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RECAP: The A.D. in the News 8/5/13

Did you catch these stories about the Arts District and some of our residents and businesses that I discovered recently. Did I miss any? What did you think about these? Let me know! ~ MRB

© Photo: “C.C. Boyce of Few Bits” by Melissa Richardson Banks | Downtown Muse


27 Colorful Snaps From the Downtown Flea’s Epic Debut
by Natalie Alcala, Racked L.A., July 29, 2013

“…DTLA’s new monthly flea market officially launched this past weekend in the Historic Core … jam-packed event … stacked with vibrantly-hued vendors [some from the Arts District, including C.C. Boyce of Few Bits], LA-made treasures and a whole lot of fashion trucks …”


What’s in My Loft?: C.C. Boyce and Adrian Phillips, Biscuit Company Lofts
by Downtown News, July 29, 2013

“… C.C. Boyce has lived in various buildings in Downtown over the past 11 years, but the Biscuit Company Lofts unit she and her husband Adrian Phillips moved into last year is her favorite. They were in the Toy Factory Lofts across the street, but relocated for the bigger pool, two parking spaces and an outdoor garden where they could grow vegetables …”


Architect John Parkinson built for Los Angeles’ growing metropolis
By Liesl Bradner, Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2013

“… If you stand on the corner of 4th and Spring streets in downtown, it’s possible to view sections of at least 12 buildings designed by John Parkinson: the Los Angeles Theatre Center (formerly Security National Bank), the Title Insurance building and the city’s first palatial hotel, the Spanish Renaissance-style Alexandria Hotel, to name a few …”


New Italian Restaurant Coming to Arts District
by Downtown News, July 24, 2013

“… Matteo Ferdinandi, who in 2008 partnered with chef Celestino Drago to open the 9,500-square-foot Drago Centro, is working on a new project called The Factory Kitchen, a 3,000-square-foot Italian restaurant set to open in late September …”


Life After Close of Arts District BID in DTLA… Is It Time to Pack-Up My Louboutins?
by The Fashionista’s BlackBook, June 14, 2013

“… As a resident of Downtown Los Angeles, I was dumbfounded when Judge Robert H. O’Brien ordered Arts District Business Improvement District to dissolve last month, citing that the BID spent tax money that didn’t benefit all property owners in the area. It was one of those “huh?” moments where the letters of the law quite hasn’t caught up to the realities of our community … Although many in DTLA claim that our community is the west coast version of New York City, we still have a very long way to go…


High Fashion in the Arts District: 12345
by Kyle Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles: I’m Yours, January 22, 2013

“… You could almost miss the store, though. Aside from a giant white square with the numbers 12345, something easily confused for a street address, you would probably pass by the space. There is a mirrored window with a white circle in the middle of it, a little mark requesting for your inspection: it’s a peep hole into the store … What is this place? That’s 12345. The collection of clothing is positioned as upper mid-level clothes …”

TIPS: Bike Theft Prevention

As the founder of our neighborhood’s weekly Arts District Bike-Walk Social Club (#RADDsocial), you KNOW that I just love bikes. In fact, so much that I own a few, which I often loan out, and have even given away a couple so that others can join in the two-wheeled fun! Sadly, as the popularity of cycling increases everywhere, so do incidents of bike theft. Since I’ve noticed that there are several new bike owners out there, as well as many who don’t realize the increase in this crime, I wanted to share some basic information on how best to lock your bike to avoid theft, and if it’s stolen, how to document information about it in advance.


SECURE YOUR BIKE

  1. Use quality latches, such as U-locks, chains and heavy padlocks.
  2. Avoid using ONLY cable locks (if used, combine with other quality latches).
  3. When outdoors, use solid fixtures to lock your bike such as the following (never leave an unsecured or weakly secured bicycle alone for any length of time since thieves are capable of stealing them in just minutes, sometimes seconds):
    • Bicycle racks
    • Signs
    • Light posts
    • Fence posts
    • Parking meters
    • Gas mains
    • Mature trees
  4. Tighten the lock as much as possible to your bike or the fixture so thieves have no room to pry them open using bolt cutters or cut through.
  5. Clasp the frame, front wheel, AND rear wheel of your bike when locking it (see illustration below).
  6. Never rely on bolts or screws to hold anything down as wrenches and screwdrivers are common tools.
  7. When not in use, store your bike indoors.

