Tag Archives: DTLA

Summer in the City DTLA Style

Why does summer always tease me into thinking  I’m a kid out of school with nothing but lazy days and plenty of time to figure out how I want to spend them?  Don’t I wish!  The M-F/ 8-7 reality means there are only so many hours to take advantage of what summer in the city has to offer.  Fortunately,  being in DTLA,  there’s always something going on and 4th of July in Grand Park really had the city showing off its best.  While it gets pretty crowded at night, we loved walking through the park mid-day and seeing the festivities getting started.

The Park, with City Hall in the background, looked beautiful.

The city dressed for summer celebrating
The city dressed for summer celebrating
4th of July in Grand Park before the crowds
4th of July in Grand Park before the crowds







There were two music stages, one with a DJ and one with live music starting at 4 p.m. I’m sure the night was totally happening but we were perfectly happy to roam during the peaceful, sunny early afternoon.   Friends asked us to join them that evening for the long-standing tradition of fireworks  at Wilshire Country Club just a few miles west on Rossmore between Beverly and Third.

A few weeks ago we got a group together on a Friday night to check out EAT, SEE, HEAR at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park.  There’s a great lawn where everyone brings low beach chairs and/or blankets, tons of food trucks show up and you watch a movie on an outdoor screen.  We sawThe Big Lebowski.  Dogs are welcome but we left Coco home for this one.

At least 20 food trucks showed up so the lines were never long
Blankets in front of the big screen at The Autry in Griffith Park





Not great photos, but these 2 guys were dead ringers for The Dude and Walter… and,  not to forget the deadest of all, Donny in the can.

Donny, gone but not forgotten
Donny, gone but not forgotten
The Dude abides and Walter dutifully brings snacks
The Dude abides and Walter brings snacks





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Last Wednesday night we needed to pick up a few things at Urban Radish for a party Jay’s catering this weekend.  Happily the shopping trip coincided with Jazz Night at Urban Radish market with the Kyle Crane Trio on the patio.   There’s a different dinner menu every week– I tried the grilled trout wrapped in prosciutto and Jay had roast pork with a sweet marinade.  We missed out on the full selection of sides by getting there closer to 8:00 pm  but the charred romaine , soba noodles, and organic multi-hued cherry tomato salad were all delicious and since we arrived late, the portions were extra generous.

Wednesday Jazz Night at Urban Radish
Wednesday Jazz Night at Urban Radish

Wine tasting is also part of Jazz  Night and UR has a great selection of bottles at the perfect temperature to buy and take to your patio communal seating table.  These gatherings are relaxed “downtowner” get-togethers–particularly for those who live in the Arts District. A full course meal is $15 .  The Curran Grenache Rosé  from the Santa Ynez Valley was as good as any we’ve ever tried… described as “A very pale salmon shade. Loaded with flavors of strawberry, mango , white peaches and green apples and exotic cardamom in the nose. (A) crisp wine with a firm backbone.” at $22.    And best of all, Coco was happy to be among other contented canines chilling under the tables.

A Mediterranean evening in LA
A Mediterranean evening in LA

Another evening we were invited to our friends’ house in Hancock Park where Jay got to be co-grillmaster–the one thing that he misses about living downtown.  It was a perfect Los Angeles evening where the breeze picks up at sunset and then everything calms to a still by the time the moon rises.  The lights strung across the picnic table, the pea gravel under our feet, the candles flickering, the freshness of the produce, the aroma of the grill, the fragrant trees surrounding us, and even the raccoon who ambled along the fence at one point–reminded us we’re as Mediterranean as it gets without spending 13 hours and 46 minutes en route.

And not in chronological order, but we celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary on June 30th.  It was a Monday night and rather than go out, we decided sometimes the best celebrations are the ones where you just stay home.  It was a beautiful night and we had the upper terrace of the Eastern Columbia Building  all to ourselves.  We took a picnic and set it up on the little bistro table where we could look out on the lights of the city.  We grazed on cheese and crackers, sipped a Sauvignon blanc, had a salad and dipped a crusty Bread Lounge baguette into the “good” olive oil and balsamic that we usually save for company.  We finished the evening off with the sweetness of strawberries and blueberries bought the day before at the Larchmont Farmers market.  The sweet, simple pleasures of summer…so far.

Anniversary dinner on the roof of the Eastern Columbia Building
Anniversary dinner on the roof of the Eastern Columbia Building


Made in LA: Ancient Art of Modern Ceramics

click the link on the website home page to watch video
This isn’t the real door in Los Angeles, but I chose this one because it fits with where it leads  to

First  you need to click on the door above and follow me to a place in Downtown Los Angeles where an ancient art form produces modern ceramics.  After you watch the video, be sure to come right back–there’s more to see and hear.

