Summer is here. Good eats & good peeps. Wait, what? You're not a top chef master? Well, put down your shiny new grill tongs that have yet to see the fire of your Weber. Head down to the Rose Bowl & sample some of the best grub this city has to offer. A General Admission ticket gets you all you can eat or drink, including 75 of the city's best food carts, stands, chefs and trucks. Singha beer, Izze Soda, and Honest Tea all make cameos next to the mezcal at a premium tequila tasting. Parking is including in the price of admission. If you pick one of the 2 early sessions, it's family friendly with many areas to picnic and hang. If you pick the late session, it's a date night for adults (21+) or a mixer for foodies. Find your future mate in the Tequila Tent.
- If you get your ticket before NOON Tues June 14th - use coupon code "LASFFfan2011" to get $5 off your admission
- There are Family Packs for "Junior Companions" - aka 8-12 year olds
- Splurge for the Luxe Lounge tickets - they're only $15 more - and you get private audience with Julian Cox, mixologist extraordinaire, who will likely blow your mind with classic coctails and nouveau creations alike. If that wasn't enough, the luxe lounge features a massage station as well as goodies hosted by Test Kitchen. Nuff said.
You know that secret dream you have to be a contestant on the Amazing Race? Yes, I'm talking to you, armchair quarterbacks of Over-The-Top-Reality-Race-Shows. Give praise and thanks to creators Larry & Bob for their string of immersive races known as LARF® (aka LA Race Fantastique®). These guys have been cooking up races for corporate events and Angelenos since 2005 and even have an Amazing Race in Cozumel for cruise ships.
At its core, LARF is a scavenger hunt and a sort of location-clue-based puzzle, but it is more aptly described, as their website puts it, "like the 'Da Vinci Code,' 'The Amazing Race,' and 'National Treasure,' but instead of watching it, you're actually living it." Having participated in several races with my team Scooby Snacks, I can attest to how addictive, exciting, and totally fun this race can be.
So, okay, what is LARF really?
LARF consists of a series of clues. The clues can be anything from puzzles to actors to destinations to engravings on statues. As they say on their website, "...these ain’t your mamma’s clues. They’re tricky, sometimes very tricky. Not only that but often you won’t even know what they are; the trick may be in actually finding the clue." There are no directions & there are no rules. The team with the best finishing time is crowned the winner. Our team, Scooby Snacks, has both lost miserably (our first race: LARF Happy Fun Race) and won handily (LARF can't Marry) and will still go back for more. LARF produces a unique race about once a year ranging from Charity races to Disney Races to Celebrity Races. Your first race can be a little crazy, but once you get the hang of it, the experience is legendary.
I recommend a team of FOUR. Two just isn't quite enough and past four you end up with way too many cooks in the kitchen. You are also driving all around town, so bigger team equals bigger car or worse... cars, and we all know what parking in LA can be like. So, four is usually optimal.
If you want to just get your feet wet there are weekly races billed as "extreme sight-seeing tours of Los Angeles." This is a great way to see the city of L.A. and RACE at the same time! There is the Amazing LA Race and there is the Amazing Santa Monica Race that run weekly. You can sign up on their website or sometimes you can score discount tickets at Goldstar Events.
If you like it and want more...
Ready for the BIG RACE...?
Well, you're in luck: there is a new original race on Saturday June 25, 2011. Be forewarned/excited: It is an ALL DAY AFFAIR. This one is the AMAZING GOURMET FOOD TRUCK RACE. You can imagine the antics and adventures that this will take you through. If you think you are ready for the challenge - sign up here - it's $60 a person and you will get fed... a la food truck.
These guys only do ONE original race a year... because they literally spend all year planning it. It is that intense. Good luck, and maybe I'll see you at the finish line.
In case you didn't know - it's Bike to Work week in LA. Cyclists can ride for FREE on most public transportation - check the website for Partners and Sponsors. So in honor of this momentous week (17 straight years strong), I would like to introduce you to Betabrand's Bike to Work Pants.
Betabrand's Bike to Work Pants have the distinction of being solid looking work pants and also functioning safety gear for those who prefer pedal-powered vehicles when commuting to their place of employment. Like Clark Kent, they resemble regular old work pants -- but when the work day end, the cuffs can be turned up to reveal reflective material to SUPER aid you on your ride home. You were gonna turn up your cuffs anyway to ride your bike! Dude, these guys are reading my mind. And, as if you didn't think they were reading your mind enough - there are pocket flaps for additional reflective gear. These Betabrand guys are genius.
Betabrand, formerly known as Cordarounds, has been a favorite of mine since their inception in 2005. I love their commitment to the absurd & their attention to detail. Their line began with the appropriately titled Cordarounds, which as their name suggests are Cordoroy pants that have horizontal cords. According to their website (and as we all know - everyone should believe everything written on the internet), these pants are scientifically engineered to lower one's crotch heat index & increase your aerodynamics.
