Pilates+Sip at LA’s First Distillery

Sunday Funday’s sweat sessions are only made better when it starts off with Pilates & Sips! Set inside LA’s very first distillery, opened in Downtown Pilates+Sip is a great way to have an accessible, social, workout experience to DTLA. Pilates & Sip is an opportunity to  build core strength, increase flexibility and boost endurance followed by post practice socializing with all-natural Greenbar Distillery organic spirits. A fun balance of work and play, Pilates & Sip is a great pre-brunch adventure that will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed lead by Trainer Mari Porter.

  • Date: Sunday October 29 2017
  • Start time: 11am – 12.45pm
  • Price: $39.99
    • Save $10 with Early Bird Coupon Code: SIPONSUNDAY
  • Location: Greenbar Distillery, 2459 E 8th St, Los Angeles, California, 90021

Reserve your spot today! https://greenbardistillery.com/visit-distillery/pilates-sip/


Ely Anne Vedar

Fashion & Lifestyle Editor

While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills.

Jorge Ayala at PERI.A Trunk Show Alert

Jorge Ayala at PERI.A Trunk Show Alert

PERI.A Los Angeles will be hosting a special trunk show for Designer Jorge Ayala this Thursday October 26th.


The namesake ready-to-wear label, Jorge Ayala Paris, is founded in Paris by Mexico-born Ayala in 2013. Created for the daring and outspoken, Ayala takes a novel architectural approach to design, merging often different patterns, prints and textiles.

Jorge Ayala will be customizing limited edition denim styles designed for PERI.A exclusively at the event.

Guests will also be able to enjoy champagne, light bites, and music from 4p-8p at PER.A located at 146 N. Robertson Blvd.

Space is limited so RSVP today peria@autumncommunications.com.

The “Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies” show at the Sam & Alfreda Maloof Foundation: An interview with curator and contributing artist Tony Abeyta

The “Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies” show at the Sam & Alfreda Maloof Foundation: An interview with curator and contributing artist Tony Abeyta


“We are exploring ways that traditional forms and practices, iconography and ancestral mythologies influence the expression of contemporary Native artists’ urbanity, modernity, technology and social priorities.”

 Tony Abeyta

Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies is a current show of over forty contemporary Native American artworks, now on view at the historic Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts in Rancho Cucamonga (www.malooffoundation.org)

Ancestry Image 02 by Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) (photo courtesy of Steven Paul Judd)

Ancestry Image by Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) (Photo courtesy of Steven Paul Judd)

Racial Profiling by Craig George (Navajo) (photo: James Hart)

Gunfire Muted Light 03 by Monte Little (Navajo/Dine) (photo: Tom and Tony Bostick, courtesy of the Sam and Alfred Maloof Foundation)

Racial Profiling by Craig George (Navajo) (photo: James Hart)

After the Fall by Cannupa Hanska Luger (Arikara/Hidatsa/Mandan/Lakota)(Photo James Hart)

Wild Man of the Woods by Preston Singletary (photo: Preston Singletary Inc)

This dynamic show runs thru January 7, 2018 (gallery is open Thursdays and Saturdays, 1-4pm) and features the work of eleven North American tribal artists – representing a variety of indigenous tribes. Curated by the New Mexican (Navajo/Dine) painter, Tony Abeyta the show includes works of painting, glass, ceramics, photography, video and mixed media.

NeoNative explores the ways in which indigenous artists are thinking about their place in modern culture and the continuing challenge of preserving their traditions in the face of modernity. This theme seems particularly important in the current political climate, celebrating the views of all Americans, and honoring our indigenous populations.

Well-known makers such as contemporary glass artist Preston Singletary (Tlingit) who recreates traditional forms in contemporary glass share the space with up-and-coming artists such as Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) whose mixed media works include altered early photographs of native peoples incongruously matched with modern “mythical creatures” such as the ubiquitous yellow Minions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a particularly powerful image of Star Wars TIE fighters buzzing over Plains Indian Teepees.

This exhibit is just the latest in a long running series of art and design shows at the Maloof Foundation’s Jacobs Education Gallery Center.

“Exhibitions are an important part of the Maloof’s ongoing education mission,” notes executive director Jim Rawitsch. “Last year’s Maloof Centennial exhibitions gave us a way to bridge Sam’s legacy to the future, and Neo Native adds to that forward journey, celebrating Sam’s passion for Native American art in surprising and contemporary ways and opens eyes, I think, about the range of what contemporary Native art can be.”

Tony Abeyta, the curator of NeoNative, was a close friend of Sam Maloof and considered him a father figure. Abeyta and Maloof had discussed the idea of a contemporary Native show years previously, but it took some time for this show to materialize. Maloof passed in 2009, before the show had a chance to take shape. In the Maloof Foundation newsletter Abeyta notes:

“In so many ways this exhibition grew organically from ourdialogue, carrying forward Sam’s progressive interest in Save & Exit indigenous art and artists.”

SoCal Magazine was fortunate to speak at length with Mr. Abeyta about the unique origins of the Neo Native show as well as his special relationship with his mentor and friend, the late California legend, Sam Maloof (1916-2009).

Katie Nartonis: The “Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies” show that you put together is top level – it’s so good.

Tony Abeyta: I know, I know (enthusiastically) I’m super proud of that, and I got to pick the work that went in!

A lot of the artists are friends, that community of artists is a circle of super progressive Native Americans that are engaged in full-time art careers. They are addressing modernity and also looking at the traditional connections between indigenous people. It is also about what is the progressive role of art and where are we going next.  It’s one of the eternal questions.  

