Harlowe Kicks Off New Bar Menu In Time For New Year

Harlowe Kicks Off New Bar Menu In Time For New Year

Some neighborhoods have their very own gems where the locals gather, while some neighborhoods don’t have that luxury or convenience. And with those gems, may come delicious food, an atmosphere perfect for unplugging from the last week’s stresses, or just a perfect setting for your favorite people to come together and reconnect – a reminder of how a special place can work wonders for our existence.

West Hollywood is one of the places lucky to have a few of these gems, but there’s one in particular that checks all the boxes: low key and hypnotic, while buzzing with just the right amount of activity, and a consistency that those who love it can always count on. Dimly lit, yet bright enough to see your party’s faces, bouncing with infectious beats, while just loud enough to still connect with those around you, and elevated menu options still big enough to share and leave you satisfied. That place is Harlowe.

Owned by the 1933 Group, Harlowe made waves at the end of 2023 for their completely revamped bar menu, giving frequent guests something new to look forward to. In its nearly 15-year existence, Harlowe has managed to kick off 2023 on a strong foot that is bound to not only bring back regulars who may have fallen out of practice, but also attract new customers looking for delicious cuisine to match the unique time that the bar offers – ultimately turning it into a weekly checkpoint to re-up on all it offers.

And before being turned off by the idea of “bar food,” it’s important to understand that Harlowe has raise the standard of what bar food can and should be. Elevated by accomplished culinary consultant and chef, Chester Hastings, he proves that you don’t need a full and upscale kitchen army to offer a standout bar menu that appeals to the local community. What Harlowe offers is simple, unpretentious, and deliciously good. Chester’s recipe substack, his personal IG and book about cheese can help demonstrate his perspective, skill, and cucina povera ethos.

Most known for his traditional Italian specialties, chef Hastings taps into the same approach for Harlowe’s new bar menu: use fresh ingredients and do little to them. Inspired by the bar bites at Harry’s Bar in Venice and Grande Hotel et des Palmes in Palermo, he puts it simply, “small portion bar food but substantial.” This simple statement captures the very essence that he has managed to achieve with the new menu.

The new Harlowe menu caters to modern palates, keeping thing simple, yet elevated to what would be expected from shiny, fancy establishments:

  • Oversized prawn shrimp cocktail, grilled with espelette and lime zest served warm on glass with a Madre mezcal-spiked cocktail sauce
  • Cheese & Italian salumi plate; a brie torta with pesto, balls of fresh goat cheese rolled in bee pollen, wildflower honey, finocchiona salami, cognac mustard
  • Hanger Steak Frites – long shoestrings with simple steak, finished with a mound of crispy shallots and cognac pink peppercorn butter
  • Fried green tomato burger (V); cornmeal and chickpea flour batter in buttermilk, flash fried in a pan with spicy avocado crema
  • Fried Calamari and Chicken tenders (GF) are battered but Gluten Free by using chickpea flour
  • Vodka pasta gratinée (V) creamy and baked with pecorino, mozzarella and breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable crudo platter (V) with lemon hummus, cucumber mint yogurt, pickled onion

In addition to the new menu, Taco Tuesday — a weekly staple to Harlow — is still in demand, and the tacos have been revamped with four varieties – all served on Gracias a Dios white corn tortillas and charred on an open flame. Fillings include: smashed purple potato with black bean and queso fresco; seared shrimp; citrus marinated chicken with avocado; and carne asada.

What’s a food experience without dessert? Harlowe’s irresistible sweets are made using Gelato Festival’s gelato mastery: chocolate alongside pistachio orange honey brittle, fior di latte with passionfruit honey syrup and toasted sesame, and lemon sorbet with fresh lime zest.

And it wouldn’t be a bar without Happy Hour, which still stands from Tuesday-Sunday, 5-7p, with many of the aforementioned dishes on offer — plus $10 mules, old fashioned, margaritas, whisky sours, long island iced teas, beers, wines and well drinks.

In a wave of menu refreshments, it’s easy to overlook bars, but Harlowe is not just any old bar. A decade of consistency and reliability in WeHo has proven its place as a gem to the neighborhood, especially in a post-COVID world. Bar bites of this magnitude are much more than snacks, but an unexpected dinner and dessert when molded by masterminds like Chester Hastings. Worth a visit even from miles out, Harlowe manages to reimagine the modern neighborhood bar experience and spark up envy in those who don’t live within its vicinity for the frequent visitor luxury, while also competing with big restaurant names we all know, love, and justify traveling long distances for. (See Harlowe’s hours of operation, here.)

About Harlowe

Inspired by a single painting of a vibrant 1930s socialite, along with an assortment of vintage portraits (often dubbed as her closest friends) donning the walls, Harlowe captures the feel of an invigorating social club from Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Harlowe’s design reflects the turn of the 19th Century: a time when European influences were prevalent in stateside culture, and revolutionaries, artists, and poets shared ideas over tipples and dance. Harlowe has the soul of an age once forgotten and the spirit of a young, vivacious neighborhood bar.

A lively list of classic and original drinks and old-meets-new dishes tickle the palate while patrons snuggle in a booth, chum it up at the bar, or scruff the dance floor on any given night.

Your SoCal Holiday 2023 Gift Guide

Your SoCal Holiday 2023 Gift Guide

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are once again upon us, and soon everyone will be scrambling to sort out the the right gifts for various people in their lives. Keeping with our tradition of providing a one-stop spot for all your gift buying needs, we’ll be providing you with a rundown of some of the hottest products of the year, along with the biggest sales and deals you can catch ahead of the holidays.

As a bonus, we’ll be publishing a holiday themed event roundup, that way you can find what to do all in one place. Stay tuned for updates up until the countdown to the new year for new additions to the roundup!

Food, Drinks, Health & Wellness

Find Balance With Remedy Organics

If you’re shopping for someone who could use some extra wellness support this holiday season (or yourself!), Remedy Organics is the perfect gift to maintain a sense of balance through the holidays and after!

It’s no secret that the holidays can be a time of overindulgence, leaving us feeling sluggish and bloated. Luckily, Remedy Organics offers a lineup of nourishing, plant-based elixirs that are not only a treat for your taste buds, but also a remedy to reset your gut health after those festive feasts.

Crafted with finest certified organic superfoods, ayurvedics, botanical herbs, and prebiotics, Remedy Organics is a gift packed with a variety of unique functional benefits. Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers, wellness-themed gift baskets, or a way to support your loved ones in search of a healthier holiday season, Remedy Organics has delicious solutions for everyone. Holiday favorites include:

  • Remedy Reset Program ($139.99) – created by a holistic nutritionist, this program is designed to cleanse your system in a gentle and delicious way! With gut-healing wellness shakes, immunity shots, and an exclusive Remedy mindfulness journal, this is the perfect present for self-care lovers and those that prioritize clean, natural, and sustainable food choices.
  • Breakfast Essentials ($69.99) – for the one looking to dip their toes into the world of functional beverages, try this variety pack that includes the 10 best-selling elixirs. Soulfully crafted by a holistic nutritionist, this pack is perfect for those with busy lifestyles looking to boost their energy, performance, and focus this holiday season and beyond.

 

Switch Up The Cocktail & Mocktail Game With Nixie

Know someone with a bad soda habit that needs to get kicked? Meet Nixie! Made with organic sparkling water, and without synthetic solvents, carriers or artificial preservatives, Nixie was founded by the brains behind Late July Snacks – one of the first brands to carry the USDA Organic seal. Nicole Bernard Dawes has dedicated her life to transforming the food industry by creating delicious, organic options. With Nixie, the sparkling water brand is certified USDA Organic, with zero sugar, sodium or calories. 

Since launching in 2019, Nixie’s core range of flavors include Watermelon Mint, Lime Ginger, Strawberry Hibiscus, and more. Nixie is available nationwide in 24-packs on Amazon, with individual cans, 8-packs and 24-packs available in more than 7,500 retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Ralphs.

Not only was Nixie a refreshment staple for the summer months, but they’re proving to be a savior for cocktails during the cooler month, too! Check out the recipes below for your holiday party or for the bartender in your life:

Find Wellness from Within with Kroma

The ultimate kickstarter for renewal in the new year, Kroma is dedicated to revitalizing mind, body and spirit through transformative Resets and Daily Essentials that include meticulously selected ingredients from superfoods around the world to create nourishing, and healing functional foods and beverages. Their line of products range 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.

Check out Kroma’s fan favorites:

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.

 

Get The Mind Right with Magic Mind

If you or someone you know could change up their routine for the better, then meet Magic Mind.

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. Skip reaching for that second (or third) cup of coffee, and reach for the magic instead – here.

Step Up The Morning Brew Game with Bruvi

Bruvi just recently launched a chic new black brewer and is also offering a Holiday discount on all brewers! Their holiday deal is a hefty $120 saving off all brewers – including the new black brewer – through to 26 December with the code HOLIDEAL

The black brewer brews just like the original, award-winning Bruvi — and it makes seven different beverages, offering remarkably tastier coffee, and eco-conscious pods. The black brewer comes in a sleek black palette with stainless steel finishes and a frosted smoke water tank. The black Bruvi brewer is retailing at just $218 with the holiday deal, so act fast!

In addition, the newness doesn’t stop there; Bruvi also launched two new pods —  Triple Death Coffee (high caffeine) and Spellbinder Espresso Forte (extra dark roast). Get them while you can!

 

Flaviar: The Lost Art of Distillation 2023 Advent Calendar

Prepare for an extraordinary whiskey journey with Flaviar‘s 2023 The Lost Art of Distillation Advent Calendar! This year’s calendar is a whiskey lover’s dream, featuring 24 meticulously curated, 50mL glass vials of award-winning whiskeys from 8 countries.

Each day holds a thrilling surprise from the rich notes of Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey to the exceptional flavors of J.J. Corry The Hanson Whiskey and the historical allure of Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey. Place your order by December 7 in order to get the best deal featuring 24 memorable whiskeys!

Clothing, Accessories, Home Goods & More

Shop Hailee Steinfield’s Small Business Gift Guide

A gift guide within a gift guide? Consider it the ultimate bonus! Academy Award-nominated actress, multi-platinum recording musician, and producer Hailee Steinfeld teamed up with Amazon Small Business to share the products she’s shopping from Amazon’s Small Business Gift Guide this holiday season. 

Credit: Cibelle Levi for Amazon (Cibelle Levi Celebrity Brand Photographer)

As a small business owner herself, Hailee curated her own holiday wish list featuring her favorite products from small businesses available in Amazon’s store. Hailee’s picks span everything from home decor and kitchenware to beauty and fashion accessories at a range of price points. See more on the featured products below and shop Hailee’s complete gift guide, here!

Featured Products from Hailee Steinfeld’s Amazon Small Business Wish List:

A Book For Creatives: “LIFE WHIMSY” By Wendy Conklin

Get the readers (and creatives) in your life a brand new book – “LiIFE WHIMSY”! Lifestyle personality Wendy Conklin is a designer, educator, artisan and “entreprenista”! Not only is this new read visually beautiful and filled with amazing photos — making it a superb coffee table book and a holiday gift — but it is also deeply intriguing while getting the reader involved.

Wendy is the Creative Director and thought leader behind the Chair Whimsy movement to live more creatively. She helps her online course students tap into and cultivate their creativity, giving them permission to “play” and upgrade their joy. Her teaching style makes the challenge of learning a new craft feel accessible and fun, while her business programming helps other artisans and makers leverage their knowledge, skills, and finished work to build and grow businesses supporting their families and providing financial and creative fulfillment.

In “LIFE WHIMSY” you will:

  • Develop your creative thinking, twisting your mindset to options & solutions rather than failure & face-plants.
  • Rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul through the magic of play. (Yes, adults can play!)
  • Infuse creativity into your profession or business, even if you work in a deeply “uncreative” field.
“LIFE WHIMSY” is available now on Amazon or directly through Wendy Conklin’s website for $29.95.

 

LA Metro Holiday Merch

With the holiday season fast approaching, LA metro is excited to announce its new line of holiday merchandise, perfect for transit enthusiasts and anyone who loves the city of Los Angeles, and we hope you’ll consider featuring them in your gift guide. The collection features our limited-edition holiday design including:

  • Snow Globe Ornaments
  • Holiday Cards

These special items are also great gift ideas for Angelenos and tourists alike, the perfect holiday memorialization of the city of Los Angeles. Our Metro shop also features an array of options that make the perfect gifts for friends and family who are passionate about transit and public transportation. There’s sure to be something for everyone on your list. Some highlights include:

 

Protect the Eyes From the SoCal Sun & Snow Glare with COVRY

The holidays are upon us which means it’s time to start crossing things off your gifting list and what better way to do that than by shopping locally. The AAPI-founded eyewear label COVRY opened their Costa Mesa flagship earlier this year and their selection of opticals and sunglasses, available in store and online, make for an amazing gift for anyone.

COVRY was founded in 2015 in an effort to break away from the eyewear industry’s standard of one-size-fits-all. They’ve created a new standard: Elevated Fit® eyewear that actually fits. Created by using measurements from real people- not traditional industry standards, their uniquely designed, signature Elevated Fit® features longer nose pads, a reduced frame curvature and a narrowed nose bridge to elevate the frame, sitting higher on the face and away from one’s cheeks.

