This is Ma'at here telling you all that I am back in the STL from the bright sunny (and sometimes rainy) Los Angeles. I was there for three weeks and two days and I must say I am refreshed, rejuventaed and highly favored! Well, as promised, instead of giving you all a blow by blow expose of my trip, I will give you all an overall view of where I was in L.A. THIS WILL BE PART ONE OF MY TRIP.
I took an American Airline flight coming and going and I must say it was experience (be sure not to have more than one bag traveling caus etehy will get ya with baggage fees). Going, the turbulance was a little rough (I felt like I was on a rollercoaster. Leaving, it was a smooth as silk on a babyface.
I stayed at my buddy and former St. Louis American colleague Keith Underwood's apartment. He stays in the Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills District aka DA HOOD.
As far as hot spots, I mixed it up. I said I might as well take advantage of the opportunity (and I had rented a Chvy Malibu to do my travelin"). I did both straight and alternative hot spots while I was there. My second night in L.A., I went to Remix Tuesdays at this spot on Sunset Blvd called the Tangerine Club. It kind of reminded me of teh Jazz Loft on Olive but smaller. I was given an RSVp to this function presented by London Moore Productions. They always send me something via email so I took advantage of the opportunity and RSVP to this. It was OK. It was like a networking party with slammin hip-hop and R&B on the 1s and 2s by this Latino DJ team led by Ralph Diaz. I was expecting more people up in there, but they did have a great two for one special on tehri drinks. I also met a nice sista who was at teh door who was originally born at the Scott Airforce BAse before moving to L.A. I gave her my biz card in hopes we can keep in touch (still waiting.....)
I also attended the famous Laugh Factory also on Sunset Blvd for Chocolate Sundaes, hosted by comedian and actor Chris Spencer (remember him from the defunct Vibe Talk Show in the late 90s?) The concept of Chocolate Sundaes is having a variety of comedians (black, white, Latino, Asian, female, male), like the variety in a Sundae, and have them all perform before a mostly-black audience. And the show takes place on--you guessed it, Sundays (Not tyo mention its a two drink minumum up in therr too) . I went two Sundays ago and this past Sunday. Both times, I was near the front of the satge (It is cramped near teh front I must say). Chris hosted the first one and he was pretty funny. He had the audience cracking up especially with his gay story about this gay guy named Flame who keeps responding to him on his myspace account and wants to invite him to a gay club.
The joke he told was when he almost got into it with a gay guy and Chris said to the guy, "I'm going to fuck you up!" and the gay guy said, "I'm going to fuck you up!" Then Chris said, "I'm going to fuck you up!". Then the gay guy said, "I'm going to fuck you...!" Then Chris said, "Up, right?" Then the gay guy said, "No, "I'm going to fuck you." Then he said to the gay guy, "I'm going to kick your ass!" Then the gay guy said, "I'm going to LICK your ass!" And what made this part so funny was Chris emphasied the L in lick like "la la la lick". The comedians on this night were OK. One Italian comedian named Sebastian was pretty funny (think of Tony Danza back in his day.) He made a joke about going to the gym and everyone having ipods and him still having a CD player was funny. The headliner was this comedian named TK who talked like the old school comedian Lenny the Pimp from the "Good Times" shows. His niche was talking about how to make love to a woman and knowing how to take care of the vagina. It was graphic, but he was making sense (remember guys to wash her punanny downward instead of upward after having sex, then used a dry towel to pat it accroding to TK. LOL). The creator of Chocolate Sundaes was thsi guy named Pookie and the dee-jay was Fele fel of Power 106 FM in L.A.
The following Sunday was better. The host was comedian David Arnold (and he's so light skinded. LOL) and he was off the chain. He was telling jokes from trying to go to sleep at work or church to getting a prescription from the dcotor that his wife needs to give him head during her post-mortem depression. What was also a trip was when he singled me out from the crowd and said that I had on a sexy ass shirt (It was avery tight short sleeve custom made shirt) I was too outdone (I also by the way sat next to a very attractive sista named Jamie who looked like a younger version of actress Lynn Whitfield). Also on the bill was Miss Camacho, who is a string bean sista who be on Comic View a lot and talks about how brothers are a trip when it comes to sex. She had the crowd rolling especially when she talked about the hoes are messing it up for sistas (The fellas in the crowd started to boo). She said that giving head should be done with your man only and on special occasions. She was like, "Thank you for the HOUSE (and she emphasized HOUSE by pretending she was giving head). Thanks for the CAR" (same thing). It was hilarious. Then, all of a sudden, David said they had a special guest in the crowd, MIKE EPPS. The crowd went wild. He ran up on stage and at first he was unrecognizable because he cut off his beard and stache, but when he started on his jokes, it was no doubt it was him. He was telling joke sout of the blue in his own nonchalant-I--need-a-job-style. He did one joke about thr pimp thrwoing a snowball at his pimp that was familiar. Then he said something about, "I wanna get myself right, but, first, I gotta make this money first." And he said it so deadpan and serious that it made thr joke even more funny (not to mention he was sky high as well). He ended his 10 minutes by saying that he was about to be the new host of Def Comedy Jam and to look out for it.
After this show, I waited outside for my valet to get my car and it was interesting to see the coemdians fellowshipping with the crowd. One guy who was up in therr, I dont recall his name, but y'all remember the guy who played the gay hairdresser in Deliver Us From Eva and it turned out he wasnt gay at the end of the movie? Well, he was out side and was eyeballin me as he was talkin to some sista. I dont know what that was all about. I also saw actor Eric Lane (who played the really muscular guy in the R Kelly's Trapped in the Closet) and Isaw Tony Rock, the actor from the UPN show "All of Us" on a cell phone arguing at somebody about trying to get in for the second show of Chocolate Sundaes. At both Sundays I also saw a homeless guy carrying a radio playing Frank Sinatara songs and one who was preaching the Word to people who listened to him respectively. Talk about variety!
