GTD This Weekend: Shop Local, Local Santas

This weekend: an absurd number of local fairs to get your local shopping on.  Also: Santacon.


  • Artisanal LA and Unique LA tag-team this weekend downtown to bring you a curated mall.  Artisanal LA is for the foodies; Unique LA is for the crafties.  Hit one; better, hit both.  See full details here.  Tickets $6-10 and both downtown at the Cooper Building and California Market Center.
  • It’s almost the same, but not really: the Renegade Craft Fair is sort of like Unique LA, except it’s outdoors, a little smaller (150 vendors to Unique LA’s 300), and offers free admission.  Free.  From 10am to 5pm at the LA State Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring Street.
  • Tired of downtown?  Valley citizens get the Rotary Arts and Crafts Fair in Woodland Hills.  With over 50 artists, you’ll find a variety of home-made ceramics and other artistic-type gifts.  From 10am to 4:30pm at Warner Center Park at the intersection of Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Oxnard St.



  • Santcon.  It’s too late to bum a ride off of one of the sleighs, but show up at Pershing Square at 11am dressed up as St. Nick to join in on the fun anyway.   Or, for additional holiday fun, I suggest you dress up as Rudolph, and see if anyone wants to play any reindeer games.  Maybe you’ll meet the Santa of your dreams.  Fun starts at 11am at Pershing Square.  If anyone asks who sent you, say Santa.
  • Take that can-do attitude of yours and learn how to can and preserve foods for the holidays (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) at the Farmers’ Kitchen, a community kitchen run by SEE-LA, the same non-profit that operates the Hollywood Farmers’ Market.  $75; you must reserve your spot here by 8am on Saturday.  The workshop is from 9am to 1pm at The Farmers’ Kitchen, located at Selma and Vine in Hollywood.
  • The Silver Lake Craft Vintage Market has been going strong all year; Saturday’s will be the last one of 2010.  Consider hitting this flea market up before heading out to one of the craft fairs downtown.  From 10am to 4pm at the Micheltorena Elementary School’s parking lot, 1511 Micheltorena St. at Sunset.
  • If you’re tired of all that shopping, swing by Food 4 Love, a fund- and awareness-raiser for the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the Mentawai Island off of Indonesia in late October.  There will be food trucks, bands, and dancing.  11am to 5pm at the Indonesian Consulate, 3457 Wilshire Blvd.
  • Didn’t grow up in a predominantly Asian community where you origami’d tiny pieces of notebook paper to pass the time during AP Calc?  For you then, the Japanese American National Museum hosts “Fold, Crease, and Crinkle”, a full day of origami workshops and demos.  Your friendly neighborhood Target is sponsoring the event.  Quick, someone origami a bullseye.  11am to 4pm at JANM, 369 E. 1st St. in Little Tokyo
  • Always wanted to go to the Magic Castle, but didn’t know any local magicians to give you an invite?  Go, instead, to Theatre West, where a good group of the Magic Castle’s magicians and mind-fuckers gather to show off their best.  It’s a fundraiser for the theater, so it’s all for a good cause.  $15-20.  The magic (literally) starts at 8pm; there’s also a show at 2pm on Sunday, at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd West in Hollywood.


  • GO TO THE HOLLYWOOD FARMER’S MARKET. This is the only thing you have to do today.  The market is currently in a turf battle with the neighboring LA Film School.  The school wants to secure access to one of its three parking lots on a street where half of the markets’ farmers vend, because it may, or may not, need access to that lot on future Sundays.  Regardless of the “maybe”, the school does own that property and has a legal right to access it.  If the school’s request is granted, vendors on that street will be displaced; if a suitable re-location can’t be found, the market will be severely truncated.  The market is a communal property, one of the best farmers’ markets in the city, much beloved by the shoppers (me) and chefs who object ferociously to the school’s plans.  LA Weekly has an excellent recap of both sides’ arguments here; here’s to hoping the two work out something that is best for everyone, not just the school.  This is where property rights sort of fail all of us.  Tragedy of the commons, what?

A photo of a very Super Santa at last year’s Santacon, courtesy Al Pavangkanan via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.