Some favorites from the brand include:

And highlights from the COVRY x Sanzo collection:

 

TUMI

During the Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 14th, F1 Driver, Lando Norris made an exclusive appearance at the TUMI store in Ceasar’s Palace to celebrate his partnership and McLaren collection with the brand! The stunning papaya colorway is an eye-catcher, and the collection boasts incredible functionality in the most stylish way.

Courtesy of Ash Bibby

The TUMI and McLaren team continue to evolve and innovate each collaboration together and alongside Lando, the collection focuses on unparalleled quality and technical design. The TUMI | McLaren Collection has proven to be a great platform reaching a large variety of consumers and collaborating with the F1 audience has been nothing short of exciting. 

Since 1975, TUMI has been creating world-class business, travel, and performance luxury essentials, designed to upgrade, uncomplicate and beautify all aspects of life on the move. Blending flawless functionality with a spirit of ingenuity, we’re committed to empowering journeys as a lifelong partner to movers and makers in pursuit of their passions. For more about TUMI, visit TUMI.com

TUMI and TUMI logo are registered trademarks of Tumi, Inc. © 2023 Tumi, Inc.

Cannabis

KANHA Limited-Edition Edibles

Whether for the holiday festivities or long after, KANHA has released two new limited edition delights, that you’ll want to stick around for months to come: Sugar Plum and S’mores!

Thanks to KANHA’s fast-acting NANO technology, their new limited edition edibles pack a punch, hitting harder and quicker, taking you on a journey in as little as 15 minutes. Crafted with premium indica oil and a blend of all-natural terpenes, toasted spice and citrus notes, they’re designed to lift your spirits. Each package contains 10 pieces with 10 mg THC each.

KANHA Sugar Plum
Profile: Indica strain
Flavor: A dance of pepper and citrus derived from beta-caryophyllene, humulene and other indica terpenes.
Available Nov 13th until Dec 31 at select California and Massachusetts locations
10mg THC per piece | 100 mg per bag

KANHA S’mores
Profile: Hybrid
Flavor: The nostalgic allure of velvety chocolate, fluffy marshmallows and the irresistible crushed graham crackers. A luxurious Belgian milk chocolate infused with premium hybrid cannabis oil.
10mg THC per piece | 100 mg per bag

These exclusive flavors are available in select dispensaries in California until supplies last.

Be Their Santa For Cann-mas

Cann, the leading cannabis-infused beverage, is the perfect non-alcoholic beverage for those who are avoiding alcohol, but still looking for an uplifting buzz with a strength similar to a beer or glass of wine, sans hangover (Cann’s unique design is also an aesthetically pleasing addition to your bar cart)! 

With just 35 calories, this cannabis beverage is the healthier, delicious alternative to alcohol, giving you the same buzz with half the calories and sugar of a traditional alcoholic beverage. The tonic is made for a controllable high experience (a microdose of THC + CBD) and doesn’t come with any of the negative effects of your go-to tequila, vodka, beer or wine.

You can also try recreating your favorite cocktails with Cann instead of booze. Blood Orange Cardamom and sparkling lemon water makes for an easy Winter Spritz, while Grapefruit Rosemary with agave and lime juice makes for a buzzy mocktail reminiscent of a Rosemary Infused Paloma! The possibilities are endless with Cann, but the results are all the same – buzzed but no hangover.

Cann’s also on the go with you this holiday season thanks to their ultra-portable Cann Roadies. If you want to sneak in some stress relief and stay under the radar at the holiday gathering, roadies fit in your pocket or purse and makes it easy to reach your higher self.

So whether you’re getting together with friends for a cozy, seasonal dinner or embarking on the journey of holiday family dynamics, Cann has you covered with these on-the-go packets containing 2mg THC and 4mg CBD.

Simply tear, pour, and watch the flavorful liquid mix perfectly in any drink. No powders here – simple and real ingredients to spark an enjoyable time wherever you may be headed. Not to mention, At 30 calories per sachet, the Roadie’s ingredients are as clean as they are delicious – vegan too!

 

Get Prepped for Dry January with Cali Sober

Spice up your Dry January with tongue tingling mocktail beverages that are anything but dry. These tantalizing THC-infused drinks will leave you on a high and a better buzz this coming year.

Cali Sober, the pioneers of THC-infused mocktails that provide good vibes for better lives, have developed three special flavors for consumers seeking a refreshing twist on traditional beverages. Meticulously crafted and boasting all-natural ingredients, Cali Sober’s signature mocktails are designed to elevate your senses without the hangover. Each can delivers a perfect 5 mg THC per serving, ensuring a controlled and enjoyable high. Indulge in three refreshing flavors:  Berry Ginger Fizz, Ranch Water and Paloma Spritz. Cali Sober 4-pack retails for $28 and is available at select retailers nationwide or delivered directly to your home.

Las Vegas-based dispensary, The Source has partnered up with premium cannabis line, High Heads and leading manufacturer of gourmet beverages and food garnishes, Dress The Drink to concoct the ultimate non-alcoholic beverages whose flavors may have you extending Dry January beyond the end of the month. Hand-crafted by expert mixologists, the High Heads Puff Punch line was used to create three mind-altering flavors: Puff’s Tropical Nectar using Mango Madness, Puff’s Black Tea Tango using Orange Whip and Puff’s Berry Citrus Fizz using Trippy Berry.

Each pouch holds approximately 100mg of hybrid cannabinoids. All three flavors retail for $10 for an 85 ml pouch and are available at The Source dispensary in Nevada. Pre-order and curbside pick up available.

Look Out For The Fur Babies With Bailey’s CBD For Pets

Bailey’s CBD for Pets is not just another pet shop. It is a family-owned and operated business passionate about your furry friend’s well-being. They understand that your pets are integral to your family and deserve the best. That’s why they are dedicated to providing the highest-quality CBD products to enhance your pets’ lives.

Courtesy Bailey’s CBD

Bailey’s CBD products are crafted with the expertise of veterinarians who understand your pets’ unique needs and offer full-spectrum CBD oil products, harnessing the power of the entire hemp plant. This ensures your pets receive a comprehensive range of beneficial compounds, working synergistically to support their overall health.

The company believes in the purity of nature and their hemp extract is organically grown and single-sourced, providing the highest quality of products. To learn more about the brand, please visit their website.

A New LA Icon In The Making: The Shay Hotel

A New LA Icon In The Making: The Shay Hotel

Cowritten by Anthony Stafford

The Ingredients Of An Icon

There are some landmark hotels that are known in and outside of the state of California for their posh, chic, and luxurious experiences, from nightlife and dining to bustling with celebrities. And somehow there’s still room for yet another that has all the right ingredients for the “icon” status—and even more.

In the heart of Culver City’s Arts District, there’s a new promising icon on the block, The Shay Hotel. Opened officially in October 2021, this “Destination by Hyatt” hotel has swiftly become a mainstay, offering travelers and locals an enticing blend of posh accommodations, eclectic shopping experiences, and a dining scene that’s nothing short of extraordinary. Now, just coming off their second-year anniversary, this new gem has a strong presence that tells us it will be around for years to come, while hopefully becoming an LA icon known for generations.

We were invited for a weekend stay to experience all that the hotel and its conglomerate of small businesses had to offer during their Mercado y Más event and Art Walk & Roll Festival, and we’re providing all the details on why The Shay should be your next “Shay-cation” stay. In addition, you’ll find a sampling of small businesses you should support this upcoming Small Business Saturday (November 25, 2023).

 

Home Away From Home In A Prime Location

The Shay Hotel is more than just a luxurious retreat. Nestled in the Culver City Arts District, it’s perfectly positioned for exploration. The hotel is a stone’s throw away from some of the city’s hottest bars, the best restaurants, and a treasure trove of globally inspired art galleries and museums. As you explore the surrounding area, you’ll find yourself immersed in the vibrant cultural tapestry that defines Culver City. The hotel has even seen some incredible parties this year thanks to the presence of Taylor Swift and Beyoncé bringing their incredible summer concerts to Los Angeles.

Credit: The Shay Hotel

With the highly acclaimed etta anchored at its core and the glitzy Canopy Club as its crown, The Shay manages to purposefully and successfully integrate some of the community’s undiscovered and uniquely gifted businesses and artists throughout the inner workings of a hotel that feels more like a home, from the lobby’s gallery hall, which features the work of over a dozen artists and vendors, to the artfully adorned walls throughout the property. Some of these same artists and small businesses would grace the streets of Culver City and The Shay’s outdoor courtyard during our stay. The lobby isn’t your traditional kind, with a desk set front and center. Instead, you’re embraced by plentiful seating around a fireplace, a bar, a game room, a library/study, and the infatuating etta restaurant tucked subtly away, while the front desk is cleverly and stylishly hidden behind a wooden partition wall.

One of The Shay‘s standout features is its rooftop pool, an exclusive gem in the neighborhood. Guests can bask in the California sun and soak in breathtaking views while enjoying a refreshing swim, only steps from a decadent bite or refreshing sip from the enthralling Canopy Club. This idyllic setting adds to the allure of The Shay, making it a beacon for those seeking relaxation and luxury, or those who just want a delicious meal with fresh air and views.

When it comes to accommodations, the hotel offers 148 spacious rooms, including 19 suites, all designed with the utmost comfort in mind. The decor is sleek, modern, and functional, making each room a home away from home. The Shay’s commitment to guest comfort is evident in every detail, from the plush bedding to the thoughtfully designed interiors.

One historical tidbit about the hotel’s name and design worth knowing is that many of its decorations and furnishings present wooden and metallic surfaces, clean lines, and backlit circles. These touches are all reminiscent of the railroad industry and a particularly famous and successful steam locomotive’s creator, Ephraim Shay, from which its name is borrowed. We challenge you to find the trains throughout the lobby and the railroad-themed design references from the ground floor to the rooftop pool and everywhere in between!

 

Home-Cooked At The Hotel

When it comes to dining, The Shay shines brightly with its impressive on-property offerings. Award-winning chef Dan Perretta leads the way at “etta,” located at the lobby level. Here, guests can savor culinary delights that blend the best of local and global flavors. etta effortlessly delivers a gastronomic experience that rivals other hard-trying Michelin-starred restaurants—and it shows! etta was packed and lively, while making it quite clear that if you’re taking anyone out for an outstanding meal, this is the place to go. Creative and thought-provoking, it’s difficult to summarize the experience etta provides to anything less than a destination that every traveler and local should add to their bucket list of restaurants to try at least once.

And for those seeking another kind of elevated experience, the party-esque “Canopy Club by Mosaic” awaits on the rooftop. This is where culinary craftsmanship meets stunning panoramic views, creating a dining experience to remember. Our breakfast on the roof was nothing short of dazzling, as we enjoyed reimagined dishes under the October solar eclipse. Canopy Club’s version of French toast is by far superior to the thick-cut style we all think we love, while omelettes and even traditional breakfasts possess their own unique flair. Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s are a staple in LA, and you’d commit a crime by thinking Canopy Club doesn’t know any better.

The best part about both restaurants is knowing that they are merely steps away if you’re staying at The Shay!

 

It Begins and Ends With Community

We stopped by Mercado y Más during the sunset of Latin and Hispanic Heritage Month, where we discovered just over a dozen noteworthy small Latin and Hispanic-owned businesses practically having a party in the outdoor courtyard. Complete with music and food, everyone welcomed visitors with samples, smiles, and answers to their questions. Each small business had a captain at the helm, bursting with passion, purpose, and a story worth knowing. We invite you to explore the small businesses we encountered at Mercado y Más and all that they have to offer as we approach Small Business Saturday on November 25:

While visiting Atabey Coffee, we learned the subtle and meaningful differences between each of their blends’ flavor profiles and preparation, along with the stark contrasts of color and natural flavor. Best enjoyed without the addition of sugar or cream, we found each of these coffee blends to be sharp, rich, smooth, and easy to drink—comparable to sitting down and enjoying a favorite tea.

Tasty Dulzuras indulged us with the unique cultural twist of their incredible arepa/torta (cornmeal and coconut cake) and dulce de leche cake. Moist, fulfilling, and full of fun texture, these Dominican cakes are the perfect desserts with a cultural twist for parties and events to broaden the horizons of what many think of when it comes to cakes.

We found a new love at Maya’s Brigadeiro—handmade Brazilian sweets that could replace our favorite candies with no complaints. Bite-sized and in their very own lane of sweets, we appreciate this Latina-owned business for coming to Los Angeles and exposing us to a cultural gift that more should know about. Now, we’ve picked up new vocabulary, and a new craving has been unlocked.

Finally, VAVICA, helmed by sisters Valentina, Victoria, and Camila, impressed us with their line of skin and body care products. The Único Hand + Body Wash, Oil Spray, and Hand + Body Lotion smell amazing and absorb quickly into the skin, leaving it deeply moisturized, soft, and glowing to last throughout the day.

In its short existence, The Shay has already witnessed remarkable events. With Taylor Swift and Beyoncé gracing the stage at nearby SoFi Stadium for unforgettable summer concerts, the hotel has become a multipurpose hub of entertainment, attracting diverse crowds and further solidifying its status as a cultural epicenter.

The Shay Hotel is more than just a place to stay; it’s a multifaceted experience that beautifully encapsulates the essence of Culver City. Whether you’re a traveler looking for a memorable vacation, a shopper in search of unique finds, or a food enthusiast ready to embark on a culinary journey, The Shay offers an all-encompassing destination that caters to your every desire. As it continues to flourish in the Culver City community, The Shay’s future as an LA icon for generations to come seems brighter than ever.

