Immersive Art taking over Los Angeles

If you are on a quest for immersive art, you will be very pleased with this year art exhibitions. From the queen of immersive art Yayoi Kusuma to the newbies like … , artists use immersive art to make us dive into their world and feel intense emotions.

Here are few ongoing experiences you will find in LA.

The Broad

The unique Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusuma immerses you in the middle of the starts and you can feel the soul of those stars that are million light years away from our planet. You have a feeling that you are disconnected from the world and you are just floating in the space with the stars.

Another of her permanent exhibition at the museum is the Longing for Eternity. You will observe from the outside of that box through porthole-like windows, a dazzling, LED light–filled hexagonal chamber. The result is a distinctly visual immersion, and a counterpoint to the rooms that envelope the viewer.

Through extreme repetition, both types of Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms create phenomenological experiences that provoke a sense of boundlessness and transcendence.

 

Marciano Art Foundation

Another of Yayoi Kusuma’s immersive room can be experienced at the Marciano Art Foundation. It is called WITH ALL MY LOVE FOR THE TULIPS, I PRAY FOREVER, 2011. You will be immersed for a few minutes in a bright red polka dot room with the oversized flower-potted tulips made from fiberglass- reinforced plastic and that are painted with the same red polka dots as the floor, ceiling, and walls. “She created here an immersive viewing experience while at the same time diminishing the appearance of depth. This work exemplifies Kusama’s singular vision and her distinctive gift for drawing viewers into the work on a deeply visceral level. Kusama currently lives and works in Tokyo.”

Yayoi Kusuma

 

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Between Mountains and Desert

Travel 3 hours north of Los Angeles and experience the mountain and the desert scenery at the same time. Head to Lone Pine and Bishop, 2 small cities along the 395 Highway.

You can make a quick stop at the Red Rocks Canyon State Park.

Pass by the greenest road on your way to Cottonwood Lakes, Inyo National Forest. The scenery is far from what you can see in Los Angeles.

Make a stop at the famous Jerky place, the  Gus Really Good Fresh Jerky. I didn’t like jerky until I had beef jerky from there.

Gus Really Good Fresh Jerky

Found yourself walking on Mars when you hike White Mountain, one of the tallest peak in the US at 14,252 feet. White Mountain, also has a research station at the beginning of the trail and one small one at the peak, operated by the University of California, to evaluate the effects of altitude on physiology.

You can also hike flat in the Alabama Hills. Take a pose with the Turtle Rock and go around the arches. You can see Mt. Whitney through the Mobius Arch. The Alabama Hills was the filming location for a lot of western/cowboys movies.

Take up the challenge to hike the tallest mountain the lowest 48 US State, Mt Whitney.Mt Whitney. It’s a long 22 miles hike with a summit at 14,505 feet.

 

Torrey Pines

La Jolla is a beautiful hilly seaside area by San Diego. It has the most scenic hike by the beach at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. The hikes are easy and it gives you an amazing view of the Pacific Coast.

IMG_6575

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Take your time to explore all the trails as each of them is offering something beautiful from a viewpoint to direct access to the beach.

Follow the map.

Broken Hill overlook has the best viewpoint.

Broken Hill Trail to the Beach, as its name indicates, takes you to the beach and the Flat Rock.

 

Hike the Rock

They are saying stairs workout are the best. In that case, hiking La Piedra del Peñol is the best and most beautiful workout of your life.

El Peñón de Guatapé is a must see jewel when you go to Medellin. In the 1940s, the Colombian government declared it a National Monument. It is 2 hours away from the city and the easiest to visit it is to take a tour. I took a private tour: Land Venture Travel. It is very affordable.

The rock was first climbed officially in July 1954, when Luis Villegas, Pedro Nel Ramirez, and Ramón Díaz climbed the rock in a five-day endeavor, using sticks that were fixed against the rock’s wall. When at the top, amazed by the beautiful view, they thought of a way of allowing people to get to the top and see the view. This is how the stairs were built in the middle of the rock. Luis, Pedro, and Ramon wanted to share the beauty with the whole village.

On the way to the Piedra del Peñol, the rock of Guatapé, you can stop a few times to take pictures of the rock from far. Impressive. 

Piedra del Peñol

When you arrive at the rock, you can see all the stairs you need to take to get to the top. 740 of them! Take your time, you can do it. Make the effort to go up those stairs because the view from up there is just out of this world. The summit contains a three-story viewpoint tower, a convenience store, and a seating area. Just relax and admire the view. Peaceful.

Falling for Niagara Falls

One of the 7 natural wonders of the world, The Niagara Falls, are about 2 hours drive from Toronto.

It is said the falls from the Canadian side are more majestic than the American side. Maybe because the highest drop occurs on Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side at 173 feet (53 m).

The Falls are breathtaking. Watching close to 750,000 gallons of water a second hurtle down the curved cliffs is very very impressive.

Hear the crashing waves. See the breathtaking views. Soak up every drop of powerful spray. Take the boat, maid of the mist, to go on the Niagara River and found yourself almost in the middle of the falls.  The falls are so powerful that you will get wet even when you ride away from them. That boat ride is so much fun and a must do.

Sleep with Tequila

After a visit at the Jose Cuervo Distillery and agave field, spend the night at Tequila at the amazing Solar de Las Animas Hotel.

The newly built resort offers a great restaurant and bar downstairs, as well as a rooftop bar and pool. The perfect way to relax after a full day of Tequila tasting.

 

Santorini in a Hike

How to see Santorini? Take the scenic 10k hike from Fira to Oia.

Here is the map of the Hike with all the worthy stop points.

  • Start early if it’s a hot day.
  • Have plenty of water  There are no more than 2 snack shops on the way.

Start the hike in Fira, by the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral along the Caldera. You will pass by all the cafes, restaurants and little shops. Keep going up. The view gets better and better.

View Fira

You will pass by the Three Bells of Fira before arriving at the first village, Firostefani.

Firostefani

Next village is Imerovigli. Make sure to explore the small alleys, they all lead to the blue Caldera view. Make a stop at the Anastasia Church.

You can add a side trip by going to the Skaros Rock , it will add about an hour to your hike.

From there, keep hiking up, You will walk along the Caldera passing by the resorts like Cavoo. There will be no snack shops or any restaurant for a while. You will pass by beautiful churches like the Ekklisia Profilis Ilias on top of the hill. After that long stretch, you will finally get to a snack shop. Time to refuel.

You will then have to go up a hill; if there is a donkey, take it. It will save you some sweat. At the top of the hill, there is the Church of Panagia.

You can finally see Oia on the horizon. Oia is a smaller town than Fira but very charming. Explore the alleys and art galleries. Stop at the unique bookshop called Atlantis.

End the day at Amoudi Bay where everybody gathers to watch the sunset.

Oia sunset

Take the bus to get back to Fira at night.

 

 

COLCOA 2018

The 2018 COLCOA French Film Festival was again a huge success.

The Festival, held at the Directors Guild of America in West Hollywood was offering a wide range of movies, TV Shows, and documentaries.

My favorite new movie was the latest Nakache and Toledano movie Le sens de la fete I don’t remember the last time I laughed that much … maybe it was for another Nakache and Toledano movie Intouchable . No wonder they won the LAFCA Critics Special Prize.

Dany Boon was there again with his new movie La Chtite Famille. Back to his Chtite roots, he makes a  movie that points out how one can forget about his family and his roots, in order to succeed in the Parisian high society. It is a very funny and sensitive movie.  The homage to his friend Johnny Hallyday at the end is very moving.

The Festival allows French and non-French people to discover French cinema in all its glory. What a great festival with free screenings, opportunity to see classic French movies and new ones, an occasion to meet and greet with actors, directors and producers and an occasion to meet people from different horizon during the pre-screening events. Thank you COLCOA for offering a week of French Film Premieres in Hollywood.

Found the Full selection and winners on COLCOA.org

Go to Guadalajara

No need to travel far for an exotic gateway. Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico is the perfect town to enjoy the Mexican culture and Tequila, of course.

Day 1: Guadalajara Old Town

Check out the Guadalajara Old Town with its beautiful architecture and its amazing food markets. Here is your free walking tour:

GDL walking guide

Have Breakfast/Lunch at the Libertad Market (San Juan de Dios Market). On the 1st floor, you have small vendors, which are perfect for souvenir shopping. On the 2nd floor, you have a huge food court with authentic Mexican food. The beef tacos are to die for.

 

Then, head out of the market, towards La Plaza de Los Mariachis. From there, take the pedestrian boulevard called Calle Pedro Moreno – The Street of Weddings, well you can see right away why it is called that way. The end of the street will take you to Plaza de Armas, Guadalajara Cathedral, and Plaza de La liberation. At the square, there is a giant sign of the name of the city; the perfect picture stop. On one side of the plaza, enter the Palace of the Governor and check out The Mural Painting “Lucha Social” by Jose Clemente Orozco depicting Miguel Hidalgo issuing the Cry for Independence. It is an impressive mural.

 

Take a break at the Teatro Degollado cafe and enjoy the architecture of the old town.

Continue your walk toward the back of the building. Another great architecture design. Walk down this other walking street, Paseo Hospocio. You will pass by the Children’s Fountain on Devils Corner and the huge flame sculpture inspired fountain at Plaza Tapatia, to get to the Chairs “La Sala de Los Magos” designed by Alejandro Colunga by Hospicio Cabanas Museum. If you have time enter the Institute Cultural Cabanas and check out the man on fire Mural on the roof and other art installations.

 

 

Day 2: Sunday Funday

Spend a day at the artsy neighborhood of Tlaquepaque. The pedestrian street has art boutiques perfect for some souvenir shopping. The restaurants are very lively and they all have Mariachis.

Tiaquepaque

If you get to be in town on a Sunday, make sure to go to the Charro show, a competitive event similar to the rodeo, at the Lienzo charro Charros de Jalisco. Charreada has become the official sport of Mexico. The charreada consists of nine events for men plus one for women, all of which involve horses, cattle or both. It is a fun Sunday event where families go to encourage their man. Boys can start as early as 5 years old.

 

Day 3: Jose Cuervo Tequila Day Tour

Refer to my worthy tours article

 

 

Eat authentic Mexican food and Dance:

For happy hour:

  • Trasfonda – Restaurant in a garden for the best guacamole

Trasfonda

For dinner :

  • I Latina is a great restaurant with a unique bar and decoration. Don’t hesitate to seat at the bar if needed. The food and the ambiance are worth it.
  • La Tequila has great food and ambiance. The Tequila Bar wall by the entrance is very welcoming.

 

Drink and Dance at:

  • La Lupita Cantina in the old town with its unique wall decoration and amazing reggaeton music is a must go place on the weekend.
  • Pare de Sufrir is the Iconic Mezcal bar. Get a shot of Mezcal to sip with a cold beer. On the weekends they have live bands. It’s an amazing local bar.