Preservation matters

The Los Angeles Theatre , built in 1931, is one of 12 structures on Broadway in Downtown LA that make up the largest concentration of historic theatres and movie palaces on one street in the nation. Most of them date back to the 1920's and 1930's and as in the case of the Los Angeles, they feature classic French baroque details , crystal chandeliers, and the expected opulence of the era.

The Los Angeles Conservancy's annual Last Remaining Seats is a film series that opens the doors of these historic landmarks to the public for special screenings of beloved classics. I've been meaning to participate for years so I was excited to snag opening night tickets for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. It was a sell-out at 2,000 seats and the film was more entertaining than I could have ever imagined. Since it was a musical, it made me nostalgic for the middle school productions of years past...the costumes, the silliness, the sets...aahhhh.

The film was introduced by Matthew Weiner, creator and executive director of Mad Men, my absolute favorite show. He talked about growing up in LA and having an appreciation for the culture-rich history here as he got older, and his sadness over the demolition of buildings where he originally shot Mad Men. To summarize his speech he said "Stop tearing shit down!". They should sell t-shirts with that at the concession stands; I'd buy one.

I live a block off Broadway and I specifically chose this location because I love the architecture and the area has potential to be fabulous again. Although I love it now, for the last few decades cheap clothing and discount electronic stores have filled the storefronts, and some actual theatre spaces, leaving the street to only be utilized in the day with few nightlife options (thank you Broadway Bar!).

Bringing Back Broadway is an initiative that aims to change that. They are working to create a district with vibrant restaurants, shops, cafes, a trolley, and most important, to bring the theatres back. They are working closely with The Los Angeles Conservancy and I'm so thankful that they both exist and do what they do.

It was amazing to walk into the theatre and feel my jaw drop (and see others' do the same). These places are special and I left that night even more enthusiastic about their preservation and revitalization. I only have one request: please please please do not let supergraphics and LA Live/Times Square-type digital screens obscure the architectural beauty of the Broadway corridor.

Fin de semana

I <3 my neighborhood. Ran several errands on Sat in prep for Unique LA.

New vintage shop, Haute Olive Boutique, just opened up down the street from me...this is going to be dangerous. Separate blog post to come.

Niece Juliana. Too cool for school as we stroll down the mean streets of Old Pasadena.

This weekend felt long, productive, and relaxing. I haven't had such a balanced Sat & Sun in a while (ANAMU, resting, boyfriend, family, chores, etc). Too many great little things to photograph and write about ... hope that this continues to be the norm :)

Window Shopping: ANAMU on Display

Caught a glimpse of the Unique LA display at Tiara Cafe in the beautiful New Mart building.  I'm very honored to be one of several designers featured in the installation... even if the bag is a little hidden (on the right shoulder of the dress form), I know its there! Just a few weeks away and there's so much to do. Probably should be sewing rather than blogging :)

(500) Days of Downtown LA

I had no idea the film (500) Days of Summer was set in Downtown LA until a friend of mine told me that she thought of me throughout the entire movie. She is now requesting we do a "Downtown Day" where I can show her my favorite spots. Though I loved the premise of the film, I couldn't help but jump in my seat in excitement every time there was a mention or shot of Downtown's architectural beauty. With so many different neighborhoods, it was nice to see the Historic Core and Broadway District get a little recognition. Don't get me wrong, I love the new modern buildings in Bunker Hill , Grand Ave, and South Park (sans LA LIVE) but the true gems are those often ignored amidst the hustle and bustle of discounted electronic, toy, and clothes shops. You just need to look up.


The LA Times put it best:

Tom and Summer try their best to find architectural relatives of the Chicago School in downtown Los Angeles: soot-stained but broad-shouldered and highly decorated mid-rise buildings like the Eastern Columbia, in particular. For them, the neighborhood's charm is decidedly romantic, and therefore never far from nostalgia, and the buildings that sum up its appeal are underrated architectural gems that have managed through all these decades to avoid the wrecking ball. And yet as was the case in last year's "In Search of a Midnight Kiss," an inferior movie but one with many scenes downtown, the characters in "(500) Days" symbolize a younger generation of Angelenos who find the neighborhood appealing precisely because it feels to them dusty and underappreciated, rather than notable for new buildings by some of the world's leading architects.

Crafty Saturday downtown

It's been too long since I spent a day downtown. Thankfully I had an excuse to go. Needed to buy some jewelry and bag supplies and as always, my friend Jose at the bead store knew how to up sell me - I can't go in there with a budget because it immediately gets thrown out the window. He's going to drill holes in some vintage brass pieces for me and I can't wait to pick them up next Saturday!

Also waiting for me next weekend will be a custom-made tank by Apliiq. Joe of 213 etc took me to Apliiq's workshop where the customer is the designer. I picked out (unknowingly but not surprisingly) a vintage fabric for Ethan, the owner, to cut and sew patches onto my selected tank with.


Even though I could do it myself, it's nice to support someone that's taking a simple concept and creating a new shopping experience with it. I had a lot of fun seeing what he does and has to offer.

The rest of the day consisted of lunch at Blu LA Cafe (delicious portaballo burger on brioche bread) and some perusing at the Renegade Craft Fair. Perfect day, absolutely perfect.

"We're such tourist"

Yet another evening in Downtown LA discovering new favorite spots. 1. Dinner at Wurstkuche: located in J town, or Little Tokyo, they offer an extensive variety of beers and sausages. Pair that with a live DJ spinning in the main dining room that has family style seating and you've got the perfect grub place. Oh and did I mention double dipped french fries? Okay, I'm drooling on my keyboard...


2. Please post bills: Actually, we did this first while the boys stood in line at Wurstkuche. We practially jumped out of the car while it was moving because we were so excited at the awesomeness of this wall.

P6050848And this one. Yes, that's Obama smoking and wearing a sweet hat back in the days. The complete collection of these shots is on view at M+BP6050855

Even more beautiful than the words of this riddle is that it's on the side of a trash bin...


3. Rooftop wine tasting and movie at Downtown Independent: just opened six months ago and I was super impressed by the place. Modern, extremely comfortable seats, and great staff. Can't wait to go back.

View from the rooftop - US Bank has Laker colors shining bright


4. Bar 107: Night cap where we saw Julia Stiles. Funny because we saw her in NYC last fall at another hole in the wall bar...coincidence or is she just stalking us?

I should just move there already...

Saturday had to be one of the funnest full-day I've had in a while. Started off with a guided walking tour of "Downtown's Evolving Skyline", had lunch and took a break at Lost Souls Cafe on 4th St, was all feathers in for "World Pillow Fight Day" @ Pershing Square, attended a friend's art opening in Pasadena, then was back in Downtown for my brother in-law's birthday @ Seven Grand. wonder I slept all day Sunday! See photos ... [gallery columns="2"]