 I think many of the artists that I curated in the show are all engaged in the same conversation. ‘Where did we come from and where are we taking all of this? How can we create change?’ I think that was sort of the criteria for any of these artists. There were 10 artists that didn’t make the cut on the show – we just didn’t have the space!

At some point I’d like to see this as a larger exhibition. You know, to merge it into a more comprehensive show, but we had to consider the economics. There are some really wonderful people who are not included in the show that I felt should have been.

KN: The show that you put together feels very rich, it doesn’t feel like you had to cut any corners.

TA: We got a nice grant from one of the local Indian tribes, the San Miguel tribe, and that was really important.  And the Maloof Foundation was supportive with money and the really super gallery space. I initially took a look at the space and determined we were at 11 artists. It took a while, just to talk to the artists and get an idea of what they were currently working on, as well as the ideas that they could create and engage in. I also wanted to look at how they would relate to the theme.

Curator Tony Abeyta and ceramicist Diego Romero (Cochiti Pueblo) at the NeoNative Show (Diego’s ceramic work in foreground) Photo courtesy of Tom and Tony Bostick, Courtesy of the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation)

KN: Tell me about your relationship with Sam Maloof and the origins of the show?

TA: I met Sam right after my father Narciso Abeyta (Painter and silversmith 1918-1998) had died. Sam had collected some paintings of my fathers, but I had never heard of Sam Maloof.  Regionally, I had barely heard of Nakashima! (laughs)

And so, I was working on a show at LACMA West of my own paintings and I just called him and I said “Sam, my name is Tony and my Dad was Narciso Abeyta.” Sam remembered me from when I was a little kid, and he immediately invited me to visit him at his studio and home in Southern California.

The Sam Maloof home and studio (photo courtesy of the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation)

TA: The next week I just showed up, and Sam and I just hit it off.  We talked a lot about art, and furniture and pottery and Native American Art. He was very paternal from the very beginning – In giving me advice and spiritual insight, and you know, artistic direction. So he came into my life when I probably needed somebody like that. I’d lost my Mom and my Father, and meeting Sam was just a blessing.

Sam and I would go to the Palm Springs Modernism Show and he would show me stuff and introduce me to everybody. I learned a lot from him by looking and watching him work, seeing how he handled people and his relationship with artists. He always gifted people with an immense amount of care, attention. He was clear about craftsmanship, and loving what you did and knowing how to talk about it. The relationship was incredibly “father/son” I just kinda came into his life at a good time.

When they moved the house and studio and built the gallery, Sam told me he wanted to curate a show of Native American Art. At that time, I had started getting really busy and Sam passed away before we had the chance to do it together. We left that idea hanging, but it was always on the table and something I always wanted to do. When the (Maloof) Foundation came to me and said, ‘we’d like to pick up that ball’ I just had it on the tip of my tongue, and I knew who I want to be in the show. So, I just said – let’s just do it!

A lot of these artists (included in NeoNative) are really moving and shaking at the top of their game. Because of that, they are opening other shows in other cities, they are lecturing, and so it was really tough to get the paintings from all over. The bulk of the work we got from the artists directly and it took us a good year to get it all shipped and to prepare the catalogue. I’m very proud of it.

 KN: It’s a beautiful show catalog, and I’m so grateful I could be there for the show opening. What a great crowd! It was good to see so many of the artists there in person.

TA: Yeah, a lot of them were there, and they had a super time. It’s all really a part of the tradition that Sam spent so much of his life doing which was cultivating creative people and inspiring them. So really, it’s what being an artist is authentically about. It’s about creating a community of like-minded creative people merged to show one another what they are capable of. You know, human experience is whatever we make from our culture.

 KN: Thanks so much Tony, for your time.

 TA: It was perfect timing, I needed a break from painting!

The exhibition, made possible with support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and others, seeks to share the vision of artists whose work is informed by traditions within tribal cultures, but whose themes express a newfound contemporary narrative.

Show Information:

The Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation

Jacobs Education Gallery Center

5131 Carnelian Street, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701

All exhibits FREE to the public and is open on Thurs and Sat, 12-4 pm, or with custom tour.


Featured artists (and tribal affiliations) include: 

Christi Belcourt (Metis)

Gerald Clarke, Jr. (Cahuilla)

Craig George (Navajo – Diné)

Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw)

Monty Little (Diné)

Cannupa Hanska Luger (Arikara/Hidatsa/Mandan/Lakota)

Kent Monkman (Cree),

Cara Romero (Chemehuevi)

Diego Romero (Cochiti Pueblo)

Preston Singletary (Tlingit).


Katie Nartonis, Art & Design Editor for SoCal Magazine, is a writer, curator, documentary filmmaker and design specialist whose focus is the historical West Coast art and design scene.



Fashion & Coding Come Together at CS+X Dress Code Event At Google Venice

Fashion & Coding Come Together at CS+X Dress Code Event At Google Venice

For it’s third installment, the CS+X event series presented the Google Dress Code event at Google’s Venice offices on a recent Thursday evening.

In collaboration with The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Miss Bella Graham Consulting, and Eileen Brown Kahn Consulting, Google presented a special event for high school students from the greater Los Angeles area that allowed them to explore how computer science can take many forms into our everyday lives, specially in fashion technology!

