Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween from Illumination's Clive Davis Family and Hennessy Black with Evan Ross & Ashley Simpson.

By Laura Medina

There's nothing like celebrating the transitional Autumnal Exquinox then reaping the harvest than Halloween.

Hennessy Black and Illumination brought on the warmth as the air chills.

Hennessy Black Berry...


  • 2 parts Hennessy Black
  • 3½ parts cranberry juice
  • 2½ parts apple juice
  • 1 dash lime juice
  • Blackberry garnish
  • Served over ice in a highball glass


Hennessy Black is smooth and easy to mix. It can be served MIXED with ice for a lighter taste, balanced with a complementary flavor profile. Check out the SHOT version of the Hennessy Black Berry for a more bold, full taste, finished with a flavor twist. To make a simple version of the Hennessy Black Berry, just pour 1 part Hennessy Black in a glass filled with ice, top with 2 parts cranberry juice and enjoy.

Speaking of chills or chilling, Hennessy Black brought out the creme of the crop where guests, such as Evan Ross and Ashley Simpson, enjoy Autumn's elegance while enjoying...

CSI Miami's Eva LaRue. 

Card tricks and magic tricks, less skanky, not so evil but deepens in knowledge.  Hennessy Black's Salon Noir is more elegant fun house, not scare house.

On Tuesday, October 29th some of Los Angeles' best and brightest kicked off Halloween week with Hennessy Black at The Reserve, a 1920s Beaux-Arts-style renovated bank. The event, called "Salon Noir," was a fully immersive experience merging art, sound and cocktails in one transforming night. Mystery, mistresses of the dark magic and light and audio performances wow'd the party goers as they moved from room to room, including an apothecary experience, a library bunker, and lightroomGuests enjoyed hand-crafted Hennessy Black cocktails throughout the night while each room challenged each of the senses. The evening concluded to an after-party where DJ Kiss played a hit after hit as the dance floor packed. 

If the illumination at Hennessy Black's Salon Noir was reviving the vintage art of magicians and illusionists, then Clive Davis Family lighted the night with their acquisition of the pioneering affordable fragrance candles, Illuminations.

The Clive Davis Family did an Halloween Open House to launch their acquisition of Illumination Candles.  Yes, this is their foyer water closet.  Each Illumination candle has an astrological scent.  Aries' Pomegranate Cassis warmed the water closet.

Illumination's theme was "Nightmare Before Christmas," where both Halloween and Christmas collide to best showcase Illumination's entire candle collections.  The Clive Davis Family's library is Christmas themed of Cranberry Orange and Wild Woodlands.

Continuing the trend of savory adult Halloween treats, Illumination's Halloween buffet was a bounty of Fall Harvest, Heirloom LA's Pumpkin Lasagna Cupcakes and roasted kale, leeks, and quinoa and platters of gourmet cheese and dried fruit.

Don't worry, there's still treats but elevated.  Sweets worth your tastebuds.

Heirloom LA's Cashew Cheesecake (V) (GF) Blended California Cashew Cream with Citrus Gelée, Seasonal Fruit, Garden Blossoms and Cashew Crumble.  Fancy panna cotta.  Don't forget the pumpkin crème burlee, bite-sized raspberry and chocolate rice crispies and cupcakes and the traditional jumbo dark chocolate chip cookies, Chocolate Chip with Sea Salt  Valrhona 70% and 40% Chocolate Chip Cookies sprinkled with Sea Salt (Gluten Free Available).  Thanks

Hennessy Black and Illuminations prove that there's more to Halloween than cheap candy and cheap costumes.  They prove that Halloween is a chic way to celebrate Fall and celebrating the bounties of harvest.  Keeping the warmth unto the night.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Start the Night Out with Cynthia Rowley & American Contemporary Ballet Then Finish It Off with Dr. Martens Presents De'Wayne Jackson.

By Laura Medina

Manhattanite Fashion Designer and Hamptons Preppy Surfer, Cynthia Rowley threw a rare, New York-sophisicated runway show, that's the sophisication that Los Angeleno fashionistas yearn for.

The most obvious is that she hired Los Angeles' own American Contemporary Ballet troupe to model and move in her latest Spring and Summer 2020 Dr. Seuss Collection.

She acquired intellectual property right (I.P.) in order to take Dr. Seuss' illustrations to make them into graphic prints and patterns onto her Spring and Summer 2020 Collections.  Wise lady.  She even took Dr. Seuss' pastels then morphed them into pastel, sunset-sunrise ombres on her signature wet suits.

Hosted in the art gallery wing of Melet Mercantile LA, the latest westward expansion of NY's Melet Mercantile, local fashionistas commented how the Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles side of the LA River, reminds them of SoHo's/Brooklyn's gritty, cheap past when artists and designers used to rule the industrial roost before developers took over,

A mere five minutes away, across the river, another gritty, industrial space, slaughter house-art gallery-concert club, is hosting an exclusive Dr. Martens' concert of up and coming punk rocker, De'Wayne Jackson.

A further expansion of Black-American Angst Punk, from Bad Brains and Fishbones, De'Wayne Jackson picked up the mantle, where they left off.

There ain't nothing like a young, fresh punk singing Iggy Pop's "I Wanna Be Your Dog."

With plenty of raw, spacious, industrial warehouses to serve as blank canvases for whichever and whatever event, at reasonable prices, Downtown LA is the new SoHo/Lower East Side/Brooklyn.

Still dangerous enought to be raw, rough, and tough to be hype.  It's an hidden neighborhood to be decrepit enough to scare away the wanna-be posers, that only in the know "knows" which art gallery to go to and when and where to park.

Exploring so the weak-hearted uninitiated don't have to brave up to make the trip-not yet anyway.

Monday, October 28, 2019

"See" Jason Momoa in Apple TV's "See."

By Laura Medina

Set in the near dystopian future, the human race has "devolved" without sight, forcing them to use hearing, feeling, and extra sensory perception in the replacement for sight.

In fact, blindnesss is so prevalent, that a mere mention or recollection of people having the ability to see is consider heretic.

Until, a young pregnant woman came to a tribe, that upends right-side up.

It's Jason Momoa, as the tribe's leader who has to protect her and the twins.

It's a rough and tough world where nobody sees, that's interesting to "see" how the human race surivives and thrives, especially through warfare and invasions.

Apple TV's "See" premieres November 1st.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Originator of Fine Dining, Dine-In Movie, Studio Movie Grill, Has Landed in Glendale with Courteous, Ninja Servers.

By Laura Medina

Brian Schultz, founder/owner and CEO of Studio Movie Grill, was going to the movies in a typical movie theater with typical, overpriced concessions of sub-par snacks and drinks.  He thought there must be a better way to enjoy the communal experience and getting-out-of-the-house experience, breaking cabin fever.

He thought of tweaking and refining the movie-going experience.  Keeping the prices the same but increase the quality and the service for the same price, making it worth one's time, energy, and price.  Same price at better quality. 

Brian dreamt then planned gourmet finger food that you can either snack at the bar, waiting for the movie or winding down after the movie.  Better cocktails to relax while watching the movie, being served by well-mannered, ninja servers who swiftly take orders then stealthily deliver and take away orders. 

Brian's Studio Movie Grill started and began the fine-dining, luxury movie theater that the movie and exhibition industry have to do to evolve and survive in the age of stay-at-home binge watching, streaming services.  His chain breaks you out your self-enforced cabin fever. He wants his Studio Movie Grill with it's swanky bar/diner/movie theater to be a social community center in a nice, decent atmosphere.  Where the party bar transformed into refined, sophisticated cocktail party where adults can discuss about the latest movies they just watched or going to watch, stimulated by good food, drinks, and movies.

He takes his time refining and deciding which next locations to expand.  His fine-dining movie experience was such an hit, that others have followed in its wake but Brian's Studio Movie Grill was the first to start then define it

Brian describes himself as a boy from Agoura Hills, California, from an humble background and beginnings.

So, he was really excited to back come to his home state, to break ground as his latest expansion.  Downtown Glendale, California as his flagship movie theater as event venue and community center.  In the top third floor, in the second column, his made this the event venue for premieres and debuts of tv and movie screenings with a lush reception lobby lounge for private events, with its own bar, catering to the movies' and tv series' executives and stars, all within secured privacy.  Brian knows this because Glendale is next door to Hollywood's celebrity-enclave Los Feliz and Silverlake neighborhoods.  It takes an Agoura Hills boy to know Hollywood.

Studio Movie Grill ups the ante with it's finger food fare.  They're deliciously fancy snack food that you want as lunch, linner/dunch, dinner or late-night fare. Their Coconut Chicken Fingers & Shrimp is a Chefs for Children charity meal, where Studio Movie Grill donates 5% of proceeds to local non-profits helping special needs kids, such as Children's Charity of Southern California.  Cheers.

