This past Christmastime, I traveled back home to California, where I spent many days of wild abandon exploring the southland like I had not since I was a resident, nearly 30 years ago. On a day spent scouring the many wonder-filled features of Downtown LA, I looked down from an overpass I was crossing on Grand Street and spotted this magnificent beast. The curved concrete sculpture features silhouettes of painted steel cars roller-coasting up the structure’s curve.
Part of the Bunker Hill public art project to beautify the Downtown LA area, this monumental piece is called Uptown Rocker by artist Lloyd Hamrol. While initially it appears that you its located on one of LA’s crazy freeways, the sculpture is actual;y located on the very busy Fourth Street. It might be fun to experience the sculpture while driving by, but I think that where I was standing (officially the South Grand Avenue bridge crossing Fourth Street) is the ideal Uptown Rocker) viewing location.
One of my favorite things about visiting Southern California has to be shopping at the massive supermarkets they have out there that are the size of a Home Depot for Food. I found today’s Pink Thing, these yummy-looking Strawberry Angel Food Mini Cakes, in the Bakery section at a Ralph’s in Montrose.
Ah, California at Christmastime is a singular experience, filled with visions of kidney-shaped swimming pools expertly re-created by the pool replastering Orange County company and of course, oversized Pink Flamingo statues.
Artist Kenny Scharf rose to prominence in the 1980s New York art scene as part of a now-legendary group of artists including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, but he was born and raised in Los Angeles, and now makes southern California his home. If you also live in LA, or plan to visit, and you love art, then make a point to check out the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA), which, as the name suggests, features exhibits exclusively by California artists, architects and designers. Although the museum’s exhibits change approximately every six months, there is one permanent exhibit by Kenny Scharf, which happens to be in the parking garage adjacent the building; the Kosmic Krylon Garage! Let’s take a look inside!
When You See This Face, You Have Arrived at the Kosmic Krylon Garage
In the summer of 2004, Kenny Scharf: California Grown opened at the PMCA as the Museum’s first tri-level exhibition, with paintings installed and a tape of The Groovenians — Scharf’s animated show for Cartoon Network — screening on the second floor, his bronze sculptures in the third-floor Founders’ Gallery, and the transformation of the PMCA garage into the Kosmic Krylon Garage.
After the exhibition closed, the colorful murals spray-painted by Scharf over the course of a week remained on the walls of the garage and continue as a permanent installation. The Kosmic Krylon Garageis on view during regular Museum hours. Parking in the garage is free of charge.
Check Out My Photos of Some of the Artwork Inside the Garage:
This Angry Mushroom Cloud covers most of the very rear wall of the garage.
The lot was almost full on the day of our visit, so I did not get many photos without pre owned cars in them, sorry!
If you remember Kenny’s Bowery Mural installation that went up in late 2010, you will recognize these little guys as being indicative of his signature characters.
Find out more about the Kosmic Krylon Garage, and plan your visit to the Pasadena Museum of California Art, at This Link!
Photographed by Gail at The Japanese Garden, Balboa Park, Van Nuys, CA
2017 is going to be a challenging year for peace-loving folks, so be sure to exercise additional mindfulness, love and patience through strength of resolve to do what is right. I wish you all the best.
Columbia Crest Wines Hosted the Bar at Summer Food Fête 2016! (All Photos By Gail. Click on any Image to Enlarge for Detail)
Ah, Summer foods; we love them. Food Fête is the place to find out what’s new in seasonal food trends, and its most recent Summer event, which took place in late June (in tandem with the Summer Fancy Food Show) was no exception. Please enjoy our findings and recommendations!
Columbia Crest Wines added additional festive cheer to the event by supplying wines for the open bar. One of the Northwest’s largest wineries, Columbia Crest, is acclaimed by critics and consumers alike for crafting wines that are food-friendly, approachable, and that consistently over-deliver in quality.
Featured varietals included the 2013 Merlot, 2014 Unoaked Chardonnay, 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2014 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. Attendees at Food Fête also received recommendations and tips for wine / food pairings, which always come in handy for summer entertaining.
Find out more about Columbia Crest Wines added at This Link!
Speaking of grapes, it’s always fun to have Grapes from California in the house. Not only are fresh grapes an ideal simple snack, but these folks always have innovative and delicious recipes to share. This year we were treated to a taste of Fresh Grape Salsa.
You can whip up a batch of this sweet and tangy salsa to accompany a bowl of chips, or you can serve it as a topping for meats or even tuck it inside a grilled cheese sandwich!
Everyone got a jar to take home and enjoy! Get more recipes for and information on Grapes at This Link!
