All posts tagged: sirens and scoundrels

Mama Gina’s Greek Hummus (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

What you are about to read is very coveted, top-secret information. As a Greek girl, hummus has always been a staple at our family table, especially on holidays, when family gatherings traditionally start with mezethes. Fresh-cubed feta cheese, Greek olives, grape leaves and creamy dips with pita bread are dug into by hand over lively conversation before moving to the table for the main meal. The star of our mezethes spread is always my mother’s homemade hummus. This recipe has been passed down from generations of Greek women, originating on the island of Samos with my grandmother’s relatives, travelling with my Yiayia to America where it settled into New York’s immigrant city blocks and finally landing with my mother in sunny Southern California and onto our suburban table. Over many years in LA, our family hummus was the favorite attraction at every gathering even before it became the de rigueur go-to Cali party snack. Many of our friends growing up were exposed to hummus for the first time at our house. But no matter how popular it …

Your De-stressing Remedy ~ Guided Gratitude Meditation

No matter what side of the line you stand on, we can all agree it’s been a crazy few weeks for America. We find ourselves in a country incredibly divided, which for many people was shocking in its immediacy. As a meditation coach, I have been hearing non-stop stories of irreparable rifts between friends, loved ones, co-workers and family members that exploded in a seeming instant. Fear, anxiety, sorrow, heartache and anger pervade all over our social media pages and in our conversations as people fight, unfollow and unfriend each other. As a country, we are in a 24-7 argument with ourselves right now. And people are collectively exhausted. To move through this difficult time, it’s important to have some tools to help navigate these choppy waters. Now more than ever, it is vitally important to stay grounded, practice self care and connect to the things that you love to stay in balance and not get swept away in all of the emotional turmoil of the moment. So take your fingers off the keyboard, step …

Jackalope ~ Joshua Desert Retreats

As the year draws to a close, the air gets a little crisper and the longing for snowy log cabins starts to set in, something else begins to call our names over here at Sirens & Scoundrels…the desert. It might not seem like the obvious choice for a winter getaway but there is something about the deep stillness of our dusty wide-open spaces that seems to push our inner “reset” buttons whenever we answer that call. The desert brings the perfect opportunity to slow down, unplug and reconnect to some delicious peace that feels heaven-sent for this time of year when we all naturally start to turn inward. So in pursuit of some “quiet nights of quiet stars”, we set out for our beloved Joshua Tree. Most Californians know Palm Springs as the haven for any mid-century enthusiast. But here on the outskirts away from it all, we uncovered a secret vintage gem to make all your Mad-Men-in-the-Desert dreams come true! Allow us to introduce you to Jackalope, one of thirteen charming desert compounds owned …

Your Weekend Hitlist ~ Halloween 2016

It’s our favorite time of year! That special moment when the leaves begin to turn colors, the sun glows a little more golden in the late afternoon light, you feel the desire to snuggle up with someone just because…and grown men and women become filled with the strange impulse to put on costumes and run around the streets like madmen. With Halloween landing on Monday, the witches and goblins have blessed us with extra good luck this year, giving us five whole days to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve! Here are our top picks for getting into a little Halloween Madness this weekend! Let the good times roll…just be sure to keep your head!! THURS OCT 27th~ MON OCT 31st Every night this weekend, the New Beverly Cinema will be screening some of the most ghoulishly delicious films in cinematic history. Thursday’s epic double-feature includes the original 1925 Phantom of the Opera, followed by Brian De Palma’s psychedelic rock ‘n roll fever dream Phantom of the Paradise. Featuring the music of Paul Williams, who penned songs …

Sierra Fall Colors ~ June Lake Loop, CA

October in Southern California. That exciting time of year when pumpkin patch corn mazes start popping up around town, the smell of autumn candles wafts through the air, thoughts of warm apple pies baking in the oven fill your mind and the internet explodes with #pumpkinspice mania. A deep primal need to pull on a sweater, snuggle by a fire and see trees bursting with fall colors begins to take over. Until you realize it’s 90° outside and we’re still stuck between our two seasons of green and greener, warm and insanely hot. Growing up in LA, we only got to experience “real fall” by hopping on a plane to visit our family on the East Coast once in a while. New England always seemed to hold the title for Best Fall Colors in the country. Clearly the Charles Wysocki puzzles I diligently put together fireside on my sunny-and-clear 75° holidays would back that up. I would place each little puzzle piece of bright orange, red and yellow trees next to mini Americana homes with …

