Aug. 18, 2019

Catch the last “Jazz on the Lawn” Concert of the Season!




Every Sunday in August “Jazz on the Lawn” is hosted at Gandara Park in Santa Monica! Enjoy a night of friends, family and dancing for free at the park! This season marks the 14th summer the event has been hosted. The iconic concert series features jazz musicians, pre-concert activities and delectable food trucks. 


This upcoming weekend is the very last concert of the season and features “Classic Rock All Jazzed Up” with the band NUTTY.


From 4:00 - 7:00pm enjoy pre-concert games and actives for the entire family. Then at 5:00, head back to the stage and enjoy a night of rock jazz and dancing. NUTTY will perform an array of rock/jazz classics, re-interpreted and re-imagined in a way that only NUTTY can.




Food Trucks


For the final concert of the season, food truck include Dogtown DogsTacos Gallo Loco, and Merci Clément. 

  • Dogtown Dogs: Offering a “sophisticated variation of traditional favorites with an innovative spin,” Dogtown Dogs serves, you guess it: hot dogs. These aren’t your traditional ballpark franks. Hot dogs at Downtown Dog include The Morning Commute (Dog wrapped in crispy, hardwood smoked bacon and topped with a fried egg), California Dog (all beef dog with avocado, arugula, basil aioli, tomatoes, fried onions and a lite vinaigrette), and even Trailer Trash (all beef dog topped with beef chili, nacho cheese and Frito’s corn chips.)
  • Tacos Gallo Loco: There are few things more iconic in LA than street tacos, and Tacos Gallo Loco is one of the best. Offering burritos, nachos and of course tacos, you really can’t go wrong when ordering from this truck.
  • Merci Clément: Once you enjoy your hot dogs and tacos, head on over to Merci Clément for dessert. Merci Clément features everything from gelato to chocolate Belgian waffles to praline sticks. 




Additional Information: 

  • Location: “Jazz on the Lawn” takes place as Gandara Park (1819 Stewart St, Santa Monica, CA.
  • Parking: Free parking is available after 3:30pm in the Kite Pharma lot located at 1800 Stewart St. Please be courteous of the residents and do not park in the neighborhood.
  • Accessibility: A limited number of parking spots will be reserved for accessible parking in the Gandara Park lot and will be on a first come, first served basis. The park and restrooms are wheelchair accessible.


Aug. 14, 2019

Everything We Know So Far About the Venice Homeless Shelter



The Los Angeles City Council recently finally a lease allowing the city to build a temporary homeless shelter at a former Metro bus yard in Venice. With this big, and controversial, change coming to Silicon Beach, we have broken down everything we know so far below.



About the Shelter


The shelter is part of Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “A Bridge Home program”, which the mayor announced in 2018 as a solution to provide shelter for homeless residents awaiting permanent housing funded by a $1.2 billion bond approved by Los Angeles voters in 2016. 


Garcetti set aside $20 million for the program, with a goal creating a shelter in each of the city’s 15 council districts. The money is being supplemented by grants from the state and have already been far more costly than expected.


This building along is expected to cost roughly $8 million, with $5 million coming from city coffers and the remainder from a donation made by the California Community Foundation. 


The goal of the shelter is to ultimately reduce the number of encampments in Venice and around Los Angeles. 


Construction on the 154-bed shelter began in July and it is expected to be done by end of September or early October. Once construction is done and the shelter is furnished, the city will contract with service providers “People Assisting the Homeless” and “Safe Place for Youth” to staff the site with employees able to assist residents searching for permanent housing.


The shelter will be located at 100 Sunset Avenue and is only expected to be operational for the next 3 years. After that the transit agency has plans to redevelop the property, with proposed uses for the site including housing, retail, and even a boutique hotel.




The Homeless Shelter is not without Controversy


In 2018 when the project was first announced, City Councilmember Mike Bonin who is a big proponent of the shelter, was shouted at and booed by Venice Beach residents who opposed the shelter. The points made by residents included concerns about attracting more homeless residents to the area and neighborhood crime rates spiking. 


