Friday, October 27, 2006

Downtown LA: California Democratic Rally at USC feat. Barack Obama and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Heading off on the DASH F, I took some time in the sunny Southern California afternoon to attend the California Democratic Rally in front of Doheny Memorial Library steps at USC. Whatever your political affiliation, it's hard to deny that the event was filled with energy and was a great way to learn about what the Democratic ticket had to say. Major highlights of the event included speeches from City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Illionis Senator Barack Obama.

Below is a five-minute video clip of Barack Obama's speech from this afternoon:

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Coordinator

Monday, October 23, 2006

Downtown LA: "Nightingale" and "ALOUD at Central Library"

Last week I was able to enjoy two Downtown LA events - Lynne Redgrave's "Nightingale" on Sunday, October 15th and the ALOUD at Central Library series session featuring Janet Fitch (writer of White Oleander and recently, Paint It Black) in conversation with Rachel Resnick (writer of Go West Young F*cked-Up Chick : A Novel of Separation) on Wednesday, October 18th.

Redgrave's one-woman performance in "Nightingale" was spectacular. I haven't seen too many one-person shows, but this one really brought you into a character and her interactions with other people. The story follows Redgrave's fictionalized account of her grandmother's life story. The show continues at the Mark Taper Forum until November 19th.

Janet Fitch, in conversation with Rachel Resnick, was an enjoyable event that discussed Fitch's latest novel Paint It Black and Fitch's background/process as a writer. Resnick did a great job asking intriguing questions to which Fitch provided amusing answers. The audience all appeared to have as enjoyable a time as I did! The best part of literary events such as these is finding out the writer behind the book and his/her writing process. Check out the ALOUD at Central Library events to come! ALOUD's website also offers video and audio streams of its events.

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

Friday, October 20, 2006

West LA: STAR ECO Station

My introduction to entomology was visiting STAR ECO Station special event "Creepy Crawlers." Arachnids, Mini Beasts and exotic insects sent chills up and down my spine as I promised myself to purchase an insectclopedia afterwards. Eco Station also provides animals from around the globe and who better to answer questions than co-founder Katya Bozzi.

Daood: STAR ECO Station has a variety of animals. With LA Zoo being only a bus ride and Sea World less than two-hour drive away from STAR ECO Station location, what makes this a great addition to those aforementioned?

Katya: The STAR ECO Station is much different! We get at risk animals that no one else wants. Since we are also an environmental science museum, we work with environmental heroes to address every aspect of the environment. Clean air, the three R's (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) Watershed, and Global Warming. We focus on preservation through education.

Daood: What are some of the exotic animals people can look forward to seeing at STAR ECO Station?

Katya: New animals are always being rescued at STAR ECO Station. So, at any given time you can see an array of tropical fish (tank-busting Pacu), fascinating felines (Jay the Bobcat), tropical, talkative birds (meet the famous Ozzie), flexible turtles, strong slithering snakes, and smiling gators to name a few!

Daood: Why was the name ECO Station coined as the title?

Katya: ECO is short for Ecology, we cover every aspect of the environment. It is based on how we interact with everything on our planet.

Daood: What other organizations work in conjunction with STAR ECO Station to secure the animals and provide such an educational experience?

Katya: We work in partnership with US Fish & Wildlife Services, NOAA, Surfrider, Santa Monica Baykeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance, Heal the Bay, OFI, Coalition for Clean Air.

Daood: According to the flyer that I picked up at the STAR ECO Station you are going to have a Halloween Occasion. Would you be so kind to elaborate on the details of the up coming event?

Katya: STAR ECO Station will transform into a safe and magical trick or treating experience! Embark on an adventure for the young at heart! At Enchanted Hallow's Eve you are invited to stroll through the Roaring Rainforest Forest! Drop by the Enchanted Witch's Lair! Explore the reptile kingdom with slithering snakes, spooky tarantulas, and scary alligators! Take a stroll through the Charmed Mansion! Hang out at the Poacher's Palace, swim through the Jaws Kelp Forest! Be prepared to steal pirate's booty on treasure island then we are off to see the excellent ECO Station Wizard and go through the scarecrow maze where you search for the heart, mind and courage!

Your second choice is at the Infamous Haunted Academy be prepared to jump in terror at every turn through the haunted halls! Come face to face with teenage monsters and teachers' ghosts of school-years past! Don't miss out on a truly wicked adventure! It's a Halloween haunt to die for...if you dare!!!

Enchanted Hallow's Eve is for all ages! Saturday & Sunday October 28th & 29th 2006 1:00pm-7:00pm Costume Contest at 1:30pm with Special Appearances at STAR ECO Station.

One child free admission per adult admission. Take both adventures for just $1 more! Regular Admission $6 for children, $7 for seniors, and $8 for adults.

For more great events at STAR ECO station, check out their profile at, where you can even sign up for a STAR ECO Station RSS feed!


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Downtown LA: Grand Avenue Festival Highlights

Grand Avenue Festival 2006 In case you missed the great Grand Avenue Festival on October 7th (or want to remember what a great time you had) check out the Flickr Picture Pool from the event organized by :

Here's a video of traditional Japanese dancers at the JANM booth:

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hollywood: Avalon 9/29

On Friday, September 29th, my roommate and I headed out for a night at the Avalon in Hollywood (conveniently located by the Hollywood/Vine Metro Red Line Station) where we had gotten on a guest list to hear the spinning styles of DJ K6, DJ Heimeth and DJ Coke-E.

Formerly known as "The Palace", the Avalon is a venue that embodies the rich history of Hollywood in its classic elegance as well as providing a great atmosphere for a night club. It was first the "Hollywood Playhouse" when it opened on January 24, 1927 and the location still features the elaborate detail and etchings of a1920s playhouse.

DJ K6 and DJ Heimeth were the opening acts for headliner DJ Coke-E, a featured DJ on Power 106 (and can be heard on Power 106's Cali Caliente weekends). The music was a great mix of songs and the crowd was kept dancing throughout the evening. I particularly enjoyed the seamless blend of music in DJ Heimeth's set.

Following the Avalon, we didn't have to roam far for some late night eating where we grabbed some pizza slices at a nearby restaurant before heading out of Hollywood.

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator