Oct. 17, 2018

The Best Place to Trick-or-Treat in Silicon Beach





If you live in Silicon Beach, then you probably already know that Silver Strand is the place to be for trick-or-treating. Each year the entire area transforms into a spooky, halloween celebration, complete with witches, ghosts and ghouls. If you don’t know anything about Silver Strand’s Halloween spectacular, then keep on reading as we break down everything you need to know.




History of Silver Strand Halloween


The Annual Silver Strand Halloween Celebration began nearly 3 decades ago when homes on the Strand were few and far between. Many of the new residents lived too far away from traditional trick or treat sites to take their children to, so they figured out a way to bring the fun to Silver Strand. 


 At the request of his young daughter, homeowner John Conner took the initiative and decorated his garage as a haunted house and other homeowners quickly followed suit. Eventually the event became the annual extravaganza that it is today, attracting families not only from the Silver Strand, but from adjacent communities as well. 




Why is Silver Strand so Popular?


It’s popularity stems from the fact that is a safe place for families and their children to explore and trick or treat. Homeowners on Roma Court also go all out to provide a wonderful evening for everyone who comes out to enjoy it. It is the perfect way to spend a halloween with children! 




When do the festivities begin? 


As usual, festivities begin appearing on Roma around 5:30pm. It begins as a trickle, then a stream and finally a mass. The night typically ends around 9:00pm. 




Dress Code?


You can dress spooky or pretty, princess or ghoulish, dead or alive — it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t come as you are! Instead, come as you want to be!  


Oct. 10, 2018

Why Fall and Winter are Great Times to Buy and Sell a Home in Silicon Beach



Spring and Summer have always been popular times of the year to buy and sell homes, but there are plenty of perks to buying and selling in the Fall and Winter. Below, we have listed the some of the best reasons to buy and sell in Fall and Winter!


Listing Prices Stay the Same, But Sale Prices Drop

What do we mean by this? Well, sellers can still put their house on the market for the same price you would list it in the spring, but there's less competition for the buyers, so less bidding wars. This means, the seller can still get the value they wanted from their home, while the buyer is happy they didn’t have to come in 10K above listing price to ensure they got the home.


This also means smaller mortgages for the buyers, which is always a perk! 


There are More Starter Homes During the Autumn Months

Starter home inventory tends to peak in October, according to the real estate site Trulia. Starter homes are defined as home listed within the lowest-third of the real estate market, which is often the range for first-time buyers.


First-time buyers who are ready to own a home versus rent an apartment can find great deals on appliances and home goods, in the autumn. According to Consumer Reports magazine, autumn coincides with the best time to buy certain household goods such as gas grills,fridges, TVs, snowblowers, and lawn mowers. 


Smart Time to get a Home Inspection

With Fall comes rainfall, and this rain makes it easier for home inspectors to see potential problems in the home you are looking at. If you bought the same home in the summer, you wouldn't know that the roof or foundation leaked, but after Fall’s substantial rainfall, its much easier to see and face the issues.


Perfect Time for a Tax Deduction

Buying a home before December 31 helps with tax deductions! You’ll be able to write off some of this year’s mortgage interest, along with deductions for points, property taxes and home offices.


You’ll Have Time to Consider All Options

Fall and Winter has less competition, therefore you have a chance to slow down and consider your options before buying a home. Take the time to review all of your options, look at your check list and buy the hime that is the best choice for you. 


Oct. 3, 2018

Everything You Need to Know about Palisades Park


Santa Monica might be the first place every tourist who hops off a plane at LAX goes, but that is only because of how gorgeous the Santa Monica coast really is! Palisades Park is a 26.4 acre park that overlooks the gorgeous Santa Monica beaches and lines the famous Ocean Avenue.


The idyllic park begins at the Santa Monica Pier and continues all the way up to Adelaide Drive. It is lined with more than 30 varieties of plants and trees, including eucalyptus, pine, palm, and fig trees. Below is a list of our favorite things to do in Palisades Park.


Watch the Sunset

There are few places in Silicon Beach where you can watch a more beautiful sunset than at Palisades Park. This long strip of greenery overlooking the pacific ocean is the perfect place to sit down and enjoy the colorful sky. 


Have a Picnic

Pack a lunch and enjoy the view of the ocean crashing in the distance. The park is the best way to get an ocean front picnic without dealing with sand in your salad and seagulls flying above your head. 


