A-MUSE-ing Video of Me by The Skinny Gorillas!

Happy to share this “a-MUSE-ing” video by The Skinny Gorillas of me talking about my photography.

This video was produced for my exhibition as the “February 2014 Featured Artist” for the Los Angeles Downtown Art WalkSpecial thanks to Qathryn Brehm and Jeremy Quant of the Los Angeles Downtown Art Walk plus my new friends from The Skinny Gorillas: Rashid Belt, Wiola Marek, Tom Colley and talk show host Ashley Iola!

SHOP: Downtown Muse A.D. Shopping Guide

Think you know where to shop in the Arts District? Think again! There’s lots of shopping in the Arts District – well beyond what’s listed in a recent Los Angeles Times article.

MUSE-ings pp 10-11_1TODAY is #ShoptheBlock @ 3:00pm to 6:00pm on 3rd Street and Traction Avenue at many Arts District stores! That’s when I’ll be outside of The Pie Hole, hawking copies of my new book! BUY MY BOOK and GET A FREE PRINT! I have a limited number of prints and copies of MUSE-ings: Snapshots of the Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles (officially released and nationally distributed on January 15, 2014).

BELOW IS THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE (available to date) TO ARTS DISTRICT SHOPPING – in person and online! To ensure that you receive current information about Arts District, join my mailing list HERE to get insider tips, news, event announcements, and special promotions!

Shop the Block 300x100HOLIDAY SALES & POP-UP SHOPS
These Arts District-based businesses create and manufacture their goods in the neighborhood, and if they don’t have a retail storefront, often sell to the public throughout the year with their seasonal sample sales, open studios, and pop-up shops.

#ShopTheBlock: This event on 3rd & Traction features holiday specials and snacks at Alchemy Works, Apolis: Common Gallery, District Millworks, Hammer and Spear, Guerilla Atelier, Poketo Store, The Pie Hole, CAN CAN Cleanse, Wurstküche, and more!

Artafacts Holiday Boutique: Artist Bridget Vagedes
428 S. Hewitt St., Los Angeles 90013
(213) 247-5774
Holiday Hours: Mon-Sun 12:00pm to 9:00pm

Black Halo
648 Mateo St., Los Angeles 90021
(213) 893-7600
Holiday Hours – LAST DAY: Sat 12/7 @ 9:00am to 3:00pm

Daily Dose Café Holiday Pop-Up Mart
1820 industrial St. #104, Los Angeles 90021
Holiday Hours – LAST DAY: Sat 12/7 @ 10:00am to 5:00pm

KAIN Label Sample Sale
584 Mateo St., Los Angeles 90013
Holiday Hours: Sat 12/7 and Sun 12/8 @ 9:00am to 5:00pm

Open Studio: Artist & Jeweler Valerie Mitchell
215 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles 90012
(213) 500-3717
Holiday Hours: Sat 12/14, Sun 12/15 and Mon 12/16 @ 11:00am to 5:00pm

Many of the Arts District-based businesses offer online shopping in addition to onsite sample sales (in fact, before they had their current storefronts, both Apolis and Poketo started as online wholesalers and retailers in the area and still offer wide selections of items online and through retail outlets nationwide).

Order one-of-a-kind, handmade clothing from the comfort of your home. Apliiq uniquely offers customers the opportunity to customize tees, hoodies, sweaters, and accessories by choosing their appliqué patches from deadstock and vintage fabrics to be handsewn on their selections. Learn more about Apliiq and founder Ethan Lipsitz HERE.

Artist Emily McDowell
Check out this fun line of greeting cards and gifts such as tea towels, art prints, temporary tattoos, and even scarves; all adorned with the clever and adorable illustrations of Arts District-based artist Emily McDowell!

Few Bits Wood ButterFew Bits
Voice-over talent, “Would You Woodwork?” webseries star, and woodworker C.C. Boyce creates beautiful handcrafted goods with wood bits rescued from landfills: planters, candleholders, cheeseboards, and even menorahs! Be sure to pick up a 4-oz tin of her Wood Butter, an all-natural wood conditioner made of local beeswax, organic rosemary, coconut oil, and mineral oil. It makes a GREAT lip balm AND protects your cutting board, too!

