I had the pleasure of viewing the Cool “Disco” Dan documentary presented by MOCATV last week. The documentaries executive producer, Roger Gastman, is a notable Street Art aficionado and co-curator of the seminal Art in The Streets exhibit and has published many significant works documenting the history of graffiti & street art.


Me & Roger Gastman

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Cool “Disco” Dan was quite the cultural phenomenon in Washington, DC and his legendary contributions to the city were very well depicted. Dan’s graffiti work began during the Go-Go music scene in the 70′s and he was one of the first graffiti artists to actively spray paint his recognizable name all over the DC metro area for years to come turning him into a DC legend & cult icon. Dan was not associated with any gang or crew but others did follow suit and began spray-painting their Go-Go names or “Crew” names alongside his work. His basic & simple style of graffiti evoked heartfelt emotions throughout the generations in DC providing a sense of continuity and comfort in an otherwise violent & changing city in a very bizarre & fascinating way.


The film depicts a very dark & intriguing tale of the evolution of DC landscapes with correlations between the political events, music scene, art scene, and drug scene that struck down the city. Cool “Disco” Dan always seems to keep his cool throughout & remains an urban legend blessing the streets with his positive & absurdly ambiguous message.



The whole phenomenon he created is quite quite fascinating, especially the fact that Cool “Disco” Dan was never on drugs or alcohol, nor part of any “Crews” or gangs. He was very introverted & socially awkward, but obsessed with fame & recognition and this was his way of expressing himself to the community he lived in.

August 28, 2013


Posted in ABOUT


As a student of art, history, pop-culture, and politics, Tamie Adaya brings a distinctive viewpoint to her iconic Santa Monica boutique hotel property.  Long a family treasure, the recently re-branded and remodeled Hotel Shangri-La is a reflection of Tamie’s palate—featuring clean, crisp lines, modern lifestyle amenities with a classic flair, an unprecedented attention to detail with a whimsical unpredictability that makes each visit a discovery in self-expression, escapism and pure enjoyment.

Tamie is committed to making the Hotel Shangri-La much more than just another hotel. That commitment is evident in recent press accolades that include: rave reviews in the New York Times and the London Independent and “Best Beach Getaways” in Sunset Magazine. “To me, the hotel is not only a landmark property where we attend to our guests every desire, it is also a gathering place and a community; it’s a place that constantly inspires and soothes the soul,” she muses.

An avid traveler and student of modern-day life, Tamie is constantly seeking inspiration from other great cities, famous hotels, famed restaurants and museums, but has also found there is no greater way to be inspired than by bringing diverse and interesting people together at her hotel.  From international DJs to writers, professors, photographers, celebrities and just close friends, Tamie often brings her diverse group of friends and associates together for a night of intellectual chat ranging from politics to fashion to the current state of the music industry.

“The concept of being at the beach, while also providing an urbane yet laidback environment, is our trademark.  I envision Hotel Shangri-La to be a hideaway, or a pied-a-terre, a place to escape.”

With her influences ranging from Michelangelo to Van Gogh to Frida Kahlo to Warhol, Roxy Music, Queen Victoria and Vivienne Westwood, Tamie Adaya is the epitome of a renaissance woman who has taken her love of life and culture and wrapped it within the streamlined architecture of her Santa Monica hotel.

From writing her popular blog ( to hosting art events to
spending time with her family,  Tamie takes her life experiences and brings her distinctive perspective to everything guests experience when they walk in the front doors of her prized effort—the Hotel Shangri-La.

“The secret to being a successful career woman and family person is to realize that you can have it all but just not all at the same time. Life is in stages and to be successful you have to honor and enjoy each of the different stages of your life and career.” Tamie Adaya

August 24, 2013





I was really excited to attend the Helmut Newton exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photogrpahy in Century City last week. Helmut was a visionary in the way he photographed women, and also photo editor for French Vogue for many years. The women he photographed were beautiful, sensual, and sexual creatures, but also very empowered.




An interesting fact that I learned from one of the exhibition hosts is that a lot of the times when Helmut Newton was brought into to do commercial photography for the major fashion houses he would do the shoot, and then do another shoot with the models with a more experimental non-commercial aspect. The exhibition featured work from his famed photo-books White Women, Sleepless Nights, and Big Nudes.

