Beast Coast to Best Coast: Its art art everywhere…

dc2

When I worked in DC, I used to walk out the front door of my office building and across the street to the National Portrait Gallery, to think.  I’d stroll and think. It was the perfect place to do so; with free admission you can simply pop in for 15 minutes and roam the halls, rubbing elbows with America’s earliest painters or modern photography exhibits, just long enough to get your mind working in a different direction again.

dc1

Now when I walk out the front door of my office building, I quickly find myself at Michael Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  It’s a block east of CNN’s LA bureau on Sunset and Cahuenga. A news ticker streams the headlines across the street to Amoeba Music, one of those old dinosaurs–a real live record store.  If you were wondering where to find the best pizza in all of Hollywood, let me just tell you, this place is like walking into and out of Brooklyn just crossing the threshold.  If you tweet Joe’s Pizza @joespizzait they will give you 15% off your order.  They’re on Hollywood Blvd. and Wilcox.dc3

Note to self: Don’t get derailed by the costume shops and bewildered tourists muddling over the pink and black, flecked terrazzo streets. Hollywood Blvd. can seem like a strange place, but the buttoned up hipster kids are really just programmers and the cats with the full sleeve tattoos are the graphic designers. Trailer Park, the entertainment marketing agency that puts out the slickest movie trailers for blockbuster films and designs campaigns for the latest video games, is just up the boulevard.

BeFunky_photo (36)

Walk down Wilcox to Selma and you’ll see one of the most precious gems of all. The empty building directly on the corner gets buffed over almost every day because almost every night street artists put up new wheat pastes.  If you catch it at the right time, you can find some pretty epic work.

nomatterwhatness

Art that is born from a determined, rebellious spirit and put into action, long after the rest have resigned to the morning. Art that knows no boundaries, for better or worse, in the search for a voice.  The same way that a good and gritty ground game in a campaign can achieve an eloquent brilliance. Or epic disaster. But somehow still give everyone a good laugh.

elroy

During the election, it was awesome.

photo (24)

I started snapping them with my iphone whenever I was quickly passing by, then posting the photos to Instagram.  Different artists have found the posts and its connected me to new friends and collaborators. The pieces I’ve spotted have been so unique and special to me, for their content but also for their ephemeral timeliness, like pop culture hitting you on the head with a hammer. Then disappearing the next night. A real live street art twitter.

photo (21)

obama wheatpaste

That’s the fortunate thing about doing what I do, in the place I do it.  We consistently embark on new creative endeavors.  Surrounded by corporate news headquarters and small powerhouse production shops, 15 minutes to the local government of Downtown LA, and never too far from a coffee shop for those long and caffeine-fueled brainstorming sessions. We strike a chord between fine art and street art.  Guerrilla film-making and presidential advance.  Nestled in the craziest little neighborhood, but ready to travel anywhere, in the name of inspiration.

Advertisements

Can a $1.50 one way ticket get LA walking? Why the LA Metro area is now Metro Accessible

Its an easy breezy afternoon in Downtown Los Angeles and I suddenly find its high time I hoof it to the Westside–sans wheels. You heard me, right.  Hold my breath and actually take a walk in Downtown LA to the Pershing Square stop on the Red Line and take it to 7th Street to hop on the new Expo Line that just opened last week and connects DTLA with the Westside by light metro rail. You can get all the way to Culver City, at Venice and National.

For Native Angelinos, this is–like–totally a BFD.

The Expo Line is surprisingly quick and efficient.  And although its rather new, everything looks and feels like it was built and assembled in the early 1970s.  This stylistic choice is a major metropolitan public transportation requirement. Its written somewhere important.  Other than accidentally walking through a commercial shoot in DTLA (“Just cheat your shoulder toward the camera so we can see the bus behind you”) maybe I could have been in DC or any other major city in the US. The stations each have ample parking and the trains really did arrive right after one another. Minimal wait time!

So, for a $1.50 one way ride from the quiet suits and cardboard box houses of Downtown to the In-N-Out in Culver City across from Carbon, its a good deal.

If LA keeps talking about how no one walks, then no one is actually stopping the talk and starting to walk.

Go out and see the world on foot, cats and kittens!

–Aimee

Why you should be coming to DC’s SW Waterfront, like, now.

this post is dedicated to Ashley and Flora ❤As a young professional transplanting to DC, I was overwhelmed with all the little nooks and crannies that took on their own characteristic neighborhood vibe.  Columbia Heights tasted like a $2 can of Pabst and pupusas. Georgetown smelled like brunch and breeze, with expensive perfume wafting in the air. And the Hill was strong coffee and late whiskey nights, for sure.

But as a California girl with a particular fondness for seeing the ocean every day, I needed a place with access to water and an undone attitude that belied the career driven ambition of the District.  Enter: the SW Waterfront. DC’s smallest quadrant. Now don’t get me wrong, the Waterfront is notorious for being somewhat… vacant.  But it makes up for what it lacks in general diversity, with its anonymity.  In a city where you can and will run into everyone from exes to employers on a jumbling and boisterous Friday night metro ride, its a fantastic thing to feel incognito. Under the radar, as you stroll along the Riverwalk, past the hauntingly serene Titanic Memorial.Or come down to Nationals stadium (technically SE but by a stones throw) and watch the hometown heroes of no one’s home town–The Nationals–play some good old fashioned baseball. I always try to go to the games they play against the Dodgers so I can see my boys in blue and annoy the Washington fans.After the game you can always swing by the new restaurant Station 4 if you’re feeling like something a bit more upscale after sitting in the bleachers all day.  I must admit, despite their close proximity to the SW Waterfront metro stop, I have never actually eaten here.  But they do have Peroni in this beautiful, curvaceous Italian-sex-kitten tap.Last summer we saw Thievery Corporation perform at the pop-up tennis court Kastles Stadium at The Wharf. It was an amazing show and its always nice to hear live music by water.