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Google

Photo Credit: SoCal Mag / Ely Anne Vedar

Photo Credit: SoCal Mag / Ely Anne Vedar

Students were than treated to Freeform’s The Fosters’ Cierra Ramirez introducing opening remarks by Google’s Head of CS in Media Multicultural Strategy, Daraiha Greene followed by a Keynote Speech by Founder and CEO of PlayWerks and WhizGirls Academy, Lecturer at USC Viterbi and Gamer Shirin Salemnia.

The evening’s first panel, “CS+Fashion Industry Panel” treated students in attendance to life steering career advice from industry leaders (Pictured below left to right): 3D Designer, Entrepreneur, Digital Sculptor and Co-Founder, Pixsweet – Janne Kyttanen; Jacquard by Google’s Experience Design Lead, Nina Walia; Dalia MacPhee, Celebrity Fashion Designer and Tech Innovator; 22 year old Nina Vir, Founder and CEO of Daily Dress Me; and Digital Media Strategist and Fashion Influencer, Ishmael Mayhew; Moderated by Bria Sullivan, a Software Engineer at Google.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Google

The “Tech Style Influencers Panel” rounded off the evening with insights from (Pictured below left to right): Moderated by Jon Youshaei, a Product Marketing Manger at Google; Fashion Designer and Editor-in-Chief of Fashionlyfe.com and the BritxBrat2Fashion YouTube Channel Brittany Dke; Digital Media Strategist (Coding)/Fashion Branding Mentor, Jon Phenom; YouTuber and Owner of LA Sunnies, Ale La Chula; YouTube star, Cloe Couture; and Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Influencer, Darren Moulden.

Visit g.co/csedu to learn more about Google’s mission to increase CS opportunities for all – regardless of gender, ethnicity, geography, or socio-economic level – and aim to inspire young people everywhere not just to use technology, but to create it.

Ely Anne Vedar

Fashion & Lifestyle Editor

While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills. ely@elyagency.com

Safe Screen

Safe Screen

Take Your Pick

Two lab results by the same doctor on the same day, reveal two completely different results.

           “Breast cancer should be the #1 issue for any woman.

             They should all be saying “enough of this bullshit”.”

By Niki Smart * Photographed by Jared Rubin

This is a personal story for me because I’ve suffered with dense, fibrocystic breasts since forever. I was 15 when I had my first scare due to severe lumps, resulting in a breast aspiration. My lumps have gone on and on, and I know that caffeine exacerbates lumps, ergo I’ve always been careful with my caffeine intake.
Be that as it may, I’ve had several more cysts aspirated; I’ve had lumps surgically removed; I’ve had 2 biopsies, and it’s just no fun whatsoever. Each time a new mass appears, I worry that I have cancer, and dread the procedure that I’m about to face. Since I’m quite small-framed and don’t have much breast tissue, mammograms are fairly painful (I believe they’re painful even if you have ample breast tissue). I’ve grown to loathe mammograms, not only because they’re painful but because they’re 100% guaranteed to be inconclusive for my breast type, which means an ultrasound will soon follow. That too, is usually inconclusive, and then the surgeon will start digging about in my breast – which is scary, painful and expensive on top of everything else.
To add to my confusion/frustration, I once received two different results (they arrived on the same day).from a mammogram done at Kaiser Permanente
One letter said – you are in the clear, no follow up needed.
The other said – you urgently need a biopsy.
Both letters were signed on the same day, by the same doctor. Not very reassuring is it?
Another thing of note was that every lump that required attention was always in my right breast. You’d think that would have been a clue for any doctor right? Apparently not.
Finally, after years of scares and strange lumps, the biggest mass of all showed up on my mammogram results.
“That’s a 50% chance of being cancer,” the department head nurse at Kaiser Permanente told me when I refused to have a “core” biopsy.
I was sick and tired of people cutting and digging into my breast and I just couldn’t bear to have another biopsy. Plus, I’ve heard that if you do have cancer, a biopsy can sometimes actually spread the cancer cells. Whether or not that’s true, I can’t say, but it certainly puts me off. So I went on a mission to find out what alternative non-invasive tests were out there to determine breast health.
I went for Thermography – an infrared heat reading that can pinpoint cancer. I went for Suretouch – similar to an ultrasound experience but it detects differences in hardness under the layers of soft tissue, and professes to be able to catch cancer 5 years ahead of a mammogram.
Both the Thermography and the Suretouch are painless and radiation free, but they couldn’t completely put my mind at ease. They both registered a large mass in my right breast, and both results said it didn’t seem likely to be cancer, but they couldn’t 100% guarantee this.
A friend told me about Dr. Kelly and his SonoCiné ultrasound – she didn’t just tell me about him, she sang his praises, so I made an appointment with Dr. Kelly.

Okay – so what is this technique? The SonoCiné is an automated whole breast ultrasound – a simple procedure similar to a regular ultrasound, but more thorough.
First of all, you have to wear a mesh vest – a proprietary camisole developed for the SonoCiné that fits like a sports bra. This helps to hold your breasts in place (which is especially helpful for women with larger breasts), and prevents the technologist from going over the same area twice. Next, you have a hydrogel nipple pad placed over your areola to flatten it, which prevents any shadows from causing a false reading. (Dr. Kelly has a patent on this nipple pad).
You lie on your back as your technician scans your upper areas with a hand held roller device capturing rows sequentially from below the collarbone to the lower margin of the breast. Then the SonoCiné machine relays the images to film.