How to Lock Your Bike LAPD


DOCUMENT YOUR BIKE

In case your bike is stolen and later recovered, the following preventive actions are recommended:

  1. Take photos of your bike.
  2. Record the serial number, make, model and color of your bike (type into your phone so you can quickly report a loss).
  3. Write or etch your name somewhere on the bike frame.
  4. Register your bike (in Downtown Los Angeles, you can download the LAPD Bike Registration Card below and deliver a completed copy to the agency’s Central Division at 251 E. 6th St., Los Angeles 90014 – keep an original at home and don’t forget to also record the information on your phone!).

RESOURCES & INFORMATION

LAPD Tip Sheet on Bike Theft Prevention
LAPD Central Division Bike Registration Card
NBC4 Undercover Bike Investigation

HISTORY: Architect Parkinson Left Footprint in dtla/AD

Featured Photo of 800 Traction Ave. by @ Downtown Muse | MRB

Arts District Sign-300

Arts District sign @ Photo by Downtown Muse | MRB

A recent Los Angeles Times article about John B. Parkinson reminded me that this influential architect — known for designing our city’s most enduring landmarks — also left his mark in the Arts District.

923 E. 3rd St. building

923 E. 3rd St. building @ Photo by Downtown Muse | MRB

One Arts District building designed by Parkinson in partnership with G. Edwin Bergstrom (with whom he worked during 1905-1915) was built in 1909 as the Pacific Hardware & Steel Co. Warehouse. Today, it is often referenced simply as 923 E. 3rd. Zoned as Artist in Residence (AIR), this building houses residential rental lofts and also houses businesses such as Eat.Drink.Americano and R23 Japanese Cuisine.

In 1916, he designed what is currently another AIR residential loft building still emblazoned with names of its former occupants: Joannes Brothers Company and Angeles Desk Co. Located at 800 Traction Ave., it also formerly housed Ben-Hur Products, Inc., a California-based producer of coffee, spices, extracts, tea and desserts, which was acquired by McCormick in 1953.

940 E. 2nd St. lofts

940 E. 2nd St. lofts @ Photo by Downtown Muse | MRB

During the 1920s, Parkinson also redesigned what is now a condo building called the 940 E 2ND ST lofts. Originally built in 1906 as the Spreckel Bros. Sugar Beet Warehouse (the same Spreckel brothers John and Adolph who were industrialists in San Diego), this building went through several renovations over the years, including one during the 1920s by Parkinson.

RECAP: The A.D. in the News

Here are some stories that feature or mention the Arts District that I discovered recently. What are your thoughts about these? What news have you seen online or in print recently about the Arts District? Did I miss any? Let me know!

Featured Photo of Monique Wallis at Eat.Drink.Americano by Kimberly Genevieve for designlovefest, © 2013


Rumor Mill: London’s Soho House Looking to Open in Downtown LA Arts District
by Brigham Yen, DTLA Rising, July 25, 2013

“… The private membership club ‘for those in film, media, and creative industries’ is rumored to be looking at a couple different sites in the creative heart of the Arts District: one near Bestia and a more serious contender at 405 Mateo, which is a gorgeous but vacant 5-story industrial edifice at the junction of the 4th Street Bridge and the Molino Street Lofts …”


L.A. River advocates wait for watershed Army Corps study
by Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2013

“… [L.A. River Revitalization Corp. wants] to complete a continuous bike path and greenway along all 51 miles of the river, extending from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach, by 2020 … advocates for the river … argue that federal investment will complement major infrastructure and design projects … [including] a $400-million replacement for the 6th Street Bridge [in the Arts District], expected to open in 2019 with substantial new park space along and near the river; and the expansion of bike paths around the city …”


Eat Drink Americano / Downtown LA
by Kimberly Genevieve, designlovefest, July 23, 2013

“…one of the coolest things about eat drink americano is the decor. it has a very rustic vibe. the food is served on wood boards, they have an enormous chalkboard wall with impressive typography, mismatched chairs and couches create unique vignettes…”


Los Angeles Primer: The Arts District
by Colin Marshall, KCET Departures, July 9, 2013

“… Call it cynicism if you must, but if I went to someplace called the “Arts District” in most North American cities, I wouldn’t necessarily expect to find art; in most cases, I’d expect to find nothing at all. The name smacks of official desperation …”


LA’s Legendary Punk/Alternative Club Al’s is Now a Yoga Studio
by Adrian Glick Kudler, Curbed LA, June 20, 2013

“…Westside Rentals owner Mark Verge has just bought the American single-resident occupancy apartment building and [according to the Los Angeles Times] … ‘has long-range plans to upgrade apartment units in the building and put a Westside Rentals office in as part of the American office’…”


For Regional Connector, Metro Wants Things to Go Bump in the Night
by Ryan Vaillancourt, Downtown News, June 7, 2013

“…Essentially, the agency is asking for the right to do construction seven days per week, 24 hours per day … on First Street, between Alameda and Hewitt streets …”


5 Best Places to Eat in the Downtown Arts District
by Christine Chiao, LA Weekly, May 2, 2013

“… Clustered in pairs or trios, newer restaurants, bars and cafés have cropped up in the Arts District in the past five years or so, reflecting the forward trajectory of a city accustomed to fashioning function from old spaces and form at new locations …”


Oh God, is the Arts District Going to Be the Next Meatpacking District?
by Adrian Glick Kudler, Curbed LA, January 21, 2013

“…Uh oh, the Arts District “is drawing favorable comparisons to New York’s meatpacking district,” according to the LA Times…”

NEW Arts District Community Calendar by Downtown Muse

ANNOUNCING: I have introduced NEW features to my blog to help manage a growing number of requests to post event announcements and neighborhood news. In addition to weekly events that I select to attend and promote for my new “Meet Me There” eblasts and posts, other events can now be posted and viewed on the site at www.downtownmuse.com/calendar.

Got a community event planned for the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles or something that might be of interest to local residents and visitors to our neighborhood? Now you can post them online here by yourself to be considered for inclusion. Submit your event by clicking HERE. Be sure to upload a photo, graphic, or logo as no events will be considered or posted without images. Once reviewed and if approved, your event will be listed in the Downtown Muse calendar and shared with our audience.

Questions? Send me an email at Melissa Richardson Banks aka Downtown Muse.

BENEFIT ART AUCTION: Lance van Gils, 1990-2013

BENEFIT ART AUCTION
Lance van Gils (11/24/90 to 7/11/13)
Sunday, August 4
3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Eat.Drink.Americano
923 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90013
INFO: (323) 715-1331

The little boy with the goofy grin who used to help me bake cookies in my loft is gone. Lance van Gils grew up to be an amazing young man, and tragically, his life ended short sometime on Thursday night, July 11, 2013. Coincidentally, I was on the 1st Street Bridge earlier that night taking sunset photos of Downtown Los Angeles. It was only after I was informed of his passing that I recalled I was there … I wonder if I had stayed just a while longer — could this tragic event have been prevented?

Lance, the son of Art Share LA workshop teacher and local designer Christina Borraez, was discovered the morning of July 12, 2013 in the Los Angeles River at the bottom of the 1st Street Bridge. His life tragically and unexpectedly ended sometime the night before as he was walking home after an evening that included working out at the gym and hanging with friends at local art galleries—a police investigation is underway.

Lance was a sweet and creative soul who spent most of his 22 years growing up in the Arts District with his mom and his sister Camille. If you knew Lance and/or his family, you can leave messages of support on their Facebook Group page. A memorial service is expected to take place sometime in August.

In lieu of flowers, donations for the family, including artwork for the benefit art auction, can be arranged by contacting Patricia Mitchell at (323) 715-1331. Donations may also be made online at Lance van Gils Memorial Fund.

 

MEET ME THERE: This Week in the A.D.

