Imagine it is 3 a.m. in downtown Los Angeles. Just steps away from Skid Row, the parking is full, cars are flying in and out, people are trading. Amid a silent city, something grows. The ancient (95 years old) Original Los Angeles Flower Market comes to life when the rest of the city is sleeping. At 55,000 square feet, the flower market is the largest in the country. You'll find orchids, air plants, succulents, money trees, topiaries, gardenias and roses. Lots and lots of roses.
We visited the Flower Market and surrounding district to get the lowdown on the smelly truth.
Orchids: At the Orchid Affair you find not just living orchids but exquisite silk paper orchids, fairies and a couple of cats guarding the merchandise. The only vendor to grow their own orchids, at the farm located in Montclair, the Orchid Depot is on the higher end of price, but in exchange you get American-grown rare species that you can brag to your friends about.
Roses: Vincent at Wall Street Floral is right at the main entrance to the mall, displaying nice fresh buds. Two dozen roses can cost you anywhere from $5.75 to $18, depending on color and size, but most are in the $7.75 range.
Dried flowers and specialty: Villa Flowers, in the Southern California Flower Market, sells dried wreaths and wall art in addition to roses and baby's breath.
Plants: We couldn't choose between Rudy's Plants and HM Wholesale Plants. Both have healthy plants for a fraction of the cost at Home Depot. Both are in the Southern California Flower Market. Plus both have air plants, which are having a moment.
Something different: ZCallas has seasonal flowers, moss and wood, and honey shipped in from Oregon.
Arrangements: Go outside the OLAFM and the SCFM and you will find dozens of shops, spreading out in all directions, six blocks from San Pedro Street west to Maple Street and Seventh Street south to Ninth Street. These little businesses cater to any flower-arrangement needs: funerals, victory wreaths, weddings. Inside the California Flower Mall, we found one of our favorite arrangers at El Poblano Flowers.
Parking: Park in the structure off of San Julian for $4 for the day.
Restrooms: The only restrooms are inside the Original Los Angeles Flower market, and they are clean and free.
All photos by Star Foreman
Legendary experimental pop band Psychic TV were the featured headliner for the first day of Berserktown 3 at Teragram Ballroom. They were led, of course, by pandrogynous frontperson Genesis P-Orridge, the polymorphous artist who has recently added Marc Jacobs fashion model and confuser of Jerry Seinfeld to an amazing lifetime portfolio that includes co-inventing industrial music as a key member of Throbbing Gristle.
The Friday, Aug. 12, show was really special because the current incarnation of Psychic TV (co-conspired with drummer and artist Edley ODowd) chose to delay the presentation of new album Alienist in order to perform their first album, Force the Hand of Chance, in its entirety.
Helping bring the hallowed 1982 debut (recently reissued on vinyl) to life were actress-comedian Margaret Cho (on backing vocals for a sweet "Stolen Kisses"), Sean Ragon from Cult of Youth on trumpet, and Los Angeles performance-art/body-modification legend Ron Athey, reciting the "Message From the Temple," one of pop music's greatest inspirational speeches (originally delivered by Mr. Sebastian on the album). Oh, and everybody's favorite famous funnyman, Neil Hamburger, warmed up the crowd.
The best way to describe Beyond Brookledge is that it's as if somebody fit the L.A. Opera and Burning Man into the Magic Castle, and then had a three-day slumber party. This year, Beyond Brookledge, held May 20-22 at the Mission Inn in Riverside, featured round-the-clock entertainment. There were dime museums, freak shows, singers, piercers, demons, mermaids, the giant puzzle, blue men, foot Jenga, skeletons, ventriloquism, opera, full-moon howling and much more. Capping out at just 50 tickets, Beyond Brookledge is one of those once-a-year events that seems impossible but instead is impossibly fun.
As Jason Weisberger of Boing Boing said, "Beyond Brookledge is an extension of Erika Larsen's amazing Brookledge Follies. The follies are a single evening's performance at a very small, private stage in Los Angeles. Tickets are never for sale, seating is nearly impossible to come by and the show is over far, far too quickly. Beyond Brookledge is an amped-up, immersive, three-day version of Erika's magical evening."
Bar Sinister was overrun on Saturday with insane milliners, bloody royalty, blondes in blue and a hell of a lot of girls wearing bunny ears. The go-go girls were out in force, and performers Mistress Bella Bathory, Mistress Bettie Bondage, Mistress Yhenna, Aisa Adore, Penny Starr Jr. and Sam Aquatic took over the mainstage for fire balls, whipping, stripping and wrapping. Photos by Star Foreman
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