Archive for June, 2014

Taste of Little Italy
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 18
Little Italy, Downtown San Diego

Sample the local flavor of Little Italy this Wednesday night, as attendees stroll through Little Italy and sample food directly in each participating business. Attendees pay for a stamp card with boxes representing each participating business. After receiving a sample, that business will stamp their corresponding box. Two different stamp cards exist for a north route and a south route, and each route’s stamp card costs $29 each, while purchasing both costs $45.

Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, June 18-19
Along 2nd Street, Belmont Shore

This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs during the summer months annually from May through August on the third Wednesday and the Thursday immediately after. Attendees may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10, and redeem these tickets for food & drink samples from various restaurants along 2nd Street. Buy tickets presale now at Olives Gourmet, La Strada, We Olive, Mail Boxes etc. & Sweet Jill’s, or purchase tickets in front of CHASE BANK during the event.

Take Your Dog To Work Day
All day, June 20

As the name suggests, this holiday celebrates man’s best friend by granting a day where pet lovers can bring their darling dog(s) to work. Please consult with your boss/manager/supervisor if you can bring a dog to work!

Major League Gaming Championship
9:00 am – 1:00 am, June 20
8:00 am – 12:00 am, June 21
8:00 am – 9:00 pm, June 22
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim

Watch competitive video gaming, or participate in tournaments yourself at this weekend’s video game competition at the Anaheim Convention Center. Registration fees vary based on the game, so consult the website to see how much it costs to participate in certain games.

Downtown LA Night Market
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 20-21
Staples Center, Los Angeles

The largest Asian night market in America moves to Downtown LA for the first time this weekend. This flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more. Presale tickets cost $7, while tickets at the door will start from $10.

8th Annual Calabasas Malibu Wine & Food Festival
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 20-21
Calabasas Country Club, Calabasas

A grand two-night food & wine festival returns to Calabasas this weekend. This gala of food, wine, beer, desserts, celebrity chefs, cars, music, burlesque, and more brings together people from all over to sample the best of Calabasas, Malibu, and select vendors from the Greater Los Angeles Area. General admission costs $150 and starts at 7pm, while VIP tickets cost $300 and starts at 6pm.

Tochtli Fest
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 20
1:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 21-22
The Vortex, Los Angeles

Check out this three-day folk punk fest just outside of Downtown LA this weekend, featuring bands from across the nation. A weekend pass costs $24, while admission costs $8 for Friday or $10 for Saturday or Sunday.

28th Annual Long Beach Bayou & Blues Festival
11:00 am – 9:30 pm, June 21
11:00 am – 8:00 pm, June 22
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach

Enjoy a weekend of Blues & Jazz music, specialty Cajun & Creole food, a Mardi Gras parade, dancing, kids’ activities, and more. Ticket prices vary, with general admission costing $25 presale, and discounts available for seniors and students. This fest takes place outdoors with very little shade, so dress for the warm weather, and prepare sunscreen.

2nd Annual Dana Point Food, Wine & Music Festival
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 21
Sea Terrace Park, Dana Point

Taste the local flavor of Dana Point and neighboring cities this Saturday afternoon in Dana Point. Free to attend, visitors can freely roam and browse the attending businesses, and pay for the food as they go. All vendors will have food and/or drinks available at their own price, so all visitors should bring cash in order to receive food or drinks. Guests can park for free at Dana Point High School, and take the shuttle from there to arrive at the location.

Punk Rock Luau #2
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 21
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Don your flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts to this daytime punk rock show at the World Famous Doll Hut this Saturday. The cover for this show costs $10, or $8 if you wear a Hawaiian shirt. No one under 21 may enter.

Nepenthia Beer Garden
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 21
Farmers Park, Anaheim

Beer, food, music, art – everything you need to create an outstanding beer fest. Unlike a standard beer fest, Nepenthia focuses on the food too; thus, this event pairs food from local chefs with beers from local breweries. Tickets cost $55, and include parking, food, and drinks.

