music

Day in Downtown LA

I’ve hung out in Downtown LA many times before. There’s so much history, art, culture, and food that I always find something new. Even if I don’t find something new, the old is still good.

What I like the most about going to DTLA aside from the challenges of finding parking and the busy one way streets is going there with my friends. Especially if it’s their first time exploring the area, I love showing them the beauty of DTLA.

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BeeJay, Peter, and I hung out in DTLA before it got too crowded on a Saturday afternoon. We made our first stop at Grand Central Market for brunch. I’ve shared about Grand Central Market on my blog here before. Last time I was here, my friend and I ate at Anna Maria’s. This time we ate at Tacos Tumbras a Tomas. It’s another good spot for Mexican food. On Yelp it has 4.5 stars with more than 650 reviews.

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They were quick to make our food fresh and delicious. We all got something different but I got scrambled eggs with chorizo and a large side of hash brown and tortilla. They gave me so much that I needed help finishing it!

After our hearty Mexican brunch, we had to walk it off. We walked over to The Bradbury Building. This place never gets old. Every time I walk into this place, I’m still amazed by its architecture and I think about the happy ending from the movie 500 Days of Summer. Well, it’s a happy ending depending on how you take it.

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Then we walked a block behind The Bradbury Building and went to The Last Bookstore. We walked through the maze of bookshelves and luckily, we didn’t lose each other!

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The last time I came here, I somehow missed the records section!

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There were so many vinyls with deep history rooted in them. These are music the older generation like our parents or grandparents grew up with. It was these music that set the mood in their living room or set the tone of their generation.

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I love how The Last Bookstore is able to maximize their space with artworks on the wall and broken clocks as planters.

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Even though we made a few stops in DTLA, we actually walked around a lot and got hungry again! To beat the traffic, we drove back down to Orange County and we went over to Hamji Park in Buena Park. They’re known for pork ribs, pork soup, and pork everything.

I’m sad to share with you that on Yelp it only has 3.5 stars with 132 reviews. They are still relatively a new restaurant in the Orange County area so I’m sure people are still learning about the restaurant.

But! In K-town (in LA), they have 4 stars with more than 1100 reviews on Yelp. So you know it’s good. I think the reason why the OC location has a lower rating is because they’re simply new.

Actually that might not be the only reason. My mom has this Korean theory that within the first three months from when a Korean restaurant opens, the service and food are great. They want to prove to the world that they’re awesome which they tend to live up to for at least three months. But! After those three months of the honeymoon stage pass by, my mom believes that the service and food go downhill from there.

I hope this isn’t true for Hamji Park at the OC location because the food has actually been really great for the past five times I have gone.

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I still enjoyed what we got that day after a long day in DTLA! We all shared the ribs and the pork stew with potatoes. It hit the SPOT especially since we were pretty hungry. Look how beautiful the food looks!

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Ok, one thing I do want to share is that I was actually surprised how the food came out pretty quickly. We ate an odd hour like 4 in the afternoon. There were only a few groups there. So I get it, they weren’t busy and so they poured out their heart and soul to make only our food. But!  It just made me think that this was all prepped beforehand and they just reheated the food.

But why was this still so good? I don’t know. Let’s not think about this too much because I do love their food.

Anyway, we ended up leaving Hamji Park with leftovers and feeling happy with a full stomach!

Thanks Peter for driving us around! I’m glad we didn’t get lost on our way to DTLA and back home to OC! Sorry Peter & BeeJay that I left my my DSLR behind that day. Thank you for understanding.

 

 

 

 

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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

Fun Friday!

Woah, this week flew by pretty quickly! I guess it is because we had President’s Day off. Actually, only some people had it off. Maybe because it is February, the month is shorter, and moving faster than normal.

Anyway. Happy Friday, my friends! You made it to the weekend and so here is a fun YouTube cover to celebrate! Press play and you will be wow-ed easily in 5 seconds!

Excuse the lyrics but was not her voice powerful or what? Mackenzie Johnson is a YouTube artist who has more than 160,00 subscribers. She does a lot of covers but also has created her own music. You can listen to more of her music through SoundCloud.

I have no idea how I found her but I am sure glad I did! I hope you enjoyed it! Have a fun Friday!

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!

 

Taylor Swift’s Blank Space & Style Cover

I’ve been addicted to this one song since Taylor Swift tweeted about it. YouTube artists, Louisa Wendorff and Devin Dawson, did a cover mash-up of Taylor Swift’s Blank Space and Style from her latest album, 1989. Watch, listen, and be amazed by this:

Was that beautiful or what? Visually, the simplicity of this music video made it so easy to emotionally connect with the music. Of course, the music itself was flawless especially the harmony and softness of their voices. I loved how these two pop songs turned indie and folk. I’ve literally been listening to this song on repeat for the past few days. I’m not sick of it and probably won’t be for awhile because I love listening to it that much!

 

 

Happy 1st Monday of 2015!

Woah, I can’t believe it’s the first Monday of the new year! I feel so motivated and excited to accomplish big things this year! I’m in a pretty good mood right now, not only because it’s the new year, but because I just watched an awesome video. My friend, Elaine, posted this video on Facebook and I just had to share it with you all!

Who would have thought about bringing a shaker to a concert? Apparently, this guy in Taipei! I’m going to bring one the next time I go to a concert. Hopefully, the artist will see me and ask me to go on stage to perform with them. That will be one of my new year’s resolution for 2015!

Happy Monday!

I am so sorry if you’re back at work after the Christmas weekend, but I hope you are well rested and ready for a new week! If not, I’ve got something to cheer you up on a Monday!

If you really liked that, then here’s another one:

I’m not sure how I found them but I think it was through Facebook. After hearing one song, I ended up listening to a dozen of their music on repeat!

The husband and wife musical group are called Us The Duo. Michael and Carissa have been singing on YouTube since 2011 and have more than 28 million views. Singing covers of mainstream music in their own version has attracted many fans. Their fame grew drastically through Vine when they hid the upper half of their faces while singing songs. The mysteriousness of their looks made many viewers curious who these talented singers were. They finally revealed themselves after countless medleys produced. As of March 2014, they are the first artists from Vine to have signed a major deal with Republic Records.