SoCal Fall Essentials Roundup: Events, Activities, and Shopping

SoCal Fall Essentials Roundup: Events, Activities, and Shopping

This summer was an interesting one, but now we’re no to cooler and crisper things as fall sets in. If you enjoyed our essentials roundup that covered everything from events to brands and special deals, prepare for deja vu! We’re doing it all over again with a curated selection of events, activities, and brands that capture the essence of the seasonal transition.

From cozy drinks to musical delights, here’s everything that will have you falling head over heels for this season. The best part? We’ll be updating this roundup throughout the season with new updates, so you won’t run out of things to do or shopping ideas for the upcoming holiday season!

 

Events

Celebrate the 7th Anniversary of Urban Press Winery – November 16

If you like to wine and dine, there’s a great celebration on the way, taking place at Urban Press Winery.

Join in the jubilation as Urban Press Winery & Restaurant marks its 7th Anniversary! To commemorate this significant milestone, you’re invited to revel in a gastronomic experience featuring a specially curated menu boasting delectable $7 food items and exquisite wine selections by the glass.

Indulge in a culinary journey with their Anniversary specials, including tantalizing options, like their signature Beet Salad, UP Burger, Arrabbiata, Truffle Pizza, Margherita Pizza, and the divine Golden Cannoli. Elevate your experience further with select glasses of UPW Wines, perfectly paired to enhance your celebration.

This exclusive event unfolds at the enchanting Urban Press Winery & Restaurant, nestled at 316 North San Fernando Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91502. Immerse yourself in the festivities every Wednesday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Additionally, don’t miss out on the all-day and night celebration on Thursday, November 16.

Make reservations here.

Visit Fargo’s “Pillow Talk” Activation at Smorgasburg – November 19

Embark on an exhilarating journey as FX’s acclaimed series, Fargo, kicks off its Season 5 premiere with the mobile pop-up experience known as “Pillow Talk!” This innovative venture takes the form of a specially branded truck, making a noteworthy stop in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 19, at the bustling Smorgasburg. Prior to its LA appearance, the truck mesmerized the crowd in New York City.

This dynamic pop-up promises an immersive experience for the public, featuring enticing opportunities to score exclusive limited-edition merchandise. From stylish koozies to cozy pillows, and even a taste of premium coffee courtesy of Be Bright, attendees are in for a treat. Don’t miss out on the chance to engage with the Fargo universe in a whole new way and walk away with coveted collectibles from this unique mobile celebration.

The event takes place on Sunday, November 19, from 10 AM – 4 PM at Smorgasburg (777 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90021).

Visit “Here: Arts & Culture Along the K” Metro Art Exhibition – Oct. 8 – Dec. 30

Metro Art presents “Here: Arts & Culture Along the K,” a multimedia art exhibition at the Museum of African American Art showcasing the Metro Art K Line art program. The exhibition is a celebration of people and places along the K Line and marks the first anniversary of the opening of Metro’s K Line service through the Crenshaw corridor.

Along with the exhibition, a companion publication celebrates arts and culture along the K Line through Metro Art commissions and collaborations shaped by over 150 arts and cultural organizations, artists and creatives responding to distinct neighborhoods with bold imagination. Together, the contributions to Here contemplate the power of place, storied histories, collective joy and deep neighborhood pride.

You can visit the exhibit at Museum of African American Art /Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza: 3650 West Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 2nd Floor, Suite 283 Los Angeles, CA 90008. Go Metro to MLK Jr. Station. Hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Learn more about Metro art programs and exhibitions here.

Shopping

Wellness From the Inside: Remedy Organics

It’s purple, rich, and bold, and it’s taking the world by storm! If you didn’t know, the name for this viral veggie is Ube — a vibrant purple yam. The deliciously sweet and nutty purple vegetable is typically grown in the Philippines, packed with benefits and is rich in phytonutrients, Vitamin C, and potassium (so yes, you should be adding this to your wellness & beauty routines).

The good news is that Remedy Organics has made it easy, launching their newest and first-of-its-kind Super Ube Glow wellness shake, which spotlights this highly effective ingredient to boost your wellness routine. Ube enhances your overall wellness, nourishes your gut and encourages inner radiance. Combine this with all the other nutritional benefits from Remedy Organics line of smoothie blends, and you’ve got yourself a flavorful range of health and wellness boosting goodness!

You can see from social media that this veggie is all the rave and has coined the term the “new collagen” in the wellness world because of its benefits including:

          • Promoting gut health

          • Rich in antioxidants

          • Promoting natural collagen production

          • Enhancing brain health

          • Improving blood circulation

          • And more!

Remedy Organics‘ other wellness centered nutrition-packed flavors include Matcha Fuel, Berry Immunity, Super Chai Fuel, and Golden Mind just to name a few! Even still, there is more to explore with their Immunity+ Shots and Keto Wellness blends for those who have more focused wellness goals.

 

Where Tradition Meets Sustainable Fashion: City Threads

Got Halloween costume plans or just need updated threads for the kids? Here, the options are nearly endless!

Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, City Threads stands as a shining beacon of sustainable children’s apparel, with a remarkable twist – every garment they offer is locally knit and dyed right in the vibrant city they call home. Beyond the cozy comfort and eco-conscious design lies a captivating narrative that weaves together the rich history of a family of immigrants deeply rooted in the Los Angeles community and a generational legacy of local manufacturing.

The story begins with Joe Willis and Shayna Samuel, who fatefully crossed paths during their high school days at Santa Monica High School back in 1994. Little did they know that their journey together would culminate in the creation and triumphant growth of City Threads, a brand steeped in the traditions of their shared European-Jewish heritage. Fast forward over two decades, and City Threads has not only made its mark in the sustainable clothing industry but has taken it by storm. Their impressive collections of timeless styles stand as a resolute antidote to the fast fashion epidemic, proving that sustainability, heritage, and exceptional quality can coexist harmoniously in the world of children’s fashion.

Shop their Fall Essentials or their costume-completing Halloween collection to get your little ones fitted for the season!

 

PAIGE at Fashion Island

PAIGE, a leading fashion brand celebrated for its premium denim and contemporary apparel, earlier announced the opening of its newest retail location at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, California. Located at 567 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, the boutique opened its doors to the public in mid-August, showcasing the brand’s highly anticipated Summer/Fall 2023 lifestyle collection.

PAIGE’s Fashion Island store offers a comprehensive selection of meticulously crafted pieces, including denim, knits, wovens, outerwear, leather goods, accessories, and much more. Paige Adams-Geller, PAIGE’s Co-Founder and Creative Director designed the space with her creative team who executed her vision. The boutique embodies the brand’s signature aesthetic, with a blend of white, slate blue, and black metal accents complemented by hints of warm wood elements. Inspired by Mediterranean design, the store features arched doorways in black metal, adding architectural interest reminiscent of the brand’s other locations.

Infusing the space with organic materials and an ethereal ambiance, the store boasts a chandelier inspired by the Heracleum plant, creating a captivating visual centerpiece. The illuminated Heracleum leaves provide a warm glow, while wood-like porcelain tiles on the accent wall contribute a modern touch to the overall design.

Spanning 1,450 square feet, this location enables PAIGE to showcase the full breadth of its lifestyle brand, catering to a loyal customer base in Newport Beach and beyond. With equal emphasis on the women’s and men’s collections, customers can expect an immersive shopping experience that highlights the brand’s exceptional denim craftsmanship and extended categories, such as footwear, sunglasses, and upcoming new additions.

 

Pretend It’s Summer Year-Round with Sprayground’s Miami Vice Collection

Sprayground, the globe-trotting travel fashion powerhouse, has taken an exciting leap into the past to reimagine the legacy of the legendary ’80s TV sensation, “Miami Vice”! With the Miami Vice collection, Sprayground has designed a unique celebration of ’80s pop culture, meticulously crafted for those who crave the glitz, the glam, and the adrenaline rush of Miami’s iconic detectives, Sonny and Ricco.

This electrifying collaboration pays a stylish tribute to the everlasting impact this iconic show had on the world of fashion.

Dive into the adventure with three full-sized backpacks that encapsulate the essence of Sonny and Ricco themselves, including an ultra-exclusive vintage cellphone backpack that’s sure to turn heads. And that’s not all – there are two game-changing hoodies that channel the spirit of Crockett and Tubbs, along with a graphic tee that’ll have you feeling like an instant pop-culture legend.

The Miami Vice Collection isn’t just a blast from the past; it’s available online and in exclusive boutiques worldwide, so you can rock that ’80s swagger no matter where or when you are.

 

Savor the Magic of Whiskey with Flaviar’s 2023 Advent Calendar

Prepare to embark on a captivating whiskey journey this holiday season with Flaviar’s highly anticipated 2023 The Lost Art of Distillation Advent calendar.

Crafted for whiskey enthusiasts and connoisseurs, this calendar is a true delight, offering 24 expertly chosen, 50mL glass vials of award-winning whiskeys sourced from eight different countries. Each day holds a new adventure, from the rich and robust flavors of Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey to the exceptional taste profiles of J.J. Corry The Hanson Whiskey, and the historical charm of Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey.

To ensure you don’t miss out on this exceptional opportunity to elevate your holiday season order now! Orders placed by October 20 will be received by Thanksgiving, and orders placed by November 12 will be set for delivery by December 1! The countdown to extraordinary whiskey experiences is set to begin, promising to make your holiday season truly unforgettable.

Order your Lost Art of Distillation Advent Calendar today and unlock the enchantment of whiskey, one sip at a time.

 

Fun & Activities

Westfield Topanga: Pinstripes Set To Open – September 23

Pinstripes, the best in class experiential dining and entertainment concept, is opening at Westfield Topanga Saturday, September 23! The new location is a part of Westfield Topanga’s expansion, which transformed a former department store space into a bespoke luxury retail, dining and entertainment district.

Pinstripes Westfield Topanga will offer welcoming and memorable experiences for all guests, featuring 12 bowling lanes, 4 bocce courts, a full-service bistro, and elegant and spacious event spaces accommodating 20 to 1,200 people. The venue also features an intimate outdoor patio and a stunning outdoor terrace on the upper level with sliding glass doors, offering indoor/outdoor space for groups of up to 80 people.

Built from a passion to gather, celebrate and experience sophisticated fun, Pinstripes Westfield Topanga will offer guests lunch and dinner seven days a week, as well as happy hour, a late-night menu, and weekend brunches.

Born in the Midwest, Pinstripes’ best-in-class venues offer a combination of made-from-scratch dining, bowling and bocce and flexible private event space. From its full-service Italian-American food and beverage menu to its gaming array of bowling and bocce, Pinstripes offers multi-generational activities seven days a week.

Its elegant and spacious 25,000 – 38,000 square foot venues can accommodate groups of 20 to 1,500 people for private events, parties, and celebrations. For more information on Pinstripes, visit www.pinstripes.com.

Events & Activities You’ve Missed

 

Chamberlain Coffee x DEUX Take Over La La Land Kind Cafe – Oct. 20 – Oct. 22

Donuts and coffee never go out of style — even with the changing seasons! Gen Z coffee brand Chamberlain Coffee and DEUXthe functional sweets brand known for their vegan, gluten-free, clean ingredient enhanced snacks, are taking over upbeat, LA hotspot La La Land Kind Cafe (1426 Montana Ave #1, Santa Monica, CA 90403) from October 20 – 22 to celebrate the launch of Chamberlain Coffee x DEUX’s Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes, which are available now!

During the weekend-long pop-up, customers can try out the limited-edition Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes, which are vegan, gluten-free, and made with better-for-you, clean ingredients like B12 and L-Theanine for energy and metabolism support, as well as custom beverages featuring Chamberlain Coffee’s signature coffee blends. There will also be custom merch available for sale powered by Pietra, along with plenty of other goodies to enjoy.

WHENOctober 20 – 22 I 10am – 7pm

WHERELa La Land Kind Cafe I 1426 Montana Ave #1, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Find The Perfect Halloween-Themed Event, Courtesy of Eventbrite! – All October

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, costume connoisseur, or candy enthusiast, look no further than Eventbrite, the global platform for unique and local events. This year, they’ve curated a special collection of Halloween events in Los Angeles bringing all of your favorite haunts and thrills straight to your fingertips. 

From spooky movie nights to Halloween bar crawls to family festivals, Eventbrite has scoured the eerie corners of LA to provide consumers with the ultimate Halloween experiences, so they don’t have to settle for the same old house party. The best part is that you don’t have to look far for LA’s full collection of Halloween-themed events, or you can pick from some stand-outs the Eventbrite team has highlighted below:

 

Cutwater Distillery Offers Speakeasy Experience & Spooky Cocktails – Sept. 30 – Oct. 31

Cutwater’s Tasting Room and Kitchen will be transformed from September 30th to October 31st as Halloween makes its return. Serving up a series of chilling cocktails carefully curated for the season, offering exclusive limited-edition merchandise, and opening of their fermentation room for an illuminating LaBARatory Speakeasy Experience, showcasing radiant and molecular delights every Wednesday through Sunday throughout the month of October.

