Sure, Boston likes to claim its independent roots, but nothing screams American independence quite like Philadelphia. And while we are on the subject of all things American, few things seem more red-blooded, good old US of A than a cold beer. That’s why Visit Philly is serving up one of the best festivals this summer - the "Summer of the Beer Garden." This 12-week festival features pop-up happy hours on Fridays in six distinct settings.
Throw on the green - or be prepared to get pinched - and head out to one of the many St. Patrick Day celebrations Minnesota offers! Don’t worry; you don’t have to be Irish to release your inner leprechaun.
Monday, March 17th
On the Nicollet Mall
I recently attended I AM MPLS!, a fashion and variety show celebrating the talented and creative people of the city. The event was held at Aria and included a fashion show with local creatives as the models, comedy from Jenn Schaal and Maggie Faris, musical performances by Hookers $ Blow and Bollywood, and food from Minneapolis-based eateries.
You may say to-may-toes and I may say to-mah-toes, but when it comes to San Luis Obispo’s Ode to Tomatoes festival, one would have to be a fool to call the whole thing off. So, when I was invited to the third annual tomato festival by SLO’s Boutique Hotel Collection, I wisely said yes and asked a friend from San Francisco to meet me. The Central Coast is midway between L.A. and San Fran, less than a four-hour drive in either direction.
Another weekend, another food festival....or two or three. These culinary events seem to take place with greater frequency in LA than movie premieres. Still, when celebrity chef Jet Tila--featured as the People Profile in the summer issue of California Meetings + Events--launches the inaugural Thai Food Festival in collaboration with the Thai Trade Center Los Angeles, it's a not-to-be-missed occasion. The gathering took place on the lot of Paramount Pictures Studios on a brilliantly sunny Sunday afternoon and celebrated the five different regions of Thai cuisine.
There aren’t many events where you can brush shoulders with both Mickey Mouse and Angelina Jolie. The third D23 Expo, which took place over the weekend of August 9th, might be the only one. Disney’s bi-annual fan convention was launched in 2009. The "D" stands for Disney, of course, and "23" refers to 1923, the year Walt founded his company. Held at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Expo is like Comic-Con for Disney fans. There’s lots to buy, lots of people dressed up as their favorite characters, and lots of celebrities.
From reggae night to world music, Sondheim to Tchaikovsky, I’ve seen some great shows at The Hollywood Bowl. I’ve sat everywhere from the nosebleed bleachers to box seats, and the view was great from every seat. But I can now say from firsthand experience that the most spectacular vantage point of all is the one from the stage.
Last week, along with other members of the press, I took part in a cooking and wine-pairing class at Chef Eric's Culinary Classroom in west L.A. Eric Jacques Crowley is a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, who apprenticed at some of the most acclaimed restaurants in Europe before going on to supervising event catering for the Patina Restaurant Group. He’s been teaching both professional and recreational cooking since 1999 and he’s a gifted and very patient teacher.
The annual Bouquets event raised $10,000 for the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.