image Community

LACE: Nonprofit Art in the Heart of Hollywood

Since its inception in 1978, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, or LACE as the art space is most commonly known, has been a beacon for experimental and innovative artists. Founded by artists, this non-profit gallery is free to the public, and presents a wide range of art including performance art, art installations, and public projects. With a move to the heart of Hollywood Boulevard in 1993, LACE is a cultural mainstay.

According to executive director Sarah Russin, the 3500-square-foot main gallery and 350-square- foot Project Room gallery serve multiple audiences. “International art audiences will come to LACE to see works about social justice issues, and explore contemporary art. Other tourists and Southern California residents will come in to see the exhibitions we present as well. But what we’re really interested in is visitors from the neighborhood.” Russin adds that along with a burgeoning business district, dining, and entertainment attractions  “The area is coalescing with an increase in housing density – we’re within walking distance of hundreds of apartments and homes, and we’re free and open to the public.”

With an accelerating hyper-local viewer base, the gallery’s role as a purveyor of exciting and meaningful contemporary art has never been more important.

Three curators from LACE’s Emerging Curators Program, Virginia Broersma, Nick Brown and Kio Griffith  have put together the current compelling group show, The Ecstacy of Mary Shelley. The installation deals with the dichotomy of pleasure and pain in a seven-artist group show that explores moments of transformation that can cause both experiences. As is true with many LACE exhibitions, the works engage viewers on a serious level, but are also accessible and involving. Presenting mixed media works, sculptures, installations, and video art, with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as the show’s inspiration, viewers get a glimpse into both the fearsome and the inspirational.

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley, Curated by Virginia Broesma, Nick Brown, and Kio Griffith
at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions). (Photo by Chris Wormald)

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley, Curated by Virginia Broesma, Nick Brown, and Kio Griffith
at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions). (Photo by Chris Wormald)

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley, Curated by Virginia Broesma, Nick Brown, and Kio Griffith
at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions). (Photo by Chris Wormald)

Other recent exhibitions have focused on public practice, such as After the Aqueduct, exploring Los Angeles’ water source, and Cocina Abierta Collective’s Help Wanted project, which examined the lives of Los Angeles restaurant workers.  Chats About Change is an on-going series about the political and social aspects of art-making and communication.

“We try to have a balance between presenting work that’s challenging and has deep content with visually exciting and appealing exhibitions,” Russin says, explaining that LACE seeks to present work that appeals to both sophisticated, art-centric viewers and the general public.

Along with the art itself, LACE holds events such as exhibition openings, music nights, artist talks, and panel discussions, such as a recent panel about the nature of curating itself.

“Three years ago we started our inaugural curator’s program. We hold one exhibition a year that’s open to anyone in Southern California who presents a proposal for a complete exhibition idea,” Russin explains. “We also have a wonderful internship program working with students from junior colleges, universities, and art schools as well as with recent graduates,” she notes. “Some serve as gallery guides.”

Having accessible guides is an important aspect of LACE exhibits. “The idea is that anyone can come in and engage with someone, and talk about the shows. One of our most important missions is to introduce contemporary art to the public.” Another way in which the gallery provides this introduction is through an ongoing series of online educational videos designed for the general public that supports artists and artistic dialogue, as well as in-person events such as Creative Capital Workshops and the Sustainability Network, and partnerships with ArtworxLA and PEN USA.

Another vital part of the gallery’s mission is to work with and foster artists creating innovative work and socially engaging content. Over the years, LACE has presented over 5000 artists in some 3000 programs and events, including now well-known Los Angeles artists such as Mike Kelley, John Baldessari, and Gronk.

Upcoming programs include presentations at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair February 23 – February 26, the exhibition I can call this progress to halt opening March 8th, and Rhizomatic Arts: Sustainability Network Happy Hour on April 2nd.

With a history this rich and a future this vibrant, LACE is a star in the expanding LA art scene – one that’s perfectly placed along the Walk of Stars right on Hollywood Boulevard.

