Wacko Friday Art

Wacko Friday Art

As a frequent visitor, WACKO has never failed in always having fascinating products. Quite unlike anywhere else, this is a store which features the unique, the odd, well, yes, the wacko. On the lower end of Hollywood Blvd., nearly touching Vermont, prepare to spend hours here as the selection will have you dazzled.

Here’s their story:

Mom handled hand-crafted soaps, Dad designed the graphics, and sons Peter and Billy Shire produced original ceramics and leatherware, respectively. Billy’s outrageous leather outfits garnered him clients like Elton John and the New York Dolls, and in 1973 he gained even greater notoriety when his studded denim jacket won a design competition sponsored by Levi Strauss. The jacket was later displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of their Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900 – 2000 exhibition.

By the early 1980s, Soap Plant was Billy’s alone, and he moved the shop to Melrose Avenue. In this larger space, he added books, ceramics and unique jewelry to his ever-increasing stock, and Soap Plant’s eclectic array of items helped turn Melrose into an internationally recognized shopping destination.

In 1984, capitalizing on a couple of vacant storefronts next to Soap Plant, Billy opened WACKO, a pop culture toy shop with punk rock attitude. Along with housing the largest collection of postcards in Los Angeles, Wacko also offered a veritable nirvana of Japanese robots, tin wind-ups, gimmicks, games and novelties.

Two years later, Shire opened La Luz de Jesus Gallery upstairs from his flagship store. One of the most important, ground-breaking galleries in Los Angeles, La Luz de Jesus quickly garnered a considerable reputation with collectors, galleries, and artists around the world; and it gave birth to a genre of California art that would come to be known as Lowbrow. The celebrity clientele and legendary parties, coupled with Billy’s keen eye for talent, earned him the nickname “the Peggy Guggenheim of Lowbrow.” Wacko, Hollywood Blvd., present

In 1995 Billy Shire moved his entire empire back to the neighborhood where it all began. The new (and current) location boasts over 6,500 square feet of retail space in a 10,000 square foot building, with a private back lot that hosts what Details Magazine calls “the best party in town.” La Luz de Jesus Gallery’s art openings on the first Friday of each month. (To locals, it’s simply known as “doing First Friday at La Luz”.)



Since 1980, San Diego native Wick Alexander has been producing distinctive paintings, sculptures and public artworks. Awards for his paintings have been presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council and the Ford Foundation.
His paintings are included in many private collections and museum permanent collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the California Center for the Arts in Escondido and the Banff Center of the Arts in Alberta, Canada.

Wick Alexander is also known, alongside his partner Robin Brailsford who invented it, pioneering the technique of Lithomosaics; a system utilizes mosaic patterns together with a Lithocrete paving system. This is the only system that installs mosaics in a full thickness monolithic pour, allowing designers the flexibility to create their own art piece at significantly less cost than any other medium currently available.

Wick Alexander is known in locally in LA County for his public works installations at eight separate Long Beach Transit Stations, mosaics in several parks across Los Angeles, the Moving Pictures installations across Culver City, as well known across San Diego county for numerous public work installations.

This series dives into the salacious, provocative nature of modern Americana culture. It is a culture that Wick Alexander identifies as insatiable desires for community and consumption and therefore creates almost farcical consequences. Many of his pieces evoke a “Where’s Waldo” type of composition where the view is constantly finding bizarre characters in this micro-environments.

There is an open bar but please tip our bartender.

Opening Reception: June 7th, 7pm – 11pm
4633 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027

Insatiable Vicariousness: Wick Alexander

A Death in the Family

A Death in the Family

Sam Rubin,  a notable figure in the world of entertainment journalism, particularly recognized for his long-standing role as an entertainment reporter for KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles has died. His career, which spanned several decades, made him a familiar face to anyone keen on Hollywood news and celebrity interviews.

His expertise was in in his deep understanding of the entertainment industry and his ability to engage with celebrities in a manner that elicited both informative and personal responses. His interviews would often go beyond the surface, exploring the nuances of an actor’s experience on set or the creative process behind a musician’s latest album.

What set Sam Rubin apart was his genuine enthusiasm for the arts, which was evident in his lively and insightful discussions. Known for his professionalism and his respectful approach to journalism, traits that have earned him the trust and respect of many in Hollywood. Rubin’s work not only informed his audience about the latest in entertainment but also enriched their understanding of the artistry involved in creating film, television, and music.

A fixture at local news channel KTLA 5, he was the kind of personality that you took for granted—he was always there—jovial, fun and indeed completely in the moment with his guests, he sudden death of a heart attack at 64 came as shock to the community.