Agent Orange @ Gaslamp Long Beach
3:00 pm – 9:30 pm, June 21
Gaslamp Bar, Long Beach

Catch legendary punk band Agent Orange as they headline an all-ages show in Long Beach this Saturday afternoon. The cover for this show costs $15. Guests may park for free if arriving before 4pm – arrive after, and pay $5 to park.

Luicidal @ 13th Frame Lounge
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 21
13th Frame Lounge, La Habra

Enjoy some local hardcore punk this Saturday night in La Habra. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Radioactive Chicken Heads @ The Smell
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, June 21
The Smell, Downtown Los Angeles

Get weirded out at this all-ages show this Saturday night in Downtown LA for just $5.

Punk Rock Overload
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 21
Overtime Bar, Carson

Rock out to some local punk rock this Saturday night in the South Bay. The cover for this show costs $3 per person or $5 for two before 9:30pm, or $5 per person afterwards. No one under 21 may enter.

Social Conflict @ Scottland Yard
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 21
Scottland Yard, Canoga Park

Check out these local punk rock bands this Saturday night in Canoga Park. No one under 21 may enter.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – Summer Solstice
10:00 pm – 12:30 am, June 21
Cirivello’s Sports Stop, Long Beach

Enjoy three free burlesque sets this Saturday night in Long Beach. No one under 21 may enter.

14th Annual Los Angeles River Ride
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, June 22
Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Join thousands of bike riders and enjoy a day of riding, a fair, food, raffles, music, and more. Choose from any of eight different rides (two of them start from Shoreline Village in Long Beach) and head out. Registration costs will vary depending on the ride chosen, ranging from $50 to $65.

5th Annual Summer Solstice Festival & International Taco Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, June 22
Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton

Sample worldly cuisine in a tortilla at this taco fest this Sunday afternoon at The Muck in Fullerton. The Summer Solstice Festival, which contains live music, arts & crafts, merchandise, and more, occurs the entire time, and costs nothing to attend for all ages. The Taco Fest starts at 1pm, lasts two hours, and requires an entry fee, which guests pay for at the gate. No one under 21 may attend the Taco Fest, as it also comes with complimentary beer tastings from Bootlegger’s Brewery. Guests may park for free at the venue.

MacLeod Ale Brewing’s Grand Opening
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 22
MacLeod Ale Brewing, Van Nuys

A new brewery will open their doors to the public this Sunday, and they will celebrate their grand opening with four two-hour tasting sessions. Each session costs $15 to attend, and includes up to 50 ounces of beer tasters. Hungry visitors can munch on food from any of the available food trucks, though food comes at a separate cost.

The Gears – Record Release Party
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 22
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles

The Gears will release a new album very soon, and they will celebrate the release of it this Sunday afternoon with a lineup of great local bands. Interested attendees must RSVP on the event page in order to attend.


The comics world has seen a lot of major events recently, and it continued with Anacon 2014 this past Sunday. Taking place at the Embassy Suites in Garden Grove, vendors and artists from all over gathered here to exhibit and/or sell comics, toys, cards, figurines, and more. Visitors could find a decent selection of nostalgic memorabilia, old comic issues, rare action figures, neat souvenirs, and occasional cosplayers here. A video game competition at the back allowed some visitors to compete for prizes as well. All of this took place in a rather small ballroom at the Embassy Suites. Compared to larger similar events, Anacon measured about a quarter or less of the size of the big comic conventions. However, as the popular little guy Teemo says, “Size doesn’t mean everything” – this event only cost $5 to enter, and provided a host of things to do while strolling through the four aisles of feats to look at.

For such a small space, this event saw quite a good amount of visitors throughout the day. I would have liked to see more people in costumes, but considering that LA Cosplay Con occurred the previous day, I would imagine that many of that event’s attendees expended all their energy there, or that many cosplayers simply did not know about Anacon. If the latter, then I hope that this event can grow to stand toe to toe with that of the larger events out there, as they have a great concept, but just needs some momentum to really get more people to know about, attend, and tell other people about Anacon.

