Thursday, December 29, 2011

Party hearty and smartly: free Metro rides and AAA Tipsy Tow service for New Year's Eve weekend

Many of us already have our plans made for celebrating the New Year. Some of us are still deciding - and if you happen to be in this category, might we suggest visiting the calendar for some ideas :)

Whatever your plans are, if you and your roommates are drawing straws to see who will be the sober this year, or if you simply haven't had time to think about finding a designated driver, fear not! Metro and AAA have provided some wonderful solutions for this coming weekend of merriment in Los Angeles.

Looking Back on 2011 and Running Forward to 2012

2011postAs the end of the year approaches, we look back on 2011 as documented in's blog. 

We began the year with a great honor - being named by Arts Media Contacts as an Art Blog of the Year for 2010

But it was also a year of endings.  We said good-bye to the Wilshire Grand Hotel and the Mulholland Dr. Bridge began its demolition and reconstruction project - which means we also survived round 1 of Carmageddon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Upcoming Cirque du Soleil Truck stops

Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

You may have already spotted the Cirque du Soleil Truck at various locations around town, but if not, we've got some of the remaining dates to help you plan your visit. The truck is an opportunity for fans to interact, take photos, receive free Cirque gifts, purchase tickets to "OVO" and "IRIS" at an exclusive discount offer, win prizes and celebrate 25 years of Cirque du Soleil performing in Los Angeles.

The Cirque du Soleil Truck will make various stops at shopping centers, business districts, and attractions all over Southern California now through January. Keep up with the truck's scheduled appearances and updates by visiting their Facebook pages ( or or on Twitter (use #CirqueTruck). Or, you can also follow XLA's Facebook and Twitter pages and we'll give you updates as we receive them.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Saying "Goodbye" to the Wilshire Grand Hotel

Wilshire Grand Hotel - Aerial View.  Photo by Charity Tran.
We all know the saying, "All good things come to an end." Alas, the time has come for us to say good-bye to our friends and wonderful partners at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. Tomorrow - December 23 - after 59 years, the hotel will bid farewell to its last guest before being demolished. Future plans for the lot include a two-tower hotel and condominium skyscraper, slated to open in 2015.

Photos: Grand Central Market

Sarita's Pupuseria - Photo by Charity Tran (intellichick)

Right before heading into a matinee showing of Miracle on 34th Street at the Million Dollar Theatre, my friend Katie and I roamed nearby Grand Central Market.  Whether you're rushing in for a quick bite, looking to do a little shopping, or just need a little down-time wandering through eclectic food stalls and neon lights, this is a Los Angeles experience worth adding to your list.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tonight: Freedom & Fashion 2011: REBIRTH Fashion Show

If you haven’t heard yet, this is the year for giving.  Of course, every holiday season includes gift giving to the ones we love, but what about giving a little freedom this season?  

Our friends at Freedom & Fashion are throwing their annual socially responsible fashion event this Saturday, December 17th.  That’s TONIGHT!  We’re talking, local LA designers presenting their fabulously eco-friendly collections, to the sounds of KCRW’s Anthony Valadez, all in the architecturally-amazing landscape of the DTLA Cooper Design Space.   

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Alice Wallace plays Coach House on Dec. 17, win a signed CD

Courtesy of Alice Wallace
We're happy to share that we've gotten our hands on 5 copies of "Sweet Madness," the debut album from one of today's rising young artists in folk/country/blues. And, they're signed! And we're giving them away!!

Called "one to watch" by OC Music Magazine, Orange County-based singer/songwriter Alice Wallace will be opening for the Grammy-winning folk artist Shawn Colvin at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano this coming Saturday, December 17th.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Timothy B. Schmit to play Canyon Club tonight

For any Poco or Eagles fans, or fans of country music in general, check out these photos from our XLA Flickr pool taken by XLA-er Curt (after the jump). These are from Timothy B. Schmit's solo performance last Wednesday at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. Schmit, best known for his work as a bass guitar player and singer in the bands Poco and The Eagles, will continue to promote his solo project with a performance tonight at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Indie LA - Shop Local!

__MG_3812I always knew our beloved city was a breeding ground for fashion, art, and the engaging of the two, but the destinations for such events seem to have grown almost overnight. that the official gift-giving season has arrived, it's the perfect time to check out the best of what LA's got to offer local-style. Here are a re-cap of the ones I've visited, plus a few more that I've got my eye on:

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Holiday Matinee: The Million Dollar Theatre & "Miracle on 34th Street" on December 4th

thumbnailimageI have holiday favorites, one is fairly stereotypical.  My favorite holiday movie is Miracle on 34th Street (it's tied with White Christmas).  There's just something about the movie's focus on believing that cheers me up every time.  My next holiday favorite is not quite so typical - though there are times I wish it was, but perhaps it would then not feel so special. 

An evening with "The Night Watcher"

A couple of weekends ago, I had the fortunate opportunity to attend "The Night Watcher" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (thanks to Allied Live for the comp tickets). Neither my husband nor I had ever been to KDT, and I had been considering purchasing tickets to the show anyway, so of course I jumped at the chance when it was offered.

"The Night Watcher" is a one-woman show written and skillfully performed by Tony Award nominee Charlayne Woodard. In this play, Ms. Woodard fluidly moves in and out of characters as she tells the stories of her "children" - none of which are biological, but all confide in her and trust her as a second mother (or in some instances, as their only mother-figure).