101 things to do in Los Angeles
Your essential guide to the best things to do in LA this season, from stair hikes to welding workshops and more.
Tue Feb 11 2014
Head to Little Ethiopia for some delicious ethnic finger food—then explore the stretch of aromatic and exotic shops along Fairfax, where you can buy ingredients to make your own injera (traditional Ethiopian bread).
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And you thought there were major cultural differences between the people of Brentwood versus the people of Silver Lake: The Annenberg Space for Photography consistently breaks down cultural divides with seasonal exhibitions that have focused on everything from rock and roll to National Geographic.
Grab your partner, do-si-do
Triple Chicken Foot is LA's resident barn-dance band, regularly hosting square dances across the city at venues like HM157, Echo Country Outpost, the Echo and more. Never square-, line- or circle-danced before? Don't fret: Each dance begins with a lesson, during which the "caller" walks everyone through a series of steps. It's a flirty, fun time—just don't forget comfy shoes.
If you're sick of First Fridays only offering a high density of food trucks and lines at your favorite dive bars, check out something new—err, old rather—at the Natural History Museum, where First Fridays offer dinosaurs and DJs. The first Friday of the month from January through May, as well as the first Sunday in June, will host a KCRW-presented evening of music, allowing visitors of all ages to stay late for a night at the museum, which has been open for over 100 years.
The Stockroom in Silver Lake is the place to go for fetish items like whips, ball gags and butt plugs. It's also a great place to take a class, as long as you don't mind live demonstrations. Classes at the Stockroom University are usually around $20, last for three hours and are "inflicted by" experts in fields such as hardcore sex, anal play and bloodletting (yep, you read that right). Stockroom classes make the Pleasure Chest look PG—so make sure you're ready to really get up-close and personal before signing up.
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Local Hollywood historian Philip Mershon’s entire tour of Hollywood takes place within a quarter-mile radius of Sunset Blvd and Gower St and makes no mention of the Walk of Fame or the Hollywood Sign. Yet by the end of the tour, you’ll have visited the origin of nearly all the major Hollywood studios and their immortal works of pop culture.
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Go on a night hike
The Pasadena Hiking Pacers hiking group organizes monthly full moon hikes departing from various locations across the city. Howling encouraged (if not expected).
Get a side of punk with your burger
Blue Star is like an oasis in the middle of what feels like an abandoned, scrap-metal-industrial neighborhood in Downtown. The location may have its purpose, however, as the slow-food diner by day turns into an indie-punk music venue by night, showcasing local and small-time traveling acts on its outdoor patio, with no one (and we mean no one) around to complain about the noise.
Intense and macabre, this Hollywood museum doesn’t flinch at life’s inevitable end. Its grisly Charles Manson and Black Dahlia crime photos are almost tame compared to the guillotined severed head of Blue Beard (the Parisian murderer) and the actual death videos. It’s not all doom and gloom—serial-killer John Wayne Gacy’s clown portraits are a colorful distraction, right? If you feel yourself getting woozy, you’re in good company—visitors pass out so regularly that the owners have taken to calling it a “falling down ovation.” Bonus: Buying a ticket here includes a peek at the live Siamese turtle living (!) next door at the Chaos gallery.
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