california

Could the newest trend in Bay Area food be… edible insects?

 

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Their table was a tableau of a meal interrupted: a platter of half-eaten roast chicken, a bowl of Jap chae noodles, a can of Diet Coke tipped over on its side, and dishes slick with the residue of dipping sauces, kimchi, and pickled vegetables. They talked and they laughed as the rain poured outside. Their food grew cold and their drinks turned warm and they bobbed their heads to the music as they waited for the waitress to bring out their last dish: a bowl of soup.

They smelled it before they saw it: salty and rich, smoky with a beefy undertone. It came in a small stone bowl on a small black plate. Bits of browns and yellows and greens floated on the surface of the steaming russet broth and someone remarked that it looked like minestrone soup. Except that it wasn’t minestrone soup. It was beondegi: vegetable soup with boiled silkworms.

“I grew up eating this,” said Howard Kim, the manager of Dan Sung Sa, as he dipped his spoon into the briny broth. “It’s more common in Korea, but you can still find it in markets or drinking spots like here.” Beondegi, he said, was one of the first dishes that was added to the menu of this late-night Korean bar (also known as a soju bar) in Oakland. (Click here to read more)

Jennifer LeBarre Makes Sure That Oakland Students Get A Healthy Lunch

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The bell rings— a prolonged buzzing signaling the end of class.

Attention students: lunch is being served in the cafeteria, announces a female voice over the intercom. Lunch is being served in the cafeteria. There’s chicken wings and fries, pizza and fries, and salad bar.

Within moments, hordes of students come rushing into the Oakland Tech cafeteria, sidling up in line in front of the kitchen and dropping their backpacks and jackets off at one of the circular red tables. You can tell they’re hungry. They joke and they jostle and some try to cut ahead in line by joining up with their friends.  Pizza and hot wings are popular entrees, as evidenced by their almost daily appearance on the menu—but today’s piece de resistance is the big pile of strawberries in the salad bar.

“Hey, hey, hey! Only four strawberries a person,” says Sharif Patterson, a transitional trainer for the special-needs students, who’s volunteered to watch over the salad bar today.   And next to her, arms folded, dressed entirely in purple, is Jennifer LeBarre, the director of nutrition services for the Oakland Unified School District, who is on a site visit at Oakland Tech this Wednesday afternoon.

“Every week I just go out and I try to get to as many schools as I can,” she says. “It’s one thing to be at the desk and hear from people, but I really want to see how things are operating.”

(Click here to read more)

brad elterman: the original teenage paparazzo

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THROUGHOUT THE SEVENTIES AND EARLY EIGHTIES, Brad Elterman made a name for himself photographing candid, evocative photos of both counter-culture and mainstream icons. He photographed Joan Jett flipping the bird while backstage at the Whiskey and Robert Plant as he kicked a soccer ball in Encino. He shot The Ramones and The Sex Pistols, as well as Alice Cooper and David Bowie. He took photos of Madonna and Michael Jackson, and even Muhammad Ali and Brooke Shields.

Elterman was seemingly everywhere and always at the right time, until the mid-eighties when he simply stopped. The photography industry had changed, as had the music and cultural scene, and Elterman lost interest. After over two decades of keeping a low profile and focusing mainly on his business ventures, Elterman returned to photography in the early 2000s.

Though the people in his photographs have changed, his focus has not. Elterman’s photos are just as raw and edgy as they were in the seventies and his passion for photographing musicians and avant-garde artists remains unchanged. In the last few years, he’s snapped photos of everyone from Mac DeMarco, The 1975, Sky Ferreira, and Tyler The Creator to Jared Leto, Kris Kidd, Sandy Kim, and even Paris Hilton. With his upcoming show at Milk Studios in Chelsea later this month, we thought we’d take a moment to catch up with the prolific culture chronicler and shine a light on some of his most memorable photos from the past 30-something years. (Click here to read more)

Should California’s state rock be stripped of its title because it contains asbestos?

Imagine yourself in an Old West film, standing in the middle of a deserted street flanked with saloons, hotels and brothels, the soundtrack from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” wailing strong. At first you think you are alone with the tumbleweeds — but then you see two figures facing down.