Ride Bikes

The Palisades Park bike trail spans over 1 mile and is the perfect place to leisurely ride on a Sunday afternoon. The bike paths are the perfect family friendly activities to do this Fall! 


Grab a Bite to Eat Along the Park

Located between the park and the ocean, Back on the Beach Cafe is casual restaurant with seasonal Californian cuisine. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating with ocean and island views. The restaurant has been a landmark for Los Angeles natives since 1989. 


For more information about Back on the Beach Cafe, including their seasonal menu, click here. 


Go to the Pier

Okay, maybe this isn’t in the park, but since the park technically begins at the pier, we thought we might as well include it! Besides, who can’t resist a day at the pier? Constructed in 1909, this massive pier is home to Pacific Park, a family friendly amusement park. The amusement park boasts carnival games, a merry go round, children rides, and even a roller coaster. Whether you’re a local to Silicon Beach or a tourist just in for the week, the historic Santa Monica Pier is a must see. 

Sept. 26, 2018

Venice Beach: The Mosaic Tile House



Photo Credit: Mosaic Tile House via Facebook


There are plenty of eclectic places to see while in Venice, but one of the most brilliant places to visit is the Mosaic Tile House. This 1940’s home has been completely transformed into an art piece that is bigger and brighter than life itself. 


What is the Mosaic Tile House?


The Mosaic Tile House is a brilliantly designed home that is modeled after Sam Rodia's works, who created his towers in Watts with only scavenged materials. Artists Gonzalo Duran and Cheri Pann transformed a plain 1940’s house in a bedazzled and jeweled work of art, created from colored tile and splintered glass.


The house wasn't originally intend to be a work of art. In fact, when Duran and Pann purchased the home, they originally intended on building a studio in the backyard. But as the two artists began to remodel the bathroom with broken tile and glass, the project took on a life of its own. It expanded from the bathroom to the kitchen then gradually took over the entire house.




Who are the artists?


As a child Cheri Pann would draw and color everything within her reach. It wasn't until her late teens though, when she went to see a Vincent Van Gogh exhibit, that realized that she was an artist. For the next few years she went to UCLA where she studied printmaking, then subsequently apprenticed herself to the printmaker Don LaViere Turner, and took additional printmaking classes at USC. Later, at Cal State L.A., she immersed herself in drawing and ceramics, eventually earning an Masters in Fine Art.


From the late sixties through the mid-nineties, Pann had more than 20 solo exhibitions in California and Japan, as well as having been in more than 50 group shows.


Since the mid-nineties she has exhibited exclusively in Venice, CA. with her husband, Gonzalo Duran.


Born in Mexico, Gonzalo Duran came to the U.S. at an early age and was raised in East LA. He attended Otis Art Institute and Chouinard Art School. Coined the Marc Chagall of the North and Central Americas, his brilliant, sometimes startling palette, complements his unbounded imagination. 




About the house:


The Mosaic Tile house is located at 1116 Palms Blvd, Venice, CA. The home is open Saturdays from 1:00 - 4:00pm and reservations are recommended. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and children under 12 are free. For more information on admission and reservations click here!




Sept. 19, 2018

The Fall Lineup: Marina del Rey Dinner Cruises




Just because summer is coming to an end, does not mean that Marina Del Rey is any less busy! The fall is one of the best times of the year to do dinner cruises, the weather is still warm enough to be out on the water, but it’s cool enough to enjoy the scenery and not hide from the sun!  The Gem of Silicon Beach, Marina del Rey has all the best dinner cruises.


This fall, there is an abundance of dinner cruises that you and your entire family can enjoy. From charity cruises to dog-friendly dinners, we have a list of every cruise you should take this fall!




Sunset Cocktail Cruises CHOCtail


Already planning on taking a dinner cruise this September? Then why not give back while doing it! September is Children's Cancer Awareness Month, and we have partnered with Children's Hospital of Orange County to bring you CHOCtail Cruises. The idea is simple, just click the "CHOCtail Ticket" button and a portion of the proceeds will directly benefit children in need. Want to go one step further? Help "Sock it to Cancer" bring a new pair of children's socks with you the night of your cruise to donate.


These cruises are every Wednesday and Thursday night in September, so you have 1 week left to donate! 