This past Saturday night at Friar Tuck’s in Pomona, Implants headlined a small show, accompanied by some other local punk bands. For a small venue, the acoustics sounded much better than expected, yet it still does not match the sound quality of an actual concert venue. Regardless, all the bands that performed this night delivered a killer set, all backed by the supportive audience.

Opening the night, we have Slow Children. As one of Southern California’s top undiscovered punk bands, I always make an effort to see these guys. For some reason, they only played a 15 minute set, which made me sad since I came to this show mainly to see them. Their brief set consisted mainly of songs from their current album plus a few new tracks. After such a brief set, I ended up buying their album. After all, we need to support our local music scene!

Light Speed Go played their set next. Hailing from Arizona, they played a solid set with enjoyable music. Part of their music reminded me of a band that would play at the Warped Tour, not that this indicates a bad thing. They just do not have the typical “hard” sound that many independent Southern California punk bands have.

Local band Kill Corporations set up on stage next. Their sound greatly resembles Grade, both with instrumentals and vocals. Kill Corporations has a slight post-hardcore sound about them, while their bio describes them as a punk/metal band. They do not alienate anyone with their music – fans of both punk and/or metal music would enjoy what Kill Corporations puts out.

Logically, DC Fallout would have played next. However, Implants ended up setting up next. As the night’s originally planned headliner, they drew the largest crowd towards the front of the room. Implants performed with a very humble attitude, as they strongly connected with the crowd. They have a massive fan base, yet still performs like a local band. Local music fans always welcome bands that will connect well with them, and Implants did a great job with interacting with the crowd.

Closing out the night, we have DC Fallout. Most of the audience had attended the show for Implants, so DC Fallout did not have as great a crowd as Implants did. That did not stop them from stomping out a full-effort set, and those in the crowd that stuck around got to receive a great set.

As previously mentioned, I attended this show primarily to see Slow Children. They have a show coming up on Friday, June 27th. Keep that night clear so you can see some authentic Southern California punk in action! Check out all of the other bands’ Facebook pages for their upcoming shows as well.

The 2014 TAFF Expo took place at the Long Beach Public Library in Downtown Long Beach this past Saturday afternoon. Standing for Tech-Art-Fashion-Food, this one-day event exhibited current & future trends in emerging technologies, contemporary art, wearable fashion,  and sustainable agriculture in our growing communities. Admission to this all-ages event cost $10, and provided all visitors access to the various vendors, art exhibits, and speaker panels. Local vendors and artists displayed their work here, with some selling their work. Some of the booths displayed services or explained them, such as a 3D printer or augmented reality. Over the course of the day, various speaker panels would occur in the auditorium adjacent to the expo room, addressing topics of the namesake, like fashion and food.

Overall as an all-ages event, this expo mainly catered towards children of the local community, as it showed many ways that children can get into these topics and potentially carve a career in any of these fields. It took place in quite a small room of the library, and probably could not hold more than 50 people at a time. Most of the attendees did not travel far to arrive here, after all. If TAFF Expo can get some momentum, they can fill up a full convention center room with tons of great gadgets and art to exhibit.

The Downtown Long Beach Associates continued their seasonal series of sampling the local flavor with the Taste of Downtown Long Beach – Pine Avenue last week. As Long Beach does not have a unified “Taste of Long Beach,” each neighborhood wields the power to host their own taste, such as with Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor and Bixby Knolls’ First Fridays. Downtown Long Beach breaks their tasting events up into different seasons and hosts it in different sections of Downtown Long Beach. Three months ago, Taste of Downtown Long Beach took place in the East Village Arts District and primarily featured businesses in that area. This time, the Taste of Downtown Long Beach moved to Pine Avenue, the heart of Downtown Long Beach.

