I participated in my first Walk MS: Long Beach a couple of weeks ago, and I had my tribe of supporters there walking with me, and an even bigger village of loved ones there in spirit. Ashley’s Crew for a Cure showed up and showed out, collectively raising $5,895 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We were in the top 10 teams out of 113, and I was in the top 10 for individual fundraisers, bringing in $3,130. Click through the slideshow to see some snapshots from Walk MS: Long Beach. The day was full of love, encouragement and hope, as we walked three miles around El Dorado Park. Although it was a challenge to walk that distance, I did so with an immense sense of gratitude that I was able to do so standing on my own two feet, with a little help from my AFO brace. Putting one foot in front of the other, and dancing an occasional jig as the volunteers chanted my name and cheered me on at various stops along the path, I crossed the finish line with so much joy in my heart. Praise God! It was inspiring to see so many people come out to support the cause — finding a cure for MS — and it definitely gave me a second wind of strength to continue my battle. Having been diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS a little over a year ago, it’s events like these that energize me and let me know I’m not alone. To those who joined my Crew, donated to my fundraiser and lifted me up from afar with prayers and well-wishes, I am forever grateful for your love and support! Next year will be bigger and better. Hope you’ll join me 🙂
P.S. Thanks to Pops and Jordan for taking some of the images seen in the gallery.
See what other adventures I’ve gotten into by clicking here to read more Out and About posts.
I hope you were thinking of the chorus to “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child while reading the title of this post, ’cause that’s what I had in mind when I wrote it! LOL. Jellyfish are fascinating to observe. This Photo of the Week is another one from my jaunt to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Bech, starring a bloom of jellyfish. Yep, that’s what you call a group of these aquatic mysteries. Not sure which variety these are, but their bright yellow color drew me in, and the way their long tentacles sway about is relaxing to watch. I guess we could all take a clue from these creatures: Go with the flow but speak up when someone rubs you the wrong way.
This Photo of the Week — the first of 2019 — was taken on the last day of 2018. On New Year’s Eve, my sister, brother-in-law and nephews came up to visit me in Long Beach. Of course, they wanted to do the quintessentially Long Beach things, like eat at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles and check out the Aquarium of the Pacific. This image captures one of my favorite moments from the latter. My nephew Jordan, ever the animal lover, wanted to go inside the lorikeet forest exhibit and feed the tropical birds nectar. And to say that they were feeling a bit peckish would be an understatement! As soon as we entered the enclosure, the lorikeets swarmed Jordan. I was initially nervous that he would freak out about the birds being too aggressive and landing on his head and arms. But actually, Jordan ended up having the time of his life. We ended up going through the exhibit twice back to back. What a day! Alternate titles: “He’s for the Birds,” “Boys and Birds of a Feather” and “A Flock of Lorikeets.”
This Thrifted Thursday is all about this vibrant Bob Mackie button down ($9). The bright red color immediately caught my eye, and I love that the geometric design features pops of turquoise and purple, and is a bit daring, edgy even. It’s giving me Southwestern desert goddess vibes, and the tiny Ms emblazoned on the gold buttons are a testament to the designer’s impeccable attention to detail. The tag reads “Wearable Art,” which is an apropos descriptor. Frankly, it’s a masterpiece! It gets better because one of the store clerks at the Assistance League told me that the renowned Bob Mackie has crafted creations for the likes of Cher, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston. This was a definite steal considering. While it is slightly larger and, thus, longer than my normal preference, the shirt can act like a tunic of sorts. Rolling up the sleeves is a must, and this might be cute with a floppy-brimmed hat. I can’t wait to wear this red denim top, which will pair nicely with some skin-tight black leggings and my black cowboy boots. Yee-haw, y’all!
Grand total: $9.00
To see previous Thrifted Thursday rarities and good finds, click here.
These Found Objects are little jewels — very distinct pieces of street art — that I discovered while strolling through Long Beach, where I live, and Venice, where I work. The first piece is a burst of color by artist T. Schubert spotted in a Venice Beach alleyway. It wasn’t far from the second piece, which to me is a bird in chaos, its wings creating a frenzied flurry of lines and colors. Meanwhile in Long Beach, a couple of artists seized the opportunity to create something magical from a pile of rubble around the abandoned World of Books building in the downtown area. This one is especially dear to me because I casually observed it come to life over a couple days, as I waited at the light where the piece was being created on my morning commute. Harold and Herman are the names I’ve given these hardworking monsters that command attention at the corner of Third Street and Long Beach Boulevard. I happened upon the remaining two pieces while walking my dog. I could see them peeking through the alleyways. When I stopped to take a closer look, I was greeted by these elaborate shapes, patterns and hues. It’s amazing the objects you find while getting out in your neighborhood.