Flowers & Bones
Check out daily $40 finds at this Arts District-based online boutique run by designer and finder extraordinaire Deborah Glovier who has a knack for discovering just the perfect vintage and artisan-made luxurious items – ranging from bracelets, necklaces, pins, rings, earrings, and handbags to custom furniture and interior accessories.

Green Dragon
Eco-friendly, Arts District-based Green Dragon pieces are made with organic, sustainable, and/or recycled fabrics (the company even repurposes fabric scraps for pillow stuffing, scarves, personal art, and other projects). It offers seasonal collections for women – dresses, tops, coverups, jackets, coats, skirts, pants, and leggings.

LALA ArtsBuckshot Prints
Affiliated with artist RISK and LALA Arts (which also sells prints by RISK and other popular street artists), Buckshot Prints is a direct manufacturer and publisher of the finest handmade large-format serigraph and fine art editions. Each artwork sold is signed and numbered by the artist and issued with a Certificate of Authenticity. Be sure to check out the selections of prints by D*Face and Ron English available for sale online at LALA Arts!

Buy direct from this Arts District-based manufacturer of locally made luxurious linens that are otherwise exclusively distributed by fine specialty stores and interior designers. Pssst …MATTEO Home’s showroom at 912 E. 3rd St., 90013 is expected to reopen in early 2014, which means onsite sample sales may reappear in the future! For the time being, enjoy 20% off MATTEO’s Vintage and Tat Linen plus FREE U.S. shipping!

Artist Melissa Ann Lambert
Check out Arts District-based artist Melissa Ann Lambert’s limited-edition prints!

Minor Thread™ Modern Variety
Artist Charlie Wright creates and sells organic tea and spice blends, lavender sachets, pillows, recycled paper pins and magnets, ribbons, sewing supplies, and more. Be sure to pick up my favorite Tom’s Savory Dry Spice, which Charlie’s father makes using a secret family recipe!

Pink Lotus
While the activewear collection of Arts District-based Pink Lotus is really designed for yoga, working out at the gym, or running around town, it’s perfect for artists and other creative professionals and entrepreneurs who work in their loft spaces. Designed with functionality and comfort in mind, Pink Lotus pieces are made with versatile, yet buttery soft fabrics that feel like a second skin. 

Sour Girls
Through OpenSky where you can buy products online from creative independent designers and small businesses, visit The Sour Girls Store to buy locally made Antlitz Aussie Jewelry. Receive $10 credit for your purchase when you sign up as a member!

Arts District-based THVM (stands for This Here Very Moment and is pronounced “THEM”) designing and producing quality premium denim at affordable prices for men and women.

Unearthen Jewelry
Based in the Arts District (and in New York City), designer Gia Bahm is known for her “enchanting creations” that she seems to “effortlessly transform raw and organic materials into otherworldly objects.” If you missed their recent sample sale, you can still buy her jewelry online in time for holiday gifts.

By appointment recommended or preferred, many local artisans and makers offer limited public hours and some welcome public walk-ins. Call or email before going to ensure that someone is there to help and show you around.

Akai Ito Boutique
941 E. 2nd St., Ste. 101, Los Angeles 90012
Hours: Tue-Sat 11:00am to 6:00pm and by appt

District Millworks
917 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90013
(323) 630-1828
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am to 5:00pm and by appt

Replika Vintage
608 E. 1st St., Los Angeles 90012
(323) 251-7613
Hours: Vary … drop by or make an appt

Traction Press & Riitta’s Cards
837 Traction Ave., Los Angeles 90013
(213) 617-8190
Hours: By appointment only
Not open? Buy a gift voucher from Apolis – handmade by Traction Press!

Here’s the quick list of several retail storefronts in the Arts District; some mentioned in the recent Los Angeles Times article and others that were missed. Hours may vary by season, so be sure to check before going!

