Travel Diary: Los Angeles Day 3 (Part 2) - DTLA and The Last Bookstore

January 25, 2016 (continued): The next place I wanted to check out was The Last Bookstore which was in walking distance from Grand Central Market.

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On my way there, I spotted another cool electrical box with the Egyptian God Anubis, painted in a way that reminds me of Sanna Annukka’s scandinavian style animals.

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I passed through the Historic Core of DTLA with many beautiful buildings having an architectural style dating back to the early 1900s.

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Upon entering the store, I could see why this was a highly recommended place to visit as it was part art installation/gallery, part bookstore. There were sculptural pieces made of books everywhere in the main room, including the checkout bar station.

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When coming from the front the room to the left is the art/design books section, so of course it had to be filled with little bits of artistic expression. On the walls were these beautiful, largely detailed pencil(?) drawing murals. The back of the room had a large gallery of paintings in different styles, from thrift store chic to modern, contemporary works.

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Even the stairway area had little bits of art thrown in, albeit a bit creepy, even more so when I was editing this image and noticed reflected in the security mirror, that there was a person standing in the stairwell.

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Hanging above the stairs was a gothic-esque sculpture.

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Further up was an art installation reminiscent of something out of Harry Potter, where the books come alive appear to be “flying” out of the bookcase.

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Part of the upstairs has a few mini shops selling cool vintage trinkets, to paintings, to stationery bits and bobs.

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Once you reach the end of the loop of mini shops, there is an entrance to the upstairs part of the bookstore. Here, are even more sculptural book wonders, from little windows, to a lit up cave.

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Also sprinkled throughout are more artsy influenced installations including 3D murals, color categorized bookshelves and various vintage sculptures.

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Their inventory of books is a mixture of new, and secondhand with a few hard to find thrown in. I would recommend visiting whether you’re a bibliophile or quirky art connoisseur!

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On the way back to my car, I spotted a few more representations of DTLA’s eclectic mix of artistic inspiration like this pretty black and white building.

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To the *ahem* creepy.

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To the amusing.

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 4 - Museum of Pop Culture (Part 1)

January 18, 2016 (continued): I ended my Seattle attraction trifecta at the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as the Experience Music Project Museum). MPoP has a bit of a pedigree, it was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and designed by renowned architect, Frank Gehry. It has exhibits dedicated to contemporary pop culture, sci-fi / fantasy, and the world of music.

You’ll run into outdoor art between the attractions in this area, the Broad Street Green - Sculpture Garden is made up of four large scale sculptures. Two of these can be seen if you are making your way from Chihuly to MPoP. Alexander Liberman's, red pipe-like structure, Olympic Iliad and Ronald Bladen's, self explanatory Black Lightning sculpture sitting on a lawn near MPoP.

Even MPoP’s architecture in itself is a work of art, with its’ undulating bronze (at the time) panels glimmering in whatever light could peek through the packed clouds on that day. I didn’t go on it, but the Seattle Monorail also runs literally right into the museum so if you’re on it’s route it could also be another sightseeing form of transportation.

Note: Writing this Travel Diary a year later means a lot has changed, not only its name from EMP to MPoP, to its outer shell (which I didn’t think could change so easily), and obviously the exhibits at the time, though some are still going on currently.

Upon entering the museum, there were several pathways to choose from once you check in, I started with the exhibit, “Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film” which is still currently available. As you enter through the heavy doors, you descend down the stairs towards the basement, all the while a mural of hundreds of faces cast in red look at you in horror. It was an uneasy feeling of what to expect considering horror movies aren’t exactly high on my favorite genre list, yet I still enjoy seeing the odd one if I’m seeking that adrenaline rush for the night.

It was dark and somewhat eerie once inside the exhibit, but it was cool to see the original props and costumes from several iconic horror movies. Some of my favorite films were there, though I wouldn’t necessarily classify as horror with things like Pan’s Labyrinth’s knife, the demon from Constantine, and the mutated vampires from Blade 2 (to which Blade will always be my favorite Marvel superhero). There was also Gizmo from Gremlins (which was too cute to be horrific), Michael Myers creepy face/mask complete with chin hairs to send an extra chill down your spine, the alien from Alien, the Angel of Death from one of my other faves from Guillermo Del Toro - Hellboy, and so much more.

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I eventually crossed over into another exhibit “Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction” (also still currently going on), again featuring many props and costumes from iconic sci-fi / action movies. I was most excited to see they had items from several of my favorite movies, including a lifesize cyborg from Terminator, his leather jacket in the movie, even the finger sword from T2 that always made me hide behind my hands when they pan out to see what was at the end of that!

The little Mars Attacks vignette of props was also cool to see and I never forgot the scene where they transplanted Sarah Jessica Parker’s head onto her Chihuahua!

The hoverboards from Back to the Future 2 were also featured and it’s pretty cool to think we’re sort of nearing that reality soon.

They also had the Korben Dallas and Leeloo’s costumes from one of my all time favorite movies, The Fifth Element. I loved that they had Jean Paul Gaultier design the eccentric futuristic clothing, it’s a lot more fun to look at then the dystopic rags that seem to be so popular in sci-fi movies days!

The Ghostbusters proton pack, and ghost trapper was also cool to see since it was one of my favorite movies growing up, with Vigo creeping the crap out of me when I was younger. There were a couple of cool lit infinity halls that I couldn’t resist getting a self portrait moment. The array of the Men In Black alien guns featured in the movies was also included in the show. It was also great to see one of the bugs from Starship Troopers, a film I have no idea why but I’ve watched several times and pretty much know it by heart. I know, it’s not the greatest incarnation from its source material, but I love it for what it is - a campy, B-movie satire that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my MPoP exploration, there was too much to fit in one post!


All pictures are taken by me and opinions are my own.

Miniature Cooking

I have no idea why watching someone cooking miniature items is so interesting, but there's something about being able to perfectly replicate the real life process in small form that's so satisfying.

I came across this channel recently and Walking With Giants uses actual food and doll size kitchenware to cook his food. He even created a mini turkey for Thanksgiving - WHAT?! 

RR Cherrypie is an OG in miniature cooking, using special Japanese candy kits that replicate different meals. His videos are especially relaxing and satisfying due to the lack of music and ASMR like sounds, along with his perfectionist crafting skills - you can see why he has tens of millions of views per video.

Secret Message: Morse Code Design

I had a little inspiration for a new design project that incorporated my love for typography, but using it in an unconventional form. I came up with a visual morse code design that you could express an inside joke to yourself or to someone else. Each letter is represented by the dot or dash combination to create the word. Now those who know morse code could potentially read it, but wouldn't necessarily think of it in visual form at first, hence the secrecy of it all. 

When the words are repeated, it creates an amazing visual melody, great for a pattern with a hidden message. Check out my initial offerings below, in the form of "Love" and "Savage" (in the urban dictionary sense). They are available in a singular, minimalist word version and in a repetitive pattern on all sorts of art prints, apparel and homeware items in my Society6 shop.