As far as alternative clubs, I went to this hole-in-the-wall called the Annex and it was ultra ghetto fab brothesr and sisters up in there all tightned in this small room listening to whatever was playing on the jukebox. The drinks were cheap (a Long Island was 4 bones), but from what I heard a lot of people get robbed up in therre. I was also tripping off of the bartendars shouting out every half hour or so about people's cars about to get towed if they didnt move their cars. During the whole time, I sat on the lap of this lesbian sista who I found out was a local filmmaker and we hit it off as though he were brother and sister. We exchanegd numbers and she invited me to a taping of a comdey show at Globe Theatre (that I will mention in PART TWO of my report next week).
I also attended this upscale club near Santa Monica Blvd. called the Abby, where a lot of the trendy white and black people go to dance and eat swank dinner food (They also had a huge fireplace right after the entrance where you can sit of some sifas and enjoy the ambience!). Drinks were 10 bones and up and there was 20 bones minumum if you used a credit card. I only got a Long Island so I can get more than one alcoholic drink in one drink. The only celb I saw in there, so to speak, was a minor character on the show, "Noah's Arc." It was packed up in there and it was cool to see black, white, straight and alternative people gettin their network and groove on. It was definitely a utopialike feeling up in there! I went to this club across from the Abby called Ultra Suede (aka Club Metro), that had a small stage area for performers, a bar area, two smaller stages for go-go dancers and a back room with sofas for people to schmooze (It gave you the atmosphere of former Club Seven ). It was mostly a black crowd both male and female, two for one specials, and had male strippers who danced to their g-strings! I was laying way low in the cut in the corner to see all this take place. With my being a journalist I had to see for myself what was going down. Well, many of the men and women in the crowd gave the strippers tips and sticking dollars in their g-strings. Many of the strippers were on the skinny side, but I guess they were popular enough to be strippers in L.A. But what was tripped out was to see the strippers giving both guys and gals lap dances and for the right price take their "johns' and "joanns" to a secluded area to get their freak on!. One stripper unkwoingly dropped about 20 one dollar bills from his g-string onto the floor he was so on the prowl!
I also went to First Fridays in L.A. at a studio on off Pico and Labrea Street. And I must say, it is totally NOT like the one here in the STL. Mostly black men with some sistas mixed in, they have strippers up in there dancing with the crowd(some were the same ones from Ultra Suede!) . I did see a fight break out when the alcohol was flowing, but other than that, the music was bumping, and they were giving out DVDs of Flava Man and Jaheim CD singles.
L.A. TIDBITZ--People in L.A. cannot DRIVE! Did they get their licenses yesterday? If you're caught in traffic on the freeways, you might as well park your car cause you will be waitng for a spell until you move....When it rained there, there were over 200 accidents reported. They are not used to driving in the rain!...I was there when the Mexicans began protesting about the new reformed Immigration Bill that Congress was trying to pass making Illegal aliens criminals. It was wild to see young kids walk out wand walk the streets of downtown L.A. to protest (especially on Fairfax street).... While I was there Destiny's Child and comic George Lopez receibvd stars on the Walk of fame near the Kodak Theatre ...When youre in L.A. go to this restaurant called Griddle on Sunset Blvd. Their pancakes are unbelievably big (Texas style) and they give you four thick ones, too.... Also go to Mama's House also in Crenshaw. Their soul food is off the chain and they are the winners of the Hoodie Award (akin to the STL's Platinum Hood Award) for Best Soul Food. At the Crenshaw Mall, they have a Wal-mart that is upstairs and downstairs and they have two escalators--one for the customer and one for the customers' shopping cart!... For kids' birthdays, parents rent out jumpers (like the ones you see at Chuck E Cheese and Showbiz Pizza)! If you go to party, jet out about 8p.m. cause they party early and close early (like 2 ain the morning!)...
Well thats it for part one of my trip. Next week, I will write about seeing a couple of stageplays, going to Lucy Florence Coffeshop in Leimert PArk with owners Ron and Ralph Harris (aka The spinning twins featured recently on America's Next Top Model) , meeting the now grown up actress Rae'von Kelly (the pretty chocolate sista who is seen above in my blog) , meeting TV show producer Gary Marshall (the older white guy from above on my blog), going to see the tapings of Last Comic Standing with new host Anthony Clark and Game Show Marathon with host Ricki Lake (also seen from above on my blog), going to an advanced screening of Monique's Phat Girlz at Majic Johnson Theatre in Crenshaw and going to the popular televised church City of Refuse where the pastor is Noel Jones (seen in a tan suit above on my blog), brother to Grace Jones, and seeing Stevie Wonder, Tavis Smiley and Good Times star Janet "Willona' Dubois (seen above on my blog)
KUDOS TO ST. LOUIS MODEL CHRISTIAN COFFIELD WHO I SEE IS DOING IS THINGIN THE STL ON MANY MEDIA OUTLETS. HE WAS RECENTLY FEATURED ON THE FRONT COVER OF THE A&E SECTION OF THE POST DISPATCH AND HE IS FEATURED ON AN INTERACTIVE WEBSITE CALLED MAXIMEXPOSURE.COM WHERE YOU CAN PLAY PHOTO SHOOT WITH HIM AND OTHER MODELS ON TEH SITE. CONGRATS TO YA!
Well, that will be all for me. I am still jet lagged so I am going to try and rest up so I can be ready for the weekend. If you all have anything for me to pub up, give me a holla at firstname.lastname@example.org!