The Train to Las Vegas

The Train to Las Vegas

Excitement builds as Brightline prepares to revolutionize travel between Southern California and Las Vegas with its new high-speed train service. This innovative route promises to transform the way Southern Californians visit the Entertainment Capital of the World, offering a fast, comfortable, and efficient alternative to the traditional car or plane journey. Anticipated to launch in2028, this service will connect the bustling communities of Southern California directly to the heart of Las Vegas. It is estimated that it will take two hours to complete the trip.

Background on Brightline

Brightline, known for its successful high-speed rail services in Florida, is expanding its expertise to the West Coast. The company has made a name for itself by providing reliable, fast, and luxurious train services, significantly enhancing regional connectivity. With routes that seamlessly connect major cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, Brightline is now poised to bring its innovative travel solutions to Southern California, promising a similar level of comfort and efficiency.

Route Details

The planned route will start in Apple Valley, California, and make its way through the desert landscape, providing picturesque views before arriving in Las Vegas, Nevada. The project is currently in the advanced stages of planning, with construction starting last week. The completion of the route is eagerly anticipated by 2027, aiming to serve millions of passengers annually and offering a travel time of approximately two hours—significantly quicker than driving.

The railway project, dubbed Brightline West, will transport passengers the 218 miles between Rancho Cucamonga and Sin City in two hours, which is half (or one-third, depending on traffic) of the time it currently takes by car. The zero-emission, fully electric trains will be able to reach speeds of up to 200 mph and will travel mostly along the center median of Interstate Highway 15 (aka I-15).

Impact on Southern California

The introduction of the Brightline train is expected to have a substantial positive impact on Southern Californians. It will not only reduce the travel time to Las Vegas but also alleviate traffic congestion and decrease carbon emissions. Economically, the project will spur job creation in both construction and operational phases and boost tourism in both regions. This route is a game-changer for local economies, promising a new era of intercity travel that benefits both commuters and leisure travelers.

The upcoming Brightline train service to Las Vegas stands as a beacon of modern transportation, promising to enhance the way people travel between Southern California and Las Vegas. With its commitment to speed, comfort, and efficiency, Brightline is set to elevate the travel experience, providing an attractive alternative to the conventional options. Keep an eye on this exciting development, as it promises to make your future trips to Las Vegas faster and more enjoyable than ever before.

This Week

This Week

Southern California has an exciting lineup of events scheduled for the week of April 22, 2024, offering something for everyone, from music and TV enthusiasts to foodies and outdoor adventurers.

  1. PaleyFest 2024 – Taking place at the Dolby Theatre from April 12-21, PaleyFest is a must for TV show fans, featuring panel discussions with the creators and cast members of popular shows like “The Morning Show”, “Loki”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, and more​ (Time Out Worldwide)​.
  2. Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival – The iconic music festival continues in Indio through April 21. This year’s headliners include Lana Del Rey, Tyler the Creator, and Doja Cat, among others, offering a vibrant blend of musical performances​ (Discover Los Angeles)​.
  3. Masters of Taste – On April 7, head to the Rose Bowl Stadium for a gourmet experience with tastings from top chefs and restaurants, along with craft cocktails and local breweries. This event is ideal for food enthusiasts​ (Experism)​.
  4. L.A. Times Festival of Books – Taking place on April 20-21 at the University of Southern California, this festival is perfect for book lovers, featuring a large array of exhibitors, author readings, and panels​ (Time Out Worldwide)​.
  5. Renaissance Faire in Irwindale – Running until May 9, this event recreates a 1574 spring day with games, arts and crafts, music, and dance, complete with costumed performers and artisans​ (Daytrippen.com)​.
  6. Bob Baker Day – On April 21, the Los Angeles State Historic Park will host a celebration in honor of the late Bob Baker, featuring puppet performances and various crafts and activities for families​ (Time Out Worldwide)​.
  7. CicLAvia: Venice Blvd – On April 21, this event will transform parts of Venice Blvd into a car-free zone, promoting bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly activities and providing a unique way to experience the city​ (Time Out Worldwide)​.
  8. Pizza City Fest – Scheduled for April 27-28, this festival at L.A. Live celebrates all things pizza, with over 40 vendors, live dough demonstrations, and talks from pizza experts​ (Experism)​.
  9. Wildflowers & Wine – On April 7, enjoy wine tasting complemented by views of blooming wildflowers in Amador County, with live music and food experiences​ (Visit California)​.
  10. Team Taiko Drum Classes – These classes are part of a spring session teaching Taiko drumming, an energetic and impactful form of Japanese drumming, taking place at the Grand Annex at Grand Vision on April 23​ (Discover Los Angeles)​.
  11. The Boy Who Cried Wolf – This theatre production will be shown at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center For the Arts on April 23, offering a fresh take on the classic fable​ (Discover Los Angeles)​.
  12. Mr. Parker at Palm Springs Woman’s Club – Catch the play “Mr. Parker” on April 20 and 21 in Palm Springs, exploring themes of personal discovery and change​ (Palm Springs )​.
  13. Readings at Sunset ~ An Afternoon of Queer Poetry – Enjoy an afternoon of queer poetry at the Pieter Performance Space in Los Angeles on April 28. This event promises a serene environment where poets share their work with the community. https://www.pieterpasd.com/
  14. Countdown to Pride – As the Pride season approaches, participate in the “Countdown to Pride” event on April 27 at 6250 Hollywood Blvd. This event is set to build excitement and community spirit leading up to the larger Pride celebrations. https://lapride.org
  15. SECOND PUBERTY 6: TRASHY Y2K — A Trans-Led, Queer Y2K Party!!! – Also on April 28, experience a unique Y2K-themed party led by and celebrating the trans community at Little Joy Cocktails in Los Angeles. https://littlejoy.la/