The Venice Stakeholders Association—a frequent critic of the city’s homelessness policy—has also sued to block the shelter. The neighborhood group’s lawsuit is still pending, but a judge ruled in May that construction could move forward while the case is tried. 



Posted in Silicon Beach News
Aug. 7, 2019

Marina del Rey Movie Night


Looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday night? How about enjoying a picnic and movie under the stars in Silicon Beach sound? On Saturday nights throughout the summer, the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches & Harbors hosts a “Movie Night” in Marina del Rey's Burton Chace Park! 


Admission is free and the movies start each week at 8:00p.m., but the lawn fills up fast so we recommend you arrive closer to 7:00p.m. if you want a good spot! Bring a snack, a blanket and some beach chairs and settle in to watch movies that the entire family will enjoy. 


After you find the perfect movie viewing spot, go enjoy the water view or stroll the perimeter walking path. 


Upcoming Movies:

      • August 10: Black Panther (PG-13)
      • September 7: Wizard of Oz (PG)
      • September 14: Mean Girls (PG-13)
      • September 21: Solo: Star Wars (PG-13)
      • September 28: Beetlejuice (PG)


Seating Info:
Seating is festival style on the park lawn and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring your own blanket or a low-back beach chair. No tents or umbrellas. There is no reserved seating for the public allowed.


Food and Snacks:

BYOF: Bring your own food! Whether it's a full picnic or just some popcorn, bringing your own food is encouraged. There are also food trucks on the property that you can enjoy! 


What’s encouraged?

Picnic dinner 

Low-back beach chairs 

Standard size picnic blanket

Dogs – As long as they are leashed


What’s discouraged? 

      • Alcohol
      • Smoking, including e-cigs/vapes
      • Medical or recreational use marijuana
      • Illegal substances (including narcotics) or drug paraphernalia
      • Weapons of any kind
      • Fireworks, sparklers, or incendiary devices
      • Tents, canopies, umbrellas of any kind
      • Video recording equipment
      • Drones
      • Professional still camera equipment (no detachable lenses, tripods, large zoom lenses, and/or commercial-use camera assemblies)
      • Audio recording equipment
      • Focused-light devices, including laser pointers
      • Items intended for sale/promotion
      • Any item that can be used as a means to disturb the peace, endanger the safety of the crowd, and/or inflict damage to people and goods
July 31, 2019

3 Pools to Enjoy on Your Next Silicon Beach Staycation


When you live in Silicon Beach, you don’t need to leave town in order to experience paradise. Sometimes staycations are exactly what you need to feel rested and refreshed — especially when they have resort style pools. Below, we list the best hotels (with our favorite pools) in Silicon Beach! We have the list of The Best Pools in Silicon Beach. Take a look at our Silicon Beach Pools list by reading below.


Marina del Rey Hotel

The Marina del Rey Hotel is a boutique hotel that offers a host of on-site amenities, including complimentary Wi-Fi, a 24-hour lobby business center, a gym and waterfront dining at SALT Restaurant and Bar. Marina del Rey Hotel is a waterfront retreat with luxury amenities and a relaxing view of the marina located right in the heart of Silicon Beach.


As if being directly on the water wasn’t relaxing enough, Marina del Rey Hotel has an extraordinary pool that brings crowds from all over. Most days of the week, it is only open to hotel guests, but on Sundays throughout the summer they host the Sunday Boat House. You don’t need to go all the way to Vegas to drink, dance, and lounge poolside. Featuring the hottest DJs, weekly themed events, luxury cabana rentals, and more, Sunday Boat House is one of the most popular events in Silicon Beach. Sunday Boat House is free for all hotel guests and $10 for non-guests. You must be 21+ to attend.


Shutters on the Beach

Shutters on the Beach is a beautiful beach resort in Santa Monica that resembles the quintessential cottages of Cape Code more than the modern architecture that the West Coast is known for. The perfect place for a staycation, Shutters on the Beach features a full spa for you to relax and enjoy your staycation in Silicon Beach.


The hotel also features one of the most beautiful pools in Santa Monica. This resort-style pool overlooks the sand beaches and pacific ocean. Lined with dozen’s of lounger chairs and cabanas, the pool at Shutters on the Beach is a perfect spot to spend a relaxing weekend. 


The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey

This 5-star hotel in Marina del Rey offers colorful sunsets over docked sailboats that are simply unbeatable. The brand new hotel features meeting spaces, newly reimagined accommodations and a spa known for its use of essential oils and plant extracts. 


The heated, salt water pool and jacuzzi is located right on the water. Enjoy the ocean view from the privacy of the resort-style pool for the ultimate backyard getaway in Silicon Beach.

July 21, 2019

D23 Expo: Everything You Need to Know

Photo via Facebook 


Celebrate the magic of Disney this August with the D23 Expo. Since 2009, the bi-annual D23 Expo has celebrated all the magic, wonder, and adventure of Disney at this remarkable gathering created especially for fans. Below, we have all the details you need to know about D23.


What is D23? 

D23 Expo gives attendees three full days of “inside-the-magic” experiences. Attendees will see exclusive sneak peeks of upcoming Disney films, celebrity appearances, unforgettable presentations given by Disney luminaries, a look at what’s coming to Disney Parks and Resorts. Those who attend will also see the Disney Legends ceremony, and the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibition, which spotlights crown jewels from Disney’s timeless legacy.


When and Where is D23?

D23 takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 23-25, 2019. 



Where can you find tickets?

General admission tickets are $89 for a one-day adult admission and $69 for children. If you are a D23 Gold Member though, you can receive discounted single-day and multi-day tickets for the expo. D23 Gold and Gold Family Members can save up to $ 10 per day off the price of admission to D23 Expo 2019, based on the purchase of tickets at the D23 Gold Member rate. 


Three day tickets are known to sell out fast, but daily tickets have been known to be available until week of! 


D23 Pro Tips

— Get to the convention center early! The good panels and events fill up fast, so either plan to get to the convention center really early, or plan to spend the night in line — a tip that D23 insiders sometimes recommend.


— If you want to stay in a Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel then book early! Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels are hotels that are located close to Disneyland, many with family packages, shuttles to the park, and early admission.


— Feel free to dress up! Whether you prefer superheroes or princesses, don't be afraid to let your Disney love be known! 


— Bring your kids to the park, not the expo. Unlike Disney parks, D23 is not stroller friendly, it is extremely crowded, and the days are long. So though the event is child appropriate, it’s not exactly kid-friendly. 


— You can’t bring in food or drinks inside, so make sure you bring enough money to purchase food and beverages throughout the day.


— Grab an Expo Stagepass if it’s being offered. It’s free of charge and you’ll be thankful when you can actually take time to sit down to eat lunch because you can fastpass the next line. 

July 17, 2019

Should you consider getting a yacht share?


Living in Silicon Beach means constant temptation to be on the water. Whether its enjoying a sunset cruise in Marina Del Rey, an afternoon on a sailboat, or a day out chartering a yacht — this time of year it seems everyone is out on the water. A popular option for those who don't want to own a boat but still want to spend summer days on the water is a yacht share. Below we break down everything you need to know about yacht shares as well as the pros and cons members face. 


What is a yacht share?

Joint ownership and yacht shares can come in a variety of forms, some more structured than others. Typically a boat will be owned by a syndicate of members who will take their own share of the boats financial and practical commitments. This is a more cost effective option than buying a yacht completely, but more convenient than chartering a boat. 


How is this different than chartering a yacht? 

Chartering a yacht is the lowest commitment option, best for those who just want to use the boat from time to time — as opposed to a yacht share where you actually own a portion of the boat. The downfall of chartering a boat is that certain times of the year (I.e. 4th of July Week, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.) it can be difficult to get a slot. The boats are also typically worked hard, and subject to high levels of wear and tear because they are not used by the same people regularly.


