Friday, April 30, 2010

Disney's Oceans at the El Capitan

Sometimes the best thing about being a grown-up is the ability to choose to be a kid again.  While there are a lot of movie options out there, one of my favorite places to head out to is the El Capitan Theatre where movies often feature a kid-friendly opening show and, of course, the theatre itself is a representative of glamorous Hollywood history (See my previous post about LA's Historic Movie Palaces).  My venture out to the theatre with friends last night for Disney's Oceans proved to be no exception.  Who knew historic theatres could also include an animal show?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Have a Kid-Friendly May Day

May Day is Saturday!  Do you have plans yet?  If not, here's a nice kid-friendly sampling that may or may not call out to the day:

Internet: Power and the Hybrid Experience

I had the opportunity to attend a conversation between Manuel Castells (USC Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society) and Steven Lavine (President of CalArts) at the REDCAT.  The topic of the evening was The Technology of Power in the Digital Age.  Castells, who recently authored the book Communication Power, and Lavine discussed the power of the Internet and how it relates to today's politics, media, and the human experience.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What are you doing on Sunday? Meet Me @ Metro (Traveling Theater)

It's a given that we like to support our local art and theatre. We like even more to support events that are family-friendly, low-cost, let's people experience something new in LA, and promotes the use of public transit.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Got TAP...Card Questions?

Do you Go Metro with a TAP card?  Do you Go Metro without one?  Either way, odds are you probably have questions about it - especially those transit riders who have had to walk through the newly installed subway gates these last few months.  Well, here's your shot at finding out some answers.  Metro's blog The Source is asking readers to send in TAP Questions.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicago Razzle-Dazzles in L.A.

My Thursday night was spent in Hollywood - Red Line from Downtown to Hollywood/Vine and a quick walk across the street to the crowd gathered in front of the Pantages Theatre for Chicago.  Amid the theatre's beautiful architecture, Chicago unfolded with enjoyable - and at many times amazing - scenes seamlessly melting from one into the other.

Entrance Band offers a pyschadelic experience without the drugs

Ask Guy Blakeslee, singer for "The Entrance Band," to describe their sound, and like most musicians you'll see he struggles with a definitive answer. One adjective he is confident in using, however, is "psychadelic." (Pictured: The Entrance Band, photo by Perry Julien)

For those unfamiliar, The Entrance Band mixes blues with rock, and their music has been described as "alluring" and "entrancing."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reading Is Fundamental Boggle Tournament

Reading Is Fundamental SoCal has invited us to participate in their first ever Boggle for Books Boggle Tournament. Now, we’re looking for our top 2 Boggle players to represent ExperienceLA and have a chance to compete for a grand prize.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 Los Angeles #12 City for Men to Live In just released the recent result of their "Top 29 Cities for Men to Live In".  Rankings were based on the following criteria:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Multi-culture re-examined

Many of us can recall a time where we've had to make a choice based on a pre-determined set of options that were not relevent or reflective of who we are. In many of these instances, at least for me, I've either settled with the answer closest to what I would've preferred, or indicated "other." In many of these instances as well, I didn't give it much more thought after making my selections, as the consequences were minimal.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday night delight

In addition to weekend relaxing, festivities, or whatever plans you've got, the city of Santa Monica has given us another reason to look forward to Fridays: Bike Valet night. We give thumbs up to the city on this effort to promote a less car-dependent culture.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sapphire at ALOUD series

When I opened up Sapphire's book Push (the novel that the movie Precious is based upon), the only reason I put it down was when the imagery and the darkness of the novel got so overwhelming that I needed a break.  The book has so much power in its pages and beauty in its honesty.  Being able to see and hear the author of Push discuss her work, and eventually meeting and having my book signed by her, is a joy that I'll try to describe.  ...and did I mention this moment was free?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Photos: Dodgers - Think Blue!

We're super excited that today is Opening Day for the Dodgers!  If you're one of the lucky people there today, we hope you cut through the traffic/parking hassle and took advantage of Metro's new bus service to Dodgers Stadium.  In honor of opening day, we wanted to put up our favorite Dodgers contributions to our ExperienceLA Flickr Pool.

Note:   We're also looking for your Opening Day photos.  Ways to share - 1) Add them to the ExperienceLA Flickr Pool for consideration!  2) Send us a link on twitter via and 3) Share on our Facebook Fan Page.  We're taking submissions until the end of the week!

LA Dodgers Sign - by intellichick

dodger seats
dodgers seat by dugm2

Dodgers Stadium
Dodgers Stadium by intellichick

Dodgers, NL Champs!
Dodgers, NL Champs! by Lucyrk in LA

Untitled by current events

-Charity Tran

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Connecting with "The Blue Room"

Let's talk about sex. At it's very basic, it's a natural, animal behavior void of any emotion, and intended to populate and grow a species. On the other end of the spectrum, it can be associated with powerful emotions, complex situations and afterthoughts.