Here’s where I’ll be this week in and around the Arts District and Downtown Los Angeles. MEET ME THERE!


photo-25WED 7/24  – ARTS DISTRICT BIKE-WALK SOCIAL (weekly)
WALKERS meet 6:30 PM and depart 6:45 PM from The Pie Hole • CYCLISTS meet 6:45 PM and depart 7:00 PM from Eat.Drink.Americano

ART STOP @ 7:30 PM: Meet the group at PØST on 1904 E. 7th Place, 90021 to view Day 24 of the July Kamikaze Shows . Tonight, the featured artist is Salomon Huerta.

POST-EVENT SOCIAL @ 8:30 PM: The group may stay at PØST (while it closes at 9:00 PM, it often stays open until 10:00 PM) or depending on timing, might stop by Daily Dose at 1820 Industrial St. #260, Los Angeles 90021 for their pop-up this week with Bling Bling Dumpling.


THU 7/25 @ 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM – EXHIBIT OPENING
“3: Nancy Uyemura, Sheila Rollins, Jamie Itagaki”
District Gallery @ 740 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90013
WEBSITE
This exhibition features three women artists in the Arts District whose works in mixed media photography, mixed media and painting have been seen around the world and influenced generations of younger artists. Work by Nancy Uyemura deals with memory, the physical artifacts of nostalgia and longing and suggests a fascination with the often whimsical associations conjured by cabinets of curiosity. There are faint echoes of Georgia O’Keefe in the work of Sheila Rollins and Jaimee Itagaki whose graceful, abstract and subtle use of warm color and soft forms reveal complimentary sensibilities.

416_los-angeles-free-music-societyLOS ANGELES FREE MUSIC SOCIETY – Three Nights @ 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
THU 7/25 “Small Drone Orchestra / Rick Potts / Smegma” • FRI 7/26 “Waxy / Joseph Hammer / AIRWAY” • SAT 7/27 “XEXP / Hanger Quartet / Extended Organ”
The BOX Gallery @ 805 Traction Ave., Los Angeles 90013
WEBSITE • (213) 625-1747

The Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS) is a loose collection of like-minded noise anarchists from the mid-’70s who found commercial rock too boring, slick, and predictable, and set out to reinvent improvisation and sound experiments with a DIY ethic. Inspired by Zappa, Captain Beefheart, John Cage, the Residents, Dada, Surrealist, Pop and Post Minimal art, “bad” T.V., rural music, World music, Free Jazz, “outsider” rock, European and American electro-acoustic music, punk attitude, musique concrete, suburban aesthetics, acid rock, and Japanese popular culture, the LAFMS struggled to shape a new art form. As their movement spread, they became a lightning rod for art-damaged, weird-music lovers everywhere. There are three nights of LAFMS performances at The BOX.

RDh_DaughterChautauquaTHU 7/25 @ 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM – DAUGHTER CHAUTAUQUA: “RIVERS”
Art Share LA 801 E. 4th Place, Los Angeles, 90013
$5 ADMISSION • (213) 687-4278
Guest speakers and performances from members of MESTO accompanied by music and stories from Run Downhill. MESTO was established to combine the traditions of many ethnic musical genres and those of Western classical traditions. Run Downhill combines the classic country stylings of the mid-20th century with indie rock aesthetics; add a pinch of the California coast for flavor.


FRI 7/26 @ 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM – SAMPLE SALE FRIDAY (monthly)
California Market Center @ 110 E. 9th St., Ste. A727, Los Angeles 90070
FREE ADMISSION • SHOPPING GUIDE
$6 PARKING (enter CMC underground garage on Los Angeles St. or Main St. – take elevator to lobby)

On every last Friday of the month, the California Market Center opens hundreds of its showrooms to sell items at below-retail prices from LA’s best collections for men, women, children, gift, and home. CMC houses thousands of brands in showrooms located on 13 floors and 3 wings: A, B & C.

PRINT_4x6-Postcard-(front2)FRI 7/26 @ 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM – L.A. REGATTA CLUB’S “Dark & Stormy Night”
Greenbar Distillery @ 2459 E. 8th St., Los Angeles 90021
$25 members / $30 nonmembers (includes tour, tastings, treats) • TICKETS
Support the Los Angeles River and join the L.A. Regatta Club for a look inside our city’s first distillery! This special tour includes a curated jaunt around the distillery, organic premium liquor tasting, and lite bites from Mercato LA.


