December 5, 2011
Matteo Home is the best. In the past, duvet covers that retail for $500+ go for $50 at their sample sales. This is some fine bedding, ladies and gentleman. I’ll see you there.
September 12, 2011
I heard a rumor they were shooting Batman: The Dark Knight Rises underneath the 6th street bridge. So, I found my way over to the set. That’s a true story….It was pretty clear, even a few blocks back, someone was shooting a $500 million movie. The other night, I talked to some of the set security guards on my way home from Villains Tavern. One of the guys was so mad he had to guard a generator, while most of the other security guys were getting to watch the action sequences with explosions. I tried to peep my way onto the set, but it was a very closed set. The paparazzi were practically hanging from the top of the bridge, hoping to get a $30,000 shot of Christian Bale or Anne Hathaway.
While I was at Villains, I heard another rumor. I heard that the same cats that run that place are re-vamping Bordello (the old Little Pedro’s). They are going to make it an arcade-type place where you can play skee-ball to win tickets, which translate into free drinks instead of free stuffed animals. Pretty rad idea. I hope it’s true.
The other thing I heard was that a pretty famous chef is attached to the new Gastro-Pub opening up in Royal Clayton’s space. I guess he is really sweet, but that’s all I know. I also received a letter from the Department of City Planning that states Yuval Bar-Zemmer and the Elizabeth Peterson Group are trying to rezone 1855 Industrial St. The new pub (replacing Clayton’s) intends on staying open until 2am. Also, this zoning request incorporates three separate spaces; a sit down restaurant; a bar/lounge with live music; and a gourmet market.
“Pursuant to Section 12.24-W, 1 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, a Conditional Use Permit to allow 1) the sale and dispensing of a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption with a 3,912 sq ft restaurant (Studio 1), seating 157 patrons with hours of operation from 6am-2am daily; b) the sale and dispensing of a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption in conjunction with a 3,251 sq ft bar/lounge (studios 9 and 10), with live entertainment seating for 179 patrons with hours of operation from 4 pm to 2am Monday to Friday and 11am -2am Saturday and Sunday and c) the sale and dispensing of a full line of alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption in conjunction with an existing 2,394 sq ft gourmet shop (studios 5 and 6), seating 36 patrons with hours of operation from 6am-2am daily; all located within a six-story adaptive reuse live/work loft condominium building with 130 live/work units and three commercial units. “
The original Royal Clayton’s was only about 3,000 sq ft, so I don’t know where they are going to be getting this additional footage? I’m guessing the “studios” referenced above relate to this floorplan:
I already know of one concerned neighbor. I received a notice of a Public Hearing where said neighbor will appeal the Zoning Administrator’s approval.
June 11, 2011
Lots of Arts District News!
Nola’s Soul Food Kitchen to open this Summer. The new restaurant is replacing E3 Steakhouse (734 E 3rd St). I’m hoping for authentic yumminess.
Bloom’s General Store (716 Traction Ave) will reopen with a new name. At first the new owner was going to name it “Little Tokyo Shopette” Arts District Residents were not happy with the new name (as it’s in the AD not LT), so the new name is still being decided. It will still be a convenience store of sorts. More about Joel Bloom and the old Bloom’s General store here.
Also, there is news that the old Ay Caramba (714 Traction Ave) will be a pie shop! I hope it’s old-fashioned and fun.
And don’t forget about:
“Presented at 3rd Street and Traction Avenue in the Downtown Arts District, BloomfestLA offers live indie music, local artisan wares, and good food amidst a rotating outdoor gallery of street art by renowned artists.”*Thanks to the Arts District Facebook Group for all the news!
May 22, 2011
“We love it Downtown! Anything goes…,” one of my 23-year-old friends told me yesterday.
Earlier in the day, she posted on Facebook that she was going to be Downtown. I texted her, and it turns out she was in the city for the Red Bull Soapbox Race. We made plans to meet up at Angel City Brewery in the Arts District. I was excited to go, as I had never been–and it’s been open for over a month now. I once considered myself to be a sort of connoisseur of all things AD. I’ve lived here for about six years now, and I’ve seen this place change….grow into a real destination.
At night, the streets were once empty–looking like a city set. The AD is often used for filming–especially for creepy murder scenes on CSI. But now, the streets are rarely vacant. People come from all over–even the West Side (like my friend) to experience the art, energy and amazing food/drink DTLA has to offer-especially the Arts District.