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This Week's Highlights

Explore Exciting Events This Week!

Don’t miss out on our specially curated events from April 22nd. Whether you’re interested in arts, networking, or outdoor activities, we have something for everyone!

Upcoming Events This Week

Spring Art Festival

Explore vibrant art displays and live performances at our annual Spring Art Festival.

April 22, 2023 – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Admission is FREE

Tech Innovators Conference

Join industry leaders as they discuss the future of technology and innovation.

April 23, 2023 – 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Admission is FREE

Local Farmers Market

Support local farmers and enjoy fresh, organic produce at our community market.

April 24, 2023 – 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

No Entry Fee

Evening Jazz Under the Stars

Experience an enchanting evening of jazz music performed under the night sky.

April 25, 2023 – 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Free Entry

Don't Miss Out on This Week's Exciting Events!

Explore a wide range of events happening this week! Click on any event for more details, RSVP options, and the ability to add it directly to your calendar. Make sure you’re part of the excitement!

Crazy Krafts Day at the Printing Museum

Crazy Krafts Day at the Printing Museum

Join us on Saturday, April 13, 2024 for KRAZY KRAFTS DAY at the Printing Museum, a creative day of printing and crafts for the whole family. During this special event we will be offering themed activities throughout the day. These include letterpress printing cards, bookmarks, keepsakes, colorful paper marbling, typing on vintage typewriters, screen printing t-shirts, bookbinding, special tours, and more!

The International Printing Museum is a dynamic museum devoted to bringing the history of printing and books to life for diverse audiences. The Museum is home to one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of antique printing machinery and graphic arts equipment. Our mission is to interpret and present the collection for a contemporary audience through demonstrations of working machinery, historic re-enactments, and hands-on workshops.

Since the museum’s founding in 1988, we have reached over 500,000 people through our programming. We regularly welcome visitors to the Museum to participate in tours and events, such as our quarterly Boy Scout Merit Badge Day, the annual Los Angeles Printers Fair, and Krazy Kraft Day for Kids. Our staff visits schools across California via our History in Motion program, the Museum’s innovative outreach program to schools.

The goal of our programming is to teach visitors about the history of books and printing and how innovations in printing helped shape the modern world. The International Printing Museum has been recognized worldwide for the size and scope of its collection, as well as its creative approaches to sharing the collection with our immediate community and the world at large.

10 am to 4 pm

315 W. Torrance Boulevard • Carson, CA 90745


Below the Border

Below the Border

Lunch with a friend recently revealed that he had never been outside the United States and had little desire to travel. “How different people are,” I thought, as I love to travel and have always made an effort to find my way to an airport. Indeed, travel is not easy—checking in, missing flights, security checks, luggage, seating arrangements, snacks at a cost—it takes effort, but the landing and the arrival are more often than not worth it.

An email arrives announcing a press junket to Cabo. A term not heard much anymore, “press junket” once referred to an opportunity for journalists to interview celebrities for an upcoming film. It could also be an invitation to visit a particular hotel, property, or event. For the record, I have been on many junkets, most notably to Egypt and the Maldives. This particular press trip was to visit a resort located on the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula—Cabo San Lucas. From Los Angeles, this is a less-than-three-hour flight.

