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Archive for the ‘Los Angeles’ Category

Earlier this month I attended a Beverly Hills screening of an exciting documentary called “Who Does She Think She Is?” which profiled several female artists, including renowned author Riane Eisler, the Guerrilla Girls, Japanese artist Mayumi Oda (currently living and working in Hawaii), sacred drummer Layne Redmond (who I’ve personally studied with), and Taos artist Maye Torres.

who_poster

Directed by Pamela T. Boll, the film touched on the challenging issues some female artists have to face on a daily basis; juggling the challenges of a family vs. their need to work and express themselves through their art, handling the demands of a relationship, and dealing with the art world, which has traditionally and still continues to disregard/disparage most female artists and their work.

“Who Does She Think She Is?” didn’t offer any pat answers or quick, ready-made solutions, but it definitely left me rooting for the women it profiled and thinking about how I, as an artist, fit in.  I can’t imagine going through what some of those artists endure, on a daily basis, just to make their art.  And yet, this documentary is also uplifting and inspiring.  I highly recommend that everyone see it, artist or not.

“Who Does She Think She Is?” is currently screening all over the country, so if you’d like to catch it in your city, your best bet is to sign up on their mailing list, and they will keep you informed of its schedule.  You can also view a trailer of the film and visit their blog, here.  In addition, a DVD is expected to be released soon.

I loved this film, not only because it touched on the above issues, but also because it included musicians and writers and dancers from many traditions. And I am always in awe by what we, as women, have to put up with, but, somehow, we just keep on going, no matter what.  Such is the enduring, eternal strength of the female sex.

Is this a “feminist” film?  I think it’s probably a matter of opinion; nevertheless, the women in the film will make you smile and make you cry.  Go see it!

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I am an avid fan of vintage everything, especially old architecture, and I have my twin sister to thank for that. When we were kids, she used to drag me kicking and screaming to thrift stores, swap meets, antique shops, you name it.  And now that I’m older, I have a renewed appreciation for them and she can’t keep me out of them.

Upper-Lobby-Chandelier, Los Angeles Theatre

Upper-Lobby-Chandelier, Los Angeles Theatre

Recently, the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation (LAHTF) has been conducting weekend tours of downtown L.A’s grand old theaters on Broadway, so we both leapt at the chance to check them out.

Ceiling Detail, Los Angeles Theatre

Ceiling Detail, Los Angeles Theatre

Vintage buildings were built so much more elaborately in the past, and you can literally see the unique hand of the maker in the workmanship, which is always so breathtakingly beautiful.

Stage Curtain Embroidery Detail, Los Angeles Theatre

Stage Curtain Embroidery Detail, Los Angeles Theatre

I’m showing photos I took of the Los Angeles Theatre and the Tower Theatre; however, you’ll note that I also photographed their decrepitude, as well as their absolute beauty; that’s just because I also like peeling, fading and tatters, too.

Roof Detail, Tower Theatre

Roof Detail, Tower Theatre

My favorite part of the tours were the old projectionist booths; there’s something so haunting about them.

Vintage Backstage Chair, Los Angeles Theatre

Vintage Backstage Chair, Los Angeles Theatre

Nevertheless, these grand old ladies ARE falling apart, which is heartbreaking.  This situation might make for interesting photography, but it would be devastating to lose these gorgeous landmarks.  They need donations to keep them going, and they need a purpose – so if you’re in Los Angeles, and looking for a regular venue to hold an event, meeting, play or concert, please give them a call.  And be sure to sign up for their mailing list if you’d like to tour them!

Ceiling Detail, Tower Theater

Ceiling Detail, Tower Theater

From their website:

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation (LAHTF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, restoring and sustaining the operation of Southern California’s historic theatres.”

Rooftop overlooking Broadway, Los Angeles Theatre

Rooftop overlooking Broadway, Los Angeles Theatre

“Founded in 1987 by the creators of the LA Conservancy’s first Last Remaining Seats series and officially registered by the State of California in 1988, the LAHTF is chartered to address the complex challenges of theatre preservation – including ownership, management, programming, preservation advocacy.”

