L.A. the Blog: Crazy Art Cars, 2nd Installment

Adding to the previous and earlier blog about crazy art cars in Los Angeles, we have a few more to add.  You can  check out the original post here.

Back view of graffiti busFront graffiti bus

Side View of Graffiti Bus

We needed to throw in a graffiti bus found down in Venice, for what is an art car posting without the a cool-ass bus in it?

A Peace car, not a pa-lease car.

What do you to with that old police interceptor? You turn it into the Peace car, at least that’s what these guys did. Hey, it’s the peace car, not the pa-lease car.

Pirates in the rape van

Heck we know who these guys are, but in all fun we want to leave it up to the viewer to guess what this picture is all about. An anarchy van, a strip club, masks and a pirate flag? All we can say is they are up to no good …

Wedding

How did this end up here? Oh, well happy marriage you two – Gabe and Bridget get married!!!

UPDATE (5/12/12):

Turbo Lover Van

We needed to add one more crazy art car pick, this van is seen lurking around Hollywood, and we love it for its tribute to those things dead and satanic. Go Turbo Lover we love you!

Turbo Lover Van

L.A. the Blog: Collection of Los Angeles Art Cars

Though not unique to Los Angeles, this beautiful city has a collection of cars that people have taken and personalized in such a way that we are sure they are one of a kind.  So without out further ado the blog brings you the first few photos in a series of car photos that speak so loudly they couldn’t be ignored:

cork

The it must float cork car ...

Well, obviously a heavy drinker’s car. Not only does the car float with so much cork on it, when the owner drives drunk he is protected from small fender benders. Wine anyone?

The Nor-Cal hella, hella, hella jeep.

Yes, not only does this car scream Nor-Cal with the “Hella” lights, it also hella is an advertisement for cigs, Camel cigs. L.A. the Blog hopes the owner won the car from collecting Camel cash.

The everything red car ...

This car is made of so many miscellaneous red items that we can’t really classify the car, but choose to call it “Classy Red.”

Cool car

We thought this car just looked rather cool and fast …

Stay tuned for more car fun!

L.A. the Blog: Persecution Takes A Holiday in L.A.

Call it art!  Call it vandalism!  Call it the protest that its name implies, but whatever it is (maybe I should just ask??) these pics circulating online show once again that making a statement requires little else than a few drops of paint and an idea.  L.A. the Blog applauds “Persecution Takes a Holiday In L.A.”:

PS – If you have more pics send them my way!!!

UPDATE:  Added in June 2012 is some more pics from the project.

 

L.A. the Blog: Air Into Drinking Water

So while paying a handsome price for some healthy-vegan-macrobiotic-specialty sandwich (yes it had sprouts) at the LifeFood Organic retail/raw food/juice store something astonishing happened.  First let me just say the sandwich was good, and if you are looking for organic supplements and vitamins then LifeFood Organic is for you.

Getting back to the story, nestled in the corner of the shop is a water dispenser that upon further investigation is pretty darn cool.  It converts air into drinking water.  Yes, I will say it again.  It converts air into drinking water.  The first ever this writer has seen or heard about.

Upon a little minor investigation Wikipedia failed in providing any answers – right or wrong, but Bloomberg Businessweek picked it up in 2009 and ranked in the top 25 Products That Might Just Change the WorldWIRED magazine wrote a great article in 2006 that claims the Pentagon helped develop the technology to provide troops in dry conditions (Iraq for example) with water.

Wherever it came from or where in the future it is going, there is a company located in Santa Monica named what else Air2Water that makes a few of these products.  It is a local company and while they aren’t the only one that makes the machines, they have a few sleek designs.

Searching the internet for the type of machine that is featured in the pictures from LifeOrganic didn’t turn up an exact match, and the machine had no visible product name.  The specific machine will stay a mystery, but it looks like on average air-from-water machines do about 4 to 8 gallons of water per day for drinking.

What is clearly labeled is the FDA approved sticker.  L.A. the Blog tried the water and we haven’t grown a third head just yet, but the FDA symbol did make us feel better.  So now you have to reasons to visit LifeFood Organic – for the supplements and to stare at the magic machine.  A soon to be tourist attraction in Hollywood I am sure.

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L.A. the Blog: What’s up with graffiti in Hollywood?

Everyone knows you can get a good look at some of L.A.’s graffiti artist by cruising Melrose between and around Fairfax and La Brea Ave., but if you’re interested in digging a bit deeper, just off the beaten path in Hollywood some real treasures exist.

Los Angeles - street style

For instance not less than a half mile from the well-known shopping area on North Gower Street tucked behind Paramount Studios sits a plethora of industrial spaces transformed from the dull white or gray into something out of the 80’s.

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It looks like most of the wall space along Gower in the area has been taken for all you fledgling street bombers out there, at least all the wall space that hasn’t been painted over or buffed. Of course you can always buff and paint over, but then you risk the wrath of angering some of the most notorious street graffiti crews in Los Angeles: AWR, MSK, and who knows who else …

We Hate All You's

Curious L.A. the Blog sent an e-mail to Paramount to find out if any of the work was commissioned by the studio or of any of it found its way into the movies. We will keep you updated as we plague the studio with phone calls.  Anyway check out the picks below (you win a prize if you spot Filter Magazines office in the pics):

The next hidden street gallery, though only consisting of two real walls that have been exploited is much closer to the Melrose shopping district, on the corner of Melrose and Highland Ave.

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Most notably you can find Buff Monster’s 10-year anniversary piece.  You know Buff Monster, the cute bubbly guy:

Buff Monster 2011

 

Last in this piece (ha, get it piece!) is another new location that is still under work and put up in 2010.  It is at the corner of Edgewood and La Brea Ave rivaling the Paramount spot in breadth and variety.

View Larger Map

The spot is further than the other two location, but definitely worth the drive.  If you go be sure to travel a little further down on La Brea and you can catch MBW’s send off to the Academy Awards (and most likely Exit Through the Gift Shop), Storm Troopers and all.  Before it was a tribute to Charlie Chaplin.

Graffiti

L.A. the Blog is trying to figure out if MBW licensed the storm troopers from Lucas Films LTD.  We will keep you updated.

Please look at a complete set of pictures in the gallery below.  While there are numerous spots in Hollywood to look at great graffiti, we will try to bring them all as we come across them.  Best!

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L.A. the Blog: Part 2, Unique L.A. and the Story of the Custom Shirt

With a post name like “the Story of the Custom Shirt” readers must be dying for the story (does anyone read this?).  Anyway, the whole story about Unique L.A. is that there were more custom t-shirts than any other item.

I Love NY in LA

The not-so-custom I Love NY t-shirt

The event even displayed the not-so-custom I ❤ NY shirt, that makes no sense for LA and I really hope wasn’t selling for very much.  I believe you can get them on the street in NY for pretty cheap, or online for even cheaper.  Again, there were handbags, some real nice artisan hats, fancy gift cards, but most booths that catered to men really went after the “art shirt.”  The only joy found in this fact manifested with $5 custom “art shirt” for sale by the Los Angeles-based company Sub_Urban Riot (get it Suburban, sub-urban).  Finally in this sea of expensiveness (yes everything at the event was pricey) a deal screamed out “buy!”

Sub_Urban Riot

The now infamous $5 t-shirt from Sub_Urban Riot

What a popular idea that works, sell stuff cheap.  Marketplace by American Public Media keeps proclaiming that the 2010 holiday season is the year of the shopper bargain.  Not from any generosity on the part of retailers, but because that is what shoppers want this year and to sell you have to deliver.

Sub_Urban delivered.  With their website claiming that they use organic cotton, and the booth attendant nervously explaining that all of their t-shirts have the Made in USA (if not Made in L.A.) label, $5 truly is a steal.  His nervousness makes me nervous about the claim though (maybe they are ripping off American Apparel??).  With a good quality shirt the t’s make a great gift!

Detroit Sprinkles booth

More t-shirts, this time by Detroit Sprinkles

Too many t-shirts!  Of note, the custom shirts by Detroit Sprinkles captured a dying era and look pretty cool.  The owners make the shirts in their Venice Beach garage and sell them on Abbott Kinney (of course), among other places.  They are Detroit transplants.  What does the Statue of Liberty say, “Give me your tired, your poor …”

T-shirts

More T-shirts damn it!

Leaving the t-shirt behind the next beautiful shinning star of the event upcycles (we just learned this word) fabulous gifts out of recyclable and non-recyclable trash.  At first it sounds gross, but in actuality the stuff was creative and fresh.  For example, old NYC subway metro cards that became the cover for creative address books.  The address book pages were created from junk mail / direct mailers, using the already printed fields for your name, etc.

NYC Metro Card Address Book, Inside Page

Make Shop Live's NYC Metro Card address book made out of junk mailers and old metro cards

Make Shop Live created a use for the most hated thing in L.A. the Blogs mailbox (maybe I can get my junk mail sent to them?).  Other great creations include Tecate beer can Christmas tree decorations in the form of reindeer; and multi-level ashtrays made from old vinyl, though the owners of the booth claimed the ashtrays were jewelry trays, ha!  They sold desk organizers re-purposed form old cardboard.

MakeShopLive

Desk organizer from Make Shop Live, everyone needs one!

Trash bins also made from the same type of cardboard laminating, and other neat stuff (see pics below).  L.A. the Blog gives a big thumbs up to Make Shop Live, and appreciates them teaching our publication about upcycling.

Now let’s get to everyone’s favorite site Look at this fucking hipster and get into just how un-hipster Unique L.A. turned out.  The event shoppers themselves were a real let down.  Of the few definite hipsters around, the camera phone that snapped all our pictures doesn’t do moving targets very well so few of these gems in the crowd got snapped up.  The most eye-catching trend pointed towards decorated lace sweater wear in natural colors with art-deco flavor patters.

Hipster blue hair

Fascinating trend that is eye-catching.

Other than that just your everyday person cruising the myriad maze of funky indie fashion and trends.  The story ends with a packed elevator down to the street level, goodbye penthouse on the 13th floor and goodbye Unique L.A.  If you look at the pics below you can see some of the favorite stuff that made up the day.  Oh and on the way out the DJ, she posed for a pic, pretended to scratch records.  We love you DJ lady!!!!

We love you DJ!!

We love you DJ!!

Cool hat

Cool hat

Metro Card Address Book Cover

Metro card address book cover by Make Shop Live

Artist Drawing

Street artist leaving his mark on some sellable canvas

Hipster couple

The one hipster couple that stood still long enough to photograph

Hipster hat seller

Hipster hat seller rocking the plaid

Stella Neptune

Stella Neptune printed designs on sweaters

Handmade Store On A Bike Cards

Cards by Handmade Store On A Bike

Hipster Patches

Hipster patches by Handmade Store On A Bike

Make Shop Live Reindeer

Make Shop Live reindeer christmas ornaments

Make Shop Live multi-teared ashtrays

Make Shop Live multi-tiered ashtrays

Feather headwear by Bedford Falls

Feather headwear by Bedford Falls

Handmade Store On A Bike

Handmade Store On A Bike, in case you thought I was lying

L.A. the Blog: Unique L.A. and the Story of the Custom Shirt

Unique L.A. is back!  Yes, the third annual holiday shop-a-thon of everything that comes from independent designers.  Perhaps its handmade in a persons garage; sold from a roaming bike store; and/or made from recycled goods (think junk mail from some established store like Macy’s).  It has everything Do-It-Yourself and indie, well almost everything that is!

Unique L.A. - California Market Center

Shoppers stood under the Christmas tree that decorates the halls of the California Market Center as they waited for the 3rd Annual Unique L.A. design showcase.

Unique L.A., held on Dec. 11th and 12th, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., takes over the top floor of the California Market Center (CMC) that sits in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ fashion district. L.A. the Blog managed to catch the first half-day of action.

Like all good fashion crowds they studiously showed up for the bonanza well before the elevators opened forming a solid line of around 200 people.  It costs $10 just to get into the event, perhaps $6 to $10 for parking, so plan on at least spending $20, especially if you want something to drink while at the show.  Luckily at it’s up 13 floors so you at least get a nice view for the money.  Yes the infamous 13th floor, and no the CMC didn’t skip the number.

826LA Unique L.A. Booth

826LA setup shop at Unique L.A. selling books, posters, time travel stuff, etc ...

It’s notable that 10 percent of the door proceeds went to 826LA, a nonprofit the event sponsored.  My favorite item at the 826LA booth, the All My Friends Are Dead illustrated book by Avery Monsen and Jory John (also available on Amazon and truly funny!).  826LA offers tutoring and creative writing workshops after schools let out for those young, vivacious maniacs howling through the streets (yes I evoked Ginsberg).

Let’s get to the point.  The most striking thing about the show:  too many shirts and not a hint of pants.  You would think that people only wear tops and walk around naked from the waist down.  Detroit Sprinkles Cassette DesignIt offered sweaters, hats, t-shirts, gloves, hoodies (like those cool Detroit ones), pins for your hoodies, neat feather headwear, but not one good pair of jeans.  Or at least not easily found jeans (did anyone sell pants there?).  Wait, there was a sock booth where you could buy socks, and headdresses.

T-shirts at Unique L.A.

T-shirt designs on display at Unique L.A.

The second foible to my perfect day, the price.  As an independent design showcase with many of the items handmade, t-shirts printed by hand, original artwork hand painted, the asking price stood a little higher than the $5 to $10 dollar shirts that you can find just outside the event everyday on the street.

The quality however and the unique feel of everything, the chance to wear a one-off shirt screams at the fashion diva in as all.  IntelligentsiaHell though even the food was expensive.  Coffee cost $4.  Enough said.  Roasted in SoCal, and sold at the newest coffee shop fad in L.A. – Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea – it even wears the mantle indie D.I.Y.   The coffee isn’t even Fair Trade, it’s better. Direct Trade.

Highlights of the show:  the hunt for something affordable, or also known as the best bargain in the show.  The live DJ.  A shop that sold items from recycled garbage.  Of course let’s not forget the hip people cruising around.  While not everyone came decked out in fashion forward mode, there was some jewels of creativity within the shoppers.  Stay tuned for updates!!!

Stuffed cat

Yes, this cat was once alive! It adorned a jewelry display and I can't tell you how much cuter it would be if it was still alive : (