The Downtown Long Beach Associates carefully constructed this event to make it as user-friendly as possible. Unlike many other city’s tasting event, the Taste of Downtown Long Beach bears no entry fee. Any guests wanting to taste food simply pay as they go. Guests could purchase 12 tasting tickets online for $10, while guests paying on the day of the event only receive 10 tickets. The ticket booth sat in the Diamond Parking Lot between Broadway and 1st Street, which also held a handful of other Downtown Long Beach restaurants not immediately on Pine Avenue. For the rest of the participating restaurants, guests had to stroll along Pine Avenue north and south of Broadway. However, all paths eventually led back to the Diamond Parking Lot, which contained tables, chairs, a beer garden hosted by Beachwood BBQ, and a small stage for the night’s live music. For guests wanting to drink more, they could easily enter any of the bars nearby, while beer drinkers could find Beachwood BBQ just around the corner.

Long Beach contains plenty of great local eateries and establishments, but discovering them all takes some time. Luckily, taste events occur regularly, allowing guests to sample food without committing to a full meal. As mentioned above, First Fridays occurs monthly in Bixby Knolls, and most of the businesses there participate by offering some sort of special. Belmont Shore hosts Stroll & Savor in the summer months, with the next one happening less than a week from today. Food & drink specials occur daily, and Long Beach Meet ‘N Eat tweets about them daily, so give them a follow if you seek eats in Long Beach.

6th Annual Taste of La Mesa
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 9
La Mesa Community Center, La Mesa

Sample food from the local restaurants of La Mesa tonight at the La Mesa Community Center. Admission to this event costs $35 presale or $45 at the door, and includes unlimited food samples while supplies last. All drinks come at a separate cost.

2014 Taste of Point Loma
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, June 10
Brigantine, Point Loma, San Diego

This Tuesday evening, sample the local flavor of Point Loma at the 2014 Taste of Point Loma. For $25 per person, visitors can receive unlimited food samples from the participating restaurants while supplies last. Students, cyclists, and active military personnel receive a $10 discount off admission.

Jay Tea @ Bridgetown DIY
5:30 pm – 11:30 pm, June 12
Bridgetown DIY, La Puente

Enjoy local ska music this Thursday night in La Puente. The cover for this all-ages show costs $7.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 12
Downtown Los Angeles

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

E3 After Party at the CIA
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 12
California Institute of Abnormalarts, Burbank

Catch Radioactive Chicken Heads, Mega Ran, Space Boyfriend, and Wizwars at this crazy weeknight show in Burbank this Thursday night. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival
9:00 am – 11:00 pm, June 13
7:00 am – 11:00 pm, June 14
7:00 am – 9:00 pm, June 15
Cucamonga Guasti Regional Park, Ontario

One of the west coast’s biggest all-ages bluegrass festivals returns this weekend in Ontario. The bluegrass music will go on all weekend so no one will miss a beat. In addition, attendees will find activities, contests, camping, raft-building, fishing, pedal boating, a playground, a zero-depth water play park, and a swim lagoon with water slides. Ticket prices vary depending on the attendee’s age, and how many days each attendee will visit the show. Single-day adult tickets cost $25 to $35, while a three-day pass costs $85. Children enter for $10 each, or $30 for all three days.

A Wilhelm Scream – On Tour
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 13, The Observatory, Santa Ana
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 14, The Lyric Theater, Hancock Park, Los Angeles

A Wilhelm Scream currently tours through North America, and that tour swings through Southern California this week. Tickets to both of these all-ages shows cost $15 each.

Battalion of Saints @ Loaded Hollywood
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 13
Loaded Hollywood, Hollywood

Hollywood punks! Get your punk rock on this Friday night with Battalion of Saints, Yeastie Boys, and more. The cover to this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Naughty Nostalgia with the Dirty Little Secrets
9:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 13
Malones Bar & Grill, Santa Ana

Check out this lovely burlesque show with a nostalgia theme. Relive your childhood as an adult this Friday night in Santa Ana. The venue charges a cover, so have cash available for that.

