Friday, October 30, 2015

Venice Does Fall

It's always kind of hard to tell what time of year it is in Southern California. You have to really pay attention to the sunlight, the evening air, what blossom's fragrance is wafting over everything ... it's subtle. This year has been especially tough to discern where in the calendar we are, with record heat still blasting us at the tail end of November. That's when you have to go by the Venice sign.

Our banner over Windward Avenue is all decked out in orange and white for the Fall season, and under the still almost full moon last night, it looked appropriately down for Halloween.

I went along with my homies in National Anthem to their gig at The Townhouse downstairs in the Del Monte Speakeasy last night, and as we walked along under the sign, it finally kind of felt like Autumn.

Then they rocked so hard it was right back to Summer down there. And we were all fine with it.

Happy Halloween to one and all from Venice!
(where it's so hot it blew my idea of wearing a bubble wrap suit)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Send Real Mail!

I've been both the sender and the recipient of beautiful, wonderful real mail this week, and you know, there's just nothing like it. Texts, emails, Tweets, Instagram messages ... all of that is fine and dandy, but when you go to the mailbox and a fun, colorful, envelope with the real handwriting (and in my case, wax stamps, fancy postage stamp, and whatever else I can find to gussy it up...) of someone you care about, it's just the best.

I was lamenting the fact that people just don't send real mail that often, and saying how it's all going to go away if we don't keep the tradition alive, all up on my soap box when I was walking down Abbot Kinney the other night, and saw this stencil on the ground in front of Urbanic.

Awesome. And you better believe that the very next morning, I did just that. Posted it, Venice, California!

Check your mailbox.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tiny Artists

A few weeks ago, I wrote about spotting another tiny mural on Abbot Kinney, and how great I think it is. While out roaming around this weekend, I espied yet another little tiny piece on Abbot Kinney, this time of tiny artists painting cartoony rabbits. Or doctors inspecting them, I'm not exactly sure.

It's kind of become a game around town, seeing where you can find these fun, little works of street art. I still don't know who is doing them, so if anyone knows, point them in my direction and we can do a proper story about it. Because I love them.

I expect to run into another one any day now ... have fun looking!

UPDATE! 3/25/16 ... I just found out the artist is Pablo Delgado! Love it.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Bobo Venice - In Bobo We Trust

Piccolo on Dudley Avenue in Venice had always been one of my very favorite restaurants in all of Los Angeles. It was a beautiful place, serving some of the finest Italian food anywhere in the world, according to many reviews. Chef Bobo Ivan has been there on Dudley since Piccolo opened in 2005, and has now reopened in the same space as Bobo ... with just about the same wonderful menu. The same warm glow from inside beckons you in to what you know will end up being a special and culinarily spectacular meal. Every time.

Ivan became a friend over the years, though you wouldn't see him much as he was running all over town, expanding to two separate Hostaria del Piccolo restaurants (on on Rose Avenue in Venice, and one in Santa Monica), opening the gorgeous Ciboteca restaurant/market in Santa Monica, and planning a new Piccolo in the old Powerhouse Theater, also in Santa Monica, while also cooking and operating the original Piccolo (now Bobo) location. He was a busy dude.

Too busy, as it turns out, and with the added pressure of having multiple investors wanting different things, the decision was made to close all but the Dudley location, close that for a couple months to regroup, and reemerge as Bobo, while still working on the future Piccolo location. Bobo has now been firing on all burners again since late September, and I'm so happy Chef Bobo and his team are back in action ... it's truly some of the best food you'll ever eat.

I used to kind of save Piccolo for special occasions, because it wasn't cheap, nor should it have been with its very high top shelf quality. Bobo has the same amazing food, with the concept of "Eat less, taste more" as it's touchstone. The portions are smaller, but that is to say they are the perfect size. I honestly could not eat on more bite of anything I had, so exactingly apportioned were they. The tastes are out of this world, and each dish is unique, special, and entirely delicious. The scallops. Oh, my. Even the TONGUE that I've never had before, but I trust Chef Bobo. In fact, the tasting menu is called "In Bobo We Trust", and that's exactly what you should do.

Dishes appeared on our table, each plated and tasting more wonderful than the last. Bobo does a caprese salad, deconstructed into like heirloom tomato jelly, with creamy burrata and basil on top. SO good. The carbonara is made with quail instead of bacon. It was one of the best I've ever had, and totally original.

