Andaz West Hollywood Announces New Solo Art Exhibit with Fernanda Lavera

Andaz West Hollywood Announces New Solo Art Exhibit with Fernanda Lavera

The highly anticipated art exhibition will showcase Lavera’s artworks from her collection called “I’m not a robot” from April 4 to June 28, 2024

Andaz West Hollywood, located on the legendary Sunset Strip, has partnered with Buenos-Aires-born, artist Fernanda Lavera to unveil her highly-anticipated solo art exhibition in Los Angeles. The visiting exhibition at the registered art gallery in Andaz West Hollywood is showcasing Lavera’s artworks from her acclaimed collection called “I’m not a robot,” over a three-month period from April 4 to June 28, 2024.

Credit: Chelsea Patricia

A natural fit for Andaz West Hollywood, known for its rich history as an eclectic gateway to West Hollywood, Lavera’s vibrant artworks are marked by eccentric shapes and vivid colors that draw on inspiration from Lavera’s daily life. The idea for the, “I’m not a robot,” collection was sparked when the artist encountered an obstacle attempting to log in to her computer, a system requesting verification of her humanity through a test involving identifying objects in images. “I’m at the computer filling out some online forms, and once again, a series of urban images and symbols appear on the screen, drawing my full attention: bicycles, traffic lights, signs, and signals that I have to accept. I’m not a robot,” states Lavera.

This experience ignited an internal protest within Lavera: “Why must I prove my humanity when I am unquestionably human and an artist?” As a result, “I’m not a robot,” is a series of four paintings that invite individuals to slow down despite living in a society filled with automatic consumption.

Distinct from her usual format which typically employs larger canvases, “I’m not a robot,”will showcase four smaller paintings presented collectively in the form of a puzzle. Utilizing resources such as pixelation, QR codes, puzzles, and verifications, the exhibition incorporates and blends these technological facets of modernity, forging the creation of a protest with space for amusement, engagement, and human connection. Whether viewed digitally or experienced in person, the art encourages audiences to connect with the artist on a human level and join this protest.

Credit: Chelsea Patricia

Lavera believes in pushing the boundaries that exist in the world. Unique and revolutionary, the artist emerges from the masses holding strong convictions, her brushes, and vision. Lavera communicates a message that will make individuals think and question themselves, leaving them wanting more.

Lavera’s exciting rise to fame began when Greg Schriefer and Clive Davis stumbled upon her work during their trip to Buenos Aires. Enamored by her artistic technique and message, both were deeply impressed, and Greg decided to take on the role of managing her career.

For more information about Andaz West Hollywood, please visit: www.andazwesthollywood.com.

About Andaz West Hollywood:

With its iconic history as the first hotel on the Sunset Strip, Andaz West Hollywood offers guests the rare opportunity to trace the footsteps of a long list of legendary rockers who frequented the property throughout the 60s and 70s and earned it the nickname “Riot House,” including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, The Doors and more. The historic property experienced past lives as Hyatt on Sunset and Hyatt West Hollywood, before rebranding as Andaz West Hollywood in Hyatt’s boutique lifestyle collection in 2009. The modernized hotel features 240 stylish guest rooms including 21 suites with chic aesthetics, coveted views of the Hollywood Hills and Sunset Boulevard, a rotating art gallery exhibition, and the highest rooftop pool in Los Angeles. An eclectic and fashionable destination, Andaz West Hollywood provides the ultimate LA experience with elevated comforts and amenities for guests to unleash their inner celebrity and indulge like no one, or everyone, is watching.

About Fernanda Lavera:

Fernanda Lavera is a Buenos Aires-based contemporary artist. At a young age, she discovered her fascination for art and painting through an aunt and has since had a passion for sketching and textures. Neo-expressionist art is notorious in Lavera’s monumental and vibrant artworks. From each, eccentric shapes and vivid colors of contrasting expressions escape, providing a glimpse into her unconscious imagination. Lavera’s art includes symbols, objects, and everyday forms that align closely with the style of Pop Art. Psychedelic cartoons, rabid cats, race cars, tables, and blurred faces, are some of the heterogeneous elements that are presented. For further information, visit laverart.com.

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A New Restaurant Pops Up at The Shay: Meet Prima Donna

A New Restaurant Pops Up at The Shay: Meet Prima Donna

Cowritten by Anthony C. Stafford

Last year, we covered our experience after an overnight stay at The Shay Hotel. During that time, we had a complete blast seeing the uniqueness that makes The Shay what it is: a platform and incubator for small businesses and local artists, while also a thriving scene for guests to stay in comfort, style, and excitement. In addition, we highlighted a restaurant that helped put the cherry on top of our stay with incredibly delicious Italian cuisine – though that restaurant, etta, is unfortunately no longer with us.

Credit: The Shay Hotel

However, there is a silver lining in our update today. We recently had the opportunity to revisit the hotel, and were introduced to the newest restaurant to grace the ground floor of The Shay: Prima Donna.

Familiar, Yet Fresh: Prima Donna

Prima Donna is in many ways a sigh of relief, and in other ways, an exciting addition to look forward to… At least for the time being. More on that later.

Officially opened in January of this year, Prima Donna is an elevated Italian restaurant, featuring everything from pizzas to pastas cooked in the iconic hearth and brick oven that so many recognize. They also recently began live music on Friday nights, making the evening atmosphere that much more energetic and memorable.

We were surprised to find that a certain DNA lived on in Prima Donna, with the overall experience being unchanged. We recognized some of the same friendly faces, like the impressionable Kelly, who knows the dishes inside and out while giving the best descriptions of them. We learned that The Shay helped take care of the team after etta’s unexpected departure, which helped transition team members into this new chapter. The crowds flocked in soon after the restaurant opened, proving that the love lives on.