Angry Samoans @ Mission Tobacco Lounge
9:00 pm – 12:30 am, June 13
Mission Tobacco Lounge, Riverside

Riverside punks! Get your punk rock on this Friday night as the Angry Samoans headline this small show. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Centerfield Ska Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 13
Centerfield Sports Bar, Huntington Beach

Enjoy a FREE ska show this Friday night in Orange County with some fun local ska bands. No one under 21 may enter.

Manic Hispanic @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, June 13
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Long Beach punks! Get your punk rock on this Friday night as the Manic Hispanic headline this epic show. Tickets to this show cost $13 presale or $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

The Business – On Tour
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 13, The Down & Out, Downtown Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, June 14, Characters Sports Bar, Pomona

Legendary punk band The Business returns to Southern California this week to play some shows. Tickets to the Friday show cost $10 presale or $12 at the door. Tickets to the Saturday show cost $13 presale or $15 at the door. No one under 21 may attend either show.

Robert Rampage Memorial – Punk Rock Show
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 13
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles

Decry headlines a small show this Friday night in Northeast Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

2014 Torch Run
8:30 am – 2:00 pm, June 14
Shoreline Aquatic (Lighthouse) Park, Long Beach

Run in a torch relay and raise money for the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center. This run actually operates on a donation basis, so the organizers simply ask for a donation to the cause from participants. Guests can park in the Aquarium parking structure for a small fee, or park in or near downtown and take the free bus down to the aquarium.

39th Annual Big Irish Fair & Music Fest
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, June 14-15
El Dorado Park, Long Beach

Orange County’s largest Irish Fair finds a new home in Long Beach this weekend. This family-friendly fair brings Irish culture to one location, where attendees can see over a thousands Irish dancers, dozens of live bands, bagpipe demos, a shepherding show, athletic competitions, cultural reenactments, a parade, and more. Guests should bring cash if they want to purchase any food, drinks, merchandise, accessories, or any other Irish goodie. I suggest avoiding American food, and trying the Irish food that you would not find elsewhere. Admission varies depending on how you want to attend, with general admission costing $15 presale, and discounts available for seniors and students.

22nd Annual Pasadena Chalk Art Festival
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, June 14-15
Paseo Colorado, Pasadena

Watch hundreds of artists create massive works of art on the sidewalks, plus enjoy a classic car show on Father’s Day! Completely free to attend for all ages, attendees will also find live music, arts & crafts, merchandise vendors, food trucks, and more.

7th Annual Chili At The Beach
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 14
Downtown Huntington Beach

Got a craving for heat? Satisfy that craving this Saturday in sunny Surf City, as the streets close to traffic for the annual Huntington Beach Chili Cook Off & Salsa Tasting. Free to attend for all ages, this all-in-one street fair covers a massive portion of Downtown Huntington Beach, filled with arts & crafts, food, drinks, merchandise, a kids’ zone, music, and lots of chili and salsa tastings. In order to taste the chili and salsa, guests must purchase tasting tickets for $10 presale or $15 on the day of the fest. As this area gets extremely crowded on this day, I suggest carpooling, taking public transportation, or parking far and walking to downtown.

2nd Annual Make Music Downey
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 14
Downtown Downey

This free and all-ages outdoor event will feature over 70 music acts, food trucks, arts & crafts, merchandise vendors, and more.

5th Annual San Diego Oysterfest
11:00 am – 7:30 pm, June 14
Embarcadero Marina Park North, San Diego

More of a music fest than an oyster fest, this all-day festival in San Diego combines live music, oysters, and beer into one crazy festival. As you enjoy the live music, you can purchase fresh oysters from around the world to snack on, then buy some brews to wash it all down. General admission costs $27.50 but does NOT include food or drinks. No one under 21 may enter.

Santa Monica Wine Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 14
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica

Sample wines from over 50 wineries on the pier this Sunday evening. General admission costs $50 and starts at 6pm, while VIP admission costs $60 and starts at 5pm. Food comes at a separate cost here. Both admissions include access to Pacific Park, the mini amusement park on the pier. Bring extra cash for parking. Dress for chilly weather, as this takes place at night near the ocean.