The cruise includes: 


2-hour yacht cruise


'CHOCtail Ticket" a portion of the proceeds will directly benefit children in need at CHOC


"Sock it to Cancer" donate a new pair of children's socks


Purchase our Signature Pineapple Martini and $1 will be donated to CHOC


Complimentary Light Appetizers


Relaxing background music - Sirius XM Radio


Wine, beer, and cocktails available for purchase


Cocktail Seating - Limited, Non-Guaranteed Seating  (first come, first serve) 




Brews and Brats Cruise 


Celebrate Oktoberfest in Marina del Rey with the Brews and Brats Cocktail Cruise. This cruise dishes up complimentary appetizers and German-style beer, so you can bring Oktoberfest to Cali.  This Cruise is offered every Wednesday & Thursday for the month of October.


The Brews and Brats Cruise includes:


2-hour harbor cruise


Complimentary appetizers -- German Cuisine inspired


Cash bar - featuring German Style Beer: Ayinger (Oktoberfest and Bavarian Pils)


Wine, other beers, and cocktails available for purchase


Sirius XM Radio


The cruise boards at 5:30pm and sails around until 8:00pm. Tickets are $37.00 per person and can be bought here. 




Dogs on Deck


Leash up your pups and bring them along on October 20th for this exclusive 1st Annual Dogs on Deck Yappy Hour Cocktail Cruise! Don't forget to wear your costumes and compete in our Howl'oween costume contest. The cruise features appetizers with wine, beer & cocktails available for purchase, and your furry friend gets pet snacks sponsored by Petco, along with a dog relief area set up on the sun deck of the yacht. The best part? A portion of the proceeds will go directly to LA Animal Services.


The cruise includes 


2-hour cruise in Marina del Rey


Special Guest Appearances by Geordi La Corgi


Meet "Darris Cooper" your "Pet Cruise Director" and Petco Pawsitive Network Dog Training Expert, as well as special Petco Stylists onboard


Doggie treat & food buffet sponsored by Petco


First Annual Doggie Howl'oween costume contest with prizes


Dog relief area on the sun deck


Appetizers with adult beverages, soft drinks, and hot and cold snacks, plus souvenirs and photos available for purchase


Boarding and photos will begin 1/2 hour prior to cruise times. For information on times, rates and regulations, please click here! 



Sept. 12, 2018

Famous Film Locations in and around Silicon Beach



For locals and tourists alike, scouting out some of the most famous movie locations in the world can fill a day of fun (and instagram pics). Living so close to Hollywood, we tend to forget that we have famous filming locations just around the corner in Silicon Beach! We’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest filming locations in Silicon Beach and Los Angeles!


The Santa Monica Pier


This one is a given. A shot of the pier is in almost every LA based movie and tv show. From Forrest Gump to Iron Man, the Santa Monica Pier has played a role in countless movies. The critically acclaimed 1950 film “Quicksand” is one of the earliest and most recognizable scenes filmed on the pier as it’s the location of the movie’s dramatic climax. A great filiming location right in Silicon Beach.




Neptune’s Net


One of the L.A.’s most famous beachside restaurants is a tiny shack-like eatery known as Neptune’s Net. Originally established as Jake’s Diner in 1958, the seaside restaurant has only changed hands twice since its inception - first in 1974, when it was purchased by Paul and Dolly Seay (when it was renamed Neptune’s Net), and in 1991, when it was sold to Michelle Lee and her husband, Chong Sun. Throughout the decades, the landmark has remained mostly the same, barely changing between it’s appearance. Next time your tooling around in Silicon Beach stop by and see the landmark. Neptune’s Net has been featured in movies and tv such as Fast and the Furious, Losin’ It, Point Break, People Like Us, So Little Time, Gossip Girl and The Hills. The exterior was also used in the filming of Iron Man 3. 




Leo Carrillo State Park


Summer Lovin’ is one of the most iconic songs in movie history, and the state park where the summer love began isn’t too far north of us. At the beginning of the 1978 classic, Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson gets friendly in the sand at Leo Carrillo State Park. 


The 1.5-mile coastline, which features rocky cliffs, reefs, tide pools and caves, has been immortalized on screen countless times over the years, in classics like Grease and The Karate Kid. It has also been featured in blockbusters like She’s All That and Furious 7.  Another Silicon Beach Favorite that should not be missed.