12345 Clothing
811 Traction Ave., Los Angeles 90013
(213) 221-7858
Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00am to 7:00pm

Alchemy Works
826 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90013
Hours: Mon-Sun 12:00pm to 7:00pm

Apolis: Common Gallery
806 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90013
(213) 613-9626
Hours: Mon-Wed 12:00pm to 6:00pm and Thu-Sun 12:00pm to 7:00pm

The Artform Studio: Hair & Records
701 E. 3rd St #120, Los Angeles 90013
(213) 613-1050
Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00am to 7:00pm

Audrey & Lenny Boutique
830 Traction Ave., 2nd Fl., #2H, Los Angeles 90013
(626) 380-7532

Cleveland Art
110 N. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles 90012
(213) 626-1311
Hours: Mon-Fri  8:30am to 4:30pm and Sat 10:30am to 4:00pm

Guerilla Atelier
821 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90012
(310) 365-2194
Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am to 6:30pm and Sun 12:00pm to 5:00pm

Hammer and Spear
255 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles 90013
(213) 928-0997
Hours: Tue-Sat 11:00am to 6:00pm and Sun 12:00pm to 5:00pm

Nadia Geller Designs Studio & Home Market
1801 E. 7th St, Los Angeles 90021
(213) 488-1081
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30am to 5:30pm

Poketo Store
820 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90013
(213) 537-0751
Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00pm to 7:00pm and Sat-Sun 11:00am to 7:00pm

SCI-Arc Architecture and Art Supply Store
955 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90012
(213) 356-5309
Hours: Mon and Wed 10:00am to 8:00pm; Tue and Thu 10:00am to 6:00pm; Fri 10:00am to 5:00pm; Sat-Sun 12:00pm to 5:00pm

Urban Radish
661 Imperial St., Los Angeles 90021
(213) 892-1570
Hours: Mon-Sun 8:00am to 9:00pm

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: For only $25 or more, pick up one of Urban Radish’s “Made in L.A. Gift Basket, which features some of this local grocer’s most loved products. You can even customize it for yourself or the person to whom will be receiving it!

Woo HQ & Souvenir Shop
209 S. Garey St., Los Angeles 90012
(213) 687-4800
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:00am to 5:00pm and Sat 11:00am to 7:00pm

GET FIT: Arts District Tightens its Belt


As the Arts District explodes with new coffeehouses and restaurants such as The Factory Kitchen Bar & Ristorante, it seems destined that residents would start to demand more fitness options as their seams burst, too. Check out some of what’s here now – and what’s coming soon!

JUST STARTED: Inside Out Total Fit Club at Maryknoll
Even if this new club wasn’t FREE (yes, FREE!!!), Inside Out Total Fit Club would be high on my list just because of the positive and supportive energy of lead wellness coach and personal trainer Erick Viera. Launched by former Maryknoll School students, longtime St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church parishioners, Arts District stakeholders, and wellness coaches Lynn Nakamura and John Sato two weeks ago, I attended my first class this past Saturday and I’m hooked. Yes, the coaches are affiliated with the Herbalife24 fitness line, yet there is no hard selling AND attendees get to sample shakes after class (I discovered that I really like the products!). For me, while there are great fitness options in the neighborhood, I think it’s the best one currently available for anyone wish to start a regular fitness program or need to jumpstart one after a long hiatus and are padded with extra weight like me! There is no equipment required as exercises rely on an individual’s own body weight and fitness level. In my class are those like me looking to lose weight, optimize toning, and better my health, but a few are looking to gain energy and heighten their athletic performance. Attendees are asked to bring an exercise mat, a towel, a water bottle, and if desired, light weights. Classes start promptly, so be on time. There is free parking on site (enter from Hewitt Street, between 2nd and 3rd streets). Currently, classes are on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6:00 PM with an optional class on Saturday mornings at 7:00 AM (there’s also a FREE stretch class for seniors on Saturdays at 9:00 AM). During your first visit, coaches conduct a complimentary fitness evaluation and help track your results for a four-week challenge, too.

Inside Out Total Fit Club
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
Maryknoll Auditorium and Activity Center
222 S. Hewitt St, LA, 90012
(626) 607-1041

COMING SOON: L.A. Boulders
Opening in the Arts District shortly is L.A. Boulders, the first Southland location of California-based Touchstone Climbing. In addition to being the first one of its kind in Downtown Los Angeles, L.A. Boulders will also be the largest bouldering-only gym in Los Angeles.

Unlike Touchstone’s other eight indoor climbing locations, L.A. Boulders (LA.B) will offer free weights and cardio equipment. Its futuristic facilities are being built using state-of-the-art walls by Walltopia and top-quality padded flooring by Flashed. An increasing demand in Southern California for climbing facilities and a need for a building with ceilings higher than 12’ (up to 50’) has Touchstone Climbing already scouting for a second Los Angeles location so it can offer rope climbing to Angelenos in addition to bouldering.