Prima Donna Menu

Where some menu items were missing, and some were completely new, it was reassuring to also see many familiar ones return with a refreshed take. For example, the lamb meatballs with garlic bread rang bells in our memories of wagyu meatballs, yet this time around packed more of a punch. The reimagined crispy-soft garlic bread stood out on its own, decorated with mouthwatering flakes of salt and the pungent burst of buttery garlic flavor. It deserved to be its own plate and still paired perfectly with the tender and juicy lamb meatballs wading in tomato sauce.

We chowed through Grilled Prawns bathed in fennel pollen, burnt lemon, and a subtle smoky oil, a White Lotus Pizza (fennel sausage, white sauce, caciocavallo, crispy potato, and red onion), and Rigatoni Pasta as the heavier selections for the evening – effectively reassuring that favorite staples remained with varying degrees of change. And a notable mention we just couldn’t get enough of remains the Crispy Brussels, complete with farro and sitting delicately atop a cloud of lemon-yogurt bagna cauda and golden raisins. Finally, while the fig cheesecake will be dearly missed, the new Lemon Pistachio Cake and Magic Sundae were both incredible. Tangy, lemony sweetness of cake alongside the smooth, creamy and crunchy sundae made for a perfect ending to our evening.

While this is all great on one hand, unfortunately Prima Donna may not be around as long as some might hope. According to Mosaic, Prima Donna’s days are number, as it is listed as “popping up” from January to June 2024, rather than a permanent fixture. This makes it all the more reason to visit to try some new additions and old favorites with a bit of a twist while you can!

Comfort, Style, and Excitement: The Shay

In regard to The Shay itself, not much has changed, as it continues to lift its small business community up high and periodically hosts events of all types for these businesses and artists to gain exposure. This time around, there were no events during our visit, but still ongoing support of the community, with the lobby’s Gallery Shop bursting with products just waiting to be bought. From shirts and dresses, to spa goods and essentials, there’s almost no stone unturned when it comes to what you can expect to find at The Shay’s Gallery Shop. In fact, it beckons you to come back from time to time to see what’s new in stock.

Next up, rather than a room with a view of the Hollywood Sign and DTLA, we enjoyed a larger space thanks to a private and spacious patio on the inward-facing side of the building. This allowed for fresh, cool air during the night hours, and even a space to sit out for a drink, a book, or editing. But even then, you’ve got the rooftop where the pool and Canopy Club await for unique views, more irresistible dishes and cocktails, and exclusive lounging.

We can’t recommend The Shay enough, as it lies in the heart of Culver City’s Arts District with more than enough going on to never get bored. Plentiful shopping, nightlife, fine dining, and small business & local artist support all in one place gives the hotel an advantage that others should be hungry for. Having the opportunity to visit The Shay once again feels like a return to home. Some things have changed, but enough has stayed the same, even with the addition of Prima Donna. It’s nice to not feel like a stranger and know that you can count on consistency from The Shay Hotel.

Read our previous coverage of The Shay Hotel and their Mercado y Más event, here.

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Here’s A Secret Worth Knowing: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

Here’s A Secret Worth Knowing: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

There’s a little known secret hidden away in Southern California, and it isn’t Catalina Island. This gem is instead tucked away in Malibu, providing some of the best resort experiences and activities that you won’t find anywhere else.

Nestled in the stunning hillside of the Malibu Canyon, is Malibu’s best kept secret — and the only resort in the region. Offering a picturesque blend of luxury and rustic charm, this exclusive haven is redefining the standard of indulgence for travelers and locals alike. While many who travel through Southern California may gravitate toward Los Angeles to be closer to the action and glamour of the city, true relaxation and escapism lies within Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club.

With a rich history that dates back over 80 years, the Gerson Family invites guests to enjoy the over-250-acre resort with a boasting array of unparalleled amenities. From a private beach club with breathtaking ocean views, to a private horseback riding excursion, serene poolside relaxation, a world-class spa, and incredible dining experiences, this one-of-a-kind property is nothing less than extraordinary.

Credit: Catherine Dzilenski

For more than eight decades, five generations of the Gerson family have valued and revered the 250-acre estate, which was purchased by J. Grant Gerson in 1937. Moreover, Calamigos is the only upscale resort in Malibu that offers a beachside club exclusively for members and guests, as well as a private ranch in the Malibu Wine Country. With its luxurious cabins, cottages, bungalows, and estate rooms built on the property’s rural grounds, Calamigos embodies the pinnacle of sustainable luxury. Every home is meticulously constructed to be cozy and to coexist sustainably with the untouched landscape around it. A fire pit and soaking tub are common outdoor features in most rooms, which are perfect for relaxing in the evenings.
Enveloped in serenity, the resort is fitting for large and small families, groups of friends, romantic getaways, or even corporate retreats.

Outside of the luxurious suites, guests can enjoy the Calamigos Beach Club located just off the PCH in Malibu – where they take on the LA-lifestyle by renting paddle boards, soaking up the SoCal sun with a private beach butler, or dine at the Beach Club restaurant. For the more adventurous guests, the Calamigos team can arrange private guided hikes along the property, yoga and a sound bath, horseback riding, pickleball matches, and fitness sessions. On the other end of the activity spectrum, a reviving facial or calming massage can help guests balance their mind, body, and spirit, available in-room at Spa Calamigos or at the spa. Foodies can enjoy the renowned Calamigos Burger and fish tacos poolside, or they can choose to dress up and eat at the Ranch Club, the on-site restaurant, where they can sample a variety of dishes such fresh sushi, sirloin, miso glazed salmon, and seasonal salads. Finally, notable dessert options include chocolate fondue and freshly baked cookies served with milk upon request.

Visitors can prepare to be whisked away on an extraordinary journey where every detail is meticulously crafted to ensure an unparalleled level of luxury and comfort at Calamigos Guest Ranch. This hidden away, little known secret invites guests to immerse themselves in the world of nature, where each moment is a testament to the extraordinary and an homage to all things Malibu.

