Tuesday, May 05, 2015

New Grocery Store

What's in Your Shopping Cart?


New grocery stores always interest me.  I do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, Ralph's and Von's.  They're convenient.  Once in awhile I take a trip to Sprouts in Culver City, but I never come out with a full basket. Whole Foods' nickname is Whole Paycheck, but they do have great take-out. The only reason I walk into Bristol Farms is if I need a specialty item. I do like visiting the Bristol on Beverly Blvd. near Doheny where Chasen's Restaurant used to be. A small portion of the dining room is still intact with red leather booths, paneling and photos. Of course, I may run over to Gelson's for their excellent bakery.  Also, there's a new Smart and Final in my neighborhood that is huge and carries EVERYTHING that the chain supermarkets have. If I really need some extra special beef or poultry, we live close to the Original Farmers Market, and I like to see what Huntington's and Marconda's Meats have to offer.
As you can see, I'm not really a loyal shopper. I'll shop anywhere that's convenient and where I can find reasonable prices.
My friend, Christine lives in Burbank. She was very excited that Haggen Stores opened at a former Albertson's Market on Verdugo and Hollywood Way. I happened to be in Burbank for a short time on Saturday afternoon, so I stopped in to see what all the excitement was about. Haggen is a chain from the Pacific Northwest that specializes in offering more organic food and local products to their customers. 
Haggen in Burbank
Haggen carries Cheese Curds in Various Flavors. Are we in Wisconsin?

I liked the store. The prices were fair, the produce was gorgeous, the aisles were wide and the store personnel were helpful. The meat and poultry department looked good.  Also, there was a deli counter with prepared salads, sandwiches, etc. The store had many of the same items that the big chains carry, which is good for one-stop shopping.

Interesting Beer Choices at Haggen!

Since I wasn't going to be near a refrigerator for the next few hours, I only purchased a few items.  I also did a bit of research and found out that there will be two Haggens not far from our house.  Both are replacing Albertsons.  One is on Venice near Robertson, the other on Sepulveda and Palms.  Woo Hoo!  I like having choices.

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Monday, May 04, 2015

Super Cute Queen Kitty


Saturday I was in Little Tokyo to view the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum. The exhibit is over at the end of May, so you still have time to see this amazing show! Hello Kitty is truly an icon. I was overwhelmed by the amount of merchandise Sanrio has produced over the years in her honor.
The Museum was overrun with adorable little girls, oooooing and ahhhhing over all of the vintage merchandise.
Hello Kitty has a back-story...

She never seems to get angry, unlike her American counter-part, Angry Asian Girl!
I really enjoyed seeing the art portion of the exhibit.  Many artists, especially from the low-brow school, have been influenced to use images of Kitty in their artwork.  Here are some of my favorites:
Audrey Kawasaki, "Hi Kitty," 2014, Oil and Graphite on Wood

Gary Baseman, "Play Date," 2014, Acrylic on Wood

Scott Scheidly, "Hello Lincoln," 2014, Acrylic Painting on Masonite

I positively drooled over this collage of Kitty, utilizing the ultimate in costume jewelry, cheerful flower pins!
Michael Courville, "Hello Kitty in Bloom," 2014, Mixed Media

Detail, "Hello Kitty in Bloom"
The fashion show, using Hello Kitty items to create couture was really fab!  These dresses were worn by the contestants during a season of "America's Next Top Model."

Walking through the exhibit, I came to the realization that Kitty does not have a mouth! I guess many people had this same observation:
Click on picture to enlarge

"Kittypatra"

Kitty Hieroglyphics on the side of "Kittypatra"

The Gift Shop was full of MORE Kitty collectibles

It was a rude awakening, after walking through the Hello Kitty exhibit to abruptly be thrown into the exhibit about Japanese internment during World War II.  Light vs. Dark.
Site Model of Japanese Internment Camp at Manzanar
The Japanese American National Museum is a truly wonderful place to visit.  There's so much to see in the surrounding area too...excellent restaurants and shops!  Plan your visit soon!

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Friday, May 01, 2015

May Day, Vintage Photo Friday

Maypole Dance at Echo Park Playground, Los Angeles, 1927. Herald Examiner Photo Collection

When I was a child, we celebrated May Day at my elementary school, Beverly Vista, by learning folk dances and the Maypole Dance. May Day is a European celebration of Spring, going back to Pagan times. I remember practicing dances for weeks. There were many groups of us, surrounding metal poles stuck into holes of the asphalt playground. Each child held a plastic streamer that was attached to the top of the pole. We performed some sort of skipping dance in the round that wrapped the Maypole with our streamers in a decorative way, accompanied by various songs, heard over the loudspeaker system. There were a few other folk dances performed for this celebration while our parents watched and applauded.

Beverly Vista Elementary School, Beverly Hills

From WikipediaRoots of May Day celebration in America: The Puritans frowned on May Day, so the day has never been celebrated with as much enthusiasm in the United States as in Great Britain. But the tradition of celebrating May Day by dancing and singing around a maypole, tied with colorful streamers or ribbons, survived as a part of the English tradition. The kids celebrating the day by moving back and forth around the pole with the the streamers, choosing of May queen, and hanging of May baskets on the doorknobs of folks -- are all the leftovers of the old European traditions.
My First Grade May Day Dance Posse

I also remember cutting out flowers from construction paper and arranging them in some fashion and presenting them to my Mom for May Day. Maypole dances were abandoned at school by the time I was in third or fourth grade. I think this must have had something to do with the cold war and the association of May Day in Russian History as a Communist celebration.

