It’s been awhile since I wrote a real post. Problem was I came home from SF last Friday and had The Come Up the next day. Then I was sick from Sunday until Tuesday. After recovering from my sickness, I was working to finish up my Bay Area rap mix for the podcast which should be posted mid-week. These podcasts will mainly be posted here and on The Come Up Events blog. Our submission was rejected from itunes so we are relying on blogs to get our mixes out.
Lets catch up…
I headed to SIPA to get down on the turntables. Me and Laurent got some time to beat juggle and scratch. Surprisingly, Laurent had two students now. One was a repeat student and the other was a new student. I actually met her at Diggin Sunday because she was diggin my music. I guess she was interested in learning how to do what we do. The session was good that night but I had to leave early to meet my girlfriend.
Laurent & Wessam
Laurent Teaching His Students
Me and Trisha signed up to take a walking tour of Downtown LA holiday lighting but we were running so late that we could not meet up with the group. We drove over to 4th and Main to hopefully catch up with the group at 4th St between Main and Spring where the lights were very impressive. There was one problem, they didn’t go that way and we waited there for a good 20-30 minutes.
4th Street Lights
4th St Lights
Harlem Pl Alley
Harlem Pl Alley
We decided to park the car close to the 7th St Metro Station to take the Blue Line to Pico Station. We found out later that we only parked about 15 minutes away from LA Live and taking the Blue Line from 7th St Station to Pico Station took about 20-25 minutes including the walk from Pico Station to LA Live. We also passed by Staples Center and got me thinking why I have only been to one Clippers game and one Kings game both in the nose bleed section. A new priority of mine is to get close to court side tickets to a key Lakers game. I am not a Lakers fan but I know the game will be exciting.
Walking down to 7th St Metro Station
Anyways, back to LA Live. We were not really impressed withwhat LA Live had to offer as of yet. Most of the businesses promised weren’t open yet and it was not that large of a complex as we expected in the time we were anticipating its opening. They also had this fake light Christmas tree that was cool but not as good as the real thing. I would prefer a tree like that in Rockefeller Plaza in NY. Most things were closed that night for private receptions since it was opening night but there were only a few places open for business including ESPN Zone, the Conga Room, Nokia Theatre, Nokia Lounge, and Bowling. We heard that Britney Spears was there an hour before we got there but we didn’t really care. I guess I will give LA Live another chance since everything is not open yet. I have to admit that I am waiting for Yard House to open so I have a place to go to to satisfy my thirst for beer. ESPN Zone will be cool too for games as long as they stay open long hours.
Fake Christmas Tree at LA Live
Crane LA Live
Lots of Flash, But is There Any Substance?
Office Space at LA Live
View from Upstairs
Weird Performer at LA Live
The Shrimp Head Sucking Posse
At work, we decided to go have lunch at Grand Central Market to get several pounds of cooked shrimp with the heads on, of course. The group included Sinuhe, Jade, Camelia, Muna, June, Manuel, Marco, Angelka, and myself. We went to Maria’s and got 5 pounds of shrimp (3 garlic and 2 diablo). We also got 2 grande fried tilapias (prepared in the same way Filipinos prepare it), and a pound of salmon. I swear we waited for about 25-30 minutes for them to cook everything but it was worth the wait. When we finally got to sit down and eat, Jade showed us all the correct way to eat the shrimp. Stick the head in your mouth, suck out all the juices, spit the headshell out, and then eat the rest. It is really good and I hope to bring some homies from outside of work there to get their grub on.
Maria's at Grand Central Market
$6.49/lb With the Heads On and They Fry it Up For You at A Minimal Cost
Maybe Next Time
Modelo While We Wait
The Pound I Was Eating
Jade Will Probably Kill Me For Posting This One
Post-Large Meal Cancer, Camelia, Muna, & Jade
June, Angelka, & Mint Chocolate Chip
Sinuhe, The Big Payback
After Work Drinks at the Liquor Store
Myself, Marco, James, Sinuhe, and Alberd left work and went to the liquor store to have some beer. It is a store that sells liquor but also offers tables for people to dine on lunch, snacks, cheese platters, and drink alcohol. They actually charge more for those who decide to drink in store rather than take you liquor to go. They do have Happy Hour before they close at 7PM which is $4-$5 for a pint or 22 oz. beer. It is actually more expensive to buy small bottles. So I got a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale cause I felt like having a hoppy beer. It was good as usual as we watched the Lakers kill the Wizards. After one pint and two wax covered cheese varieties, we left. James, Marco, and I went to my pad to use the bathroom before heading to Kike’s Tacos. Problem was that Kike’s was not open yet and we didn’t realize until we got there. I guess the early darkness threw me way off. We ended up driving to a Taco Truck next to the Walgreens in Echo Park. I had 4 tacos: cabeza, lengua, tripas, and some meat from the back of the ribs of I forgot what type of animal. I have never been upset with any meats I have tasted in a taco except the tripas (tripe). They deep fry it but it taste pasty/chalky and the flavor is not too pleasant. It was almost impossible to chew as well and I ended up just swallowing pieces whole. Yukkkk!!
True Beer Lover, Check the Closed Eyes to Enhance the Taste Buds. Sike
You Got to Open Your Own Shit Here
I had a lot planned for this day, Pacquiao/SIPAfundraiser, Scoops Tasting Challenge, watch UCLA vs. USC game, watch Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya fight, and check out the Block Party at 4th and Main St in Lofttown Los Angeles.