SAT 7/27 @ 1:00 PM to 11:00 PM – FOOD TRUCK HAVEN
Angel City Brewery @ 216 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles 90012
(213) 622-1261 • RSVP on FACEBOOK

Free admission, but bring your wallet to chow down from local food trucks, buy from fashion trucks, and get your locally crafted beer. VCR by Day / FUTRA by Night will also be on site with their collaborative shopping experience of art, fashion, and music.

Neon Workshop Invite summer13SAT 7/27 @ 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM – NEON EXHIBITION & PARTY
Lili Lakich Studio @ 704 Traction Ave., Los Angeles 90013
(213) 620-8641

Join Andrew Cohen, Keri Ann Frankel, Jack Gerard, Julie Gerard, Paul Keister, Ella Matthes, Meagen Minnaugh, Leticia Maldonado, Andy Raitt, and Bianca White to celebrate the opening of this exhibition of their neon art.

SAT 7/27 @ 5:00 PM to to 10:00 PM – PERFORM CHINATOWN
Chung King Road, Los Angeles 90012 • (213) 687-0844
WEBSITEFACEBOOK
Presented in part by former Arts District resident Mat Gleason, this one-night-only international exhibit of action art features work by artists Scott Benzel, Claudia Bucher, Jeffrey Byrd, Mariel Carranza, Mideo Cruz, Racquel De Loyola, Alexander Del Re, Joe Deutch, Dino Dinco, Rafa Esparza, Kate Gilbert, Ryan Hawk, Natalie Loveless, Sinead O’Donnell, Vela Phelan, Dominic Quagliozzi, Christy Roberts, Sheree Rose, Sara Schnadt, Vasan Sitthiket, Paul Waddell, Samuel White, Allison Wyper, and Tim Youd.


SUN 7/28 @ 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM – SHOP: “Downtown Flea Los Angeles”
Historic Core • PURPLE LOT @ 253 S. Main St. • RED LOT @ 236 S. Spring St. • GREEN LOT @ 243 S. Spring St. • YELLOW LOT @ 246 S. Spring St.
$5 ADMISSION (pay at YELLOW LOT) • MAP • WEBSITE • LA TIMES ARTICLE

Antiques, collectibles, vintage and indie designers – some from the Arts District — are featured among the 250 vendors in this new monthly vintage market in the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles assembled in FOUR parking lots!

SUN 7/28 @ 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM – VIDEO SCREENING & ZINE LAUNCH PARTY
“Sawa Travel Diary Vol. 1: Europe”
Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater @ 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles 90036
TICKETSWEBSITETRAILER

Don’t miss this travel video journal of girls, guts, and graffiti featuring the Arts District’s own Sawa. Doors open at 1:00 PM with complimentary drinks in the courtyard. One-hour movie starts promptly at 2:00 PM. Book signing in the lobby from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The zine features the body of work that Sawa created in Europe to make this project. The movie has some nudity so this event is a private event for adults ages 18+.


Got a community event coming up that might be of interest to residents in the Arts District and Downtown Los Angeles? NEW! Now you can submit your online request for consideration HERE!

NEA Grant Awarded to Help Artists in Arts District

Just announced! The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) was awarded a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support artists in the Arts District affected by gentrification.

According to the Los Angeles Times: “The Actors Fund and ArtSpace, two private, nonprofit organizations already involved in helping artists find affordable housing, will help administer the L.A. effort. The NEA sees it as a pilot project that promises to become a model for other cities. [DCA Director Olga] Garay-English said she hopes to expand it to other Los Angeles neighborhoods. The L.A. grant is part of the NEA’s Our Town initiative intended to strengthen neighborhoods as creative fountainheads or destinations. The 59 grants announced this week totaled $4.725 million for projects in 36 states.”

Details outlined in the Los Angeles Times article found HERE. More about this important NEA grant to follow from DCA representatives soon.