If your movie time is coming up soon, courteous attendees/servers can help you carry your:
Coconut Chicken Fingers & Shrimp, Cheese & Fruit (this scribe's favorite brie, dried mango slices, salted nuts, dark chocolate crunchy barks, & toasted naan bread slices), their own Watermelon Iced Tea, and yummy Aviation Peach Daisy cocktail, to your recliner.

Yes, you all heard right, your movie theater recliner, not seat.  A recliner with a swivel tray and a cup holder, in addition to two additional cup holder.

Sure, all the other fine dining, luxury movie theaters have recliners with cup holders but do they have cup holders with temperate -controlled push buttons to further chill your iced drinks or keep warming up your hot drinks?  Studio Movie Grill does.

That red button is the call button for the server.  If you arrive just in time for the movie, don't panic.  Just go to your recliner, where a full menu awaits your, hit the red service button.  A ninja server deftly appears to take your order then stealthily appears with your order.  The Downton Abbey of movie service.

These are the reclining buttons to recline and adjust the footrest and seat back for leaning back or up.  It's the little details that make or break the whole picture.  Yes, pun intended.

What's even more cool or cooler literally, your temperate -controlled cup holder have lights illuminating your drink in the dark? Studio Movie Grill does.

So, put your feet up, chill your drink, snack on your favorite snacks then enjoy the movies at Studio Movie Grill.  Don't forget booking it for your friends' movie and tv show premieres.  Don't worry, Studio Movie Grill can take care of the after-party.

Others follow, Studio Movie Grill leads.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

You can bing watch Hulu's Young Adult Drama, "Looking For Alaska" on October 18th.

By Laura Medina

Using Popsugar's demographics, Hulu did a launch party, with Popsugar's help, for their new Young Adult tv series, "Looking For Alaska," based on John Green's novel of the same name.

John Green is also wrote the novel turned hit Young Adult movie, "The Fault In Our Stars."

Based in 2005, the opening scene of the premiere episode is a misleading teaser, don't want to give away the ending.  Either, you have to read the novel or finish watching the series or be well-rounded and do both.

Charlie Plummer plays the male protagonist, Miles Halter, a boarding legacy who's trying to make his way and mark in the world and has a lingering crush on the female protagonist, the name sake, Alaska Young, behind "Looking For Alaska."

Charlie was smart enough to read the novel beforehand, so he can better prepare and be acquainted with his character, that he'll be playing in the Hulu tv series.

Kristine Frøseth plays the title character and the lingering love interest, Alaska Young, of "Looking for Alaska."

Therefore, "Looking For Alaska" has nothing to do with traveling to Alaska.

The novel and the tv series is set in 2005 at an Alabama boarding school.  

Despite being the boarding school's legacy (Miles' dad used to be the school's most popular student), Miles falls into the multi-cultural misfits that scholarship student, Alaska Young, belongs to.  Miles' roommate and mentor, The Colonel, is also a scholarship student.

The Colonel is played by Denny Love.

The lone Asian-American, Takumi, is played by USC alumi and already working theater director, Jay Lee.  Jay proved that he's also a magican by magically vomiting a deck of cards during the following "Looking For Alaska" questions and answers.

In the cafeteria scene, Miles hates Alabama's sticky, sweaty humid climate and the elitist Alabama blue blood brats (Miles hails from Orlando, Florida) but he loves the school's fried burrito.

After the screening and Q&A, folks were hungry for portion-controlled dinner.  

The caterers shrunk the signature fried burrito into a mouth-popper hor d'oeuvre, the mini fried burrito.

The dorms and the boarding school's locale is Deep South Alabama that was filmed in Louisiana, during Spring and Summer.  This means the hors d'oeuvre of mini vegan and beef hot dogs, tiny mac n' cheese balls and plenty of tiny trays of Frito Pies.

If you're a big fan of "The Fault in Our Stars" and literary, intellectual hot chicks, who wouldn't have sex with you, unless you read a book, then give Hulu's "Looking For Alaska," a shot.

Most importantly, regardless of race and age or generation, read author, John Green's other books.  You'll never know.  One of these or some of these will be turned into a tv series or a movie.

Open your eyes and mind.