Cabo is known for a few things: a vibrant nightlife, the Arch of Cabo San Lucas (the iconic arch-shaped rock formation located at Land’s End), and as a port of call for large cruise ships. It is a tourist destination, as are Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Tulum, and, most recently, to the north, Holbox.

From the Cabo airport, shuttles are frequent, and it is less than a half-hour drive to the heart of Cabo. The veil lifts as Highway 1 comes into view—here, the Gulf of California meets the Pacific. Connecting San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas is the Tourist Corridor, a 33-kilometer (20-mile) four-lane highway surrounded by stunning views of both the desert and the coastline of the Sea of Cortez. And here we find Mar del Cabo by Velas Resorts. This is but one of the three Velas Resorts that all sit next to one another. To the right is the Grand Velas Los Cabos, a luxury all-inclusive resort. A short walk to the left is the Grand Velas Boutique Los Cabos.

Our stay is at Mar Del Cabo, a boutique hotel catering to adults only, with a pet-friendly crowd. All three are designed by Ricardo Elias, principal of Elias and Elias Architects in Guadalajara. The three hotels could not be more different—Del Cabo exudes old-world charm with lush entryways and a sloping sidewalk to the sea. The Grand Velas Los Cabos has an entrance that is dramatic, stylized, and cinematic.

For this junket, we are joined by fellow travel writers—it is a good group: diverse, informative, and friendly. We are staying at Mar Del Cabo by Velas Resorts, a triptych of hotels, all unique and vastly different. Mar Del Cabo is a boutique hotel—it feels intimate and organic to the region. The hotel, Mar del Cabo, is a stylish adaptation of a classic boutique hotel, designed to captivate and comfort with its unassuming and pleasing minimalism. With 46 one- and two-bedroom suites, two penthouses which have king or two queen-size beds; kitchenettes with a coffee maker and microwave oven; terraces with a sitting area, separate living areas with a sofa, a bathroom-width step-in rain shower, and daily turndown service. The restaurant, Encanto Farm & Sea, showcases the local and fresh flavors of Baja California in a unique seaside chic ambiance less than 50 yards from the ocean’s edge. Two bars, spa services, a sleek and sensual oceanfront pool, as well as outdoor spaces to hold private events, complete Mar del Cabo.

It was our first day on the press trip, and we headed off to Todos Santos with Cabo Adventure with our loquacious driver, Marcello. It is a 47-minute drive north on Highway 19. Marcello informs us that in Todos Santos we will find the Hotel California—the hotel behind the famous Eagles’ song. He alludes to “colitas,” which in Spanish is the flowering bud of the cannabis plant, as proof of the song’s linkage to Mexico.

All of which is conjecture—there is no evidence any of the Eagles ever stayed at this particular hotel, but it is a fun storyline nonetheless. Todos Santos is a magical and mysterious place. There is a large bazaar which belongs to the designer Rouss Ramírez. In the bazaar, you can discover the objects that Rouss has found on her travels through Mexico and around the world.

From there, we head back south towards Cabo and stopped at Cabo Adventures’ Camel Ranch. Here, we are treated to a vision straight out of Lawrence of Arabia—groups of people on dromedaries wearing shemaghs (headscarves). It is here that we learn a single-humped camel is called a dromedary—a camel with two humps is a Bactrian.

Lunch is enjoyed outdoors while in the distance we watch whales play along the Pacific.  Later that night, the entire press group is treated to dinner at Encanto. It is Valentine’s Day, and the atmosphere at the restaurant is festive. Near the sea, with a small stage, a performer is singing love songs in English. It is our last night—the days have swept by. Tomorrow is the short flight back to Los Angeles.

I think of my friend and what is missed by not venturing beyond. I have been visiting Baja since I was a child. As a young teen, I went to the bullfights, and the dog races in Tijuana. I have slept on the beaches below Rosarito, been astonishingly drunk at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, eaten lobster in Puerto Nuevo, and only recently, in the briefest of windows, come to Cabo on a “tender boat” from a large cruise ship and swam in the moody waters. For Californians, Mexico and Baja, in particular, hold a certain allure—proximity, cost, food, people, weather, and a coastline that rivals Italy. It is part desert, mountainous and almost always close to the ocean—  A striking combination of cactus and palm trees that invite the traveller to experience the lower California known as Baja.

: The “famed” Hotel California in Todos Santos.