Interested in learning more? Be sure to attend the gym’s next open house on Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Meet the staff and grab an exclusive LA.B t-shirt to be eligible for upcoming L.A. Boulder special promotions and opening events.

L.A. Boulders
1375 E. 6th St #8
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Inside of the Factory Place Arts Complex, this boutique personal training and fitness center offers free weights, cable machines, cardio equipment, and a shower area for private clients in its 3,000-square-foot space. Other services available by appointment include one-on-one yoga sessions with trainer Orameh (certified in Forrest Yoga) and bodywork sessions with masseur Noor.

Body by Nii Sign
1300 Factory Place #105
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 406-8099
Owner & Lead Personal Trainer: Nii Adjin Orraca-Tetteh
Manager: Malika Orraca-Tetteh


The Archway Studio/Theatre
305 S. Hewitt St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Monday through Friday 6:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM
COST: $12 (membership packages available)

Housed in former punk-scene Al’s Bar, this yoga studio is led by teacher Annie Freeman, a seasoned Hatha Yoga practitioner. Her classes range from basic to advanced plus restorative sessions, special workshops, and guest instructors. The first week of classes are FREE (parking is on nearby streets and two adjacent paid lots). The Archway Studio/Theatre also offers regular performances of classical and contemporary plays, musical theatre, performance artists, comedy shows, and variety acts. In addition, classes are available to strengthen theatrical skills and techniques, and stage performance.

Yoga by Koshka Movement at Art Share L.A.
801 E. 4th Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Monday ONLY (drop in) – 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
COST: $10

This intensely physical and internally focused class is styled after Forrest Yoga and challenges students to reach their potential.

Yogala at Daily Dose
1820 Industrial St. #104
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 375-4505
Sundays ONLY – 3:00 PM
COST: By Donation

Hosted by Yogala Studios, this class is taught by owner, manager, and teacher Samantha Jones Garrison. Bring your own mat, towel, and water.


The Rec Center CrossFit
588 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 621-2964

The first CrossFit gym in the Arts District, a Sunday yoga class is offered at 8:30 AM (free for members; $15 for nonmembers) in addition to the constantly varied, high-intensity functional strength and conditioning program plus nutritional counseling designed for all levels. Proud that there are “no mirrors, no social hours, no gym gossip, and no obnoxious salesmen” (which is great!), co-owners, coaches, and newlyweds Charlie and Erika Curtis are actively involved in the community, too.

Trojan CrossFit
431 S. Hewitt St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 537-0446

Said to be one of the largest CrossFit gyms in Downtown Los Angeles, this gym is a few doors down from Urth Caffe and often has the Kreation Juice truck parked outside.

District 36
453 Colyton St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 620-0302

In addition to CrossFit fundamentals, this gym also offers Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Olympic lifting.

LOS ANGELES: L.A. Conservancy Selects Arts District for Annual Fall Tour

The Los Angeles Conservancy has selected the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles as the featured neighborhood of its annual one-time-only fall tour on Sunday, November 10, 10 AM to 4 PM. This year’s history and architecture tour will also include an first-ever bicycling component curated by Melissa Richardson Banks aka Downtown Muse to supplement the traditional walking format.


Citizens Warehouse, 2013. © Photo: Melissa Richardson Banks

One of the city’s most popular neighborhoods, the Arts District offers unique industrial architecture, and because of its artistic identity, allows tour goers the chance to see artists in their creative spaces. (NOTE: Artists A.S. Ashley and David Hollen in the 810 E. 3rd St. loft building are among those whose studios will be open for the tour. Stay tuned here for updates! If you are an artist who lives and works in the Arts District, click HERE to send me an email if your studio is open that day.)

According to Sarah Weber, the Conservancy’s Director of Education, the focus of the event is to highlight the history of the neighborhood and its current transformation today, demonstrating the way industrial buildings have been re-used and adapted to meet changing needs over time. Recently, the Conservancy has been working in the Arts District in its advocacy efforts with James K. Pickle Works Building (also known as the Citizens Warehouse), the exterior of which is included in the tour.

The tour is ticketed, includes volunteers and docents to help interpret designated buildings, and offers scripted tour booklets, self-guided walking guides, and of course, the bicycling option curated by Downtown Muse.