Dr. Kelly stresses that it’s important to train the technologist to make enough images – 3mm apart at the most, so when watching the film, one can spot cancer small enough to stop it becoming a problem.
Once I was done being scanned, Dr. Kelly watched my film with me at his side. He pointed out everything he was
seeing, and assured me that my large mass was definitely NOT cancer. Well, I just wanted to kiss him for that alone, but then he asked me a question that no other health professional in 30+ years has ever asked me.
“What do you do on the right side of your body that is different form the left? Do you carry your handbag on your right shoulder?”
I had to think for a moment – then it came to me.
“I play guitar and the body of the guitar hits me exactly on my right breast.”
“That’s it” Dr. Kelly smiled. “The vibration from your guitar has altered the tissue in your right breast.”
He further explained that violin players can get this same tissue distortion in their necks from the vibration of their violins. Well, now I wanted to kiss and hug and squeeze Dr. Kelly, not only because he is adorable and the sweetest man, but because he had solved a life-long issue for me. Thank you a million times, Dr. Kelly.


I was so impressed with Dr. Kelly that I had to go back and interview the good doctor – because this man deserves attention – as do your breasts.

How long have you been in the “breast” business?
I’ve been a radiologist since 1975, and solely a breast radiologist since 1982. I realized that I could improve on the current ultrasound technology and by 1998 I’d come up with SonoCiné. Two years later (in 2000) I had a test run on 500 women. On one woman, the SonoCiné detected a cancer in each breast – her right and left – neither mammogram, nor ultrasound had picked up these cancers. This is when I knew I was definitely right – up until then my ideas had been theoretic.

Why is the SonoCiné better for dense breasts?
A mammogram stacks images and cancer is like a bear in the forest – fatty, or dense breasts have many leaves – meaning, mammograms aren’t great for dense breasts. Plus a mammogram has the extra risk of radiation and SonoCiné avoids the radiation. The SonoCiné can catch cancer at 10mm or less. 40-50% of cancers are felt before they are seen on a mammogram. By this time their size is 17mm-25mm.

Can you tell me more about your text and drive theory?
The human brain can’t successfully text and drive at the same time. You may think you can, but your brain physically can’t focus completely on both tasks at the same time – they require the same part of the brain to do. Same thing with a regular ultrasound. The technician is reading the monitor at the same time as focusing on sliding the roller across your chest. If you separate the two actions, there is less room for error and if you improve the gathering of information by having the images closer together – then the readings will be easier. With the SonoCiné reading, you give the film your entire attention in a distraction-free environment. This method of review has been shown to increase the detection of cancers as small as 5mm – 10mm in size.

What about MRIs as a way to screen for cancer of the breast?
People may think an MRI is the way to be sure – but MRI injects heavy metal into your system. In a tight spot, an MRI is okay, but you can’t use it once a year as a screening procedure. That would be reckless as the gadolinium stays with you and ends up in brain and your bones.

How many SonoCiné machines are there?
There are now 50 SonoCiné machines worldwide.

How many women do you see in a month on average?
About 100.

Do you think there are a lot of unnecessary biopsies/removals?
Ultrasound is more definitive – but understanding is variable in this country.
In UK, Europe and Canada – they are better at understanding the images.

What do you recommend for women at this point?
Do both – in the interim.

Do you think we keep doing mammograms because it’s cheaper for the medical field? Insurance companies? Is it expensive to replace the machinery?
Oh yes. This is a game changer. Disruptive technology means someone loses.

Talking of money, where do you get your funding?
The Bank of Kelly. I’ve put everything into this. I’ve even mortgaged my house, which didn’t make my wife too happy, I can tell you. But I know that about 3000 women die every month from breast cancer in America alone. The rate is higher in China, with 1 woman per minute. There are approximately 190,000 new cases of breast cancer annually. And about 40,610 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2017 from breast cancer. Breast cancer should be the #1 issue for any woman. They should all be saying “enough of this bullshit”.

Here at SoCal magazine, we couldn’t agree more.

For more information on Dr. Kelly’s SoneCine click here


Other Screenings without Radiation
SureTouch: The SureTouch Breast Exam is painless, radiation free and delivers immediate results. Breasts are examined quickly and comfortably without compression. The patented, hand-held, SureTouch sensor glides easily over the entire breast and underarm area and detects differences in hardness under the layers of soft tissue. Its 192 sensing elements capture and document the shape, location, size and hardness of breast lesions.  Any breast lesions are displayed on the SureTouch console screen in multi-dimensional full-color images. Because images are digitally stored for future reference, results can be tracked and compared for changes over time. http://suretouch.us

Digital Infrared Imaging detects the heat produced by increased blood vessel circulation and metabolic changes associated with a tumor’s genesis and growth. A thermography session can detect thermal signs that may suggest a pre-cancerous state of the breast, or signs of cancer at an extremely early stage. However, Digital Infrared Imaging does not have the ability to detect 100% of all cancers. Consequently, Digital Infrared Imaging’s role is in addition (to mammography and physical examination, not in lieu of. www.breastthermography.com


Umami Burger x Jaden Smith Artist Series Launch

Umami Burger x Jaden Smith Artist Series Launch


Los Angeles, CA, October 11th – After swarming outside of Umami Burger at The Grove for hours, fans were relieved to finally see Jaden Smith arrive, where he was extremely friendly and chatted with everyone as he passed by — thanking them for their attendance to his special event. Jaden hosted his Umami Burger Artist Series launch party at The Grove to celebrate his Impossible Trio collaboration with Impossible Foods. Jaden’s Impossible Trio – a brand new, environmentally conscious dining experience – will be available in participating Umami Burgers nationwide starting October 12th, with $1 from every sale benefitting American Red Cross hurricane relief efforts. SBE, Umami Burger’s majority shareholder, hosted the launch party in partnership with Impossible Foods, JUST water, and New Balance to celebrate the collaboration with Jaden.

