Food Truck Row | Friday in Granada Hills

There are way too many food trucks in LA to keep track, but discovering a new one, a delicious one, is like a receiving an unexpected gift on Christmas.

This Friday I checked out a stretch of road in Granada Hills known as Food Truck Row.  I discovered the place on accident a few weeks ago when I wanted to try the Bun Truck. I was surprised to find not only the Bun Truck, but a good 20 trucks lined up one after the other for blocks. I thought at first there was a street festival going on, but after talking to a few vendors, I realized this was just a regular Friday night.

Discovered some really great trucks, many I had never heard of before. Met some really cool people as well. From what I hear, the trucks are all lined up every Wednesday/Friday night,  in Granada Hills around the area of Chatsworth/White Oaks. Park in the residential area nearby and just walk on over to avoid the traffic.

Here are a few places I tried on Friday:  The Bun Truck, Bollywood Bites, Slap Yo MamaMossie Lee’s, Sweet Beats.

 

Check out the cool video my friend Dev put together from Friday. He even caught me doing some kind of weird jig!

 

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Adele Captivates at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles

 

credit: Timothy Norris | LA Weekly

For months now, I’ve been dreaming about the Adele concert. I watched so many live performances online, listened to her album so many times that I was preparing myself to be mildly disappointed when I went to the Greek Theatre last night for her show. Not because she’s untalented or a bad performer, but because I had been building up this concert in my mind for MONTHS. There was no way it would live up to what ever my imagination had decided it would be. I was, of course, wrong. It was BETTER.

I arrived a bit late, but luckily found my seats by the start of opening act Wanda Jackson’s first song. She’s a spunky woman and I found myself bopping along to her songs, even though I didn’t know the words. During her rendition of “You Know I’m No Good”, dedicated to Amy Winehouse,  the moon hung low and red. At first I thought it was a lighting rig peering through the tall trees surrounding the Greek Theatre, but by Wanda’s final song, the moon lifted itself high into the dark Los Angeles sky.

Adele came on stage a bit later than scheduled and  the crowd was a bit restless, but when she sang the first line from “Hometown Glory” before appearing on stage, everyone fell silent in awe. Let me just say, the acoustics at the Greek Theatre are amazing. It’s a great outdoor venue and perfect for Adele’s breathtaking voice. Unlike her iTunes Festival performance (where she had just gotten the O.K. from her doctor to sing again), she was strong throughout her entire set. She has an unwavering command of her voice and it’s damn magical.

I saw a couple of whiny reviews about Adele’s Berkeley performance the night before, saying that she wasn’t a performer and that she didn’t engage with the audience, blah blah blah. None of the reviewers disputed her talent, but they seemed disappointed in her concert. Adele didn’t need fireworks or elaborate dance routines to engage the audience.  She stood there, completely vulnerable, and belted her heart out.  You ever received one of those phone calls at 1am from your best friend and she’s crying, hurting so badly that you want to hug her?  With each song, with each personal story, you wanted to console her like you would your best friend. There was something very lowkey and down to earth about her concert, which I really appreciated. The focus of the show was her story and, of course, her talent. Some performers zip through their sets without giving much insight into their music, but Adele chatted with the audience about her inspiration like we were all old friends. She was charming, even when cussing, and always very endearing. I enjoyed her banter as much as her music, which says a lot.

The set list reflected pretty close to her iTunes Festival performance, but I was sad that she didn’t do her cover of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt.

Also, there were two girls in back of me who decided that they couldn’t be bothered shutting up for an hour and a half and proceeded to talk throughout Adele’s entire set. This was not whispering in the ear kind of talking, this was I’m-going-talk-over-Adele-so-everyone-can-hear kind of talking. When Adele would belt out a line, instead of falling silent in amazement like the majority of people there, they talked LOUDER. What the hell is the point of going to a concert if you’re just going to talk the whole time? It’s not only rude to the audience members nearby, but to the performer.  I was about to strangle them with my skinny tie.

