When my ex-wife was pregnant, people would come up to her and say: 'Oh my God, you're pregnant? What a miracle!' ...My ex-wife is Latina and I'm Indian—it's not a miracle she got pregnant, we come from the two most fertile races on the planet. She got pregnant, and we didn't even have sex. I just sent her a text: 'Baby, I'm coming home.' Her: 'All I saw was coming!'
The term CicLAvia (Spanish for “bike way”) can also be used to describe a temporary closing of L.A.’s streets. The event—inspired by the first Ciclovías in Bogotá, Colombia—welcomes bikes, tricycles, skateboards, strollers and smiles (sounds cheesy, but it’s true) to ride a rotating cast of car-free routes. While most rides center around Downtown, past events have taken the event to Wilshire Boulevard, Venice and South L.A. Expect music, street performances and food trucks, as well as general whimsy and shenanigans. Shop owners and restaurants along the CicLAvia route will also open their doors. It goes without saying that you should bike or take the Metro to your desired spot along the route.
Indulge your inner foodie and shopaholic at this weekly food-focused market. The Brooklyn export has landed in the Arts District and become a hotbed of fantastic food and retail vendors, with some that are testing out their dishes before launching a full-blown brick-and-mortar in the city. Bonus: there is plentiful (and free, for two hours!) parking in the nearby parking garage.
Formerly Brokechella, the Broke LA Music & Arts Festival is leaving the “-chella” behind while still focusing on a mix of more than 50 emerging LA bands. The annual festival will host two music stages and one comedy showcase at the Regent Theater. Oh, and did we mention it's only $25 to get in?
Alternate takes, limited represses and colored seven-inches… Yes, the annual celebration of independent brick-and-mortar music shops is upon us! On one special Saturday each April, analog music junkies get their fix of rare vinyl, special re-releases and compilation albums, almost all made exclusively for Record Store Day. This national event, created to support local record shops (and recording artists, of course), has shops across the city—and country—opening their doors early to lines of music geeks eager to get their hands on previously unreleased recordings, picture discs and box sets by artists new and old. Some participating L.A.-based shops include Amoeba Music, Fingerprints, MONO Records, Vacation Vinyl and High-Fidelity. In addition to tons of great records, there are also parties and live music to round out the day—head to the website for more info on special releases, extended hours and events around the city. Tip: If there's a rare record you've gotta have, we recommend lining up as early as 5am to make sure it doesn't get snatched up. The lines get longer, earlier every year.
Join Southern-food trailblazer and award-winning chef Edward Lee as he chats, answers questions and recounts his travels across the country for his new book, Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef's Journey to Discover America's New Melting-Pot Cuisine. He'll be joined by food writer Zach Brooks, who'll be moderating the discussion. Copies will be available for purchase, and of course signings.
We Angelenos go gaga for burgeoning flea markets in this city like tourists for L.A. landmarks. Adding to the throng of artisanal havens, Phillip Dane (curator of Dodger Stadium Flea, Downtown Flea, and Melrose Flea) launches the greatest one yet with a monthly night market called Odd Nights at the Autry. Think of it as dance party meets happy hour meets shopping extravaganza. With live local bands, beer gardens, cocktail lounges, a full bar, 20 gourmet food trucks, 200+ vendors, Bouncy Zone Rides, kid's face painting, and more, you might want to start reserving third Fridays in your calendar. Vendor fare includes handcrafted jewelry, fashionable garb, home goods, antiques, collectibles, artwork, and other Etsy-esque finds. Pull up via car, bike, or horse (yes, horse) and you’ll get to park your wheels (or, ahem, hooves) for free if you're one of the first 2,000 attendees.
Bibliophiles flock to the USC campus each spring for this annual two-day event. The outdoor book fair of sorts features stalls from a variety of booksellers as well as author readings, signings and culinary demos. The sheer variety and quality of talent the festival attracts is impressive and legendary, with past appearances by anyone from Dave Eggers and Batman comic book writers to Margaret Atwood and the late Ray Bradbury. Bring the kids and spend the weekend discovering new titles, watching screenings and enjoying live music and cultural entertainment. Tickets to conversations are free, with advance tickets available April 15 (with a $1 service fee); a limited number of same-day tickets will be available at the fest. You can reserve tickets to 20 conversations before they go on sale with a festival pass ($35).
The newest flea market on the block, the Venice outpost of this artisan/craft-focused flea market mini-empire is bringing records, vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, cosmetics, jewelry and more to the Westminster Avenue Elementary School. A handful of small batch confectioners provide sweet treats to snack on or take home, while food trucks and nearby restaurants provide heartier bites. Though relatively small in size, owing perhaps to its prime location bookending the neighborhood’s famed Abbot Kinney stretch, vendors hawk a diverse range of hand-made and expertly curated wares that seems to simultaneously fit in and stand out in one of the nation’s most unusual neighborhoods.
Sure, it doesn’t look so glamorous now, but give it a few years, a billion or so dollars and some much-needed rain, and the L.A. River will be a point of civic pride for Angelenos. Do you part in the process this April during the Friend’s of the Los Angeles River’s annual cleanup. Rather than focusing on one spot, the cleanup tackles a different branch each Saturday, with multiple meet-up locations at each. The annual “work party” will include live music performances, gift giveaways, family activities and refreshments.
Could there be a more devilishly approrpriate place to watch Titanic than aboard a grand oceanliner? Thankfully, this one is permanently docked and far from any icebergs. The Alamo Drafthouse, as part of its Rolling Roadshow series, will present a screening of James Cameron’s Titanic aboard the Queen Mary. The open-air event arrives at the Long Beach landmark on April 21 (a week after the anniversary of the RMS Titanic’s sinking). Tickets to the 8pm screening cost $25 and include access to the massive ship as early as 3pm for self-guided tours and museum visits. Dinner and drinks are not included in the tickets but will be available.
This dual-weekend day club consistently puts together a star-studded lineup of DJs: ODESZA, Illenium, AC Slater, Deorro and others will all be spinning during the open-air parties. The event goes down poolside at the Palm Springs Hilton; splurge on a cabana if you want a VIP experience.
Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise's longest-running, most beloved showcase starts when a base cast of the theater's current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that's deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who's there—that's part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early.
The Ace Hotel Palm Springs devotes 11 days to Desert Gold, its annual hotel-wide hangout during both weekends of Coachella. The Do-Over and NTS Radio have been tapped to take over blocks of music programming, while Adult Swim will be on-hand with entertainment during weekend one.
America’s pastime, fireworks and a supercute Japanese icon collide during Hello Kitty Night at Dodger Stadium. Pick up your ticket to the game against the Washington Nationals through a special package and you’ll nab an adorable Helloy Kitty x Dodgers T-shirt along with your seat at Chavez Ravine. Make sure to stick around after the game for Friday Night Fireworks.
Silver Lake's legit little music venue offers up some of the best local music in the city every Monday night... for free. Check out LA bands that are about to make it big (acts like Fitz & the Tantrums, Superhumanoids and even Local Natives have graced the residency stage) without spending a dime—well, except on maybe a beer, or a round for the folks onstage. Check the Satellite calendar to see who's on the bill each month. Acts often have a rotating cast of openers, so you can see different bands each week while watching the main act work on material, become more comfortable onstage and find their rhythm as the month goes on. Then a few years from now, you can say "I saw them when...."
It's free music every Monday when sponsored, up-and-coming local bands call the Echo stage home for a one-month stint, honing their stage presence and giving various opening acts a chance at the spotlight as well. If you're worried a Monday night will fill up to capacity, you can RSVP on the Echo website for VIP entry. When a band is on its third or fourth Monday and killing it, this is a pretty convenient way to make sure you're in on the action.
What started as an adverse reaction to the celebutante-heavy club scene has flourished into one of the the artsy-est, most inclusive parties in L.A. For Coachella, A Club Called Rhonda is headed to the desert to bring its polysexual party scene to a field not too far from the festival grounds.
We see surface streets closed down routinely for runs, bike rides and rallies, but shutting down an entire stretch of freeway? Now that’s new to us. Nike is turning the western terminus of the Marina Freeway into a running course for its Go LA 10K. On April 22, runners will start at the corner of Slauson and Hannum Avenues in Culver City and merge onto the 90 for five kilometers before about-facing and heading back east. Registration opens March 4. The entry fee is $50 and will benefit local youth organizations including Students Run LA, Girls Play LA and Marathon Kids.