El Matador State Beach 


“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird!” That’s right, one of the most romantic movies of all time was filmed in Malibu at El Matador State Beach. Though most of the 2004 flick was shot in South Carolina, producers chose El Matador’s arresting rocky landscape for the romantic scene between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. The beach is also the scene of Madonna’s Cherish music video. Although it’s not the easiest beach to access - beachgoers have to travel down a steep dirt path to reach the sand - El Matador’s sparkling blue waters, large rock formations, scattered boulders and unique caves make it one of L.A.’s most picturesque sites. 

Sept. 5, 2018

Learn more about Malibu Lagoon Field Trips!




There are few places in Los Angeles are more serene than Malibu Lagoon State Beach. This state beach is a unit of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and is protected by the state. The beach is now used to provide for the health, inspiration and education Californians by helping to preserve the state’s biological diversity. 


The State Beach is the perfect spot to host field trips for local school children. The beach offers lessons in protecting and conserving California land, and protecting sea life from human waste. 

Reservations for field trips are required, so make sure to call and schedule the field trip long before you hope to take the trip. Approved K through 12 schools may have parking fees waived upon a principle approval of the field trip. All other groups that attend must pay parking fees upon entrance to the park: I,e. Scouts, after school programs, etc.


Self Guided Tours:

For grade K-12, Teachers may bring students on their own to Malibu Lagoon and Beach. This gives teachers of all grades the opportunity to teach based upon their curriculum.  An interpretive guide of hike and safety suggestions are available upon request!


Hands On Education: 

Malibu Lagoon provides an education through exploration. The children’s education program at Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum focuses on youth in elementary school grades, specifically grades 3 through 6. The program introduces students to the park’s extraordinary biological diversity. Specific topics include Chumash Indian culture; ecology; plant, fish and animal life; and environmental pollution. Children learn through hands on activities so binoculars and magnifying glasses are provided for children to learn through touch. The goal of the Malibu Lagoon field trip is to combine the fun of taking a trip to the beach with an opportunity to learn fascinating facts about the natural and cultural history of the Malibu Lagoon.  

Tours of Adamson House show 21st century children how a family lived in the 1930s and invites comparisons to present-day life and society. The lavish use of tile and other distinctive decorative elements is also discussed.

Children’s tours are sponsored by Malibu Adamson House Foundation. Call (310) 456-8432 for more information.  


Aug. 29, 2018

Summer Activities After Labor Day in Los Angeles




With Labor Day weekend, comes the unofficial end of summer… for everyone not in Southern California. For us, we still have weeks of sunshine and warm temps before fall comes barreling in. So how should you spend those last few weeks of warmth? We have a few ideas for you below!



626 Night Market


Get ready for food, music, games and more at the original and largest Asian inspired night market in the United States. The massive event draws in 80,000+ attendees and aims to “unite and empower the community by serving as a platform for showcasing local entrepreneurs, businesses, artists, and talent,” says their website. 


The next event takes place at 285 W Huntington Dr. Arcadia, CA on August 31 through September 2nd. Admission is cash only and $5 at the door. Doors open at 4:00pm each day and close at 1:00am on Friday and Saturday, and at 12:00am on Sunday. For more information on who will be at this week’s event and an event directory click here! 




Dance DTLA


We still have 2 weekends left of Dance DTLA and they saved the best for last! August 31 features a DJ Night, curated by Nosaj Thing, and September 7 is a 90’s night themed Dance Downtown! 


Dance DTLA has been a staple for 14 seasons, and each year the events just get bigger. Head downtown on Friday nights throughout the summer to dance beneath the stars! Dance Downtown takes place from 7:00pm – 11:00 pm at Grand Park. Dance DTLA offers beginner dance lessons alongside a live band or DJ, and alternates between DJ Nights (9:00 p.m. – midnight), which features sets curated by influential artists.


Food and drinks can be purchased on site and parking is recommended at The Music Center’s Main Garage (Lot 14) where it is $5 after 8pm. 




New Filmmakers LA 


Each month, New Filmmakers LA showcases the best movies new filmmakers have to offer. The upcoming event, taking place Saturday, September 8th will be hosted at The Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.


This month’s festival features both local and international films by world-class emerging filmmakers from Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Spain, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Argentina and the United States across three short film programs. 