Calamigos Guest Ranch is located at 327 S Latigo Canyon Road, in Malibu, California. The Beach Club is located only a short drive away, where Corral Canyon meets the Pacific Coast Highway (guests are transported by house cars). Rooms can be booked online at calamigosguestranch.com, or by calling the front desk at (818)-540-2440. Visit their website to learn more.

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Kroma Launches New Super Ramen

Kroma Launches New Super Ramen

Kroma, the brand dedicated to revitalizing mind, body and spirit through transformative Resets and Daily Essentials, has launched a new product that falls right in line!

The company, whose lineup includes meticulously selected ingredients from superfoods around the world to create nourishing, and healing functional foods and beverages, has marked their first product launch since inception in 2021, and it is available as of today, April 4th (National Ramen Day!), via kromawellness.com.

A fitting follow up to their selection, Kroma has offered a range of products, from meal-replacing broths to snacks and lattes, while keeping the following standards:
  • Curate for Quality: They have scanned the world to find the most nutrient-dense, high-integrity, sustainably sourced superfood ingredients available.
  • Healthy Must Taste Amazing: Healthy and delicious can and should co-exist. All of their food and beverage products are culinary-inspired, masterfully marrying function and flavor.
  • Be Pure: No cane sugar. No fillers. No dairy. No gluten. No GMOs. No shortcuts or gimmicks. Their intentions are pure and so are their products.
  • Live Super Empowered: They have collaborated with some of the top nutritionists, herbalists, chefs, and wellness gurus to ensure all of their products adapt to the body’s chemistry and empower inner awesomeness.
  • Keep It Simple: Their instant, superfood-centric products were made to simplify their life while keeping them nourished, sustained, and thriving. Just add water or non-dairy milk. Simple.

Courtesy: Kroma

While their previous broths have left room for customization and creativity – yet still maintaining a delicious and nutritious goal – Kroma’s Super Ramen ups the ante, promising the world’s first gluten-free bone broth ramen:

  • Enhanced with superfoods and adaptogens, providing added health benefits beyond traditional convenient noodle options.
  • Quick and convenient— ready in just 5 minutes, Kroma’s ramen is perfect for those seeking a quick, nourishing meal on the go, whether you’re at the office, dorm, or traveling.
  • And made with:
    • Gluten-Free Mung-Bean Noodles: Featuring gluten-free mung-bean noodles, Super Ramen offers a lower glycemic index and fewer carbs, catering to dietary preferences and health-conscious individuals.
    • Slow-Cooked Bone Broth: Super Ramen features slow-cooked chicken bone broth, lending a homemade taste and quality that sets it apart from other instant ramen options. It includes essential nutrients like collagen, amino acids, and minerals that support gut health, joint function, and overall well-being.
    • Bovine Collagen: Supporting hair, skin, and nails and joints.
    • Dehydrated Vegetable Blend: Provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for overall health and optimal nutrition.
    • Coconut Milk: Adds creaminess and richness to the broth, while also providing healthy fats that support brain function and satiety.
    • Turmeric: Offering anti-inflammatory properties, supports immune function and aids digestion.
    • Adaptogenic Reishi: Helping the body adapt to stress, supports immune function, promotes relaxation, and enhances overall vitality.
    • Nutritious and Balanced with 15g of protein and only 210 calories per serving.
    • Free of non-GMO ingredients, preservatives; and made with simple, whole ingredients.

You can purchase Kroma Super Ramen online, along with their other range of products, including favorites like:

Kroma 5-day Reset: Designed to kickstart healthy habits and combat issues like fatigue, bloating, brain fog, weight gain, and more. You won’t be hungry, tired or bored, and you will see and feel a difference in as little as 5 days. Their Reset is fully customizable, portable, nonperishable and abundant— making it easy to forget everything you know and fear about cleansing.

Kroma Daily Essentials: Packed with premium superfoods, The Kroma Daily Essentials are an effortless way to level up your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and give your body the essential nutrition for daily performance and long-term whole-body health.

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Spring Menu Launches at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Spring Menu Launches at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Following a limited-time run of their St. Patrick’s Day themed Minty Matcha Ice Blended® drink, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is gearing up for another seasonal offering. While the Minty Matcha Ice Blended® drink had a refreshing twist on CBTL’s classic Matcha topped with handcrafted mint whipped cream, the cafe will tap into a cultural favorite for some classic flair.

The deliciously sweet taste of Mexico will be arriving at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf this spring!

Credit: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

On March 20, the iconic Southern California favorite, serving premium coffee and tea for the past 60 years, will launch its spring seasonal menu with festive beverages that include the Horchata Latte (hot or iced), Horchata Ice Blended® drink, Horchata Cold Brew and the Horchata Cream Cold Brew.

The beverages are inspired by Mexican Horchata flavors of rice milk and cinnamon and are blended with the iconic cafés new Single Origin Mexico Organic espresso or cold brew for a premium elevated taste experience. The Single Origin Mexico Organic features a dark roast, originating from a single estate in Mexico’s Sierra Madre range near Puerto Vallarta. These Arabica bourbon beans certified organic by OCIA and USDA, yield a robust flavor and fragrant aroma. Often compare to the milk leftover from a bowl of cinnamon cereal, horchata is beloved favorite, and a welcome addition to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Credit: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Even more, there’ a new bakery item to pair with the popular, refreshing, and creamy beverage: the Concha! Conchas are a soft and sweet Mexican pastry with a cookie-topped bread that resembles a seashell, and is a symbol of comfort and community.

These new seasonal and festive items are available for a limited time so get them while you can!

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Magic Mind Becomes Top-Selling Nootropic Shot at Sprouts

Magic Mind Becomes Top-Selling Nootropic Shot at Sprouts

It wasn’t long ago that Magic Mind announced their expansion with Sprouts nationwide. And already, the nootropic shot brand has reached new milestones.

