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The weekend before Halloween, Tami Erin and I went to Monster Massive in downtown LA. It’s a huge 40,000 person rave. I think it was probably the hugest party I’ve attended, and it was packed. I won’t bother posting up photos of the crowd, just imagine a sea of people dancing up a storm inside a huge sports arena.

You won’t normally find me at such a high energy event, but since Moby personally invited me, I wasn’t about to miss it. I have to admit, I had a great time. I love dancing, it’s one of my favorite pastimes, great exercise, and Moby rocked the house. I’ve never seen a DJ jump up onto the speakers to dance while spinning records. He had so much energy, a testament to his healthy vegan, whole food, and heavily raw food diet. Moby had the crowd going nuts, they loved him, as we all do.

I was in NYC last week for my television appearance on NBC at Rockefeller Center and several events celebrating my newest book Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. I love how easy it is to get around NYC without a car by walking, taking a train, bus, or subway. I miss great public transportation when living in LA. It’s also surprisingly easy to be healthy and to enjoy raw foods in NYC. I felt super lucky to be invited by the lovely Mia Andres from Organic Avenue and raw model Anthony Andersen for dinner at Pure Food and Wine.

This was my first visit to NYC in 6 years, and my first visit to Pure. I was blown away by the food! It was super fresh, beautifully plated, and really delicious. We enjoyed the S+M salad, appetizers, ravioli, lasagna, but my favorite thing ever was the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sundae! I finally got to meet the heart of Pure Food and Wine, Sarma Melngailis, who’s even more beautiful in person.


The next day, I was invited to Quintessence for lunch with my good friends Dhrumil Purohit and Philip McCluskey. Dhrumil is the amazing brainiac creator of the best raw food online community We Like it Raw, which Philip is now a part of too. These two are a real RAWkstar power team….handsome, young, super talented, and doing positive things in our world.

I had been to Quintessence my last visit to NYC 6 years ago. It was good then, and was really good this time around again. We enjoyed tacos, burgers, sundaes, but my favorite was the bagels and cream cheese! Wish I had been there on a weekend to enjoy their raw vegan brunch menu.

I was craving Pure’s Mint Chocolate Sundae, so had to make it back for one more dinner before heading back to Los Angeles. My friend Moby, a long time vegan, and my favorite electronic musician, met me in the garden for dinner along with a few friends and my cousin, Minnie Roh. We enjoyed pizza, ceviche, tamales, smoothies, drinks, lasagna, appetizers, chips and guacamole, but most importantly…a Mint Chocolate Sundae! Everyone was hooked.

To boost this blissful experience even further, Shania Twain, a friend of Moby’s, and Canada’s most popular musician, stopped by our table to catch up with Moby. What a way to finish up my NYC visit!

ani phyo, frances fisher, eva, moby, diamondsnake

Moby was performing with his new heavy metal band DiamondSnake last night in Hollywood, where I bumped into Frances Fisher and Eva. We had a blast dancing up a storm. You can see Moby on stage behind us rocking out to his new Heavy Metal music.

Lead singer Phil Costello’s voice is incredible. They have a song called Rock and Raw, give it a listen on their homepage. These guys are a funny!

moby diamond snake phil costello

It was way past my bedtime of 10pm, and I lasted to about midnight, but left before they finished their set, unfortunately. I hope to get to see DiamondSnake again, maybe along with NYC tour next month.

DiamondSnake was sporting vegan guitar straps, very cool! Choosing vegan has the biggest impact on helping to save our planet and stop animal suffering. Besides, a vegan diet, and especially a raw vegan diet, helps with weight loss, increases health and our immune system, and gives us tons of energy to rock on roll!

It’s official, I now like Heavy Metal music. Moby…I love you!

kato banks, ani phyo, andy caldwell, raw food los angeles, ca

Last night I met up with old school friends from back in the SF rave days in the early 90s. Above is a photo of me with Kato and DJ Andy Caldwell who was spinning last night in Los Angeles.

Andy’s set wasn’t until 12.30am. And yes, it was a Monday night. To help us all stay awake that late, six of us met for a raw food dinner beforehand.

michelle belegrin, dawn knepley, capm petersen raw food

I always have my camera on me, and was so disappointed I forgot it last night! So these low resolution photos were all taken with my Blackberry instead. Above are Michelle, Dawn, and Capm, sitting on the other side of the table from me. It was interesting that 4 out of the 6 of us were at least 1/2 Asian. Michelle is half Chinese, Dawn’s half Korean, Kato is half Philippino, and I’m full Korean. As I look around, I realize this is our beautifully diverse America. I’m still processing how our USA media doesn’t represent the multitude of cultures that really make up our United States.

After shutting down the cafe, we then headed over to Hollywood to find a packed club, especially for a Monday night! The crowd was totally mixed with what seemed like 1/2 Asians, and another 1/4 at least of other people of color. It was also a huge range of ages, from 21 to 70. There were several groups of older Asians, they looked like my mom’s age, dancing like crazy. This was the first time I’d seen this, ever. And it was awesome.

It was really fun to be part of rockstar Andy’s entourage, being escorted into the club and up onto the stage. We even got to hang out and dance next to the DJ booth all night long.

ani phyo, andy caldwell hollywood the playhouse

I love dancing, and it was a huge treat to dance to Andy’s beats. He’s usually super busy traveling to perform all around the world, so it was a rare opportunity to see him here in LA. Dancing for me is a spiritual practice. Letting go and flowing is cathartic.

ndy caldwell dj hollywood, ca

Before I realized, it was past 2am. Michelle told me the party ended at 3am, which was about 5 hours past my bedtime. So, she and I headed out. By the time I got to bed, it was past 3am. I still woke up at 8am. I know that’s 5 hours of sleep, but I feel tired today. I’m finding it to be harder and harder to stay up late anymore. I don’t think it’s a sign of aging, but rather, perhaps it’s just about being more responsible and taking better care of myself. Either way, last night was totally worth it! I got to catch up with old friends, and danced my legs off to the beats of Andy Caldwell. It was so fun!!!

andy caldwell paul harris

This is a photo of Andy Caldwell and Paul Harris, who was spinning prior just before the change over.

japan town los angeles, ca

Living in the center of Los Angeles, I walk and ride my bike around my neighborhood, rarely drive, and hardly ever make it downtown. Saturday, I decided to explore downtown LA. I started at by USC at the California Science Center and watched the new Hubble 3D IMAX. It was incredible to see images Hubble captured, and I recommend everyone to go see this film. It’s only 45 minutes long.

Next, I visited a new (to me) Japan Town mall in downtown LA where I stumbled upon a really cool bookstore and an Asian grocery store. I stocked up on my sea vegetables: Arame, Hijiki, Nori, and picked up a bottle of Yuzu (orange paste with green hot pepper). Sea veggies cost much less at the Asian market than at a natural food store. I even ran into an old friend who lives in Santa Monica who happened to be shopping downtown too.

The photo above was shot at dusk, so the sky is an amazing blue color. I’m learning that dawn and dusk are the money shots for architecture.

Los Angeles at night

I was with Benny, an amazing photographer who’s photos are found on many of the architecture magazine covers out there. Benny Chan’s aerial photo series are printed huge, maybe 10 ft tall, if I had to guess. Standing in front of the images makes me loose my stomach as if I was really flying up in the helicopter with him. Read about Benny’s show in the LA Times.

Benny’s been inspiring me to shoot dusk and nighttime city shots, especially from the top floor of high rises. You can even find the crescent moon in the photo above. It was a beautiful city scape on a warm LA evening.

On the way home, I stopped off to visit my friend Kato Space who was hosting an old school house party in Hollywood with special guest DJ Garth, from the Wicked Crew in San Francisco. I love dancing. Besides the prior evening at Pink Floyd, I hadn’t been out dancing for months.

Dancing directly raises my level of happiness and well being. It’s a spiritual practice for me to let go and to feel the flow. It was so much fun, but way past my bedtime.

Which One's Pink?

We celebrated Phillip’s bday last night at the Canyon Club in the Valley, where we got to see Which One’s Pink?, a Pink Floyd cover band. The band was great and they played to a packed, full club.

I have to admit, seeing a Pink Floyd cover band in the Valley isn’t something I’d necessarily choose to do myself. But, I do love to experience the widest gamut of different environments, people. styles, and music. So, I kept an open mind, and told myself to experience the night in a new, fresh way.

I was surprised to find that I recognized almost all the songs, and it was a fabulous night of good music and good friends. And most importantly, Phillip had a lot of fun for his birthday.

We had to get photos with the band members as memorabilia for Phillip’s bday party. This was the man all the girls liked….the hot lead guitar and vocalist.

We nicknamed this man ‘The Laughing Man’ because he was the vocalist who would stand onstage and laugh like a crazy man in several of the songs. It did begin to sound eerie after a bit. Girls found The Laughing Man hot enough to pull out their breasts to have him autograph them with a Sharpie. I’m not joking.

Pushing myself outside my comfort zone (I had never partied in the Valley before, and haven’t been to a club of this type since High School) and approaching the night with wide eyes and no judgments (new crowd, new environment, new music) ensured I would have a terrific night full of wonderful memories to add to my ‘Memory Bank’.

I had a great time, and discovered a great new club where some of my favorite bands from high school still perform. Like the English Beat, who’ll be playing next month! I also made several wonderful new friends, and got to dance my butt off. A great night had by all!

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