Mr. Larry, the May King of Crocheted Flowers

I shall celebrate the traditional May Day this year by enjoying the flowers blooming in our garden, the beautiful Jacaranda trees on the streets of Los Angeles and the glorious weather!  Happy May Day, my friends.

Flowers along the driveway at our house

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

More Mitts

Jackie's "Guit-Mitts"

I just finished another pair of fingerless gloves for my cousin, Jackie. She saw my photo of the mitts on my Instagram page. Naturally, the photo of me wearing the mitt while strumming an electric guitar caught Jackie's eye.

Jackie plays the guitar too. Her Dad, Richie Davis, is the awesome lead guitarist of the Chicago Catz, a very well-known band in the Chicago area. 

Jackie, rockin' out

Jackie asked for mitts in a burgundy colorway. Luckily, I had some Punta Lace Space Dyed yarn in just that color! I used a size "C" crochet hook for these mitts. Jackie has smaller hands than I do, so I didn't want to stretch them out by trying them on. I look forward to Jackie sending me an artistic photo of herself wearing the mitts while playing her axe. 
Here's a video of Richie and Jackie jamming. 
Richie and Jackie Davis, jamming in the studio

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Celebrity Knitters

Knitting and crocheting have been popular for many years.  Even Hollywood celebrities knit! It can be very boring sitting around on the set, waiting for your scene to start. There must be something better to do than study your script!

Betty White. Check out all that cool 50s furniture!

Debbie Reynolds

Joan Crawford

Roz Russell

Shirley Temple

My personal favorite, Betty Rubble. Dig those wacky knitting needles!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Hammer Museum

Western Exterior Wall at the Hammer Museum, Westwood

On Sunday afternoon we met our friends, Anne and Jeff at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. We met Anne and Jeff last year on our Louisiana vacation. We became Facebook friends and found that we had many mutual friends and experiences....Los Angeles natives, you know. It's been a year since our visit to Louisiana and a year since we've seen Anne and Jeff, even though we live about 10 miles apart! We must get together more often!
The Hammer has some interesting exhibits right now. The first gallery we visited showed The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio. This exhibit was mind-boggling, encompassing designs for small holiday cards to entire buildings and bridges! I was most impressed by the extruded aluminum benches.
Click on Image to Enlarge

Next gallery, Charles Gaines: Gridwork.  I'm all about the grid. There were a series of drawings, paintings and photographs organized by tiny numerical grid/boxes. The numbers were painstakingly tiny within the grids, all hand-written!  #ocd. The work was very colorful and fascinating.
Charles Gaines Artwork

Check out those teensy numbers!

"Apparitions: Frottages and Rubbings from 1860 to Now" was intriguing too. I particularly liked the image below.


There were many more exhibitions and galleries, including the Hammer's permanent collection that we breezed through. One thing I do like about the Hammer, it's manageable for a short visit.
Lily van der Stokker's wall installations

In the courtyard there were these circular "chairs" designed by the Heatherwick Studio that people could sit in and roll around the courtyard. They reminded me of the teacups at Disneyland.


We sat in the sunshine and reminisced about our trip to Louisiana. Anne and Jeff told us about their upcoming travels. By 2:30 pm, The Hammer was starting to get really crowded, so we parted ways. We look forward to our next meet-up with our friends.
Jeff, Anne and Larry

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Mexicano Restaurant

Mexicano Restaurant at Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Mall

Date night. Baldwin Hills. There's a new, fancy Mexican restaurant at the Mall called Mexicano. This is the second restaurant for chefsJaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu.  Their other restaurant is La Casita Mexicana in Bell. I'd been reading a lot about this new place recently and wanted to check it out.



Mexicano is located off the food court.  You enter from just outside the Mall door, across from the theaters. There's an outdoor patio and a beautifully appointed cavernous space inside. The bar is large and offers a full array of specialty cocktails. There are some dining areas off of the main dining room which would be perfect for semi-private parties.The food served at Mexicano is fine-dining-style Mexican food.  The items we're used to seeing on Mexican menus around town like tacos, enchiladas, taquitos, etc. are referred to as street-food or fast-food here.
Click to enlarge

The menu at Mexicano is diverse.  There are dishes prepared with Oaxacan mole' sauces, ceviche and other fish dishes from the coast and more. We each ordered the freshly squeezed lemonade with chia seeds. Larry had the Cochinita Pibil, which is  a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish usually marinated in citrus juices, roasted while wrapped in a banana leaf. I ordered the Chile en Nogada which is a mild Poblano chile stuffed with pork, beef, dried fruits, walnuts, candied cactus, topped with pecan cream and pomegranate seeds. Both entrees were served with the most delicious rice. 
Cochinita Pibil, served with rice and home-made tortillas

Chile en Nogada

We LOVED our meals! The service was excellent and the ambiance was lovely. We didn't feel like we were in a "mall" restaurant at all. Mexicano is a welcome addition to Post & Beam at the other end of the mall parking lot. Fine dining does exist in the other BH.

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery