27 June 2013

Breakfast, Part I

Bacon and eggs were not something my parents made for breakfast. Instead, despite my mother being a nutritionist, breakfast in our house included a rotating cast of microwaveable churros, grocery store pumpkin pie and apple strudels, and Toaster Strudels. With the icing packets. Yet no artificially colored cereals! (Which is why I now buy Lucky Charms from time to time.) Or snacks! So no Fruit Roll-Ups or Gushers in my Little Mermaid lunchkit. You might think someone in elementary school would be all over the Toaster Strudel, but for whatever reason I never had an appetite for breakfast (this continued through college) and would convince my dad to let me take it to go (like, on the school bus) and then proceeded to throw my breakfast away at the first trash can I saw. Of course now I feel incredibly guilty.

On weekends, still no bacon and eggs, or pancakes and waffles, obviously, but my mom might make her vinegar and soy sauce eggs or my dad would make a pot of glutinous rice balls filled with sesame paste or his flavorless boiled sweet potato. Yes, my dad cooks. In fact, in my memory, he cooked most weekday nights, whereas my mom cooked more often for special occasions. When we had guests, she was more in the kitchen than at the dining table and eventually reappeared with the shrimp—always the last dish, always hot—and would finally stay a while. Shortly thereafter I would excuse myself and whip out one of my more advanced Chinese phrases, which translated to something like "I'm leaving, but you should stay as long as you want and eat slowly." My parents' friends were always impressed by this.

14 June 2013

There are so many good classic films I have yet to see and, until this week, My Fair Lady was one of them. Lucky me, I got to see it at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which opened the same year the film was released (1964) and where, I'd like to point out, the Oscars were held several times.

So why was My Fair Lady playing at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and why was I there? Um, because I had Founder's Circle seats "RESERVED FOR CHOU"...But let's back up. The screening was part of the Los Angeles Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats, an annual series of classic film screenings and live entertainment in historic theatres. This particular screening was presented as part of Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A., a program developed especially for the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. Back in January, the Conservancy hired Design Agency Co to help promote the various Curating the City events. Five months later, as we wrap up our work with the Conservancy (note: the program continues through July), the loverly women with whom we've been working kindly reserved seats for us in the Founder's Circle for My Fair Lady. (Well?? Did I like it? I loved it. Favorite part? Horse race. Not so much Eliza Doolittle's bad behavior but the FASHION. Like something Grace Coddington would style and produce. Perfection, basically.)

Looking back on the last five months, I realize I've learned a lot about Los Angeles and its modern (and not-so-modern) architecture through working with the Conservancy and taking its Modern Skyline and Modern by Moonlight Walking Tours of Bunker Hill. Coincidentally, Design Agency Co is located on Bunker Hill, in the old Subway Terminal Building, and having promoted and taken these tours myself, my experience of the neighborhood is that much more meaningful. With the makeover of Grand Central Market, the City's largest and oldest public market, and Urban Outfitters making a home in the historic Rialto Theatre later this year, it's certainly an interesting time to be working in Downtown LA.