Tickets for the LaBARatory are $25. Each ticket includes:

🧪 Welcome cocktail in a specialty take-home glass

🔮 Access to an exclusive cocktail menu updating weekly from our very own Mad Scientists

🧪 Radioactive cocktails

🔮 Mystery test tube R&D spirit samples

 

Raise Funds for Breast Cancer Awareness with a Mezcal Happy Hour at Chulita – All October

Artisanal Mezcal brand, Convite — which happens to be the best-selling Mezcal in Oaxaca — is teaming up with Venice’s very own Chulita to give back to the community, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Throughout October, Chulita will be serving up a special pink margarita featuring Convite Una’, the brand’s pink, naturally tinted Mezcal. For every Convite Una’ Pink Margarita sold, Chulita and Convite’s US importer, Hotaling & Co. will donate $2 to the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research in Los Angeles.

Convite Una’ offers year-round support to those affected by breast cancer through the brand’s partnership with FUCAM, the only private non-profit institution in Mexico that offers comprehensive treatment of breast cancer. They are excited to amplify support by partnering with the beloved women-owned, authentic local staple, Chulita, and support the Dr. Susan Love Foundation. You can enjoy this opportunity all October long.

 

Attend Dr. Martens’ Limited-Time Pop Up At The Grove & More – October 13, and throughout October

From October 4th through October 29th, the iconic shoe brand has teamed up with Nordstrom to host a one-of-a-kind shopping experience at Nordstrom’s “The Glass Box” in the heart of The Grove.
Dr. Martens’ Limited-Time Pop-Up at The Grove will debut the brand’s newest visual identity, and showcases a curated selection of AW23 products with select styles only available at Nordstrom. The assortment includes styles from the Dr. Martens Archive collection as well as the Audrick Chelsea Hi Boot and Audrick 10 Eyelet Boot that are exclusively available at Nordstrom. Check out the specific dates and days below for the separate events taking place throughout the month:
October 4 – October 29
Yeah It’s Jewelry, founded by Chloe Weitman will curate an exclusive shoe charm bar, where consumers can customize their DMs purchase with a sterling silver shoe charm. A new charm will be released each week and only at The Dr. Martens Glass Box.
 
Every Thursday & Saturday in October
Bespoke Monogramming will take place every Thursday and Saturday in October, where consumers can personalize their own Dr. Martens with contemporary monogram letters hand painted by artist Sharnae Cáceres of With Vivid Color.  
Friday, October 13

Lastly, on Friday the 13th, Dr. Martens will host a Tarot Card + Tote event with Rachel Howe of Small Spells.Customers can participate in tarot card reading and receive a free canvas tote bag custom designed by Small Spells.

 

West Edge Hosts Wags and Walks Adoption Event – September 23

LA’s newest mixed-use development, West Edge, is teaming up with Wags & Walks for the ultimate dog adoption event on Saturday, September 23rd! 

If you’re looking to adopt a new adorable furry companion, stop by for a day of ‘puppy therapy’, while enjoying light bites & beverages, and hanging with adorable, adoptable dogs to support a good cause!

Wags & Walks is a dog-adoption agency focused on advocating for all dogs who are often overlooked and at-risk due to overcrowding. Since 2011, Wags and Walks has collectively saved more than 10,500 dogs. 

Wags and Walks Dog Adoption Event
When: Saturday, September 23rd from 1-3pm
Address: 12101 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Endless Summer Cocktail Event from Off Hours Bourbon

The Endless Summer cocktail event featuring Off Hours Bourbon (founded by Jake Ireland) and  Saint Spritz (founded by JoJo Fletcher & Mallory Patton) took place at the end of September, and it was the perfect send off for the season.
 
The entrepreneurs teamed up to celebrate taking the essence of summer into the rest of the year – warm sunshine, a cool ocean breeze, a glass of something refreshing to cool you down. Together, they showed guests how to make the most of these moments, demo their favorite cocktail, and more!

Pictured above, Off Hours Bourbon Founder  Jake Ireland and Saint Spritz founders JoJo Fletcher & Mallory Patton, hosted a cocktail making experience at Little Beach House Malibu where they shared their favorite bourbon spritz recipe. Guests toasted and sipped on their delicious cocktails throughout the evening celebrating an endless summer. 

And the kind folks at Off Hours were kind enough to send us a cocktail recipe in case you wanted to indulge yourself:

Saint Spritz x Off Hours Bourbon Spritz

Ingredients:

1 oz. Off Hours Bourbon
1/2 can of Saint Spritz
Ginger Beer
2 Maraschino Cherries
Ice

Instructions:

Fill your glass with ice.
Pour 1 oz of Off Hours Bourbon into your glass.
Pour 1/2 can of Saint Spritz into your glass.
Top it off with Ginger Beer.
Garnish with 2 Maraschino Cherries.

Solento Organic Tequila’s Solento Surf Festival – September 16 – 23

Solento Organic Tequila, the award-winning USDA-certified organic tequila, is kicking the season off with their third annual Solento Surf Festival from 9/16 – 9/23! The award-winning USDA-certified organic tequila, announced the Solento Surf Festival (SSF) featuring a seaside beach takeover, community activations and film festival taking place Sept. 16-23.
Curated by Solento founder and filmmaker Taylor Steele for a third year in a row, the weeklong celebration embraces Solento’s “take it slow” mindset of living in the present and unites the community around surf culture. Solento invites all members of the community to immerse themselves in the various festivities, including:
  • Seaside Beach Takeover: Solento will take over Seaside on Sept. 16 for a family-friendly day featuring surf contests, live music, food, drinks and partner activations including complimentary massages from Alila Marea Beach Resort and Dark Arts Board demos. The event is open to the community and free of charge.
  • Film festival: The historic La Paloma theater will serve as a hub for surf films, panel discussions, raffles and live music. Tickets are limited and available online for purchase. Film showings include: The world premiere of “Trilogy: New Wave” and panel with director Andrew Mackenzie ○ The U.S. premiere of “Corners of the Earth” and panel with director Spencer Frost ○ Untold stories and unseen footage with award-winning filmmaker Michael Oblowitz.
  • Community activations: An art show open to the community will take place at Four Moons Spa featuring Todd DiCiurcio, Todd Glaser, + Ivana Bajic, as well as a complimentary pre-screen happy hour at ALOHA Collection.

Tickets to the Solento Surf Festival are available for purchase at www.solentosurffestival.com. And if you can’t make it to the festivities, the kind folks at Solento were nice enough to provide a recipe to get you into the season!

SAGE BEES KNEES
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 oz Solento Blanco Tequila
  • Honey
  • Water
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 5 Sage Leaves
  • Ice
Directions1. Create honey syrup by combining 1 part honey with 1 part hot water.
2. Combine 1 1/2 oz Solento Blanco, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 5 sage leaves, and 1/2 oz honey syrup. Shake with ice.
3. Strain into a coupe and garnish with sage leaves.
Servings1 glass

 

Celebrate 30+ years of the Legend of Zelda at Candlelight Concerts – September 27

Looking for an event that combines live music, awe-inspiring local venues, and the Legend of Zelda? You may have found your missing link

While you’ve listened to the magical sounds of the Nintendo game, get ready to experience the Zelda soundtrack like never before with Candlelight Concert’s The Best of Zelda.

Hosted at historic locations in both New York City and Los Angeles, this hylian-ticipatednight of fun features a localstring quartet and reimagines iconic themes from the franchise, including Ocarina of TimeThe Wind WakerandSkyward Sword

Under the glow of thousands of candles, you can enjoy your favorite Zelda melodies, and rediscover the magic that has charmed audiences since the 1980s, with tickets starting at $30. 

Los Angeles: Hosted at The Immanuel Presbyterian Church at 6:30 PM and 9 PM on Wednesday, September 27th.

 

Charlotte de Witte’s First Ever All-Night-Long Show In LA – September 29

If music is on your mind, techno powerhouse Charlotte de Witte will be kicking off her first ever, ALL-NIGHT-LONG show in Los Angeles on September 29th at the iconic Shrine Expo Hall.

The culmination of her stacked Overdrive tour and campaign – which kicked off this Spring with a VIRAL New York City takeover featuring two sold out shows at Brooklyn Mirage as well as a guerilla-style, surprise set that closed down Orchard street for thousands – de Witte is poised to take the West Coast by storm with this epic, final stop. Charlotte de Witte’s second, turbo-charged US takeover will be her first set of this length since her 10-hour performance at Flanders Expo in 2021.

CHARLOTTE DE WITTE ALL NIGHT LONG
Performers: Charlotte de Witte
Location: Shrine Expo Hall (665 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007)
Date: Friday, September 29th
TimingDoors Open at 8:30 PM PST; Show Start Time 9:00 PM PST
Tickets:https://www.shrineauditorium.com/events/detail/?event_id=489987

Relax With Lunya – October 5 – 8

This week only, luxury rest-wear brand, Lunya, is celebrating the launch of their newest fabric, Slumberknit! Lunya will be popping things off (or slowing things down) with some ultra-relaxing experiences in the Parachute store in Pasadena.

From October 5th to October 8th, Lunya will host guests for 3-minute ASMR meditation in Parachute’s stores to celebrate the launch of Slumberknit. In addition, Lunya and Parachute are hosting private activations on Saturday, October 7th. For just $15, guests will receive their money back in a $15 Lunya credit, plus access to a 45-minute sound healing from Altha with Lunya’s sleep masks and socks! Guests in the private event sessions will also receive a VIP Swag Bag with offerings from Lunya, Parachute, and more!

Swing by to save, catch up on meditation, and secure some much-needed rest this weekend!

Smallhold Launches New Mushroom Rub Trio, Plus Q&A With The CEO

Smallhold Launches New Mushroom Rub Trio, Plus Q&A With The CEO

Last May, Smallhold began delivering locally grown, USDA Certified Organic specialty mushrooms to Southern California in its first West Coast expansion, alongside existing farms in Brooklyn and Austin. Now, a little over a year later, the sustainability-focused company is starting a new first, with the launch of a new product: a Mushroom Rub Trio.

In addition to the new release, Smallhold just recently earned their B Corp Certification—marking a significant milestone in the company’s dedication to addressing our planet’s greatest challenges. The number of B Corp businesses is over 6,000 long and growing, with Smallhold joining the ranks of Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and other vocal companies who don’t shy away from their stances on social and environmental standards. Smallhold voluntarily upholds rigorous social and environmental performance standards, fostering accountability and transparency. The company will measure and manage its impact on its workforce, local communities, and the environment with the same level of dedication and scrutiny that it applies to its financial performance.

Smallhold’s seasonings are thoughtfully crafted by their farmers to celebrate the distinct flavors of the 3 regions of their mushroom farms in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Austin. Boosted by mushrooms, these rubs do each region justice, as they capture the flavors and notes that many love about these locale-based highlights. It’s amazing to think that they may even be better for you than some offerings on store shelves, due to the fact that a mushroom base lies at the foundation of each rub’s existence.

Here’s a breakdown of each new offering in the Mushroom Rub Trio:

BROOKLYN: Savory + Crunchy. Atlantic Ocean meets Everything Bagel.
Use: Dredge your seafood and poultry, or sprinkle as a seedy garnish.
Ingredients: Lion’s mane mushrooms, garlic, poppy seeds, sea salt, onion, white sesame seeds, The Crop Project kelp.

AUSTIN: Smoky BBQ.
Use: Rub on red meat and mushrooms for grilling.
Ingredients: Blue oyster mushrooms, kosher salt, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, ancho, applewood, smoked salt.

LOS ANGELES: Sweet + Spicy.
Use: Coat your veggies and tofu.
Ingredients: Trumpet mushrooms, sea salt, maple sugar, soy sauce powder, gochugaru, garlic, ginger, black pepper, black sesame seeds.

We’ve tested this tasty trio out, and were amazed at how authentic each blend came across our palates, making us instant fans. In addition, we had the opportunity to ask questions about Smallhold’s last year, the new release, and where they’re going in the near future. Read on for more from Smallhold’s  CEO & Co-Founder, Andrew Carter.

Q&A With Andrew Carter, CEO & Co-Founder of Smallhold

Hello Smallhold team! Congratulations for being the trailblazers that you are–and for all your success over the last year! Andrew, please share what your role is, and describe to readers what this year has meant for you and the Smallhold team achieving your new B Corp Certification and latest product launches.

Andrew: In 2017, my co-founder Adam DeMartino and myself modified a shipping container in Brooklyn to grow specialty mushrooms for restaurants and our surrounding community. We launched with one mission in mind: get more Americans to be excited about mushrooms, and all of the nutrition and variety the fungal Kingdom can bring to their diet. Six years later, Smallhold has warehouse farms around the country, can be found at major grocery stores and renowned restaurants, and just announced our B Corporation certification.

This is a big step for the food industry, and reflects the importance of a company like this one. Smallhold is making specialty organic mushrooms more accessible and more understood, which will hopefully change our society’s impact to our environment with access to more sustainable, healthy, and fun-to-eat foods.  

We barely changed anything about Smallhold to become a B Corp. We were doing all of these things already. Paying a living wage, energy efficiency, circularity, sustainability, is all in the DNA of what we do, always has been. The B Corp process has allowed us to quantify it, explain it to the public, and, most importantly, find even more ways to improve in the years to come.  

Becoming a certified B Corporation is an ongoing journey. We’re continuously working to hold ourselves accountable, which means there’s a constant need of evaluation, adaptation and collaboration—a path worth pursuing. 

 

Last year, we covered Smallhold’s first West Coast launch of a certified organic mushroom farm here in Los Angeles. What has changed most for your team since that launch?