Chinatown Summer Nights
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 14
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles

Have a fun time this summer at Chinatownin Downtown Los Angeles. Free to attend for all ages, this nighttime festival brings together food, music, art, and beer in a multicultural setting. Expect to see food trucks, merchandise, arts & crafts, live music, live DJ’s, a dance floor, a beer garden hosted by Eagle Rock Brewery, and more. Guests can find free street parking on Spring St and the side streets connected to Spring, including College St.

Fan Alley: Sci-Fi, Comics, Art, and More
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 14
A Little Known Shop, Anaheim

At this free and all-ages event, visitors will find arts & crafts themed to comics and sci-fi that they can purchase to take home. In addition, visitors can take part in a cosplay contest, where the winning costume designer receives a special prize. A few food trucks will stop by to keep visitors fed as well.

Gutterball Fest II
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 14
13th Frame Lounge, La Habra

Check out this loaded punk rock lineup that will play this Saturday night in La Habra. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15.

Narcoleptic Youth @ The Alamo Riverside
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 14
The Alamo, Riverside

Narcoleptic Youth headlines a FREE all-ages show in Riverside this Saturday night.

1984 “Dehumanization” 30th Anniversary
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 14
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Do not miss this rare chance to see some very old school punk rock bands perform this Saturday night in Orange County. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $18.

Circus Jerks @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 14
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

OC punks! Get your punk rock on this Saturday night at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 15
2nd & Sycamore, Santa Ana

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at four different locationsz. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Those who have attended Renegade Craft Fair will view Patchwork as a hybrid of that and a traditional art fair. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. Guests should park in the neighborhood south of the festival.

Following on the heels of yesterday’s post, the 2014 Long Beach Comic Expo lasted an additional day this year. In the past few years, the expo only took place on a Saturday. Due to the surge in popularity of this event, the organizers decided to roll over to a second day to cater to the larger demand. This past Sunday, the 2014 Long Beach Comic Expo wrapped up its second day to a brilliant success. Albeit not as many attendees showed up compared to Saturday, a greater percentage of the attendees dressed up in costume for this occasion. Of all those that dressed up, about a quarter of the costumed attendees attended both days of the expo. The actual expo inside the Grand Ballroom remained largely unchanged from the previous day, while the various workshops and seminars saw a new itinerary of programs.

Since the actual expo remained similar to the previous day, this post about Day 2 revolves around the wonderful cosplay attendees that dressed up for the expo. A decent percentage of the attendees that dressed up had returned for their second day. Some of them remained in the same costume, such as Team Deadpool, Frozone, and Jesse (Team Rocket). Others donned a new costume, such as Miss Piratesavvy and Lonstermash (a variation of his previous outfit). Once again, I would like to thank the following individuals for allowing me to take a photo of them, and for sending me a link to their info.

Check out this collection of the great costumes from the Sunday of the 2014 Long Beach Comic Expo. If you recognize any of these awesome people, please leave a comment with a URL to the person’s website or Facebook page, as well as the reference costume & photo!

Which costume do you like the most? Leave a comment below mentioning which costumes stood out the most to you. Keep in mind that the 2014 Long Beach Comic Con returns on the last weekend of September, two month earlier than last year! Keep that weekend clear, for you will not want to miss out on all the great action seen only at a convention of this scale.

Like a flash, the 2014 Long Beach Comic Expo came and went this past weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. This convention for all things comics underwent some upgrades since last year’s expo. For at least the past two years, the expo had taken place on just one day in Hall C on the main floor. This year, the expo expanded to TWO days, and occurred up in the Grand Ballroom on the second floor to the right. The main operations of the expo had not changed – hundreds of local comic book writers and artists exhibited their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more, either for sale or for show. Elsewhere in other rooms on the second floor to the left, a number workshops and seminars occurred, ranging from speaker panels to art workshops to live activities. In the middle of the second floor, a small room housed the Cosplay Corner, a room dedicated to all those who dressed for the occasion. Aside from the location changes, nothing else drastic changed from the previous years of the Long Beach Comic Expo.

