Coming from the East Coast, I did not know what to expect when it came to Haitian Flag celebrations in Los Angeles. I was born in Jacmel, my father is from there and my mother is from Port-de-Paix, so I think that qualifies me as 100% Haitian but this Haitian had never been to a flag celebration like this one before. I have to say this festival did not disappoint! Premier Event Promotion Services did an amazing job putting together this Haitian Heritage festival and they locked down Leimert Park in Los Angeles with good food, live music and positive vibes.
One of the highlights of the concert had to be artist MC Sloan, who is a 7th generation relative to Toussaint Louverture, arguably one of the biggest names in Haitian history. Because of Toussaint’s resilience and ability to lead Haiti, he successfully defeated colonialism and slavery. Another nod to history was delivered by MC Sloan, who did an outstanding with a brief lesson reminding us of where we came from and where we need to be today. Alongside all the beautiful West Indian faces we saw that night were countless numbers of supporters from the American and African American community.
The host, Mr. Haiti, kept us on our toes and grinning as we saw live performances from MC Romane Simon, a respected film producer in Los Angeles, Mr Surprise, a Reggae artist for the soul; my favorite tune of his is “Send no Gun”, Hip Hop artist Lil Litty, who had me craving Lemonade Juice by the end of his set, Theresa King, who relaxed us with her vocals and Pickleez California’s go-to Haitian band.
It’s safe to say we can’t wait to see what else P.E.P.S.LA has up their sleeves…stick with LeftCoast.LA for all things LA!
Last night Jen Royle appeared on ABC prime time television to cook her way onto the hit show The Taste, a kind of “Voice” format where the judges love you or leave you. Jen and Steve Dish It Up on the food combo that got their thumbs up and what it was like to drop everything and head to LA.
The question is…does she make it to the next round?
Thank you for joining me on my first food-related blog post. I am thrilled to dip my pen, or keyboard, into the culinary arts – and what better way to start my new career than a witty blog post about my second favorite thing in life (next to sports of course)…food.
As many of you already know, I am an avid home cook. To foster this, I am attending culinary school in January (Cambridge School of Culinary Arts) and I recently finished a food-related project in Los Angeles. I also wrote my first cookbook over the summer, “Bullied Into Cooking,” which helps support an anti-bullying campaign in all 134 Boston Public schools. I’m in the process of writing my second book that will be out in early December.
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Maybe it’s this New England weather, but of late I’ve been more and more reverse homesick: pining for my shortlived home, that city of angels, Los Angeles. Beyond the obvious (In-N-Out, celebrity sightings, jaw-droppingly overdesigned outdoor shopping malls, the endless stream of ‘interesting’ tourists, kitschy wax museums, and, you know, those gorgeous beaches), L.A. also has a trove of hidden gems of an altogether different variety.
One of my favorites? The Annenberg Space for Photography, a “cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting both digital and print photography in an intimate environment.” Located on the Avenue of the Stars in West LA, the space is sleek, modern, compact, and impeccably curated. And with an ever-growing list of generous donors, admission is completely free.
It’s a rare sort of venue, where both the beautifully raw and the brutally real collide and communicate. A collection that challenges perspectives and invites dialogue. The exhibition currently on display, Beauty Culture, was described by Harper’s Bazaar as “a seminal examination of photography’s role in capturing and defining notions of modern female beauty and how these images profoundly influence our lives in both celebratory and disturbing ways.”
My heart is all a-flutter at the thought of an impromptu California vacation. Sipping on some of Urth Caffe’s boba tea, having a chunky bite of that food of the gods, an In-N-Out burger, taking an easy stroll to the ASP, and wrapping up the day with feet-dunking and night fishing by the Santa Monica pier…
Shall we book our flights together and get a group discount?
Joe V Leather is an Etsy shop I discovered rather randomly and I must admit I’m quite impressed by both the quality and the design of many of the pieces. There are pieces which, for my taste, skew a bit… Los Angeles. (An aside: I can make such statements because I grew up in Southern California and lived, for several years, in Los Angeles… it’s a Big brother talking trash kind of entitlement, if you know what I mean. Please don’t think you Bostonians can join in the fun. You can’t.)
But when this artisan gets it right, he really gets it right. This? A piece I’ll be coveting unless one of you lovely readers snatches it up (at its absurdly affordable price) before I do.
I am, for those who would inquire, still accepting belated birthday presents.
GET IT HERE.
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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