Andrew: With increased exposure and customer feedback, our customer base has grown, and we have garnered more recognition within the organic food industry. With each new farm we’ve opened, we keep learning more about what people really want in the communities we operate within, trusting our teams to lead, and finding genuine efficiencies of scale.

This has opened up many doors and opportunities for collaboration. In terms of major milestones, we recently announced our nationwide expansion with Whole Foods Market after becoming their fastest growing specialty mushroom supplier. You can now find Smallhold at 1,000+ retail locations across the country. 

 

Did you face any hardships during this time? If so, how did you overcome them?

Andrew:  Of course. We’re constantly balancing our goals as a business with what we want to see in the food system.  We’re putting compostable packaging in a section of the grocery store filled with a sea of plastic and styrofoam.  We’re bringing varieties like Lions Mane to communities that have never seen these mushrooms before.  We’re building a team to build and grow a company that is completely new for the industry.  All of these come with their challenges, and most of them are solved by constant perseverance and trusting our team to do the right thing.  There are barely ever situations where there is only one solution to a problem, and it’s important for our team members to step back and trust each other even if they may think differently.

 

Obtaining a B Corp Certification is a big deal—especially today—as we witness jarring developments in weather, climate, and connected systems all across the world. One forgotten aspect of those changes continues to be the communities who take the brunt of impact. Can you explain why reconnecting people with food, nature, and farmers is the mission at the core of Smallhold, and how this can potentially change how we view the world?

Andrew: The food industry is vast and has massive impacts on our environment.  Through chemical use, global shipping routes, emissions, water use, everything we eat is affecting our planet every day.  We think that by having a fun, tasty food, with tons of variety, colors, nutritional value, and more, that also has a positive impact on the environment, we can drive massive change on our planet.  The more people eat mushrooms, the less they’re eating of other, less sustainable products, so we want as many people as possible eating as many mushrooms as possible.  

At Smallhold, we tangibly give back to our communities through composting or donating 100% of our spent mushroom substrate, the blocks from which our mushrooms grow. It fills me with pride to know that we are collectively contributing to a more circular economy by supporting at-home mycologists, local gardeners, and farmers in the process. This happens at every Smallhold farm across the country, and we are committed to continuing it at future farms.

Through our public community activations, we have the opportunity to educate large groups of people and spread awareness of the incredible benefits of our mushrooms and mushroom farming in general. I truly believe that by doing so, we are making a positive impact on the environment and the climate.

One aspect that I find particularly rewarding is how our waste makes its way back into the soil through farming, composting, and other activities carried out by our community members. This not only minimizes waste but also has a significant effect on the pressing climate issues we face today. Healthy soil is crucial for keeping carbon out of the atmosphere, and our efforts in reusing millions of pounds of compost play a huge role in achieving that.

I am proud of our commitment to sustainability and the positive influence we have on our communities and the environment. By continuing to prioritize these practices and spreading awareness through education, we are actively working towards a more sustainable and nutritious future for everyone.

 

Mushrooms have seen great PR these days! Would you care to drop some common and little known facts about what makes them so great?

Andrew: Mushrooms are truly incredible organisms with diverse uses, from culinary delights to environmental remediation and health benefits. Their unique characteristics and contributions to the natural world make them a subject of ongoing scientific research and human fascination.

Mushrooms are nutrient-rich and a great meat substitute while also playing a vital role in the ecosystem by breaking down organic matter and recycling nutrients. For example, there is a lot of emerging research coming out about an antioxidant found only in mushrooms, especially oyster mushrooms, called Ergothioniene, that has anti-aging properties and is extremely good for your health.   

The scientific community is just scratching the surface on mushrooms, both on how to grow them and how they can benefit our health and society.  That just makes me even more fascinated by them, and inspired to help more people become more familiar with them.  

 

People today are more interested in growing their own food for the first time in what’s probably the largest surge in a very long time—and most people think of greens, fruits and veggies for their at-home farming. How do you capture people on the idea of growing mushrooms at home, beyond just their nutritional benefits? Is it a more convenient and passive process than most other home garden choices?

Andrew: Growing mushrooms at home can be a captivating and educational experience, and is definitely more convenient than other home garden choices. It also allows people to witness the fascinating life cycle of mushrooms, from spore to fruiting body. The process offers a deeper understanding of the fungi kingdom and its vital role in the ecosystem.

Home mushroom growing is also considerably faster than growing anything else – you can watch it grow in front of your eyes.  If you get a grow kit from a local mushroom producer, many varieties will grow within 7-14 days with minimal misting. There’s no better way to get someone excited about mushrooms than involving them in the growing process like that.

 

Smallhold just recently launched a new first: a Mushroom Rub Trio! What made your team come up with the idea to release a new product in this more traditional lane?

Andrew: The trio really came about because we dehydrate excess or funny-looking mushrooms so as to not waste them. We do sell them as straight up dried mushrooms, but we wanted to do something more creative with them and had the idea to ask each GM of our farm to develop a recipe for a seasoning blend. All three of them are chefs or food people in their own right, and created some truly delicious blends. 

Ultimately this was a really small batch project, but we prioritize it because it always comes back to getting more people eating and excited about mushrooms. They’re incredibly versatile and delicious. 

 

The rubs taste amazing, with each cleverly and accurately representing a city! How did your team come up with the flavors and choose which cities to launch with?

Andrew: Thank you! Honestly, we are just very lucky to have a multi talented team who are equally passionate about mushrooms, good food, and running tight operations. Mushrooms have a funny way of attracting like minded folks.

The cities represent where we have farms; the leader of each farm dreamed up their own ideal blend.

It’s important to note, too, that our Innovations team creates exciting things with our mushrooms and are skilled at commercializing products, so they guided the development process. This was a passion project but we’re curious if there might be a bigger demand down the line.

 

After a taste test, we found the Brooklyn rub to be a better (and likely healthier) “everything bagel” blend, and immediately put it to use with cream cheese on toast! Of course, seasoning blends can be universally applied, but do you have any recipes or combination recommendations that readers should give a try? 

Andrew: The really fun thing about the blends is that they are truly a “choose your own adventure” style trio. I like to add the Brooklyn blend to eggs, the Los Angeles blend to fish, and the Austin blend to anything I’m grilling–particularly Trumpet mushrooms since they stand up so well to high heat.

 

Finally, what goals do the Smallhold team have their sights set on for the next year?

Andrew: You might see some more mushroom products coming out of our kitchens and into the real world later this year… stay tuned!

Cosm — First-Ever “Shared Reality” Art Experience Partners With Artist Nancy Baker Cahill and Cirque Du Soleil

Cosm — First-Ever “Shared Reality” Art Experience Partners With Artist Nancy Baker Cahill and Cirque Du Soleil

The 21st Century is finally shaping up to be the future we imagined all those years ago — at least in some regards. When it comes to entertainment, this is certainly true, from the latest innovations in the VR, AR, and XR markets, to fully immersive art installations around the world. Some of the things all of these ventures have in common include, cutting edge technology that implements lights, sounds, smells, touch, and in very special circumstances, taste. But one indisputable fact is that all of these experiences are often mind-blowing, and it’s an exciting time for entertainment and the many ways of consuming art!

Renowned new media artist Nancy Baker Cahill last month announced her newest project and partnership with Cosm, the leading immersive technology, media and entertainment company, which is redefining the way the world experiences art and entertainment by bridging the virtual and physical worlds through “Shared Reality.” 

Cosm, a leading immersive, technology, media, and entertainment company, today announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with award-winning new media artist Nancy Baker Cahill to release the first-ever art experience in “Shared Reality,” a new type of immersive experience driven by Cosm’s state-of-the-art visuals which seamlessly bridge the virtual and physical worlds.

Baker Cahill, known for her renowned work that pushes the boundaries of AR and immersive video, has been exhibited internationally, including Times Square and a forthcoming installation at The Whitney Museum of American Art, and will be the first artist to join the Cosm Studios creator program. Her new visual narrative piece, SEEK, a Cosm Studios Original, was created exclusively for Cosm’s new immersive entertainment venues, the first of which will open in Los Angeles in spring 2024 and showcase a 26.6-meter diameter LED dome in a 65,000 total square feet facility.

Nancy is the first artist to join the Cosm Studios creator program and her visual narrative piece, SEEK, is the first-ever piece of Shared Reality art, created exclusively for Cosm’s immersive entertainment venues. SEEK is a 30-minute immersive film dedicated to challenging sensory perception and imagination to prompt deeper engagement with the Earth’s imperiled biosphere. Using the visual and aural language of camouflage, SEEK invites viewers to actively look and listen more deeply and its interactive film odyssey explores a series of bespoke abstract landscapes: Water, Sand & Wind, Fire, and Forest, each layered with meticulously camouflaged imagery and sound.

Cosm’s slate of venue programming will include art exhibitions like Baker Cahill’s SEEK, experiential content, entertainment, and live sports, including live basketball games and pay-per-view events in immersive 8K with the company’s recently announced partners, the NBA and UFC, respectively. Bringing the world’s best fan experiences to life, Cosm’s venues will deliver an atmosphere that merges the energy of the crowd, elevated food and beverage options, specialized merchandise, and state-of-the-art visuals backed by the company’s best-in-class technology.

Cirque du Soleil & Cosm Join Forces

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and Cosm also recently announced a partnership to deliver a completely new way to experience Cirque du Soleil. Under the partnership, Cosm will produce and present an iconic Cirque du Soleil show at its forthcoming venues, the first of which will open in Los Angeles in spring 2024 and showcase a 26.6-meter diameter LED dome in a 65,000 total square feet facility.

Cosm’s new generation of venues will bring entertainment to life by utilizing its revolutionary domed and compound curved LED technology, creating larger-than-life ‘’Shared Reality’’ experiences that bridge the virtual and physical worlds, all with corresponding sights and sounds. Merging the energy of the crowd, elevated food and beverage service, and state-of-the-art visuals, fans will be able to experience Cirque du Soleil’s avant-garde creativity from a brand-new perspective.

“From our research, we know our fans are seeking immersive, emotionally-fulfilling experiences featuring creative storytelling through innovative formats that ignite the imagination and foster human connection. This partnership with Cosm will allow us to, once again, push production and technology boundaries to seamlessly blend virtual and physical worlds and cultivate our connection with fans beyond the stage,’’ commented Sébastien Ouimet, Head of Filmed and Immersive Entertainment at Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. 

This unique immersive experience supports Cirque du Soleil’s goal to diversify its offerings beyond live shows by expanding its portfolio across gaming, premium content, filmed and immersive entertainment, as well as an increased emphasis on licensing and merchandising.

Cirque du Soleil has established itself time and time again as a category-defining entertainment genre,” added Neil Carty, VP, Head of Cosm Studios at Cosm. “Its combination of live theater, circus arts, and immersive storytelling has captivated audiences around the world. Now, we combine Cosm’s category defining technology and Shared Reality experience with Cirque du Soleil’s iconic performances to augment that sense of wonder and awe in entirely new ways, and to give fans something they’ve never experienced before.” 

Cosm recently broke ground at its first venue in Los Angeles at Hollywood Park, adjacent to SoFi Stadium and Intuit Dome, and announced its second venue in Dallas at Grandscape — where it just broke ground last week — with plans to expand to additional locations in key markets.

About Cosm

Cosm is the leading experiential media and immersive technology company redefining the way the world experiences content. With a storied history of building some of the most innovative experience technology in the world, Cosm provides sensorial experiences for every type of fan, from sports and entertainment to immersive art and education. Its immersive venues bridge the virtual and physical worlds through pioneered technology that expands the realm of what’s possible, connecting people and bringing them together in, what is called, Shared Reality. As the company continues to expand to new cities and countries, Cosm is sparking shared passions and providing guests across the globe with experiences they need to feel to believe. To learn more about Cosm, visit www.cosm.com and follow on InstagramTwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and TikTok.  

About Nancy Baker Cahill

Nancy Baker Cahill is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist whose hybrid practice focuses on systemic power, consciousness, and the human body. She creates research-based immersive experiences, video installations, and conceptual blockchain projects rooted in the history of drawing. Her monumental augmented reality (AR) artworks extend and subvert the lineage of land art, often highlighting the climate crisis, civics, and a desire for more equitable futures. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of 4th Wall, a free, AR public art platform exploring site interventions, resistance, and inclusive creative expression. Baker Cahill is an artist scholar alumnus of the Berggruen Institute and a recipient of the Williams College Bicentennial Medal of Honor. She is a 2022 LACMA Art and Tech Grant recipient and her work was acquired for LACMA’s permanent collection. The Whitney Museum of American Art has commissioned and will acquire a new original video and AR work, launching in the fall of 2023.

A Q&A With Travel Expert Patty Civalleri: Florence, Rome, and Venice

A Q&A With Travel Expert Patty Civalleri: Florence, Rome, and Venice

As an expert in all things Italy, Patty’s Civalleri’s travel books are a must-have for any traveler looking to experience the hidden gems of Italy beyond the typical tourist destinations. If you’re prepping to secure your tickets to travel abroad, here’s an opportunity to learn why Florence, Rome, and Venice should not just be on your list of places to see, but why Italy is the premiere destination of 2023!