The late, great Chuck Brown came out and joined them for a song. I’m so happy I got to see this DC legend in-person before he passed. Mad love to you, man.But the real star of SW is, of course, the rowdy and rockin’ Cantina Marina.  For us So Cal types, it feels a bit like the grungy beachy vibe of VeniceThe palm trees may be plastic and the view may be of the Anacostia River, but my goodness!  With a drink in your hand and Bob Marley or the Chili Peppers blaring over the flirtatious chatter of the patrons, you might as well be anywhere you want to be.  So maybe the water is always  bluer just over the horizon. But for now DC’s sunny evenings and impending summer days have me heading to the SW Waterfront.

See you there cats and kittens!

-Aimee

Interview with internationally acclaimed artist Brett Amory

ImageHey there cats and kittens–check out my interview with the very talented and thoughtful artist Brett Amory this week on Warholian.

Image

Brett’s work takes you through the solemn sometimes lonely moments of city living and gives voice to the thing we all do every day: wait.

Waiting 101 explores this and more. Happy reading!

–Aimee

Finding balance amid the mess: Mind-Body Week in DC

Hey DC–does all this talk about upcoming elections, campaign promises, economies and enemies, corporate anonymity, hippy protests, political unrest, wall street to main street discourse have you feeling… tense? A bit out of sorts?  Like you can’t seem to keep your head on straight?

Well, here’s a chance to feel balanced and reconnect with what makes you happy and whole.  Its Mind-Body week! Experts from the science, medicine and healing fields are gathering together to provide scientific evidence on the connection between mind and body through panels, presentations, yoga and guided meditation.I’m a strong believer in the mind body connection and that you are internalizing your every thought and emotion and transforming it into a tangible reality–even without knowing it.  There’s a great lineup of speakers and this conference looks like a fantastic opportunity to bring together a community reflecting principles that are often ignoroed by Western medicine. Take a deep breath and cruise on over to one of the many scheduled events.  Visit the website to learn more.If you can’t make it to the conference but want to explore more about the mind and body and business connection and how it can lead you to success, watch this amazing talk by one of my favorites: Deepak Chopra (he even talks about wall street, too.)

Deepak Chopra in conversation with Lisa Napoli from Ted Habte-Gabr on Vimeo.

Remember to breathe and be good to yourself and those around you!  Bust out those divine attributes kittens 🙂

–Aimee

A Walk through Freedom Plaza and the emergence of Occupy DC

I’m sure by now, everyone has heard of the movement by the 99%.  I’m going save my sentiments on the subject for another time, but would like to present to you some images from a stroll on a Thursday afternoon through Freedom Plaza, adjacent to the White House.  These are the folks who have chosen to Occupy DC.

How do YOU feel about the protests?

That’s all for now cats and kittens

–Aimee

Andy has Landed: Warhol hits the Mall

Washington DC is preparing for the Warholian Rennaissance sweeping the National Mall. Two exhibitions opened Sunday at the Hirshhorn Museum and the National Gallery of Art, both along the National Mall.

The Hirshhorn, a circular building in its design, is the perfect host for Andy Warhol: Shadows. Andy’s 102 silk-screened, handed-painted piece collection of one single repetitive image. Its simply a shadow on the wall in his office. But its been transformed, tweaked, twisted, colored and screened 102 different ways. And it speaks volumes.The exhibit wraps around the circular structure like a film reel. A walk through Andy’s vision.  Its fantastic! And quite a unique glimpse of the artist’s work.The exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, however, is more familiar.  If the Hirshhorn’s exhibit, featuring work created in the last decade of Andy’s life, is high-brow, the exhibit at the National Gallery is good ol’ Warhol.  We see his affinity for pop-culture-trash-talking-tabloid-celebrity-gossip-goodness.  Its entitled Warhol: Headlines and encompasses the mainstreamy ad man art that made the Warhol legend. This exhibit is gossip-y and silly. Tabloidy and terrific. Sensational and satirical.It follows his obsession with news media. Particularly, it opens on his paintings done by projecting front page stories on the wall and diligently tracing over them.  Free-hand lettering, errors and all.  And then–you travel upstairs, taking the extraordinary journey of his progression into different techniques and evolved lettering. Truly epic newsstand masterpieces that stand the length of the room.I love seeing his soup can style, the pop art appeal, in something other than soup cans!My favorite part of the exhibit were the works featuring both Warhol’s headline designs, and Basquiat‘s hand-drawn profound simplicity.  My most beloved piece in the whole exhibit was this divine beauty:I pretty much just love it and could spend an evening and bottle of wine discussing it!  And, from now until next January you CAN get your Warhol fix on a whole assortment of lectures, concerts and screenings.  Check out the schedule here and see my hit list below: the not-to-miss-moments!So go check it out for yourself and we’ll see ya around!  Take a walk on the wild side.

That’s all for now hep-cats.

–Aimee