Pros to having a yacht share?

    • Less time invested than owning: Not only do yacht shares cut costs, it also cuts down on your time investment. Most shared arrangements include the yacht’s management, so you don’t have to worry about lining up contractors or dealing with maintenance. 
    • Can change ports: As long as all of the owners agree, it is not uncommon for shared yachts to be cruised to new locations and different ports.
    • “Club” style memberships: According to YachtWorld, some shared ownership organizations allow you to test the waters. Instead of buying in right from the start, you can start with a “club” style membership and find out if fractional ownership is right for you. 


Cons to having a yacht share?

    • You might need to hire a crew: Many of the shares on for larger yachts require a crew. If you like captaining your boat and your friends and family enjoy being the crew, you may lose this aspect of yachting to some degree. There is also an additional cost to hiring a crew that needs to be budgeted in. 
    • All owners might not agree on everything: Anytime a group of people are all putting their money into something there can be some disagreement. Whether its the cleanliness of the boat, or the destination you are sailing to, there is a good chance not everyone will always agree. 
    • Pre-scheduled time: According to YachtWorld, a lot of shared yacht time is pre-scheduled. That means those spur-of-the-moment boat rides at sunset may be a thing of the past. YachtWorld recommends you read the fine print. Some fractional agreements allow first come-first served availability of the yacht during unscheduled “flex” time, if maintenance is not required.
July 11, 2019

6 Ways to make your home "Smart"


6 Easy Ways to Make Your Home “Smart” 

6 Ways to make your home smart

Image by Saveisa Home on 


Building a smarter home really just means one thing: control. Whether you’re upgrading your current home or building a new one, making it smarter is about making it work better for you by giving you control in more places at more times. 


Here are 6 ways you can do just that. 


1. Get an A.I. assistant. 


The most efficient investment in smart technology for the home is an A.I. assistant. Apple, Google, and Amazon have all created them, and whichever one you get is going to act as the brain for your home network. 


These assistants control all of the other smart devices, such as lights, security systems, kitchen appliances, and whatever else you install. The assistants are created to work best with products made by the same company, so make sure to factor that compatibility into your decision. 


2. Install smart lighting. 


Smart lighting means lights that are connected to your devices through internet and Bluetooth. This gives you control over the lights in your home from your personal devices, like phones and computers, but also from other devices, such as any motion sensors or cameras you may choose to install. 


This is what’s going to make you really feel like you’re in complete control of your new home. Being able to dim or switch the lights from your phone, or even with your voice is going to establish a new standard of control over your environment that you’ll love. 


3. Control your sound.


A crucial part of every environment is the noise. Social events, office spaces, and relaxation environments all benefit from a relevant bed of music in the background. Getting a smart speaker that’s connected to your A.I. Assistant is a great way to immediately get this. 


All of the major assistants come with speakers built in to the base model, but something to consider is the extension speakers that can be placed in other rooms. The idea here is to give you total control over the music and sound in each room of your house, from anywhere. If you’re in a smaller home or apartment, you may not need more than one speaker. But if you do, many major brands make speakers that are designed to be connected to the A.I. Assistant as part of a network. 


4. Smarter temperature. 


One of the cooler ways to manage your home is to connect your thermostat to your assistant. Newer models of thermostats are more accurate, meaning your assistant will be able to more finely tune the temperature of your house to whatever you set it to. 


If you need to make a correction, you can do it with voice commands from anywhere in your house that has a smart speaker, even one of the extension speakers, instead of having to walk to the thermostat. On top of that, they actually consume less electricity due to their smarter design and A.I. management. 


That means new features and lower bills.


5. Smarter sleep.


Easily one of the most important things done in the home, sleeping is something you can have a surprising amount of control over through smart technology. A smart thermostat can help you get that optimal sleeping temperature without having to get out of bed, and a smart bed can automatically make adjustments that help you sleep, as well as track and report your vital statistics during the night.  