Unlike any other travel books, Patty’s books go deep into must-see places that the average tour guide may not know about or may not have much knowledge of. Even better, her books don’t just tell you to “go to see the Colosseum in Rome” — instead, they provide an immersive experience that allows travelers to journey off the beaten path and discover the miracles of the Italian landscape. Patty believes that you, the traveler, should lay claim to your favorite site, so you’ll never read about her mentioning her own favorites in any of her books. The reality is that Patty’s deep love for these places in Italy makes each entry in the collection a favorites list from beginning to end.

As an archaeologist, historian, and photographer, Patty offers a unique perspective that takes your discovery of Italy to the next level. Her collection features includes a Spinicity Board, an easy spin board that makes travel easier by removing the indecisiveness that may occur when deciding what to visit and experience in over 100 cities. Gone are the days of boring old travel reading, as we embrace Patty Civalleri’s modern take on learning, discovering, and falling in love with destinations abroad!

Below, you’ll learn a ton about Patty and what makes Italy such a highlight destination, while also having a few laughs, and falling in love with her charm as she schools us in all things Italy!

Q&A With Patty Civalleri

Q: Hi Patty! Let’s dive in with some details about you. Where are you from, and what made you want to become an author?  

P.C.: I am a California girl raised on a ranch in Livermore, California. My dad was a writer for the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and of us 5 kids, I was the only one that took to writing. I’ve been writing all of my life in one form or another. I began my adult life in what was later to become Silicon Valley. Whether my job was tech support or marketing, I was always asked to write.

Many of my pieces were published in some of the (long bygone) early technology mags & rags. I held columns in a variety of specialty magazines over the years as well. Later when I joined the Director’s Council of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, I had already added photography to my bag of skills. I spent nearly two decades traveling the world with renowned archaeologists in search of lost and ancient cultures, photographing and writing for their needs. So by the time I began writing books, I was no stranger to the world of writing. Book publishing, however, was a completely different story. My, how the world of book publishing has changed since my dad taught me about it when I was a girl!

Q: What was the most important thing for you to capture in your books: educating readers, not missing the magic of any location, or something else?

P.C.: With the institute, we traveled the globe many times over. For each destination we explored, I would hunt and search out books that would give me a running start in understanding the local culture, and the history, to learn what makes the local people the way they are. I didn’t have the luxury of plodding through heavy academic texts before each trip, I merely wanted something that a mere mortal could get through. In the world of travel, these kinds of books are pretty much non-existent.

Sure, there are plenty of travel books that tell you about where to stay, where to eat, where to shop, and where to stop. But I wanted something deeper: something that would take me beneath the modern surface of the local culture, and send me careening back into their deep past: where did they originally come from? Who were their historical leaders? How did the climate and location affect their food & dwellings? What were their major historical plights that have carved the scars on the souls of who they are today? We all have those historical/cultural scars, and I wanted to know what made the people in each destination unique. So why couldn’t I find books that were created for the consumer market that filled the gaping hole between surface consumerism and academic depth?

This is precisely what I wanted to capture in my books. UCLA taught me to grasp a history, take it apart, and put it back together in a way that is digestible for eager, curious consumers. I wanted to write the kind of travel books for the curious mind that wants a deeper and more fulfilling experience with their destination than the typical travel books will take them. And as a big portion of the consuming market is asking for deeper experiences, I see many of the other books trying to give it to them, but they are missing the mark – lacking a key ingredient. What is it? Well now, I can’t tell you that, as that is my secret sauce!

Q: You were very clever in providing different ways to consume the information within each book — each varying in the volume of detail, photographic visuals, and somewhere in-between. How did you come up with this ingenious way of ensuring even the most time-pressed readers could have a method to take it all in?

P.C.: Wow… it sounds like you really read my books! Without giving too much of my recipe away, it was obvious to me that everyone absorbs information in different ways. Especially when they are in a ‘casual’ vacation mode. Some want a deep dive, and some simply want to skim. I simply stitched the information together to accommodate three different ways of getting to the heart of each topic.

Q: What inspired you to write about Italy and specifically, Florence, Rome, and Venice?

P.C.: Truly, it was unintentional. I love ancient countries. Egypt, the Middle East, Asia, etc. But of the hundreds of places that I have visited, the one place that continued to be difficult to leave was Florence. I have no clue as to why. No other place tugged at me to return like Florence did. I had been back to visit her a couple of times, but I always had that same ‘heartbreak’ each time I left to go home. So one day, I packed my stuff, got an Airbnb, and headed off to Florence for a couple of months. And boy, did I fall in love! I called my husband and said, I don’t know what it is, but this city has such a compelling story. Get on a plane and get here as fast as you can.

The two of us proceeded to do the deep dive in this little town, and didn’t come up until it was time once again to go home. When I got back to California, I organized my photos and notes, threw in some graphic design and common sense, and added all of the things that I couldn’t ever find in other travel books, and — Voilà — I had a wonderful product in my hands. And it felt SO GOOD! As you know, when something feels so good, you can’t just stop at one, right? (Wink!)

Q: Can you share your favorite hidden gem in each city that most tourists might not know about?

P.C.: One of the things that I think about when I travel is what is interesting to one person may not be very important to the next. That is why I do not put myself into my books. Your journey has to be your own, not mine. Has a friend ever raved about a fantastic experience or place they ate on their trip? Then when you got there, it just wasn’t the same for you? I don’t really point out favs in my books – each book is actually cram-packed with my favs. Travelers must decide their [favorites] for themselves.

So given that… in Venice, it’s hard to imagine going underground in a city that was built up from floating marshes. But there are a couple of churches with tombs underneath them. How, you ask? And all throughout the Venetian streets are symbols left over from a thousand years ago, when people couldn’t read or write. What do they say? All I can say is that you have to read the book. (Especially page 118. LOL!)

In Florence, there is a small carving of a man’s face right out in the open. It was scratched into the wall by Michelangelo one day when he was bored. In a major Piazza, there is a plaque in the ground in the exact spot where a religious zealot was hanged then burned because his perspective angered the Pope in Rome. Among other things, the plaque says (in Latin) “We shall never forget.” You may have heard of “The Bonfire of the Vanities?” This is that original chilling story, and it is nicely covered in my Florence book.

In Rome, they have some incredibly cool things inside many of their archaeological and historical sites. They use technology to catapult visitors back a couple of thousand years. And it’s really good! For example, in the Forum, there is a little door that you can go down underground. Yes, underneath the Forum. You descend into Emperor Nero’s home. Remember the guy that supposedly ‘fiddled while Rome burned’? (By the way, that never happened.) His living room is an underground cave-like space with rocks, boulders, and remnants of broken painted tiles around you. You sit on a rock and don 3D Virtual Reality glasses and boom! Suddenly, the room around comes to life: the gorgeous walls rise up, fabulous mosaics cover the floor, you can hear water as fountains appear all around you. You are now in Nero’s living room! Today’s technology actually puts the visitors smack dab into the middle of ancient history! The biggest section of my Rome book is on these incredible ancient sites, many of which utilize technology to tell their stories. So in Rome, forget the “Top 10” sites. My books will show you a Rome that is far more interesting than a mere fountain or a staircase!

Q: How exactly did you determine which destinations to write about?

P.C.: If you are asking about how I chose each site? That’s easy. I chose them all. I began with the top sites in each city and was left feeling unsatisfied. So I kept going. I found over 100 sites in each of the cities, most of which are more interesting or exciting than most of the typical top 10 sites.

Take Rome, for example. It’s important to remember how those sites were defined. They were defined by Hollywood movies in the 20th century: “3 Coins in a Fountain,” “Ben Hur,” “Spartacus,” “Cleopatra,” “The God Father,” “Roman Holiday,” etc. Some are popular because a starlet fell in love or made a wish. And some are popular because they are truly incredible. That is why I was left feeling unsatisfied after seeing the top sites. Many didn’t have much depth outside of the movies. I figured that Rome has been around for 2,700 years. Surely they must have left behind more than a few sites. And boy, was I right! Rome has left behind a whole trove of incredible sites. And more are being excavated by today’s top archaeologists today. So, to simply see an arena, a fountain, a church, a staircase and call it a trip is doing Rome – and yourself – a huge injustice.

Q: What do you think sets Florence, Rome, and Venice apart from other cities in Italy, in terms of their cultural and historical significance?

P.C.: Rome: Well, we know all about her Emperors – or at least a few. And the fact that they conquered most of Western Europe, including France, Spain, and England. Also Turkey, and Egypt and all of the little countries around the Mediterranean. They had a high level of literacy, they hugely supported art, music, philosophy and architecture… The Gladiators and Chariot races, Caesar and Cleopatra. The Romans brought Catholicism to the Empire. And when those Romans fell, they fell hard, plunking the West into the ‘Dark Ages.’ That meant that hundreds of thousands of pieces of great writings, paintings and sculptures were buried deep under the soil. Gorgeous buildings were torn down, and literacy was no more. Speaking of Catholicism, what about all those Popes? OMG – their stories will curl your toes! Much of what they built is still seeable today.

Venice was a major power of Western Europe for over 800 years! They lived on islands and therefore made the best fleet of ships than any other power in Europe. They had the biggest and strongest naval fleet on the water, and they controlled all trade going into and out of Europe. Which included ALL trade between Africa and Europe. They created the Silk Road and collected taxes for every thing that was traded between Europe and China. If a country wanted to fight another country on the water, they would hire Venetian boats and crew to assist. Even the Crusades hired Venetian boats when they (France) wanted to attack Turkey in the name of the Church. Venice owned the entire coastline of Northern Italy all around the Dalmatian Coastline and even all of Greece, Crete and in towards Istanbul. It was considered the chic-est place to be seen in all of Europe. The place to own property. The place from which to receive a party invitation. Their language is different – it is not Italian, and their food is not Italian. It is seafood (they’re an island, remember?) mixed with some French and Austrian, just to name a few culinary influences. Venice was truly her own country for nearly 1,300 years. So why weren’t we taught this in school?!? And why do we expect her to be ‘Italian-like’ when we go to visit her? Whew, what a cool story! We have so much to learn, eh?

Now, Florence is ALL ABOUT the Renaissance. The story of the Renaissance is one of the most compelling – and important – stories in all of Western Europe. Period. Because if it never happened, we might all still be living in the tremendously scary ‘Dark Ages.’ A bunch of artists and writers, funded by the Medici family, created a movement with their art that was so powerful that it became the voice of a population that had no voice of their own. This population was what we know as Western Europe, and that movement became known as The Renaissance. It was this ‘freedom of thinking’ movement that dragged the West out of the ‘Dark Ages’ and into the light of Freedom. So, if you think you are uncomfortable and unhappy living in today’s cushy-comfy time, think again. Because those Medieval ‘Dark Ages’ were so frightening that I don’t believe many Americans would have survived well at all. It’s all about perspective. Get some.

Q: What are some common misconceptions that travelers have about Italy?

P.C.: There are many, but the one that is the most common has to do with food. You see, Americans think that we know all about Italian food. But we know all about Americanized Italian food, and food created based on Italian preferences, but I am aghast when I am in Italy and I overhear how Americans order food. For example, there is no such thing as Fettuccine Alfredo. That was invented in the US. If someone serves it to you in Italy, know that you are in a tourist venue, not an Italian restaurant. Italians do not put meat on their pizzas. But some places may do it for Americans. We do understand that Italians are very proud of their recipes. So why do we get obnoxious when they refuse to put meat on our pizza? How about pasta in general? In Italy, pasta is an early course. We serve our whole meal on one plate, Italians enjoy breaking up each thing on a plate into a course.

So pasta would be what we consider to be a little side dish, like perhaps mashed potatoes. The main course always includes a meat or fish, and fresh-picked veggies, either cooked or raw. What do Americans do? We have taken that little side dish, tripled its amount, and made it into the whole meal. Carbs. Then we throw in a bunch of bread and butter with it. Super carbs. (Is there a wonder that we are the most obese country in the world?) Just like in America, food is regional. You know how we have Southern food, New York food, New England food, etc? Italy is no different. So much of Tuscany is inland farming areas. Pork/boar is huge in Tuscany, and beef. Sicily is all about farming, so all of their meals include a healthy amount of vegetables. They have also been owned in the past by Spain, Turkey, you name it. So their food is heavily influenced by these other countries. Venice is an island, so seafood is huge. They were also conquered by France and Austria back in the day, so you will find their food is more by the North than by Italy in the South.

The best way to eat in Italy is to find a nice dark, probably un-windowed little restaurant, and go in. Keeping your voice at a polite volume (Americans have a reputation of being way too loud in public), ask the waiter to recommend what the cook would like to serve today. Period. Try it. If you don’t love it, don’t go back. If you love it, stay and sit and stay and enjoy. Italians are so happy that you chose their restaurant and so flattered that you love their food, that they are happy to host you for hours. Unlike the tourist traps that give you the check immediately, and begin pushing you out as soon as it appears that you have taken your last bite. Contrarily, that little dark Italian family restaurant will NEVER bring the check to you. You must ask for it. Sometimes repeatedly. Because giving you the check is tantamount to them asking you to leave. This would be horribly rude to ask you to leave if you are enjoying your meal and their ambience. I could go on about eating in Italy and how different it is to everything we have been taught. But I’ve been told that this is an article – not a book! (LOL!)

Q: How have Venice’s struggles with sea level rise, overcrowding due to tourism, and recently, drought, affected your outlook of the city personally?