Of course, how can we have a comic expo without the diehard fans dressing up as their favorite fictional character? At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into an art of fans sporting outfits and accessories to appear like another usually recognizable character. Mainstream characters such as The Joker and Deadpool often get selected as the costume of choice due to the fast recognition by many fans, while lesser known characters tend to receive more praise by the fans who recognize the outfit. Overall, those who put the most effort into their costumes gets the most attention, and someone who simply buys a costume does not get as much attention. To those who did a good job on their costume, I would like to thank them, and properly credit them for their photo. As I discover the people I took photos of, I will add their info to each photo. For now, I would like to thank the following individuals for allowing me to take a photo of them, and for sending me a link to their info.

Check out this collection of the great costumes from the Saturday of the 2014 Long Beach Comic Expo. If you recognize any of these awesome people, please leave a comment with a URL to the person’s website or Facebook page, as well as the reference costume & photo!

Which costume do you like the most? Leave a comment below mentioning which costumes stood out the most to you. Stay tuned tomorrow for photos from Day 2 of the 2014 Long Beach Comic Expo!

The city of Anaheim has really stepped up their game the past few years in regards to introducing new businesses and catering more to local independent businesses. While Anaheim still has some of the poorest pockets of Orange County, and Disney still practically controls Anaheim, many new ventures have come up recently, breathing new life into an area not usually thought of as a destination. The grand opening of the Anaheim Packing House this past weekend certainly has sounded out a statement that Anaheim can now stand toe to toe with other hip cities in Orange County such as Costa Mesa or Newport Beach. Located at the south end of the Anaheim Packing District, the Anaheim Packing House serves as a mini mall of food, libations, and music. Reminiscent of The OC Mix and The Camp in Costa Mesa, the Anaheim Packing House consists of two floors of vastly different businesses that all serve different types of food and/or drinks. A stairway in the middle that connects the two floors houses a platform suitable for an entertainment act to perform, such as music, comedy, or spoken word. Read on to explore and learn about the businesses at the Anaheim Packing House.

Immediately to the right of the second floor entrance, we find the Black Sheep Grilled Cheese Bar. Though not open yet, I imagine them making fancy grilled cheese sandwiches with artisanal breads and cheeses, and may add other things such as vegetables and meats.

In the middle of the second floor’s right side lies the Hammer Bar that guests can approach from any side. The Hammer Bar currently does not have a website.

At the back right corner, we find Adya, a restaurant serving Indian cuisine with modern western plating.

Next to Adya lies Orange Tei, a sushi and ramen bar.

At the center of the second floor’s back wall, we find Dark180, a chocolate beverage bar. Think espresso bar, but with hot chocolate using fair trade chocolate.

Split into two sides, The Chippy serves as the packing house’s obligatory fish grill.

The Iron Press has opened a new location here at the packing house, following their huge success in Costa Mesa. They still serve their full menu of waffle sandwiches, as well as their big list of craft beers.

Down at the end of the left side, Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream always has a long line. Who says no to all-natural hand-churned ice cream?

In the middle of the second floor’s left side, we have Lemon Drop, the obligatory juice bar.

Speaking of obligatory, over on the left lies the packing house’s espresso bar, Cafecito Organico.

With as long of a line as Hans, Pop Bar places the ice cream bar in your hand by allowing you to select the ice cream bar flavor and the toppings to dip or roll your bar in.

Immediately to the left of the second floor’s entrance, I found this neat little spread of books and other merchandise, operated by Seed People’s Market of Costa Mesa.

Moving down to the first floor, nothing really existed to the right side. To the immediate left of the first floor entrance, a closed off space for Sawleaf Café awaited.

When walking to the left side, guests will first see Buy N’ Bulk. Visitors of certain grocery stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods will recognize this – guests can purchase dried goods like nuts, candy, fruit, and more in quantities that they want.

