Unique LA Highlights

So Saturday, we did venture out to Unique LA, as we commented that we might. My friend Roberta said Monstertrocity was her favorite booth, and it was certainly among mine.

Kat at Monstertrocity

I remember when Kat was selling wares off her bike in front of Bazaar Bizarre and I loved her stuff then and I do now. If you missed it, fear not, Unique LA is adding a summer show so you can go buy cool monster stuff or all kinds of other wonderful things. More pictures from the show after the break. Continue reading “Unique LA Highlights”

AVOID AVOID the Mall: Go to Unique LA and Artisanal LA Instead

My friend Saba loves the purse she picked up at the spring Unique LA event. Loves.

I hope you’ve heard of Unique LA by now.  If not, I hope it’s because you just moved here and are wandering aimlessly about the city, trying to figure out where the soul of the city is beneath the relentless traffic and weird, indecisive weather.  Well, I’ll just tell you: a little bit of it can be found this weekend at Unique LA.  This would be a congregation of over 300 (!!) vendors selling everything from messenger bags to home decor to cupcakes.  Each and every one of these vendors is based here in LA, so the city’s influence is there, somewhere, in their nifty designs.  When you need to break, grab a drink (your ticket gets you free drink, and there will be a host bar) and grub from, among others, The Manila Machine, Flying Pig, and Platine. Or, hang out at an eco workshop or learn how to sew or do something useful at a one of the DIY workshops scheduled throughout the weekend.

Across the street, Artisanal LA pops back up from its very successful autumnal debut: it’s strictly a pop-up this time, so, no, there won’t be any Lord of the Flies moments.  But, there will be over 30 local artisanal food vendors with delicious treats for immediate and future consumption.  The Flying Pie Man falls into the former category; he’s whipping up a special Pork Belly Sukiyaki Pie just for the event.  Nosh on that and pick up something bacon-ized from Cast-Iron Gourmet, for that friend of yours who hopes and prays that the bacon trend never ends.  And that’s just the beginning – the entire list of participants is here.

In keeping with community spirit, a portion of Unique LA’s proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit 826LA, and a portion of Artisanal LA’s proceeds will benefit LAUSD’s Edible Schoolyard Program.  This all works out so that you, an Angeleno, can support your friendly neighborhood businessperson, and together, everyone can help support the local community.  Is your heart warmed yet?  Good.  ‘Tis the season, you know?

Unique LA will be at the penthouse of the California Market Center downtown, 110 E. 9th Street.  Artisanal LA will be across the street at the Cooper Building, 851 Santee St.  Tickets to Unique LA are $10; if you buy pre-sale tickets, you’ll score a little goodie bag.  Whether you buy the tickets in advance or the day-of, your Unique LA wristband will let you into Artisanal LA for $5 instead of $6.  Other option: check out the full details on Artisanal LA’s 2-for-1 offer here.  Both events run from 11am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

Unique LA Returns This Weekend, Yeah!

For the locavores in all of us, Unique LA returns this weekend to the California Market Center downtown, yeah!  For those who missed the previous iterations, Unique LA brings together over 300 local artists, designers, and other crafty sorts who show and sell their awesome wares together in one giant, Costco-sized room.  From the looks of their participant list, you’re going to find everything from one-of-a-kind stationary sets to hand-dyed tshirts to you-definitely-did-not-get-that-at-Ikea housewares.   Last time, I scored two awesome $5 tshirts and a pen (this is better than it sounds), and my neighbor walked away with a super kawaii purse.  When you get exhausted from walking around the room (and you will – my advice is to pace yourself and constantly refer to the map like you were at Disneyland trying to figure out where Space Mountain is relative to Toon Town (answer: opposite sides of the park, get ready for a walk)), you can walk the line between hipster and homemaker at one of their DIY workshops, or you can check out Amoeba’s pop-up store, or you can eat.  Yes, eat: the Flying Pig truck will be there, as will be Cool  Haus (whose cookie ice cream sandwiches provided a much needed respite from the 90+ degree heat at Coachella) and Platine Cookies (get the platino.  At least one.).  Tickets are $10; it includes a free (alcoholic, yes) drink.  If you are absolutely certain about going, I’d buy tickets online ASAP to skip the crowds offline.  Eat local, buy local.  See you there.

Boredom Is Not An Option In L.A. This Weekend!

I’m excited about the vast number of cool, cheap options for entertainment in Los Angeles this weekend, May 2nd and 3rd. A couple have been covered in more detail here on L.A. Metblogs already, but here is a quick guide, in case you can’t find anything fun and economical to do over the next couple of days.

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  • JPL Open House, Sat/Sun, 9am-5pm, FREE-Here’s your chance to see what the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory rocket scientists are currently up to.
  • Unique L.A., Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm, $5-Click on the link to read Travis‘ post on this more-than-a-craft-fair event.
  • BarCampLA 7, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 10am-5pm, FREE-An un-conference where tech enthusiasts come together to share, teach, learn, and play.
  • Santa Fe Art Colony Open Studios, Sat/Sun 12pm-7pm, FREE-Over 40 artists will open up their private studios and allow you to peek inside their worlds of creativity.
  • L.A. Metblogs Classic Eats #5, Sat 5pm-?, you name the price, which will depend on how much you indulge in cocktails or if you stick with water. It’s more about the atmosphere and company anyway, right?
  • Circuit Bending Lecture & Demo @ Machine Project, Sun 1pm, FREE-Yeah, I don’t really understand it either, but Machine events are usually pretty awesome, even if they go over your head.

Personally, I’m overwhelmed by all of the amazing possibilities combined with weekend responsibilities. Isn’t it fantastic to have all of these options though? Aside from the above list, I’m sure there are many, many other music, film, etc. events at your disposal if you want to spend some money.

Feel free to leave any info on other happenings in the comments.

Unique LA: May 2 & 3

Modeling hats at Unique LA
Modeling hats at Unique LA

If I weren’t going out of town this weekend, I would spend a good part of either Saturday or Sunday at Unique LA–that’s the truth. This two-day shopping extravaganza takes place downtown at the California Market Center penthouse (110 East Ninth Street), 11-7 Saturday and 11-5 Sunday. It’s $5 to get in, with 50% of ticket proceeds going to a local charity. I went to the first one, last year, holiday season, and it rocked. In my mind, it was the perfect combination of artists, crafters, and designers–plenty of the requisite glue-gunned felty things along with designer togs, screen prints, art glass, eco-whatnots, fun punk baby clothes, and all sorts of other things you didn’t even realize you needed. I’ve been to Felt Club and Bazaar Bizarre. This is better, methinks: more places to sit down, some natural light, a dj, complementary beverages, and some food vendors (last time I had a “poptart” from Cake Monkey that was just short of transcendent; this time MALO will have a “pop-up eatery” there). Go. You’ll thank me later.