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  • Things to Do: Brewery Art Walk in East Los Angeles 2017

    Posted on April 18th, 2017 acimetta No comments
    At the Brewery Art Walk, my two girlfriends and I pose in front of a large graphic art of two sharks bearing the letters LA (for Los Angeles) on their chests.

    My friends and I at a Sneak Preview of the Brewery Art Walk.

    This weekend I enjoyed a rare opportunity for a private preview of the Brewery Art Walk in East LA. The Art Walk takes place at the historical Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery which was zoned years ago as an Artists-in-Residence community. Artists rent live/work spaces in industrial buildings  that offer really cool lofts and other unique spaces that inspire creativity. We toured six different artists’ studios, meeting the artists, and listening to them speak about their art and their process. I even bought a small original piece from one of the artists we met on Saturday. Since she was selling it to me directly from her studio and didn’t have to give a cut to a gallery owner, she was willing to negotiate!

    The art covers the spectrum from massive oil paintings that sell for $25,000, to illustrations, to printmaking that requires a precise layering of colors, to realism, to graphic artists that celebrate the city of Los Angeles. And that’s just what I had a chance to see. Other exhibits include sculpture, ceramics, photography, architecture, landscape, and more.

    Brewery Art Walk 2017

    Artist Jill Sykes discussing her work at the Brewery Art Walk.

    Artist Jill Sykes discussing her work at the Brewery Art Walk.

    The official Art Walk takes place on April 29 & 30 from 11 am – 6 pm. More than 100 artists-in-residence will open their spaces to the public. It’s a free event; even parking is free. And it’s a cool way to spend an afternoon absorbing culture, exploring new and favorite artists, and visiting a world that is starkly different from the Beach Cities or west side. Come spark your imagination with an up close and personal look at these artists’ work. Viewing their art in their homes and/or studios where they create is fascinating, and at times gives a deeper understanding of their artistry. The community itself: the buildings and the space has artistic value, and just touring the brewery and surrounding industrial buildings on this 16 acre campus is fascinating and worth the drive. And to worry, there’s a beer garden, and the on-site restaurant, Barbara’s At The Brewery, will be open for your culinary delight.

  • California Poppies – They’re Here!

    Posted on March 28th, 2017 acimetta No comments
    Closeup of California Poppies in bloom.

    The poppies looked like they were glowing with their vibrant orange hue!

    Looking for something different to do this weekend? How about checking out the California Poppies in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve? The poppies are in bloom and you only have a few weeks left to view them.

    My trip to see the California Poppies

    It was my first time visiting the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve a week ago. It was an easy hour and a half drive that allowed us to enjoy the rolling hills and farmland on the way. As we got close to the state reserve, there were poppies growing on the roadside. People were pulling over everywhere to spontaneously enjoy the poppies! But I wanted to get to the reserve where there was going to be a much larger expanse of flowers. The traffic came pretty much to a standstill as cars waited on Lancaster Road to turn into the reserve and pay for parking. We quickly realized it would be easier to park on the side of the road and walk into the reserve. It’s cheaper too! So even less of a reason not to make the trip! It was hot out there so we took our water and made the long walk into the park. And it was worth it! We feasted our eyes on a glowing carpet of orange.

    There were a handful of trails to follow. Picnic tables were available. And there was a small museum where you could learn more about… well, what else… the poppies.

    Wide angle shot of a field of California Poppies. Flowers fill the screen.

    Wide angle shot of a field of California Poppies.

    Closeup of California Poppies in bloom.

    The poppies looked like they were glowing with their vibrant orange hue!

    Image of a massive expanse of California poppies under a big sky with really cool clouds.

    Wide angle shot of a massive expanse of California poppies under a really cool sky.

    We headed to where we thought there would be the fewest amount of people and the largest number of petals. It was hard to avoid the crowds, but more importantly we avoided stepping on any flowers! We got lots of great photos and enjoyed the state flower. I will admit that I was on the lookout for rattlesnakes the whole time, but happy to report that I didn’t see any. Although now that I know that the rattlesnakes actually protect the poppies by killing all the rodents that would otherwise snack on the petals, I’m a new found fan of the rattlers. And apparently, rattlesnakes try to avoid people and use their rattler as a first alert system to let you know they’re there. Just give them space and they will slither away.

    It was a fun day with great weather to enjoy the outdoors and a beautiful landscape. My partner-in-crime was my on-again, off-again boyfriend and that’s a whole other story… but at least he knew about the poppies. He is handy to have around sometimes.

    Good things to Know for Your California Poppies Excursion

    Parking is $10 per car. There are other rates for seniors, handicapped, and buses. But you can also park on Lancaster Road for free and walk into the park.

    Other flowers include goldfields, lupine, and lacy phacelia.

    If you can get away during the week even better. The weekends are jam packed with visitors.

    There are eight miles of trails and areas that are paved to accommodate wheelchairs. The state reserve takes their poppies seriously so no tramping through the fields! There is a fine for killing any flowers.

    Leave Spot home. Only service dogs allowed.

    No tramping through the fields. It compacts the soil leaving it useless for new flower growth.

    And this is really important: Strong winds and cold weather cause the poppies to curl up. So check the weather before you go. For more info: visit https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=627

    Selfie of me and Robert in front of a field of poppies.

    Selfie with the poppies