This is a powerful tool for getting a more comfortable sleep, but also for scientifically examining what’s going on in your body while you sleep to help give you the best night’s rest you can get. 


6. Smarter security.


No smart home article would be complete without the mention of new security systems. Smart home security means being able to remotely access and monitor things like alarms, cameras, and sensors from anywhere in the world via the internet. 


Just like other home technologies, smart security systems are built on the premise of “if this, then that.” One input from one piece of tech will then trigger an action with another, allowing the system to communicate and keep you safe. 


It’s about providing that peace of mind that comes with being able to monitor and control the safety of your home from anywhere, something parents and frequent travelers might find pretty comforting. 




When you’re starting to look into the smart home scene, there’s going to be a lot waiting for you, and it might seem like too much. Take an evaluative and qualitative approach to exploring different products and technologies. Make sure you find something that is going to make your home life easier and better. That’s how you cut through the online noise and find a way to make your house feel like a home from the future. 


Guest Contributor:


Elise Morgan is a freelance writer from North Carolina that regularly covers health and technology topics for Mattress Advisor. She is especially passionate about understanding and researching helpful tips to making home-life as easy as possible, and loves to educate others on the topic through her writing.

Posted in Silicon Beach News
July 11, 2019

All you need to know about the the Santa Monica Concert Series

Summer Twilight Series on the Pier

It wouldn't be summer in Santa Monica without the annual summer concert series, Twilight on the Pier. Below, we have everything you need to know about this years line up! 


About Twilight on the Pier

The Santa Monica concert series, also known as Twilight on the Pier, is the free weekly music festival that is now as iconic as the Pier itself. Celebrating it’s 35th consecutive year in Santa Monica, Twilight continues the long-standing tradition of presenting emerging artists from around the world. The weekly concert series also featuring art, an all new comedy stage, eats, wine and beer garden, games and interactive activations.


Concert Details 

Twilight on the Pier takes place every Wednesday from August 21 through September 25 at 7:00pm. The concerts are free of charge and generally bring a pretty big crowd so come early if you want to find parking and a good viewing area. Pier parking is available as well as municipal lots throughout Santa Monica that are within walking distance to their Pier. 


Last year, the set up of the venue changed, with three stages instead of just one. Between each stage there were vendors, beer gardens, and games which is a format that is expected to return this year. With this new set up, please note that the public beach adjacent to the pier will no longer be activated as a viewing area. 



The Line Up

The concert series aims to showcase performers that reflect both the diverse audience and the many cultures throughout Southern California that influence local art and music. Twilight’s "Local Meets Global" theme celebrates different cultural soundscapes, “mixing classic world music with pop jams and indie folk,” according to their site. This years line up is as follows: 


August 21, 2019: Twilight on the Pier Kickoff Event

      • Main Stage: Rostam
      • Main Stage: Dijon
      • West End Stage: Jen Award


August 28, 2019: Latin Wave

      • Main Stage: Helado Negro
      • Main Stage: San Cha
      • West End Stage: Banda Las Angelinas 


September 4, 2019: Middle East Beats

      • Main Stage: A-WA
      • Main Stage: Disco Shrine
      • West End Stage: Los Angeles Arabs Orchestra


September 11, 2019: Island Tides

      • Main Stage: Hollie Cook
      • Main Stage: Western Standard Time SKA Orchestra
      • West End Stage: Upstream


September 18, 2019: Aussie Splash

      • Main Stage: Methyl Ethel 
      • Main Stage: APRA Contest Winners 
      • West End Stage: APRA Contest Winners 


September 25, 2019: Japanese Vibes

      • Main Stage: Cornelius 
      • Main Stage: Starro
      • West End Stage: TaikoProject




June 30, 2019

Everything you need to know about the Lotus Festival at Echo Park


Celebrate rebirth, purity and life with the bloom of the Lotus flowers at Echo Park! The flowers, which are significant in many Asian cultures, bloom every July in Los Angeles. Each year, the community puts together a festival to celebrate the flower and all that it signifies. Below, we have listed everything you need to know about this cultural festival that takes place on July 14 and 15.