Just this past January, Magic Mind, a mental performance shot engineered with nootropics, adaptogens, antioxidants, and vitamins, announced that their product was launching nationally at all Sprouts Farmers Market locations across the United States. In the matter of a few months, Magic Mind is now one of Sprout’s top selling shots available at all their locations across the country. 

In more retail partner news, the brand is just getting started at Erewhon, becoming their #1 selling shot across all Erewhon locations – performing two times more than the second ranked item – Vive Organics! They’re ranked the #4 item in the entire Refrigerated Beverage Set, outselling Blue Bottle RTD Coffee.
In addition, Magic Mind has also hit 15K in DTC/ecommerce subscribers, growing 2.5x YoY ever since launching in 2020.

Credit: Magic Mind

With distractions being a greater part of our lives than ever, it’s no wonder how Magic Mind has gone to become a leading top seller. In one shot, Magic Mind is scientifically designed to boost energy, enhance focus, create a sense of calm alertness, and increase overall productivity. Magic Mind will not only enhance your daily routine but also provide sustained energy, preventing those energy spikes and crashes, keeping you energized throughout the day – while also suitable for taking at any time of day.A matcha-based swig, Magic Mind shots are jam-packed and infused with nootropics and adaptogens from:

  • organic lion’s mane mushrooms
  • organic cordyceps mushrooms
  • organic ashwaganda
  • bacopa monnieri
  • vitamin C
  • turmeric
  • phosphatetidylserine
  • rhodiola rosea
  • vitamin D3
  • vitamin B complex
  • choline
  • organic agave

Keto, paleo, and vegan-friendly, plus nut, gluten, and BPA-free, this concoction won’t encourage addiction, but will help provide up to 7+ hours of energy, focus, and stress management. The next best part of Magic Mind is its taste, which is a smooth and sweet mix with a barely bitter aftertaste. Easy to down, and small enough to go anywhere, Magic Mind is one of our favorite morning boosts that last through the day.

Shop Magic Mind, here, and out Sprouts locations nationwide – plus Erewhon!

 

About Magic Mind

In one shot, Magic Mind is scientifically designed to improve cognition, enhance focus, create a sense of calm alertness, and increase overall productivity. Magic Mind enhances your daily routine by providing sustained clarity, focus and energy, throughout the day without anxiety, spikes or crashes.

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Top of The V Plans Two Events for March: Whiskey Dinner Pairing + Easter Buffet

Top of The V Plans Two Events for March: Whiskey Dinner Pairing + Easter Buffet

The Viv Hotel and Top of The V are an irresistible magnet for those who crave luxurious, resort-style living and dining, while not far from some of Anaheim’s most popular venues and attractions. If you’ve seen our recent rundown on what’s in store for your stay at The Viv, then you’ll be intrigued to know that the hotel’s crown restaurant has two special events planned for the month of March!

Guests are invited to indulge in a 5-course Glenmorangie Whiskey Pairing Dinner from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on March 26, followed by a family-friendly Easter Brunch Buffet on March 31 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sip and Savor Glenmorangie Whiskies with a Five-Course Pairing Dinner – March 26

Top of The V, The Viv Hotel’s Spanish rooftop bar and restaurant in downtown Anaheim, is thrilled to host the unique flavors of Glenmorangie’s award-winning whiskies. Guests can purchase tickets for $200 per person, and will enjoy a welcome reception followed by an exclusive five-course dinner, expertly curated by Chef Nate McCoy to complement the rich flavors of Glenmorangie’s finest scotch.
Upon arrival, guests will be greeted with a welcome cocktail, Basque Country pintxos, and a toast by Whiskey Ambassador Travis Tidwell. The five-course menu includes:
  • Bacalao Croqueta (fish and chips, potato-crusted salt cod, malt vinegar foam)
  • Arroz con Scallops y Morcilla (blood sausage paella, seared scallops, English peas, garlic aioli, pea tendrils)
  • Cullen Skink and Poached Halibut (fennel, creamed leeks, fish broth)
  • Carrillera, Steak and Ale Pie (beer-braised beef cheek, carrots, celery, onion, beef jus, puffed barley)
  •  Cranachan, Berries and Cream (mixed berries, honey, toasted oat crumble, Glenmorangie cream)

View the full menu and whiskey pairing options here and reserve a table here.

Celebrate Easter at Top of The V with a Special Brunch Buffet

The Viv Hotel happily invites family and friends, once again, to its rooftop restaurant and bar, Top of The V, on Sunday, March 31, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for an Easter Brunch celebration. Here, guests can indulge in a two-hour dining experience featuring a wide array of Spanish and traditional brunch dishes at $50 per person.
Menu highlights curated by Executive Chef Nate McCoy include Torrijas French Toast, Cazuela with stone oven-baked eggs, smoked sausage Buttififara and Jidori Chicken Paella, among other mouth-watering selections. Bottomless mimosa and sangria options are available for an additional cost, and vegetarian and child-friendly options are available upon request. View the full menu here.
Reserve a table here and treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind dining experience with unmatched SoCal rooftop views and live guitar music.

About The Viv Hotel

Located close to the Disneyland® Resort and Anaheim Convention Center, The Viv Hotel creates a boutique upscale experience unique to Anaheim. The 326-room AAA Four Diamond hotel boasts a modern, stylish personality, including its signature rooftop restaurant, Top of The V with spectacular views of the Disneyland® Resort and Southern California sunsets. Whether it’s the family-friendly Oasis Pool & Cabanas or the adult-exclusive Rooftop Pool, one designs their own experiences at The Viv. For more information or to book a stay at The Viv Hotel, visit www.thevivhotelanaheim.comor call 714-408-2787. Follow along with The Viv Hotel on social at Facebook andInstagram.
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An Innovative Guide to Family Activities During Spring Break 2024

An Innovative Guide to Family Activities During Spring Break 2024

As Spring Break approaches, parent, guardians, and children will all be thinking about what their plans entail. And not too long after, minds will race about Summer activities.