I once had more time to explore my neighborhood But now, I’m so consumed with work, that I don’t have as much time for downtown adventures. I’d like to bring back my “Local Celebrity” posts. I’ve been planning an interview with Joseph Pitruzzelli (co-owner) of Wurstkuche (and basically, like,the mayor of the AD) for like a year now. It will happen eventually–I promise.
Sorry for the tangent; my point being that I’m kinda upset I haven’t been to Angel City Brewery earlier. It’s just down the street from Wurstkuche and has lots of free (yes, free!) parking.
At 27,000 sq ft, the place is huge. Apparently, the building was once a cable factory (the kind of cables that go on big bridges). The space is really industrial, which I adore.
Angel City is open Thursday-Sunday (see website for details). They don’t sell food, just yummy, locally-brewed beer. The beer is only $5 for a pint of one of the four selections on tap.
You can get food from food-trucks that park outside the building. The space hosts music and art events.
Right now there is a Street Art exhibit going on in conjunction with the MOCA exhibit. Becca and Saber are some of the artists who have pieces for sale in the gallery. Actually, the whole space is like a gallery (see photos above). And, there’s a giant slide.
You’re not supposed to climb up or down the slide–but I think they should open it up and make it a centerpiece attraction- like Trail Dust Steakhouse in Denver (I’ll never forget that old slide).
I mean the whole operational slide would fit perfectly into my description of Angel City Brewery. The only way I can describe the place is like an indoor park. It’s so spacious, and there’s picnic tables for seating. You can even bring your own picnic dinner. They should add some see-saws and monkey bars. It would be perfect! I mean, it’s Downtown–where anything goes, right?
December 30, 2010
Look what I found! I was researching rental prices in the area, and came across this listing. The property comes with a fully functional bar and kitchen equipment. Sadly, I don’t think the sale price includes the rad industrial chairs.
Approx. 3,000 SF Bar/Pub in Downtown Los Angeles.
Opportunity to purchase a fully functional bar, equipped with a kitchen and equipment, walk in refrigerator, grease trap, and hood.
Entitled for alcohol service until 2am, 7 days a week.
Trade name and decor are not included in sale.
Current lease is approx. $5K per month modified gross, with favorable gross percentage rent over natural breaking point. Four and a half years remaining on the lease, with two additional five year options with fixed increases.
Entitled for one billiards table & live entertainment.
Downtown Los Angeles currently houses 39,573 residents in a 5.3 square mile radius, and has a weekday population of 500,000 people daily.
Average household income of $92,200
October 5, 2010
Okay, so maybe it’s not Cobra Snake and Cory Kennedy’s rummage sale*, but there will still be lots of hipsters at this one.
The event is being held from 5-9:30pm in the Crazy Gideon’s parking lot (located at 830 Traction Avenue).
I won’t be able to attend (due to a prior commitment), but I’d be there in a heartbeat. Perhaps I’d even swap some of my cool 80s t-shirts from Denver for some cool 80s t-shirts from…hmmm…somewhere other than Denver?
Here’s the “deets”:
come buy our stuff // sell your stuff // drink beers
rare* and valuable* goods
custom TOMS shoes artist on-site
no shirt, no shoes, no problem.
we’ll have a little bit of everything: furniture, re-purposed clothing, old vinyls, old packs of cigarettes from Oklahoma truckstops, knick-knacks, and the occasional paddywhack.
want to sell stuff? cool. just show up a little early, bring your own table/racks/etc!
*circa March 08 via guestofaguest.com
August 16, 2010
I haven’t been to either restaurant yet, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about both places.
KTCHN 105 is located here:
“Beyond cooking, our studio kitchen at KTCHN 105 was designed for learning, entertaining, and coming together for the appreciation of food. Located in the the heart of the Produce District of Downtown Los Angeles, our studio kitchen offers catering, private tastings, specialized cooking classes, private dinner parties and creative culinary energy. “
They Also offer Sunday Brunch:
Some of the yummy offerings include: sun-dried tomato scramble, Corn Meal Waffle Pear BLT and Basil Cured Salmon Lox with Toast Baguette.
Next up:Villain’s Tavern
The folks who brought you Bordello and 4100, are now bringing you this amazing place. I really want to go to look at the design of the space, which supposedly includes: ” church pews on the outside patios, an antique bar that used to reside in an 1880s-era New York City tavern, and a Gothic church window behind the bar.”*
According to the yelp reviews, food includes: burgers, grilled cheese and Parmesan fries. And, there are a ton of beers on tap including: Chimay, Deschutes Porter, and Racer 5. The most popular drink is the combo: $8 gets you a mason jar of one of 20 beers, ales, lagers or ciders on tap and a test tube shot full of hard liquor on the side. What a deal?!