Anyway, here’s my video of “Don’t You Remember” from last night’s show:

[click here to see the setlist]

[pics] The Museum of Contemporary Art: Art in the Streets

This past weekend I checked out the Art in the Streets exhibit at the MOCA. I really loved how everything was laid out. Museums can feel quite stuffy, but this exhibit was so accessible and down to earth. It was really awesome to see how different styles developed throughout history and how graffiti was influenced by culture and current events. Overall, I thought it was fantastic and I highly recommend going if you have a chance! Check out my photos below.

For more information, check out their website here. The exhibition runs until August 8, 2011.

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[pics] LA Times Festival of Books at USC

Last weekend I attended the LA Times Festival of Books at USC. It was a nerd’s dream come true. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend many of the writer’s workshops scheduled that day, but I had fun checking out all the different vendors. I saw all kinds. Seriously. There were also a lot of people handing out bookmarks and Scientology pamphlets. I swear I ended up going home with a stack of ‘em.

Oh! And in case you’re wondering about the new watermark, they’re from my Indie Craft and Design Blog: Craft in the City. Please check it out if you get a chance.

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Remembering Ryan

I can’t say that I knew Ryan as well as some of his other friends. Our relationship was solely online, due to the fact that we met shortly after I had moved from Hawaii to Los Angeles last year. The twitter universe pulled us together somehow and suddenly he was this unmistakable presence in the rest of my online life. We interacted regularly and he quickly felt like an old friend. It saddens me greatly that I won’t be able to get to know him better now,  but the part of him he shared with me was something to be admired.

I found out about his tragic death late on Sunday night. People were posting cryptic messages on twitter and my facebook newsfeed became a memorial to him.  At first, I thought maybe he moved out-of-state or perhaps changed jobs. I refused to think the worst, but still scoured the internet for any scrap of information. I often follow Hawaii news, but with the time difference, one news story slipped through the cracks. After about an hour of feeling anxious and confused, the tweets started to mention him directly. A friend of mine DMed me to confirm the news and my heart just broke.  I went back and re-read everything with a heaviness that I still can’t shake.  How could it be that he was suddenly here and now suddenly gone?

Yesterday evening I was talking to my stepdad (who used to work at Kaiser Moanalua) about what had happened.  I didn’t realize he knew Ryan as well and I was reminded of just how far and wide his influence stretched.  It made me smile. My stepdad remembered him fondly, saying he was a very kind-hearted man. “He was quiet at first,” he added. “But a really funny guy.”  I remembered Ryan’s distinct sense of humor on twitter (something I greatly loved and identified with) and how he’d often respond to my own snarky jokes with the same sort of appreciation.

“He was a really hard worker,” he continued. “He always put in 110% at his job. His clients loved him. He was one of the most requested social workers there and it was easy to see why.”

On Twitter, there are different kinds of users. There are those who are just racking up followers for the popularity. They rarely interact with their followers, but just like how their page fills up. Ryan was the opposite. He was popular and loved online because he took the time to engage with people and get to know them.  If someone asked a question or needed input, Ryan was often the first to respond.  You could always rely on him if you needed help, a quality that extended to his personal and professional life as well.

When I came out via the It Gets Better Project last year, Ryan was one of the first to offer his support. Whenever I shared my progress with It Gets Better or posted my other creative work, he’d say how proud he was of me. I knew then what kind of amazing individual he was and I never took the compliment lightly. When he started tweeting about Live Strong in Philly, I made sure to support him in any way I could.  Even now, I will continue to contribute to Live Strong and will do it with him in mind every time.

His presence will be greatly missed online and in real life. Even after hearing the news, I kind of expected to see his tweets fill my page like they do on so many days.

Ryan, today I am sharply reminded of how much better the world was with you in it.

 

OTHER LINKS

  • Ryan Ozawa from HawaiiWeBlog wrote a really touching tribute about Ryan.  He has been updating this entry to include other blogs who have mentioned Ryan, upcoming tribute events,  and news. Keep checking back  there for more.
  • Gene Park from the Star Advertiser wrote a beautiful story about Ryan and his influence in social media. It nearly brought me to tears.

* * *

From Kimo:

Aloha all of Ryan’s friends and family. We are looking to have a presentation about Ryan this Saturday at the Mac user group festival and Annual membership meeting.We need some video and photos so please send them to me: kimos@me.com event: hmaus.org
Please come and enjoy the event and we hope to have a celebration of his participation with his blogs and helping HMAUS.