Category Archive for Arizona
Help! I’m locked in a cell with a Gothic Lolita… Where in the world am I?
To find out, watch my new video about alt, spooky travel in Arizona.
Can you tell I had fun on this trip? I’m especially happy with how this video turned out, thanks to the original soundtrack by Leon Lindon, and performed by the Lindon Automata.
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Eerie music plays as we explore Monsterland Bar & Grill, a theme restaurant in Mesa, Arizona (east of Phoenix).
I was already shaking as I entered the restaurant through a winding passage. Creatures of the night awaited me…
… some of which jumped out unexpectedly!
Inside, it was every horror scene come to life, from dungeons to dragons.
I got tied up in Frankenstein’s lab.
Bunny shirt: Miffy store in Hong Kong
Scallop shorts: KiLaRa, from the Hong Kong Hello Kitty store
Bunny-eared headband: gifted by Soho Hearts
Monster gloves: gifted by Josie Loves J Valentine (remember the photoshoot we did in LA?)
Lolita shoes: Yosuke, from Marui One Shinjuku
Leon Lindon, in the Adventure of the Pharoah’s Curse.
His visual musical band, Colosseum Thesis, braves the Grim Reaper’s scepter.
“We did the Monsterland mash. It was a graveyard smash.”
The VIP room was ruled by an alien (perhaps from our Sedona road trip?). Monsterland often has special events like video game nights, costume parties and “Scary-aoke.”
The food matched the monstrous theme: beer tasters in a skull, “Children of the Corn” balls, bat wings.
The blue Swamp Water cocktail had a surprise at the bottom. You’ll have to order one to discover what lies beneath.
Dare to be scared! Monsterland re-opens on August 24th (they were on temporary hiatus); check their Facebook for upcoming events.
Here’s a bonus outfit photo, from dinner with Visit Mesa at Postino Wine Cafe in Gilbert, AZ.
Octopus print dress: gifted by Sourpuss Clothing; buy it here.
Black eyed bag: Hyoma, Izzue boutique Hong Kong (store photos soon)
Sunglasses: gifted by Lumete
I have fond memories of this meal. I tried a Macedonia Tikves Vranec wine, and stuffed myself with salads and bruschetta.
Gilbert, a town known for its water tower, has a nice food and arts scene.
I also ate very well at Liberty Market, across the street from Postino’s.
We enjoyed fresh favorites like caprese salad, pizzas, burgers, and endless coffee refills.
Did you expect Arizona to have such spooky culture? Would you visit the monster restaurant?
I hope you enjoy the video and soundtrack. Tell us what you think of our Arizona adventure.
PS: Plane tickets booked for August! Can you guess where my travel team’s going next?
What’s the Gothic Alternative party scene like in Phoenix, AZ? I went to Sanctum club night to find out. Read on for the anatomy of a nightcrawl…
Geist, Leon and I fueled up at Blue Hound Kitchen, inside the downtown Hotel Palomar.
They are the singer/leader and bassist of Colosseum Thesis.
Guess what: Leon Lindon is scoring the soundtrack for my upcoming Phoenix travel video! You can find out more about his composition and production work on his website.
We loved the decor of Blue Hound Kitchen. The restaurant pairs seasonal, high-end comfort food with craft cocktails.
Leon demonstrates how a lounge should be used.
Casting a spell in the mirror. Love the shirt sleeve detail.
Keep your radar on their band, Colosseum Thesis, which uses a progressive blend of genres such as rock, visual, neoclassical, and jazz.
The act specializes in theatrical live shows, which immerse the audience in an original fantasy epic.
Their first demo is scheduled for 2013, as well as their debut performances. Excited!
Now, back to the food. The specialty cocktails were home runs; my “Chartreuse Fuzz” was straight out of Poppy Z Brite’s Lost Souls. The flatbreads taste as good as they look, especially the one with pumpkin and goat cheese.
Blue Hound’s comfort cuisine menu was the best of both worlds: macaroni and cheese, BBQ Kobe beef short ribs. The coffee-cured hamachi, flavored with candied jalapeno and pineapple, got the “Leon Award of Excellence.”
A pirate always orders dessert. We had caramelized pineapple upside down cake, topped with madjool date ice cream, and salted caramel sauce. Bravo.
My octopus dress and anchor knee socks are gifts from Sourpuss. Same with the glitter octopus clips in my hair.
Serafina (remember her from the Art Museum post?) gets a streak of blue hair thanks to Hypercolor’s temporary Dip Dye powders. (This product’s perfect for a night out; I used the colors to give myself rainbow hair.)
A tableau inspired by Philip C. Curtis’s creepy-surreal paintings.
Mark of the cross.
The Westin Hotel’s lobby decor was made for photoshooting. We piled into a car, and headed to the party.
As soon as we stepped into Sanctum Goth club (4343 N 7th Ave), we knew we were in the right place. DJ Apollynon and Aleksandr Aeternum were spinning Covenant, And One, and 1980s darkwave.
DJ Apollynon (above) is passionate about making the night inclusive. He keeps connected with the audience through on-the-floor interaction and welcoming music requests.
The club has various nights: a monthly Industrial/ Aggrotech event, and dark/alt music every Saturday. I appreciated the welcoming atmosphere and relaxed space at Sanctum — I raise my glass of absinthe to this Phoenix Goth night! Thank you Elligons LaCroix (left) for helping me connect.