Guests were served the Trio, along with other Umami favorites including Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Cheesy Tots, and mini chocolate milkshakes. Guests at the party sipped on a variety of signature cocktails including: Rande’s Spicy Margarita, Maple Bacon Old Fashioned, Velvet Mule, and Casamigos Frozen Margarita while mingling and enjoying tunes from the DJ’s set.

Not only did Jada Pinkett Smith arrive to support her son and celebrate his success, but so did a number of Jaden’s closest friends, fans who follow him on Twitter, and notable influencers from YouTube and the social media world — totaling nearly 300 guests. Jaden was spotted laughing, chatting, and snapping photos with guests in between bites of the delicious burgers. Jaden and Jada were spotted celebrating with Daniel Del Olmo, CEO of Umami Burger, Gregg Frazer, COO of Umami Burger, and David Lee, COO of Impossible Foods — all super excited about the launch. Jaden was truly the spotlight of the night, continuously surrounded by friends, fans, and family!

Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Umami Burger x Jaden Smith Artist Series

Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Umami Burger x Jaden Smith Artist Series



The Los Angeles Premiere of “NAKED IN ALASKA” opens at BOOTLEG Theater’s SOLO QUEENS FEST Saturday, October 28, at 7:30 P.M.
Valerie Hager’s Award-Winning Show – (Plays through November 19)
Directed by Scott Wesley Slavin

After three sold-out, award-winning runs in international Fringe Festivals (New York City, Edinburgh, and Chicago), Valerie Hager’s autobiographical solo play about her years stripping in the Alaskan frontier will open at Bootleg Theater on Saturday, October 28.

The recipient of the 2013 Award for Outstanding Solo Performance from the New York City International Fringe Festival, 2013 Audience Favorite Award from the Chicago Fringe Festival, 2014 Pick of the Fest Award from Edinburgh’s The New Current Magazine, and Time Out New York’s four-star Critic’s Pick and Recommended Show, “Naked In Alaska” is a visceral, fire-hot experience not-to-be-missed.

Valerie Hager is a former exotic dancer and award-winning writer-performer. She’s also a movement artist, a teacher, and founder of SOLOfire Workshops through which she teaches movement-based story-creation to individuals and groups across the U.S.

Bootleg Theater, named by Time Out as one of Los Angeles’ “best performing arts centers,” is a year-round, inclusive art space for original, boundary-defying live theater, music, and dance performances. Bootleg Theater is proud to present its first-ever SOLO QUEENS FEST, featuring solo performances by local female artists. Bootleg has a fierce belief in the power of women in Art to create change in the world, and this festival will celebrate women and their life experiences.

For ticket info click here (showtimes vary). Tickets are $15 Stud/Sen, $20 GA, and group discounts are available.
Tickets for Valerie’s solo technique workshop “SOLOfire – a Writing and Movement Workshop”  – are $30.

Bootleg Theater is located at 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Street parking and a free lot is available at the church across the street at the intersection of Beverly and Roselake.

UVO – Drink your Sun Protection

UVO – Drink your Sun Protection

One of the perks of working for a magazine is you sometimes receive free samples, and recently, a box of 30 packets of powdered vitamins showed up on my doorstep. Meet UVO – the first drinkable sunblock. This little dynamo packet was formulated by Board Certified Dermatologist, Bobby Awadalla MD. to circumvent negative short and long-term effects of the sun’s harmful UV rays. UVO is the first vitamin supplement specifically formulated to help protect and repair your skin from the inside out. I place the powder in a bottle – add water – shake it well – and drink throughout the day. With an orange-peach flavor, it tastes great, and I feel like my skin has improved over the last few weeks while I’ve been using UVO. (Don’t drink on an empty stomach if you’re sensitive).

Yes, winter is headed our way, but in So Cal that doesn’t mean no sunshine. And perhaps your skin needs a boost after a summer of tanning? Plus, with no adverse effects, UVO is good for your entire body – so why not give it a try?

  • No Preservatives
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • 30+ Vitamins, Antioxidants and Phytonutrients Scientifically Proven to Work
  • Does Not Contain Chemicals Found In Sunscreen
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO
  • For more info click here
Live Your Best Lash At Blink Bar – Now In Sherman Oaks

Live Your Best Lash At Blink Bar – Now In Sherman Oaks

Valley side Lash lovers rejoice – Blink Bar is now open in Sherman Oaks! The all pink lashtique has opened a third location at 12516 Ventura Blvd, Between Van Nuys Blvd and Cedros and offers all the best-in-class, natural and playful lash extensions for all.

Blink Bar’s founder Tirzah Shirai, along with her rigorously trained technicians held a private grand opening celebration and were on hand to answer any and all questions about last styles ays Shirai, “I’m incredibly excited to open what will be our best location yet. There are some big surprises in store for our guests.”

In addition to offering the best natural or dramatic lashes in ranges from synthetic to silk, FeatherLASH® to mink, Blink Bar offers individual Ombré lashes for a pop of color, Microblading and brow shaping.

The new Blink Bar in Sherman Oaks is conveniently open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to  10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to  8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. To book an appointment, call 818-386-8209 or book online by visiting http://theblinkbar.com/locations/

Ely Anne Vedar

Ely Anne Vedar is a public relations and events manager specializing in life’s favorite F’s: Food, Fitness and Female Owned Businesses.

