Sunday, July 29, 2012

LA - A Double MOCA with a Side of Ramen and a Twist

Day 3 in LA provided an international flare, art, and a few surprises. Shana took off early in the morn to wrap up the final day of shooting the infomercial. I caught the bus downtown to check out The Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I arrived just as it opened and people were inflating giant white balloons in preparation for a free evening concert. On display at the MOCA was Ends of the Earth; Land Art of 1974 and Cai Guo-Qaing's Sky Ladder. I was blown away by the scale of Cai Gui-Qaing's pieces and the process it took to create his explosion projects.
After the museum, I walked across the way to Little Tokyo. I stopped off at the Little Tokyo Koban and Visitor Center on 1st street. The folks there pointed me in a few good directions and were super duper helpful. I fueled up with a delicious and filling yet inexpensive bowl of chicken, bamboo, and seaweed ramen at Mr. Ramen and chased it with the most delicate citrus and red bead moshi from Fugetsudo-Do. The ladies at the sweet shop spent a lot of time explaining the fillings and flavors to me. I would go back there in a heartbeat!

I browsed through the little shops in the plazas and was most impressed by the variety of false eyelashes in all the beauty supply shops. Several wishing trees stood outside of the Japanese Village Plaza and I spent a few minutes reading the colorful strips. I breezed by a few temples hoping to go in but they were all gated for the day. I decided to move on to the MOCA on Grand Avenue.

I trekked over to the MOCA Grand Avenue. On the walk over I met Tyrone at one of the bus stops. Against a wall and on the ground, he was selling a series of hand drawn animals and snacks to help support his family. He shared a little of his story with me and was very gracious when I bought some sweet mama and baby elephant drawings from him. I was thrilled about my first purchase in LA.
Outside the MOCA, an airplane parts sculpture by Nancy Rubins stood in delicate balance. Inside on view was The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol and the permanent collection. Its was hypnotizing the walk back and forth under Pae White's string sculpture on the ceiling. 
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I hopped the bus to Sunset Junction to grab a cup o' joe at Intelligentsia Coffee and peruse the boutique shops along the strip. I came upon an incredible vintage shop called Ragg Mopp Vintage. I really enjoyed chatting with Vince Bilbro about his finely curated shop, his love of vintage clothes, and his former life as a bass player on the road. Upon first entering Ragg Mopp Vintage, I couldn't resist looking through nearly every dress, beautifully arranged by color, down the left side of the shop. Gorgeous garb and accessories from the mid-19th century to the 70's abound throughout the space and there was a fine selection of goods for both men and women. If you love vintage clothes and fun spaces as much as I do, definitely swing by Vince's shop the next time you're on Sunset.
Though I was tired from the long day out, I decided walk from Sunset back to Shana's apartment instead of taking the bus. I was so glad I did because I discovered a lot of great sites along the way.
The best find of all happened because of a mistake. When it was time to turn onto Shana's street, I headed in the wrong direction. Just a block up from the intersection, I discovered a curious box on someone's lawn which turned out to be a Little Free Library. I read the directions, opened the box, and grabbed a good read for the weekend. In Senior Class, Mary's senior year is both difficult and exhilarating. So far I've learned that Mary loves looking at animals at the zoo while pondering her friendships (or lack there of). Just think, in a few days the book will be back and YOU can read it too!
Shana wrapped up her styling job that night and we headed out to dinner with her friend Chelsea.  The Lazy Ox had a prix fixe deal for LA Restaurant week. Sake and flavorful tapas followed by decadent desserts left us all full and happy at the end of the day. I can't wait see what tomorrow brings!

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