Cypress Grove Chevre has an inspiring backstory in which Mary Keehn, a single mother of four — and self-proclaimed hippie from Humboldt County, California — started a small, artisanal goat cheese making business that has blossomed into a venture boasting 14 cheeses across three distinct product lines! Cypress Grove’s model dairy has also received a 100 Percent humane certification score from the American Humane Association; and when cheese-makers care that much for their animals, you can taste it in the cheese!
Cypress Grove Chevre is award-winning, good for you, creamy and delicious. We enjoyed a sample one of their newest varieties, Truffle Tremor (you can see the little flecks of black truffle right in the cheese. Find out more about Cypress Grove and get amazing recipes at Cypress Grove Chevre Dot Com!
Since 2001, Vega has been a groundbreaker in the plant- based, natural health and performance products industry. From Whole Food Health Optimizer, they’ve expanded to create a range of clean, plant-based nutrition products to help you be better — on your own terms. Whether you want all-in-one nutrition, or only protein and greens, Vega has a nutritional shake for you. You can shake-and-go, or blend up a smoothie to help you start your day better. At Food Fête, everyone had the chance to sample Vega’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie, made with frozen strawberries, banana, coconut milk and Chocolate Protein & Greens powder! You can get lots of information on the Vega product line, plus tons of tasty and healthy recipes at My Vega Dot Com!
Any steak aficionado can tell you that grass fed beef is the way to go, and it just follows that dairy products sourced from grass fed cows also taste way better! Organic Valley is an organic farming cooperate dedicated to bringing its customers healthy and wholesome foods that are farmed in a sustainable way. Their “Grass Milk” (terrific in your morning coffee), yogurt, butter and cheese are all farm fresh and delicious. Find out more about Organic Valley’s products, and meet some of their farming families, at Organic Valley Dot Coop!
Eating lighter in the summer means that salads can be a excellent choice for dinner. Dole, a company once synonymous with Pineapples and Bananas, has been in the bagged salads game for a few years now, and they have introduced three new Salad Kits varieties to make your summer dining even tastier, not to mention (but you can see I am about to) super convenient! Each Kit contains fresh greens and flavorful toppings, tossed with Dole’s own signature dressings, to create distinctive salads that complement any cuisine, or with the addition of a protein such as Tuna or Chicken, stand on their own as a light meal.
Dole’s Caesar Salad Kit contains Romaine Lettuce, Dole’s own Caesar Dressing, Garlic Croutons, and Parmesan Cheese. At the show, the folks at the booth were throwing the Romaine leaves on a little Foreman grill, fun!
Dole Country Ranch Salad Kit contains Romaine, carrots, red cabbage, white cheddar cheese, Dole’s Country Ranch buttermilk dressing, roasted sunflower seeds, and cornbread croutons. This one is especially yummy, and is sure to please the entire family!
Dole Tuscan Salad combines sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and savory seasoning with two heads of fresh mini Romaine and tops them with Dole’s signature Italian Herb Dressing. These Salad Kits will be available in stores starting August 15th! Find out more about Dole Salad Kits at This Link!
Ice Cream lovers did not leave the show disappointed. Brio Ice Cream was created by twin brothers Ron and Arnie Koss who, back in the 80s, created Earth’s Best Baby Food, the first organic baby food brand in the US. Now, the Koss brothers have transformed ice cream into a healthier food with Brio; a totally new way to look at ice cream that scores on both the delicious and nutritious scales.
Made from calcium-rich, pasture-raised, organic whole milk, it’s a luscious way to add protein and omegas to your day. Brio is filled with antioxidants and probiotics, yet it has 35% fewer calories and 50% less fat than super premium ice cream brands. Crazy!
If you think that looks good, wait until you taste it! Everything you could ever want to know about Brio Ice Cream can be found at Brio Loves You Back Dot Com.
Nada Moo Ice Cream brings the flavor to the table for those frozen treat fans who need to go dairy-free, with their top secret, extra creamy, dairy-free coconut milk base. Nada Moo comes is some insanely decadent flavors like Snickerdoodle Dough, Chocolate Cherry Fudge Brownie, Pistachio Nut, Salted Caramel, Creamy Coconut, and Bananas for PB & Chocolate – to name but a few – all made with certified non-GMO ingredients.
Washington State’s own Stemilt Growers had some delicious, just-picked apples to share with us, as well as a new Apple App!
There’s an Apple for That is Stemilt’s fun new app (seen in the photo above) for when you’re asking yourself Gala? Pink Lady? Granny Smith? Each apple variety has its own unique flavor, texture, color and cooking properties. With There’s an Apple for That, you can discover which variety will work best for your next recipe or food pairing!The best part is, you don’t even need a mobile device to use it! I typed “Pork Roast” into the “What Are You Cooking” search entry using a regular desktop PC and was instantly connected to dozens of ideas for cooking pork with apples! So Cool!