I highly recommend this exhibition to anyone visiting or based in LA, probably one of the most extensive exhibitions of his work that also features 2 films incorporated into the exhibit. One was shot by the Annenberg Space for Photography exclusively for the exhibit, the other has a very personal touch and is produced by none other than his wife of many years, June Browne.




August 22, 2013



I have recently noticed a burgeoning art scene in one of the last places I’d expect to find such substance… the city of Las Vegas can be a very magical place if you’re not too overly mesmerized by all the sensationalized and in your face surface attractions, if you take a moment to step back and truly experience the arts & culture you will find many special things that a lot of travelers do not take into account. Take the lobby installations in each Hotel & Resort for example, they spend so much time & energy producing these amazing experiences and I feel as though many people just pass them by and do not take it in or explore all of the fascinating elements Las Vegas has to offer aside from the constant debauchery and gambling.

One such experience left me absolutely floored, I had the serendipitous pleasure of walking into the Louis Vuitton Maison City Center in Las Vegas and was then lured in by an amazingly talented & knowledgeable staff who gave me a full gallery tour of the in-store installations, and also surprised me with setting up an appointment to personally experience the private James Turrell exhibit on the fourth floor. Louis Vuitton has always championed brilliant avant grade artists, architects, and designers such as Stephen Sprouse, Murakami, and now the legendary James Turrell.

The exhibit entitled “Akhob” meaning pure water in egyptian is an installation that plays on the ganzfeld effect of uniform colors and the impact they have on our imagination morphing your perceptual experiences into a truly inspiring otherworldly experience that would leave any soul mystified. Turrell’s work is inspired by the magic of vision & light, and when you walk into the exhibit you feel a true sense of weightlessness, ethereality, and surreality.

Your surrounded by wall to wall colors smoothly morphing in front of your eyes, and creating rays of halo light effects that you even see in the photographs, these only exist within your imagination which is a very awe-inspiring use of the powers of light, it truly takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas city life and takes you to a very magical place that everyone should experience!

James Turrell’s work is also currently being displayed at LACMA so if you can’t make it to Vegas, I highly suggest you experience his work here in Los Angeles.

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Photo credits: Florian Holzherr

July 5, 2013



Most of you know that Selfridges is my favorite department store in the world and has been since I was a child in the 70s.  When i was in London in May I was blown away by the relevance and influence of Selfridges to dictate the cultural conversation not only with the new Masterpiece Theater show, Mr Selfridge but also with their store windows which are legendary.  Selfridges was basically telling all the passers by what the appropriate themes for their outfits should be for all the major cultural events of the summer, including Royal Ascot, The Lovebox Festival, Glastonbury and the Proms,  They also had special windows dedicate to the Bowie Exhibit at the V&A and a special pop up store for that as well.  Here are some photos for you to enjoy.


The Op Art inspired display, reminiscent of the iconic Biba style


Neon Electro Pop in this fun & sporty display


This gentleman providing the store goers a little traditional Scottish flare.


Stunning prints, the green shirt has a bit of a Keith Haring vibe to it.


The mirror stairs create a stunning effect.


Bowie invades Selfridges


V&A + Bowie + Selfridges = Amazing

June 27, 2013



My LDN crew

My recent London trip started with a bang!  Decided to stay in the East End this time around, which in itself was an adventure.

I had no idea how fun and hectic deciding to stay in East London would make the first leg of my trip to England.

I stayed at Shoreditch House, and was right in the middle of Shoreditch, which is home to many of my friends. My location on this trip was incredibly convenient and quite fun, maybe too much so!



Shoreditch House from exterior


On my way to the flower market in Columbia Rd.


Gorgeous restroom fixtures at Shoreditch House, classic LDN interior design


No club in the world has the convivial vibe of Shoreditch House so I felt I was w/ friends and family the whole time even when I was with their throughly charming staff.Went to the Adam Ant concert the next night at the Roundhouse in Camden, where he had last played over 35 years ago and had sold it out then and was selling it out again that night.



The man, the myth, the iconic LDN legend in full swing, my dear friend – Adam Ant


Adam and the Ants fam


It was great fun going en masse with a dozen friends and running into very many more. It was also a pleasure meeting Adam’s daughter and, of course, getting a kiss from Prince Charming himself.



Tamie Adaya & Adam Ant


Brunch the next day w good friends at Brick Lane where one of the larger halls had become a weekend home for ethnic food stalls and then a stroll to the flower market on Columbia Road.