This is the after picture, if that tells you anything. (They have great plates too).

As we're inching into fall, we had a pumpkin gnocchi with sage sauce that was ridiculous, and chased down with the Italian wines and Prosecco from the exact region of Italy where Chef Bobo is from. He is from Venice, and always wanted to leave and travel, so decided that a Chef's life would allow him that. It certainly has. After growing up in a family where his parents didn't cook, Chef Bobo has now cooked all over the world, and now Venice, California is exactly where he wants to be.

We reminisced about our friend Sponto while we ate our faces off ... his gallery was located in the exact spot where we were dining, a fact acknowledged on the menu as being a "Historical landmark". So true ... the Solstice parties that took place while diners ate their pasta at the little outside tables, watching all the mayhem next door. The many Sponto sessions spent talking and laughing under his chandelier, that now hung right above us, almost like the angel that Sponto now is. They were great and special times, and we both know and knew it. Those times are also why we're so adamant now about keeping Venice cool, keeping it original.

Bobo is doing just that. His menu is like no one else's, and he is at the forefront of what he calls "Bistronomy" - really good, very high quality food at affordable prices. Simple as that. Chef Bobo is also a musician, and says that with music, like his food, "You have to put it down somehow." You have to have a creative outlet, and Bobo's art is clearly that for him, with bites that you've never thought of blowing your mind throughout your meal. Keeping with the music, Chef Bobo is setting up a vinyl record player, so customers can bring in their own records to dine to. I love it.

I hear of locals driving all the way downtown or Hollywood for their Italian dinners, and while that's fine once in a while, we all need to remember that one of THE preeminent Italian chefs in our country is cooking right there between Speedway and The Boardwalk. Like walk or bike (in heels) to your fine dining right in your own backyard.

While our eyes were rolling back in our heads over the fantastic dessert platter brought out by our wonderful server, Tommaso (that gold leaf chocolate cake! The deconstructed tiramisu!) and sharing stories of our sister cities, Venice and Venice, Chef Bobo looked out at the fog rolling in from the ocean and said, "This is my dream. I'm cooking, there is the beach, it's perfect. I wasn't expecting Venice, Italy here, but it is. And our Venice needs to stay special."

I couldn't agree more. It's my dream to eat food like this right by the beach, and our Venice certainly needs to stay special. Bobo Venice is for sure doing its part ... it's very, very special.

Bobo Venice
5 Dudley

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Blue Star Donuts - Fancy Dough From Portland

Well, Blue Star Donuts finally opened up on Abbot Kinney, and I'm totally mixed on it. The Portland, OR import is technically a chain, albeit a small one and from "weird" Portland, but still. We're not down with the chains. But we are down with donuts, so had to check it out.

I stopped in a few days before they were open by mistake, as I saw people inside. A snippy P.R. type told me with a fakey smile that it was a private event and that I could come back on Monday for a free donut. I should have done that, as I found out today how dang expensive these donuts are.

The average price is about $4.00 each. For a donut. Now, these are fancy donuts, like Blueberry Bourbon Basil (!) and Passion Fruit Cacao Nib (the one I got - delicious, but for like once a year), but if you're thinking about grabbing a dozen for the office or for Sunday morning football, know that it's gonna run you about a quarter of your car payment. For real. For donuts.

This will be a tough location for Blue Star Donuts, I think, as most people in the neighborhood are out for a run, not a donut run. The service was not remotely friendly, with people standing around waiting for their orders, like they were supposed to feel lucky just to be there. Each donut flavor is individually displayed on a platter, you tell them which ones you want, and someone in back puts it in a box, and then they call your name that it's ready. It's pretty pretentious for donuts, especially when the counter guy couldn't crack a smile or grunt a nicety. I know they're brand newly open, but that's when first impressions matter most. Plus, when you're paying these premium prices for some sugar, flour, and butter, a little bit of friendliness would go a long way. I give them a year.

I'll probably go back to check out that bourbon one - because, come on - but my inaugural visit to Blue Star Donuts left me feeling their initials are spot on - B.S.

Blue Star Donuts
1142 Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sweater Weather

The last few days have brought us a slight cool down, a bit of a fake Fall. Friends are throwing sweaters on prematurely, just because they're so over the heat, and so ready for the change of seasons. Even the trees in Venice are feeling it and getting in on the action.