The gallery is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.

LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)
6522 Hollywood Blvd.
(323) 957-1777

Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own

, , , , , ,

February 7, 2017

image Dining

Mahi Mahi has got your Fish Fix

There’s a great new spot for seafood fans on the lookout for a fast casual option that also doesn’t break the bank. Mahi Mahi Seafood Grill is located right in the Gower Gulch plaza, with a huge menu that actually caters to vegetarians, pescatarians and omnivores alike. Influences from cuisines near and afar ensure that there’s something on the menu for everyone.

The menu at Mahi Mahi Seafood Grill in Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Most menu items are under $10, from salads, Hawaiian, Teriyaki and poke bowls to full platters of grilled and fried fish or other proteins of your choice. There are also a variety of sandwiches, tacos and burritos filled with chicken, beef or fish. The best part is that the menu items are so vast, that it’s pretty much customizable to your preference. Side orders from chips and salsa to coleslaw and macaroni salad as well as clam chowder round out your meal quite nicely, should you feel hungry for that extra bite.

Crispy Cod Fish, $9.95 at Mahi Mahi Seafood Grill in Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

There’s also a fancy, high tech, touch screen fountain soda machine with a seemingly endless variety of sodas and iced teas — only $1.95 for purchase, and refillable should you be dining in. Don’t forget to furnish your order with selections from the refrigerated salsa and sauce bar, which is conveniently located at the back of Mahi Mahi. You’ll find pepperoncini, hot salsa, roasted red salsa, green salsa, chipotle sauce and tartar sauce perfect for dipping or topping your food.

The sauce and salsa bar at Mahi Mahi Seafood Grill in Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Mahi Mahi Seafood Grill
6122 W. Sunset Blvd.
(323) 464-6244

The dining room at Mahi Mahi Seafood Grill in Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Esther Tseng is a freelance food and drink writer. She has contributed to Eater, Thrillist, LA Tourism, Visit West Hollywood, Serious Drinks, and more. She practices Pilates, spins and snowboards to counter all the calories she consumes and loves to travel, whether for work or leisure.

, , , , , ,

February 6, 2017

image Entertainment

Museum of Death: A Life Force in Hollywood

The goal of the Museum of Death is to bury the notion of negativity – and “make people happy to be alive,” as its literature states. Begun in 1995 in San Diego by the husband and wife team of J.D. Healy and Catherine Schultz, the museum moved to Hollywood in 2000.

The Museum of Death on Hollywood Boulevard. (Courtesy photo)

“We’re located ‘where the stars end and the darkness begins,’ assistant museum director Ryan Lichten says. “That’s one of the tag lines on our flier, because one block over, the Walk of Fame stars end – or begin, depending on which direction you’re coming from,” he smiles.

“The whole emphasis here is to bring visitors closer to what most people fear – which is death. We don’t really talk about it in America. You don’t think about it until it happens. It’s a sterile thing here, but in other countries it’s a celebration of life, not a mourning of a loss. In other places they’ll parade the dead through the streets,” Lichten notes.

Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer at the Museum of Death in Hollywood. (Courtesy photo)

The museum features exhibits from artwork about death to letters from serial killers. “We have items relating to execution and capital punishment, funerary ephemera from the Victorian era up to the present, a collection of human and animal skulls, and taxidermy,” Lichten explains

The museum encompasses about twelve sections, and is packed with exhibitions and memorabilia. View crime scene photos, a Charles Manson exhibit, a display on a suicide cult, and one on deaths in California. The subject may seem grim, but Lichten relates that a visit to the museum often serves to uplift the guests that pass through it’s doors – without passing on.

Guillotine at the Museum of Death in Hollywood. (Courtesy photo)

“We want to encourage you to get out and live your life,” he says. “It’s all real, we don’t pull any punches. It’s really educational if you get past the initial shock of seeing what you’re seeing. Most people walk out of here with a smile on their faces, feeling great to be alive.”