The locks—legend has it that if you write your names on the locks and leave them here at the

Bésame Mucho Bazaar, you will be together forever. Surreal artwork on display. The man who sweeps the Bazaar. Our guide, Marcello, gives us the heads up that its time to leave.


Expo West March 12 – 16, Anaheim, CA

Expo West March 12 – 16, Anaheim, CA

File under good to know—this coming week, the Natural Products Expo will take place in Anaheim, CA. An event that really requires more than one day it is a look into the health food market and products that will be coming to the public soon. Like most conventions of this sort, one walks out with bags of swag—CBD products, vitamins, sports drinks and many, many more.

Informa Markets’ Natural Products Expo West is one of the largest trade shows in the natural, organic, and healthy products industry. Typically held annually in Anaheim, California, this expo attracts thousands of attendees from around the globe, including industry professionals, exhibitors, and media. It serves as a key platform for companies to showcase new products, innovations, and trends in the health and wellness space.

The expo’s history dates back to 1981 when it was first established. Over the years, it has grown significantly in size and influence, reflecting the growing consumer interest in natural and organic products. The event covers a wide range of product categories, including food and beverage, supplements, health and beauty, natural living, and pet products.

One of the main features of Expo West is its emphasis on education and networking. The event typically includes a variety of educational sessions, workshops, and keynote speeches by industry leaders, aimed at providing attendees with insights into market trends, regulatory issues, and sustainability practices. These sessions are designed to help industry professionals stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving market.

Sustainability and innovation are often key themes at the expo, with many exhibitors and speakers focusing on eco-friendly practices, organic farming, plant-based products, and other trends that cater to the growing consumer demand for products that are not only healthy but also environmentally responsible.

Expo West has also been known for its efforts to promote inclusivity and support for small businesses and startups. The event provides a platform for emerging brands to gain visibility, connect with retailers and distributors, and potentially scale their operations.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the expo adapting to virtual formats, demonstrating the resilience and flexibility of the natural products community. As the industry continues to evolve, Natural Products Expo West remains a vital event for networking, innovation, and insight into the future of natural and organic products.





Location and Dates

Anaheim Convention Center

Get Directions to this Location on Google Maps
800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92802 USA

Closest airports are John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA), and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

2024 Dates & Hours

Events and Education:
March 12-16, 2024

Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace
Wednesday, March 13, 2024 | 11:00am – 4:00pm

ACC Level 3 & North Halls
Wednesday, March 13, 2024 | 12:00 – 6:00pm
*Buyer-only Exhibit Hall Badges: 12:00 – 1:00pm
*All Exhibit Hall Badges: 1:00 – 6:00pm
Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 9:00am – 6:00pm
Friday, March 15, 2024 | 9:00am – 6:00pm

ACC Halls A-E & Arena
Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 10:00am – 6:00pm
Friday, March 15, 2024 | 10:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday, March 16, 2024 | 10:00am – 4:00pm

*Buyer-only hours include retail buyers, hosted buyers, food service buyers, and health practitioners

Finally, The Oscars Awards

Finally, The Oscars Awards

The strike is over and Hollywood is back to work. Turns out 2023 was a  very good year for the movies. On Sunday, March 10, the envelope will be handed out with the winners. The show, hosted again by Jimmy Kimmel and this year, the Oscars have an earlier timeslot and will kick off at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST. Prior to the awards show, a pre-show will take place at 6:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. PST.

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the awards recognize excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy’s voting membership.

There are options for viewing the Awards—here are just a few:

  1. El Capitan Theatre: They host a special Oscars watch party where you can experience the glamour of the event on a big screen. It’s a unique way to enjoy the ceremony with other movie fans​​.
  2. The Abbey Food & Bar in West Hollywood: Known for its vibrant atmosphere, The Abbey offers an Oscar viewing party that’s especially popular with the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a great place to enjoy the ceremony in a lively setting​​.
  3. Oscars Viewing Party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: This historic hotel, situated just half a block away from the actual Oscars ceremony, offers a viewing party at its Library Bar or the Public Kitchen and Bar. Guests can watch the Oscars pre-show and see the stars arrive, making it a memorable experience close to the action​​.

