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Birthday Extravaganza – Part 2

My coworkers threw me a fiesta! Huge thanks to my department for making this all colorful and having endless amounts of sweets on desk from Snickers bars to donuts to Nothing Bundt Cakes!

Oh and yes, that is a piñata hanging from the ceiling!

One of my coworkers highly encouraged me to take one of those hipster, Pinterest-y pictures with my birthday cake and balloons. It was one hilarious photoshoot taken at work that I could not contain myself. I’m surprised that I didn’t drop the cake!

By the way, the piñata is stuffed with candy! Thanks Eric!

Thanks friends for wearing the party hats and taking a picture with me! Again, many thanks to my department for making my birthday special!

AirBnB in LA

Finding a place to spend one night in LA was quite of a challenge in a fun way. There are way too many cute places to stay at in LA through AirBnB. I highly suggest you to avoid spending the night in any LA hotels because it is overly priced and parking your car in a structure can be almost as expensive as $40. So, no thanks. Go through AirBnB and you will find a lot of artsy studio apartments or houses that are so unique to LA compared to any other areas.

Linda and I found a cute little two bedroom house in LA that was on top of a hill overlooking Downtown LA. It was 10 minutes away from Chinatown, Fashion District, and all sorts of fun places!

The house we stayed at had some eccentric artworks on the wall. They definitely caught our attention.

This huge red orange canvas on the wall definitely illuminated the room!

All the guests who stayed at this house through AirBnB wrote such sweet and loving notes to the host on this white board!

We walked around so much in that afternoon that we decided to relax outside on the patio for the night.

We had such a great view of LA from where we were! I would love to come back here if time permits next time! It was affordable and convenient to stay here! Thanks Linda and AirBnB for a short and sweet adventure in LA!

Happy Monday!

Happy 2nd day of March!

Sunny SoCal hasn’t been so sunny for the past few days. It’s been nice to get a new change of weather for once. We got some grey clouds and lots of heavy rain to hopefully cure the drought. Hopefully. Probably not to be realistic.

Anyway, sometimes the gloomy weather can be a damper especially for the start of a new week. I thought I should lift up the mood with this awesome song that has been stuck in my head for the past 24 hours.

One. I love Tegan and Sara. Their music is awesome. Two. I love the cheesiness of this song. How can this song not bring a smile to you?

Note to readers: I have not seen the movie.

Well SoCal residents, I hope this song made you realize how everything awesome. I just wish I could be wearing a cape, put one hand on hip, other hand punched into the air, and fly away

The Last Bookstore

Yes! I can also finally check off The Last Bookstore from my Unofficial LA Bucket List! They are known as the largest bookstore in California with 20,000 square feet of space! They have more than 250,000 new and used books! Can you believe that? If not, you will have to check out the store to believe it!

I can be at this bookstore for hours! There were books literally everywhere. It’s not even a joke. You will not be bored of all the colorful books and artworks that cover this bookstore. Here’s the plan for your weekend in downtown LA. After checking out The Bradbury Building, I highly suggest you to take a 6 minute walk to The Last Bookstore on 453 South Spring Street in Los Angeles, California. As I mentioned in my previous post, at some point treat yourself to some food from Grand Central Market which is nearby.

The Bradbury Building

In my head, I have an unofficial bucket list of places to check out in the LA area. The Bradbury Building has been on my list for the longest time and I finally got to experience it! If this place looks familiar, it’s because it’s been in plenty of movies. In particular, it was in my favorite indie movie, 500 Days of Summer. This building was at the end of the movie where Tom had an interview with his dream job and met Autumn.

We were only allowed to go up one flight of stairs but we weren’t able to actually walk around the floors. It wasn’t necessary to explore upstairs because the architecture from ground zero was amazing enough. The geometry of the structure and the detailed iron work on the elevator and the railings made me speechless. Once you walk into this quiet yet powerful building, you will be taken aback by its beauty.

Lewis L. Bradbury, a gold mining millionaire, wanted an extravagant building to be constructed. He hired George Wyman to be the architect of creating this $500,000 (now worth more than $11 million) masterpiece that was built in 1893. Currently, the building is the headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs and other government agencies. For more information about The Bradbury Building check out Wikipedia.

Yes, I just gave you a link to Wikipedia. It was actually pretty resourceful.

To see the building in person, go to 304 S. Broadway in Los Angeles, California. After visiting the place, treat yourself out to all kinds of food at Grand Central Market which is across the street from The Bradbury Building. Literally, they have all kinds of food in there.

Thanks Linda for being a tourist with me at The Bradbury Building. I hope you were in awe of it as much as I was.