Tickets are available for $5 per program advanced purchase / $7 per program at the door and $15 for all-night access passes, which provide access to all three film programs with open bar throughout the entire event.


For more information about tickets and movie schedule click here! 


Aug. 23, 2018

MedMen: Why the Hype?


Coined “The Starbucks of Weed,” MedMen is known for delivering a high-quality product (no pun intended) across California, Nevada and New York. The hype surrounding MedMen has attracted publicity from media outlets across the nation: from Forbes to Variety.

Below we profile MedMen and why people across the country are joining in on the hype!


What is MedMen?

MedMen Enterprise is a cannabis company in the United States that operates in California, Nevada and New York. MedMen owns and operates 19 licensed cannabis facilities in cultivation, manufacturing and retail.

MedMen was started with a simple vision; cannabis as a consumer product. It is a simple idea that has changed the cannabis industry and how marijuana is cultivated, produced and marketed. The founders of MedMen know that just like any other consumer product, quality standards matter, best practices matter, and brand reputation matters. Today, MedMen is the most dominant cannabis enterprise in the emerging legal marijuana industry.

MedMan is not just a “pot shop”,  it is a class leading retail store that happens to sell marijuana and marijuana products. The proof is in the pudding! MedMen operates several dispensaries in the most strategic markets in the country and continues to grow rapidly.


MedMen Headquarters

MedMen is headquartered in Culver City, California, in a 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art office complex that was designed and executed by MedMen’s own facilities team, showcasing the company’s design and construction capabilities.


How Does MedMen Operate?

MedMen operates scalable, highly-efficient growing facilities using the latest in agronomic technology and sustainable techniques, and their manufacturing facilities use standards comparable to those in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

MedMen and Politics

MedMen is the single largest financial supporter of progressive marijuana laws at the local, state and federal levels, giving directly to pro-legalization groups, industry organizations and political candidates.


Aug. 15, 2018

The Best Bakeries: Where to Get a Sweet Treat in Silicon Beach


We all love a sweet treat from time to time, and with Fall just around the corner, we no longer have to worry about the bikini body. That means, you can explore all of the best bakeries in Silicon Beach without any stress! Below we listed our favorite bakeries in Silicon Beach!


Sweet Lady Jane

Featured in publications from In-Style Weddings to Bon Appetit to the LA Times, Sweet Lady Jane is one of  the go to bakeries in Los Angeles. Sweet Lady Jane custom cakes are world-famous for their beauty and quality. Known for producing true works of “cake art” that create unforgettable memories, their masterful cake designers can tackle virtually any request. Sweet Lady Jane doesn’t only have cake, they also have a full dessert menu that you can see here!


Founder Jane Lockhart has been featured on Food Network multiple times, including episodes of “The Best Of”, “Top 5”, “The Secret Life of Pies”, and “Extreme Cuisine.” Stop by her Santa Monica location at 1631 Montana Ave to taste for yourself!


La Monarca Bakery

La Monarca Bakery’s founders grew up in Mexico where they enjoyed a rich variety of cakes, pastries and breads. They created La Monarca Bakery to bring The Sweet Flavor of Mexico to the U.S. They use all-natural and fresh ingredients in their delectable desserts, bringing the lovely flavors of their childhood to us.


La Monarca Bakery has been recognized Best of LA Weekly 2011, Best of Sunset Magazine 2012, Best of Los Angeles Magazine 2013, and LA Times' 2017 Guide to Great LA Bakeries. Try these delectable treats at 1300 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica.


DK Donuts

Open 24/7, this Donut Shop is one of the best in Southern California! This family owned donut shop has been giving Los Angeles a sugar rush for 35 years. Known for its freshly made treats, DK Donuts uses gourmet ingredients to craft donuts with a traditional taste and a modern twist.


Get your donuts at 1614 Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica!



With classic treats made daily by in-house bakers, SusieCakes is the place to go for sweets in Playa Vista. Known for using the freshest & finest ingredients, SusieCakes is a sweet reminder of your grandma’s baking. Founder Susan “Susie” Sarich utilizes her grandmother’s recipes to make homemade and old fashioned treats.


Visit Marina Square Shopping Center for these delicious, sentimental sweets and a friendly, old-fashioned neighborhood experience.