So get out your cocktails, your pencils and money—let the ballots begin! You can download a usable ballot from here

The 2024 Oscars nominations feature a diverse range of films, performances, and creative efforts across various categories. Here are the highlights from key categories:

Best Picture

  • “American Fiction”
  • “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • “Barbie”
  • “The Holdovers”
  • “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • “Maestro”
  • “Oppenheimer”
  • “Past Lives”
  • “Poor Things”
  • “The Zone of Interest”

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Bradley Cooper in “Maestro”
  • Colman Domingo in “Rustin”
  • Paul Giamatti in “The Holdovers”
  • Cillian Murphy in “Oppenheimer”
  • Jeffrey Wright in “American Fiction”

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Annette Bening in “Nyad”
  • Lily Gladstone in “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • Sandra Hüller in “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • Carey Mulligan in “Maestro”
  • Emma Stone in “Poor Things”

Best Director

  • Justine Triet for “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • Martin Scorsese for “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  • Christopher Nolan for “Oppenheimer”
  • Yorgos Lanthimos for “Poor Things”
  • Jonathan Glazer for “The Zone of Interest”

Best Animated Feature Film

  • “The Boy and the Heron”
  • “Elemental”
  • “Nimona”
  • “Robot Dreams”
  • “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

Best International Feature Film

  • “Io Capitano” (Italy)
  • “Perfect Days” (Japan)
  • “Society of the Snow” (Spain)
  • “The Teachers’ Lounge” (Germany)
  • “The Zone of Interest” (United Kingdom)

Best Visual Effects

  • “The Creator”
  • “Godzilla Minus One”
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”
  • “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”
  • “Napoleon”

This year’s nominations reflect a wide array of storytelling themes and techniques, showcasing both historical and contemporary narratives, animated features, and films that push the envelope in visual effects and production design

High Rise Art?

High Rise Art?

In 2011, MOCA presented a show called “Art in the Streets”, it was the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art. It was controversial and provoked an academic debate about the nature of graffiti. Today, one need only look up—downtown, South Park, for the moment, home to nearly 27 floors of typographical messages commonly known as graffiti. Derived from the Italian word graffio(“scratch”), graffiti (“incised inscriptions,” plural but often used as singular) has a long history. The graffiti seen here may be short lived as the the Los Angeles City Council.The buildings are part of the Oceanwide Plaza which was meant to be a $1 billion real estate project in downtown L.A., but it’s been empty since 2019. According to the Los Angeles Times’ Summer Lin and Robert Gauthier, the plan was to build three neighboring towers that would serve as luxury condominiums and apartments alongside hotel and retail space. However, construction stopped when the Beijing-based developer backing the project ran out of funds.The abandoned buildings have been an eyesore for locals, and currently the cause of great debate about just what graffiti is. The building looks like an electrical panel with dull cement gray exteriors that have sat for five years, and at some point provided an opportunity for local graffiti artists to decorate the building. Currently, the Los Angeles City Council has voted to invoke the owners to clean up the “mess” of they will and send a bill.

Graffiti can be found throughout the city, from the streets of downtown Los Angeles to the neighborhoods of East LA. Here are some key points about graffiti in Los Angeles:

  1. Historical Roots: Graffiti has a long history in Los Angeles, dating back to the 1960s and 1970s when it emerged as a form of expression among marginalized communities. The city played a significant role in the development of graffiti as an art form.
  2. Legal and Illegal Graffiti: While some graffiti is illegal and considered vandalism, there are designated areas and public spaces where street art is legal and even encouraged. The city has a complex relationship with graffiti, acknowledging its artistic value in certain contexts while also enforcing laws against illegal tagging.
  3. Venice Beach Walls: Venice Beach is known for its legal graffiti walls, where artists can freely express themselves without fear of legal repercussions. These walls attract both local and international graffiti artists, contributing to the vibrant street art culture of the city.
  4. Murals and Street Art Festivals: Los Angeles hosts various street art festivals and mural projects that bring together artists to create large-scale public artworks. The city has numerous murals that showcase a wide range of styles and themes, often reflecting the cultural diversity of the area.
  5. Melrose Avenue: Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood is famous for its street art scene. The walls of buildings along this iconic street often feature colorful murals and graffiti pieces, creating an outdoor gallery that reflects the trendy and artistic atmosphere of the neighborhood.
  6. Downtown Arts District: The Arts District in downtown Los Angeles is another hotspot for street art and graffiti. Former industrial buildings and warehouses in this area have been transformed into galleries and studios, attracting artists who contribute to the urban art landscape.
  7. Political and Social Commentary: Graffiti in Los Angeles often serves as a platform for political and social commentary. Artists use their work to address issues such as gentrification, inequality, and cultural identity, providing a visual voice for marginalized communities.

It’s important to note that opinions on graffiti vary, and while some view it as a form of artistic expression, others see it as a form of vandalism. The city’s approach to graffiti continues to evolve, with efforts to balance artistic freedom with the need to maintain public spaces.