Sweaters have appeared on the trees outside of Venice Vintage Paradise, joining their friends over on 24th Avenue in their hopeful bundling up. It looks great, and really adds to the joyful, whimsical spirit of Venice. But no matter what, I still moved here for the warm sunshine of the Golden State.  It's officially Autumn, based on the calendar, and I love that it's still bathing suit weather out here ... for now. I'm more than happy to leave the sweaters to the trees.

Fall - Venice Style.

Friday, October 16, 2015


As I approached the beach for my walk this morning, I was greeted by this little sidewalk chalk message, welcoming everyone to the daily splendor we get to behold. I thought it was nice of them.

I saw a different welcome message on the sidewalk on Lincoln Boulevard last night. I thought it was funny of them. Especially as it's misspelled.

Welcome to Venice! Go ahead and judge us, we don't care. We get to live here.

On that note, have a beautiful weekend, locals and visitors, one and all!

You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Leona Venice - A Neighborhood Gem

I'd been hearing great things about the new Leona restaurant in Venice for a little while, and my brother and I decided to go check it out last night for dinner in honor of our wonderful Grandma Olson. She would have been 115 (!) yesterday, and her name was also Leona. Perfect.

Leona was also the former name of Washington Boulevard back in the day, so Chef Nyesha J. Arrington (formerly of Melisse in Santa Monica and a Top Chef contestant) and her team are honoring Venice's past in name with their Washington Boulevard location (formerly the Canali Café), while looking straight toward the future with her wonderful dishes and the very now feeling space.

Everyone was warm and welcoming right from hello, and when I shared that we were there in celebration of our late Grandma named Leona's 115th birthday, everyone was even cooler. They didn't have to think it was special like we did, but they truly seemed to care. Perhaps that's because in Chef Arrington's bio it said she was deeply influenced by her Korean Grandmother (as was I by my little Norwegian Grandma), so they get it about Grandmas.

They get it about everything, really. The hostess gals were friendly and adorable (and one was named Joy!), and set the tone from the outset. Our server Ryan was great, and when he said, "I'm so excited for you guys to try the food, it's great!" it was fully genuine, like when a pal tells you about something new and great. And Ryan was completely right, as each bite we had was wonderfully delicious.

We began with a gorgeous, colorful crudité plate, compliments of the Chef. It was so bright and healthy, served with a tangy hummus and pomegranate seeds. We kept saying, "Mom would love this." And she will the next time she comes to visit.

I'm not big on taking food photos (and just not that good at it), but my chicken "Brick" and my brother's black cod were both picturesque and super tasty, just trust me. The brick was one of the weirdest dishes I've had in a while, and I say that in the best way possible. I've just never really had anything like it. It was really a brick shape, with succulent bits of chicken molded together between two crispy strips of chicken skin, served with blackberries and shishito peppers. YUM.

This is one of those spots that will take multiple visits to sample all the different items on the ever-changing menu that says it's, "seasonally driven, ethically harvested, and globally inspired. We're proud to share our passion for the mosaic of the Golden State." And they certainly do.

Chef Arrington came out to greet us, and I gushed all over her. What a cool and talented lady, leading a cool and talented staff. We're all gonna be good friends, I can tell. Like when the GM Matt came out with a complimentary (and the best thing ever!) dessert, saying, "This is for your Grandma Leona", as he'd heard the story I told everyone. I almost cried it was so kind and sweet. We ate that chocolate sea salt lavender shortbread bar (!) and toasted our Grandma Leona with some bubbly. I'd been thinking of her so much all day, and this just felt like the nicest possible way to toast her memory. I'd like to think she knew.

What a welcome addition to the Venice dining scene Leona is! They're doing it just the way a new spot should in Venice ... honoring the history of the place with its name and creativity (down to the fuchsia velvet chair in the ladies room), throwing out all pretension and scenester attitude (looking at you, Scopa, etc ...) and simply  welcoming and serving their customers as if we're all family friends. That is the way to bring in the people that live here, the way that they will all want to spread the word, and the way that will keep us coming back for more of all the goodness.

Welcome to Leona, and CHEERS for doing everything just right (down to recycling the old paper menus to be the paper liners for the fries - sustainable!). Thank you for showing us such a lovely time, and for helping us to honor our Leona along with you.

123 West Washington Boulevard

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Face It

It's always a nice shot in the arm to be cruising along and run into one of Wrdsmth's messages to humanity along the way.