Here are some more shots of Villains (thanks yelpers!):
*Photos Courtesy of KTCHN105 and YELP.
July 8, 2010
Kid Sister is moving into our hood. She’s actually moving into my friend’s old loft. The rap artist is well known for her single “Pro Nails” featuring Kanye West.
June 3, 2010
Meet Dana DeArmond (or maybe you already know her). Just like the movie, The Girl Next Door, my neighbor is a Porn Star and my latest Local Celebrity. Well, maybe not just local, she has 870,169 friends on Myspace, more than 18,000 followers on Twitter, and nearly 5,000 Facebook friends. I mean, she is known as “The Internet’s Girlfriend”. Dana has been in hundreds of adult films.
Hailing from Orlando, Fl, Dana was born an entertainer. As a child, her parents pushed her to try modeling, but she didn’t see herself as a fashion model. Instead, she liked roller-skating and performed as a roller figure skater. As a teen, Dana worked at Disney World as a dancer in those fancy fireworks parades (she opened the 25th Anniversary Parade dressed as a fish).
“To be a dancer at Disney, you have to be physical, be pretty, have good dancing skills, and have a nice body, so it sort of made sense that there was a cross over to adult entertainment. Are you gonna dance around, in basically the equivalent of wrapping yourself up in carpet, with a bucket on your head in 95 degree weather for $6.10 an hour, or are you going to go work at a bikini bar and do table dances for $20 a song?”
So, she made the switch into adult entertainment, but very cautiously, “It took me years to actually take the step to doing more. And even every step in my career, I’ve over thought it and it over-analyzed it and freaked out about it.”
CK: So, how did you get into porn?
DD: I’d seen “fucking machines” on the internet and HBO’s “Real Sex”. I thought it was really interesting.
CK: What are “fucking machines” for those out there who might not know?
DD: They’re machines and they have dildos attached to them and they thrust in and out. Did you see Burn After Reading-that George Clooney movie where he was making a fucking machine in his basement? That’s a good example. I mean, I’d been a stripper for seven years, and I was like, I should probably do something different. I thought wouldn’t it be cool to have sex with a robot? And that’s how I got into porn. I just like applied, like any other job–like you apply to McDonalds.
CK: So was it hard to get started in the industry?
DD: I was already acclimated to the idea of the adult business, and I’d known people that ran a website and did porn. It’s kinda common in LA. Do you know there’s another porn star who lives in the same building? In that building over there, there’s at least three porn people. A lot of porn people live downtown.
CK:…but nobody really knows….
DD: They assume we live in the Valley like we’re mutant creatures and stay in the Valley, and we don’t leave Canoga Park or something…like we’re sewer people. Honestly, the Valley is where they do the mastering, and the reproduction of the dvds and crap like that. All of that is done in the Valley, just because it’s like a sanctioned thing. But porn people can live right next door to you!
CK: Or across the street?
DD: Or down the hall.
CK: This season on “Entourage”, Sasha Grey plays Vincent Chase’s (Adrien Grenier) porn star girlfriend…
DD: I’ve heard that, I’ve never watched “Entourage”. So Sasha Grey is playing a porn star?
DD: Ooh…that’s gotta be a stretch…gotta be a stretch. I mean honestly, not. Because if you’re a porn star and get any sort of mainstream break, you have to play a porn star or a hooker, or dead hooker, or stripper or something. Even like Lindsay Lohan is supposed to play Linda Lovelace. Scarlett Johansson wouldn’t play that. I even read that she completely rejected that role. It’s [porn] still seen as a skeezy thing to Hollywood.
CK: But in “Entourage”, the show about Hollywood, a porn star becomes the girlfriend of this huge celebrity. Do you think that’s realistic?
DD: There’s escorts. But porn stars? I don’t think so. I don’t know anybody who dates…. A girl who has the same agent as me met Jeremy Piven somewhere, and he was like chatting her up and he’s like, “Well what do you do?”, and she said, “I’m a porn star”, and he like leapt away from her, like she was contagious with the Black Plague. Like I cannot be seen with you. And she was like “Fuck off. Who the fuck do you think you are? You’re a weasel. And you’re an actor. And you pretend to be something you’re not for living, at least I get fucked”. Good for her. There’s no reason she should have to put up with crap like that. And she totally called him out and put him on blogs and Twitter, and was like “Jeremy Piven is a piece of shit”. Isn’t he on that show?