GO: Bridges, Renegade, Barrels, Chinatown, Crafts and more

There are LOTS of fun events planned for this weekend in the Arts District and Downtown Los Angeles. Here are just a few (whew … SO many to attend!):

SAT 7/20 @ 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
WALK: Ten Bridges Epic
Starts Chinatown Metro Gold Line Station (south end near Spring St.)
Ends Indiana Street Metro Gold Line Station (train returns to Chinatown)
FB EVENTKCET ARTICLE
FREE ADMISSION

Explore the Los Angeles River by walking over ten of the historic bridges that connect East Los Angeles with Downtown! The epic adventure starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Chinatown stop of the Metro Gold Line station, then heads south for about 14 miles, crossing east and west over the intervening bridges between Broadway and Olympic Boulevard. At the end of the walk, the group heads back to the starting point on the Metro.

Saturday promises to be a hot day, so bring lots of water and sunscreen – also wear a hat and sunglasses! The group will plans to picnic in Hollenbeck Park around 12 noon (or as late at 1:00 PM, depending on group’s pace), so also pack your own lunch and snacks (no stops for food otherwise). For location links every 15 minutes during the day and along the way, follow @BigParadeLA on Twitter.

SAT 7/20 @ 6:30 PM to MIDNIGHT
EXHIBIT: “Over a Barrel” (on view through SUN 8/4)
Angel City Brewery @ 216 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles 90012 (213) 622-1261
WEBSITEFB EVENT
FREE ADMISSION

Using barrel tops as their canvas, six local artists are featured in this exhibit, with their barrel art and other work on display through August 4. Artists include Andre Miripolsky, Scott Forrest, Jaime Colindres, A.S. Ashley, Emmeric Konrad, and J.W. Pippen (latter is also the curator of the show). During the event, artists will be auctioning off their barrel art to support Free Arts. Taqueria el Severo will be on site cooking up street tacos. Live music will be presented by Fiz. A percentage of all beer sales from the event will benefit Free Arts.

Chinatown Summer NightsSAT 7/20 @ 5:00 PM to MIDNIGHT
FESTIVAL: Chinatown Summer Nights
Chinatown Central Plaza @ 943 – 951 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, 90012
WEBSITE • SCHEDULE
FREE ADMISSION

Part food event, part summer party, Chinatown Summer Nights features culinary offerings by Chinatown eateries and LA’s gourmet food trucks; shopping for traditional Chinese wares and artisan handicrafts, Chinese cooking demonstrations; large-scale, outdoor video projections; hands-on, Chinese cultural activities presented by local organizations and museums; craft brews and dance music on LA Weekly Stage in Central Plaza with 89.9 KCRW’s deejays!

SAT 7/20 @ 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM
MOVIE: Chinatown Screening
Union Station Old Ticket Concourse @ 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles 90012
WEBSITE • FREE ADMISSION – RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

This Oscar-winning 1974 neo-noir film “Chinatown” has long been hailed as one the greatest films of all time and one of the defining movies of Los Angeles, so don’t miss the chance to see it in the gorgeous atmospheric setting of Union Station’s old ticketing concourse. Present Metro TAP card at check-in for preferential seating and to receive one free beverage. Picnics welcomed – no alcoholic beverages are allowed.

SUN 7/21 @ 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM (also on SAT 7/20)
FESTIVAL: Renegade Craft Fair
Los Angeles State Historic Park @ 1245 N. Spring St., Los Angeles 90012
WEBSITEVENDOR MAP
FREE ADMISSION

Don’t miss this curated, modern craft fair with hundreds of contemporary makers, creators, movers, and shakers. Shoppers will find a wide variety of goods such as jewelry, custom clothing, pottery, perfume, textiles, and original artwork. The event includes tunes by KXLU DJs, workshops, free-to-use photo booth, and food trucks, too.

Zenshuji Obon CarnivalSUN 7/21  @ 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM (also on SAT 7/20)
FESTIVAL: Obon Carnival
Zenshuji Soto Mission @ 
123 S. Hewitt Street, Los Angeles 90012
WEBSITE • FREE ADMISSION

Now in its 55th year, this annual cultural event honors traditions of the past and includes food (e.g., sushi, udon, teriyaki, snowcones, fresh corn, octopus), live music, dancing, demonstrations, and displays celebrating Japanese heritage.