Have you explored Arizona’s Gothic, alt and Industrial nightlife? What’s the subculture scene like where you live? You never know — I may come and check it out!
PS: Thanks to About.com Multicultural Beauty for interviewing me about Asian cosmetics and bagelheads. And thanks to everyone who entered the Yummy You contest! The winner Yuuki M, chosen by random selection, has been contacted.
Did you know I used to take art history classes? Visiting galleries remains a favorite past-time. During my Arizona press trip, my friend and I went to the Phoenix Art Museum.
Serafina is a classically trained soprano (and she wears Gothic Lolita coordinates beautifully). She’s currently working on Chiaroscuro, a “neo-classical pop project based upon the visual arts, from classical to the contemporary.” And she sells handmade jewelry, mostly rosaries, in her Etsy shop Rosarium Obscurum.
We stopped by the rooftop garden of the Sheraton hotel in downtown Phoenix.
Purse friends! My fuzzy is Hyoma, from Izzue in Hong Kong. More photos of my Miffy outfit in this Roosevelt Row post.
We ate refreshing hummus, goat cheese and Thai-flavored salads at District , on the ground floor of the Sheraton Downtown. They made special mint juleps for us, using herbs straight from the roof garden!
The Art Museum has a spacious courtyard and Sculpture Garden. One of these runners is not like the other…
A cartoon-like man riding a masked horse. Serafina’s expression says it all.
The museum lets you take photos inside, as long as you don’t use flash. Talk about an invitation for a photoshoot.
The museum has multiple wings, with works spanning from ancient China to today. I personally loved the Philip C. Curtis exhibit. The American painter reminds me of Edward Gorey and the surrealists.
An empty ballroom with uncanny mirrors and chairs, carney circuses, strange Victorian guests. I’m still mulling over Curtis’s paintings.
I could’t wait to see the special exhibit: Art Deco fashion.
Fascinating to see Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazine covers from the 1920s and 1930s. Who knew they were hand-drawn?
Velvet capes with embroidery. Want.
Quite a few of the Roaring Twenties flapper gowns were by Coco Chanel.
Can’t go wrong with cloche hats and feathered fans.
Or silky lingerie.
Here’s a quick video I took with my iPhone, to give you a sense of the space.
Can you tell I’m on a 1920s kick? Check out my Art Deco Weekend Miami coverage for more retro inspiration.
Phoenix Art Museum is very much worth a visit; the selection is well-explained and includes Monet, Frida Kahlo, and Alexander Calder. Be sure to visit Yayoi Kusama’s “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies” — a dark room with hanging LED lights.
Have you heard of Philip C. Curtis? Who are your favorite artists and eras? You can delve into my art and design category, and there’s more Art Deco Weekend on the way!
Heavy metal adventure team… activate!
I’m in Sedona, Arizona with Leon and Geist of the band Colosseum Thesis. Can you mix Jrock and Aliens? Read on to have your eyes opened.
Sedona is a 2-3 hour scenic drive from Phoenix. The red rock’s known as a haven of spirituality… and alien encounters.
Skull hair clips: gifted by Kreepsville 666
Art Nouveau sunglasses: gifted by Lumete
We blasted metal and Visual Kei on the drive north, which took us through cacti landscapes and rock corridors. Bassist Geist and I strike an alien pose.
It was right before Christmas, so the aliens were wearing Santa hats.
Our first pit stop: the fascinating Center for the New Age.
The store offers vortex tours, aura photography, psychics, palm readers, healing stones and crystals, and more.
A rich selection of books and Buddhas.
No matter what your spiritual leanings are, Sedona is special place. There’s a feeling of re-charging here.
Sedona has a number of “vortexes”, or sites charged healing and awareness.
Not everyone “feels the power.” Nonetheless, Sedona’s an unbeatable place to hike, relax, and take in nature.
We had outstanding French food at Rene in Tlaquepaque, across from the New Age Center.
I could have stayed in the Southwestern courtyard all day. My white dress is Japanese brand Liz Lisa, bought in Hong Kong. Here are photos of the Liz Lisa boutique.
Closeup on the boys’ rings and gloves.
The spinach tofu salad and fresh crepes were out of this world.
Ravioli for my Arizona guide, Leon Lindon (singer, composer, musician, producer, and leader of Colosseum Thesis).
With stomachs satiated, we went on to another spiritual place.
The landscape makes an epic backdrop for photos.
My Liz Lisa ankle boots aren’t really made for climbing.
We ascended the spiral walkway…
… to the Chapel Of The Holy Cross, an architectural marvel completed in 1956.
The Catholic chapel’s windows reflect red rock, and the shape of a cross.
A powerful place for prayer.
Inside, we listened to soft chanting and basked in the light.
As Leon puts it, “Sedona is a place that encourages people to look upward.”
Photos can’t convey the feeling of this place; I hope you’ll come and experience it for yourself.
Thanks to Leon and Geist for the epic road trip. Their band, Colosseum Thesis, is a surprising new visual music act that uses a progressive blend of genres such as rock, neoclassical, and jazz, complete with grandiose theatrical performances. Can’t wait for their debut performances and demo later this year.
Were you surprised by Sedona’s spirituality? Where do you go to regain calm and re-charge?