In "The Blue Room," moral standards and social expectations that come along with sex are examined through the lives of 10 individuals all engaged in a chain of sexual encounters. The 90-minute play and its topic couldn't be more relevant today, with so many headlines of infidelity in the news. While most of us may be quick to judge when we read these headlines, "The Blue Room" questions traditional beliefs and ideals when it comes to sex, gender, social status, and the L-word: Love. (Pictured: Christian Anderson & Christina Dow in "The Blue Room")

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Re-Cap: Taste of Dance + Fitness

The Taste of Dance + Fitness (March 27th) was an event for all - whether you were a dance expert or newbie, young or old(er), or there to learn dance moves or burn some calories.  With 20-minute dance classes at $1 each throughout the day, there was something new for everyone to try.  While I'm very much the dance aficionado of the watching variety, I haven't had too much time with dancing shoes on.  But that didn't matter at the Taste of Dance!

Experience your neighborhood "fruitfully"

Among the many pleasures I've had working at ExperienceLA are the interesting and valuable tidbits I've learned about Los Angeles from our diverse network of cultural partners. Whether it's by attending an event, or simply through conversation with a partner, I seem to always learn something new about LA.

In our on-going coverage of the Silver Lake Jubilee, the organizers put me in touch with "Fallen Fruit," one of the participating vendors helping to celebrate the Silver Lake community, as well as the idea of "community" in general. (Pictured are the co-founders of Fallen Fruit)

Monday, April 05, 2010

What does your summer concert schedule look like?

What? You haven't started planning your summer concerts yet? Never fear, we're here to help. For starters, check out a handful of the acts that our partners at the Greek Theatre and Gibson Ampitheatre have lined up for the season.

Here's a tip: Get guaranteed access to these shows, and more, including access to exclusive amenities all year round when you sign up to become a member of their Premiere Marquee Club (learn more at Last day to join is next Tuesday, April 13th.

And to whet your whistle, we're offering a chance to win a pair of tickets to this year's Go Country 3rd Annual Summer Concert Under the Stars, part of the PMC series. Visit our site to enter. (follow the jump for a peek at the schedules)

Up the Beat: Kenny Endo and Friends at the JACCC

This Saturday, I reaped the benefits of hanging out in Little Tokyo. I had fallen in love with the Japanese culture back in the '90s, visited several times, and enjoy eating sushi with friends. I figured that I would eventually move on to other experiences, but the great performances at the JACCC/ Aratani Theatre have helped to renew that love.

Ending the week-long celebration of the JACCC's 30th Anniversary was again another performance that exceeded expectations. I saw a short performance by Kenny Endo at the 30th Anniversary Gala on the Tuesday before, and was ready for more. While I enjoyed J-pop and anime when I was in Japan, I have really taken a liking to the traditional culture while in the states. So, of course, I was expecting a traditional taiko drumming concert on Saturday. Boy was I wrong - and happily so!
The concert did start out with a traditional set by Kinnara Taiko, but it wasn't simple drumming. During the song "Samsara", which is the cycle of life, death and rebirth not just in a lifetime, but in a minute, an hour, a day, the drummers were spinning around each other in complex moves while staying on beat. I was hungry for more.

The next set had contemporary pieces with the On Ensemble, and a world premier of "Pono", an Odaiko (that's the HUGE taiko drum) and piano duet that was simple and moving. Truly beautiful! In between songs, we would be treated to flute music by Kaoru Watanabe and even a Shakuhachi (another type of Japanese flute) song that could have taken me back to Kyoto.

After intermission, we were treated to an elaborate stage setting in which the drumming was enriched with Koto music from June Kuramoto and a special Pipa (a Chinese banjo) performance from Wu Man. It was a full-on concert more than I was expecting, and something I'm beginning to realize is a quite the norm for performances at the JACCC/Aratani Theatre.

The concert ended as it began, with the Kinnara taiko coming out doing a traditional rice harvesting dance that reminded me of such humorous dances done by Japanese co-workers and friends at cherry blossom-viewing parties. (Yes, the Japanese sure do know how to entertain!)
So... when's the next show! Check out upcoming events at the JACCC.
-Tiina Vuorenmaa

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Oooo, sparkly!

For a brief moment, I imagined myself at the Apollo Theatre watching musical acts perform as I would have had I lived in New York during the 60s. In this way, Dreamgirls was unlike any other musical performance I have ever attended. I didn't feel like I was watching a story being told through song and dance. For me, it was more like attending several live concerts.