Daniel is our talented sous-sous chef in the kitchen, the angelito de mi corazon. And stylish to BOOT.
The last time he had all these crazy star-studded designs zig-zagging all over his scalp, but I kinda like this one EVEN better. Apologies for the flash, cuz it took out a lot of the detail. Still, it’s pretty damn impressive. Like temporary-tattooing the back of your head. Like some kinda fuzzy calling card.
This brings me to PEOPLE WATCHING.
Last week I got a pretty snazzy invite to the opening of the Levi’s Art In the Streets exhibit at the Geffen in J-Town, right next to JANM. And I’ve got to say, before I get to the beautiful people, that I was REALLY impressed!!!!!11oneone
Often I pretty much am straight-up about my aversion to museums, galleries and other venues for art exhibits. I just don’t see the point. You pay money, walk around, might see something kinda cool, once in a while something really amazing and then you’re done in 15 minutes. 20 minutes if you’re trying to impress somebody by acting really engaged with the work on display. And by you, I mean I. 20 minutes if I’m trying to impress somebody.
A New Yorker once told me that it was because there isn’t any good art in LA, to which I got kinda offended, but couldn’t say anything because I didn’t know enough about art to counter his claim. An Angeleno backed up his claim, and thus I figured that in terms of the art scene, we put in the A-for-effort in L.A.
So, the Levi’s art exhibit 1st had something riding against it: the perception that LA doesn’t know how to put together a great exhibit. I don’t know if I’d agree, but the few times I went to the MOCA or LACMA, I did find cool THINGS there, but it also usually came off as something slightly sterile. Maybe I’m just averse to white walls and curators watching you like a suspicious ajummah at the cash register watching some kid with a backpack in a liquor store.
The second thing that it had riding against it was that it was street art housed inside a museum. People had done this in the past and, from my own personal experience, nothing visceral was ever stirred up inside me. Many argue this is so because street art belongs in the streets and hence is staged and contrived whenever it’s artfully placed inside a pristine building with security guards and curators.
That said, THE ART EXHIBIT AT THE GEFFEN IS AMAZING!!
I don’t want to show any photos of the exhibit because my Claude-Monet-photos-in-bad-lighting probably won’t evoke the same amazed response I held in my body when I drank everything in. Whoever put the exhibit together really, REALLY respected the space of the museum and didn’t treat those sterile, white hospital walls like hanging-space. It was pretty rad.
There’s all these different sections, like NY and I think Chicago or some other metropolitan city, which were great, but I was super proud of the L.A. section of the exhibit. It was just really well put together and had its own flavor in a way that was chill while getting itself together enough to take something seriously.
The icing on the cake, however, is the Levi’s Film Workshop. And I’m not plugging them because we have a small project with them (we have small projects with a lot of folks!), I’m plugging them because their workshop is SOOOOO COOL!!!
ENTER: THE LEVI’S FILM WORKSHOP
WITHOUT ANY EXTRA COST TO YOU (with the exception of parking and the entrance fee of the Geffen), you can enter their film workshop, learn how to put together a movie of your own (they have an expert at each station), or, if you already know how to put together a movie and just wanted access to more glamorous resources, you can dive into their stop-animation section, the green room, the cutting room floor or pick up a 16mm or HI-8 camera.
I guess what it is that I really love about this workshop is that usually when big groups or companies “give back” to the community or a city, it’s in the form of straight-up money, a free meal, a community garden, an extra wing added onto some kinda hospital or educational facility, grant money, etc. — trends, something that’s been done before. This is not to knock them, for they are very generous things to give back, but it’s even cooler that Levi’s took an extra step and more than giving a THING, it’s giving an experience that can only help expand your own, personal creative capacity to make cool sh*t.
AND IT’S OPEN TO THE ENTIRE CITY.
Normally when things this cool happens there are two caveats: 1) it’s limited to students, 2) it’s in some other city, like New York or Chicago or Brooklyn.
But it’s open to EVERYBODY. Even ADULTS! And it’s in LOS ANGELES!!
I don’t know if any of you realize how incredible this is. Cuz stuff like this almost never happens HERE that’s open to EVERYBODY.
I mean, what a cool thing to do with your niece one Saturday afternoon, or that guy you’ve been eying in the kitchen that you wanted to ask out, but didn’t because you wanted to hang out with him, but you didn’t want to go DRINKING — or that coworker you’ve been wanting to make friends with, or an old high school friend you haven’t seen in over 12 years and wanted to hang out, but didn’t want for it to be awkward — and what a great way to get into it while breaking the ice, etc.
AND IT’S NOT EVEN EXPENSIVE TO PARTICIPATE IN!!!
If you’re the queen of street parking and get discounts or free tickets to the Geffen, then you’re all set, anyway.
ALSO, there’s no real time limit, you can use the equipment for as long as the museum is open and you can also bring hard drives and flash drives to either take your movies/films home with you to share or to continue working on, week-to-week, which is very possible and doable, since the exhibit and workshop is here throughout early to mid August.
Another bonus is that you have really pretty and knowledgeable people who are hanging around to help you. Like this dude:
AND, as promised, here are a few more shots of all the interesting-looking people who came out during the premiere night at the Geffen. There was such a mix of people who came: hippies, artists, hippie-artists, taste makers, bread bakers, families and little kids who were dressed way hipper than I was. (And I actually put in a little bit of effort that night!)
Afterwards, we walked around a bit and then stopped by this yakitori place called Kokkekoko. Or something like that.
We stepped inside cuz I remembered Natasha SUPER recommending it to me. That it wasn’t just good, that it was GREAT and AMAZING.
Curious thing about this great and amazing restaurant is that you step in, it’s packed and all it serves is CHICKEN, CHICKEN, CHICKEN. No beef, no noodles, just various chicken parts and parcels on wooden skewers, frying them, grilling them, broiling them, just CHICKEN — and it curiously smells like… peppermint.
Granted, they’re Japanese, but even sushi restaurants smell like soy sauce, so I was kinda expecting this chicken restaurant to smell like, well… chicken.
But it didn’t. Not a trace. Not a hint.
Just clean, pure mint.
But still, a bustling, active CHICKEN restaurant and no trace or sign of chicken.
Of course, it all changes once the courses start.
And, I’mma tell you, I know that I’ll sound like an idiot in saying that all the chicken tasted like chicken, but THEY REALLY DID. Each bite of chicken was EXTREMELY CHICKEN-y, which is probably a good sign of a healthy chicken.
But after so many courses of chicken, it’s just too much…chicken! I know, I know, spoken like an idiot. You go to a chicken restaurant that specializes in chicken, you’re going to be expected to be served chicken that tastes like chicken. But realize that this is JAPANESE chicken. And the Japanese, unlike the Koreans, don’t really like to change up stuff with distracting and powerfully bold sauces.
They’re good with salt, maybe a touch of soy and/or powdered yuzu and they’re good to go. No garlic, no caramelized onions or sesame oil, etc.
No, that would be insulting to such great chicken, I’m presuming.
So then you eat more chicken. Crumbled chicken, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, chicken livers, chicken hearts, more and more and more chicken. It never ends. And I didn’t even eat that much!
Pretty soon, the mint smell goes away and all you can smell is chicken. But not because it’s infiltrating the air, but because it’s coming outta your pores.
To their credit, they did ask us, “Are you SURE you wanna eat here?”, which I also thought was hilariously Japanese of them.
So yeah. Kokekokko. If you like chicken, no sauce, no frills, just straight-up chicken in all its chickeny glory, you’ll probably have a great time and a great meal at this restaurant. ^____^
Love and tacos,