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Stay in Shape- LA Style!

Obaro in motion over beach

California bodybuilder #2 B&WStay fit_Two women intense on ring

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Italian Style, LA Style

Italian Style, LA Style

One of my favorite restaurants, Terroni, on the corner of Beverly and Curson, a couple of blocks from The Grove. Excellent Northern italian cuisine, eclectic crowd, friendly bar scene…and espresso like you get in Rome (“ristretto”). My favorite dish- the prosciutto with burratta and artichoke.

 

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click on pic to enlarge

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So I Had to Check Out the Diane Von Furstenberg Exhibit

So I Had to Check Out the Diane Von Furstenberg Exhibit

Dressed in the classic DVF wrap dress, these promo gals were handing out flyers when I snapped this pic from my car window while driving. I do not recommend you do this.

Click on the pics below to enlarge.

Animal prints on DVF wrap dresses still dazzle.  With Amy Adams wearing a DVF wrap dress in "American Hustle" expect to see a resurgence in this look!

Animal prints on DVF wrap dresses still dazzle. With Amy Adams wearing a DVF wrap dress in “American Hustle” expect to see a resurgence in this look!

diane von furtstenberg portrait on her dress_row of her dresses

A Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress with her portrait. Several galleries filled with artists’ portraits of Diane, including Warhol and Chuck Close among many others,      were actually fascinating, despite being pure                                megalomania not seen since the death                             of  Chairman Mao!

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My First “LA Style Blog.” And Muse.

This is the perfect weekend to launch the beta version of my new blog, which will be highlighting “LA Style.”  For the past month or so, I have been toying around with the idea of creating a blog that could capture something of the essence of  “real LA style” through my street photography and commentary.  I had been out and about town shooting pics, observing Angelenos and trying to get a sense of how to pull it all together. All of a sudden, as 2014 came to fruition (note: the numbers “2” and “14” have always been my lucky numbers!), a weekend of perfect weather and perfect encounters with wonderful new acquaintances led to some great, random photos of people and places that I felt were as good as any as a starting point to define what LA style means to me.

For this first issue, which I’ll simply call my “beta launch issue,” I chose  one woman I met randomly, while out photographing,  to be my  “inaugural muse”:

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click on picture to enlarge

I believe the greatest fashion accomplishment is when a woman’s clothes frame her natural beauty, making her face,  hair, legs, skin and overall glow the real fashion statement. Spotted at a Starbucks in Beverly Hills, I noticed Alexi Boyd vignetted in not-so-basic black, accented with a creamy white bag that perfectly offset her black-on-charcoal outfit, resulting in a chiaroscuro portrait of perfection.   Her look combines LA’s focus on fitness and health with a classic stylishness that betrays the cliché of LA women being “artificial” or “garish. “  True natural beauty   presented with urban sophistication and self-confidence.

LA has many styles and in my blog I hope to bring you a wide array of real LA people from all walks of life and all ages who bring their own definition of beauty, glamour, style, panache, edge, swag and sex appeal to this  incredibly diverse and creative city.

People like this cat, who I just had to shoot for my blog because he epitomizes the individuality and self-expression that LA men have when it comes to fashion:

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click on picture to enlarge

Or young men like Bam (below)  who I caught on Melrose doing it all his own way!

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click on picture to enlarge

Another woman who I think epitomizes LA is Chelsea (below), who I caught out of the corner of my eye while driving down Sunset, as she was browsing inside Pop Killer.  I hit the brakes and, fortunately, she let me snap her pic.  Chelsea has her own “LA style.”  It’s her own mix of designer, vintage and personal finds and I find it fun, funky and feminine, yet strong.  A colorist by trade, I love the short hair and the colors.  With a look like this, she can go from 5 star to dive bar in the click of her boot heels!

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click on picture to enlarge

And these two classy and beautiful ladies below.  Yes, they are twins, yet each uniquely beautiful and wearing lovely dresses of their own design.  How LA can you get, right?  You may find yourself wearing clothes designed by  the talented Feven and Helena before you know it!

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click on pic to enlarge

So,  look forward to meeting all kinds of unique fashionistas and trendsetters right here.  Plus, discover my picks for best restaurants, bars, shops and galleries.  And along the way, you’ll meet some very interesting Angelenos that are making this city one of the coolest places to live on the planet.

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click on picture to enlarge

 As I was thinking about launching my “LA style” blog, I happened to drive by these three promo models for the opening of the Diane Von Furstenberg fashion retrospective at LACMA- no doubt an omen. The two gals are wearing vintage prints of DVF’s now classic wrap dress, and I snapped this pic while driving- something I don’t recommend you try and which I have resolved to remove from my  bad habit list for 2014.  Texting while driving is bad enough…imagine photographing!

You may be wondering: “What exactly defines “LA Style?”  I’ll be going into that in much more detail in an upcoming blog next week.  You might  be surprised to discover that,  despite the tremendous differences and variety of tastes and styles there are here, that I believe there is a unifying theme that defines LA and its sense of style.  But more about that next week.

Meanwhile, check out my pics from the Diane Von Furstenberg exhibit:

                                                        http://wp.me/pqoOI-98

Jerry Seinfeld, The Universe and My Blog Pic

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This morning while having my breakfast at home, I was feeling a bit anxious about the re-launch of my blog after an excessively long hiatus.  I was excited to be contacting all of my old and new followers, to let them know to expect a whole new series of humorous short stories satirizing topics ranging  from our consumer culture to politics to our technology-obsessed world.   However, I just wanted to make sure I had put all of the finishing touches on my blog site.  One thing that kept eating at me was my profile picture, which I have always liked, but never could really sink my teeth into why.  Sure, the foreshortened perspective of the close-up of my face looking over a cappuccino is a bit kooky.  The way the picture insinuates that I have a different perspective on things seems to resonate with readers.  Some readers have gone so far as to see deep symbolism in it- “the cappuccino symbolizes the world, and the white foam with the swirly brown of the cinnamon and chocolate subliminally suggests the seas and the continents as if seen from space,” one fan wrote to me.  As you can see, I attract a pretty strange following, which makes it hard to value their input, as much as I’d like to.

 

It was a typical Sunday of errand running- getting the oil changed on my car, picking up fresh produce at the Hollywood farmer’s market, then back home to put the final touches on my blog site.  I asked a friend what she thought, and she told me “put it out there in the universe and let the universe decide.”  This is the type of mindless New Age babble that really drives me nuts, and even though she is a friend, if she keeps giving me advice like this I may just have to delete her number from my cell phone and un-friend her on FB, not to mention unendorse her on LinkedIn.  Do people like her really think the planets, galaxies and black holes in space give a flying saucer as to what picture I stick on my blog?  That’s the kind of goofy California philosophy that ranks right up there with “there are no coincidences.”  The only time I believe that “there are no coincidences” is when someone tells me there are no coincidences and it turns out they are a moron.  “I guess they are right,” I think to myself, ”because the last person who said this was also a moron. There must be a cosmic connection because it’s certainly not a mere coincidence.”

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At the Jiffy Lube, I sat in the waiting room and browsed through a copy of Entertainment Weekly while they changed my oil.  I was intrigued by an article about Jerry Seinfeld’s newest venture, a web series called “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”  If anyone knows anything about comedy, it’s Jerry Seinfeld, and I found it interesting that he thinks comedians getting coffee is fertile ground for a comedy series.  “Maybe coffee is inherently funny, like slipping on a banana peel or men in drag,” I wondered.  I was beginning to feel more confident about my profile pic.

Soon enough, my car was ready and I headed over to the farmer’s market.  It’s usually pretty easy for me to find parking nearby but for some reason, after driving around the area for about 15 minutes, I still couldn’t find a spot.  Then suddenly, I saw a woman get into her car at a meter right across the street from the market.  Perfect! I pulled up alongside her and she told me that she was pulling out, but that it might take a few minutes because she was waiting for a friend who was picking up their coffees at the new espresso café in front of her spot.  I told her I didn’t mind waiting- I was tired of driving around the neighborhood.  After about ten minutes of waiting, she got out of her car and came over to my window.

“I’m sorry you’re waiting so long.  My friend just texted me and asked me to come in and have the coffee inside together.  But we’ll be fast- we’re running late for an appointment.  It’ll be just another 5 minutes.”

“Hey, it’s Sunday morning.  No rush,” I told her, trying my best to feign the chill California attitude and just go with the flow.   Deep inside, the New Yorker in me was fuming!

“Why are you fuming?” my Inner Californian asked my Deep Inner New Yorker. “Maybe there’s a reason why you need to wait.  Relax and let it be.”  As you can see, it’s not easy being a transplanted New Yorker in  LaLa Land.

Thankfully, she and her friend didn’t take long at all.  About 5 minutes later they walked out of the café and waved at me for being so patient.  But then, to my surprise, just before getting into her car, her friend began walking towards me, and came right over to my passenger side window.

 

I couldn’t believe it- it was comedian Andy Dick, who I used to think was quite hilarious, but who had seemed to go off the deep end at some point.  “What does he want with me?” I wondered.  I had read tabloid articles about him accosting a tourist, getting arrested for starting drunken brawls and even insulting other celebrities. Was he jacked up on espresso and looking to start a fight?  My Deep Inner New Yorker was just waiting to see what this skinny, aging, Hollywood comedy brat had to say.

Blog_Images_Andy Dick with baseball bat

 

“I just wanted to thank you for being so patient,” he said.  Then he reached into my car, shook my hand and walked away.  A total gentleman.

“That’s it!” I said to myself.  “First an article by Jerry Seinfeld about comics in their cars getting coffee.  Then, what are the odds that I am going to bump into a comic …in a car…getting his coffee?  But I did.  I mean, there are no coincidences, right?

The universe has spoken.  I’m keeping my profile pic.  Stay tuned for more freshly brewed blogs.

 

 

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Freshly brewed blogs

Freshly brewed blogs