NexGen Family Sundays At LACMA

L.A. can be so much fun for families and kids; there is so much to do and so much to learn. I don’t like to live faraway from my family in Chile, but LA makes it all worthwhile. In this city, I am able to expose my children to the world in a way that, hopefully, allows them to explore and absorb a lot of what life has to offer. This city has an incredible amount of places that are made for children and enables them to wander and discover.

An example is the NexGen Family Sundays at LACMA; one of our favorite activities to do on Sundays. If we have people visiting us in LA, this is where we take them.

Why? Well, the LACMA is a beautiful “open” museum with great outdoor areas and plenty of things to do for adults and children. Even if you don’t feel like looking at art, you can enjoy a coffee, a drink, or a good meal, while watching your kids participate in workshops that inspire their imagination. Also, the museum is free if you have kids, in case you want to see an exhibition. It is a win, win situation.

A couple of weeks ago, we took my sister and nephews to NexGen Family Sundays and they loved it. The theme of the day was architecture; in the workshops, the kids painted imaginary houses and built giant structures.

After playing and having a coffee, we went to the BCAM building to see the Metropolis II exhibit, which is a miniature frenetic modern city that has 100,000 cars circulating through the buildings (yes, that is 100,000). Take your kids to this exhibition if you want to impress them!

Here is a picture of the kids in front of the “Levitated Mass.” If you go to the LACMA, you need to take a picture of yourself (or kids) in front of this giant boulder, the only piece of art in the museum that is supposed to outlive it. More pictures of our field trip are down below. is the cutest child in the world (my nephew) that always looks good in pictures because he has those beautiful eyes and willingness to smile at the camera.íctor is still doing his model face every time I ask him to look at the camera, as you can see. Here are some pictures of one of the workshops they participated in. The idea was to build a big structure with cardboard and clips. They had a great time trying to do it. Can you believe Víctor’s face of happiness and achievement in this picture? He was able to place that triangle on top of the structure and was so proud of himself! Cute. is the Metropolis II Exhibition. Kids (and adults) love it. You can’t go wrong taking kids here. is figuring out how to get inside the exhibit without being caught. He tried a couple of times unsuccessfully.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

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LA Opera Season 2015/2016 Picks For Adults And Children

I would not be a good daughter to my dad if I didn’t give space to classical music and opera in my site. This is not everybody’s cup of tea, I understand, but I believe the reason for this is that we are hardly exposed to this kind of music and it seems foreign. In my opinion, opera can be lots of fun. I remember watching The Magic Flute on TV when I was 8 and loving it. No child dislikes the Papageno/ Papagena Duet or the Queen of the Night Aria, just take a look and see.

In the LA Opera 2015/2016 Season, they will be showing The Magic Flute and I would like to take my kids to watch it, but they are too little right now. What I will do, instead, is taking them to Saturday Mornings At The Opera, a couple of one hour shows special for children. They are interactive and are preceded by workshops for kids with music related activities. A wonderful way of introducing kids to opera.

There will be two shows:

The Prospector on January 16, 2016 and Figaro Opera Tales on April 30, 2016. The workshops start at 10am and the performances are at 11am. To buy tickets, go here.

Now, for the adults, here are the operas I would like to see this season. Let me know if you have any other favorites:

The Magic Flute by Wolfang Amadeus Mozart - LA Opera Season 2015/2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 7:30pm / Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 7:30pm / Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 7:30pm / Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 2pm / Wednesday, March 02, 2016 at 7:30pm / Sunday, March 06, 2016 at 2pm

Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini LA Opera Season 2015/2016

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 7:30pm / Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 2 pm / Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 7:30pm / Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 7:30pm/ Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 7:30pm /Sunday, April 03, 2016 at 2pm

Domingo/Fleming in Concert Opera 2015/2016

Friday, March 18, 2016 at 7:30pm

La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini LA Opera Season 2015/2016Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 7:30pm / Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 7:30pm / Monday, May 22, 2016 at 2pm / Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 7:30pm / Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 7:30pm / Sunday, June 05, 2016 at 2pm / Friday, June 10, 2016 at 7:30pm / Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 2pm

Buy your tickets for the LA Opera Season 2015/1016 now. Give it a try!