This is where the expertise of Camp Galileo’s parenting and education experts can come in handy, as they think outside of the box with their mindful and strategic approaches to fun and educational activities. Whether camping, or spending the break at home, there’s always plenty to do – it just takes a little imagination! If you’re looking for the right activities and strategies for a successful and happy Spring Break that everyone will enjoy, we asked Camp Galileo’s VP of Education, Pamela Briskman, some questions that are sure to point you in the right direction.

Credit: Camp Galileo

Pamela provides stellar examples and strategies that could make even adults want in on the fun! Read them below.

Q&A With Pamela Briskman, VP of Education, Camp Galileo

Q: Hi, Camp Galileo Team! Can you tell readers about Camp Galileo and what your team does?

PB: Of course! Camp Galileo is a joy-filled, imagination-sparking summer camp for rising K-10th graders that features STEAM learning, outdoor games and plenty of traditional camp fun—all designed with a mission to develop innovators who envision and create a better world. Our team works full-time year round to dream up inspiring projects and experiences, hire and train the best staff and make sure camp operations are smooth, safe and delivered with unforgettable camp magic.

Credit: Randy Weiner

Q: Summer Camp is not quite on the horizon yet, but its little sibling, Spring Break, is fast approaching. Is there any particular ideology, mindset, or strategy the Camp Galileo team applies at Summer Camp that can be implemented by parents during Spring Break?

PB: At Camp Galileo we focus on making sure that every child experiences a summer full of innovation, friendship and fun. We think that focusing on these three things (you can include family under “friendship”) is a winning combination for creating enriching and inspiring out-of-school time.

Q: We know that it’s easy to just plan a vacation, or throw technology to the kids in order to keep everyone happy. But vacations don’t always mean connection and technology can be a hindrance. What’s the best approach for families to connect, while either eliminating or implementing technology from or into family time for fun and educational activities?

PB: Setting a shared vision and then working together to make that vision come to life is a great way to create connection and have fun (and it’s an empowering life skill that we focus on developing at Camp Galileo—we call it the Galileo Innovator’s Process). Whether you’re planning a vacation, a day trip, or a family activity with or without technology, start out by:

    1. Identifying a collective goal, or set of goals, that includes ideas from everyone in the family.
    2. Then brainstorm a list of different ways that you might accomplish those goals—be open to all the ideas, even the silly ones, and build on each others’ ideas (“yes, and…”) instead of passing judgment.
    3. Once you have a list of possibilities, evaluate the list together and create a plan that everyone feels invested in and that satisfies your budget, time and other requirements.
    4. During the vacation or activity, check in to make sure that the plan is actually working—staying open to redesign (within realistic constraints) to best accomplish your goal(s).
    5. Be sure to celebrate the wins, the “marvelous” mistakes for what you can learn from them, and reflect on what you’d do the same or change for the next time.

This approach doesn’t need to take a lot of time and adds a layer of intentionality to holiday planning that highlights collaboration, activates the creative process and empowers everyone to take part in creating the experience they imagine.

Credit: Camp Galileo

Q: With technology being such a large part of kids’ lives today, how can parents discover areas of educational fun that overlap with tech, rather than cutting tech out altogether? And ahead to this year’s Spring Break, can you list some intriguing and unique activities for families to reconnect, and the steps behind turning those plans into reality?

PB: One great and educational way to engage with technology is to approach it as a creator instead of as (only) a consumer. There are so many opportunities to use technology as a family in a generative way and customize the approach to suit your interests and goals. Some ideas include:

  • Watching DIY videos to guide you through building a project or learning a new skill—or making a how-to video to share your own passions
  • Researching new recipes online to plan and then create a special meal or dessert
  • Going on a geocaching adventure. Use a GPS device or smartphone app to find hidden caches (containers) placed around your city or local park.
  • Assembling photos from a family outing or activity into a slideshow or editing video into a polished piece with titles, music and special effects
  • Telling an original story by using drawing and painting apps to create illustrations for a comic or book, using stop motion animation apps with toys, clay figures, etc. to make an animated short, or using video editing software to bring your story to life through live action
  • Creating a video game using beginner-friendly platforms (like Scratch or Blockly) or more advanced programs that enable kids to design their own games with characters, levels, and storylines.
  • Exploring physical computing with devices like Raspberry Pi that enable creative projects combining coding with electronics like lights, sensors, and motors

Working on creative, technology-based projects as a family can be a great opportunity to learn new skills together (oftentimes kids can even teach their grownups!), have fun, and celebrate your creations. Plus, these activities produce lasting artifacts that you can enjoy yourselves and share with extended family and friends.

Q: And on the other hand, what are some great activities that don’t need tech at all? Activities where families can almost forget tech exists?

PB: There are lots of wonderful ways to unplug and reconnect as a family during Spring Break or anytime. Here are some ideas that involve working together or creating/learning something new:

  • Planning and going on an outing to a national or regional park, beach, city, museum or other destination.
  • Playing board games or card games, then thinking about changes you might try to make the game harder, easier or more enjoyable. Try them out and see how it goes.
  • Creating a meal or a special desert. Use favorite recipes or experiment with new ones then enjoy on your own or invite guests.
  • Volunteering at a local animal shelter, soup kitchen, or for an organization or cause you care about. This can be a great way to give back to your community and create a meaningful experience together.
  • Visiting an escape room or trying an escape room game. Once you have foundational ideas for how escape rooms work you can build one at home for friends to enjoy. (Middle schoolers can try Galileo’s Escape Room Experience this summer!)
  • DIY depending on your skills and interests or try something new. Plant a garden, build a birdhouse or a Rube Goldberg machine, try watercolor painting, the sky’s the limit.
  • Get Active. Go for a hike or bike ride. Try boating, or bowling, or roller skating, or juggling. Or invent a combination activity, ex trampoline-juggling.

