In September 2015 I tried an experiment. I held a test run fieldtrip for readers of This Ugly Beautiful City. I chose some friends who have been reading the blog to join me at Abbot Kinney’s First Fridays. I was excited to explore the event for the first time myself and see what playing tour guide would be like.
We met up at the Otheroom on the far end of the Abbot Kinney Boulevard which I swore had a happy hour, but much to our dismay the drinks were very much full price. As a friend and I waited for the rest of the group to meet us, we watched a production team filming the nightlife at the Otherroom. The camera guy didn’t realize the size of his camera and almost knocked into patrons as he filmed “people having fun” and takes and retakes of a hipster enjoying a pint. This is something that you need to get used to in Los Angeles, random film crew that you need to accommodate, not the other way around. You might just end up on film whether you like it or not or without a place to park in your own neighborhood.
After a bit of a wait in the bar we decided that we should start experiencing what First Fridays had offer, hitting random food trucks along the street like the adorable Pirozhki truck set inside a pull behind mini-airstream that sold rye crust handheld pies. With our delights from various vendors we continued on, stopping every once in awhile for more food or to take photos of the murals that are hiding along the side streets and alleys. The crowd thickened until we realized that we were part of a mob of people waiting in line for a lobster roll from Cousins Maine Lobster. (A pleasant surprise for all of us.)
Our end goal was not to get fat from all of the eating, but to explore the shops of Abbot Kinney which I hear are open for late night shoppers usually, but perhaps my choosing Labor Day weekend to do this was not the best idea because the majority of what I wanted to check out was closed. They should be open the first Fridays not on holiday weekends. (Juicy Leaf and Tortoise General are my favorites)
The website for the event is balanced more towards advertising for the businesses and real estate in Venice than information about First Fridays. I had to search a few social media outlets to get information, but it wasn’t until I found a very informative instagrammer that I found the time it started. Well, I guess that is where a blog like mine can step in to help residents and visitors alike to get the who, what, when, where, and whys.
Will I do a field trip again? We shall see.