Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Wandering Through Eataly and the Annenberg Space for Photography

          Century City isn't a part of L.A. that I venture out to often.  In fact, the only time I ever find myself there is to visit the Annenberg Space For Photography to check out their latest photo exhibit.  A while back, I read somewhere that Eataly was opening up at the Westfield shopping center down the street from the Annenberg.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to check out the This is Not an Ostrich exhibit, and also hit up Eataly for lunch.  The Eataly in New York City is such a nice space, and I wondered if they recreated the same atmosphere in shiny L.A. 

     When I think of Century City, I think of clean lines and modern architecture.  When you first take the escalator up the the Annenberg from the underground parking structure, you almost feel like you're a part of some futuristic movie.

     The Annenberg didn't open until 11am, so I decided to walk over to Eataly first.  Nothing beats the cheap parking at the Annenberg, and the Westfield shopping center is literally across the street.

     The layout and idea of Eataly is just the like one in New York City.  It just struck me as a bit too new (well, because it was) and lacked the grit that most New York City establishments exude simply for being in New York City.

     They don't know it, but I'm coming back for these sandwiches.

     I decided to grab lunch from this place.  

     I went for the chicken, pickled veggies, and egg frittata.  It was tasty, but I wouldn't say it was leaps and bounds better than any of the similar dishes like this I've had elsewhere.

     For dessert, I picked up these creme puffs.  They were so good, and only 3 for about $5.

     They pack them in these really nice boxes for you if you take them to go, but I knew these weren't going to see 11am. 😄

     If you're looking for a good photo taking opportunity, Eataly is a great place for it.  There are lots of people, and things to photograph.  You can practice everything from macro shots, to action shots, to food photography. 

     On the way to the Annenberg, I saw this Randy's Donuts.  It was the glam L.A. version of Randy's.  I've never had a Randy's donut, and took some to go.  It was overpriced for what tasted no better or worse than your typical donut.  

         There is never a shortage of things I want but did not buy at the Annenberg.  I love that they sell all these quirky photography-related things in their gift shop areas.  These pillows would look so cute in my living room. 

     Want. It. All.  

     So the exhibit that's currently on display is called This is Not an Ostrich.  I had no idea what that mean or referred to when I went.  I learned that it was basically an exhibit of photos from the Library of Congress that depicted the story of America.  I thought this was an interesting exhibit, especially given the division that we see today in America over politics, economics, immigration, etc. 

     A small space was set aside for this project called Story Corps.  They had iPads and headphones for people to listen to stories of everyday Americans telling their stories.  The stories they had varied, but I really liked the one where this man recounts the time he told his family he was gay.  It's a recording of him telling the story to his brother.  It was very sad and heartwarming, and after listening to it, I totally understood why they included this story.  It's the type of story that speaks to the issues that Americans face currently, and may be looked at by future generations, giving them a glimpse into what life was like during this time.

     They even have a cute recording studio if you want to record your own story.  The lady at the display said that what you record could even be featured in the future.  How cool is that?

     The documentary that was shown was amazing.  Earlier, I said that the photos on display are from the Library of Congress.  If you thought to yourself, What is the Library of Congress?, then this documentary will answer all your questions.  I learned so much about it, and featured this lady who gets paid to travel to all fifty states and document American life.  Her photos were amazing, and what a dream job that would be!  

     If you're looking to make an afternoon of it, I highly recommend this exhibit.  The exhibit is on display until September 9, 2018.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Proud Bird

     Every time I'm driving near LAX, this restaurant called The Proud Bird has always intrigued me.  Not really knowing what it was, and being unimpressed by the exterior, I've always driven right by it.  The last time I was in the area, it was just too close to not pop in and see what this place was all about.  Some googling  informed me that it was a cafeteria style restaurant (similar to Clifton's Cafeteria).  

     The outside features hangar-like architecture and a slew of old planes in the front and back of the restaurant, but once you step inside, you are pleasantly surprised by how modern and well-themed it is.  The Proud Bird was renovated in 2016 apparently, and they did a fantastic job.  The outside still has some catching up to do, but the inside looked fantastic.  Upon entering, there is a kiosk that acts as an informational stand and mini gift shop.  

     Look at how cute these bomber jackets are!  If you have a child that loves aviation, this would be such a cute gift.

         These would be cute, too!

     Of course, you can't forget a gift for yourself LOL.

     Lots of memorabilia and travel-themed trinkets line the shelves.

     You can also get a dose of history.  There was even an employee that greeted us and who could answer any questions we had.  

     Now for the food.  Unfortunately, I wasn't hungry so I can't comment on the food.  It's pretty much classic American food, and most notably, they serve Bludso's BBQ which I've always wanted to try!  This definitely calls for an official lunch or dinner in the near future.

     The theme continues as you get to the seating area.  I love how the walls are adorned with pictures framed like airplane windows.  There's also a bar nearby if you're looking to just grab a drink.

     As you look out the bottom floor windows, you'll see a few planes.  I think the outside used to be better maintained, and hopefully one day the outside will get a renovation.

       My favorite part, of course, was the view of planes landing at LAX.  This is second only to the view from the In-N-Out on Sepulveda Blvd.

     This is a bit of history on the restaurant itself.  The Proud Bird has been around a long time!

     I loved seeing these old menus from airlines that no longer exist.  Flying, in general, was such a glamorous thing back then!

     More aviation history can be found if you take the stairs to the second floor.  You'll also find an event room.  The Proud Bird does weddings and small private events at reasonable prices.  An aviation/travel themed party would be so amazing!  You can find more info here.

     I highly recommend The Proud Bird if you're looking to do some plane spotting, or have time to kill before your flight takes off!