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Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars In Culver City – A Very Cool, Non Trendy Place

WARNING ALERT: Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars is NOT a trendy shop. This place is good ONLY because it has an amazing ice cream selection, so, if you are looking for a fashionable place that has the latest decór, appears in all the food blogs, has a clientele dressing up in Balmain, it is located in some gentrifying neighborhood in LA, and/or, it is owned by some kind of famous chef, do NOT come here. You have been warned.

Now, if you are looking for a local, family owned, unpretentious, inexpensive, delicious shop, with an exotic selection of flavors, and no other business than making good ice cream, do come here as soon as possible, and order the Leche Quemada, the Maracuya, or the spicy mango paleta.

I take my kids here often, and, with the high temperatures in the last couple of weeks, we have been here more often than usual. My sister and nephews are visiting from Chile, and their first stop after the airport was Mateo’s Ice Cream. See the pictures below to check out my cute (and smart) nephews.

This ice cream shop is located on a strip mall on Sepulveda Blvd, and it offers uncommon flavors like Mamey, passion fruit, or gaunabana, alongside the most traditional flavors, but the shop is mostly famous for its wonderful and fresh fruit paletas, which I love.

Mateo’s Ice Cream has been around for 13 years in its modest corner, with its popsicle logo, and its kitsch decoration. It is a place for locals, by locals, and it is one of my favorite ice cream shops in LA.


This finger pointing to the sky is Victor’s new model face. He has a big range, as you can see. jestcafe-matteo-icecream5


Look at these paletas, are you drooling yet?'s-icecream19


Here is a picture of me taking a picture of my cute nephew, Agustin.


Here is my nephew, Diego, is he gorgeous or what? Also, he likes to be naked at all times while on a 100 degree weather. Who could tell that a 1 year old has no concept of nudity? He is a cutie pie, isn’t he?


And here is my little Maxie Paxie, who insists on eating by himself, even if this means tasting no more than one bite of ice cream every 10 minutes. Fiercely independent this one. jestcafe-matteo-icecream3




  • Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars
    4929 Sepulveda Blvd
    Culver City, CA 90230
    Del Rey
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LA Phil – A Guide To The Best Concerts Of Season 2015/16

My dad is visiting from Chile, and we are going to watch the 9 symphonies of Beethoven this week, from Thursday to Sunday. I can’t wait, and my dad neither. He is a fan of classical music and he always made us listen to it while growing up, every single day. He used to help organizing concerts himself, and we always attended the shows. It wasn’t always fun or easy. Going to classical music concerts every weekend required bribery in the taste of ice cream, lots and lots of ice cream, but it was worth it.

This tormented past led me to the need of watching the LA Phil a couple of times a Season. When choosing concerts to watch, I am not very elaborate. I like easy melodies that usually come in the shape of Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi, or Verdi, very safe choices. The LA Phil has a discount when someone buys 4 or more tickets at a time, so it is good to choose all the concerts you want to go to at the beginning of the season.

If you haven’t been to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, I would really recommend going at least once in your lifetime. It is a gorgeous building by the architect Frank Gehry. The acoustics inside the music chamber were done by Yasuhisa Toyota, and have been praised as one of the best ones in the world. Even if you don’t like classical music, you MUST visit this building.

Early in the season, some of the concerts do not have their repertoire finalized. Most of the Colburn Celebrity Series concerts, for example, do not have an official program yet. This series showcases famous musicians, so, if you like one of them, buy the tickets now and hope they will play something you like the day of.

About the seating chart, I like buying Orchestra View and Terrace View tickets, located behind the Orchestra. They are cheaper and you get a great view of the players, even if some of them have their back towards you. Also, you can feel Dudamel’s (the conductor) passion first hand.

Here is the list of the LA Phil concerts I would like to watch this season (aside from the Immortal Beethoven Series that we are going to this week): - bolivar-950_1

  • Tuesday, October 13, 8pm.

