Friday, September 21, 2007

Good Times (Beret Optional)

Often times, when friends ask me why I choose to live in Los Angeles and brave the smog, traffic, earthquakes, and proximity to Hollywood, my answer is “There’s always something to do.”

Recently, however, I’ve been struggling with the concept that perhaps there is too much to do. Last Thursday I had to decide if I wanted to go see a band I love, or a friend’s improv comedy show, or a lecture by a photographer who is a living legend, or try a new restaurant with my sister. Instead of picking one thing, my brain overheated, and I went home and fell asleep.

How do we decide which event of a hundred warrants our time and attention (and is worth sitting in traffic for?) I often rely on a series of culture-savvy website editors for suggestions. One website/newsletter that I enjoy is Flavorpill. They send me weekly e-mails with picks for art, film, multimedia, music, performance, photography, spoken word and theater events in Los Angeles. I also rely heavily on LA Weekly reviews, and I’ve noticed that The Onion has some interesting (real) event listings.

What resources do you use to keep up to date with cultural happenings in Los Angeles? Personally, I love receiving the Hammer Museum’s catalog – they always have several events that I immediately get tickets for. If anyone has a favorite source for cultural news, or wants to share a secret purveyor of fun times, leave it in the comments.


Karen said...

Cristina, you have your finger on the pulse of all that is Los Angeles. Seriously, my primary source(s) of information about what is going on in Los Angeles are friends and colleagues (like you!). Without them I would miss events like the opening of the new sustainable coffee house, Intelligencia, at Sunset Junction. It was an example of thoughtful business in my book, of thinking through every step of the process from bean growing to transporting to drinking. I also enjoy AIGA events (they email their members a lot). I went to the Craftivism deal a few weeks ago where I ran into three instructors from the DCA Program. That was cool. I find that now - maybe it's a function of age - I tend to go where I've gone before and look for events where I've found them before. I like museum events like Fridays Off the 405 at the Getty and jazz at LACMA. Although as I'm writing this I can't remember when I went to either of those last. Too much Netflix, I guess.

On a Nor Cal tip, I miss the Pink Section of the SF Chronicle, where I used to get info about bands, plays and other shows. I found the best one-woman show I've ever seen through the Pink Section. I should look up that performer on Google...

Four Bs said...

I regularly scan for concert dates. I'm also signed up for weekly e-mails from FlavorPill and Filter Magazine. Filter is great because they have ticket givaways every week. They make you answer some pretty obscure music trivia questions, but you can usually find the answers online. I'm also signed up for the Artscene e-mails, thereby making sure my e-mail inbox is almost always over its size limit. I have Vindigo on my Palm handheld. Vindigo has movie, concert, restaurant, and shopping listings that get updated every time you synch up your Palm. When travelling, I always make sure to update Vindigo with the guides for my destination. I can't remember how I ever learned of cultural events in the pre-digital era.