Sunday, November 10
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Tickets go on sale the week of October 7.
$30 Conservancy Members :: $35 General Public
$15 Students :: $10 Children 12 and under

For updates and to buy tickets (after October 7), visit the Los Angeles Conservancy website.

TOUR SITES (subject to change)


Like most of the Conservancy’s one-time-only spring and fall tours, the tour is self-paced. Attendees can visit as many of the tour sites as they’d like (or can) during the designated hours. At certain sites, Conservancy docents will be on hand to provide interpretation and mini-tours. Along the way, tour goers can explore shops, galleries, and eateries in the area on their own. The event is a collection of docent-led tours, not a bus tour. Attendees park and check in at one of two pre-designated locations, then walk (or bike) to the tour sites nearby. Cars may have to be re-parked once during the tour. Seeing all sites will take about 4-5 hours. Photography may be limited in some interiors. The Arts District is a bike-friendly neighborhood (and encompasses a 52-block area), so attendees are encouraged to ride bicycles!

~ COVER PHOTO: Purple tree and street art on 2nd St. near Challenge Creamery building © Melissa Richardson Banks

RECAP: dtla/AD in the News

Just in time for weekend reading: a collection of stories about Arts District and by or featuring its residents and businesses — some old, some new. Got anything to share? ~ #MRB

Lowe Enterprises and Megatoys Start Construction of Apartment Development in Los Angeles’ Arts District
by Market Watch, The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2013

” … The property will have a wealth of amenity spaces and outdoor common areas. Four courtyards, three on the western side of the property, landscaped with native and drought tolerant plants, will provide relaxing spaces for reading or recreation and great views of downtown. One will be dedicated solely for the pets in the community. The fourth and largest courtyard will be on the eastern side with a resort-style pool, spa and sundeck with grilling areas, fire pits and an outdoor lounge. The adjacent club room will be available for parties with a warming kitchen, cozy seating and a separate game room. Interiors are designed with an eclectic mix of vintage and modern elements to mirror the authenticity of the Arts District. In addition, a rooftop deck will offer a vast and comfortable area to enjoy expansive views of Los Angeles. Residents will have on-site, below grade parking and a large bicycle storage area and maintenance workshop …”

Two vacant L.A. warehouses to be replaced with mixed-use complex
by Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2013

… The Megatoys property on Garey Street in the arts district will be demolished to make way for two five-story buildings with 320 apartments, shops and restaurants …

Apliiq Challenges Mass Produced Fashion with Customizable Headwear that’s Made Just for You
by Digital Journal, September 23, 2013

… Nestled in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles there’s a bustling workshop churning out customized apparel with hundreds of unique fabrics sourced from all over the globe … has sold custom hoodies, tees, dresses, jackets and bags since 2008 and the company has just expanded its offering to include custom 5 panel camper and traditional snapback caps …

Sunday Farmers Market Coming to Arts District
by Downtown News, September 20, 2013

… The Sunset Silverlake Charitable Foundation is opening an Arts District Farmers Market. Organization director Micheal McKinley, who has run the Silver Lake Farmers Market for 14 years, will debut the Arts District market on Sunday, Oct. 6, on Garey between Second and Third streets …

Article connects homeless street comic with long-lost photos
by Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2013

… [reporter Catherine] Saillant wrote last week about Fernando Anglero, who lives on the streets in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District … after her article was published, she received an email from a stockbroker in the Fairfax District who had his own story about Anglero … [who] had left a photo album behind, and the stockbroker had kept it all these years, hoping to be able to return it. …

Homeless man markets himself as street comic using social media
by Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2013

… Fernando Anglero is known for his off-color, funny signs. To promote his ‘cardboard comedy,’ he has a website, a Facebook page and a personal hashtag …

Unique LA’s Founder to Open Massive Creative Space in DTLA
by Racked LA, September 9, 2013

… After spending over a year hunting for the perfect location, The Unique Space is slated to open in a 100-year-old, two-story, 18,000 square foot building at 1275 6th Street next month. Rasula needs your help completing renovations on what’s set to become LA’s premiere think tank for art stars, designers and overall game-changers …

L’Shana Tova: It’s a New Year…Ready to Build a New Los Angeles?
by City Watch, September 6, 2013

… An excellent article by new LA Times transportation writer Laura Nelson describes the problems with a lack of parking and access to American Apparel and the up-and-coming Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles …

Parking, transit fail to keep pace with up-and-coming Arts District
by Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2013

… Metro’s downtown regional connector, due to open in 2020, will have a stop at 1st Street and Central Avenue. Residents say the neighborhood needs something closer, and sooner. Some have suggested a bus line along a north-south backbone, such as Santa Fe Avenue or Alameda. Under a policy that encourages growth in less-developed areas, many Arts district businesses aren’t required to provide parking …

A New Café, With a Changing Urban Canvas, Coming to Arts District
by Downtown News, August 30, 2013

… Zinc Café will feature a graffiti wall and full bar. Owner John Secretan plans to open by January 2014 …

In Arts District, Two Groups Battle to Replace Disbanded Business Improvement District
by Downtown News, August 20, 2013

… two opposing factions of property owners and developers are racing to create a successor to the BID. One group, Arts District Los Angeles, touts “Bring Back Blue” as its motto, indicating the importance of returning the bicycle safety patrols to the neighborhood, said Dilip Bhavnani, a member of the group’s steering committee. Members of the rival effort, the Arts District Community Council Los Angeles, agree that “clean and safe” are top priorities for the area loosely bordered by Alameda, First and Seventh streets and the Los Angeles River …

Got a story or photo that might be of interest to Arts District residents neighbors, businesses, and visitors? Submit it here for possible inclusion in future posts or eblasts.



Click HERE to submit an event that may be of interest to residents and visitors of the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. All events must be accompanied by an image or photograph, and will be reviewed for possible inclusion.


Click HERE to enter information about your business or organization so it can be listed in the Arts District Community Directory. Annual fees may apply and rates vary by type of industry. We also offer other types of advertising through multiple online channels associated with Downtown Muse. Questions? Contact me via email or call me at (213) 537-4483.

© Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks | Downtown Muse: Goodbye, Megatoys. Hello, Megadevelopment.

COMING SOON: EightyTwo Classic Arcade Bar

EightyTwo founders Scott Davids and Noah Sutcliffe at Missile Command. © Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks

The Arts District will soon be the home to a classic arcade bar with a contemporary flair founded by Downtown residents and native Angelenos Scott Davids and Noah Sutcliffe. Expected to open later this year, EightyTwo will feature a curated selection of over 40 fully restored (and playable) arcade and pinball machines from the 1960s to the 1990s (many rare and unique – SEE FULL LIST BELOW). Paying homage to the gaming culture of decades past, EightyTwo celebrates the “Golden Age of the Arcade.”

Reflections of a neighborhood - past, present, future - from window of forthcoming EightyTwo. © Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks

Reflections of a neighborhood – past, present, future – from window of forthcoming EightyTwo. © Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks

Read more

SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion with New Fence Banners Near Completion

Arts District resident Scot Ezzell snapped the featured photo above of the new SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion, which is near completion and is now surrounded by fence banners touting “SCI-Arc turns 40 (1973-2013).”

Designed and built by faculty Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of Los Angeles-based firm P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (through funding from ArtPlace), the new 1,200-seat outdoor pavilion is named “League of Shadows” and was the duo’s winning entry from an architectural design competition last year.

The pavilion will be used for SCI-Arc graduation ceremonies, lectures, and symposia as well as selected neighborhood concerts and public events through 2017. Its first public use occurs at the school’s graduation ceremonies on Sunday, September 8 at 5:00 PM.

For details, click P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S website HERE or visit SCI-Arc’s website HERE.

Rendering of the competition-winning SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion "League of Shadows" by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Image: P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S)

Rendering of the competition-winning SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion “League of Shadows” by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Image: P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S)

Bustler Article: “SCI-Arc Pavilion ‘League of Shadows’ by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S” posted October 10, 2012
Archinect Article: “SCI-Arc Pavilion ‘League of Shadows’ by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S” posted October 10, 2012

PHOTO GALLERY: New Arts District Mural

Artist BB Bastidas painted a sexy neighbor named “Pluto” next to Mister Cartoon’s iconic “Big Los Angeles” mural on Garey St. in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. The new mural spans a 15’x30’ wall on Garey St. near District Millworks. To view my photo gallery on Tumblr, click HERE. For details about the artist, his influences, and his work, check out this preview article by Cartwheel Art.

