My LA to Z: Minae Noji

The actress, who stars in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (out August 8), talks putting on her game face, making a little magic, and DIY projects

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1 Blipsy Barcade
It’s a place where they have old school video games. You can go there it’s a bar you can get drinks and they have great music. Whenever I’m feeling nostalgic and I just wanna jump over some barrels and save a damsel in distress from an ape. I have a third place ranking on Asteroids, I don’t know if it still stands. I’m a huge gamer so I love video games. Third place ranking name is Cattaleya. It’s my middle name but it’s spelled a little bit differently but I do that purposely.

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2

Escondido Canyon Falls
They have a waterfall there. It’s a great hike and because it’s LA and there’s a waterfall it’s kind of awesome that way and it reminds me of the scene from the Last of the Mojicans. There’s a part where Daniel Day Lewis looks at his woman and it’s the most romantic scene ever. Whenever I go there I think of Daniel Day Lewis saying that to me. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you. If I’m feeling sometimes when you live in LA I just need nature and that’s a close place for me to go that’s not too crazy. It’s someplace I like to go just to connect with water and getting away from the main city.

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3

The Magic Castle
I’m not sure but I’ve always loved magic and there’s something great about dressing up and going to this old school classic establishment. You walk in, you have to say Abracadabra. They have up close magic as well as a huge magic show . It’s an old building so there’s little rooms you can go into. As a kid I did a lot of magic shows. I mean I’m not very good at it but I performed then. I even performed a magic show for my best friend in my late 20s and my mother was in charge of the lights and the music. It was both amazing and terrible at the same time. I’m old school so I just love some of the basic card tricks that they do. There’s a “ghost” that lives downstairs and if you say to her a song, she will play the song on the piano. It’s a fun little thing that people enjoy doing. I love the close up versus the big show. I mean it’s great because it’s cheesy and fun and big but I like the up close things that you can see cause it’s these small intimate rooms. You can see everything close up and it’s mind-boggling. The ones that you pick a card and somehow they know the card and it ends up in someone’s pocket – there’s a twist to it so they can read your mind as well as it appears somewhere else. Especially when there’s a mind trick involved in it. I never understood some of those magic shows. There’s something just great about magic.

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4 The Home Depot
I love the Home Depot on Sunset Blvd. I love power tools and I love hardware so I literally can spend hours there. I’d much rather go to home depot rather than go shopping for shoes or clothes and I know that sounds strange. I was lucky beause growing up as a kid I lived mostly with my mother so we chad to learn how to do things around the house without a man so home depot because our friend. One of the presents she gave me was a set of tools I have a good friend that’s a carpenter so he taught me putdown flooring and things like that. Also I’m into making things and crafting things so home depot is the place I’d rather go. I go to the one of Sunset just because it’s the closest one around.

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5 The Aquarium of the Pacific
I’ve always been connected to aquatic life and I’ve always said that when I reture I want to become a tour guide there. I always like to tlak about aquatic ife but people odn’t seem to want to hear about it. It would be great to talk about it to people who want to listen. I ‘m thinking when I turn 75 or something I an put a little visor on a fanny pack and put a microphone on.

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6 Caffé Latte
I’m a big breakfast person. Theres’ a place called café latte. It’s literally a small small restaurant in a small strip mall on Wilshire and crescent eights I think. It’s a really low key place that has just yummy breakfast and it’s col lbeause thye sell art from local artists on the wall. So twhen you go there it’s always changing so it kidn of feels like you’re always going to a different restaurant in a way. I just like to eat and see people’s art at the same time. It’s not crazy LA it’s just eral lowkey and simple and quiet and you can have a conversation and eat yummy food. I have never bought any art but I’m always looking meaning if ther’es something that really catches my eye I’m awlays open to see like hey I want that! Sometimse I’ts plaining sometimesi t’s photography there’s diff htings up all the time.

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7 Huntington Gardens
I love Huntington gardens close to Pasadena. It’s basically just a – I love green and it’s a graden obvi so it has beautiful plants but thy also have this area where you can have fancy tea and scones it makes you kind of want to put a white hat on and put gloves on and talk with a british accent. It’s a lot of fun. One of tthese days my thought was if I ever get married maybe the day part of the bachelorette party would be to go there and have tea and scones and just be fancy.

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8 The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
I love going to UCB Upright Citizens Brigade. It’s basically a sketch comedy place. It’s just really really really hilarious shows. There’s some legends that come from UCB. I really believe that laughter is medicine and ther’s so much laughter there I always say it’s the best pharmacy ever. Genuinely these actors really live in the moment and as an artist that’s where all the juice happens, the magic. It’s inspiring to watch and see these actors. Amy pohler comes from there. Ther’es also other people but she’s a UCBer. They’re pretty brilliant. Whats great is the shows are really cheap. It’s all based on don’t pay a lot, just come in laugh and keep coming. I try to go monthly for sure. They have shows every single week. Because theyre in such demand it’s jkind of hard to get certain tiketsi t’s a great palce to take a date too and you can eat afterwards. It’s in los feliz where there’s all these frestaurants literally right next door to it.

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9 Osteria Mozza
I love to eat dinner at this place called mozza osteria . right ext door to it is the sister location. It’s a fancier erestauran so I don’t g oevery week. I try to try something different every time. When I’m feeling good food and a night out they have amazing food and drinks and wine. The food is just delicious .their pizzeria is also fantastic. Like I will go for a nice dinner. One word: yummy.

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10 TK Mother’s Backyard
Another thing in la that ilove I know this is gonna sound crazy but my mother’s backyard. She lives in la county, it’s crazy she gets in her backyard weekly, deer roadrunner, rabbits, male peacocks. She’s like the animal whisper. Because the other neighbors don’t get this. She’s always been great with animals you can look out and you’ll see bmaabi hanging out with thuper. Even though she lives in la you can hear the crickets chirping and sometimes you can hear a coyote howl. Her place is sort of a getaway from LA even though it’s in La. She has a big backyard. My mother’s just been, shes that person, thing are magnetized towards her that are animals so thety just come up to her so I think tha’ts part of it. In her neighbor hood everyone has gardens, idk what it is it’s so amazing but she gets irritated by it. IT’s pretty insane but it’s beautiful. I love hanging out there. If you’re really quiet you can kind of walk onto her patio and sit ther e and just watch. It’s like being at a zoo but they’re not in cages.

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All photographs courtesy facebook.com.

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