Her agency’s strengths lie in building solid client relationships, brand partnerships, creative campaigns, and strategy that scores top media placements; As well as a unique understanding of the in-and-outs of event production and execution.

Ely Agency was founded in 2014 in Los Angeles by Ely Anne Vedar. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, with degrees in Visual Communications and Business Management, Ely has always had a passion for creating innovative marketing campaigns and memorable events that leave lasting impressions of each brand and service she works with. Her work with food, fitness and fashion brands and events can be seen in WWD, Vogue, LA Weekly, and more.

GOAT Pays Tribute to Sneaker Culture with Pop Up Gallery in Los Angeles

GOAT Pays Tribute to Sneaker Culture with Pop Up Gallery in Los Angeles

About GOAT

Founded in 2015, and based in Los Angeles, California, GOAT is the safest way to buy and sell authentic sneakers through your mobile device. Whether you’re looking to buy rare sneakers, discover new sneaker releases, or earn money by listing sneakers you already own, GOAT is your destination. And with authentication service, buyer protection guarantee and great customer service, it is the safest option in the industry.

The Greatest: Los Angeles

GOAT, the leading marketplace for sneakers, announced the launch of The Greatest – a pop-up sneaker gallery debuting on October 7th at Platform in Culver City. The pop-up will roll around until December 31st, to celebrate artists, shoes, and boutiques that have been influential in shaping pop culture and sneaker enthusiasts everywhere. The month-long exhibit for October, The Greatest: Los Angeles, is paying homage to LA’s profound impact on global sneaker culture since the turn of the twenty-first century.

Releases like the Air Jordan Retro 4 collaboration, and the Fear of God x Vans Vault Mountain collaboration will highlight the path that led to the creation of 25 significant L.A.-born sneakers. This includes Dunk Low Pro SB ‘Diamond,’ Air Force 1 ‘Mr. Cartoon,’ and Yeezy PowerPhase ‘Calabasas.’

What to Expect

GOAT will host sessions led by those who have shaped the broader culture through photography, fashion, design, and product innovation. While at the pop-up, guests can learn and interact with industry pioneers, and legendary streetwear figures, including Jimmy Gorecki, Andrea Lieberman, Jeff Staple, “The Shoe Surgeon,” Cole Younger, Theo Martins, and Jason Markk, to name a few.

Jason Markk, founder and CEO of Jason Markk, Inc. says, “I think people are a product of the environment in which they were raised. L.A. is not only a melting pot of various ethnicities, but L.A. is also an intersection of diverse subcultures, such as skate, surf, and gangs.” He goes on to say, “This is evident in the way we live, carry ourselves, and also what’s on our feet.”

The Co-founder and CPO of GOAT, Daishin Sugano, says about the event, “We’ve wanted to create a physical space like this for a long time, to inspire and bring people together through their love of sneakers. He adds, “We’re excited for the opportunity to share some of L.A.’s contributions to the sneaker community since 2000, and explore where the industry is headed next.”

The Greatest kicks off with GOAT hosting a special opening day event, on Saturday, October 7th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Not only will it feature a special guest DJ, but there will also be two additional “themed” exhibits on display in November and December, with announcements to come at the end of the month.

How to Attend and Learn More

The Greatest will be open from October 7th through December 31st, at Platform: 8830 Washington Blvd., Suite 101, Culver City, California. Hours are 11. a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with the exception of holidays and closings. Admission is free.

To learn more about GOAT, or to RSVP for the The Greatest opening event and programming, please visit www.goat.com/platform. GOAT is available to download on the App Store and Google Play for free.


A Virtual Step Abroad with Frida Mexican Cuisine

A Virtual Step Abroad with Frida Mexican Cuisine

When you’re born and raised in the United States, it’s easy to forget that our colorful culture has origins that began elsewhere. Often times, it comes as a reminder just how diverse of a melting pot this nation is when we see the striking differences firsthand — like traditional garb, uncommon practices, and unpopular beliefs. Yet in the most obvious form of cultural diversity, when it comes to food, ignorance is bliss. It’s likely that an American who has never traveled outside of our borders will misunderstand authentic cuisine from another country — even seeing it as third worldly; and even more ironic, how indigenous people view our “Americanized” versions of cuisines with amusement and confusion.

In the American life, it’s not hard to become accustomed to the frequent bombardment of second-rate, imitation cuisine, to the point that we must make an effort to explore authenticity abroad, or find it at high-end restaurants at home. But it isn’t often that you find a place at home where the authentic, artisanal flavors of a foreign land, immerses you deep into a cultural experience — as if you’ve taken a virtual excursion to the tropical paradise of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. With 4 locations currently around the Los Angeles area, Frida Mexican Cuisine offers all of this and more without breaking the bank or requiring international travel. Follow me on my adventure to feel the freedom of exploration, cultural understanding, and the tasteful beauty of Frida’s “gastronomic journey through Mexico.”

I had the unique opportunity to enjoy a 3 course meal — complete with cocktails and beverages, as well as a visit to three of Frida’s incredible locations: Beverly Hills, Torrance, and the newest branch, Cerritos. (A fifth location in Sherman Oaks is coming soon!) Though all of the restaurants have their own “sabor” (flavor), the full experience of each was complete with Mexican artistry, cantina, dining, and music. All foods and drinks at Frida are made from scratch, and ooze insurmountable authenticity. The experience is further solidified by a live mariachi band on some nights, including during Sunday brunch at select locations. The flagship Beverly Hills restaurant has a sleek traditional Los Angeles boutique presentation, while the other locations immediately mesmerized me with captivating architecture, inviting design, and exotic decor.

