LA LIFE: 9/11 Flags, Parks, Art and Museums

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With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Malibu mountains on the other, Pepperdine University in Los Angeles honors the victims of 9/11 in its own stunning way.  Mr. Tomato and I stumbled upon a gem of a park and I’ll give you the skinny on Playa Vista’s Central Park. “Golden State” the new art exhibition from a gifted art duo has opened in DTLA. And yes, it’s about our beautiful California. “TARFEST” is back! And if all that is not enough for you Tomatoes, you can fill your Sunday Sept 17 with free admission to 50 museums across Southern California from “PST/LA/LA”. Woohoo a Free Museum Day and lots more!

Pepperdine Flags

Pepperdine University’s stunning memorial, “Waves of Flags” honors the victims of the 9/11 attack. The Waves of Flags installation features a display of a total of 2,977 full-size flags—2,887 American flags for each American life lost and 90 various international flags representing the home countries of those from abroad who died in the attacks. Having seen it I can tell you ladies that there is truly no way to adequately describe it’s powerful, breathtaking and heartbreaking beauty.  Bravo Pepperdine!

In addition to the Waves of Flags installation, the University is the permanent home of Heroes Garden, a public space, open all year round, for visitors to reflect and honor all those who live heroic lives. The garden’s plaque reads: “Dedicated to freedom’s heroes of September 11, 2001, and the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, among them Pepperdine alumnus Thomas E. Burnett, Jr., who sacrificed their lives to overcome terrorists’ intent on destroying American lives and landmarks in our nation’s capital. We shall never forget.” Do yourself a favor gals and head to Pepperdine for this amazing sight.

Playa Vista Central Park

Amidst the towers of glass and steel, home to business and creative media icons such as Yahoo, Google, and YouTube lies a beautiful and unique garden respite with pathways of amazing succulents, cacti & grasses, labyrinths of trees, berm gardens, water features, various sports spaces, a super cool kid’s playground and a band shell for outdoor events.  Of course, being nuts for succulents and drought tolerant plants Mr. Tomato and I had to check out this park. And WOW we were thrilled with it.

The historic Howard Hughes runway once crossed this site and appropriately this park is defined by elongated stripes of color and light with a network of pathways connecting the parks east and west boundaries, visible not only within the Park but also to aircraft landing at the nearby Los Angeles International Airport.  There is truly something for everyone here and, of course, if you are an employee of one of the companies in the area or a resident you are one lucky duck.  Anyone, including you Tomatoes, visiting Central Park at Playa Vista will benefit from its inspiring, functional, modern and very special environment. But hey, a video is worth a thousand words so check mine out.

Now til Oct. 8. Golden State Exhibition 

The Highland Park based artistic duo, Kozy and Dan Kitchens, known as Kozyndan have an exciting new exhibit at Gregorio Escalante Gallery.  In their first solo show in the US since 2011, “Golden State”, the artists have created an out of the box body of work honoring their home of California and the humanitarian values they were raised with.  This not only a love letter to California but also to Japan. Curious why Tomatoes California and Japan merge in this exhibition?

Well, both locations have inspired the artistic couple throughout their careers so “Golden State” reflects that which makes for an extraordinary exhibit ladies and worth checking out.

The “Gregorio Esclante Gallery”, founded by Greg Escalante, is committed to showcasing a wide range of innovative artists: established and emerging, from the US and beyond who make the current art landscape an intelligent, vibrant and inspirational scene. Greg Escalante, a fascinating figure who died recently way too young, leaves behind an incredible legacy. He had a profound love for artists, especially featuring the unknown. His gallery lives on Tomatoes.  Thank goodness.

Sept 16. TARFEST

I know what you are thinking Tomatoes… “Why on earth would I be interested in “TARFEST”.”  Well, it’s hip gals, highly celebrated and it takes place at our beloved “LaBrea Tar Pits & Museum”. It’s a free music and art festival from today’s most interesting independent artists, featuring Live music, DJ’s, Projections, Light Installations, Live Painting, Dance, Biergarten & Wine Bar, Food Trucks, activities for kids & Tomatoes of all ages with green grass and blue skies. I wouldn’t steer you wrong gals.

The event is again curated by the non-profit arts organization LAUNCH LA and Kevin Bronson of  TARFEST offers free kids art-making and cultural activities with Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, The Korean Cultural Center, Orchard Supply Hardware and METRO.  Theatre of Hearts/Youth First will lead a hands-on, interactive percussion workshop, with call and response activities in a traditional drum circle.  Intergenerational hip-hop and breakdancing collective Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy (JUiCE) will conduct art and dance workshops as well. The 21+ crowd can enjoy the Lagunitas outdoor Biergarten & Wine Bar. AquaHydrate and Original New York Seltzer offer refreshing hydration alternatives.  A selection of Los Angeles’ hottest gourmet food trucks will also be on site, including Baby’s Badass Burgers, Meat the Greek, Rice Balls of Fire, The Deli Doctor and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.  Sounds like a ton of fun Tomatoes!



  • The Three Tomatoes LA Life editor, Debbie Zipp is your friendly guide to the best of everything in LA with a tomato style perspective. Debbie is an actor, producer, and writer. She is best known for her recurring role as Donna on the CBS series "Murder She Wrote" starring Angela Lansbury. She has had many other TV and stage roles and has starred in over 300 national TV commercials. As head of In The Trenches Productions, Debbie produced, directed, acted in many short films for her company. Her book, The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known was recently published. Buy her book: The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known

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