Hot Mouth by Kate Ward (Photo: Liz O.)
I met Kristen Stewart once. It was at a premiere for a movie I never saw, for a story I never wrote and our exchange lasted no more than two minutes. I don’t remember the exact conversation, I just remember that she seemed quite the opposite of everyone else I’ve met in my very limited experience of attending Hollywood events.
Red carpet events are a peculiar phenomenon. Though the carpet often isn’t red, the events are almost interchangeable. You have a bunch of reporters on the side of the carpet, each one given a space about the size of an 8″ x 10″ glossy. You wait for hours, in this case, in sunlight so bright that no amount of sunscreen could protect yours truly from a violent burn. You’re given a cheat sheet with the names and photos of the known attendees. You will reference this sheet a lot. Of course, a few more unannounced people will arrive and you will likely have no idea who they are even though they fall into that “celebrity” category. If– and this is definitely an if– you can score an interview with one of the stars, you’re given one or two questions and your goal is to keep them talking until a publicist drags them towards the next reporter. The actors are obviously well-rehearsed for these sorts of events. The ladies walk in very expensive high-heeled shoes as though they have been strutting with books on their heads since childhood. They pose for the photographers as though they spent decades practicing for just this moment in front of a mirror. Men and women answer every question as a sound bite. If they say anything that could be construed as kind of/sort of controversial, it’s only because that’s part of a carefully cultivated rebellious image.
I know this sounds cynical, but when you grow up in Los Angeles, you learn that nothing is real well before you learn how to drive.
The KFC on Western (Photo: Liz O.)
There’s a Kentucky Fried Chicken on Western Avenue in Koreatown that will put any other KFC to shame. I don’t know if the food is any different at this spot, in fact I doubt it is. But, this joint is such a bold, yet abstract, testament to fast food culture in Los Angeles that it serves as a marker. Whenever people are heading to Blipsy’s Arcade, the address is followed by some variant of “across the street from KFC,” and everyone knows of which Colonel Sanders original recipe outlet you speak.
This KFC is tall and wide and seemingly made of concrete with appendages jutting out of the side. It’s the Walt Disney Concert Hall of chain eateries, less blinding than Frank Gehry’s monstrosity, but still capable of instilling chills and cries of “What the fuck?” to passers-by.
My boyfriend mentioned that the building is supposed to be shaped like a chicken, which makes sense. From the angle at which I shot the photo, you can see a head and wings and a tail. Check out more photos on Visit Koreatown that show how the body is clearly shaped like a KFC bucket.
L.A. is a weird city. I never realized that until I started traveling. Other cities don’t stick an oversized donut on a roof so that you know where you can get a scrumptious, glazed treat. They don’t have a building that looks like a stack of 45s. We’re the kids with the overactive imaginations, nearly 10 millions Pippi Longstockings crammed into one sprawling county. My hometown can take the most mundane aspects of urban life and make them magical.
Last weekend, “Diversions,” a group show, opened at GR2 in Los Angeles. One of the artists is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game animator Paul Robertson. I interviewed Robertson for my L.A. Weekly column, Cult Stars. Another artist in the show is Monyo Monyo, who is responsible for the gorgeous masks (and one vest) photographed here. Check out the show if you can. It’s fun and runs through early April.
Monyo Monyo (Photo: Liz O.)
Artist unknown. (Instagram Photo: Liz O.)
I’m really lucky to have a boyfriend who likes crate digging as much as I do. Many of our best adventures revolve around our never-ending quest for the most bad ass record collection and Sunday was no different. We headed down to Chinatown for the fourth anniversary of the Beat Swap Meet. It’s been a long time since we went to this record collector fun fest and it certainly has grown. Last time we went to a Beat Swap Meet, it was only inside the Grand Star (the same venue where I spin for Underground). This time around, the event took up almost all of the main Chinatown plaza on Broadway.