Month: May 2019

Three Magical Locations for Your Center City Wedding

When planning your wedding, location is one of the most important elements (aside from who you marry of course.)  A great location creates the framework for the ceremony and reception, setting the tone for the next stage in your life.

How many people to invite, what kind of food is available to you, what kind of decor you might need (or can forgo) all of these components are easier to put in place once you have found the perfect place for your extra special day. Luckily, Center City has a few venues that offer couples a unique spot to tie the knot. 

History and Flexibility at MUZEO 

If you love history but also crave the cutting edge MUZEO museum and cultural center on might be the right spot for your wedding. With both indoor and outdoor options and plenty of parking, the venue will accommodate mid-size to larger weddings. The original Carnegie Library building is steeped in history, while the newer gallery offers a blank slate for the modern nuptials with 5,000 square feet of space, LCD projectors, track lighting, and sound. 

Back in 2015, a pair of local Anaheim lovebirds tied the knot at the MUZEO. For Jennifer and Kevin, the MUZEO was their perfect venue. “We both grew up and still live in Anaheim, so being in our home was important. We used to ride by the MUZEO in the school bus on their way to junior high and high school.” For Kevin, “it was so close that I was able to walk to the wedding with my groomsman.” 

Not only was the location convenient, but it proved flexible for couple. When the temperature reached 100 degrees, the party moved from outdoors to inside the gallery. And because both the bride and groom are into their local roots, they said every time they pass by the historic Carnegie building, they will remember their special day. 

 Muzeo provides tons of options for top wedding photographers as well.  Orange County-based D Park Photography featured a wedding shot at Muzeo back in 2012. The gorgeous photos show off the venue’s natural and gallery lighting. 

Quirky and Fun at Cooks Chapel 

Tucked away in a corner of the BXCR wine bar on the lower level of The Packing House is a door that opens into a brightly beautiful hall with a cozy industrial feel. Cooks Chapel is named after a rumored onsite chapel used by workers in the old packing house. The quirky locale has hosted both ceremonies and receptions from weddings as small as 10-14 people up to a 98-person guest list. 

Stephanie Hassan, Venue Manager for the one-of-a-kind location says the spot appeals to locals and tourists alike. Only three years old, the expertly designed space attracts couples who want something a little different. 

“I feel like a lot of the people we attract here are Packing House devotees; that maybe their first date was here, you know, they live close by and they just walk over here, and we get a lot of people from out of town as well, it’s a destination wedding…we have east coasters and people from Canada coming down and it’s just a really cool space.” 

Unique opportunities come with a wedding at Cooks Chapel. BXCR is on hand to offer higher-end wines or catering for appetizer-only, wine and cheese tastings. Cocktail hour takes place in The Packing House, oftentimes with couples contracting with vendors like Popbar to offer treats and drinks to guests. Ceremonies can take place at nearby Farmers Park with reception moving to inside the venue. 

Short and Sweet at the Orange County Clerk-Recorder 

Shudder at the thought of planning a wedding? A civil ceremony might be the right choice. And as of early this year, it can take place right in Center City because the Orange County Clerk-Recorder opened a branch office inside the Wells Fargo building on South Harbor Blvd. 

Far from cold, the civil ceremony room is attractive and charming. You’ll need to secure a marriage license in advance of the ceremony, however, with license in hand, you don’t need an appointment—couples can have a ceremony performed on a first-come, first served basis. Make it light and fun: Stop by RARE by Goodwill to whip up a unique ensemble, get married and take FRAN to the Packing House to toast over IPAs—but Whatever your tie-the-knot style, Center City has the spot. 

For more information on hosting your wedding at Center City: 


Cooks Chapel 

Orange County Clerk-Recorder Wells Fargo Building

Get Ready! Anaheim’s First Japan Fair is Here

Immerse yourself in the richness of Japanese culture as Center Street Promenade transforms into a “taste of Japan” on Saturday, May 25th. From 11:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.,  Anaheim’s first-ever Japan Fair  will introduce guests to traditional aspects of Japanese culture with a modern twist. There will be something for everyone: from the foodie to the cosplayer, from the karate kid to the kimono lover. 

