Thursday, September 27, 2007

Antonio Banderas Wants You to Go Metro!

Antonio Banderas wants you to Go Metro to the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. Check out the video (courtesy of Metro) to see why you should Go Metro to one of Los Angeles best annual film festivals.

Antonio Banderas quiere que tomes el metro al Festival de Cine latino Internacional de Los Angeles. Mira el video (cortesia de Metro) donde explica la buena razon para tomar el metro a uno de los mejores festivales de Cine de Los Angeles.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Public Displays of Affection... on the Metro!

Actually, I never see that much PDA on the Metro. Hooray!! On the other hand, I do see plenty of people picking away at their noses, making me want to inch away from any metal bar in sight and hone my ability to freely balance in a moving subway car, two inch heels and all (can I call that my special talent?).

There IS, however, an event called Public Displays of Affection, a concert and exhibit brought to you by Global Inheritance, in an effort to "show public transportation in Los Angeles a little love". For a city where a majority of its residents don't even realize a subway exists, I'm all for a little Metro lovin'.

The event features Ladytron, Great Northern, and special guest DJ Taina, as well as TRASHed: Art of Recyling Exhibit. Your ticket, of course, is an incoming subway or bus ticket. Takes place this Thursday, September 27th at Hollywood & Highland, 7:00pm.

-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Arts/Culture Marketing Assistant

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Justin Timberlake at the Staples Center

Justin TimberlakeLast night the Staples Center hosted the last date of Justin Timberlake's North American FutureSex/LoveShow Tour. Mr. Timberlake's been rocking the Staples Center since Sunday (so the girl sitting in front of me confirmed). To say that the man is talented would be understating it. His performance at the Staples Center is a reflection on how this artist has catapulted his way out of boy band non-obscurity - through sheer talent and great music collaborations. I had a good vantage point for saying this show was amazing. My friend Jay and I were sitting in the back....waaaaaay in the back.

The show opened at 8:00 with Good Charlotte and the Justin Timberlake concert itself didn't start until after 9. Nonetheless, the show was well worth the wait - opening up with fog and an incredible use of lights and great stage design. The last time I was at the Staples Center was for a Lakers game...oh, how a basketball arena can be transformed.

There's a good advantage to sitting in the back row of the Staples Center for a concert of this caliber. You get to see the entire stage design and Justin Timberlake running around most parts of the stage. I'd say that I'm being optimistic and positive about my concert experience, and while, yes I am, it's true.

I had twenty-dollar seats in literally the back row of the Staples Center, but it didn't take away from a great show. You don't need to be up close and personal to see that Justin Timberlake's a great dancer and singer, and that he can play the guitar, the keytar, the piano, and beatbox. Nor do you need to be that close to sing along to favorite songs with all the other people in the filled seats with you.

Ultimately the FutureSex/LoveShow has the nuances of a big party: great music, dancing, a D.J. at intermission - even Timbaland making his appropriate appearances. And really, who wouldn't want to party with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland?

Would I have wanted tickets in the front row by the stage? Sure! But I'll close on what Jay and I high-fived during the concert, before catching the Metro Red Line home: "Best twenty-seven dollars ever."

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Avenue Q in LA!

Avenue Q signOne of my favorite musicals is in town - Avenue Q! I had the lovely opportunity to see this hilarious musical again at its opening on September 7th. There's so many great things about this show, I'm not sure where to start...

I had first seen this show in Las Vegas two years ago, when it had a long run at the Wynn. My friends were familiar with the soundtrack, but I hadn't heard much of the musical except for one key track: "What Do You Do With A B.A. in English?" As a degree-holder of a B.A. in English, it's a song that's near and dear to my heart.

Fast forward two years later, having already seen the show, and having memorized all the songs - of course I jumped at the opportunity to see it again in Los Angeles. Appropriately, I asked my friend Trevor to accompany me - a fellow holder of a B.A. in English.

Avenue Q can be succinctly described as "Sesame Street for Adults". Although there are cute puppets and monsters, it's not another day in Sesame Street. The musical touches on topics relevant to life after college, sexuality, and politically incorrect commentary.

But while a lot of Avenue Q is fun for fun sake, at the heart of the musical is a story that any adult can relate to - trying to find one self and making decisions and racking up mistakes along the way. Perhaps what adds to the humor of the show is that most - if not all - the audience has walked along (or is still walking on) their own Avenue Q, looking for their own sense of purpose and trying not to listen to the "Bad Idea Bears" that so often lead us astray with their "good idea at the time" logic.

Avenue Q doesn't prescribe to giving anyone definite answers to what purpose means, but it really does provide the opportunity to laugh at the journey to find it. Goodness knows, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with a B.A. in English!

Avenue Q is presented by Center Theatre Group and runs at the Ahmanson Theatre until October 14th.

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tea Tasting in LA's Chinatown

Tea cups and tiny tea pots at a tasting in Chinatown Los AngelesTucked in-between the golden dragon archways on Broadway and Chinatown Metro Gold Line station with its green, yellow, and red curved roof is Far East Plaza. At the entrance to this plaza is Wing Hop Fung Ginseng and China Products Center. But don't let the name fool you. There's more to this place than aromatic herbs and beautiful hues of porcelain dishes and figurines (though it does have a good many to please). Pass by the first floor of ginseng and herbs behind glass countertops and the large selection of dark and light wine bottles lining the shelves. Then head up the escalator and next to the assortment of imported food goods in bright plastic packages (ranging from yellow rice crackers to sweet and salty plum candy), a tea fan might find a surprising treat... the top floor of Wing Hop Fung are large glass cylinders and glass countertops filled with tea leaves. Recently, I had a lovely tea tasting experience with fellow ExperienceLA blogger and ExperienceLA founder Curt Gibbs, when meeting with George Yu of the Los Angeles Chinatown Business Council and Bibiana Yung of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles.

Curt Gibbs purchasing teaIn addition to letting us smell the intense and fresh aroma of tea leaves, the woman in this area of the store provided us with a sample of Fujian Fresh Flavor Oolong Tea, which retails for $68.99, and plum tea, cold and slightly sweet. One surprising aspect of the selection of teas is the price range, from expected prices one might find in a general store to a high-end selection worthy of Rodeo Drive. Curt purchased a sample of an extremely fragrant $150 tea aptly named "Lion Hill Supreme of Green Tea."

Rows of TeaSL732618.jpg
In addition to invigorating the sense of taste and smell, tea tasting at Wing Hop Fung is a truly visual experience. Tea can come in all shapes and sizes, more than just small leaves, they can be beautiful bulbs and round kernals. Most people are likely to visualize tea in its Lipton sachets of crushed leaves - sometimes the dark, dry mixture has hints of colors from other leaves and dried flowers, visible only through the gauze of a tea bag. But aside from pre-packaged paper boxes of this and loose leaf tin canisters of the standard fair of Jasmine, Oolong, and Green, few can likely attest to seeing tea unparceled, unready for just quick placement in a porcelain tea pot or mug of hot water.

If you want an experience to invigorate your senses, have a taste of tea at Wing Hop Fung in Chinatown.

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator