Compiled by Ali Mushtaq and notes provided by me....
Upon arriving at the club, parking was easily accessed and at a more than reasonable distance away from the club. Having not been to Pomona before, I briefly was lost until I found my way into the club. As I lost my way, I saw two drag queens and a few gay men passed me as they made their way to the parking lot or to the other club that happened to be active. After finding my way to the main entrance of the Sky Lounge, the bouncer quickly checked my ID as I proceeded to the counter to pay the cover charge of five dollars. The public relations officer1 that was kind enough to pay my way into the club. He then escorted me to a spacious elevator which smoothly carried us to the top floor. Once we exited, I then briefly surveyed the area. Most of the patrons were enjoying drinks and dancing on the main terrace. They had to have been at least 21 because of the legal limit to imbibe alcohol. Largely, the crowd seemed to be dominated by gay men, largely White and Latino with the exception of a few Black men. The women that were there were mostly straight; although, some of them seemed to be (White and Latina) lesbians. Although some of the clientele were drinking, others seemed to be younger which could be the under 21 set. Mostly, the patrons seemed like they were into the “indie” scene, wearing plaid shirts and skinny jeans. The music largely comprised of electro clash which probably suits the demographics. The ambiance was seemed very upscale. The terrace was decorated by leather furniture that gave the appearance of a comfortable hang-out spot. Once there, both public relations officers and I enjoyed a friendly exchange over drinks. I looked around to notice the dance floor (which was empty). The bartender inside seemed less attractive than the one serving drinks on the outside. This was reflected in the clientele’s behavior as they went to the more attractive bartender for drinks (this resulted in a drink made incorrectly). This was strange in that the unattractive bartender had more space to operate in as opposed to the more attractive one. The entrance to the dance floor was illuminated by blue, green, and red lights that seemed reminiscent of the lights at Club Velvet in Orange County. While the amount of clients desiccated over time (ra, it was clear that most of the clientele stayed in the main area of the dance floor. Overall, the club supported a festive area that catered to largely an “indie” demographic that tended to be younger.
SIDE NOTES: the club seemed particularly empty, feed back from most guests concluded that the club was empty therefore un-entertaining.
Two drinks over the nights time were made wrong.
The average among the PR officers spent: $130.00. At most there was a circulation of 100 guests.
Guests demographic we talked to drove from OC: Fullerton and Irvine, IE: Nuevo, Perris, Riverside, Fontana and Corona, LA: Pasadena.
Six guests we saw fit as fashionable, on trend and stylish. These people I would have definitely considered people to pursue for VIP/ STATUS/ PR.
Not great PR people mixing with the crowd; besides the 1 Jimmy- we waited 30 minutes before approaching him.
1. PR officers were SOCIAL CULTURE IE REPS
COULD THIS CLUB BE POPULAR? Maybe... It definitely had a great location and a great feel. I just think the clientele was sub par and that there wasn't that much of a hype.
Ballet and Modern- they both exist... kind of.
I recently had the privilege of seeing two extraordinary companies perform back to back: Mark Morris at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Collaboration with the Los Angeles Opera presending Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, and Los Angeles Ballet’s production of Giselle. As most of you should know, I am biased towards ballet, especially when a friend is dancing but, in this review I am going to be objective as possible. For some reason there is always so much tension between modern dancers and ballet dancers. Even growing up training, I remember this extreme rift of segregation and this was mostly because of our teachers. Teachers, myself included, will put the emphasis on one of two things in dance- either technicality through musicality or movement in space and relationships that follow. I think this is where the seeds are planted, the seeds that eventually bloom into how we react to modern dance or ballet.
This comparison was already at a disadvantage. Why? Los Angeles Ballet is a new company (they are in their fifth season). So, Los Angeles Ballet’s venue was small, it wasn’t intimate and the stage was hard and shallow. They didn’t have a live orchestra, and the recording the used was probably from the 50’s or 60’s, I’m guessing this because the over use of treble and lack of clarity on the low notes. Los Angeles Ballet’s tracks were fed, thus making pauses between the tracks pop and have complete awkward silence opposed to a recorded silence. They also were at a disadvantage at this venue as the lighting was weak, and spotlights were often uncoordinated.
But here is the reality, with Mark Morris having the advantage of venue, space, orchestra and opera- the Sopranos were horrible. Absolutely off, and sharp. Soprano Hei-Kyung Hong and Sarah Coburn distracted from the dancing. Which wasn’t that great to begin with. Conductor Grant Gershon (who I have seen before, conductor of the LA Master Chorale) was lack luster, and I don’t think he understood conducting for dance, and wanted the spotlight.
Mark Morris’s choreography (originally premiered in Belgium in 1988) at times captured the poetry of John Milton but the dancers didn’t. Sometimes the choreography would be fun and stir laughs during the audience, and the motifs were clever- But that is Mark Morris and I wouldn’t expect anything less than that.
During the echoing pas de deux between women (one in front of the scrim and one behind) was gorgeous. Those two dancers were absolutely stunning. The male “swan” or “bird” solo was awful. He kept falling behind the music, and was obviously self conscious of himself. The walking section made me want to kill myself. The patterns resembled swastikas and bad direction changes. Out of the corps I found that Prentice Whitlow was gorgeous and extremely distracting from the soloists, he should have been one of the soloists or pas de deux. The ending of the first act was quite dramatic and extremely effective, and the second acts change of bright colors and 80’s colored geometric shapes were lively and fun. The second act corps work was impeccable but the problem was this: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BEING TURNED IN. It is parallel. Even in modern. There is no such thing as a half pointed food which half the company did. In jumps you should point or flex your foot not have it flop around like a fish out of water. Either it is pointed or it is flexed, it is either turned out or parallel. Sickled feet are awful. There was one particular dancer, a female, who was just not technically up to par and it showed as she kept falling out of turns and was extremely sloppy Compared to Haile Okamura’s opening second act solo which was beyond technically gorgeous, whose port de bras melted all over the stage, and was extremely engaging- other dancers that stood out for greatness was Lauren Grant, Michelle Yard, Julie Wardon.
L.A. Ballet- we had the best seats in the house: front row, center terrace. With all the disadvantages LA Ballet had with the venue- and how young the company is I was surprised. Adolfe Adam (the composer of Christmas favorite Silent Night) wrote a fun flirtatious theme and variation score. Giselle’s storyline is charming and what little girl doesn’t want to be a ballerina?
Technically this company is beyond gifted- and Thordal Christensen’s choreography was simple but effective- And I will just critique down the playbill. Dancing the title role: Allyssa Bross- she was funny in the first act and her mad scene was okay. Technically the girl is stunning, and her tendu front is killer. Her quirky playful side was darling and it helps that she is a pretty girl. Dancing Albrecht was was Christopher Revels, I believe he is the same male that performed Serenade’s Waltz boy last season, and was a lead on the contemporary bill this season. I don’t know his sexuality but at times he looked gay, and wasn’t really interested in Giselle. Hilarion was danced by Chehon Wespi-Tschopp a guest artist with LA ballet and was PHENOMENAL. His acting skills are ridiculous. And it helps that his face is ridiculously striking. In both acts he was much better than Revels.
Peasant Pas De Deux- Danced by Allynne Noelle and Zheng Hua Li- both who I have seen dance before. Li, has the most incredible plie, and is extremely subtle- problem? None, except for the fact that after every turn and every finish he would twitch his head to move his bangs out of his face... Use gel or get a hair cut. Noelle was gorgeous- her developpe side- CRAZY good- better than Giselle’s. They were cute, they were charming but the stage was obviously too small for this couple.
The corps in first act was okay- minus this one girl who during the girlfriend’s dance was completely off and going the wrong way. The turn out was stunning- but here is where I ran into my first problem. LA Ballet is kind of known for being a small, second tier regional company who specializes in Balanchine technique. Which is obvious in the program as almost every company member went to SAB or another Balanchine affiliate school. So it was hard to watch these high, over extended, broken wrist lines which aren’t really meant for classical ballet. The Balanchine port de bras of over exaggerating a line doesn’t work for the subtlety of classical ballet. Out of the corps was Christopher Charles McDaniel who stood out the most of the male corps who at times were very uncoordinated but he seemed to have a grasp on everything.
Second Act was opened by Kate Highstrete dancing the roll of the bitchy Myrtha. Her opening bourre’s were luscious, but once again I felt the stage as too small for such a tall, long and strong dancer. (Ps. The backdrop was nice) Technically gifted, and extremely thin her port de bras was strong and fearless. Her attendants were both great in their choreography with great musicality. The corps of wilis were kind of all over the place, formations were off, and it seemed that the corps has a hard time doing the arabesque chugs together.
Second Act, Giselle wasn’t as convincing as the first act. It wasn’t really convincing that she was begging for Albrecht’s life- and the choreography didn’t help it. During the great part of the choreography involving the chasse arabesques she didn’t move her head at all. A downside to ballet dancers. It is OK to release your neck at times- it adds some drama. During second act- Alebrecht was worse. It was kind of nothing special or spectacular and was completely out shown by Wespi-Tschopp. During Wespi-Tschopp’s dancing death scene, Thordal Christensen did really clever and really affective choreography.
Overall with all of the disadvantages LA Ballet had compared to Mark Morris- I still preferred their performance because of the technicality of LA Ballet. This once again goes to the bias that technicality within music is stronger and aesthetically more stunning. The only real complaint about the company of LA ballet itself is I didn’t feel it had a real representation of dancers in Los Angeles. Ethnicity was in the lack and bottle blonds populated the stage- this isn’t the dancers’ fault but the artistic directors. It is a shame that even they, living in Los Angeles have fallen into the classic, stereotypical ballet trend of white is right.
But I do admire Mark Morris’s musicality when choreographing and wish LA Ballet had that same musical approach as Mark Morris. Mark Morris dancers just need some technique classes, or at least be aware of technique- because it is distracting when everything just kind of flops around.
This ends the season for LA Ballet- and I will say their last bill with Raymonda Variations was much better. They should stick to the Balanchine Rep. The summer season has more to come with National Ballet of Cuba doing Don Q and American Ballet Theater doing an Alexei Ramatsky ballet.
I hear this a lot: Fashion isn't for real women.
There is some truth to that but mostly it is false.
Most girls we see on the runway are under the age of 18. And most of them are below a 0 and don't have any shape to them whatsoever. Truth: that is needed for couture.
Here are where the false answers come in. The average size women in America is pushing a size 14 and there is nothing wrong with that if you feel beautiful. I recently got into a heated debate about religion. I am indifferent about it- but if religion makes you feel like you belong, and makes you feel better about yourself and you ARE NOT harming anyone else or offending anyone else- than who am I to tell you not to be a part of it? If you are a size 14 and you feel beautiful, and you are confident and comfortable than don't let other people call you big, fat or plus sized.
There is fashionable garments made for real women- you just have to be willing to pay the price. Because of the larger size, more fabric is used, and it is constructed completely different than a sample garment- and that is what you are really paying for. Customization to your body. Fit is everything- remember that when going shopping.
Women are gorgeous at every level and one thing you have to do is remember that. I think part of being a woman is taking the responsibility for caring for yourself. I am not talking about being a size 2- I am talking about the responsibilities of being healthy and put together. I hear a lot of women complain all the time about fit, and make up and shoes- it goes on and on and on. They say they can't diet etc etc etc- so here it is ladies- I am going to lay out some responsibilities to yourself.... You don't have to agree but I am just saying it will help in the long run...
1. Exercise. Stop looking around for the closest parking spot and park the furthest away and walk. When doing the laundry pick up the bleach or detergent bottles and do 10 bicep curls (it takes 30 seconds). During commercials- don't flip the channel but get up and walk around. Try to walk around a park for 30 minutes twice a week. Trust me- exercise creates endorphins and endorphins make you happy- and people will be attracted to you.
2. Take care of yourself first. Stop thinking it is your job to save the world. (I know a lot of women like this, and yes I know it is hard if you have kids.) But seriously take 30 minutes out of your day for you. At night put moisturizer on so you save your skin, that way in 10 or 20 years you aren't complaining about your skin. In the mornings put on a tinted moisturizer, apply a deep rich brown mascara instead of black, and put on some chap stick. (keep your lips hydrated! Your husband or boyfriend will thank you.) And then spritz some body spray or perfume and start your day.
3. Don't buy the clothes if they don't fit. Stop buying 5 dollar shirts that don't fit, or fade. Don't buy clothes that aren't going to flatter your body or you don't feel comfortable in. I always hear: this is all they had. Well go to a new store then. If Norstroms is out of your price range there are plenty of alternatives. Lane Bryant, Dress Barn, and Target are catering to real women and they are bringing in great designers. Especially Target with the go global brand.
4. Stop making excuses about your appearance. Believe it or not, whether your husband tells you differently (he is most likely lying) MEN WANT SUBTLE SEXY. Stop wearing sweats, or letting yourself go with the stain that your kid spilled on you during lunch. After a hard days work- a man really doesn't want to come home and see a mess on his wife. He really doesn't- So make sure you look nice for him. My sister wears acrylics just because her husband likes them, and she hates them. It doesn't hurt to put on accessories before he gets home- like a necklace he gave your earrings. Another great accessory are stylish flats or kitten heals. I am not saying pull out the stiletto but a wedge or espadrille will do. Stop wearing things that are not in trend, or don't fit- Wear clothes that flatter your body and that shows who you really are- both physical and emotional.
5. Finally, feel beautiful. No one has the right to make you fell unattractive. You can't wear something unflattering, trashy, or dirty and expect people to compliment you- no matter how confident you are. Sexy is not beautiful either. Beautiful is being confident in who you are, what you are wearing, and what you are doing in your life. Being beautiful is not imitating the girl on playboy or hustler- it is wearing something that your husband might like on you. Feeling beautiful even starts on the cellular level of endorphins and feeling happy.
GO BE BEAUTIFUL AND RESPONSIBLE.
Some of us live for labels, others live for rankings... So here it is. U.S. News just released the rankings for the best graduate schools and programs across the US and as it stands- we must wonder what exactly is the value of education. For those of you who wanted to become teachers you better be applying to Vanderbilt, and for business Stanford beat out Harvard. For undergrad the standings of 2011 are Harvard, Princeton and then Yale. But here is the thing about school? With our economy pressing- what is the value of education.
20/20 recently did a piece on young Americans starting their own businesses during this economic crisis. As a business owner- I am going to lay it out for you:
Education is as only as good as the name of the school you go to. For example- if you get your degree in performance dance at Cal. State Fullerton I won’t respect you as much as if you got your degree at the Juliard School. If you got your law degree at a state school, my instant reaction is you didn’t score high enough in your LSAT for a private school- money doesn’t factor into my opinion because financial aid is always there if you are willing to do the legwork to find it. I will say this though- You don’t have to go to school to be smart, and you don’t have to go to school to be successful. In fact, look at Mark Z. of Facebook, a drop out. This is what I am talking about- the name or the institution of education you attend is really the only thing that matters- unless you have some amazing research that you have completed.
Fashion education is tricky. For some designers school is a must, but for others like myself- I didn’t go to school for fashion and I am doing just fine. Would it help me in the long run if I did go to school? Maybe? But I can supplement my ideas and my creativity through classes at a J.C. or even Jo Ann’s Fabrics. The problem with America is that we don’t put a value on non-institution forms of education. This is why I am an advocate for home schooling.
For those of you reading this- I ask you this... If you went to college/ university... and didn’t go into teaching... where are you at? Did college really prep you for your dream job, and are you living it? I’m living mine.
Taylor Swift graces the Met Ball, hosted by Vogue. Understated is the new "rebel." With icons like Nikki Minage and Katie Perry being a hot mess all around town with their outlandish and lavish styles- Taylor swift remains simply elegant and simply subtle.
PS. Why does katie perry's cover of VF have the same hair do as Rihanna's
Jersey- it is comfortable, fashionable and now affordable. Gaysian Fashion Designer Alexander Wang's Jersey Dress for summer.
Why are you so fierce? More Importantly, why were you invited to Savage Beauty and I wasn't? Oh, yeah that is right you are a beast and a power house in fashion.
Coco Rocha was born in 88, somewhere in Canada- and now she has walked the runway for every major fashion designer, has been in almost every publication, and well frankly she is quite cool. Standing at 5'10" and married, Coco is everywhere. As Vogue named her in the top 30 models of the 2000's, and as she graces party after party I wouldn't be surprised if Coco Rocha made the transition into fashion editing, humanitarian efforts (she has already started) and philanthropy to the arts...
With the latest trend always being late, and never having enough money- this combination can result in fashion suicide. Some people can't afford the new $580.00 from Rag And Bone, and some of us can't afford the new Helmut Lang jacket, or yet alone a Tom Ford suit. Because of the economy most women can't even afford a discounted teal leather woven belt from Bottega And Venetta... So what do you do?
There is a way for fashion to happen on a budget and lets take a look and review what we can and can't do!
When shopping remember three things... Fit. Color. Trend.
DON'T BUY SOMETHING IF IT DOESN'T FIT YOU PERFECTLY. THERE IS NO REASON TO BE UNHAPPY WITH THE WAY SOMETHING FITS. Or spend an additional 20-30.00 and have it tailored. Now some things aren't worth being taken to the tailors but regardless fit is the most important thing.
The second thing is color- don't buy something that will only be in season for one month, and don't buy a dated color. There are some colors that will go on forever: black. white. red. navy. khaki. pink. Don't buy some random off shade, dip dyed fuschia bathing suit slip over for 800.00 from Versace... Just don't do it. That will only last during the summer months and summer colors never repeat back to back years. Buy in advance. If you see a color that describes you, buy it. Like green- it comes in during fall, but wear it during the holiday season and then pull it out in late spring for that last burst of spring's natural color palette.
Trendy- it is a hard... Being on trend is so hard, but being trendy is easy. Make sure you when you buy a garment, you know what trend it is following. I have seen people buy gladiator sandals and wear them with booty shorts, and a tube top and then go to the club. WRONG. Make sure you stay true to a trend you love. Don't mix mod with punk rock, and don't mix leggings with sandals. The problem is most people don't know what the trends that are being set by the fashion gods, so rise above that ignorance and pick up a trend magazine like W, Harper's Bazaar or In Style.
Punjab Indian Palace, Riverside at Tyler
Super good buffet and a great lunch time price. I have been going there for a while, and I am never disappointed... The chicken tika masala and the aloo gobi were awesome.
Mimi's Cafe, Moreno Valley at Day Street
Usually I enjoy Mimi's, this time around the service was horrible for brunch. Though the food was outstanding. I had their berry stuffed french toast, and Sebastien had the crab cake Benedict... the holandaise sauce had lemon in it, which made the crab cakes taste lighter, despite all the calories. In general all of it was fantastic.
Barcelona is a cute tapas bar and restaurant in pasadena right on Colorado. It is the perfect place to have drinks and people watch but it is the worse place to go eat at. The prices are ridiculously inflated and the food is quite unimpressive, except for their cheese and wine selection. We had their cured meet and cheese platter, and the red pepper pesto and cheese bread with sangria. Our bill was ridiculously high and not worth it.
Louise's Trattoria, Pasadena
This place was fantastic. From our service to the food, to the prices and the variety- I was super impressed. It is quite cute inside, and the design aesthetic is ridiculously clean and fresh. They have preselected courses for $20.00 and that includes a glass of house wine.
The bread they serve there isn't your classic sourdough or baguette, instead it is a foccacia with onions and thyme smothered in butter. Served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We ate through two bread baskets.
From the preselected meals I had the house salad that had garbanzo beans in it with a fresh lemon Cesar dressing, the chicken marsala that was sweet with a light gravy, mashed potatoes, and grilled vegetables finished with tiramisu, all accompanied by a glass of their white wine. Sebastien had the same salad, chicken parmigiana (which i tasted and was very moist and cheesy), and pasta with garlic and butter, tiramisu accompanied by a red glass of wine.
Everything was fantastic, and the food was outstanding- I recommend everyone go eat there if you are in the area.
For some reason this week a ton of singles were released, and surprisingly none of them were good.... Lets review...
Lady Gaga, in sync with Easter, released "Judas" which is horrible. Her "lets go against the grain" attitude is just a Madonna reincarnate and isn't that impressive. Since "Bad Romance" she has consistently gotten worse. Though I will say, I am looking forward to Glee's Version of "Born This Way" and if it is anything like the Sam Tsui version I will be pleased.
Beyonce released her hot mess "Run The World" which was basically her talking with a melody. I listened to it the first time and hated it, then listened to it again and hated it even more. I wasn't very impressed. But congrats on her pregnancy.
Jennifer Lopez, who I wish could be my best friend... Her song wasn't that great, but it was better than the other two singles mentioned. And I think it is better than her last single with Pitbull. I just miss the old Jlo, and Jenny from the Block...
Aubrey O'Day released automatic and well... I automatically started to like it. Then I realized I only liked it because it was a good song for dance technique across the floor, and it is kind of white girl ghetto head poppin kind of music. I mean I liked it compared to the songs mentioned above. I at least put this song on my iPhone so I can work out to it.
Overall... a bad week in music....
While Adele is still number 1, so talented.....
Reviewing my daily life...