The museum opened a second location in New Orleans a year ago, but the original location here features unique-to-California exhibits including those focused on the deaths of Hollywood celebrities, and local tragedies such as the still-unsolved Black Dahlia murder case.

Elizabeth Short, known as the Black Dahlia. (Courtesy photo)

From body bags to a coffin collection, anything you can think of relating to death is here. There are mortuary apparatuses, mourning jewelry, and even a video showing a real embalming. From funeral objects to death care, most of the objects are American.

The Museum of Death offers a self-guided tour the lasts just about an hour, and visitors range from the young to the elderly. “We recently had a bus group of over fifty 75 and up senior women visit us, and we’ve also hosted high school field trips. Everyone dies, so really everyone has a reason to check out the museum,” Lichten asserts.

The museum and it’s staff enjoy their location right on Hollywood Boulevard, and Lichten reports that their address is “just far enough off the Walk of Fame” that it’s not considered a part of the more tourist-centric exhibits on the boulevard. The Museum of Death is not a conventional tourist attraction. But Lichten notes “We have a large following from all around the world. People visit from everywhere, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to be located on one of the most popular streets on the planet.” For the living, that is.

Museum of Death
6031 Hollywood Blvd.

Museum of Death in Hollywood, CA. (Courtesy photo)

Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own

, , , , ,

February 2, 2017

image Dining

Omakase Mondays at Katsuya by SBE

Katsuya by SBE gives you something extra special to get out on the town for on Mondays thanks to their special Omakase Series. Start your week off right by treating yourself to a seasonal, multi-course dinner at Hollywood and Vine featuring the freshest catches of the day and imaginatively plated dishes.

Chawanmushi egg at Katsuya Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Only 10 seats are available every Monday night, right at their exclusive sushi bar, with the menu subject to change weekly. So come with an open mind and palate, because you’re in for a special treat. It’s $85 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity, for a 7-course meal and dinner is at 8 p.m. It’s a great way to have a luxe night out in Hollywood at a more-than-reasonable price. Pair your meal with a recommended sake (additional), and you’re set.

Pickled Kabocha at Katsuya Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Chef de Cuisine David Lespron alternates the seven courses between Katsuya classics and seasonal specials, which might even be served that night only. And you’ll have front-and-center seats to all the action, so you’ll get to watch your dishes be prepared right in front of you for the ultimate in dinner entertainment!

So be sure to reserve your spot, either by calling or using this form. If you have any dietary restrictions, you can specify on the phone call or on the form. Enjoy!

Corn Chowder with Miso at Katsuya Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

6300 Hollywood Blvd.

Esther Tseng is a freelance food and drink writer. She has contributed to Eater, Thrillist, LA Tourism, Visit West Hollywood, Serious Drinks, and more. She practices Pilates, spins and snowboards to counter all the calories she consumes and loves to travel, whether for work or leisure.

, , , , , , , ,

January 30, 2017

image Entertainment

Museum of Broken Relationships: Mending the Broken Hearts on Hollywood Boulevard

If you’ve ever had a broken heart, or cried for that ‘happily ever after’ that never came, just in time for Valentine’s Day, make a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships on Hollywood Boulevard.

Interior of the Museum of Broken Relationships in Hollywood. (Courtesy photo)

This fascinating museum exhibits objects donated by those who’ve experienced a sad love story, from love letters to breast implants. Displaying anonymously donated objects from around the world, there are sad, funny, and hopeful stories here, and the expression of the welcome theme that everyone has had an experience like this. Donators and visitors alike experience a catharsis that’s both unburdening and entertaining.

Olinka Vistina and Drazen Grubisic, two artists in the middle of their own break-up in Zagreb, are the museum’s originators. According to museum spokeswoman Erika Paget, the couple initially joked that between them they could start a museum with the artifacts of their relationship.

An artifact at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Hollywood. (Courtesy photo)

“They stayed friends and revisted the idea a few years later, and opened their first pop-up show in 2006. The exhibition was so popular that they immediately started touring and opened the first Museum of Broken Relationships brick and mortar location in Zagreb in 2010,” Paget says. “John B. Quinn, a Los Angeles attorney, visited the Zagreb museum in 2015 and was so taken with the universality of the show that he contacted the artists and began talks to bring it to Los Angeles. We opened in June of 2016.”

Paget says Quinn’s museum is thriving in Hollywood. “The city is a place that’s steeped in big dreams and crushing defeats. Hollywood is also a place where people are open to new ideas,” she laughs. “Moving pictures! Talkies!” And now, a museum about – lost relationships.

A collage of artifacts from the Museum of Broken Relationships in Hollywood. (Courtesy photo)

Paget notes that the collection comes from all over the world, as well as locally. Overall, the varied exhibits “show how even in our most lonely and disconnected times, these are universal experiences. No one is immune. What happens when you see these stories, all the different types of relationships from all different types of people, is that you begin to understand the strength of the human spirit and what truly connects us across all borders.” Paget adds that “We are all looking for human connection and love, and we all trip on that journey.” Visiting the museum and seeing that universality first hand is an experience that is “extremely bolstering to one’s soul.”

The museum started their call for objects in February, 2015, and it’s still open. “We receive between 5 and 20 objects a week,” she notes.

That’s a lot of broken hearts looking for closure.

“Our audience is everyone,” Paget says, describing museum visitors. We all have the language to speak on what is included in this collection. We have all had experiences with loss and heartbreak, whether its minor or much larger.”

A submission arrives to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Hollywood. (Courtesy photo)

The popular museum is a spot visited by people from all walks of life, at all stages of relationships, and of all ages. “While it can be very cathartic if you are going through a difficult time, it is also a beautiful place to visit if you are in a stable relationship. It can be a reminder of what we are working on and what we should appreciate in our lives.”

The serene space also brings people a little closer to their own vulnerabilities, and those of others. “It drives you to be a bit kinder in your everyday dealings, because you never know what someone else is going through.”

From a poignant collection of origami cranes to used emery boards, visitors will find a wide variety of emotional artifacts, accompanied by notes from donors explaining them, together shaping a tender and intimate experience of love, loss, and healing.

Museum of Broken Relationships
6751 Hollywood Blvd.

Museum of Broken Relationships, Hollywood, California. (Courtesy photo)

Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own

, , , , , ,

January 25, 2017

image Events

An Afternoon with Earl Carroll

Spend an afternoon with Earl Carroll – followed by “A Night At Earl Carroll’s” – presented by the American Cinematheque, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles & Hollywood Heritage!

An illustrated presentation on Sunset Boulevard’s art deco era Earl Carroll Theatre, Hollywood’s newest Historic Cultural Monument, will be given by Richard Adkins of Hollywood Heritage and Marc Wanamaker of the Bison Archives. This nightclub, famous for its “Vanities” showgirl stage revues, opened on December 26, 1938 with a jaw-dropping Art Deco interior designed by Alexis de Sakhnoffsky who invented the Streamline Moderne style.

Adkins and Wanamaker will give a history of the glamorous supper club with the words “Through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in the world,” emblazoned over the door and talk about the impending renovations to the building that most recently housed Nickelodeon. Wanamaker will detail his personal history with the building in the 1960s when it was known as The Aquarius Theatre and the Kaleidoscope psychedelic night club where The Doors famously performed. The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles joined Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s office and heritage groups including Hollywood Heritage and the Los Angeles Conservancy to speak to the cultural importance of the building to Los Angeles and helped to obtain Historic Cultural Monument status for it.

The 1940 musical, A Night at Earl Carroll’s, will play following the lecture at approximately 2 PM.

1940, Universal, 62 min, USA, Dir: Kurt Neumann

Perhaps Hollywood’s most glamorous club ever, the Earl Carroll Theatre stood on the southeast corner of Sunset and Vine – an Art Deco palace emblazoned with cement slab movie star autographs (much like Grauman’s Chinese) and a huge neon sign of dancer Beryl Wallace surrounded by the incantation “Through These Portals Pass the Most Beautiful Girls in the World.” Released one week after FANTASIA, this musical stars Ken Murray with Rose Hobart, plus radio stars Brenda & Cobina (Blake Steward and Elvia Allman) and songs by Hobart, William Brady, Mary Lou Cook, Lillian Cornell and an old vaudeville dance by Lela Moore. The thin plot revolves around Earl Carroll (playing himself) being kidnapped by mobsters at a mayor’s convention. A glorious artifact for those with an interest in the revival of burlesque!

Click here for tickets.

Photo courtesy of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

January 20, 2017

image Architecture & Planning

Let’s Address Measure S

An important discussion on Measure S will be led by Matthew Fienup, Executive Director of California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF) on February 1st at 6.30 pm. This discussion, which will take place at 6565 Sunset Blvd., will include a panel in support of and a panel opposed to Measure S and a Q&A with the audience.

Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments and attendees will be able to fill out question cards for the panelists and Mr. Fienup. At 7:00 p.m., Mr. Fienup will begin the discussion with the panelists and at 7:45 p.m. there will be an audience Q&A until 8:30 p.m. Please join us for what is sure to be an insightful and interesting discussion as we address Measure S. Parking is available for $5 at the event venue as well as in the surrounding neighborhood.

The confirmed panelists* in support of Measure S will include:

  • Mr. Jack Humphreville – Jack writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the president of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate.
  • Mr. Dick Platkin – Dick is a former LA city planner who writes articles on planning issues for CityWatch. Dick has also recently been an adjunct instructor at USC and CSUN.

The confirmed panelists* opposed to Measure S will include:

  • Mr. Luke Klipp –Luke is President of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council and the founder of “Greater LA,” an online grassroots coalition. He founded “Happy Urbanists” and is the 2016 winner of the Deborah Murphy Advocate of this year’s “Streetsie” award.
  • Ms. Kerry Morrison – Kerry was a mayoral appointee to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) from 2011 to 2016, and served as chair in 2014-15. She serves on the Home for Good Business Task Force to End Homelessness, the board at The Center in Hollywood, and is a founder of Hollywood 4WRD.
  • Ms. Alissa Walker – Alissa is currently the urbanism editor at Curbed and her writing has appeared regularly in Los Angeles Magazine, LA Weekly, Dwell, Fast Company, GOOD, Gizmodo, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as on the KCRW public radio show DnA: Design and Architecture.

*Views and opinions expressed are those of the individual and not their employer or the organization of which they are a part.

, , , , , , ,

January 20, 2017

image Shopping

Earthbar Now Open in Hollywood

Earthbar is a healthy convenience store that has taken the guesswork out of eating healthy on-the-go. The company is growing and expanding with 26 locations (19 inside of Equinox gyms) – one of the recently opened locations is inside of the new Equinox in Hollywood at the intersection of Vine and Selma (The Camden).


Earthbar is now open inside Equinox Hollywood.

They bring 45 years of nutritional innovation to their products, having started as Great Earth Vitamins in 1971. So you can grab anything in the store – from smoothies to grab-and-go meals to cold-pressed juices to healthy snacks to vitamins and supplements – and know you’re at the cutting edge of nutritional innovation. Earthbar features naturally good, high-quality, certified organic, safe, pure, raw and plant-originated and nutritional solutions based on your goals.

1550 N. Vine Street
(323) 497-4143

Earthbar WH1

Earthbar promotes “better life through better nutrition.”

, , , , ,

January 16, 2017

image Events

Music and Art at the Library

There’s almost always something going on at The Library @ The Redbury, one of the hottest bars in town!

Every Tuesday, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., it’s Unplugged, featuring live acoustic and jazz music. Enjoy half-off selected wine bottles and social hour pricing all night long including $8 specialty cocktails, $7 wine, and bar bites from Cleo ranging from $3-7.


Then, on Thursday, January 12, The Redbury and 4AM present Painters, a Street Art Series, featuring live art by Brittney Palmer.


For table reservations, e-mail

The Library @ The Redbury
1717 Vine Street

, , , , , , ,

January 4, 2017

image Shopping

Larry Edmunds Bookshop: The Store for Film Lovers in Tinseltown

Where can a true film buff come for movie photographs, posters, and of course, books? That would be the 70-year-old Larry Edmunds Bookshop, long known for its stellar collection of over 20,000 books and 500,000 or more movie photographs.

Owner Jeff Mantor says that while the business started in 1938, he began working with the store in 1991 and has owned the shop since 2007. “I just wanted to keep the shop going. I would never want to do this business any place else. I think what we do belongs on Hollywood Boulevard.”


Display windows at Larry Edmunds Bookshop on Hollywood Blvd. (Photo by Gary Leonard)

But business for the independent, long-established bookstore is changing. “We used to be reliant on tourist season, the three months from June to Labor Day,” he notes. “Today, between Amazon and eBay, combined with the airline weight restrictions, that period of time is not what it used to be.”

But Mantor has adapted well to the changes in business climate. “We have always appealed to a speciality audience, so now I do more in-store events, and events at movie theaters with signings, and representation from celebrities and authors. My busy season is now usually the fall rather than summer, and our emphasis is on setting up a variety of events and activities.”

Recently, Mantor put together an event at Hollywood Boulevard’s Egyptian Theatre featuring Cary Elwes and a screening of The Princess Bride. Following the film, Elwes participated in a  Q & A and a book signing of the new paperback edition of his bestselling, “As You Wish – Inconceivable Tales From the Making of the Princess Bride.”

And on January 5th the store is hosting “An Evening with Carleton Carpenter,” signing his auto-biography “The Absolute Joy of Work.” Carpenter is a renowned film, television and stage actor, magician, songwriter, and novelist, whose presentation will chronicle show business history from the Broadway stage to the MGM backlot. “I’m also planning an event with television writer David Bianculli from The Smothers Brothers in the store itself early next year,” Mantor notes.

Interior of Larry Edmunds Bookshop on Hollywood Blvd. (Photo by Gary Leonard)

Sean Hathwell at Larry Edmunds Bookshop on Hollywood Blvd. (Photo by Gary Leonard)

Along with offering in-store and store-linked events, Mantor describes his shop as “very much a good resource for people who need anything on the subject matter of the entertainment industry. And of course it’s a great resource for posters and photographs, too.” Asked about his most unique books, Mantor says “I think everything we carry is unique. I carry vintage books about Hollywood history, production and behind-the-scenes books, and brand new books about the industry. Whatever you are looking for, if it has to do with entertainment, we have it.”

Mantor sometimes fields unusual requests that go far beyond the books and memorabilia he carries. “We often get requests from people who think we can put them in touch with a celebrity they love or give them help producing a film. We get requests from prisoners with stories to tell and the time to figure out how to write them. They’re seeking source material to learn how to write screenplays.”

The store offers approximately four dozen different categories, all pertaining to the entertainment industry, according to Mantor. “The only fiction we carry are screenplays. We carry biographies, books on directing, writing, and different kind of genre films from horror to SciFi. We also have books on television, acting, foreign films, film criticism, and so much more.”

Browsers and buyers can see for themselves: Larry Edmunds is located at 6644 Hollywood Blvd., and is a veritable Aladdin’s treasure cave of Hollywood-related books, posters, pictures, lobby cards, scripts, and more.

Larry Edmunds Bookshop
6644 Hollywood Blvd.
(323) 463-3273


Larry Edmunds Bookshop on Hollywood Blvd. (Photo by Gary Leonard)

Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own

, , , , , , ,

December 29, 2016