Beast Coast to Best Coast: Its art art everywhere…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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During the election, it was awesome.

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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.

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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.

I saw the sign and it opened up a can of worms: NIMBY in Hollyweird

Today residents of Hollyweird will get to stand up and debate how best to deal with the thousands of tourists who flock to the neighborhood surrounding the infamous Hollywood sign, in search of the best vantage point.  A community hearing will be held at 4pm PDT in a municipal community room at 6501 Fountain Ave.Anyone who has ever done this before knows exactly where to find the best spot to take pictures in front of the Hollywood sign: the dog park at 3000 Canyon Lake Drive.  The dog park is a really cool spot to snap a few pictures and see some super cute dogs.  In fact, its the closest you can get by car.But, residents of the 87-year-old neighborhood surrounding the sign have been increasingly complaining about tourists, as the roads through the hills are narrow, winding and easily jammed.  And, with the advent of Google Maps and GPS, more and more people are finding their way into these small neighborhoods to take awesome yoga pictures in front of the sign (among other types of photos.)Some residents have even gone rogue and started posting their own signs which read, “Tourist Free Zone” or directing sight-seers out of the narrow neighborhoods with arrows.  There has been a dispute over designating this park as an official viewpoint for the sign, with city council member Tom Labonge leading the charge.  According to the LA Times, local residents are fearful that this project “will act as a huge magnet for even more tourists.”But what Hollywood tale would be complete without a little drama?  The home-owners associations are going at it.  While some condemn the use of the park as an official sight-seeing spot, others love the idea!  The Hollywoodland Home Owners Assn. cautions against the increased risk of wild fires and accidents due to increased tourism.  The Beachwood Canyon Neighborhood Assn. released the following statement:

“Thanks to the office of Councilmember Tom LaBonge… the area is getting nicer and more open, which means that those who have found their own way into Hollywoodland and want to take a photo of the Hollywood sign don’t have to stand in the street.”

What do YOU think about the predicament?  Have you ever trekked up into the hills to see the sign?  Can residents really complain about tourism when they’re living underneath one of the most iconic images in America?  Let me know your thoughts and stay tuned!  The meeting is set to begin in approximately 2 hours.

That’s all for now cats and kittens,

–Aimee