Italian Vegetable Stew ~ (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

As summer ends and we step into fall, I can think of nothing more satisfying than a piping-hot, hearty bowl of homemade stew!  The seasonal changes are sometimes subtle here in California but it allows for fresh produce year round.  I love that we can easily get seasonal, organic produce from our local farmer’s market throughout the week or even grow it in our own home garden. At a recent Sirens & Scoundrels trip to Northern California, my friends generously shared their backyard harvest with me and I couldn’t wait to start experimenting in the kitchen! These were some of the best tomatoes I have ever eaten and the beautiful bounty of squash, zucchini and basil ran rampant in their garden. My Italian Vegetable Stew began as an experiment inspired by our farm-to-table experience and became an instant hit! It’s so easy, healthy and delicious (plus it’s vegan and gluten free)!  This crave-worthy, comfort bowl is so rich in flavor because of the quality of the produce. I highly encourage you to use organic ingredients, especially the tomatoes, when making this stew. I’m so happy …

République ~ Los Angeles, CA

If you’ve been jonesing for a little taste of the French countryside recently but don’t quite have the time or money to head overseas right now, then why not allow the French countryside to come to you? République on La Brea is the stuff all your Provence dreams are made of: long wooden farm tables inside a château courtyard, fluffy pastries overflowing from pâtisserie cases, thick creamy butter slathered over fresh-baked bread loaves still warm from the oven and just perfect for dunking those bright orange farm-fresh egg yolks into. From your very first step inside the door, you find yourself filled up with a burning desire to parlez et mangez français. Set inside the old La Brea Bakery and Campanile building, République has been restored back to most of the original architecture from when Charlie Chaplin first built it in the 20’s. The interior courtyard has been exposed with large skylights overhead so that it seems to glow from within. The vibe is relaxed, airy and casual. We went for brunch and it was the …

Ghost Town ~ Bodie State Historic Park, CA

A couple years ago, I started seeing photos pop up around Instagram that literally haunted me. Images of antique rooms covered in thick layers of dust, wrought iron beds with beautifully decomposing mattresses and dainty wallpaper peeling away in long layers, hats left dangling from chairs awaiting owners who will never return. Perfectly preserved decay, simultaneously frozen in time and ravaged by it. It seemed like a strange fever dream, no way it could exist in reality. Surely these were just film sets, all Hollywood smoke and mirrors built for some weird music video shoot. But as I researched, I discovered that not only was it 100% real, it was right here in our own backyard. Never able to resist a good ghost story, the Sirens packed into the Prius and headed out to investigate the truth behind one of the largest gold rush ghost towns in California and the U.S.…Bodie State Historic Park. Located off the 395 about an hour northeast of Mammoth, things start to feel strange early on as the paved road …

Sirens & Scoundrels Playlists

You can now find all of our Sirens & Scoundrels travel playlists in one place! Our new PLAYLIST page features our hand-crafted playlists for your listening pleasure! Take us along on your next road trip!! Bookmark the link to our PLAYLIST page for some awesome mood-setting jams right at your fingertips!~  https://sirensandscoundrels.com/playlists/ And be sure to follow us on Spotify for easy listening from any device! https://play.spotify.com/user/sirensandscoundrels   Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl © 2016 Sirens and Scoundrels

The Grand Canyon ~ Arizona

If you were a kid growing up on the West Coast, pretty much everyone has a story about being packed up into the car between siblings, Mom and Dad popping in a John Denver cassette tape on repeat and making the long desert drive out to see the Grand Canyon, where you took a bunch of photos that got tucked away in an album, never to be seen again. As a native Angeleno, I somehow made it into my third decade without ever seeing our great Canyon—a strange and shocking fact to most people, including myself. I was equally shocked when last year out of nowhere, I suddenly had a burning urge to see it. It just hit deep in my soul one day, like a command. As a meditation teacher, I’ve learned to listen to these Soul Calls, even if they don’t seem to make sense. So with one adventurous friend in tow, I headed out to see what this whole Grand Canyon thing was all about—knowing it’d probably be a very different experience seeing …