By putting down the phones and tablets, families can find new passions or pursue old favorites while enjoying quality time together, fostering creativity and creating lasting memories.

Q: It is widely believed that before smartphones, kids spent more time outside and taking part in recreational activities. Is this true, and if so, do you think this trend can change?

PB: Both scientific research and anecdotal evidence suggest that children today spend significantly less time outdoors compared to previous generations. I think that there are many factors (cultural, environmental, technological, etc.) that contribute to this in addition to smartphones. While our evolving understanding of the impacts of screen time and social media on mental health and well being are concerning, smartphones are here to stay.

Most important, is for children to maintain a balance between physical activity (sports and outdoor recreation), interpersonal connections (with peers and family), creative expression with and without technology (suggestions above), and consumption-based screen-time (social-media, many video games, etc.) At Galileo, we believe that when kids see themselves as innovators—individuals who can imagine things that don’t yet exist and have the skills and creative confidence to make those ideas a reality—that these challenges due to technology can fade.

Credit: Camp Galileo

Q: Once the fun of Spring Break is over, it’s difficult for some kids to return to the classroom. Are there any strategies parents can use to ensure a smooth transition back to school, while giving them something to look forward to regularly, and even as summer approaches?

PB: While every child is different, here are some strategies families can use to to help their children smoothly transition back to school after Spring Break:

  • Organize Schoolwork and Workspace: Over the break help them clean out their backpacks, organize notebooks, and declutter/refresh their workspace at home. This can give them a fresh start after the break.
  • Use Positive Back-to-School Talk: Remind them of favorite teachers, friends, upcoming school activities or new learning opportunities. This can generate excitement and help them look forward to the remainder of the school year.
  • Prepare for the First Day Back: Reduce morning stress by readying backpacks the night before, packing a special lunch and laying out favorite clothes. Give kids the agency to take on these tasks independently as they are able. Feeling prepared eases anxiety and fosters a sense of control.

Q: Camp Galileo provides Summer Camp programs throughout Southern California with activities that make even us adults quite jealous! Please share more about the Summer Camp programs you offer for kids, when enrollment opens, and the types of activities that families can expect their kids to enjoy?

PB: Camp Galileo is open for enrollment at more than 60 locations (throughout California, Colorado, Seattle and Chicagoland) on our website: galileo-camps.com. Our award winning programs are grounded in the Galileo Innovation Approach, our unique framework for developing innovators with substantive knowledge that guides breakthrough thinking, a mindset that promotes innovative work and a process that supports bringing the best ideas to fruition. We’re introducing an all-new program this summer with exciting projects and activities for campers in every age group.

This summer, our Elementary School campers (rising K-5th graders) will experience age-appropriate activities in each of our three daily rotations: Innovator’s Studio, Idea Lab and Outdoor Adventure.

  • In Innovator’s Studio, they will practice sustained focus to bring a personal vision to life, taking home impressive, polished, design & engineering project(s) that really work such as: a ride-on rocking pet (K-1st grade), a working hand-held vacuum cleaner (2nd & 3rd grade), and a custom pinball machine (4th & 5th grade).
  • In Idea Lab, the focus shifts from individual to collaborative projects as campers work on open-ended STEAM challenges where part of the fun is the spectacular crushing, crashing and crumbling that follows pushing a physical design to its limit. Campers learn to look critically at their “failures” and, with a growth mindset, glean learnings that enable them to take their designs (and their creative confidence) to the next level.
  • In Outdoor Adventure, campers experience exciting outdoor games along with classic, get-your-wiggles-out camp fun. Each day they engage in a combination of physical team-building challenges and collaborative games designed to build community and nurture kinesthetic practice of the Galileo Innovation Approach (including problem solving, collaboration, creativity, etc.)

Our Middle School campers (rising 6th-8th graders) experience aged up fun. Instead of three daily rotations, they focus on one epic project per week that allows them similar opportunities to collaborate with their fellow campers and flex their imaginations. This summer, project options include go-karts (where campers learn and practice woodworking skills to design and build a one-of-a-kind ride), remote controlled robots (where they bring an original character to life and add original attachments to navigate fun challenges), and an escape room experience (where they explore a range of puzzle types and flows and then create original clues and a themed room for others to escape).

Finally, we have a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program for our oldest campers (rising 8th-10th graders). Each day CITs experience an exciting mix of community-building games and engaging activities designed to develop their leadership skills, have opportunities to shadow instructional staff and mentor younger campers in their classrooms and flex their own design muscles by taking on projects that contribute to camp culture/magic or that enable them to express their own creativity. This program is a great transition for campers who are ready to take on new responsibilities while still having a blast as campers.

Q: Finally, are there any plans to bring Camp Galileo beyond the current areas served in Southern California? For example, the Santa Clarita Valley with its large family population?

PB: We are always looking to grow and bring Galileo to communities that are looking to help students become active members of their communities to envision and create a better world. If this sounds like something that would be interesting to you, we’d love to talk and be introduced to your school district! Our SoCal team is actively working to identify potential new partners and communities for summer 2025 so now is a great time to begin the conversation.

We partner with school districts in a couple of ways through our direct-to-consumer summer camp program as well as our Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (E-LOP) to help bridge the gap in accessibility to high-quality summer programming for unduplicated students. Feel free to reach out to info@galileo-learning.com for general inquiries and E-LOP opportunities.

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Catalina Island Welcomes New Educational Attraction: IMMERSED Ocean Wonders

Catalina Island Welcomes New Educational Attraction: IMMERSED Ocean Wonders

Immersive Education LLC Teams with Red Dot Digital Media to Create Immersive Viewing Experience in New Domed Theater on Catalina Island

If you didn’t know, there’s a small oasis off the California coast that makes for great weekends and day trips – Catalina Island. And every visitor to the island should be able to tell you that at the heart of it is a strong effort to highlight the environmental and ecological history, dangers, and fights that still go on today. Over the years, the island has faced and been subjected to whispers, rumors, and news of outlandish belief, such as the idea of opening an amusement park on it someday. Conservationists have done their best to educate and protect the largely undeveloped island and its surrounding waters, but a new installment could help pass the message along even further for not just Catalina Island, but the world.