This Found Objects reminded me that there are perks to getting out and walking through the neighborhood. Click through the slideshow to see some of the pieces that caught my eye during recent sightings in Long Beach and Venice. Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it strolling because I was circling the streets of Long Beach in my car last Sunday looking for a parking spot. Thanks, Grand Prix, and all the tourists you bring to steal our already-scarce parking spaces. But I digress. Anyway, I finally found a spot a couple blocks away, not that far from one of my old haunts, The Stache. I seriously haven’t been to that bar for two years, which is crazy because it’s so close to my apartment. And despite countless times I’ve driven by, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the exterior got a new mural. I’m sure these hip calaveras are luring all the party people in. Meanwhile, in Venice, I legitimately was walking by and saw this piece with the stately Middle Eastern-looking gentleman. I’m not completely clear on what or what type of building it is (Is it an office space containing a massive cubicle farm or the home base of a small business? Inquiring minds want to know.). Either way, I tip my hat to the artist of this interesting piece. I really dig the contrast between the realistic painting of the man’s face and the plain line drawing, with Arabic script written off to the side. And apologies if it’s someone famous or significant that I should know. I discovered this last gem while walking and talking with a friend from work. We took a left turn down a street I hadn’t yet seen and were treated to this gigantic, colorful mural featuring a Chihuahua. Sassy, right?! I think I’ll get out more often, if not just for the fine scenery.
This Thrifted Thursday features the most darling retro pieces you’ve ever seen from Treasure Hunt in Long Beach, and one unique piece that I’ve repurposed into wall art. See them in all their glory after the jump!
The street art that I spotted while recently gallivanting through Long Beach has been nothing short of amazing. Click through the slideshow to see some of the work that made me stop and smell the roses, so to speak. First up, the African girl gave me so much life! It was positioned right next to the massive alley mural I blogged about in the last Found Objects post, yet it was the true star. The subject just peers deep into your soul with her longing, mysterious eyes. She has a story to tell — that’s for sure. The piece with the boy looking through the window definitely made me do a double-take on first glance. It’s as if this larger-than-life kid is entranced by what he’s viewing on the other side of that wall. Lost in thought, he gazes with his hand propping up his pants. Meanwhile, down at the Del Amo Swapmeet is this dope mural celebrating the lives of two of hip-hop’s royalty: the late Nate Dogg and Eazy E.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love Long Beach! My city’s got so much style and flair and plenty of found objects to be discovered, it’s too good to be true at times. OK, let me explain. I was taking a brief but fast-paced stroll in my neighborhood on Saturday morning, headed to the Enterprise Rental Car office on Ocean Boulevard. Long story short, my car gets finicky when I drive it long distances and I needed to get my rental car as soon as possible to drive to my mom’s house in Menifee, drop off my dog, start a load of laundry, change clothes, put on some makeup, drive down to San Diego, pick up my bestie from her dad’s house and make it to my friend Glaiza’s wedding at 2 p.m. that same day. A lot was going on and my mind was racing thinking about all the running around that awaited. As I approached the opening in the alleyway, I looked left-right-left — as I’ve had many a close call with speeding cars zipping through the narrow passageways — only to be stopped in my tracks by a glorious, vibrant, artistic sight. I got an eyeful of one of Dave Van Patten’s newest murals, and all I could do was stop and drink it in. The brotha rocking a serious high-top, Honest Abe Lincoln, the guy rocking a red mullet AND a unicorn horn, the mysterious caped crusader, the punk-rock diva sporting a spiky mohawk, the regal walrus with the monocle and my fave — the sista rocking her natural hair with the confidence that is the epitome of black girl magic (I see a little bit of myself in her, clearly). Click through the slideshow to see the mural in detail! I love that the piece represents people and creatures from all walks of life. It was a sweet reprieve from all the madness, and the whimsy of it all made me smile. I implore you to get out in your neighborhood on foot. Who knows what hidden gems you’ll happen upon.
So a little while back, I found myself gallivanting on Retro Row in search of the perfect going-away gift for a colleague. This Thrifted Thursday is just a small fraction of all the amazing finds I discovered on Fourth Street in Long Beach. For starters, I immediately became enamored with the first image in this slideshow, the vintage eye chart from inretrospect. What a rare item! I told myself I was only shopping for my friend that day, but the thought of hanging the dynamic piece in my living room consumed me. I had to have it! So I went back the next day (thankfully no one had snatched it up!) and copped it. I was also happy to see that the stately Glenn Heath owl print was still on display at Retroda: Past and Present. Its smaller cousin (pictured in the slide after it) was at inretrospect, which was a pleasant surprise. Among the other items I contemplated breaking the bank for were some serious pieces of string art, a fun bucket hat from the now-defunct Marineland of the Pacific (think Sea World a decade before it was Sea World and in the affluent Palos Verdes area of Los Angeles), some kitschy scottie dog bookends and an amazing ’70s flower-power printed suitcase.
To see previous Thrifted Thursday rarities and good finds, click here.