CK: Yeah. He plays an asshole agent.
DD: Apparently not that far…He’s probably not stretching his acting job too much either. I don’t know. Being a porn star is weird. People all treat you weird.
CK: What does your family think about your career choice?
DD: My parents were both in the Army, but they’re some of the most liberal people I know. My dad’s openly gay now. I didn’t even start doing porn until I was 24, and I lived on the other side of the country. It’s not like they could have said anything to me about it really. It’s not like I hid it from them, and then after the fact, said, “I need to tell you something”. It was like, “Hey, I’m going to apply to this website, because they have robots that fuck.” And my parents were like,” Ooo Kay..that’s kinda weird”, and I was like, “Yeah, they’re like robots, like they’re engineered. I think from Japan.” And then they were like, “What are they made out of? Are they made out of metal?”
It’s actually a little bit harder for my brother, because he looks exactly like me. He was kinda over it. He would be working at the Apple store, and see people looking at my My Space profile or something while he was working. He was like, “Why don’t you stop being like that––naked on the internet?.” I think it was kind of inconvenient. My buddy icon on aim was a .giff of me taking my shirt off. So whenever he would talk to me on aim, he had a piece of electric tape he would put over the .giff so he wouldn’t have to look at it. And I go by my real name so it’s Dana DeArmond and Devin DeArmond. I mean it’s really obvious. Going by my real name was something I didn’t really give a lot of forethought to.
CK: Would you have done it differently?
DD: I mean like Sasha Grey. She had like “Sasha Grey’s Anatomy”, something more a play on words type of thing. But it’s also kind of cool because people think I’m really original, and that I made my name up. They’re like where did you come up with that? And I’m like “I read it on my birth certificate”.
CK: Did you go back to your High School reunion?
DD:… I really didn’t care to go to High School when I was enrolled. Why would I go back? Honestly, with Facebook, what’s the point? You can see everyone’s stupid looking kids any day of the week. You don’t have to have some awkward conversation, like, “Oh, you’re in the Air Force?….Well, I suck cock for a living”.
CK: Do you look down at yourself for doing that?
DD: Oh no. I really like what I do for a living, but I can see where other people do look down on it. I mean it’s socially marginalized me as a person. Like I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. My family doesn’t think anything’s wrong with it. My friends don’t think that there’s anything wrong with it. But I’m not deluded to think that most people don’t think that it’s a ludicrous thing to do for a living. On the other hand, there are people who show their appreciation for what I do by sending me presents.
CK: Like What?
DD: From my Amazon Wish List, I got a Play Station 3 and video games. I got a mini-coffee maker. I got omaha steaks wrapped in bacon and Godiva chocolate. I got a French press. I’ve gotten a butt plug, vibrator, workout shorts, crotchless underwear, a pillow girlfriend, and I got a pillow boyfriend a couple days ago.I get lots of shoes–I’m obsessed with shoes. I’ve gotten a lot of awesome stuff- really cool shit. I do have a lot of interaction with my fans. They’ll come up to me at trade shows and before they can say anything, I’ll be like, “I know you…you’re so and so”. If I talk to them long enough and they have real pictures of themselves on the internet I remember them.
CK: That’s pretty rad. Presents are definitely a job perk. But, being in the porn industry seems tough. You seem strong.
DD: You kinda have to be-not only to be a single woman or a sex worker. I’ve marginalized myself in a lot of different ways. You have to be a strong person to live in LA. You have to be kind of tough to live here. I’ve seen this city eat people up and shit them out like diarrhea.
CK: How long have you lived in LA?
DD: This is my 10th year? I love it.
CK: Why did you move down here?
DD: I was living in Silver Lake, which I thought was going to be awesome. But it turned out my neighbors were real assholes. Like there was a certain amount of hipsters and people who’ve been there before the hipsters that haven’t quite been pushed out. They’re just clinging. They’re kinda crappy neighbors and just really inconsiderate, loud hipster people. When I lived in Silver Lake, I got my mail stolen all the time. People would figure out where I lived. People would see a package, and they’d just pick it up and take it. One of the reasons I moved down here was for the 24-hour security. I love it here. It was cool because you could walk places [in Silver Lake], but then I found you could have the same thing in downtown, and not have shitty, punk, squatter people not giving a crap about anything. People own their lofts here, and they’re adults. I call them yupsters, because they’re like a hybrid of hipsters and yuppies. They’re cool people, they’re a little bit older, and a little bit more successful. They kind of give a shit about where they live. And, they’re trying to make it nicer. Downtown was completely scary only a few years ago. I wouldn’t go downtown for anything if you asked me to five years ago.