PHOTO GALLERY © Downtown Muse | Melissa Richardson Banks: BB Bastidas and his Pluto mural

RECAP: dtla/AD in the news

Did you catch these stories about the Arts District and some of our residents and businesses? Some old, some new … I love discovering write-ups about our neighborhood. Got any to share? ~ #MRB

Featured Photo: Nadia Geller Designs

Designer Nadia Geller opens studio and market in downtown Arts District
By Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2013

” … After years spent decorating more than 20 lofts in the downtown Arts District, interior designer Nadia Geller said she grew frustrated with the trendy neighborhood. “It was missing a homey, eclectic shop …”

Nadia Geller Designs Studio & Market
1807 E. 7th St., Ste. B
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(323) 654-0589

Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival Celebrates Globally Beloved Dish with Top L.A. Chefs
by Joshua Lurie, Food GPS, August 14, 2013

“…This chef-driven, all-inclusive event spotlights one of the world’s best loved and most versatile dishes in a fashionable industrial setting. Eleven of L.A.’s best chefs will allow guests to enjoy multiple styles of fried chicken at their own pace, along with side dishes, desserts, craft beer, and cocktails …”

Urban Radish Market Opens Downtown
Daily Candy, August 13, 2013

“… you’d have a better chance locating a needle in one of those proverbial haystacks than finding a grocery store worth its salt. Until Urban Radish sprouted up. The new, 6,000-square-foot marketplace is a foodie’s paradise …”

Urban Radish
661 Imperial St., between 7th and Jesse (parallel to Santa Fe & Mateo streets)
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 892-1570

Verve Coffee Roasters Next Headed to Los Angeles
by Kat Odell, Eater LA, August 12, 2013

“…Los Angeles has no shortage of specialty coffee bars from east side to west, and in addition to Stumptown shacking up in the Arts District downtown, Santa Cruz’s Verve Coffee Roasters is also en route. LA Weekly relays news that Verve has signed a lease in LA and will open a cafe, roastery, and retail shop …”

Grand Opening Ceremony Aug. 17 for Urban Radish
by Downtown News, August 9, 2013

“… The Arts District’s Urban Radish opened July 4 with an Independence Day celebration. Area denizens celebrated just having a small grocery store within walking distance. Now, the 8,200-square-foot market at 660 Mateo St. is ready for its official debut: A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 17 …”

A Bridge to the Future: L.A.’s Iconic Sixth Street Bridge to be Replaced
by Yazmin Nunez, Boyle Heights Beat, July 30, 2013

“… HNTB wants the bridge to do more than just connect Boyle Heights to downtown Los Angeles. The architectural firm also wants to connect the Eastside to the rest of the city and ‘not just provide a connection from east to west, but probably go from below to above and bring these two communities together’…”

What’s in My Loft?: Eric Lynxwiler & Phil McKinley, Molino Lofts
by Kathryn Maese, Downtown News, August 6, 2007

“… We’ve got a collection of neon signs, which I can take the credit for. I’m not ashamed of dumpster diving nor getting my hands dirty to save a sign that’s threatened by a wrecker’s ball …”

Development We Applaud: Paul Solomon
By Developer Alert, 2006

“… Paul Solomon quit his job as a real estate attorney to pursue a dream of redeveloping obsolete factory buildings in downtown Los Angeles (an area that is now being called the Arts District) …”

LOS ANGELES: Residents Appointed to 6th Street Bridge Public Arts Advisory Committee

Five Angelenos were nominated by Councilmember Jose Huizar and appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve on the Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) for the new Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement project. Representing the Arts District, Downtown Muse‘s Melissa Richardson Banks of CauseConnect and Tim Keating of LARABA, HCNC and LADADspace will work with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and help guide the development of community standards for future public art projects related to the bridge. Other PAAC members include Anne Bray of Freewaves, Abe Flores of Arts for L.A., and Edward Padilla of CASA 0101.

Three other Arts District stakeholders — Yuval Bar-Zemer of Linear City, Jonathan Jerald of LARABA & LADADspace, and Eric Owen Moss of SCI-Arc — are among the nine community members serving separately on the bridge’s Design Aesthetic Advisory Committee (DAAC). Since 2012, the DAAC has worked to provide input on bridge aesthetics, associated roadways, and gateway elements.

For a full list of DAAC members and to keep informed in general, visit the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project’s website.