Do you like mayonnaise? I sure do, because mayonnaise is awesome. I like to use it instead of butter or margarine to grill the bread for a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. But maybe you are thinking that you wish mayonnaise had less fat, and if that is that case, then I have some good news for you. Blue Plate Light Mayonnaise is the first mayonnaise in the condiment aisle to include Greek Yogurt! This means that it’s half the fat of regular mayonnaise without sacrificing taste!
This exciting Charred Broccoli Salad includes crunchy almonds and sweet dried cherries, and is seasoned with yellow curry powder and ginger before being tossed with a light dressing of olive oil and Blue Plate Light Mayonnaise with Greek Yogurt. What a knock-out side dish for your favorite dinner! Get this and more recipes at This Link, and find out where to buy the Blue Plate Mayonnaise family of products in your neighborhood at Right Here!
Next time you’re looking for a thoughtful gift to send to a friend or loved one, keep in mind that the 1-800-Flowers family also includes terrific vendors like Cheryl’s Cookies and Brownies, Harry and David‘s gourmet gift baskets & towers, and Popcorn Factory‘s delicious popcorn treats! If you’ve never tried Cheryl’s Cookies, you are missing out. At Food Fete, Cheryl’s introduced a fun Cookie Decorating Kit that includes one dozen fresh baked and individually wrapped Cheryl’s Sugar Cookies, two tubs of Cheryl’s legendary luscious buttercream icing, and assorted sprinkles for a custom-decorated cookie experience that will delight the little ones and keep them busy without making a mess.
The Harry and David catalog has been around since I was an egg. Take a look at this cool New York-Inspired Gift Basket filled with extra-thick New York-style cheesecake, chocolate babka, artisan Dulcet cheese, smoked salami, and more! This eclectic assortment also features a New York dishtowel and yellow taxicab cookie. Perfect for anyone who wants to take a bite out of the Big Apple.
The Popcorn Factory has a seemingly endless variety of gourmet popcorn flavors in an equally exhaustive list of themed gift tins and canisters to please anyone on your gift list. Visit This Link, and then just scroll across the tabs at the top of the home page to visit any of these vendors! One-stop shopping indeed!
We want to give a shout out to Bumble Bee Tuna for reminding us that there is a huge difference in quality and taste when it comes to canned seafood, and that Bumble Bee solid white albacore looks as delicious as it tastes! Find out more about how not all tuna is created equal at This Link!
We made some new friends with folks at Clover Dairy, who were promoting their new line of organic Greek yogurt, which is carefully crafted in authentic Greek tradition using fresh Clover Organic Nonfat Milk and the finest premium organic fruits. Silky smooth and mildly tangy, this yogurt has a thick, creamy texture, is packed with calcium and live cultures, and comes in six delicious flavors — with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Based in Petaluma, California, Clover Diary is currently celebrating the brand’s one hundred year anniversary! We could not help but fall in love with Clover Dairy’s adorable cow mascot, Clo, who you can see here dressed in her shiny silver spacesuit as she celebrates the new Moolenium! Hee! Find out more about the Clover Dairy family of organic and natural dairy products at This Link!
Simply Artisan Reserve, a Litehouse brand cheese, has discovered an ingenious use for the tiny cheese crumbles that occur naturally in handling and packaging the cheese, and has introducedSimple Seasons; shake-able cheese crumbles to top salads, dress up snacks, flavor meats and add to anything else that strikes your culinary imagination!
Simple Seasons is available in Feta and Blue Cheese varieties. All cheese, all natural, all the time.
Also, how awesome are these napkins? Answer: so awesome. More info on Simple Seasons from Simply Artisan Reserve can be found at This Link!
Do you like Vietnamese and Thai foods but are too lazy tired after a long day to make these dishes from scratch? Or maybe there are no good Pan-Asian take out places in your hood? I feel you on this. Lemon Grass Kitchen presents a line of frozen entrees based on recipes created by award-winning cookbook author, Chef, and restaurateur Mai Pham, whose family came to America from Saigon in 1975!
Chicken Pad Thai
Lemon Grass Kitchen is the only frozen entrée focused exclusively on southeast Asian flavors. Each package includes a flavorful, better-for-you alternative to take out, made with authentic seasonings and fresh ingredients like Rice Noodles, Tamarind, Cilantro, Thai Basil, Fish Sauce and Ginger. Varieties include favorites like Lemongrass Chicken Stir-fry, Chicken Pad Thai, Korean-style Grilled Chicken, and Beef and Broccoli Noodles. Read more about Lemon Grass Kitchen Entrees and find out where you can buy them in your area at Lemon Grass Kitchen Dot Com!