Grammy Winners

Grammy Winners

Let’s review: The Grammys took place at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Despite heavy rainfall, the event started on time and proceeded at an accelerated pace. Hosted by Trevor Noah (more of him, please), there were highlights. Luke Combs duet with Tracy Chapman, singing “Fast Car,” was an homage to the power of music and the longevity of song. There was a glee in this audience as they spent much of the evening in standing ovations. And it was well deserved. There were moments of historic poignancy as legendary artist Joni Mitchell took to the Grammy stage for the first time in her career and delivered an emotional “Both Sides Now” in a cane-tapping low voice that boarded on a narrative. Later, an appearance from Celine Dion added to an evening of surprises. On the WTF side, an acceptance speech from Jay-Z seems to conjure a lyric from Joni Mitchell, “sour grapes,” as he scolded the Academy for not handing his wife, Beyonce, the album of the year. The Memorium was a hot mess with segments from Fantasia Barrino, Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, and Jon Batiste; it was fragmented and oddly lacked continuity. But overall, it was a fun night of music, seeing different generations mix and mingle in the tower of songs.

Album of the Year

  • “Midnights,” Taylor Swift

Record of the Year

  • “Flowers,” Miley Cyrus

Song of the Year

  • “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie,” Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)

Best New Artist

  • Victoria Monét

Best R&B Song

  • “Snooze,” Kenny B. Edmonds, Blair Ferguson, Khris

Riddick-Tynes, Solána Rowe and Leon Thomas, songwriters (SZA)

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • “Midnights,” Taylor Swift

Best Pop Solo Performance

  • “Flowers,” Miley Cyrus

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

  • Jack Antonoff

Best Folk Album

  • “Joni Mitchell at Newport (Live),” Joni Mitchell

Best Audiobook, Narration and Storytelling Recording

  • “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times,” Michelle Obama

Best Rock Song

  • “Not Strong Enough,” Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, songwriters (boygenius)

Best Rock Performance

  • “Not Strong Enough,” boygenius

Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical

  • Theron Thomas

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • “Ghost in the Machine,” SZA featuring Phoebe Bridgers

Best Dance/Electronic Recording

  • “Rumble,” Skrillex, Fred again.. and Flowdan

Best Pop Dance Recording

  • “Padam Padam,” Kylie Minogue

Best Dance/Electronic Music Album

  • “Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022),” Fred again..

Best Metal Performance

  • “72 Seasons,” Metallica

Best Traditional R&B Performance

  • “Good Morning,” PJ Morton featuring Susan Carol

Best R&B Performance

  • “ICU,” Coco Jones

Best R&B Album

  • “Jaguar II,” Victoria Monét

Best Progressive R&B Album

  • “SOS,” SZA

Best Rap Performance

  • “Scientists & Engineers,” Killer Mike featuring André 3000, Future and Eryn Allen Kane

Best Melodic Rap Performance

  • “All My Life,” Lil Durk featuring J. Cole

Best Rap Song

  • “Scientists & Engineers,” André Benjamin, Paul Beauregard, James Blake, Michael Render, Tim Moore and Dion Wilson, songwriters (Killer Mike featuring André 3000, Future and Eryn Allen Kane)

Best Rap Album

  • “Michael,” Killer Mike

Best Jazz Performance

  • “Tight,” Samara Joy

Best Jazz Vocal Album

“How Love Begins,” Nicole Zuraitis

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

“The Winds of Change,” Billy Childs

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

“The Winds of Change,” Billy Childs

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

“Basie Swings the Blues,” The Count Basie Orchestra directed by Scotty Barnhart

Best Latin Jazz Album

“El Arte Del Bolero Vol. 2,” Miguel Zenón and Luis Perdomo

Best Alternative Jazz Album

  • “The Omnichord Real Book,” Meshell Ndegeocello

Best Spoken Word Poetry Album

  • “The Light Inside,” J. Ivy

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

  • “Bewitched,” Laufey

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

  • “As We Speak,” Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, featuring Rakesh Chaurasia

Best Musical Theater Album

  • “Some Like It Hot,” Christian Borle, J. Harrison Ghee, Adrianna Hicks and NaTasha Yvette Williams, principal vocalists; Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Bryan Carter, Scott M. Riesett, Charlie Rosen and Marc Shaiman, producers; Scott Wittman, lyricist; Marc Shaiman, composer and lyricist (Original Broadway Cast)

Best Country Solo Performance

  • “White Horse,” Chris Stapleton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