Lobby Stained Glass & Chandelier, Tower Theater

Lobby Stained Glass & Chandelier, Tower Theater

“It is not enough to save a historic theatre.  After rescue & rehabilitation these theatres must have active and economically viable lives.”

Projectionist Booth, Los Angeles Theater

Projectionist Booth, Los Angeles Theater

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All photos, artwork and writing on the L’Artisana WildGoddess blog by WildGoddess are protected under copyright ©2003-2009 WildGoddess, and cannot be copied, distributed or reprinted without written permission from the artist.  If you would like to use something from this blog, contact WildGoddess to obtain her permission in advance.  Thank you for your consideration.

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As a result of the ongoing development of Downtown Los Angeles, it’s literally bursting at the seams with brand-new boutiques, restaurants, coffee bars, snack shops and cocktail lounges, so from time to time I crawl out of my studio and get around to trying one out.

Ma-Petit.  Photo by WildGoddess

Ma Petit's Proprietors at their drool-worthy bakery counter

I had lunch yesterday at one of Downtown Los Angeles’s newest eateries, Ma Petit Bakery and Cafe at 2nd and Spring in the bottom of the Douglas Lofts. And even though they’ve only been open a couple of months, they’ve already been designated as Downtown L.A’s “best bakery,” and it’s easy to see why.

It is a beautifully appointed place with warm woods, gorgeous mirrors, basket-weave seating, and a mile-long pastry counter just chock-full of delightful baked goods.  The menu offers everything from soups to salads to pastas, and everything is reasonably priced.  They also offer a mini-buffet for those who prefer some dining choices.

The great thing about Ma Petit is that they bake all of their bread on-site, and you can taste it the minute you bite into one of their freshly-made sandwiches.  In fact, mostly everything is fresh at Ma Petit.  I had their delicious honey ham & cheese sandwich on artisan multi-grain bread, along with a fresh garden salad.
Ma Petit's Honey Ham & Cheese Sandwich

Ma Petit’s Honey Ham & Cheese Sandwich

Ma Petit also serves breakfast and the next time I visit, I’m trying their pumpkin waffles. Besides, any place that plays Sonny & Cher over their sound system is down with me!  So come on Downtown and grab a bite at Ma Petit.  (And thanks, guys for the almond cookies – they were delicious and now I’m hooked – your fault!)

Ma Petit Bakery & Cafe
257 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.625.3328

http://www.mapetitla.com

If you’re also craving a great cappuccino or latte, you can pick it up right next door at the brand-new eco-conscious Lot 44 Coffee, which offers a large selection of choice gourmet coffee drinks amid stunning artwork.

Lot 44 Coffee

Lot 44 Coffee

They also offer $1.00 “Recession Specials” for all of us starving downtown artists, along with a huge atrium for relaxing in the sunshine.

Lot 44 Coffee
257 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.626.4646

http://www.lot44coffee.com

Here’s a couple of other new eateries in Downtown LA worth mentioning:

  • Wurstkuche – 800 E. 3rd St. in the Arts District

They serve the best-tasting exotic grilled sausages on buns, such as rattlesnake!  Also offers unusual soft drinks and delicious Belgian fries with (yum!) dipping sauces.  Love their spacious back room with communal dining tables.

  • Urth Caffe451 South Hewitt Street (at 5th St.) in the Arts District

Yes, we finally got one!  And I love going there in the evenings to sit around the fireplace with a good book.  All of their bread and pastries are also baked on-site, along with organic teas, free Wi-Fi and late-night hours.

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All photos, artwork and writing on the L’Artisana WildGoddess blog by WildGoddess is protected under by copyright ©2003-2009 WildGoddess, and cannot be copied, distributed or reprinted without written permission from the artist.  If you would like to use something from this blog, contact me to obtain my permission in advance.  Thank you for your consideration.

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When I first walked into Royal/T in Culver City, I thought I had stepped into Paris or London, because there’s certainly never been anything like it in Los Angeles and it’s the talk of the town!  This unusual teahouse/gallery/screening room/art space/store housed in the heart of the newly revamped Culver City creative scene just has to be seen to believed.