P.C.: Let me separate that into two different questions:

1. Sea Level: Venice has been struggling with sea level issues since the 1970s because they dredged the bottom of the entrance lagoon to make it much deeper and wider to accommodate the entry of Cruise Ships. The many tiny islands that make up Venice were man-made on top of swampy marshy areas in the lagoon. By their very nature, they are fragile. Allowing so much more water to flow into the lagoon filled it too high, bringing the surrounding waters up into the streets of the islands. They eventually brought in an outside company to create sets of underwater ‘gates’ that would open and close based on the tides, thereby not allowing waters from high tides to flood their streets. That hasn’t worked very well yet, and it is quite controversial as to whether it ever will.

Additionally, the December monsoon conditions bring huge winds up from Africa in the South which pushes the waters of the Adriatic Sea to the North. And what is at the north end of the Adriatic? Venice. These monsoons have occurred annually forever, so the locals are quite used to it. The media makes an unusually big deal out of it every single year because frankly, it sells. And each year, they get a jaw-dropping photo that gets boosted all around the world. The ‘draught’ thing is the exact same situation: the waters in the lagoon recede all the time. Just like the California coastline, sometimes more than other times. They didn’t experience a ‘drought’ like it said in the papers. That condition lasted about a day, then the waters returned, and Venice was normal again. Yes, indeed they have water issues that will forever plague them. But people must stop believing that Venice is doomed to sink any minute now.

2. Overcrowding: This is such a huge issue in Venice that most of the locals have moved away from Venice. In the 1950’s, the population was approximately 175,000. Today, a mere 51,000 people still reside in Venice. And the number is still declining every single year. The island is now primarily made up of retail stores, tourist restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals. Most of the restaurants are large brass-and-glass places that do not cook traditional Venetian food, and they have also gained the reputation of severely over-charging customers. By and large, the gift shops on the beaten path sell cheap knock-offs of Venetian treasures. Visitors don’t really understand that the soul of Venice includes a deep pride in their artisanal goods, such as hand-blown glass items, carved wood items, and such. The cheap knock-offs have become so normal as take-home souvenirs that the tolerance for the higher prices for the authentic Venetian goods are not well accepted by tourists.

Visitors to the floating city are not taught much about Venice. In fact, when I went there to research the city, I was shocked at the lack of depth of widely available materials. Giant cruise ships would pile into the port, sometimes 15 – 20 in a single day, unloading thousands of passengers per ship. The passengers would have around 3-5 hours to visit the city, then they would have to reboard the ship to leave the Island. Sadly, tens of thousands of people would flood the island, go straight to St. Mark’s Square, pass through the miles of shopping storefronts, get to the top of the Rialto Bridge, grab a quick bite then make their way back to the ship.

The damage caused (litter, wear and tear, petty crimes) by this exorbitant number of visitors every single day is extremely costly to the city. It might be better if people would stay longer and spend money, but the cruise industry doesn’t often allow long stops in these port cities. The damage far outweighs the benefits to the city. Since I was there, the city has restricted large cruise ships from docking directly on the island. They must dock on the mainland and passengers must take extra transportation to get to the island. This was enacted during Covid, so it is still early to understand the ramifications if any.

With all of that said… Venice is a fabulous piece of history that sits patiently in a glistening lagoon. Her buildings are still beautiful, managing to keep the unique mixture of Moorish, Roman and Venetian architecture. Graffiti covers the outsides of the buildings, but the Venetians never took the outside of their buildings very seriously. This is because outside building maintenance requires equipment over water which has always been tremendously expensive. But the insides? Palaces!!! I will forever harbor a special love for Venice and will always know that she allowed me in, to gain a rare inside knowledge of her past and her secrets, and to teach me her whispered language. Why people aren’t taught to take a closer, slower look through Venice is something I will never get. Alas…

Q: How has tourism changed the experience of visiting these cities in recent years — especially since COVID — and how do you see it evolving in the future?

P.C.: As I write this, Covid is still going on in most parts of Europe. But I think that the nearly 3-year break in travel has been a golden opportunity to re-imagine travel. How to go slower, rather than speed traveling. How to go deeper to connect better with the culture, rather than merely eating & drinking one’s way through their vacation, then leaving. This mindful way of approaching travel is good at so many levels, both for us as well as the destinations. We have been taught that speeding through as many cities as we can cram into a few days is a way to save money. But I disagree. I think that because there is no time to make a connection, we come away with prematurely formed decisions about these places, judgements.

To me, that is counter intuitive to the reasons why we travel to begin with. My generation is the very first generation to have the freedom to roam the world at our whim. The first humans to be able to visit other times, places, and cultures whenever we want to. EVER, in the history of humankind. It seems wasteful that we wouldn’t want to take it slowly, absorb all that is new and different, and gain a glorious perspective of our place on this Earth and in history. And return home with a newborn love and gratitude for this place in this country where we are now. Perspective.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who is visiting Italy for the first time and feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of things to see and do in these three cities?

P.C.: Take the time to do a little bit of research before your trip. If you are the person just described in this question, you will surely get swept up in the mobs, and get dragged into every tourist trap, speed through, and over-pay for everything. If you don’t believe me, try to estimate the number of people in those crowded places, cities, and sites. Most of those people are part of the crowd because they too did not do a little research before their trip either, and are now in it with you.

Q: What are some other cities you’d like to cover in future books?

P.C.: Stay tuned. 😉

And there you have it! You can get your hands on Patty Civalleri’s travel books here!

Meet Fun-Infused Jewelry Brand Eriness & The Visionary Behind It

Meet Fun-Infused Jewelry Brand Eriness & The Visionary Behind It

Where Fun, Luxury, and Ingenuity Meet

Where can you find some of the boldest, most stylish, and stunningly colorful jewelry around? While that could potentially be an endless list, if you’re looking for a brand who has a unique sense of fun ingrained in the very fabric of their identity and DNA, there is only one.

Eriness, easily starts and completes that list, forming their own lane, while helmed by none other than its very own Erin Sachse. Erin and her eponymous brand launched in 2015, after spending years hand making jewelry pieces. Ingenuity would come to Erin early in life, as she took old camera parts and weaved/twisted them into chic jewelry, to later sell outside of her dorm room. In fact, her handmade items were so exquisite, that major stores started to buy them off of her body — including Fred Segal and Anthropologie — at the age of 18!

With such a powerful start, it almost sounds like a dream, but that would only be the beginning of a journey toward iconic status for a designer and brand on their way to capture eyes, minds, and hearts on an international scale.

Now, years later, Eriness is carried by luxury retailers around the world — including Goop and London Jewelers — and adorned by a loyal clientele, including Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Lupita Nyong’o and Miley Cyrus. Eriness is recognized in the industry for their cheerful mix of diamonds and gemstones, and stands out in the fine jewelry space due to how colorful yet luxurious the pieces are.

Color, Clarity, and Confidence

Color brings life and is a magnet for the eyes. This is something that Eriness understands, while combining vibrant color pops with shapes, symbols, and styles that all of us can connect with in some way. Whether that connection be sentimental or superstitious, there’s no denying “stunning” seems like an understatement for their pieces.

Even in the absence of playful colors, Eriness pieces speak volumes through their cuts and shapes while taking on more classic styles, like the recently released Art Deco Collection. Classic, yet modern – and simple, yet sophisticated.

Eriness is more than just another luxurious jewelry brand, accomplishing what one would expect – and more – by invoking a sense of confidence and beauty to the wearer, sure to be cherished for a lifetime. Even more impressive is the fact that Eriness is sure to have something for everyone with its plentiful offerings, and versatile, unisex styles from its recent collaboration with YONY.

We had the opportunity to conduct a Q&A with Erin, where we explore her creative vision, challenges, accomplishments, recent collaborations, and even plans for the future.

Learn more about Erin & Eriness below.

Q&A With Eriness Founder and Creative Director, Erin Sachse

Q: Let’s dive in with some details of your story. What did you do before Eriness, and how did you get started in the jewelry business?

E.S.: “Believe it or not, there was nothing but high school and classic teenage girl things before Eriness. I started hand-making pieces of jewelry out of passion and for fun in my dorm room at Boston University and this is really where Eriness began. After I graduated college in 2015, I reintroduced Eriness as a fine jewelry line and that’s how we find ourselves here today.”

Q: How did you try to set yourself and Eriness apart from other brands?

E.S.: “I am a firm believer in fun and that fun can be incorporated into any part of life. With that being said, it was really important to me that my company embodied a playful nature but also provided quality jewelry with a luxurious twist. I aim to have a fresh, fun and colorful approach to familiar styles and classic pieces.”

Q: What is the design and creation process like for you?

E.S.: “My process always starts with something that is meaningful to me and from there a collection is born. There is not a strict formula to how I get to drawing my pieces and creating a collection. For example, the Ladybug Collection was born after the most surreal dream about my mom whereas the Art Deco Collection was created because of my affinity for the history of the era. There is no straight line in my process of creativity and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Q: What were some of your biggest challenges to get where you are today?

E.S.: “The biggest challenge in my journey as a designer and a business owner is being both of those at the same time. It is an absolute blessing to be able to do what I love every day but it really is scary sometimes. Just like everyone else, I have my moments of fear and self doubt but I have a great team that is by my side through it all.”

Q: What would you say have been some of your most notable accomplishments to date?

E.S.: “The first thing that comes to mind would have to be the Resist Collection. As a young female in this wild world it was really important to me to use my voice and stand up for what I think is right. It was one of my most vulnerable collections and it was really amazing to see how well received it was.”

Q: Personally, what is one of your favorite Eriness pieces?

E.S.: I’m sure it won’t surprise you when I say my favorite piece from my collection is the Diamond Crawling Ladybug Bracelet. The ladybug is an everyday reminder that wherever I go, my mom is always with me. The collection was made in honor of my mother – my biggest inspiration, best friend and muse. The best part of the collection is that it not only meant everything to me but I quickly learned how much the symbol of a ladybug meant to so many other people. It is so unbelievable the amazing stories that have been shared with me and the personal connections based on this one collection.”

Q: Can you tell us about the recent Art Deco Collection and what went into it? What inspired the collection, and what did you want the wearer to feel from it?

E.S.: “Like all my designs, I wanted to create something simple but impactful, elevated but wearable. This collection blurs the line between the past and present and takes inspiration from the simple elegance, sleek designs and geometric shapes of the early 20th century. This collection is not only an ode to the brand’s evolution but to my own!”

Q: What is the significance of the new collaboration with YONY? Please share some details about what makes this collaboration special, and what consumers can look forward to.

E.S. “Johnny (the founder of YONY) has been a longtime friend of mine for 17 years! We have been talking about collaborating for a while, and were so excited to finally bring our dream to life. While so many of my current pieces skew feminine, I wanted to create something with Johnny that was more unisex and versatile for Eriness. We created two unisex chains – one in sterling silver at a more contemporary price point, along with a 14K gold chain. We want our consumers to rock these chains no matter who they are and look forward to seeing how they’re styled – they are perfect stacked or worn solo.”

Q: 2022 is coming to an end. What have been some of your biggest lessons and accomplishments this year?

E.S. “My biggest lesson is navigating an ever changing retail landscape. How to successfully reach our potential clients and give them pieces they actually want to wear. It is always my goal to stay true to what I want to design regardless of the current trends.”

The expansion of my company as a whole is one of my biggest accomplishments! This year the Eriness team has grown, we have started working with some amazing boutiques and really honing in on who the Eriness client is. 

Q: Here’s a moment for a brief preview: Is there anything in the works that you can share with readers to look forward to in 2023?

E.S. “I don’t want to give too much away but we do have two new collections in the works for 2023. Here’s a little hint- there are LOTS of diamonds.”

Q: What are some goals you’d like to achieve with Eriness in the next 5 years?

E.S. “In the next five years I want to continue to grow the Eriness world and reach new clientele by expanding our offerings. It means everything to be able to continue to create meaningful jewelry that connects people from all over the world. I am so excited for the future of Eriness.”

All You Need Is Los Angeles! Celebrate Local Brands and Show Love for Our City Post-Pandemic.

All You Need Is Los Angeles! Celebrate Local Brands and Show Love for Our City Post-Pandemic.

All You Need Is Los Angeles! Celebrate Local Brands and Show Love for Our City Post-Pandemic.

Presented by the newly renovated & reopened iconic Venice Beach House

 

On October 14th, the iconic Venice Beach House celebrated it’s post-pandemic reopening and renovation by hosting “All You Need is Los Angeles” an event created by Press Pass LA’s PR division to celebrate local brands and founders who are bringing back business and culture to our great city!

Model Joy Corrigan & Mehran Moghaddam

Model Joy Corrigan & Mehran Moghaddam

Tik Tok star Jake Gould

Tik Tok star Jake Gould

Guests had the chance to meet the tastemakers behind the revitalization of Los Angeles and mingle with industry professionals including executives in attendance from Netflix, Tik Tok, Capital Records, Interscope Records, Forever 21, AEG and more.

The VIP opening night of the newly renovated Venice Beach House featured brands including Kurvana, luxury cannabis products;  Naked Species, clothing brand by model Joy Corrigan supporting Wild Life Tomorrow Fund to help end animal extinction; Our/Los Angeles vodka, distilled in the arts district of downtown Los Angeles; Smile Natural Products, personalized oral care and vegan lifestyle products; Art Botanica, moss art by local artist Kelley Anderson; and Ruben, iconic art and streetwear brand by artist Ruben Rojas.