Short stories

  • "The Approximate Cost of Loving Caroline", Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Artwork by Scott Hunt (2006)
  • "The Great American Morp", 21 Proms, eds. David Levithan and Daniel Ehrenhaft (2007)
  • "Freak the Geek", Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (2009)
  • "Reasons", What You Wish For (2011)
  • Double on Call and Other Short Stories (2012)


  • (2009) Thisisnottom, an interactive novel hidden behind riddles.[99][100]
  • (2010) Zombicorns, an online Creative Commons licensed zombie novella.[101]
  • (2012) The War for Banks Island, a sequel to Zombicorns released via email to people who donated to P4A.[102][103]
  • The Sequel, an unfinished novel, much of which was reworked into The Fault in Our Stars. The first 6,000 words are available via email to P4A donors.
  • (2013) The Space & The Cat and the Mouse, a P4A book collating an extract from an early draft of his new novel and a short story from childhood.
  • (2014) An Imperial Affliction, extracts used as a prop in the film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars and later released to P4A donors.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Getting to Know the Freshest, Hottest Hip Hop Artists, Like Rick Ross, & Their Families Cooking Family Meals, on FUSE's "Cooking From Scratch." Tuesday at 11pm on FUSE.

By Laura Medina

Made From Scratch, the new unscripted weekly series from FUSE that features celebrities as they cook their favorite childhood dishes with family members who helped them rise to prominence.

Made From Scratch is the appetizing new, weekly series that serves up a candid look into the lives of our favorite artists as they prepare their most-loved childhood dishes with the family who knows them best. Viewers get to go home with an artist and watch them participate as a loved one preps a favorite home-cooked meal that the artist has craved while on the road.
Upcoming featured artists include A$AP Ferg, G-Eazy, Big Boi, DaniLeigh, Dave East, Jhené Aiko, Rick Ross, Vic Mensa and Saweetie. The series was shot in kitchens from Atlanta and New Jersey to San Antonio and Los Angeles. 

Artist Ally Brooke, who is also currently competing on Dancing with the Stars is featured in the debut episode.  Ally learns how to make a traditional family meal of tacos, beans, rice and tortillas de harina, and enchiladas with her parents, aunt and grandmother. 


Los Angeles' Dine En Blanc, Yes, Well-Mannered Frivolities From LA's Cross Section of Angelenos, A Friendly Army of White.

By Laura Medina

Who says the City of Angels lack refinement with a jolly good cheer?

There are Angelenos, scattered about the greater Los Angeles County and among it's numerous neighborhoods are all about well-mannered frivolities and dressing up.  They heard of other white parties slung out and beyond.  They wondered and wished, why can't they have a white party, too?

Then, the international, French Dine En Blanc arrived.  Starting out as a simple, chic late afternoon picnic where a close group of friends wore white to spot each other, has grown and morph to six continents. Where the idea of commonality where the fellowship of fashion and food happily intersects.  For such a wide-spanning membership, despite nationalities and region, Dine En Blanc is an elevated social supper club that only occurs once a year, year-around.  It's high society that anyone who values good manners and good food and sociability, can share from any where.

A fashionista newbie to this elegant dining club was awed by the variety of cross-sections of Angelenos in their swankiest whitest of white, actually making and putting in the effort of bringing and sharing their chicest delectables with fellow liked-minded stylish gourmands.

Since this is an evening dining club that enforces an all-white dress code, it's an impromptu fashion show where people can nibble on steak and ahi tuna while sipping on champagne.

Where they come from Santa Monica or Downtown LA or Pasadena, neighborhood attitudinal differences doesn't matter. As long you love to dress while dining, Dine En Blanc brings everyone together.

LA's Dine En Blanc style is Great Gatsby doing Mardi Gras.

Since Dine En Blanc is all about bringing liked-minded White Party people together, the travel and table logistics and strategy is worthy of a Normandy Invasion, White Party Invasion.

Liked-minded of shared interests, exclusive yet not snotty, Dine En Blanc white-clad members are proud to be out and be front as a fun-loving, well-mannered league marching, in unity, to a top secret location and be loud and proud as an exclusive fellowship representing a variety of people who are shared a like-mindedness of dressing up while dining elegantly.

Yes, there is an art of commingling fashion with fine dining, such performing arts of jugglers and stilt walkers and a French Hot Jazz Hip Hop band.

Since Dine En Blanc, in every city on every continent, occurs only once a year, members make an effort, catering to setting a table or reserving a banquet seat with a catered meal to setting up artworks of table wear and plate ware. Yes, real Angelenos make in creating exquisite table decorations to signal their table.  These table decorations are worthy to make someone to get up, from their seating, to awe then make some new friends while sharing each others delectables.

Towards the end, everyone jump in line and swaying in line-dancing to classic dance hits, community from large swath of populace.

Yes, there are well-mannered, elegant Angelenos reveling in well-mannered frivolities.