What does the Lotus Flower Represent? 

The lotus flower is an old and significant symbol in many religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism. Though each religion brings slight variations to the meaning of the lotus flower the general concept is the same. The meaning of the lotus flower comes from the way the flower grows in nature. It starts off as a bud underwater, often in murky ponds, and grows until it emerges from the muddy waters in a beautiful blooming flower.


Just like the Lotus, all humans are born into a world of suffering where they must learn to overcome difficult times so that they can become a better person. The muddy waters represent the struggles of life, the bud of the flower represent a person that has not yet reached their full potential, and the blossoming lotus flower above the water represents someone who has achieved nirvana and let go of worldly suffering.


Why Echo Park Lake?

When choosing where to host a Lotus Festival in Los Angeles Echo Park Lake was a no brainer. Not only is Echo Park Lake a central location of local Asian and Pacific Islander communities, but because it also hosts the largest lotus bed in the United States. 


Though the Lotus blooming depends on external forces such as weather and temperature, the hope is that the entire bed of Lotus flowers will be in full boom! 


What should you expect at the festival? 

Each year, the festival includes a host of amazing asian cuisine, live music, dragon boat races, ethnic dances, and a variety of performers representing the people and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The event takes place on July 14 and 15 from 12:00 noon through 9:00pm, so there is ample time to experience this festival with the entire family. 


This year marks the 39th festival, and pays homage to the Thai community. 

June 26, 2019

Why You Should Consider a Drought Resistant Yard


In Southern California we are no strangers to drought. Though in recent years we’ve seen a bit more rain than usual, we still live in one of the driest areas of the country. This means homeowners are always looking for new ways to keep their property attractive, while still working within the restraints the weather provides. Xeriscaping, the idea of using as little water as possible and still maintaining interesting and attractive landscapes, has become more popular in SoCal in the last decade. 


Below, we break down why you should consider drought resistant landscaping on your property.


It’s More Affordable 

Believe it or not, drought resistant landscaping can be more cost effective over time than traditional landscaping. Though the initial cost is slightly higher than conventional landscaping because of the comprehensive design and cost of plants. Overtime, though, experts estimate that those with drought resistant yards save 36 cents per square foot annually due to decreased maintenance costs.


It’s More Manageable than Traditional Landscaping

Traditional landscaping requires weekly attention. From irrigation systems to mowing the lawn, there always seems to be some sort of upkeep involved. Drought resistant landscaping offers less matienance while still looking put together. 


Replace the Grass

Grass is the largest water waster in the yard and it’s the most high maintenance item, so considering other options is a great way to reduce your water waste and your time spent landscaping. 


Some drought resistant landscaping options include:

    • Artificial Grass: For a similar look to traditional grass without the maintenance
    • Gravel or Stone: This give your yard a modern and clean look without the water waste involved with grass
    • Mulch: Replacing your grass with mulch gives your yard a soft look without the upkeep of grass


Be smart in your garden

Gardens don’t always require flowers to look beautiful and put together. Consider some of the following plants to keep your garden attractive throughout a drought.

    • Ornamental Grasses: Not all grasses require water and upkeep. Some ornamental grasses worth planting include Little Bluestem,  Fountain Grass, Blue Oatgrass and   Purple Fountaingrass. 
    • Succulents: This one is a no-brainer. Succulents only need water once every 3-4 weeks, making the most popular garden choice during a drought. These plants come in a plethora of colors and sizes, so you can create an entire colorful garden with just these plants.
    • Perennials: If you are headstrong on having flowers in your garden then go with perennials which are sturdy and require less water than traditional flowers. Perennials to consider include Blanket flower, Russian Sage, Lavender and Yarrow.