Kensington Presents at The York Manor

As a native Angeleno and unabashed lover of Los Angeles, I’m always curious how transplants feel about our great city. One common theme seems to emerge when I ask people how they’ve been faring here…they like the city but miss the feeling of community. We’ve all heard it: LA is huge, friends are spread all over the place, it can be hard to find what feels like “home”. Well then, please allow us to introduce you to Kensington. We’ve written before about Kensington’s concert series at the Viaduct as the best secret party in LA (and it’s true). But they actually started out much smaller—showcasing live music on the porch of their own backyard. You really can’t get any more “neighborhood” than that. What’s remarkable is how Kensington has been able to create that same incredibly intimate feeling even as their event spaces grow and expand. Whether it’s a backyard porch, a park under the bridge Downtown or a refurbished church in Highland Park, it all just feels like hanging out at your coolest friend’s …

Highland Park Bowl ~ Highland Park, CA

In a city that habitually tears down our beloved historic spaces in favor of erecting yet another strip mall full of dry cleaners and spray tan salons, we gladly give our full support to any business that stands for the preservation of our architectural history. So when we heard that Highland Park Bowl had recently opened after a major preservation project, we knew we had to take the new digs for a spin and go knock some pins around. Located on Figueroa in a burgeoning strip of Highland Park, Highland Park Bowl really does feel like stepping back in time. From the moment you enter the wrought iron gates under the peeling-paint façade, it’s as if the decades instantly begin to roll away behind you with each step until you find yourself right smack in the middle of a bygone era, perhaps meeting Nick Carraway for some tales and a stiff one over a game of tenpin. The original establishment dates back to 1927, giving it the unique distinction of being the oldest bowling alley …

Eat|See|Hear ~ LA Outdoor Movie Night

Summertime is all about combining the two things LA does best: movies and the outdoors. At the start of summer, we created your Los Angeles Outdoor Movie Guide, which we continue to update with new films from our favorite outdoor movie venues. We recently checked out Eat|See|Hear’s screening of Dazed and Confused at The Autry in Griffith Park. There could not be a better way to celebrate the fact that school’s out for summer than kicking back with our friends, pups and some good food and hopping into that slowride to party at the Moon Tower. Eat|See|Hear screens films every Saturday night in multiple venues across town from Silverlake to Santa Monica throughout the season. This was our first time heading to The Autry for a screening and we gotta say, we were really impressed. Our $15.76 ticket got us free entry into the Autry Museum. Their fantastic new exhibit Revolutionary Vision: Group f/64 showcases the stunning work of the California photo-modernist collective that included Ansel Adams and is definitely worth checking out. The main grounds are …

My Tokyo Denim Tour ~ Tokyo, Japan

Words & Photography by James R. Petix   I’ve always had a magical love for Japan. Ever since I was a kid, all my favorite things seemed to come from there—Transformers, Godzilla, Nintendo. I was lucky enough to take two years of Japanese in high school when they first offered it. I was even president of the Japanese Club! My first trip was to visit a friend there in 1998. I went back two years later to film my senior film thesis—a 22 minute short about the underground indie rock scene called Tokyo Below. I went again to see the Sakura cherry blossoms bloom in 2012. This Spring, I returned for the Sakura but I had something else I wanted to explore while I was there…Japanese Denim. You may have heard before that Japanese go nuts for American blue jeans. This is kinda true and there are amazingly curated vintage stores all over Tokyo that do sell old Levi’s. But the real story is that, like a lot of other borrowed culture, the Japanese have …