The gorgeous selections at the local flower market


A few days of whirlwind excitement had me yearning for the relative tranquility of my next stop, the West End, which I shall share details of at a later time…

June 5, 2013



For our second event held here at the hotel for Britweek 2013 we had UK born, but LA based artist, KESH host & present her latest creations custom made for the hotel. The unveiling consisted of 7 limited edition pieces inspired by her personal experience’s, and the hotel’s almost 75 year old history brilliantly re-appropriated into a timeless collection of art. This is the first artwork of it’s kind to be hung on the walls of our Terrace Suites to capture the imaginations of our guests while they escape in Shangrila.



The beautifully lit penthouse with Kesh’s brochure.


Sneak peek of one of the stunning pieces for our Terrace Suites beautifully displayed in our penthouse


Her works of art were showcased throughout our rooftop penthouse and the pieces were both captivating & alluring. Each piece carries elements of the hotels aesthetic through the eyes of Kesh and imbues a unique duality of modern art & art deco that is a perfect compliment to the style of our beloved hotel. It was an inspiring evening & the crowd was full of energy & excitement with an eclectic mix of fashionista’s & art lovers alike popping in throughout the evening, dressed to impress.


Kesh in her photo-booth zone on the rooftop


Such an amazing group of creative individuals made it out for the evening


Me & Kesh in front of one of the pieces inspired by our Rock & Roll suite’s bathroom decor.

Amazing style & fierce poses throughout the evening

Amazing style & fierce poses throughout the evening

May 17, 2013


During Britweek 2013 I had the pleasure of hosting our first Jubilee Swing Tea Party at the hotel co-hosted by Mich Dulce, British milliner & corsetier.

It was a sublime Sunday afternoon, everyone in attendance was dressed to the hilt, swaying & dancing away the afternoon in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50′s attire. Mich’s spectacular and interactive hat display along with a photo booth allowed for everyone to partake in quite an impressive dress up party. Surrounded by fun conversation, an assortment of hob nobs, custard creams, tea, biscuits and swing dancing made for an incredibly delightful, creative, and innocent afternoon.








May 8, 2013


Britweek started out w a huge splash (and a red carpet) at the Residence of the British Consul General in Hancock Park.  The theme was Art Deco which fits in perfectly with my tastes and inclinations although I did not know that when I dressed up to go.   We were welcomed with open arms by the Consulate staff and even the former consul and his wife, Bob and Sharon Pierce, and it was lovely to have that kind of relationship with them after working together for 2 years.  Everybody was dressed beautifully and I received a lot of complements which makes any girls night just complete:)


Love the step and repeat that featured the Shangrila!


Loved the gorgeous stage


Gorgeous Art Deco panels


Met lots and lots of fun elevating stylish people

Come check out the Britweek Events I’ll be hosting at my beloved Hotel Shangri-La

April 27, 2013



I had the pleasure of being invited by Bulgari to their party on Tuesday night, displaying the jewels of Elizabeth Taylor that Bulgari had bought back when they were put up for sale at Christies.  Just seeing the famous iconic jewels brought back all the memories of hearing the lovely and torrid stories of the love affair between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and how he always wooed her and wowed the world with the jewels he bestowed on her.


Stunning Bulgari Invite with the iconic Elizabeth Taylor image


impeccably designed personalized invitation for Bulgari event

Adding to my enjoyment was seeing all the lovely photos of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in their youth and in the prime of their love passion and beautiful looks, most of them taken by my friend Richard Young.

Afterwards the party continued at the top of the parking structure which had been converted into a gorgeous green garden/atrium, and true to the style of the famous jewelry house, no expense was spared in entertaining us, their clients, journalists and celebrities with the best of food, cocktails, champagne, desert and entertainment.

Ran in to some old friends like Dave Thomas there, and met some new ones like George Blodwell.  All in all it was a perfect party with beautiful people, beautifully curated food, dazzling ambiance and most importantly the worlds most stunning jewels.


Stunning live performance violinist accompanied by DJ providing musical entertainment for the evening


Gorgeous projections throughout the event


Beautiful Bulgari Fan given out as a party favor to all the ladies in attendance


Elegant table top floral displays


Stunning Bulgari designed mirror inspired by the movie Cleopatra made custom for Elizabeth Taylor


The brilliant & dapper Dave Thomas, Tamie Adaya, and Isaiah @ Bulgari Event


Effortless beauty & timeless Bulgari design showcased in this display


February 22, 2013