Credit: Red Dot Digital Media

Spheres are all the rage these days, and Catalina Island just got its very own tiny and environmentally friendly sphere, with Red Dot Digital Media helping to bring it to life! The prominent specialist integrator within the digital signage sector, was commissioned by acclaimed underwater filmmaker Mark Davidson to provide a simple-to-operate media playback system for IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders, his innovative tourist attraction unveiled on Catalina Island. Mark not only filmed and produced the movie, but also designed and built the very dome that visitors gather in for their virtual dive. Nestled just 22 miles off Southern California’s coastline, Catalina Island serves as a favored day-trip and overnight destination, easily accessible via a swift one-hour high-speed ferry journey from the Los Angeles area.

Credit: Red Dot Digital Media

IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders offers a distinctive cinematic voyage, transporting visitors on a 30-minute virtual “dive” across the globe’s oceans. Spectators embark on a journey through Catalina’s verdant kelp forests, encountering a diverse array of marine life, including majestic whale sharks, soaring oceanic manta rays, inquisitive bull sharks, captivating bait balls, playful dolphins and sea lions, and even the rare dugong. Entirely filmed underwater in full 360-degree 8K resolution, the immersive experience projects footage onto a domed screen enveloping the audience, synchronized with contemporary music and informative narration for a truly captivating encounter.

Beyond providing educational entertainment, the theater’s operations contribute vital financial support to local ocean conservation initiatives. Immersive Education pledges to allocate 10 percent of the theater’s annual profits to the Marine Mammal Care Center, a regional nonprofit dedicated to responding to distressed seals and sea lions in Catalina’s waters.

Credit: Red Dot Digital Media

Mark Davidson, Founder & CEO of Immersive Education, expressed, “Our hope is that IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders will deepen visitors’ connection to our world’s oceans by giving them an underwater view that people rarely see, and by reinvesting a portion of our profits back into the local nonprofit community, we’re taking a tangible step to preserve this underwater beauty by protecting the animals that call these waters home.”

For the execution of the AV system powering IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders, Immersive Education enlisted the expertise of Red Dot Digital Media. Red Dot devised an interactive touch panel interface to manage movie playback and control, integrating a Bluefin touch panel with BrightSign Built-In technology employing UDP commands to trigger content through BrightSign’s BSN.Cloud player management platform. This user-friendly touch interface empowers staff with minimal technical training to initiate, pause, and resume movies on demand, or schedule predetermined screenings effortlessly.

“Given the remote location of the theater, it was essential to create a control system that is both easy to use and extremely reliable,” said Darryl Kuder, President, Red Dot Digital Media. “Using a Bluefin touch screen with BrightSign Built-In, we created a cost-effective, dead-simple operational workflow whereby daily staffers power up the projector and speakers, and with a single tap of the touchscreen they start the first show of the day. At closing time they simply power down the projector and speakers and lock-up.”

The design and construction of the theater were accomplished by domed projection specialists at Lumen & Forge in Las Vegas, completed on-site within a swift eight-day timeframe. The venue features a 576-square-foot wooden deck as its foundation, supporting a circular wood frame enveloped in all-weather vinyl adorned with underwater artwork from Catalina’s renowned Casino Point. Showtimes for IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders are available throughout the day, five days a week, with tickets and additional details accessible at https://akuario360.com/immersed/.

For further insights into Red Dot’s comprehensive array of content management and specialty integrator services, interested individuals can visit www.reddotdm.com.

About Red Dot Digital Media

Established in 2007, Red Dot Digital Media is a leading digital signage specialty integrator focused on global digital signage deployments, content design, programming and CMS integration. As a BrightSign Top 10 Global Preferred Partner, Red Dot has grown to become one of the top digital signage companies in the country and, in 2014, created a global team to support its international projects. For more information, visit www.reddotdm.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Immersive Education LLC

“Immersive Education LLC’s mission is to create immersive exhibits that generate wonder, spark curiosity, and instill a commitment to ocean conservation using cutting edge 360 degree filming technology.  Our goal is not to bombard audiences with facts about what they are seeing, but to let them experience these magical moments in the same way that we did while filming them.  Falling in love with the oceans is the first step to protecting our oceans.”

Credit: Red Dot Digital Media

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Andaz West Hollywood Hosts ‘black in every color’ Exhibition Series: ‘Ours’

Andaz West Hollywood Hosts ‘black in every color’ Exhibition Series: ‘Ours’

March is here, which means so is a warming trend in the weather. As we move into Spring, more people will be venturing out to appreciate Southern California’s natural beauty, events, and more. This month, art lovers can rejoice as Andaz West Hollywood has teamed up with Valence Projects for “Ours,” showcasing 20 LA-based artists as part of their “black in every color” series.

A nod to both the series’ 1-Year Anniversary and Black History Month, “Ours” is the next installation of their “black in every color” exhibition series, which highlights 20 LA-based artists. The exhibition celebrated the 1-Year Anniversary of black in every color and Black History Month, while also running through March 29th.

Credit: Valence Projects

“A nod to the future of creativity, community, and expression, “Ours” is posed as an ode to innovation born from detachment. The exhibition invites you to navigate the expansive terrain of artistic exploration as artists of color and recontextualize the fine art space.”

The concept of time, ever-present, underscores this exhibition. “Ours” is a reflection on the epochs it has taken for us to arrive at this juncture, yet it is equally a portal to the future—a nexus where innovation intertwines with history, and forward thinking dances with tradition,” said the exhibition’s Curator, Josiah David Jones.