Appetizers in Beverly Hills

The restaurant’s cozy, intimate setting felt great for my small group, and is surely perfect for families and dates. The room was draped in warm artificial lighting, and accentuated by the natural sunlight that poured across each table. There is a beautiful marriage between modern and traditional decor as reflected by a dreamscape mural on the wall, the dark wood panel ceiling, and globe-shaped contemporary light fixtures. Traditional table cloths and neatly folded cloth napkins punctuate the table with elegance and a kiss of Mexico. Almost immediately after being seated and absorbing the atmosphere, I was greeted with kindness, and offered one of many intriguing cocktails.


Featured, were the Jalapeño, Skinny, and Watermelon Margaritas — a trio of unique, icy drinks with evolving characteristics. The Skinny Margarita is a traditional mix of Patron Silver Tequila and fresh lime juice. The Watermelon Margarita is a sweet, but natural thirst quencher, accented by a chamoy rim and watermelon wedge, while the Jalapeño Margarita likens to a Bloody Mary, with it’s savory base and spicy kick. The Jalapeño and Skinny margaritas also come with a complementing salt rim, and are garnished with a slice of jalapeño and lime, respectively. It’s also worth noting that both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of the drinks were extremely close in taste — an achievement that not all restaurants can boast about. So if you’re not a drinker, you don’t have to worry about missing out on the flavorful fun!

Mini Sopes, Tostaditos, and Taquitos:

Moving into my assortment of appetizers, it began with a table-side hand-crafted guacamole, created by an enthusiastic manager, who warmly greeted my table. He combined the ingredients in a beautiful volcanic rock mortar, and brought freshly made tortilla chips to seal the deal of tasteful authenticity. With the first bite, I knew I could expect nothing less from the rest of my day at Frida Mexican Cuisine. Frida’s team brought out dish-after-dish of artisanal appetizers reminiscent of the finest finger-foods at a red-carpet event. A variety of delicious platters quickly filled the table with bite sized teases like mini chorizo and black bean sopes, or picaditas – a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the central and southern parts of the country. Resembling an overstuffed pie with their usually pinched sides, sopes are circles of fried masa topped with vegetables, meats, and cheeses. The other version of this mini appetizer was a more traditional style with beans, cheese, tomato, sour cream, lettuce, and onion. Each bite of a sope is satisfying, as the experience can only be compared to putting a whole burrito in your mouth, and tasting all of the contents at once. No burrito filling sloshing around and sinking to the bottom here!

Another bite-sized companion I enjoyed were the tostaditos de camarón (shrimp) and atún ahumado (smoked ahi tuna). These cracker-style hors d’oeuvres are toasted corn tortillas topped with avocado, shrimp, and a chipotle sauce, while the other is topped with guacamole, chipotle sauce, and a fine slice of ahi tuna. Both meats on these tostaditos are cooked by way of denaturation with lime juice. Finally, I enjoyed crispy chicken tinga and potato taquitos, smothered in a green mole and brown mole sauce — made from a reduced pumpkin stew, and chiles & chocolate, respectively. The crunchy shells were the perfect complement to the smooth, savory ingredients.

Completely stuffed from the incredible appetizers at the Beverly Hills restuarant — which certainly stood in their own spotlight — it wasn’t until I arrived at Frida’s Torrance location, 30 minutes away, that I experienced the highest elevation of my palate through their main course options.

Main Course in Torrance

The Torrance setting has a superlative, state-of-the-art facade, intricate artful decor, and has also mastered the open-air style, which involves plenty of space — while not feeling empty — and somehow meshes the essential elements of an outdoor experience with indoor comfort. Despite the beautiful trees and surrounding foliage, you may still forget that you’re outside because of the intimate design of ambient natural lighting. The open-air style of this location made me feel both relaxed and curious, as I eagerly read through the creatively designed, red and white, hard-cover menu book.

While here, I also met the generous and welcoming founder and CEO of Frida Mexican Cuisine, Vicente del Rio. This culinary genius was born and raised in Mexico City, and later moved to Los Angeles, California, where he started the flagship branch of Frida Mexican Cuisine 15 years ago. One year later, the Frimex Group was also born, and since then Vicente has worked on growing this enterprise to what it is today: a fully incorporated hospitality group, both nationally and internationally acclaimed.


After a kitchen tour, which allowed us to see first-hand just how much work goes into making Frida’s fresh taste, hand-crafted, and made-from-scratch cuisine, I arrived at my table, greeted with tamarind margaritas. Just like the margaritas at the Beverly Hills restaurant, these margaritas were also exceptional. The candy-sweet drink was paired with a salty and spicy chamoy straw, which were made for one another. Give the drink a stir, and you can feel like a kid again as your margarita changes colors, and even becomes more flavorful!

Salad, Steak, Shrimp, Mole, & More:

My main course included a special style of Frida’s Arrachera Norteña: Tender marinated charbroiled skirt steak served with a chicken enchilada covered in mole sauce, guacamole, rice, refried beans and fresh handmade corn tortillas.The steak was definitely the hero of the dish, that still left some spotlight for the harmonious flavors of it’s traditional sidekicks, rice, guacamole, and beans.