It was a fundraiser where a portion of the profits from Pacquiao t-shirts and silent auction went to the SIPA foundation, which you all know by now if you read my blog. It was at the Montalban Theatre, which was a makeshift Nike Store for the weekend, in Hollywood (Vine and Selma) which made it a bitch in regards to finding parking. I had no change for meters and lots were charging flat rates when I was only planning on staying for 30 minutes or so. I ended up parking on Hollywood where they have the new machine installed that take credit cards. I didn’t really know how to use it and paid for a full hour ($3, I think). We decided to check out Hollywood since we haven’t really been there since about 2003. Hollywood didn’t change much since then except for Hollywood/Highland. Just a bunch of souvenir stores, smoke shops, tattoo shops, suit shops, urban wear shops, memorabilia shops, and Scientology Centers. I was not surprised but that’s Hollywood.
Pacquiao is the Man
Pacquiao is my Height, Weighs 25 Pounds Less, and Can Knock Me Out in One Punch
Dance Crew at the Montalban Theatre
Capitol Records in Hollywood
Scoops Tasting Challenge
After Hollywood, Trisha and I went to Scoops for a tasting challenge to benefit an organization. We got 10 scoops for $10 and we had to guess the flavors to win a shirt. I was just there for the ice cream, even though I believe in donating to good causes, I had no prior knowledge that it was a fundraiser. We ate all we could before it started to melt and got nine out of ten of the flavors right, oh well.
Trisha Going Gaga Over All That Ice Cream
Little Kids Loving the Ice Cream
UCLA vs. USC Game
Although we had season tickets for UCLA football, we didn’t know how hard it was to free up most of your Saturdays to go so in the end I only went to the Tennessee and Stanford games. We had to sell the UCLA vs. USC tickets to make some money back for all the tickets we couldn’t sell since nobody seemed to want to go to a UCLA game for a cost. We ended up going to the Arts District to find a place to watch the game. No one had the game on. But after walking into a closed e3rd steakhouse, we got the guys to let us sit at the bar and watch the end of the game. It was horrible though because UCLA was losing 28-7 to USC. We left the bar unhappy but moved on. Before leaving the Arts District, we stopped by Crazy Gideons to check out what the hype was all about. Honestly, everything was crap and all outdated.
Out the Side View in the Arts District
The Skyline from the Arts District
From the Stairway in Crazy Gideons
Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya Fight
Although Sinuhe invited me to watch the fight at his pad in San Pedro, I was lazy to drive and we had plans that night in Downtown for the Block Party. That was a big mistake because we watched the fight on illegal live online streams. But everyone was getting shut down. There was one guy who kept starting new streams after being shutdown which allowed me to watch the fight in 4 short segments. I did get to see the 8th round though when they pulled De La Hoya out of the fight. Pacquiao defeats De La Hoya and I could hear the Filipinos in the Philippines go crazy from Los Angeles. I was very proud at that moment that we had another Filipino to represent our culture’s talent. If you guys didn’t know Filipinos are usually good at:
6. Looking Fresh to Death 24/7
Downtown Lofts Block Party
All I have to say about this was WHACK!!! What happened to the real downtown residents. It was just another event taken over and exploited by hipsters. No one was coming down from their lofts. They were coming from their cars since they just drove from Malibu or the Hollywood Hills. It could have been a cool event with all the restaurants adding tables outside on the street, live bands and DJs, art gallery showcases, and a beer garden. Too bad…I will stick to the Downtown Art Walk, diversity is better than uniformity, in regards to style in this case. After leaving the block party soon after we arrived, we stopped by Pershing Sqaure to check out the skating rink and holiday lighting along the way home.
From Pershing Square
At the Citi Bank Plaza
I needed to shop for an outfit for my company Christmas party and Trisha had to shop for gifts. We started at Ikea where she got a mugs and plates for her grandpa. I picked up a picture frame so I could finally out up some shots in my bathroom.
We then went to Glendale where I picked up a pin stripped vest and trousers for $50 at H&M. I wanted the blazer but they ran out of my size. The blazer was only $50. Hopefully they restock my size before Friday so I can get everything altered in time.
Trying it On in the Fitting Room
After H&M, we went to Carousel, a Lebanese Armenian restaurant, on Brand in Glendale. The food was good. I got yogurt kebabs and Trisha got a vegetarian dish. It only came out to $43 with tip after which was unexpected since the restaurant was pretty nice inside.
We finished up out shopping day with a trip to Glendale Galleria. This place was sooooooooooo crowded. We just stopped by Macy’s so Trisha could find pajamas for her grandma, she didn’t. We also stopped by the Apple store to see some of the Ipod dock/alarm clocks. None worked how I wanted them too when I tested them. Some alarms turned on the Ipod but had the volume at 0. Some didn’t allow you to use the Ipod to wake up. No success this time.
LA DWP Holiday Light Festival
We checked this out since we never did before even when we lived on Los Feliz Blvd off the 5 Freeway. It was cool but was definitely a one time thing. there were a few impressive light pieces but most were mediocre if not awful. I liked the Golden Gate Bridge and the entry/exit light tunnels, but not much more. It also rained once we got to the end before we had to turn around and walk back.
Tunnel of Lights
Trisha & More Lights
The Golden Gate Lights
The weekend was fun and eventful and it made me happy to get out of the house, especially since I spent most of my time with my girlfriend. Some great events are around the corner, including the free secret location Common show I got tickets for and my company Christmas party. Also, The Come Up Crew will be putting out our second podcast highlighting Bay Area Rap: Old and New featuring me, Spingineer, and Dumlao. If you are interested in checking out our first podcast, which was 90s hip hop, go to the music page on my blog or the podcast page on The Come Up Blog.
I’ll be back soon…Peace.