“What I want to do is bring everything together,” says Rocky Yoneyama who runs Okayama Kobo bakery and is organizing the event. “I think the people who are interested in Japan have different interests in [the] culture: whether it’s pop culture, anime, traditional, or food. I want them to experience the whole thing together, as one.”

The team behind Japan Fair has received support from the community including other Center Street businesses. Healthy Junk is creating a special vegan dish for the occasion while Hummos & Pita  crafted an Asian/Mediterranean shish kabob for the day.

With the entire promenade closed to traffic, guests can search for Sanrio and tea sets from vendors like Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle, sample the best in street food at stalls such as Sushi Boy, Fujiwara Tofu Cafe, and Katsu Brothers, learn all about Angels star pitcher and Japan native Shohei Ohtani, or watch artist and calligrapher Soho Nakano work her magic.

An array of live performers and events will take place on the main stage kicking off with a Shishi-Mai, the traditional “lion dance” of the Japanese New Year. Karate demonstrations and samurai fights give way to Hawaiian dance performance and later, indie pop artists Mirudaru and Cali Crisis set the atmosphere for a cosplay fashion show.

As the afternoon gives way to evening, a smack of Tokyo nightlife takes the stage with rock from Cribabi Japan and sets from DJ Greg Hignight of the music collective Tune in Tokyo. Toast the end of the day by sipping sake and imported brew at a pop-up beer garden while grooving to the sonic stylings of superstar DJ and producer Taku Takahashi.

While the event is free to the public, you can pre-purchase an official Fair t-shirt and goodie bag stocked with offers and coupons from attending vendors valued at over $60. And FRAN will be on hand to usher you from parking to the event. Ikuzo! “Let’s go!”

Anaheim Japan Fair takes place Saturday, May 25th and is open to all ages. For a full lineup of vendors, activities, and entertainment and to pre-purchase the official goodie bag, visit

Papel Chicano Dos Highlights Key Latino Artists

Say “Cheech Marin” and a Baby Boomer will smile with recognition. The seventy-two-year-old actor and comedian first rose to fame in the ‘70s and ‘80s as one half of the comedic duo Cheech & Chong.

One lesser known fact about Cheech Marin is that he is one of the most avid and important collectors of Chicano artwork. From now until July 14th, you can experience up close diverse works from Marin’s private collection at MUZEO. Called “Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper” this second touring exhibit of his collection provides an intimate look at 65 artworks by 24 known and emerging artists.

A large quote on a vibrant pumpkin-colored wall of the gallery reads: “One is born a Mexican-American, but one chooses to be a Chicano. Politically charged, the Chicano lifestyle has been passed from one generation to another. It has survived wars, prisons, and strife.”

These words, spoken by Gaspar Enriquez, one of the exhibit’s featured artists, offers a window into the singular and collective experiences of Mexican-Americans who reclaimed the term Chicano, a descriptive that used to have negative connotations.

Cheech Marin realized the immense talent and diverse voices of Chicano artists deserved greater attention and his refined eye was drawn to artists who, through their works, are united in immediacy and vitality.

The extraordinary collection embodies a dizzying diversity of techniques, styles, and perspectives. Some highlights include the works of Vincent Valdez who emerged in the early 2000s. His evocative series of drawings centers around a boxer and embody themes including the myth of fame and the dehumanization of an idealized figure. In an almost storyboard-like fashion, he ties Catholic iconography to pop culture.

A section nicknamed “The Gronk Room” is dedicated to the work of East L.A bred artist Giugio Nicandro, known as Gronkwhose works are bold and emotional. You can become lost in the symbolism and bold colors of “Soy Chicana” an epic piece by Cici Segura Gonzalez, also from East L.A. And with his singular wit and humor, the late Gilbert Lujan, known as Magu is represented in part, with a stunningly detailed 1950 Chevy Coupe covered in Chicano iconography, pop-culture and folk art.

In Muzeo’s main gallery, Papel Chicano Dos is a can’t-miss exhibit shining with vibrancy, depth and scope; a testament to the diversity of the Chicano experience.

On view until July 14th, Papel Chicano Dos runs Wednesday through Sundays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and online reservations are encouraged. Ticket prices range from $7.00-$10.00 and can be purchased here.