Their Facebook Fan Page boasts a rabid following who love to post videos and pictures of their current exploits wearing BetaBrand Clothing. Counted among their fans is Stephen Colbert who wore their USA Pants during his Rally to Restore Fear and/or Sanity with Jon Stewart.
Do yourself a favor and sign up for their clever mailing list. It is always a fun time. Betabrand - home of the Cordarounds
Geek dads rejoice! ok, moms too. JPL (aka the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) is holding its annual family open house this weekend. What? You didn’t know that we had NASA in our backyard? Oh, for shame.
Here is the opportunity to either live out those dreams you once had of being an astronaut or at least instill those dreams into your children - so they could someday explore galaxies far…far… away. Seriously, you can see Mars rovers up close and personal. Ask real life scientists (who live & breathe this stuff) questions about anti matter and black holes.
Ok, if that didn’t sell you; let me tell you it’s FREE.
So, give your kids the gift of science this weekend & remember that it costs you less than a movie.
Potato? Tomato? Fomato! Random gibberish and factoids in the form of a birthday card. I am obsessed with this wunderkind of card creators (aka Emmie Hsu). Who could have thought that one could fall in love with a card? not I sir.
My love affair began in a small shop on Sawtelle Blvd when I first encountered these fine specimens of stationery & I have since taken them with me to every party that I could make excuses to offer a card.
Please enjoy this digression of sardonicism & peruse their fine catalog of perfectly ridiculous folded cardstock. Oh yeah, and they're on Facebook. C'mon be their friend.
If you don't have tickets yet - you are out of luck. But, if you want to know mas about this sexo y violencia, see my post on Lucha Vavoom. So you don't miss out next time - join their mailing list on their website so you can get in on this jelly.
Summer is quickly approaching. This also means the Last Remaining Seats Series is also approaching. Here is your chance to get up close and personal with Old Hollywood. The Last Remaining Seats Series supports the LA Conservancy, who have taken it upon themselves to be stewards of the classic buildings & historic architecture of Los Angeles.
The Last Remaining Seats opens the doors of the old movie palaces and plays classic films that may have premiered there decades ago. I have seen the silent movie Metropolis with live music played on the historic Wurlitzer organ in the Orpheum. I have seen Buster Keaton movies, Hitchcock classics & Busby Musicals. Not only was it an opportunity to see these film classics on a big screen, but it was also an opportunity to see them from the lavish balcony of the Los Angeles or the Orpheum and marvel at the built in crying room so mothers could bring their babies without irritating any audience members (can we re-purpose that into a cell phone room?).
This year's lineup boasts the Technicolor glory of Music Man, Fay Wray in King Kong and Gloria Swanson who is ready for her closeup in Sunset Boulevard.
|Rear Window (1954) -
|The Music Man (1962)||Los Angeles|
|Captain Blood (1935)||Million Dollar|
|King Kong (1933)||Los Angeles|
|Zoot Suit (1981)
Co-presented with the
Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles
|June 26||Sunset Boulevard (1950) -
|June 29||Safety Last! (1923)||Orpheum|
5 City Secrets to make the most of Last Remaining Seats
- Get there early to take in the the architecture and find a seat as it is first come first serve.
- The old movie palaces are NOT equipped with the modern amenity known as Air Conditioning - that we have come to rely on - so it can get warm very quickly
- Bring a camera. The theaters are not often open to the public so this may be your only chance to see these buildings up close and personal
- Buy Tickets Early - They SELL OUT FAST
- Try to see the one silent film that they screen (This year it's the Harold Lloyd classic - Safety Last!) because there is something amazing about hearing the original score on the Orpheum's original Mighty Wurlitzer organ.
I know this place isn’t really a secret, but it’s still a pretty spectacular place to see if you have never been there before. Going as far back as 1913, the Flower Market has long been a hub for flowers given the agricultural roots of California (from citrus, to strawberries, to the Tournament of Roses Parade).
Rando Facts: The original 2 markets, the Southern California Flower Market & the American Florists’ Exchange, that make up the LA Flower Market, were started by Japanese & European immigrants respectively. You can still see those original buildings even though many of the vendors are no longer part of the original organizations.
So, I was at the Flower Market because planning a party requires lots of flowers.
Not only are there flowers but all the accoutrement that goes into primping and priming flowers. There was even this gorgeous 'tree' that we used to hang words of wisdom & doubled as a gift for the new nursery.
If you have never been, I highly recommend getting there at the very moment they open the doors to the public, which depending on the hours can be as early as 6am, just to see the astounding array of flowers that is in one place. Many of the vendors high tail it out of there as the morning wanes.
However, if you are lazy (or realistic), then you don’t have to get there at the crack of dawn. My girlfriends (Tania & Carolina) & I arrived just around 9am and there were still plenty of flowers for us to choose from.
In case you didn't get a chance to take in the action at Artisinal LA in Santa Monica - here are some pictures of the event courtesy of LAPhotoParty (a super fun service if you wanted a Photo Booth at your next party!)
And if you were interested in doing a Photo Booth - here are some pics from LA Photo Party's photobooth at Artisinal LA!