We’re returning to my radio show roots! While at UCLA, I had a weekly show called “Amusement Park” to share music recommendations and stories and anecdotes from my life. For this season, I’m bringing back some of that format.
We’re chatting about film, tv shows, musicians, restaurants, art installations, bars and so much more around Southern California. I welcome you to browse around the new website layout + read all about the latest rising performers and what’s happening in Los Angeles!
In typical Elliott fashion, I also speak a lot about The Artists Way and the Daily Stoic, two books that have really transformed my mindset about life.
TV & FILM
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s fantasy family martial arts movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once, officially has taken over Ari Aster’s Hereditary as A24’s highest-grossing movie worldwide. For good reason too, this film is unique and highly captivating.
As an audience member, the first 20 minutes may seem a bit confusing. That makes sense, because the main character is confused too. However as she understands what’s going on, we learn alongside her as viewers. The film centers around the idea of infinite timelines and the many different ways life can go. One of the biggest themes is that in life, there are no do-overs, and you must make of it what you can and continue to live in the now. I love seeing Asian American representation in film and would highly recommend you go watch it!
Paris, 13th District
Love and sex and drama and romance. She loves me, she loves me not. The beauty of desire, exalted in black and white. In Paris, 13th District, French director Jacques Audiard tells the story of lovers finding their way. It is sensitive, intimate and follows four characters – Émilie, Camille, Nora and Amber – who fall in and out of love with each other in the quiet eloquence of Paris.
The film is about so much more than romance. It is about love, compassion, loss, sadness, and growing up. We watch the power that lies in the choice of what opportunities one does or does not take. We learn how the people you meet can shape who you become. In typical french fashion, it is sensual and elegant, without being inauthentic. Similarly to Everything Everywhere All At Once, I appreciate that the film stars an asian woman but is not centered around her culture.
The Artist’s Way
Written by Julia Cameron in 1992, the advice in this book is as relevant today as the day it was published. I’m not kidding when I say this book has changed my life. Cameron challenges the “starving artist” stereotype with real and practical advice on how to remove creative blocks, harness your talents, and release your inner artist. For Julia, creativity is a tool for survival, which is likely why the book resonates with so many people. If you are a creative in any field, The Artist’s Way has advice and recommendations for you.
The Daily Stoic
Stoicism is an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught values of virtue, living in harmony by making rational choices, and indifference to the polarity of fortune to pleasure to pain. I’ve learned to remain peaceful when facing great obstacles.
Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is The Way, packaged these ancient bits of wisdom into a concise and easy to follow daily devotional. Each month follows a different theme, and it is recommended that you reflect on The Daily Stoic, well, daily. The ultimate goal is to clarify perception and help the “go-go-go” people of the world find balance and serenity, while improving action and effectiveness.
Toi On Sunset — 7505 1/2 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
It is my job and purpose in life to try new things and showcase what is share-worthy. Something that is most definitely share-worthy? Toi On Sunset. Need a new late night spot? Craving leopard print and delicious Thai food? Toi On Sunset.
I went for dinner at 9pm, but Toi is open 12pm-12am so it’s fine if your late night cravings are even later. The decor is colorful, rock & roll, and ambitiously covered in artwork. The food was delicious and has the Elliott stamp of approval. Come hungry and enjoy the atmosphere!
Market Tavern — 6333 W 3rd St #706, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Quick Trivia: What’s the most visited place in Los Angeles? The Hollywood Sign? The Santa Monica Pier? Wrong. The most visited place in Los Angeles is actually an outdoor mall built in 2002. That’s right, it’s the Grove. The outdoor fountains and Frank Sinatra background music have quite the pull. The evening was good but the food was a bit forgettable. If you’re already at the Grove and looking for pub food, then it might be worth it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit again.
MUSIC, ART, AND CULTURE
Madame Siam — 1723 N Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Madame Siam is a drinking and dancing establishment with circus-decor located underground in the Hudson Hollywood Apartments. It is an underground cocktail lounge of sorts, and often closed off for private events. I got to check out the space for a Breaking Sound event for my friend Nick Nikoian’s band TAXI. Breaking Sound is a great showcase to help rising artists play shows. As a fan of live music, and someone who interested in seeing the next big act, I love going to their shows. Check out Breaking Sound if you’re a musician, and check out TAXI if you’re looking for new music!
Refik Anadol embeds media arts into architecture with data and machine intelligence for public art. The result is an immersion of tech and art that is nothing short of breathtaking. I sat for 30 minutes at his recent outdoor installation on UCLA’s campus just staring and watching. Unfortunately, that installation has since ended, but you can follow along on Anadol’s instagram to find out when he will be at a city near you!
Last, but certainly not least, a current playlist I discovered!
Embrace these chilled out vibes and take a moment to be still today.