Chamber Music: All Beethoven

BEETHOVEN: Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (c. 41 minutes)

BEETHOVEN: Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 (c. 16 minutes)

BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat major, Op. 74, (“Harp”) (c. 30 minutes) - hahnhilary-950

  • Thursday, December 10, 8pm; Friday, December 11, 8pm; and, Saturday, December 12, 8pm.

Hilary Hahn

WEINBERG: Suite from The Golden Key (c. 16 minutes)

VIEUXTEMPS: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor (c. 23 minutes)

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4 (c. 44 minutes) -holidaysingalong-950

  • Saturday, December 19, 11:30 am; Saturday, December 19, 2:30pm

Holiday Sing-Along

jestcafe .com -chamber-950_3

  • Tuesday, January 26, 8 pm.

Chamber Music: All Brahms

BRAHMS: Horn Trio, Op. 40

BRAHMS: String Quintet No. 1, Op. 88

BRAHMS: Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60 -bronfman-950

  • Friday, January 29, 8pm; Saturday, January 30, 8pm; Sunday, January 31, 2:00 pm

Beethoven and Mahler

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 1 (c. 36 minutes)

MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 (c. 53 minutes) -perlman-950

  • Thursday, January 14, 8pm; Friday, January 15, 11am; Saturday, January 16, 8pm; Sunday, January 17, 2pm.

Itzhak Perlman

MOZART: Adagio for violin and orchestra, K. 261 (c. 5 minutes)

MOZART: Rondo for violin and orchestra, K. 373 (c. 8 minutes)

MOZART: Symphony No. 27 (c. 15 minutes)

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5 (c. 50 minutes) -mcgregan-950

  • Thursday, March 31, 8pm; Saturday, April 02, 2pm

From Back to Schubert

BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 3 (c. 20 minutes)

BACH: Concerto for Two Violins (c. 17 minutes)

BACH: Sinfonia in D major, BWV 1045

HAYDN: Sinfonia concertante in B-flat (c. 22 minutes)

SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 3 (c. 26 minutes)

  • Sunday, May 15, 7:30 pm

 YO-YO MA AND KATHRYN STOTT – Repertoire not finalized. Colburn Series. -lucycrowe-950

  • Thursday, May 19, 8pm; Friday, May 20, 8pm; Saturday, May 21, 8pm; Sunday, May 22, 2pm.


PÄRT: Miserere (c. 35 minutes)

MOZART: Requiem (c. 50 minutes)


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A Perfect Evening – The Popup Dinner Affair

In my opinion, the perfect evening out is one where I eat good food, have good conversations, avoid a lot of noise and crowds, dance a little, and, I am in bed by 10:30pm. As you can see, I have a lot of requirements that don’t mix together, but then, I found out a PopUp dinner was happening in LA, so we signed up.

The idea is that you buy your tickets knowing the date and hour of the event, but not the location. The day of the event, they let you know via email the location of the dinner at 3pm. Ours was in Grand Park, DTLA. The organizers provides tables, chairs, and music, you provide everything else, including your white attire. WARNING: Do not go dressing in any other color, or you will be the party buffoon.

The doors open at 5pm, dinner is supposed to start around 7pm. We arrived at 7pm and it was very easy to find a table. We took my mom, who was visiting from Chile. I thought that by taking her here, we could experience something mellow, fun and different, little did I know that we were going to enjoy ourselves much more than predicted. We all danced our hearts out to Jason Bentley’s music until the party ended.

It was beautiful to go around looking at everybody’s beautiful creations. Some people went way over the top when decorating their tables. Tents, lights, flowers, fancy silverware, it is all part of the affair. Nothing is too much.

My favorite things of the dinner were:

  • Easy Access – No problem getting there, finding a table, and then home when the whole thing was over.
  • Diversity – All ages and races were there. I had a very old couple dancing next to me all night, right next to some basketball players from college.
  • It did not feel crowded.
  • The music’s volume allowed for easy conversation until the dancing started at 9pm.
  • Dancing to good music. I don’t do much of that lately, plus, I really like Jason Bentley from Morning Becomes Eclectic.
  • I was home at 10:30pm, and ready to wake up to children’s noise at 6am the. Lovely, indeed!

If you want to find out if one of these dinners will be hosted in your city, go here. I highly recommend them!

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