Fantastic Negrito ~ Kensington Presents at The Viaduct

In a town built on over-hyping while under-delivering, it makes sense that when you write an article declaring an event “The Best Secret Party” in all of Los Angeles, folks might assume you’re exaggerating. “Really? The best though…?” you can practically hear them thinking. Here at Sirens & Scoundrels, we’re sworn never to lie to you and to bring you only the best of the best of LA. So we were beyond stoked when, rolling twenty friends deep to the most recent live concert event at the Viaduct, Kensington opened up their can of coolest-party-ever-whoop-ass on the very grateful crowd, proving us right once again as they delivered everything promised…and more. In a far corner of Los Angeles State Historic Park’s seemingly abandoned neighborhood, large art sculptures made of reclaimed materials dot the path to a nondescript opening in an iron fence with only one glowing neon “VIADUCT” sign to light the way. It certainly feels like you’ve followed the cement-brick road to some strange urban Oz. Luckily, the gatekeepers here are friendly and let …

Eastern Sierras, CA

When we met up with Daniel Mansfield of The Adventure Project for our San Bernardino National Forest mountain hike last month, we arrived with one burning question in mind. Our common mission is to get people out and exploring all the amazingness the West has to offer. But Daniel’s mission is, more specifically, to get people out into the mountains. So the one thing we needed to know was…if he could choose just one place in all of California to take someone to experience the Best of the West, where would it be? Without missing a beat, his answer: The Eastern Sierras. We were a bit surprised by this, having never heard particularly much about them ourselves. Everyone knows and loves the Sequoias, Yosemite, Mammoth, Big Bear—all our resident beauties. But “Eastern Sierras” wasn’t readily rolling off the tongues of our hike-loving friends. We had to know: what was it about THESE mountains that made them stand out so far above the rest? There was only one way to answer that question. Road trip. Three weeks later, …

Los Angeles Outdoor Movie Guide ~ Summer 2016

Welcome to summer, LA! As the sun shines brighter, the days grow longer and our nights keep getting warmer and warmer, the city springs alive with its favorite summer pastime: outdoor movie screenings. Nothing is more LA than sitting out under our hot desert stars, picnicking on some yummy nosh over a chilled glass of your favorite sumthin sumthin with your nearest and dearest and reveling in our hometown’s crowning glory: FILM. From the Westside to the Eastside, LA has exploded with summer movie screenings recently, guaranteeing that there’s a little something for everyone on any given weekend. But with so many places to choose from now, it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening when and where. So as our little summer gift to you, may we present…your Los Angeles Outdoor Movie Guide 2016. Bookmark this page to come back to throughout the summer. We’ll keep updating it as more screenings are announced. For your convenience, we’ve noted our fave screenings of interest in bold and have left off any films that are already …

The Adventure Project

The forecast called for rain. Not just a chance of sprinkles here and there…full-on El Niño rain blasting with possible freezing temps and snow. After a winter of nothing but broken promises, it seemed our elusive stormy friend was finally arriving to unleash its downpour fury on Southern California. When iPhone declares 100% chance of showers every hour, you know it must be true. In LA, people cancel dinner plans just ten minutes away because they’d rather not “deal with the rain.” But now we were asking our friends to drive two hours outside the city in possible El Niño storms to meet a guy we’d never met and go to an undisclosed location to have an unknown experience—only knowing he was “taking us to the mountains.” I’m pretty sure these are all the things our parents warned us never to do. But, hey, we get to make our own rules now. And after all, we said we wanted an Adventure… We meet at a gas station at the base of the mountains on the way …

Free National Park Week!

Aside from this glorious pre-summer weather we’re being blessed with in Southern California, all you Mother Nature lovers out there have just been given another reason to strip down and do your sun-worshipping dance! It’s National Park Week—which means you can get into any National Park across the U.S. completely FREE this week! From Saturday April 16th – Sunday April 24th, all parks that normally charge will be waiving their entrance fees. Been wondering about that rare Death Valley superbloom? Go explore for yourself! Been yearning for the epic peaks of Yosemite? Get in the car and go before the summer crowds hit! Longing for the damp moss-covered forests of Muir Woods? Let your inner wood nymph go romp! Big bonus to all you kiddos trekking back from Weekend 1 or out to Weekend 2 of Coachella—you can enjoy free entry into Joshua Tree National Park while you’re out there! Take a break from soaking in the sounds to soak in some beautiful desert stillness. LIFE BONUS: the Lyrid Meteor Shower is also happening this …