By Laura Medina
What used to be the rough and tough "Dog's Town" of juvenile delinquent, blue-collar, and single-parents surfers and "East Venice" of recently disappearing gangs, Mar Vista is sly on the re-bound.
Unlike with what's happening to Venice's Abbot Kinney Elite clashing against long-time Oakwood residents, there's an happy co-existence at Mar Vista Art Dept. where they welcome and nurture local talent then promote them while boosting neighbor morale. Besides, the long-time Mar Vista residents aren't "too chic for their own good."
With help from Los Angeles strong-hold and all-natural traditionalists, Hansen's Sodas helped sponsored this fun goodwill event.
They threw up an vintage arcade with old school Pac Man and Space Invader and a real, vintage ping-pong machine. Of course, they were pretty generous with real-life Hansen's Soda vending machines doling a guessing game of whatever flavor soda...
What most guests had missed because there was so much fun was that Hansen's Sodas matched the muralists/graffiti artists with meals that they paired with their sodas. Oh so Gen-X/Millennial!
Apexer was the second mural on a side of a neighborhood bank. At each and every mural site, there is an Hansen's Soda Lounge.
Each muralist has a meal paired with them. Apex's meal was Hamatchi Sashimi washed down with Kiwi Strawberry Soda.
Who owns this super-duper cool Mar Vista Art Dept.?
DJ N3FF and his art-gallery/gallerina girl-friend.
Since they owned the building, his mural is the fourth one painted on the side of their building.
Hansen's Sodas paired their Mandarin Lime Sodas with N3FF's favorite Lime Chili Braised Carnita Tacos dusted with Queso Fresco.
Wyatt Mills' mural is the fifth and final mural on the Hansen's Soda Pedi-Cab Ride Tour...more on that later.
His meal was the most basic and classic, Prime Beef Burger Sliders with olde-fashion Root Beer, can't go wrong with that.
The most fun part and the most unifying aspect of the art party was the Pedi-Cab Ride Tour where Hansen's cab bikers take guests on a neighborhood tour to stop, sit, and enjoy at each mural tour, where there's a Hansen's Soda Lounge (complete with Hansen's Soda vending machine) to sit, enjoy the mural...and the locals then hop on back in the pedi-cab then onto the next mural until you finish when you return to Mar Vista Art Dept.
Here's my bike driver, Adam. He's real nice and down-to-earth. He deserved the meal and soda pairing for dragging this scribe's lazy butt from mural to mural. Ha!
Madsteez is the first mural, painted across the parking lot from Mar Vista Art Dept.
The second mural is Apexer, on a side of a bank, across the street.
What's really cool about the Mar Vista neighborhood is how accommodating and friendly it is. This is the third mural by StarFightera, a woman muralist and that's her Hansen's Soda Lounge, across the street. Pretty darn for the apartment complex to do that.
Here's N3FF's mural. His is the next-to-last and fourth mural. Easy enough for him to paint this on the side of his building. He co-owns the Mar Vista Art Dept.
The fifth and last mural is directly behind and next to N3FF, Wyatt Mills' mural.
Of course, the real action happened upstairs on Mar Vista Art Dept.'s rooftop patio VIP bar. This used to happen in SoHo and Lower Manhattan way back when forty years ago; but, it's happening and alive in Mar Vista.
CVS never looked so good at night and the chef caterers grilled beef slider and taco.
But those cramped-in Manhattanites are gonna be hating-envy, Mar Vista Art Dept. has a backyard patio where there's enough room for a second lounge to print t-shirts and celebrity DJs, Chrizma and Peanut Butter Wolf teach kids how to mix and rip while the kids lock and pop it to the beats.
This Hansen's Soda art party tour isn't your usual snotty, stuck-up art groupie event.
Actually, it was open to the public, encouraging their neighbors and locals to walk on by and enjoy.
A ten-year resident has said, "The neighborhood has changed for the better."
Pour on the goodwill, Hansen's Sodas and Mar Vista Art. Dept.