth."  This open mic like story telling event had a difficult topic:  neighborhood.  But people reduced their stories to things about neighbors.  Out of the 10, there were only 3 good ones.  Los Globos was also a steamy venue which made it difficult to breathe.  It was torture for many.

The MC was entertaining and clever.  "... that's just like Los Angeles - it's a good brand, but bad product."  This refers to how the city attracts hundreds of people, but it's not easy to live here and people eventually leave.  However, if you figure it out, Los Angeles is an amazing place.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

From Echo Park to Santa Monica

My wonderful boyfriend bought me a Nikon J1 for my birthday.  I was so surprised!  I took it for a test run in Echo Park while hanging out with Tommy.

I enjoyed a Salmon Tartine from Valerie Echo Park.  I love this local spot.  No lines, open seating and amazing food.  A hidden treasure, that's for sure.  I'm sad that Delilah's closed down, but Valerie is a nice replacement.

When I told my coworkers about walking around Echo Park they asked "were there a lot of homeless people?"  Sure... but there were also picnickers, joggers, brunchers (there's a brunch spot at the lake), dog walkers and paddle boaters.  If you're disgusted/scared of the neighborhoods east of La Brea, I welcome you to stay in West LA.  This amazing park is for me to enjoy.

The lotus blossoms are blooming.

I love this view of the downtown city scape with the fountain and paddle boats.

I do enjoy my time in Santa Monica when I visit Anthony and Jon.  These boyfriends hold wonderful parties inviting different people from all walks of life.  Their friends are very talented, charismatic and just good people.  We celebrated Anthony's PhD over the weekend!

He was serving longanisa hotdogs complete with sliced jalapeƱo, grilled onions, ketchup, mayo and bacon.  Probably one of the best hotdogs I've ever had.

Grill em!

Floral patterns are in.

I was allured by Ashley.  We posed in spread eagle.

Anthony's friends were in a band.  So we enjoyed some live music.

A little Beyonce.

Looks like I don't have to steal as many pictures anymore now that I have my own nice camera.  Muah.  I wuv this guy.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

BootieLA Prom - Blurry Night

We took a nice stroll through Echo Park Lake to get to the EchoPlex where it was Prom Night with BootieLA!  I couldn't get my camera settings right, but it made for fun party pictures.

Toward the end of the night, it looked like most people were done.  Except Phil.  I encouraged everyone to keep going for the party.  "Just once a year!"  Let's stay longer than midnight for once.  Though I was getting pretty tired.

The prom king and queen.  Cute hipster girl and buff nerdy guy with no shirt.  Not as cleaver as a couple years back.  Someone came as Carrie and had blood running down her dress.  She was amazing.

Looks like we're judging someone do the warm.. BUt it was just little people getting it on in the middle of the dance circle.

Happy Birthday Phil!