Artists serve as pioneers of transformation, navigating the uncharted territories of self-expression and collective introspection. Highlighting a range of artists like established fashion photographer Micaiah Carter’s “Preserve”, to first time exhibitor Natasha Rivero’s “Alori”, and multi-disciplinary artist Doug Hickman’s fabric dressed transformation of the Andaz Mezzanine. black in every color’s goal is to elevate artist’s practice through community, collaboration and visibility.

“Ours” will be exhibited at the Andaz West Hollywood (8401 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069) through March 29, 2024. Visit www.blackineverycolor.com for more information.

Featured Artists Include:

● Dom King
● Brittney S. Price
● Isis Dua
● Kipkemoi
● Kader Ampka
● Mary Harris
● Natasha Rivero
● Peyton The Artist
● Micaiah Carter
● Perry White
● Liam Woods
● Carrington Mitchell
● Jonah Elijah
● Dez Porter
● Doug Hickman Jr.
● Kodjovi Sevon
● Brandon Gastinell
● Yashua Bloom
● Shaylen Nelson
● Stvteoftheart

About Valence Projects & ‘black in every color.’ Curation

The ‘black in every color.’ exhibition series was conceived by Josiah David Jones, founder of Valence Projects. Valence Project’s mission is to empower underrepresented artist communities internationally. Valence Projects strives to build a world where creativity meets purpose, where artists thrive, and where impactful campaigns are born to make a profound difference in the world.

The ‘black in every color’ exhibitions aim to highlight emerging creative communities of color internationally. Valence Projects plans to bring the exhibition to other cities across the US and globally. Among the line-up planned for 2024, the exhibition will be held at Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor and Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills.

About Andaz West Hollywood

With its iconic history as the first hotel on the Sunset Strip, Andaz West Hollywood offers guests the rare opportunity to trace the footsteps of a long list of legendary rockers who frequented the property throughout the 60s and 70s and earned it the nickname “Riot House,” including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, The Doors and more. The historic property experienced past lives as Hyatt on Sunset and Hyatt West Hollywood, before rebranding as Andaz West Hollywood in Hyatt’s boutique lifestyle collection in 2009. The modernized hotel features 239 stylish guest rooms including 20 suites with chic aesthetics, coveted views of the Hollywood Hills and Sunset Boulevard, a rotating art gallery exhibition, and the highest rooftop pool in Los Angeles. An eclectic and fashionable destination, Andaz West Hollywood provides the ultimate LA experience with elevated comforts and amenities for guests to unleash their inner celebrity and indulge like no one, or everyone, is watching.

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Little Dom’s Seafood Kicks Off Seafood Season with Insatiable Selections

Little Dom’s Seafood Kicks Off Seafood Season with Insatiable Selections

With Ash Wednesday behind us, seafood season is upon us and living on the West Coast comes with its perks. Where you take advantage of those perks matters, though.

Just in time, the beloved and iconic Little Dom’s Seafood  the seaside sister restaurant of LA’s Little Dom’s by Executive Chef and Co-Owner Brandon Boudet – wants everyone to know that their offerings are some of the most delectable around. The best part is that they aren’t just limited to seafood. For anyone with an allergy or who just isn’t feeling fishy, Little Dom’s Seafood offers a classic Pizza Margherita, Meatball Burger, Rice Balls, Fried Oyster Mushroom Po’Boy, and veggie-centric and vegan plates and salads, and much more!

Offering some of the freshest, locally sourced seafood dishes in Southern California (some even just 24 hours after they’ve been caught!), Little Dom’s Seafood is the ideal location for weeknight dinners, date nights, lunches, or weekend celebrations.

In addition to serving over 200-dozen oysters a week, a few of Little Dom’s Seafood’s best-selling seafood dishes include:

  • Albacore Pastrami with chive butter & Arugula on Housemade Stecca
  • Wood Oven Roasted Littleneck Clams with Toasted Sourdough & Garlic Oregano Butter
  • Santa Barbara Live Uni

Pay them a visit for your dietary needs and restrictions, for those special occasions, or just because! It’s always a good time at Little Dom’s, who have shown consistency and dedication over the years.

Little Dom’s Seafood is located at:
686 Linden Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013

Learn more about Little Dom’s Seafood at their website.

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Open Now @ The Brews Hall: Umami Warrior

Open Now @ The Brews Hall: Umami Warrior

Looking to spruce up the weekend activities and adventures as we head into Spring? As always in Southern California, there’s always something happening, something new, and more than can be achieved in a single weekend.

The latest opening comes in the form of dining, as Torrance’s multi-concept brewery and food experience, The Brews Hall, has launched a brand new concept: Umami Warrior. As of today, Friday, March 1, The Brews Hall’s fourth food concept under their roof features a hybrid of fan-favorite Japanese and Chinese dishes.

Setting The Brews Hall apart from other breweries in Southern California is its accessibility to enjoy a bowl of Tonkatsu Pork Ramen or made-to-order Orange Chicken alongside a craft beer from The Brews Hall’s extensive list of house-made brews. The Brews Hall is the ideal place to satisfy any craving that pops up throughout the week or weekend. Please see Umami’s Warrior’s menu outlined below:

  • Orange Chicken – Crispy chicken, orange glaze sauce, fresh orange slices and scallions
  • Kung Pao Chicken – Crispy chicken, water chestnuts, red bell peppers, Japanese chiles, roasted peanuts, celery and scallions
  • Mongolian Beef & Broccoli – Savory sliced sirloin beef, broccoli, fresh garlic, scallions
  • Miso Grilled Salmon with Bok Choy – Miso marinated salmon, grilled bok choy, sticky white rice
  • Ramen -Tonkotsu broth, slow roasted pork chashu, black garlic oil, nori, marinated soft boiled egg, pickled red onions, toasted sesame seeds, and scallions

The Brews Hall is located at:
21770 Del Amo Circle EastTorrance, CA 90503

Visit their website to learn more.

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