Glow 08

Santa Monica decided to be innovative this year, and “borrow” a concept (Nuit Blanche) from France. They dubbed it “Glow” and advertised an all night art instillation. Honestly, the advertising projected it more as an all night party (or even a rave?) so that’s exactly the types that turned out. But I have to say, I loved the idea and I hope they continue to do this annually, perhaps with some tweaks. The beaches and pier of Santa Monica at all hours of the night with your 50,000 closest neighbors? Pretty amazing if you ask me. And don't get any ideas...I was sober for this adventure.

The website:

The concept:
"Glow will fill the hours between dusk to dawn with compelling, enchanting and effervescent sights and sounds situated in spaces and times that expand possibilities for where, how and when the public experiences contemporary art.
With the historic Santa Monica Pier and adjacent world-famous Santa Monica Beach as their space, artists were commissioned to create unique and inviting works of art that welcome the public to be both audience and actor for twelve celebratory hours. Inspired by the wildly successful Nuit Blanche in Paris, Glow takes its spirit from the fabled grunion that live in local waters and come ashore several times a year to spawn in the sand creating a momentary sensation of iridescence."

The way I saw it (click for full size):


If sushi is your style...

A birthday is always cause for celebration, and celebrate we did for my friend Carly at Sushi Roku – a fabulous place on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, right across the street from the beach. While frankly I can’t recall the different types of sushi we ordered (Caterpillar Rolls? Spider rolls? Soft shell crab?), they were all fantastic. I also decided to venture out a bit from our group and order a glass of mid-priced sake...and let me tell you, all you sake haters, this is the way to go! Warm $3 sake over sake bombs in college can’t TOUCH this yummy stuff...it would be comparing a glass of Andre to a glass of Moet. After dinner, we checked out Frogo on Wilshire, also in Santa Monica. Very similar to Pinkberry, but it’s always great to try the competition. They get brownie points from me for giving me extra Fruity Pebbles for my concoction (original tart flavor, with Fruity Pebbles and Mochi. Yum!).


Ay Bay Bay

As a Southern Californian, there are two locales that we travel to quite frequently on long weekends: Vegas and San Fran. I picked the latter to celebrate America getting all fabulous and independent.

After a long trek up the 101 (and a stop in Isla Vista for some Freebirds – obviously) we hit the East Bay – 65 degree weather and a sky too overcast for fireworks? I knew there was a reason I moved away from this joint.

The weather heated up considerably as we headed to Danville for a family hang out sesh. Drinking PBR and setting off fireworks in the middle of the afternoon? Cheers, America.

I headed into San Fran for dinner with some friends – Cindy, her cousin and the lovely Wares, who BARTed it from the Walnut Creek station with me. Ah BART. How I’ve missed you.

We hit up Luna Park for dinner and drinks – apparently there is one of these down here in LA as well. Interesting! I’ll have to check out this location. The goat cheese fondue was tasty, but I think I kind of struck out with the cocktail flight – a novel concept, but then you look down at your tray of mini cocktails with a vodka martini, tequila margarita and bourbon mint julep, and realize, what was I thinking?! I ordered the mac and cheese as well at Cindy’s recommendation, but frankly it didn’t touch the Ketchup mac and cheese. I’m officially a macaroni and cheese elitist, apparently.

After dinner we parted ways with Mr and Mrs Ware and baby Ware in Jen’s belly, and headed to Cin’s to get the party truly started. After a few glasses of bubbly, we were ready to head down to Vertigo – dancing to hip hop circa 5-10 years ago, as well as some classic rock? Sounds like the recipe to a fun time, and a fun time certainly was had by all. We headed over to Cindy’s friend place and listened to a couple guys jam on the guitar and piano for a couple hours. 4am we decided to call it a night, and we cabbed it back to Cindy’s. Of course, I had to get up at 7:30 and BART it back to the East Bay. I was definitely looking forward to the drive back down to SoCal, and sleeping in the passenger seat.

Sunday after church with the fam, we bid the bay adieu. A quick stop at one of my favorite wineries, Fenestra, and we were on our way. By the way – Harris Ranch (one of the only decent stops off I-5) has an amazing restaurant, and I definitely talked my family into dinner there. If you ever pass by there, make sure to stop! Even if it’s just for the biscuits and gravy.

I have to admit...it’s nice to be home sweet home.