It's also nice to know that other people in this town - and in this world - believe that the beauty of someone really does have almost nothing to do with what's going on externally. We learn that lesson more and more every day, but it never hurts to be reminded.

Word, Wrdsmth!

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Venice Mural By Francisco Letelier

"A 10' x 10' cloth mural, stretched on plumbing pipe, featuring the Venice Ballerina Clown with tattoos on his arms representing homeless victims of violence this summer in Venice, homeless people at the top background, people taking selfies near a sign that says "STOP calling it Silicon Beach," drawings by evicted Venice artist William Attaway in the lower right corner and an artist working on a chalk mandala, which was also happening at the Abbot Kinney Festival" ... so read the description of the new mural by Francisco Letelier on his Facebook page. I went to go meet this mural yesterday, and instantly loved it, of course.

In a tribute to the Venice ballerina clown on Main Street by artist Jonathan Borofsky, Letelier created this miracle for this year's Abbot Kinney Festival, and it now lives on Broadway between Electric and Abbot Kinney. In describing his inspiration for the piece, Letelier wrote, "He escaped off the building at Rose and Main. Found him in my backyard smoking and drinking with possums, squirrels and emaciated racoons. He smelled like coyote and history. He never stopped smiling sadly. I told him I thought he was dead. " I never died" said he, "I never died." Just cause my tutu is a bit crooked and the man is selling like he always been selling. I am in the sidewalk cracks, I am in the mortar. I will always rise again, so take a picture man cause I got things to do and places I gotta be."

Us too, Ballerina Clown. Us too. 

Letelier is one of my favorite Venice artists and people, both making beautiful work and well taken points in all his work and activism, my favorite kind of art - art with a purpose.

Make a visit of your own to the "Payaso Veniztlan" with its tutu fluttering in the breeze ... and get it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Small Wonders

Earlier this year I was walking along Venice Boulevard when I saw the tiniest little piece of street art, that simply charmed me. Last night, as I was strolling along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, I just happened to look down at the right time to see another small wonder by what looks to be the same artist. A lady (rat?) and gentlemen and their bucking bronco exploring Venice!

We had just been talking about how a Rag & Bone store has no business being on Abbot Kinney in Venice, and how swiftly we'd gone from no chains to THAT kind of chain, and how weird and dumb it is, and how it won't last (retail rents are already plummeting, Venice, take heart and hang in there!), when I spotted this little work that is just the kind of treasure you want to see in Venice - or anywhere, for that matter.

Something fun, something whimsical, something to surprise and enchant you as you go along your way. Keep your eyes open for the little day makers that let you know it's all still cool.

'Cause it is.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Casa Linda is Back - With Margaritas!

As last night was Taco Tuesday, it was time to go check out the newly reopened Casa Linda in its new location, down in the old Meditrina/Primitivo space. Before I even made it inside, I was greeted by my friend, the former chef at Hal's, Manual Mares. It was so good to see Manuel again, as it was to see that they still have the beautiful mural created by Judy Baca in the new dining room.

It was a balmy Indian Summer (still!) evening, so we sat out back on the patio, which is an improvement on the former space that had no outdoor seating. The other major improvement is that they now have a full liquor license, so we finally got to have a perfecto margarita along with our tacos. Mine was hibiscus, and absolutely delicious.

The menu remains pretty much the same, and I got to have my fish tacos again, only this time, outside and accompanied by a Mexican cocktail - as it should be. The back patio is all colorful painted beams and lights strung overhead, kind of reminding me of the old Mobay (which then became Lilly's, now Willie Jane), all bright and festive.

With all the change and turnover on Abbot Kinney these days, it was extra great to feel at home, to feel comfortable, to see people I knew at the other tables, to see people I knew making the food and drinks. It was also really great to see my friend, Cam, sitting outside, telling me about his poems, just as it's always been for us here in our neighborhood.

Casa Linda is back, Amigos! With tequila. See you there - soon!

Casa Linda
1025 Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Keiki Luau In Venice

One of the best things about friends growing up and having kids - aside from cool people for the future - is that the parents put on fun parties for the kids. And the grown ups who love them.

That meant pretty much all of Venice was out on Sunday for the Birthday Luau for my little friend, Tallah Tiger. Venice became Kaua'i for a day, complete with Polynesian dancers teaching the hula and the haka to the kids (and some gamer adults).