Gleb Savchenko & Elena Belle

Billed as a night of “Food, Weed, Vodka, and Art” the more than 300 guests enjoyed delicious plates from Green Olive Food Truck known for their local Mediterranean cuisine with a menu that featured hummus and pita, greek salad, greek potatoes, chicken skewers, gyro, falafel and more.

Kurvana features samples of their cannabis products including vape pens and tinctures, as well as offered custom engraving on their hardware. Naked Species gifted guests with T-shirts, bathing suits, bracelets and more from their new Funghi line.

DJ Shai

 

The sponsored bar featured a martini tasting cart from Our/Los Angeles plus curated cocktails, as well as highlighted their recent collaboration with local artist Ruben Rojas on a custom bottle. In addition, Better Booch kombucha was on hand to satisfy your tastebuds providing non-alcoholic beverages to attendees.
Ruben Rojas also showcased his signature art and sculptures on the property and his fashion line Ruben featuring his “love” hoodies.  Kelley Anderson of Art Botanica, known for moss art, created a custom step & repeat for guests to capture their most Instagrammable moments!
Smile Natural Products was on hand sharing their oral care and vegan products with guests for a picture perfect smile, and is co-owned by the event’s entertainer, DJ Shai, who kept the party vibing throughout the evening. E! Host, Scott Tweedie, served as the night’s host and created some amazing pre and post event content to entertain those on site or streaming at home on Instagram!

Melissa Gisoni & BP Major

 

E! News Scott Tweedie and Katrina Powell

History of Venice Beach House

Venice Beach House was created by newspaperman Warren Wilson in 1911. Wilson was friends with Abbot Kinney, known for creating the Venice of America with its own canals, and Venice Beach House quickly became one of the area’s most iconic buildings. Perched on white sand dunes overlooking the Pacific, this Craftsman landmark was listed by the U.S. Park Service in the National Register of Historic Places. It has always been filled with families like the Kinney family, who shared the grounds as Kinney’s sons married Wilson’s daughters.

A hub of social life, the Venice Beach House has always welcomed the biggest celebrities of the time, from Charlie Chaplin on “retreat,” to the very end of the run from Athens to LA of the Olympic Torch Relay. Through all the years, the Beach House has remained a quiet constant in a Venice that attracted beatniks, then hippies, and then tourists from all over the world. A hidden oasis, faithfully restored by the Boesch family and maintained as a bed and breakfast for travelers and, for all of Venice, the Venice Beach House remains a throwback to an era gone by, a mysterious gem in a city where discovery and tranquility are hard to come by.
Interview with Founder & CEO of Kurvana, Mehran Moghaddam 

Interview with Founder & CEO of Kurvana, Mehran Moghaddam 

 

Founder & CEO of Kurvana, Mehran Moghaddam, has more than twenty years of combined experience in biotech, life sciences, and nutraceuticals, focusing on his longstanding passion for health and wellness. Mehran holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Exercise Science, as well as an MBA, from the University of California, Davis.

Mehran founded Kurvana in 2014 to address the urgent need for professional operators to bring higher quality and safety standards to the research, development, and manufacturing of cannabis and hemp product. Under Mehran’s leadership, Kurvana has established its reputation as a pioneer in the vape space.

Furthermore, Mehran is an advocate in the broader cannabis community. He is an active member on the Advisory Board for the University of California, Irvine’s Center for the Study of Cannabis, which is one of the first multi-disciplinary centers for Cannabis studies. He also maintains active memberships with the National Cannabis Industry Association, the California Cannabis Industry Association, the American Chemical Society, and the American Society for Testing and Materials.

  1. We love featuring brands here in SoCal. Can you share what makes Kurvana special with our readers? 

Kurvana is the nation’s leading premium vape pen and cannabis lifestyle brand. Our focus is to deliver a high-end, quality product to cannabis consumers. We are the leader in high-potency, pure cannabis, and at Kurvana, we define quality as everyone’s responsibility in order to deliver the most natural and safe products that exceed regulatory standards and consumer expectations.

2.     Why did you get involved in the cannabis industry? 

I have been involved in the industry for over 15 years. I founded Kurvana in 2014.

When I got started in the industry, I realized that it had an urgent need for professional biotech operators to bring higher quality safety standards to the research, development, and manufacturing of medical cannabis, so I decided to make my own brand.

I made it my mission to bring transparency, accountability, and professionalism to the cannabis industry.

3.     What is your background? 

I come from a background in science and business. I have a B.S. in Biochemistry and Exercise Science as well as an MBA. My passions have always been health, wellness, and science, and I love combining them in the work I do with Kurvana.

4.     What kind of products does Kurvana offer?

We remain authentic to being known as a premium vape brand. We currently offer four distinct THC and cannabinoid vape lines, a tincture line, and an assortment of custom vape batteries and hardware.

ASCND is our high-cannabinoid, full-spectrum, single-origin extract line and is available in 16 different strains. These strains are available in half-gram cartridges, full-gram cartridges, and our brand-new All-in-One ready to use devices.

We just launched our terpene and cannaflavin rich Originals line, which includes 7 classic OG strains. These are available in half-gram cartridges, full-gram cartridges, and  All-in-One ready to use devices.

Kurvana also has revamped our CBD vape collection, which includes 3 strains with natural botanical ingredients paired with various cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG for the ultimate wellness and therapeutic benefits. These are currently available in our All-in-One ready to use devices; our 510 cartridges will be launched this summer.

Carbon21 is Kurvana’s pinnacle vape line and has carefully curated raw concentrates in our latest vape hardware. We currently offer these small batch creations in 3 strains, available in half-gram cartridges, full-gram cartridges and our All-in-One ready to use devices.

Our Botanicals Tinctures Collection features 4 unique tinctures, utilizing 100% full-spectrum cannabis oils pairing key nootropics, adaptogens, and cannabinoids. Each tincture has specific wellness benefits and may be applied topically or ingested.

To go with our premium vape cartridges, Kurvana also carries custom button and buttonless batteries in a variety of beautiful metallic and soft-touch finishes.

5.     What are the benefits of CBD?

Through the vast endocannabinoid system, CBD has many different benefits to suit a variety of consumer needs. It can be used to help with sleep, reduces pain and inflammation, alleviates anxiety, elevates mood and energy levels, and may even help with appetite stimulation. It has also been found to support the body’s immunity and natural defenses. The way I see it, there’s really something for everyone to be found in CBD.

6.     Why did you choose to start your brand in Los Angeles? 

I started the brand in Orange County where a lot of great original brands started. The area has a lot of cannabis startups and emerging brands so it is an inspirational area to be in as an entrepreneur. Overall, California was the natural choice since it has the best quality of cannabis in the world.

7.     Are your products available in other states?

Our THC products may be purchased through licensed retail stores in California, but we do sell our hemp (non-THC products) online to markets that allow it. Those can be purchased at KurvanaCBD.com, as well as select retailers throughout the country. Those locations can also be found on our website.

8.     What about SoCal inspires you be it landmarks, food, music etc.?

I think SoCal has an energy about it that’s unlike any other place that I’ve ever been. Especially in the cannabis industry, it’s really become a space of open-mindedness and innovation, and arguably some of the worlds best cannabis. I’m definitely inspired by the creativity I have experienced here as well as the comradery I have found with other leaders in the industry here. It’s an amazing community, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.

9.     Anything else you want our readers to know about your plans for Kurvana in SoCal? What’s next?

Kurvana is always at the forefront of innovation, and we are constantly striving to find the next best thing for cannabis, hemp, and other natural products. We are currently working on expanding our vape line using the latest in technology, genetics, and the introduction of novel ingredients spanning from mushrooms and adaptogens to many other medicinal plant ingredients.

Find Kurvana and Mehran Moghaddam online: 

https://kurvana.com/

https://www.instagram.com/kurvana_official/

https://www.instagram.com/mehraninc/

 

About Kurvana:

Kurvana is the nation’s leading premium vape pen and cannabis lifestyle brand. Kurvana continually transforms the industry with innovative, high quality products.

Founded in 2014 by Mehran Moghaddam, who has over twenty years of combined experience in biotech, life sciences, and nutraceuticals, focusing on health and wellness.  Under Mehran’s leadership, Kurvana has established its reputation as a pioneer in the vape space. Mehran is the rare executive in the cannabis space who has a background in business as well as biochemistry, making him an expert on the science behind the cannabis plant and a thought leader in the industry.

Portfolio: Don Saban

Portfolio: Don Saban

Don Saban knows LA; he’s photographed it for a long time yielding images that are difficult to pin down in time. In fact, his eye for details found in Los Angeles create a visual proposition that they could be places found in Europe. His works has range—deep, black and white, to the new mundanity of color found in Uber scooters in a line. What is always apparent is his unfailing eye for the art of photography—his images rise above the ubiquituous cell phone portrayals and lead us in and back into a time when photography had meaning.

 
 
At what age and was there anything in particular that compelled you to pick up a camera and make it a career?
I was in grade school, and I can’t remember exactly what age I was, but very young… always the family photographer, so I guess that’s where it all started. I never really quit making photographs, and continued on with my first class in photography my junior year in high school, where I got very serious about it and made the decision that this is what I would do in life, and as time went on, nothing else captured my imagination or interest…so it was decided!
 It’s 2020—what is the state of photography in a digital world?
It just keeps getting better and better, and the printers as well. It has allowed me to do things I could only dream of back in the old film and darkroom days. That all seems so antiquated now, which in a certain sense, it is. With the advent of digital technology, it has inspired me immensely, and now allows me to do things I could never do before, so in a sense, the technology has finally caught up with my vision.
… on that note, what is your best method of advertising your work—instagram, twitter, etc?
I’m very active on Facebook and Instagram. I was posting a lot of my work on Flickr until it changed and is no longer unlimited for free accounts. I hit the limit for that a very long time ago, so I don’t really post there anymore. I also have websites of all the different bodies of work, which includes my video work, and can be seen here at the master site: http://donsaban.com/index.html
The Los Angeles project, how long have you been working on these images?
I think at least going on 20 years.

 

What photographers do you admire, living or dead that inspire you?
George Hoyningen-Huene, Horst P. Horst, Cecil Beaton, George Hurrell, and Vivian Maier to name a few…oh, there are so many, and I like them all for different reasons. I’m so glad you didn’t asked which is my favorite. How could I ever decide!
Is there a photographer that you mentor, and feel they are going places?
As you know, I’ve photographed a lot of jazz musicians over the years, and was introduced to a young lady who is just starting out by a mutual friend. I’ve sort have taken her under my wing and I’m passing along my knowledge of performance photography. She has a great eye, so I’m mostly helping with all the technical aspect of low light photography, and editing in Photoshop and Lightroom. She’s a very quick study, which makes it enjoyable to share what I know.

MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER: DON SABAN

Don Saban, a native of Phoenix Arizona, received his formal training at the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, and simultaneously was a private student and studied art and photography as protege of professor William A. Rohrback, University of California Santa Barbara, who was a student of Minor White at Berkeley in the early 50’s. Saban stayed on in Santa Barbara after finishing his studies and was a member of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Photography Committee. During his tenure in Santa Barbara, he was one of the first photographers to be in Art Life magazine and was the first photographer to be on the cover.

After coming to Los Angeles, he taught at Otis/Parsons and continued his photographic work which was published in numerous magazines. After 10 years in Los Angeles, Saban accepted the position of Principal Photographer at the University of California Santa Barbara. During that period, he was commissioned by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art to go to Budapest and do the photographs for the book, Standing in the Tempest: Painters of the Hungarian Avant-Garde. Saban then returned to Los Angeles once again, and in 1999 was brought on board as photography consultant to work on the Tokyo DisneySea project. Saban found a new home with the Walt Disney Imagineers, and 21 years later, is still providing photographic expertise and working closely with the team on all their projects. Saban continues to exhibit his work, and has had many one man and group shows, has appeared in books, magazines and various publications, and is in private and public art collections both nationally and worldwide.

 

Outfest: STEVEN ARNOLD: HEAVENLY BODIES

Outfest: STEVEN ARNOLD: HEAVENLY BODIES

Steven F. Arnold (1943–1994) Born in Oakland, Ca., he moved to Los Angeles and set up a studio on the bend of Beverly and Virgil. His studio was dark—only when he lite it did you see all the extravangrant props and elements of his photography. In some ways, he felt San Francisco—though every visit to his studio would have someone from the movie business; Ellen Burstyn and Grace Zabriskie were regulars. He shot mostly from a tall ladder looking down. It was the first time I came to realize that a six pack could be created in illusion by painting shadows.  He mastered in tromp l’oei (to deceive the eye) and the creation of photographic tableaus.He was  also a filmmaker,  painter, illustrator, set and costume designer, and assemblage artist.

This Sunday, Outfest presents the documentary about his life.

Angelica Huston narrates this exploration of the spectacularly dreamlike world of Salvador Dali’s protégé and PWA, Steven Arnold, and his strikingly creative and influential body of work filled with occult rituals, Hollywood camp, and surrealist art nouveau whimsy. Taken from more than 70 hours of original and archival footage, including rare scenes of Holly Woodlawn, director Vishnu Dass digs deeply into the decadent countercultural and inspiring life of this unheralded multimedia artist of the queer community.

STEVEN ARNOLD: HEAVENLY BODIES