Next, a delicate and delectable salad of mixed greens, grapes, chopped mangos, caramelized walnuts and goat cheese, with a passion fruit dressing — Resplandor de Mango. This salad is something out of dreams, with it’s subtle undertones of passion fruit, and is perfectly balanced in flavor so that nothing is overpowering, while also maintaining freshness and nutritional wealth. It may be popular belief that salads are a boring diet food, but Frida can surely change that misconception, whether you’re on a diet or not. In addition to this salad, Camarones Al Ajillo made a great companion with it’s layers of flavor: sautéed prawns in garlic, white wine, butter and lemon juice, and served with white rice. But it’s not just any plain old white rice! Frida’s white rice is beyond any rice you’ve ever tasted.

The last round of our main entree involved a hot tub of tomatillo salsa occupied by chorizo, chicken, skirt steak, panela cheese, cactus, avocado, and cilantro — Molcajete Frida. Served in a bowl made from volcanic rock, this piping hot meal brought on numerous flavors, textures, and impressions as I wondered what the surprising elements of this dish were. And to contrast the variety in the Molcajete Frida, the final dish, fried plantains, were simple, hot and crispy on the outside, yet soft and sweet on the inside. With their caramelized exteriors, rich in flavor, each plantain felt like the perfect dessert to wrap up a marvelous meal… But this voyage wasn’t over yet! Dessert at Frida’s shiny new Cerritos branch was a little more than 30 minutes away — the perfect amount of time to make a little extra space for more food.

Dessert in Cerritos

While each location I visited had it’s own way of living up to Frida’s high standards, the experience at the newest location in Cerritos seemed to borrow the best from both the Beverly Hills, and the Torrance restaurants. The Cerritos location fused together an open-air atmosphere with the traditional intimacy of Beverly Hills. The familiar tones of ambient natural lighting also made an appearance, while the inside areas relied more on the artistic flare of modern light fixtures. An accent wall, which illuminated the room with an iridescent blue glow, and was steeped in an intricate metal design pattern, offered guests a calm and curious environment. The patio area (separated by double doors) felt exclusive, but not isolated. In an amazingly executed design, the bar stood as an island centerpiece — accessible to both indoor and outdoor diners.

Coffee, Cake, Flan, and Ice Cream:

In this final marathon of feasting, picturesque desserts were presented: Churros that held a surprising trace of berry and caramel delight; Bola Especial hid vanilla ice cream inside of a volcano-shaped chocolate mousse, which was was topped with powdered cocoa and peach sauce; the traditional Flan Napolitano, a Mexican caramel custard that tantalized my tastebuds; and Pastel de Tres Leches, a delicious sponge cake soaked in three different milks, extravagantly decorated, topped with berries, and set in a berry sauce.

Surely a day of eating, travel, and some L.A. traffic wouldn’t be complete without a coffee or latte. And for those who also enjoy a little alcohol with their coffee, Frida offers a variety of options to cap off any meal, including Cafe Mexicano, Cafe Con Piquete, and Cafe Carajillo — coffee with Patron XO Cafe, Baileys, or Licor 43. ¡Aclamaciones!

Coming Soon: Sherman Oaks

The owners and masterminds behind Frida and Frimex Groups have done so well with their current locations that a great deal of curiosity and amazement sets in as I begin to wonder what the next locale will look like. And besides it’s visual aesthetic, what will it feel like? Is it possible to experience an even deeper immersion into the traditional Mexican culture and heritage that Frida’s foundation rests on?

I look forward to what the future will bring for Frida Musician Cuisine, and can’t wait to take another virtual dive into a world full of uniquely authentic tastes. It is opportunities like this one, where I hope that we can find an appreciation for one another, and be grateful for the diverse cultural contributions that we’ve made to the American culinary experience. There is a fundamental lesson that all of us can learn, and it is that genius, innovation, and creativity — especially when it comes to food — know no boundaries.


Boobie Trap – An Enormously Entertaining Variety Show

Boobie Trap – An Enormously Entertaining Variety Show

Every Wednesday night, comedic host, Scot Nery, brings together a madcap ensemble of jugglers, comics, sword swallowers, acrobats, clowns, knife throwers, magicians, yo-yoers (yes, there is such a thing), contortionists and more.
Running for 126 weeks straight (with each show being unique), Scot Nery’s Boobie Trap hosts world class entertainers who sign on for a 4-minute slot on stage before they’re played off by the kick-ass house band.
On any given Wednesday you might see Chris Ruggerio juggling knives while balancing on a ball, or Nick Paul making bottles of wine appear out of thin air. Perhaps Bonnie Morgan contorting her body into a small glass box, or Mark Hayward using a yo-yo to remove objects from ears. Possibly you’ll witness the Steben Sisters gracefully synchronized and hanging by their toes from the ceiling, or you’ll experience the ridiculously funny Sethward who can delight and terrify you at the same time. You might even get to see Scot Nery crawl about on (and under) the stage with a screwdriver, making sure the stage is stable while the band’s bass player, Peter Hastings improvises silly songs. You’re very likely see Scot Nery fling himself about the stage while he does pushups, talks about raccoons, and balances objects on his chin. What I’m telling you is this: by the end of the evening your mind will be electrified, your face will hurt from over-smiling, and you’ll be eating snacks because…well, they throw them at you.

I highly recommend –  truly the best variety act around town.

6555 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90028

(323) 632-6735
Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $17 in advance and $25 at the door. For tickets, click here.
All photos by Richard M. Johnson