  • “I Remember Everything,” Zach Bryan featuring Kacey Musgraves

Best Country Song

  • “White Horse,” Chris Stapleton and Dan Wilson, songwriters (Chris Stapleton)

Best Country Album

  • “Bell Bottom Country,” Lainey Wilson

Best American Roots Performance

  • “Eve Was Black,” Allison Russell

Best Americana Performance

  • “Dear Insecurity,” Brandy Clark featuring Brandi Carlile

Best American Roots Song

  • “Cast Iron Skillet,” Jason Isbell, songwriter (Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit)

Best Americana Album

  • “Weathervanes,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Best Traditional Blues Album

  • “All My Love for You,” Bobby Rush

Best Contemporary Blues Album

  • “Blood Harmony,” Larkin Poe

Best Gospel Performance/Song

  • “All Things,” Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, songwriter

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

  • “Your Power,” Lecrae and Tasha Cobbs Leonard

Best Gospel Album

  • “All Things New: Live in Orlando,” Tye Tribbett

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

  • “Church Clothes 4,” Lecrae

Best Roots Gospel Album

  • “Echoes of the South,” Blind Boys of Alabama

Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano)

  • “Génesis,” Peso Pluma

Best Tropical Latin Album

  • “Siembra: 45° Aniversario (En Vivo en el Coliseo de Puerto Rico, 14 de Mayo 2022),” Rubén Blades con Roberto Delgado and Orquesta

Best Global Music Performance

  • “Pashto,” Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Zakir Hussain featuring Rakesh Chaurasia

Best African Music Performance

  • “Water,” Tyla

Best Global Music Album

  • “This Moment,” Shakti

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media

  • “Barbie: The Album” (Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (Includes Film and Television)

  • “Oppenheimer,” Ludwig Göransson, composer

Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media

  • “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor,” Stephen Barton and Gordy Haab, composers

Best Song Written for Visual Media

  • “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie: The Album,” Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)

Best Music Video

  • “I’m Only Sleeping” (The Beatles), Em Cooper, video director; Jonathan Clyde, Sophie Hilton, Sue Loughlin and Laura Thomas, video producers

Best Music Film

  • “Moonage Daydream” (David Bowie), Brett Morgen, video director; Brett Morgen, video producer

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

  • “Jaguar II,” John Kercy, Kyle Mann, Victoria Monét, Patrizio “Teezio” Pigliapoco, Neal H Pogue and Todd Robinson, engineers; Colin Leonard, mastering engineer (Victoria Monét)

Best Remixed Recording

  • “Wagging Tongue (Wet Leg Remix),” Wet Leg, remixers (Depeche Mode)

Best Immersive Audio Album

  • “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” George Massenburg and Eric Schilling, immersive mix engineers; Michael Romanowski, immersive mastering engineer; Alicia Keys and Ann Mincieli, immersive producers (Alicia Keys)
HD Buttercup is back!

HD Buttercup is back!

Celebrating 20 years of design excellence, HD Buttercup makes a triumphant return as they unveil the newly renovated HD Buttercup Design Center.

This 100,000-square-foot space, situated in the iconic Helms Bakery, has undergone a complete transformation.

The newly unveiled Design Center offers flexible shop-in-shop spaces tailored to renowned
brands in its expansive layout. Featuring the flagship store of Coco Republic, the inaugural
location of Fred Segal Home, Timothy Oulton’s newly reimagined space, Icon By Design’s debut
store from Australia, and Vondom, a high-end outdoor furniture company hailing from Spain.
Noteworthy additions also include a newly designed bedding department, consisting of luxury
lines such as Matouk, Coyuchi, John Robshaw, Pom Pom at Home; establishing it as Los Angeles’
premier bed linens destination. The HD Buttercup Design Center will also feature a curated
5,000-square-foot space dedicated to rugs.
Anchoring the HD Buttercup Design Center will be the 27,000-square-foot Coco Republic
flagship. Coco Republic, a design-led lifestyle brand established in Australia in 1979, brings a
sophisticated attention to detail and a timeless aesthetic to the forefront. Inspired by global
design and architecture, Coco Republic is committed to bringing design to life worldwide. The
Culver City flagship embodies Coco Republic’s vision, fostering inspiring, memorable, and
functional spaces.
HD Buttercup Design Center promises a dynamic and ever-evolving experience for design
enthusiasts. Products and partners will continue to expand over time. Monthly activations,
including art galleries, speaker series, and rotating pop-ups will keep the shopping experience
lively and compelling.

HD Buttercup Design Center
3225 Helms Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034
P/ 213.223.9800