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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Aesthetic of a staff member
Aesthetic of a staff member
Staff • June 4, 2024
End of school year sports recap
Bren Belmonte, Staff Writer • May 30, 2024

How to have a Pinterest-worthy evening in Mid-Wilshire

   When most non-Angelenos think of Los Angeles, they think of the Westside: sunsets, palm trees, and the Hollywood sign. While that version of L.A. is not an everyday reality for 99 percent of people who say they’re from Los Angeles, it should come to life for at least one night every few months, if only to remember how lucky we are to live among L.A.’s multitudes.

   What prompted my friends and I to make the hour-long trek west of the 110 was Jazz at LACMA, a live music event hosted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) every Friday from April through November.

The completely packed LACMA lawn on Jazz Nights (Sophia Pu)

   The first thing to know before you go is that the venue is first come, first serve, and the LACMA lawn fills up fast. We arrived about 20 minutes after the event started, and there were absolutely zero spots close to the music. In the end, the experience was just a nice picnic on the LACMA lawn surrounded by hundreds of well-dressed young people.

   If I were to do it again, I would leave the house by 1 p.m. and head to the Trader Joe’s on La Brea Avenue and West 3rd Street. Pick up some non-perishable snacks that you can picnic with later, like the PB & J Snack Duos, Jerk-Style Plantain Chips, and brie. Of course, everything would be packed in a tote bag to maximize on feeling like one of Beatrix Potter’s rabbit illustrations (look it up, you will see what I mean).

   After soaking in the organic serotonin of Trader Joe’s, I would walk two blocks down to République Café on La Brea Avenue and 6th Street. République’s rustic, brick-wall interior is majestic enough to justify the price tag on their $7 matcha latte and $21 french toast. After all, brunching in the sunlight at a gentrified indie coffee shop fulfills all the tiers on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

   Once I am done people-watching urbane millennials and basking in République’s sunny-gothic aesthetic, I would make the 20 minute trek to LACMA that makes me wish (for the thousandth time) that L.A. was not such a car city. If I have time to kill, I would stop in Craft Contemporary,  a colorful museum full of modern art that makes viewers say, “I don’t get it, but it looks cool.” Admission is $9, or $7 for students.

A surprise vocal performance by jazz artist Lesa Terry’s daughter on May 17 (Sophia Pu)

   This time, I would be sure to get seats for Jazz Night around 5 p.m., since they fill up by 5:30. The best place to spread one’s picnic blankets and enjoy the Trader Joe’s snacks is on the lawn where the speakers project the music. Then, just sit back, chit chat, and enjoy the show.

   Finally, to complete the Mid-Wilshire experience by walking over to The Grove for more overpriced caffeinated drinks. Despite knowing that I always get overwhelmed in the bustle of The Original Farmers Market, I would go anyway for dessert or late dinner. The Grove is the perfect place for two of my favorite activities: window shopping while pretending I can afford a Beverly Hills lifestyle, and meandering the aisles of the three-story Barnes & Noble.

The Grove’s three-story Barnes and Noble (Sophia Pu)
The fairy-light lined path into The Grove (Sophia Pu)

   Walking through The Grove makes me feel like Daisy Buchanan from “The Great Gatsby” (or at least a blonde influencer woman). The dazzling fountain and elegantly draped strings of lights were basically made for Instagram, and I am here for it. Like Madonna once said, we are living in a material world and I am a material girl.

   The magic of Los Angeles County is that you can be born and raised here without having explored half of what it has to offer. This itinerary only explores one corner of the Westside; in addition to the “California Gurls” illusion on Sunset Boulevard, L.A. as a whole is peppered with different unique communities, ethnic enclaves, and hidden gems. As summer fast approaches, venture west and prove Katy Perry right: nothing comes close to the golden coast.

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About the Contributor
Sophia Pu
Sophia Pu, Editor in Chief
Sophia Pu is the Editor in Chief for the school newspaper, marking her fourth year with the team. Outside of her editorial duties, Sophia is involved in Speech and Debate and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time in nature. Her commitment to the newspaper grew from a passion for interviewing a diverse range of individuals she might not have interacted with otherwise.
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