Over on the left wall, we find The Kroft, one of the packing house’s resident gastropubs. Although not officially open for a few more weeks, I foresee great things from this place.

Just past The Kroft, the butchery Wheat & Sons allows guests to take home organic meats, or enjoy the food cooked there.

Across from Wheat & Sons, Crêpe Coop has yet to officially open. When they do open, they will serve crêpes, coffee, and tea.

Across from the first floor entrance lies a shabu-shabu place, Rolling Boil.

To the left of Rolling Boil lies a closed space reserved for Urbana. Urbana currently does not have a website.

Against the left wall of Rolling Boil, you would think you see mere decorations of the restaurant. This panel actually hides a door to the packing house’s speakeasy, The Blind Rabbit. Originally meant to remain a secret, the secret quickly got out to the masses, and everyone wanted to come in here to see the fuss about a speakeasy. Other than its secret entrance, it acts like a normal bar and serves regular drinks.

Other businesses not pictured:

  • Ecco Restaurant – allegedly somewhere on the second floor
  • Georgia’s Restaurant – a soul food restaurant on the left side of the second floor between Cafecito and Hans
  • K-BBQ – a Korean BBQ restaurant somewhere on the second floor
  • Kettlebar – a cajun/creole restaurant at the furthest left of the first floor

With all these great places nestled in one building, the Anaheim Packing House has turned into a place suitable to visit at any time of the day. Stop by one day and see for yourself how Anaheim does trendy.

The popularity of craft beer has surged substantially over the past decade. The shift in the meta from mass-produced generic beers to quality small-batch beers has arisen from a broad spread of information and knowledge of the beer industry. Local microbreweries have done a fantastic job at not only producing full-flavored unique beers for the local community, but also at marketing their brand and creating their own identity that no one else can easily duplicate. It also helps that microbreweries almost always list the full set of ingredients that go into every brew, compared to the big companies that do not disclose the full list of ingredients until someone or some group snoops around. The ever-growing popularity of craft beer has reached many institutions and businesses of all sizes. From the smallest of dive bars to the major chain businesses found across the world, most places should now start to carry craft beers. To my surprise, I recently discovered a hefty selection of craft beer at the House of Blues in Anaheim.

Located in the heart of Downtown Disney, House of Blues represents a destination to many of Downtown Disney’s visitors, as opposed to simply a stop on the way to the amusement park. A combination of their restaurant, full bar, and concert hall makes them well-known to music lovers everywhere. As a major chain, most people would expect similarities in the food and drinks at every House of Blues location. For years, I never paid attention to the bar here, considering that they sell tall cans of PBR for $10. Until recently, I never expected to find craft beer here – fortunately, some of the local breweries that I visit regularly informed me of the craft beer selection at House of Blues. Doubtful, I decided to pay a visit to House of Blues to explore the beer selection, and to see if things had changed here since my last visit.

Last week, a regular event called Local Brews, Local Grooves took place at House of Blues in Anaheim. This event combines a show of local musicians with a small beer tasting. If I remember correctly, admission to the event costs $10, then once inside, attendees could either purchase a wristband for $15 that included five beer samples, or individual samples for $3 each. Only four breweries made an appearance to serve beer: Bootlegger’s, Valiant, Noble Ale, and Ballast Point. As I lingered around, I had a chance to speak with Thomas, one of the Food & Beverage Managers, about their new beer menu. Thomas informed me that they now carry an extensive bottle list full of craft beer, as well as a number of taps dedicated to craft beer. I did not actually see a beer menu, but this could potentially mean something to attendees of future shows here. Sadly, the House of Blues still carries a strict camera policy, and I got my photos just because I know people from the breweries.

As far as the local music went, all the music acts played mainly mellow music, like blues, jazz, or R&B.

The local punk rock scene may heavily criticize the House of Blues for their rules and general malice towards punk rock kids, but the House of Blues brings on music of all genres, and treats people based on the music, which explains the lack of punk rock shows there in the past few months. With this new change, we may start to see improvements in not only this House of Blues, but other locations across the nation.