Mai Tais and Sangria were on tap for the adults, and the floral shirts, grass skirts, and lei adorned partiers spilled out on to the walk streets as the reggae band turned it up a notch. The dancers followed suit, and soon were literally on fire when they spun their flaming torches. Awesome.

My phone became full and wouldn't let me take any more photos, but trust me that it only got more fun and more gorgeous, and all the limbo dancers enjoyed each other as the sun set on another glorious Venice tiki weekend.

Mahalo to Mersedeh, Chris, Tallah, and all the friends who make every event such a good time!


Friday, October 2, 2015

Kevin Ancell: Nos Vemos En Venecia!

There was a great art opening in Venice last night, and you could tell it was great before you even stepped inside. The overflow crowd spilled out into the street, where an impromptu street party just naturally happened. It was a celebration for the art of Kevin Ancell, another Dogtown legend.

Upon squeezing into the great space on Main Street, I thought it was a group show at first, so diverse were the styles and materials used. But nope, it was all Ancell, and it was all fantastic.

Right inside the door was a memorial to the old P.O.P., complete with burning candles illuminating the painted surfboard that probably surfed that pier.

I was especially taken by the oils that could fit right into the Sistine Chapel, but upon closer examination it was guys with surfboards, when Jesus Heals The Kooks (2014). Classic.

From traditional oils to a whole different medium, with shelves of ceramic busts of a woman who nearly turned Ancell into dust (per the book accompanying the show) in his Love Is A Dog From Hell (2015). Deep.

Ancell himself accepted congratulations as he milled through the crowd dressed in all white, with a Hawai'ian ti leaf lei around his neck as the man being honored. The accolades were well-deserved, of course, as one piece was cooler than the next.

Like Porn (2015), a depiction of Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, with the image created out of the word "Porn" written over and over with graphite on paper. Creative and cutting and patient and wow.

There was a great oil painting of a homeless man pushing his cart down Abbot Kinney from the past to the future, in Moses Seeking Pharaoh (2015), a strong commentary on what has happened to the former West Washington Boulevard. It's powerful stuff.

Carrying on with powerful, there was a replica of an atom bomb, Kaboom: Nobody Ride For Free (2015), that one could actually ride up and down, in Ancell's homage to Dr. Strangelove. This proved to be a very popular attraction, as partiers took turns climbing aboard the bomb. Kaboom!

A chandelier of female busts lit the proceedings, and let you know that Ancell is one of those artists that sees the art in everything, and refuses to be limited by any one style or material. I dig that.

There was so much going on in the masterful Madonna (2013) that I'm probably going to go back and look at it some more when there isn't such a big crowd trying to see it. Featuring the homeless, gang members, graffiti and the cops all being watched over by glowing angels and the Madonna, it really is something to behold.

It was stiflingly hot in the gallery, so we inched our way back to the door where it was rumored that House beer was on ice. I never found that, but instead found that the party outside had grown even bigger, food trucks had arrived, as had a lot more revelers. Party without a permit!

A big old Dogtown reunion was in full effect ... legendary skaters, surfers, and artists of that legendary era all joined together again for a photo to celebrate one of their own. People were tearing it up on the roof and in the street, all the way into the fact that things were as they should be in Venice.

As C.R. Stecyk III wrote for the show's book, "The area has always been an entrepot for alternative culture, a haven for eccentrics, outcasts, outlaws and geniuses who if they weren't truly mad, they were at least excited." Truth. And last night, everyone was excited.

Kevin Ancell: Nos Vemos En Venecia runs now through October 15th at 1320 Main Street, Venice.

Nos Vemos En Venicia! See you in Venice!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Becoming Bulletproof - One Of The Best Documentaries You'll Ever See

I finally got to see the wonderful documentary Becoming Bulletproof last night, and I don't know when I was last so moved. I say "finally" because several of my most admired friends were involved with the film's production and are very active in the film's subject - the campers and helpers of Zeno Mountain Farm.

Pretty much all you need to know about Zeno Mountain Farm is summed up in their statement, "We believe that the most important thing in the whole world to us human beings is friendship, community, and the knowledge that we matter to each other. We want to make certain that everyone who comes to Zeno has full access to these things - regardless." Meaning that everyone who attends a Zeno camp will be included and respected and loved, no matter what their physical or mental abilities may be.