On the left is Sen. Gloria Romero (D-East Los Angeles), suited up in leather chaps and a cowboy hat — and on the right, the state rock of California — serpentine.

Until recently, most people probably didn’t know that there was a state rock — far less that Romero wants to get rid of it.

Senate Bill 624, which has been passed by the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources but still has a long way to go in the Legislature, would strip serpentine of its state-rock title, held since 1965. Why? Because the rock “contains the deadly mineral chrysotile asbestos, a known carcinogen, exposure to which increases the risk of the cancer mesothelioma” and because “California should not designate a rock known to be toxic to the health of its residents as the state’s official rock.”

(Click here to read more)

Up In Flames

When Glendale artist Joy Feuer first visited the burned remains of the Cisco Homes warehouse in Pasadena, she looked beyond the charred furniture ruins and saw potential.

“Everyone kept saying, ‘There’s nothing left. It’s all destroyed.’ But I knew that something could come out of it,” she said.

Months later, Feuer’s vision became a reality when she founded ART from the Ashes, a nonprofit organization that creates art from the wreckage of local fires. In November of 2008 their first show featured monolithic statues, spiral wall installations and free-standing art pieces fashioned from fragments of corroded wood, twisted metal and shards of glass.

On the opening day, flutes of champagne were passed as visitors viewed the 90 works of reclaimed art incorporating materials from the previous fire site. More than 500 exhibit visitors raised $12,000 in donations for Cisco Homes and the charity group Making Education the Answer.

(Click here to read more)

Le Petit Petit adds Malibu Native to the brand…

–Published in The Los Angeles Times on February 4, 2011–

 

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Chloe did it with See By Chloe and Marc Jacobs did it with Marc. Now L.A.-based Le Petit Petit, which we  introduced here awhile back, is doing it as well.

The brand’s Malibu Native — a less expensive, more casual sister line — will hit PacSun stores in February, starting with a promotion party Saturday at The Grove.

“We are very excited to grow with PacSun because of their strong ties to core surf brands,” co-designer Logan Weinsieder said. “We feel like we can bring something new to the table in terms of fashion design and lifestyle branding.”

Drawing from the surf heritage of the West Coast, Malibu Native gets its inspiration from nature-loving fashionistas such as models Erin Wasson and Chase Cohl, and surfer Chandler Parr.  Malibu Native is more laid back than Le Petit Petit’s main line, a bit more retro and a lot less boho. But despite these differences, the label’s characteristic Parisian streak is still evident, such as when tiny black Eiffel Towers pop up on mint-colored bikinis.

(Click here to read more)

Business as Usual and a Low Profile for Dispensaries After the Oaksterdam Raid

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Medical marijuana dispensaries often strive to keep a low profile, but this has been even more the case than usual after federal agents raided Oaksterdam University and the home of founder Richard Lee on Monday. Half a dozen East Bay dispensaries responded with “no comment” when asked about how their organization was reacting to the raid, and others ignored voicemails. An employee at Crystal Paradise Delivery, a medical marijuana delivery service based in Emeryville, declined to comment, but he did say that the business was “just watching and waiting to see what happens, I guess.”

To date, there are no known closures of other dispensaries in the East Bay as a reaction to Monday’s raid. For many dispensaries, such as Oakland’s Harborside Health Center and the Berkeley Patient’s Care Collective, it’s business as usual. But this doesn’t mean that staffers don’t have their fears.

Erik Miller, the manager at the Berkeley Patient’s Care Collective, a dispensary in Berkeley which just celebrated its eleventh year in business, said that he is always worried that the city or federal government might shut the collective down. “So far so good,” Miller said, “but we’re always concerned.”

Worrying about the future is not uncommon for dispensary owners and managers, said Steven DeAngelo, executive director of the East Oakland dispensary Harborside Health Center. “I decided five years ago when we opened our doors that this was a risk that was worth taking,” he said, “that this was a medicine that people desperately need and that I was going to continue doing it as long as I was physically able to do so.”

(Click here to read more)