 

So You Think You Can Dance

I am a huge fan of So You Think You Can Dance on Fox. If you’re not too familiar with the show, it is a dance competition to find the best dancer who is competent to dance in all forms of dance ranging from contemporary to Bollywood. The dancers are paired up each week and challenged to a style of dance. The couple with the least amount of votes from the viewers who call in are put in the bottom three. Then they have to dance for their life and the judges eliminates one or two dancers depending on how many left. After rounds and rounds, one dancer is left and wins it all!

I love this show for many reasons because you see dancers go out of their comfort zone to dance in a different styles. Through their athleticism and mental capacity, they execute the dance like they were never new to it. I am always amazed at how well they perform so comfortably on stage.

I can talk about this show for days and watch the performances on YouTube for hours but I won’t do that just yet.

My friend, Cindy, called KIIS FM one night to win any free tickets they were offering. After several attempts, they miraculously picked up her call and she ended up winning two tickets to So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 Tour! Thankfully, she invited me knowing that I used to dance and would extremely appreciate this show.

The show was at the Nokia Theatre at LA Live. Right after security check, I recognized a well-known dancer in the dance community but also a former SYTYCD contestant. With a huge grin on my face yet feeling painfully shy, I approached him and asked hesitantly, “Are you Ch…” I was not even able to say his whole last name. He was able to read me like a book that I was having a fan girl moment. In the background, Cindy yelled sarcastically, “Have some confidence!” The dancer laughed and responded, “Sounds like a personal coach there! And yes, I’m Chbeeb.” I then asked like any other fan girl if we could take a picture together. Thanks to my “personal coach”  for taking the picture.

A crowd of young girls and their moms started to notice that I was taking a picture with someone special. One of the moms even asked me, “Who is he?” Exhilarated by this moment, I quickly said, “He was a former contestant on SYTYCD and he’s in Taylor Swift’s recent music video Shake It Off!”

If you are curious about his performance in T-Swift’s music video, check out the video below. He’s one of the hip-hoppers who is in a silver jumpsuit and does some tutting.

Cindy was not excited as much as I was since she was not aware of this show.

Side note: I fan girl when I see well-known dancers. I would probably get more nervous and excited to meet dancers compared to Hollywood actors.

We were seated in the orchestra section but on the far right of the stage. They were pretty decent seats especially for being free! Could not complain!

All of the performances that night were truly breath taking. There is something about watching people dance so elegantly with so much emotion that makes the viewers feel so vulnerable. Cindy and I definitely had moments where we were moved by the stories shared on stage. I even had quite a few moments where I got emotional and teary-eyed.  So many of the routines were so powerful that it just made me speechless.

During intermission, we explored the theater and found another former dancer on SYTYCD. We met Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall who was the first hip-hop dancer to win SYTYCD Season 10.

It was such an honor to meet him because he paved a new way to inspire other hip hop dancers that it is possible to accomplish as much as he did on the show. Usually, the contemporary dancers win the show but with his win, he turned the show around!

After intermission, the show continued to amaze me and Cindy. The Bollywood and hip-hop dances made us want to dance on stage with them! That obviously did not happen but maybe next time we will consider doing that.

The show ended around 10pm and I was ready to go home to YouTube everything! Here is something that was not on the tour but I really enjoyed this piece from Season 11:

Thank you, thank you Cindy for inviting me to this! I hope we can go again together for the next season! Let’s choreograph something and possibly audition for this show! Ok, see you at the auditions!

 

The Chandelier Tree

Our very last stop for the night was at The Chandelier Tree. I somehow knew about this place awhile ago through Pinterest or Snapchat. I kept forgetting to check this place out until Aaron mentioned it!

The Chandelier Tree is an iconic spot in Los Angeles, California. They’re perfectly located in one of the most trendy areas, Silver Lake. This is a one of a kind front yard that has 30 vintage chandeliers gracefully hanging on a sycamore tree.

According to LA Times, “Marriage proposals and wedding photo shoots are commonly held beneath the tree, and locals often show off the tree to visitors. The sycamore has appeared in music videos, and five film location scouts list the location in their books.” Now that all makes sense why it looks so familiar!

It was quite a magical night standing underneath the tree and looking above at all the chandeliers. I have to come back here and bring my DSLR to take nicer pictures. These pictures certainly do not do justice of how beautiful everything is in person. I was in awe of this house right when I saw it. It was like love at first sight.

If you want to learn more about The Chandelier Tree, check out their Facebook page and Yelp! To visit them, go to 2811 West Silver Drive in Los Angeles, CA 90039.

Thanks Aaron for showing us The Chandelier Tree! Thanks Aaron, Alex, Elaine, and Junie for joining me spontaneously to explore Los Angeles due to my travel bug.