Baby IKKI flies high at the Farley Building (Photo by Fredrik Nilsen)


With its open-’til-late art galleries,  strategically placed, graze-as-you-go food trucks,  copious watering holes, and scattered sound scapes, NELA Second Saturday has long been one of the best ‘hood parties in town.   

The pub/grub/gallery crawl just got art-world-serious, though, with the arrival of  “A Voyage of Growth and Discovery”:  the multi-media installation by artists Michael Smith and Mike Kelly, based in the latter’s studio at the Farley Building in East Eagle Rock.  The video aspect of the “Voyage…” (on six suspended screens) follows the road trip that Baby IKKI, a bemused child-man dressed in diapers and sporting a bonnet and a pacifier (and conceived and portrayed by Smith for several decades), takes to the annual Burning Man Festival where he stumbles through the bacchanalia with alternately hysterical and heart-wrenching innocence.   In addition to a giant, suspended sculpture of Baby IKKI (assembled from trash and resembling the heroic Iron Giant more than the iconic Burning Man) and creepily juxtaposed porta-potties and plush toys, Geodesic jungle gym structures dot the open space of the former storage facility, evoking Baby IKKI’s disorienting festival excursion in the desert.   The exhibit opened two weeks ago but Saturday is the NELA debut of the installation, curated by Emi Fontana and co-produced by public art non-profits West of Rome and SculptureCenter of NY.  The show has also gotten extensive media coverage, Go Go’ers, so get there early or expect crush crowds.  

Baby IKKI may be getting the most press but there’s plenty of Opening Reception Fabulosity to peruse at this month’s Second Saturday: cult fave Walt Hall’s solo show “through the forest of our endless numbered days” at the Cactus Gallery;  Metal Urges” at Avenue 50 Studio; and “The Photography Exhibition and Evil Bunny Show” at The Land of Odd.  Of course there’s odd, Go Go’ers.  Remember whose blog this is.   

Want to work off the calories you KNOW you’ll be consuming at scattered food trucks (including Cool Haus at Cactus Gallery and Frysmith at The Land of Odd)?   Opt for the Spoke(n) Art Ride starting from the flagpole at Figueroa & York  in Highland Park.   Desperate to get your Dad’s Day shopping done?  In addition to gallery goodies, selected Eagle Rock merchants will be open for your shopping pleasure at the Eagle Rock Block Party.  (Let their lit lanterns  guide you, Go Go’ers.)  

After your art appreciation, food fun, and multitudinous adventures are complete, wrap up the night at the Verdugo’s late night/after party where you can soak up the alcohol you’ll consume with Baby’s Badass Burgers.  

Go Go’ers, let’s hear it for all the Babies….  

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….  


Landscape by Jose de Juan at Lummis Day 5.


In 1884, Charles Fletcher Lummis walked 3507 miles from Ohio to California to take a job with the Los Angeles Times; Americans discovered the Southwest through the dispatches he wrote from his road trip through New Mexico and Arizona. 

Lummis then settled on the banks of the Arroyo Seco, became editor of the Los Angeles Times, built a castle out of river rock and railroad ties (El Alisal), and turned it into the social hub of Northeast Los Angeles while founding the Southwest Museum and campaigning for the rights of Native Americans and other minorities.  In other words, he was a man who apparently never slept.  

Darcy Hawes' assemblage of found objects.

Go Go’ers, you won’t have to expend nearly as much effort to get to Lummis Day 5: the Festival of Northeast Los Angeles.  In the spirit of Lummis himself, it’s a celebration of  art, music, poetry, food, and the NELA community.  Except you’ll probably get some sleep later…if you want. 

Poet Suzanne Lummis, Lummis’s granddaughter, hosts a poetry showcase to kick off the festival  Sunday morning at El Alisal.  Linger over refreshments as well as the exhibit curated by Mt. Washington fiber artist Connie Rohman who has gathered the work of over a dozen, fellow local artists such as Cha-Rie Tang (fused glass and ceramics), Yolanda Gonzalez (paintings), and Darcy Hawes whose assemblages (above) are created out of found/repurposed/recycled objects collected on walks through Northeast Los Angeles neighborhoods.   (Go Go’ers, if Ms. Go Go had a “spirit object”, it would be Darcy Hawes’s go-go gal above.)    

Mt. Washington landscape by Diane Behrens

The art will be on display until 5:00PM at El Alisal but mid-day, the party shifts to the nearby Heritage Square Museum where over 100 jazz, salsa, rock, country, hillbilly and punk performers — including Emmy-Award winning Tex-Mex artist Ruben Martinez, local rockers Ann Likes Red, and alt-country hillbilly punk band The Evangenitals — will keep things lively on three, different stages.   Plus, look forward to artisan crafts, community booths, and tasty treats from food vendors like gourmet food trucks Frysmith, Don Chow Tacos,  and Nom Nom, and local mom n’ pop bakery Mardy’s Munchies,  all in the enclave of Heritage Square’s gorgeous, preserved homes.  

Go Go’ers, the old man of the Arroyo still throws a damn good party.  

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….  


Have some Rajas Fries @ Frysmith's All-You-Can-Eat-Night @ the Verdugo! Tonight! May 25th! (Photo courtesy of Frysmith)


Go Go’ers, your eyes are not deceiving you!  

Tonight, Tuesday, May 25th, you can stop by the Verdugo (where you were probably going to go anyway since it’s one of your fave nabe bars), grab one (or more) of their gazillion global beers,  hang out on their foliaged and fenced patio, and for an hour, chow down on the tuber-onderful fare of  Frysmith (one of your fave gourmet food trucks).  Better yet, it’s only $9.99.  (That doesn’t include the beer, for which you can spend as long and as lavishly as you like.)  

If you’ve got the stomach, the stamina, and the speed, you can get an order of : the Chili Cheese Fries (two words to describe the beef chili: beer and chocolate); Vegan Chili Fries (all you need to know is soy chorizo and smoked paprika);  Kimchi Fries (heirloom Kurobata pork belly – ’nuff said);  Chicken Sweet Potato Fries (a mixed marriage of tomatillo-tamarind sauce and cashews);  and the Rajas Fries (fire roasted poblano chilis, carmelized onions, and shwarma-marinated steak.  A best seller, natch.)  But wait, there are more choices: cheese (yes, no, what kind?) and regular or sweet potatoes.  (You’re on your own with this one.)  

You’ll finish, take another slug of beer, heave a sigh of contentment, maybe loosen your belt.  Just another pomme de terre-ific Tuesday.  

Tonight, you’ll remember why you love France.  

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….  


Americana at Brand Street Feast

Tempted to try some of those trendy food trucks but SO not into chasing them all over town?  Head over to the Americana at Brand tonight to sample and stroll at the Street Feast!

The uptown, outdoor mall is takin’ it to the tarmac with nine of L.A.’s top culinary trucks in attendance.  The Dim Sum Truck, Mandoline Grill, Komodo, CoolHaus, The Buttermilk Truck, Willoughby Road, DOSAtruck, The Grilled Cheese Truck, and Frysmith will all be dishing it out for your dining pleasure.  Also, keep an eye out for the following outdoor set-ups from Americana at Brand’s own restaurants:  Trattoria Amici wine bar, Katsuya cocktail lounge, Frida Mexican Cuisine taco bar and BBQ from Jewel City Diner.   Cocktails and street food!  Hurray!

In addition to tasty truck treats, street eats, and welcome libations,  Street Feast features a DJ, a raffle for a Complimentary Date Night package (Dinner+Movie+Valet Parking) and, if you click below,  Free Parking!

Let the one-stop snacking begin….


Americana at Brand’s STREET FEAST

Tuesday, March 30th, 6-9PM

Americana at Brand

889 Americana Way

Glendale 91210


For more info:

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….