Such as what the artist has to say when you click on his photo (but then come back again…there’s more!):

Robert Siegel talks about RS Handmade

Robert Siegel Studio Handmade is part of the magic that is DTLA.         Thanks, Robert, for making your art in my neighborhood!                         Great meeting you at Unique-You told your story so well.                         My blogging job is done for today.                                                                       

Robert Siegel Studio is located at 3430 S Hill St. #105 DTLA               Phone: 310.779.9577


Gold Rim Berry Bowl
Gold Rim Berry Bowl
Original Baba Pitcher
Beaux Collection

DTLA Nordic Design Showroom

Nordic Design & Innovation Studio

 If you wandered past 9th & Hill on Saturday night this is what you would have seen: people working late unpacking boxes–one labeled “bicycle,” others of mysterious sizes scattered across the concrete floor.   There was a single, white, wooden chair on a plywood pedestal and, in the background, a brand new white Volvo SUV.Nordic Design & Innovation on 9th & Hill 5/3/2014

 If you walked past the same location on Sunday afternoon, a team was deep in conference at a long table with two small black dogs at their feet.  Most of the boxes were unpacked and the windows were dressed with an even more random, yet increasingly intriguing, assortment of items.

There were children’s tailored shirts and a men’s shirt winking from a craft-brown box with “Schnayderman’s” scripted as the label.  Really? A shirt in it’s very own box?

Nordic Design & Innovation Showroom 5/4/2014

And what about those snow white chairs and the orange-handled branch pruners laying on display? Is it a prop shop? Is it a museum?

Nordic Design & Innovation Showroom 9th & Hill 5/3/2014

Apparently it’s the latest iteration from  Carlström & Company|C&CO, described on their website as a growth consultancy and business incubator headquartered in New York. The website describes C&CO’s services as “Bridging the gap between a management consultancy and an advertising agency.”  Clients listed include Absolut Vodka, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Estee’ Lauder and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as well as advertising agencies.

What they appear to be doing in this space is fulfilling their plans of establishing a Nordic design and innovation showroom in Downtown Los Angeles.  I love these guys!

In C&CO’s other role, as stated on their website, they function as an incubator and invest time and/or capital in new ventures, of which Schnayderman’s Shirtmakers is one–having brought the brand from Scandinavia to the U.S. in the fall of 2013.

According to C&CO’s website, the company’s founder, Fredrik Carlström, is a marketing veteran with almost two decades of experience advising companies including IKEA, H&M, Electrolux, and L’Oréal, to name a few.  Carlström was the CEO & Executive Creative Director of the U.S. operations for the digital agency, Great Works, which was named by AdWeek as the 2010 Agency of the Year.

Looks like this creative space is C&CO’s new base for helping Scandinavian companies get established and grow their presence in the U.S.  Hence the orange-handled reminder of what the Swedes have made a household requirement:  If it’s a scissors (or rose pruner…when I had roses to prune) it’s got to be Fiskars!

With Stockholm-based Acne Studios and il Caffé just a block away, and  H & M soon to open at Fig & 7th, we might call it the Swedish Awakening in L.A.  And just think about it, not only is DTLA one of the most creative emerging urban locales, we also get 8-9 hours of nighttime 365 days a year… and no snow! Now there’s another good reason to choose our city as the perfect place to innovate and incubate!    And since I’m pretty sure Camilla and Anna, our Swedish au pairs whom we haven’t seen in nearly 19 and 18 years respectively, are probably reading this–it’s  time for you both to come back for a visit– you can actually have a really great time in downtown now!

Unique LA– Where you can play Shark Tank…one purchase at a time

Unique LA at California Market Center 110 E. 9th Street
Unique LA at California Market Center 110 E. 9th Street

I just found out about Unique LA and I’m definitely going to check it out! It sounds like such a great idea: bring together LA-based designers and entrepreneurs and let the public discover what they’ve created.  We all get to play Shark Tank and vote for the success of these start- ups and up-and-coming businesses with our own investments…one purchase at a time.  Unique LA happens May 3rd & 4th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at California Market Center 110 E. 9th Street in downtown Los Angeles.  Admission is $10 at the door.  From the pictures, it looks like there could be a line in the morning so I think I’ll walk over there a little early.  If you’re driving  you’ll find plenty of parking lots in the area but you can also park underground in the California Market Center for $6 during the show.  This event sounds like one more great way to discover and support the  risk-takers that are creating a new economy in and for our city.  And if you can’t get there, watch for my Friday Frivolity posts as I’m sure the show is going to give me plenty of great products to write about!