CK: Why did you move to the Arts District in particular?
DD: My friend was leasing a place in this building, and I started to come down here- Tony’s, around the corner, had their Summer Camp. They had a pool, an inflatable water slide, and live music. My friend lived in this building, and I saw all the amenities and stuff like that. And just then, I was like downtown is awesome. I was sold. So, I went on Craigslist and found a place in here and moved in a couple weeks later. I love it here. It’s so cool.
CK: Where else do you like to hang out down here?
DD: I eat most of my meals at Urth Caffe. I go to Royal Claytons, they [used] to have trivia Mondays. I was on a team called “Open Mouth Kissing Booth”. It was pretty fun. Varnish. And I go to Church & State all the time. You can’t walk by without the bartender waving at you and making you come in. And I hang out with all the people who work around here. After they get off work, they’re always dragging me out somewhere. Once they dragged me off to the Gorbals, which is some kind of crazy- shit place that has chicken feet. But, we had everything on the menu. We met the chef. He was really nice. It’s cool when you live above a gourmet restaurant or something like that; it’s sort of inspiring.
CK: Do you ever do the Downtown Art Walk?
DD: It’s too much. I did it once during Summer last year. There were too many people. I think a lot of art sucks anyway. I’m not a huge art fan. I like the few things that I have. Those prints were made by a friend of mine, and those prints are by Glenn Barr. He used to paint the background for “Ren and Stimpy”. Low-brow art has gotten so kitsch. I liked Mark Ryden before people knew who he was. And then all of a sudden, you can’t get a print anywhere. Or if you can, they’re a few thousand dollars. He’s like a low-brow artist. He does a lot of paintings of meat and Abraham Lincoln, and bunnies and bees and weird looking dolls, celebrities; weird looking celebrity paintings of like Christina Ricci. He kinda like blew up in the late 1990s. That style got way overblown and everybody likes it so much. It’s like Hot-Topicified.
CK: Is porn creative?
DD: It can be. For the most part it’s not. For the most part it’s gonzo. You address the camera. You get picked up in some random place, you end up on some couch and you do a formulaic bj, 3 positions, facial pop and the end. Some people are doing some really interesting things. I directed two…I actually shot one entirely in downtown, like all the sex scenes were shot on a warehouse on 6th st.
CK: What was directing like?
DD: I directed a feature length documentary-style pro-am pornographic movie. It’s called Dana DeArmond’s Role Modeling. It’s a really good movie. It sells really well and everything. I get a lot of emails about it and it came out in 2007. In a way it’s creative. I got to decide what my art direction was going to be. I made sets. I shot the set so it has an element of reality to it. There’s people on a set right here and then you can see this crazy dirty huge downtown loft warehouse in the back. It was a cool location.
CK: Did you like directing?
DD: I directed four girls that had never done porn before. In a way, I was the man. I was convincing these girls to take their clothes off for money and get fucked. And they did it. And only one of them felt really super great about it. One of them was like this is just not for me. And that’s gut-wrenching, as a woman, to know that you may have done something that could have potentially hurt them personally ,or hurt their social standings–because that never goes away. That movie is still being produced and sent out and shipped. So it’s like people find out about that. It makes you feel like kinda sleazy, in a way. But, there’s people who willingly come into this industry all the time.
CK: It must be hard to separate your film life from your real life. For instance, what do you look for in a guy?
DD: I’m single. I don’t really look for anything. I like handsomeness and tallness, and a good sense of humor, but I really don’t put much into it. Like handsome bartender says to me, “Like I just got out of a thing[relationship].” I don’t care to know that. I want to look at you while your working. I want to watch you clean the bar, maybe make out with you in the stairwell a little bit, and I’ll go upstairs and you go away. People are like you must be a slut. And I’m like, I don’t sleep with just anybody–even like a hot bartender. He was talking about all this shit he was going to do to me and I was like…That’s really funny. I’m like, one, you have no idea who you’re talking to. There’s nothing that you could ever possibly do to….you could not fuck me silly if you had eight friends with you. And two, I’m not that person. I just don’t fuck hot bartenders when I first meet them.”
**Article/Interview Copyright Carrie Kravetz
*Photos copyright Penthouse via Dana DeArmond, Focus Features, Amazon.com, and Adultfilmdatabase.com.
Follow Dana on Twitter @danadearmond
April 10, 2010
A new pizza place, dog park, and cafe are all being built in the neighborhood. I love it here.