Monday, December 26, 2011

The Greatest Cartoons Ever!

So, it's the day after Christmas, and I'm feeling pretty run down. Since laughter is the best medicine, I decided that The Greatest Cartoons Ever! at the Alex Theatre in Glendale might just do the trick.

What fun! The Alex Film Society selected eight great ones: "Duck Amuck" with Daffy Duck improvising each scene; "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse" with Tom and Jerry; "Mother Goose's Birthday Party" with Mighty Mouse; "Popeye the Sailor Man Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves" with Popeye, Olive, Wimpy and Bluto; "Gerald McBoing Boing," a delightful piece by Dr. Seuss; "Lonesome Ghosts" with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and a quartet of ghosts; "The Cracked Nut" with Woody Woodpecker; and "What's Opera, Doc?" with Elmer, Bugs and the classic "kill the wabbit!" chant. In between, we saw some of the animation tricks, like Popeye's combined 2D and 3D animation from 1937.

It was fantastic to view these cartoons on the big screen, like they were created to be seen. The audience ranged from seniors to families with young kiddies. And, yes, we all laughed throughout the show at the same gags! I think we ALL felt better by the final curtain.

Click here to go to the Alex's Web site.

Friday, December 23, 2011

South Pasadena Rose Parade Float

Shh! Here's a sneak peak at this year's South Pasadena Rose Parade float. When Life Gives You Lemons is the theme, and it showcases what happens when a space ship crashes into a grove of lemons. What else to do but make lemonade?

I volunteered today to decorate, and I got to fill in gaps in spiky seed pods. It will just look brown when you see it, but I contributed. Woohoo! The coolest part is when they backed the float out of the tent - no small task as you may imagine - to test run the moving parts and the sound. I'm not going to spill all the beans, but it was super exciting and impressive!

Speaking of beans, I've often thought float decorating could be a kind of personality test. In earlier float-decorating episodes, I've had friends who could spend hours gluing on beans ONE AT A TIME. I lasted about 30 seconds on that task and was reassigned to swashing huge areas with glue and patting statice on it. Now that's more like it! Today's spiky seed pods was a nice blend between those two activities. Who wants to give it a try and find out if you're a bean person or a statice person?

Click here to go to South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade's Web site.

Click here to go to the Tournament of Roses' Web site.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Noodle Star

I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted from the holidays, and we're not even there yet. The weather hasn't been cooperating either, and my sinuses are not happy from everything the winds have stirred up.

Noodle Star on Van Nuys Boulevard in Sherman Oaks sounded like an ideal fix to what ailed me. They live up to their Noodle Star name, with Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese noodle soups, plus pan fried noodles, and a whole variety of Asian dishes.

Here you see the Chicken Tom Yum, from the spicy Thai section of the menu. Yum is right, and the lemongrass, lime juice and chili paste certainly soothed and comforted me. I almost feel normal again! If I relapse, I still have a huge portion of this soup at the ready.

Click here to go to Noodle Star's Web site.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Handmade Galleries LA

Almost every day, I sit in Ventura Boulevard traffic in front of Handmade Galleries LA, always wondering exactly what it is all about. Well, today I found out.

To cut to the chase, it is wonderful! Imagine an antique mall, except all the display cases are filled with goods that are, well, handmade. Just to list a few of my favorites: a remade vintage pearl necklace with an awesome floral cluster pin with a bee sitting on top; Remington typewriter keys repurposed into fantastic necklaces, bracelets and earrings; Day of the Dead figurines and artwork, and a wild selection of books and cards.

The backside of their business card is classic; it says "Things you must buy to make me happy..." See above, in case you've forgotten that my birthday is shortly after Christmas!

Click here to go to their Web site.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nicole's Gourmet Foods

Argh, it's been one of those expensive days: first it was $300 at the dentist, then another $300 for contacts. While heading home, I passed by Nicole's Gourmet Foods on El Centro and Meridian, on the south side of the Mission Metro station. I certainly didn't want to drop another $300 on lunch, but the little bistro tables and market umbrellas on the sidewalk did their alluring job today. I was pleasantly surprised by the offerings and the prices at Nicole's.

Here you see the day's special: toasted brie and tomato on baguette, and tomato beet bisque in the lion head tureen. Yes, fancy-schmancy grilled cheese and tomato soup for $6.95. Such a deal and delish!!

Otherwise, they had an interesting marketplace with cheeses, deli meats and salads, cooking and baking supplies and equipment, and a case of very appealing pastries. Definitely give Nicole's a try.

Click here to go to Nicole's Web site.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Proof at Norton Simon

Have you had a chance to see any of the exhibitions connected to Pacific Standard Time? If you haven't heard, Pacific Standard Time covers the Los Angeles art scene from 1945 to 1980, with exhibitions at more than 60 cultural institutions. This is a huge undertaking, and, as a museum person, I need to dip my toe into these shows.

Seeing Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California at Norton Simon was a great start. Not only is Norton Simon in my backyard, but printmaking includes one of my favorite styles of art, like those wonderful WPA posters that were made by silkscreen, lithograph or woodcuts - all printmaking techniques.

One Roy Lichtenstein woodcut blew me away! Back in the day, before we had fancy-schmancy scanners to capture images for printing, we had to use a stat camera with various dotted screens for the conversion. I always connected Roy's art with those screens, never imaging his dots were cut by hand!

The companion exhibition, The Original Print: An Introduction to Printmaking in the Postwar Period, does a fantastic job of displaying and explaining the differences between relief, intaglio, lithography and screenprinting. No need to go all technical here - go see the exhibition if you need to know.

Only 59 more Museums to go ... anyone want to recommend my next PST stop?

Click here to go to Norton Simon's Web site.

Click here to go to PST's Web site.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Daisy Mint

I've been hearing about Daisy Mint in Pasadena from several sources. Located on that stretch of Colorado between Michael's Art Store and Zankou Chicken, it is easy to whiz by. Well, except now there's an explanation for the lines out front, and all those accolades.

Daisy Mint is a small space, with maybe twelve tables plus the community table. And, it was hopping tonight! Power is still out to many area residents due to the hurricane-force wind storms, and customers were picking up their to-go orders to eat by candlelight, romantically-inclined or not. (As usual, my imagination filled in the blanks as each order was carried out the door.)

After starting with the Garden Grilled salad, here you see my main dish: Spicy Catfish with shallots, green apple, cashews and cilantro with the awesome spicy lime dressing. Because I lingered over the grilled veggie appetizer, the catfish filets totally soaked up that spicy lime dressing and zinger-ooed my tastebuds. WOW!! The shredded apple give a wonderful textural change to the dish while allowing my mouth to recover from the flavor explosion. (You may recall I featured the Saladang Apple Salad in a September 2009 post. These Thai places sure know how to work a Granny Smith!)

Expansion is on the horizon, with a second location of Daisy Mint opening in January. They are taking over a space on Lake, although I'm not sure where. I'll look for you in that line, too!

Click here to go to Daisy Mint's Web site.