Each year, Zeno has a filmmaking camp, where everyone participates in the production of a movie. When they set out to make a Western called Bulletproof Jackson (directed by Peter Lazarus), documentary filmmaker Michael Barnett decided to follow the process and make a movie about making the movie. That movie became the sublime Becoming Bulletproof, playing this weekend (with Q and A's!) at the Laemmle Music Hall for Oscar consideration. To me, there are no other contenders.

Zeno Mountain Farm headquarters are located in the heart of Venice, where the pre-production for the movie took place. Campers come in from all over the country to participate, and each year is a happy homecoming of friends reunited in the name of love.

Executive Producer, Jeffrey Pechter is a good friend of mine, and had been singing me the praises of Zeno for years, but until I saw this beautiful film, I really had no true idea of how incredibly special this organization is. Founders (and brothers) Will and Peter Halby, and their wives, Vanessa and Ila, created this visionary world, where people become friends for life, no matter what their ability may be. In fact, the more I got into the movie, the less I was even aware of who was able-bodied or minded, and who wasn't. What a beautiful thing, to no longer even be aware of any differences, all because of the sheer truth behind the simple concepts of acceptance and love.

I don't want to wreck the movie for you - because you HAVE TO see it - but I'll tell you that I'm practically dehydrated today from all the heart wrenching and happy tears I shed while watching this gem last night. The film is about everyone, but largely focuses on the journey of one camper, AJ Murray, who is burdened by cerebral palsy. The tears began when his mother lifts him out of his bed back home. They intensified throughout, but when Murray says that outside of Zeno, he feels worthless, it just crushed me. When his mother said that even though his body feels like one big charlie horse on rotation all day every day, yet he still wakes up with a smile, "I don't know how he does it" .... total wreck. When a mother tells how the doctor told her that she should let her baby die because it would only ever be a vegetable, she told him, "Well, I'm a vegetarian, so I'll take my vegetable to go, thank you.", I just lost it. When one of the campers, Judi, cuddles her baby doll so she has something to nurture, I nearly flooded the place. The entire film is one deeply moving and deeply inspiring moment after another. The sheer triumph when they get to see their movie for the first time ... done.  I won't tell you the part I cried the hardest at until you see the movie and talk to me about it, but MAN. Oh, the Humanity! In the best way possible.

Which isn't to say that it's not also hilarious. I laughed out loud more than any Hollywood comedy movie ever. The humor and sense of self-awareness on display from every character was so great to behold, and also important, because with it brought an awareness in the viewer. That people tend to look at those with disabilities as just sitting there without any personality or feelings because that's where society has put them. In the Q and A following the film (awesomely attended and show stolen by the film's lead characters, especially Murray), director Burnett said that we're all talking about that big word "Diversity" these days, but Disability is almost always left completely out of the conversation. That hit me like a lightning bolt of truth, and amped this whole movie up into being a civil rights story, more than anything else - aside from a love story.

The movie is just so good that the Q and A was less about asking questions, and really became just a love and compliment fest. Everyone in there was crying and clapping and on their feet when it ended, and every comment was just, basically, "Thank you for being these angels in the world."

They truly are. No one is paid, and no camper pays to attend. All Zeno operations are funded by donors, and all the profit from this film will go back into Zeno, so that they may continue to make our world a better place for years to come. As the end credits stated, "AJ will be invited back for the rest of his life" - as all campers are.

I can't say enough good about this beautiful project, so please just go and see it for yourself. Again, it starts playing in Los Angeles tomorrow at Laemmle Music Hall, and you can go to to request them to play it in whatever town you're reading from, so everyone can see it. And everyone should. This film should be required viewing in every school, job place, church, anywhere people go in the world, really. Anyone that thought they were having a bad day due to bills, car accidents, a bad haircut, getting dumped, whatever ... will be nothing but grateful for all their life's blessings the entire way through.

However you may feel right now about people with disabilities, you will feel differently after viewing this film. The hope is that you will also then think and act differently, and that the entire world can begin to be actually inclusive and respectful to absolutely everyone. I know these filmmakers probably didn't set out to change the world with their fun little movie, but that's exactly what they're doing.

AJ Murray says near the end of the film, "I've never felt so much love before." I'm not sure I have either.

Heartfelt thanks and congratulations to every single person involved with making this incredible story. I'm about to tear up again, so please just go see it so that we can talk about it. Thank you.