As we start to slowly transition out of our at-home hibernation and squint at the sun again, we wanted to take a look back and recognize the Angelenos who’ve brought a bit of joy and comfort into our couchbound lives. So we turned to you, our readers, to vote in the first-ever—and what we really hope won’t be annual—Time In Awards in order to celebrate local heroes in categories like Prettiest Pivot to Face Masks, Best Window into the Outside World, and Finest Enabler of Eating Your Feelings.
We’ve tallied the votes and determined the winners—and thrown in a couple of critics’ picks, too—and you can read all about them below. So let’s celebrate the Angelenos who, over the past few months, have inspired us and reminded us why L.A. is the only place we’d ever want to be—whether we’re in or out.
Food & Drink Heroes
Most appreciated pop-up marketplace:
A bunch of restaurants flipped into corner stores, but this East Hollywood spot upped the pantry game with a full-blown seafood market, plus fried chicken dinners and bottles of wine.
Nominees: Sightglass Coffee, Gwen, Highly Likely, Little Dom’s
Best booze to-go:
Before it was offering already-mixed cocktails to-go, this West Hollywood bar become a pre-lockdown MVP thanks to its delivery pairing of cocktail fixings and rolls of oh-so-coveted toilet paper.
Nominees: Sunset Beer Company, Modern Times, Thunderbolt, Lowboy
Favorite takeout experience that makes us forget we’re dining at home:
Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’s family-style Middle Eastern feasts launched to-go service with a weekly-rotating menu and the kind of add-ons we regularly lose our minds over in the Arts District restaurant.
Nominees: Felix, Rossoblu, Sonoratown, Kato
Finest enabler of eating your feelings:
Two words: banana pudding. And, alright, two more words: party size. For any problem these past few months, Magnolia’s fluffy, whipped, pillowy, light-as-air dessert has always been the answer.
Nominees: B Sweet Dessert Bar, Fat & Flour, Valerie Confections
Best way to keep eating our veggies:
Tal Ronnen’s plant-based restaurant brought make-at-home meal kits to our door for favorites like lasagna, chickpea masala and tagliatelle bolognese—all ringing in at $30 or less and requiring no more than 15 minutes to prep.
Nominees: Cena Vegan, Nic’s on Beverly, Hinterhof, Ramen Hood
Loudest show of support:
Silver Lake howl
Coyote howls weren’t the only sounds echoing through the hills of Silver Lake in the early spring: Each night at 8pm, cheers, claps, chimes and gongs rang out across the reservoir as a salute to health care and grocery workers.
Prettiest pivot to face masks:
One of our favorite Downtown boutiques partnered with local food-inspired apparel company MEALS Clothing to produce a capsule collection of upcycled cotton face masks.
Nominees: Hedley & Bennett, White Bark Workwear, Matteo, Mother Denim
The “when life hands you liquor, make hand sanitizer” award:
Los Angeles Distillery
When we were all scrambling to find hand sanitizer, distilleries across Southern California stepped up and flipped their factories, including Culver City’s Los Angeles Distillery.
Nominees: AMASS, Portuguese Bend, Stark Spirits
Favorite initiative feeding Angelenos in need:
No Us Without You
The organization helps feed undocumented restaurant and bar workers who’ve been hit by the recent wave of under and unemployment.
Nominees: Sqirl/The Lee Initiative, Few For All, Support + Feed
Most unexpected offering from Mother Nature:
Things seemed pretty dark in late April, and we never would’ve guessed that the bit of light we all needed would come from algae. Bioluminescent waves beckoned Angelenos to then-still-closed beaches late at night in amazement, while dolphins darted through electric-blue water like some sort of Lisa Frank illustration.
Arts & Entertainment Saviors
The at-home museum experience that kept us coming back for more:
The Broad’s Infinite Drone
Forty five seconds. That’s how long you normally have to bathe in the twinkling, reflective abyss of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. But this rotation of spacey soundtracks let you spend as much time with the piece as you’d like—virtually, at least.
Nominees: Grammy Museum at Home, Hammer Museum Online, Paley@Home, Hollyhock House virtual tour
Most convincing case for socially distant comedy:
What started as a one-off, much-needed bit of levity in mid-March has morphed into a weeknight Instagram tradition that’s still running now and still just as fresh.
Nominees: Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Dynasty Typewriter’s Go Day!, Maria Bamford’s Show on Zoom
Best reason to go back to school:
LACMA Online Courses
In addition to its decades of scans of exhibition catalogs and trove of Artists on Art videos, LACMA let us stay sharp with fleshed-out online courses on topics like social justice and Chinese painting.
Nominees: The Groundlings online classes, Colburn School dance classes, Bob Baker Marionette Theater puppet making tutorials
Venue that made us miss live music the most:
We’re tired of virtual concerts at this point, too—but Zebulon’s streaming performances have been so much more. Filmed inside of the Frogtown venue sans audience, a series of cinematic and slick streams like Oh Sees’ hour-long album rehearsal and a squealing solo set from Ty Segall reminded us just how much we miss live music.
The five-star island award:
The Getty’s Animal Crossing Art Generator
If you’re like us, you dumped an embarrassing number of hours into decorating every inch of your home in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It seems that the Getty was just as hooked as the rest of us: The museum tapped into its 100,000-image-strong open-access art collection to create a tool that easily lets you import a Van Gogh or a Monet painting into the Nintendo Switch game’s custom design editor.
Best soul-soothing dance party:
D-Nice’s Club Quarantine
We never thought we’d be in the same club as Michelle Obama and Rihanna until Club Quarantine came along. Alright, technically it was a virtual club streamed on Instagram, but that’s no matter: DJ D-Nice’s hours-long sets from his Downtown L.A. home have been life-affirming, with an unfussy production and positive vibe that always fit the mood.
Best excuse to post to Instagram:
Annenberg Space for Photography’s Vanity Fair cover challenge
Angelenos may not have been able to visit the (now closed) museum’s Vanity Fair retrospective in person this spring, but they sure were able to recreate some of the exhibition’s most famous magazine covers, to hilarious effect.
Nominees: The Getty’s art recreation challenge, Grammy Museum’s album art challenge
Best window into the outside world:
Magic Hour sunset livestream
Maybe you’re one of the lucky few with a westward-facing window overlooking the ocean. But for many of us, this stream from above Venice Beach was one of the only ways for weeks to watch the sunset over the Pacific.
Nominees: Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve livestream, Mt. Wilson webcam, Micah Muzio’s helicopter tours
Sweatiest at-home catharsis:
Ryan Heffington’s virtual dance classes
What do you do when your Silver Lake dance studio is forced to temporarily shutter? If you’re Ryan Heffington—the choreographer for Sia, Florence and the Machine, FKA twigs and films such as Baby Driver—you take your fist-pumping dance classes online in a donation-based program that’s aided both the Sweat Spot’s staff and civil-rights–focused groups.
The “no, of course, I won’t miss staying at home, but I’d be lying if I don’t admit I’ll miss…” award:
We must’ve wished on a monkey’s paw when we last complained about L.A.’s traffic woes, because this certainly wasn’t how we wanted to see it alleviated. But the sight of empty freeways and commutes being cut from hours to minutes is the type of thing we’ll tell stories about for years.
Nominees: Clean air, Cocktails and beer to-go, Relaxed parking enforcement, A super bloom free of influencers
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