RECAP: The A.D. in the News – Week of 7/9

Increasingly, the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles is gaining popularity, both by the public and local media. Here are some key stories you may have missed this week about our neighborhood. What are your thoughts about these?

@ Photo: Melissa Richardson Banks | Downtown Muse

@ Photo: Melissa Richardson Banks | Downtown Muse

“Downtown L.A.’s ‘mural mayor’ Daniel Lahoda draws praise, controversy” by Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times

“… He’s also known to many as “the guy who gets the walls” for artists. Through his LA Freewalls project, [Daniel] Lahoda brokers deals between businesses and street artists, offering building owners new murals to cover up unwanted graffiti and securing wall canvases for artists. The project has resulted in more than 120 new murals, mostly in downtown L.A.’s Arts District, by some of the world’s leading street artists, among them Shepard Fairey, French artist JR and SEEN…”

CLICK HERE to view an online interactive map that shows some of the murals in the Arts District from Lahoda’s L.A. Freewalls project.

[DOWNTOWN MUSE NOTE: Regardless of any controversy, real or imagined, the visually compelling and colorful results of the work by artists supported by the efforts of Daniel Lahoda speaks for itself.]


© Photo by Colin Marshall

© Photo: Colin Marshall

“A Los Angeles Primer: The Arts District” by Colin Marshall, KCET Departures

“… in Los Angeles’ Arts District, something has actually happened, and, more to the point, continues to happen … Even at the moment, though, several features mark the Arts District as distinctive. Most obviously, it lives up to its name with an almost comic literalness by offering at least one mural to look at from most anyplace you happen to stand.”

[DOWNTOWN MUSE NOTE: Thank you to those countless artists who have created the bold outdoor imagery found throughout the Arts District over the years. Special thanks to Daniel Lahoda of LA Freewalls and LALA Gallery who has remained steadfast in his work, regardless of swirling rumors, to successfully secure walls and help artists produce major art projects in the neighborhood since 2011.]


Mary Ann de Lares Norris at Oblong Industries in downtown L.A. Photo by Ringo Chiu

Oblong Industries rep  © Photo: Ringo Chiu

“True Grit: Tech Firms Connect with Downtown Arts District” by Natalie Jarvey, Los Angeles Business Journal

“… Today, the neighborhood is brimming with local denizens who shop at hip boutiques and dine at trendy restaurants. The activity has attracted a cluster of technology companies looking for a less polished alternative to Silicon Beach … Many businesses complain about the lack of parking for employees, especially as restaurants open up and draw car-driving customers from outside the area … converted warehouses were never meant to house more than a handful of workers at any one time. Parking becomes a problem when tech companies take over those spaces and fill them with desks.”

[DOWNTOWN MUSE NOTE: Oblong Industries has quietly housed its offices in my building since 2007. Like others in the Arts District, there are numerous businesses in the area that maintain a low public profile of their presence here.]


Chaz Christianson and Carolyn Paxton © Photo: Gary Leonard

Chaz Christianson and Carolyn Paxton © Photo: Gary Leonard

“Arts District Grocery Store Urban Radish to Open This Week” by Richard Guzmán, Los Angeles Downtown News

“… the 8,200-square-foot grocery store on Mateo Street … is an eagerly anticipated addition to a quickly changing neighborhood that has seen an influx of restaurants and coffee shops … What people are going to find is a full-range grocery store of products they would look for in a Ralphs, a Whole Foods … The difference is in the types of quality and the products.”

[DOWNTOWN MUSE NOTE: Urban Radish offers single-origin coffee roasted by a micro-roaster that sells for only $2 per large cup. All items in the grocer’s selections indicate a true commitment to quality, artisanal products and small-batch producers while attending to the needs and interests of local residents.]


HONORABLE MENTIONS: A.D. Residents & Businesses in the News
A custom shuffleboard designed and produced by District Millworks is featured this week on Uncrate.com.