Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oil For The Engines And Your Life.

"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting." - Steve McQueen in Le Mans.

Steve McQueen: Actor, speed enthusiast, and canonized among the "American Cool" (alongside Dean and Newman). Let's face it, McQueen bled so much "badass" and "cool" onto the silver screen that they are still trying to mop it up and squeeze it into buckets for modern-day-wannabe usage. McQueen became my personal idol after I saw Bullitt years ago and to this day he still holds the number one spot. In an effort to find a way to pay him a small tribute within this meagerly written blog, I set out to find a car show. Everyone I asked knew exactly where to point me: "Coffee and Cars." CC (as it is referred to by the car owners) meets every Saturday morning off of Gateway in Irvine (Next to the Irvine Spectrum).

Getting up with the sun I drove over to the parking lot where muscle cars, sleek sport cars, and rice racers gather (I'm talking to you guy with the suped-up Honda Civic!). All the cars are arranged by make which makes it easy to navigate the labyrinth of vehicles. Attendees are gifted to prey witness on classic Porsche, Lamborghinis, Austin Martins (The name's Bond, James Bond), Austin Healeys, Ferraris, and classics I had never even heard of like the silver Morgan shown below. The whole event has an excellent and refreshing vibe. Everyone is just getting started with their weekend, sipping "joe" as the sun comes up, and talking engines and chrome. This event is a must-go for anyone who lives in the area.

That trunk is literally a trunk! I bet it's full of hitchhiker secrets.
I have a big soft spot for Cobras, they just look so suave.
So many books written about your evil assembly lines, Ford...
I still have to say its a good looking design though, sir.
The Morgan. Never heard of this car make, but it is a piece of art.
Stay Cultured,
The Culture Hound.

For more auto-asphyxiation visit: 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Say it AND Spray it.

Jackson Pollock once said, "Every good painter paints what he is." 

Pollock's chaotic abstracts have always peeked my interest, and so in a fit of self-discovery I brought out the acrylics and spray paint. I started off flicking acrylic paint from a tooth brush onto the 80's vinyl records of men-who-look-like-women before they were forgotten within the grunge of the 90's and the Gaga's of the new millennium. Before I could create anything Pollock-esque, my self-inflections took a turn toward the art of Banksy; a well-known ruffian from across the pond known for his deft hands with a spray can and nimble legs for escaping the "bobbies." 

Combining Pollock's self-inflective painting and Banksy's stenciled tagging I thought back to my video gamer roots and sprayed one of my oldest buddies from way-back-when...before I had discovered the sun (Make all your "know your roots" jokes now).

Stay Cultured,
Culture Hound

They have so many possibilities when they are blank.
My old friend Yoshi
If you look at him, he will stop moving.
Tried for Bubble Bobble, came out rough...
AND went for the hat trick by hollowing out a book...sacrilegious,
but a necessity for all of us spies.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

B-boys Under the Balloon

The OC Great Park balloon is free
take up and gives a view of the
entire proposed park.
B-boy (noun) - a young man who is involved in hip-hop culture.

Most of us living here in Orange County have become familiar with the giant orange balloon that marks the spot of the eagerly anticipated OC Great Park. Even though it's completion is still years away, the OC Great Park refuses to wait for a grand opening to have fun. The OC Great Park has hosted parties, guest DJs, and incredible dance crews in a collaboration they call "Flights and Sounds Summer Festival."

Last night was a sneak peek of just how incredible the Great Park is going to be. The park, which will be the largest park in the United States at its completion, was honored to host "Last For One." These 10 South Korean dance prodigies lit up the stage with dance moves that put Newton's laws of gravity on trial. The B-boy crew has dedicated their lives to their art, and because I think that the term "dedicating one's life" is often under-rated or skimmed over I'll emphasize; they have dedicated their WHOLE lives to dance. The ten members took a risky gamble of pursuing dance over excelled education, much to the dismay of many of their parents. Packing themselves into a small apartment like sardines, the crew danced from dawn until post-dusk for 8 years; insert Rocky Balboa-esque montage. In 2005 all the sweat, blood, and concussions paid off when the crew took first place over Japan in Battle of the Year (The World Cup of breaking). The crew now travels all over the world breaking for large audiences and leading b-boy dance classes. Their travels have led them all over Asia, Europe, Africa, and last night brought them to the OC Great Park.

"Last For One" slid, flew, spun, and even slam dunked on the stage for an hour and a half. My hands literally hurt from clapping; every single head-spin and impossible slide demanded applause. I could keep writing about how great they were, but it's a pretty visual thing, so here is a video from their victory in 2005 to quell your eager appetites:

Alright, well I hope this got you as pumped up as it got me. When asked about b-boying, one member from Last For One said, "It's like the engine in a car, I cannot move without dancing." It's easy to see that these dance-floor gurus have the b-boy culture flowing through their veins.

Until next time, keep it cultured.
The Hound

Check out more events at the OC Great Park:

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Breakdown

This is me, Jordan Carver: outdoorsman, writer, and occasional night-life enthusiast. About now you are asking yourself, why the name "Culture Hound" for this blog? The answer is simple. Among the many definitions of hunting dogs and despicable gents, the word "hound" is informally defined as an addict or a devotee. So, to be a Culture Hound I can't think of a better place to live than in Southern California. California is saturated with culture. We have every form of culture you can imagine. We have underground rock concerts, celebrity-ridden clubs, and all the outdoor activities you could dream up in your recommended 8 hours. We get up as the sun rises and go surfing, snorkeling, wake boarding, snowboarding, hiking, or biking all before putting on a tie and climbing the corporate ladder. This exploration and addiction to culture and adventure is precisely what this blog is about; uncovering and more importantly experiencing all the culture that California has to offer.

So why me, right? What makes Jordan Carver think that he is the guy to do this job? Well, first off I don't expect to do this alone. I'm banking on others to help me hound out the more unknown cultures of California. Second, I'm not exceptional at anything I've done, but I have done an incredible amount of things. I've traveled to 14 countries at my early age of 24 and more importantly I've always remained open to any experience while in those countries. Saying "no" gets you no where, so why not live? Whether it's riding elephants around Thailand, climbing mountains in Africa to see Silverback gorillas, or bungee jumping off rickety bridges in Ecuador, life needs to be experienced. So, now it is time for me to hound out some California culture.

Out of all the things that I wanted to start with I decided I should start with an extreme sporting event; "The Tough Mudder." This mud-run is held annually in NorCal at the Bear Valley Mountain. It's a grueling 8-mile run through 19 of the most difficult obstacles that would make a weaker man tremble. The obstacles, including a 100-ft ice climb, a rope crawl over a freshly desurfaced river, and a run through a field of fire (YES, FIRE!), were all designed by British Special Forces. So, this event will take place on October 9th and I will be there to cover and experience the event.