As they describe it on their website, Royal/T is “a playful collision of spaces—café/shop/art space—presented in stunning fusion. An eclectic mix of retail and contemporary art reimagined in the surrounds of LA’s first Japanese-style cosplay café.” And it is wild!

There’s lots to do at the divine Royal/T.  You can browse in their store, which offers japanese-style manga and anime-type art, doodads, books, prints, and t-shirts, you can check out their art galleries, and have tea and a delicious bite in the cafe. (The waitresses wear the cutest little “French Maid” outfits!)  It’s all so civilized!

Graffitti Walll Installation at Royal/T

Graffitti Wall Installation at Royal/T

And they always have interesting events going on as well – for example this weekend, they’re screening four Japanese film shorts for free!

To keep up with Royal/T’s happenings, sign up for their mailing list. And if you live in Southern California, be sure to drop on by, because you’ll have a great time!

Royal/T

8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
T 310 559 6300

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"Love Me" - photography by WildGoddess ©2009

"Love Me" - photography by WildGoddess ©2009

The other day, I was waiting downtown on Hill Street, and a man, obviously a little down on his luck, sat down next to me. He then proceeded to loudly proclaim the following words:

“Where is this Paraphernalia coming from? Paraphernalia!
The California Supreme Court is nothing but Paraphernalia!”

” ‘ Hide, hide, hide on the Paraphernalia side,’ ” (he sang)

“Little girls are caught up on the Paraphernalia side. Security is about Paraphernalia and so is the Supreme Court. They are all Paraphernalia-dependent. Your brain can be clogged with Paraphernalia, like little boys.

That’s what the Supreme Court is all about. We are all clogged with Paraphernalia.”

Now I don’t know about you, but I pay attention to what folks say, whether they’re talking to me or not. I’m just sort of a “curious” soul. And I found this man’s prose quite intriguing, to say in the least. Isn’t it true that most of us do have a little too much paraphernalia in our lives?  I think I actually learned something that day!

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All photos, artwork and writing on the L’Artisana WildGoddess blog by WildGoddess is protected under by copyright ©2003-2009 WildGoddess, and cannot be copied, distributed or reprinted without written permission from the artist.  If you would like to use something from this blog, please contact me to obtain my permission in advance.  Thank you for your consideration.

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"The Snoop" - ©2007 WildGoddess

"The Snoop" - ©2007 WildGoddess

A few evenings ago, I and my fellow sister-goddesses made a trek to Dockweiler Beach. Our plans were to settle around a firepit, light a big bonfire, and celebrate Mother Nature and the setting summer sun.

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as we had planned; by the time we arrived, all of the firepits were taken. Masking our disappointment, we settled down on the sand near a big, noisy family who were obviously having some sort of celebration. As we watched them, we noticed that even though they were surrounding a firepit, they weren’t actually using it. So, interrupting their celebration, I walked over and asked the group if we could use their firepit, also inviting them to feel free to enjoy our fire.

With generous smiles, they welcomed me and my girlfriends with open arms.

Even though this proposition was met with some reluctance on our part because we had actually come to the beach to listen to the sound of the surf (instead of Snoop Doggy Dog on a ghettoblaster!), we all decided to just trust the moment and roll with it. We came there to build a fire, so we moved our chairs over to the family’s firepit, and were instantaneously embraced by this family’s warm, generous heart.

Food and beverages were pressed upon us, teenagers came up and invited us “old folks” to dance to Snoop. Young children came over and sat with us, delighting in the warmth of our fire. Other family members brought us more wood to place upon the fire, and even felt free to chat with us about their lives. Before long, a neighboring Latino family offered food, too!

That summer evening turned out to be an absolute delight, and we eventually got our wish for peace, for as the sun began to set, our new friends packed up their things and headed home. Before long, we were finally able to listen to the sweet sound of the surf, the sound of our family’s goodbyes lingering on the air.

Because we live in Los Angeles, we’re constantly made aware of the so-called tension between blacks and Latinos in this city, but I have to say that during that warm summer night at Dockweiler Beach, all we experienced was love and an abiding sense of community. For that, I am very grateful.

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