Your childhood fantasy of an edible candy paradise is now a reality, and it is right around the corner in Santa Monica! Candytopia, originally delayed 6 months due to permit issues that would have originally placed it at a Downtown location, has found it’s home on the 1st and 2nd Floor of the 3rd Street Promenade Mall. Brought to you by Jackie Sorkin, a.k.a the Candy Queen, this modern day Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory is as colorful and delicious as the Instagram posts you have been seeing! Although it is a perfect destination to bring your children, you inner child will be jumping for joy as you journey through themed room after room of classic art made entirely out of Jelly Beans, Runts, Gummys & Candy Belts. Following the growing trend of “Instagrammable Installations” going on in major cities throughout the US, this is guaranteed to scratch your Snaptastic Itch. Every room and angle is a perfect photo opportunity- make sure you bring either a selfie stick or a photographer boyfriend to document your every move!
Each room has giant buckets and treasure chests of various candies you can sample. My first thought was, ‘This seems like probably the best way to get the flu’, but don’t worry each candy is individually wrapped [however I do recommend bringing some hand sanitizer with you as the installation is very interactive and kids are naturally drooling over the treats].
Tickets go for $30 a pop and though it seems expensive for an experience that generally takes about an hour to walk through, you will leave with your pockets FULL of America’s favorite candies. The installation will be around for 4 months [through June] so get your time slot specific tickets now.
SPOTTED: Shi & Knox Pitt out with mom at the SoCal Ren Fair in Irwindale. I missed them by a week. To think I could have been getting my face painted with Knox and throwing tomahawks with Shilo while sipping mead with Angie. Angie, do you guys need a babysitter?
Do you even need convincing that the RenFaire is the ‘it’ thing to do if it has already been Jolie Verified?
Coachella is so 2015. Ren Faire is so, 1415 B.C.? From the fairy costumes, to the music, flower crowns and face paint, sometimes I wasn’t sure which festival I was attending. Though some of you might scoff the idea of going to Ye Old Pleasure Faire rather than attend your ecstasy filled music mecca, here are some reasons that might persuade you to attend the Pleasure Faire in the following years:
1. Thou Art Too Old For Thine Excrement
As I age like a fine wine, I am less inclined to participate in events where I am continually suffocated between a group of neon clad rave tweens and shirtless sweaty bros wearing Raybans. I understand there are other places to sit and hang, but essentially this is the heart of the Coachella beast, and I for one would choose to avoid this nightmare in the first place.
2. Thine Shallow Bank Account
Coachella is a blowout of $800 plus for two days. If you want to do it right (and you don’t have the hookup), you are going to spend upwards of up to $1500, if not more. I would rather go to the Renaissance Fair, drink mead and buy jewelry and silver chalices and go to a nice Sushi Dinner later that night. Notice how I capitalized Sushi Dinner ? That is how much sushi means to me. Also check out Broke L.A. (for next year), previously Brokechella, the low key version of Coachella for people who don’t have the monetary funds or luxury of getting to the mothership.
3. Thy Hearty Edibles
I know Coachella has better fair than Fyre Fest but I promise it is nothing as good as the selection of Turkey Legs, Gyros and Mediterranean food, Chocolate Covered Bananas, Candied Almonds, and Pickles (among other things), at the Ren Faire.
4. Supporting Thou Neighbor
If you are really into “F-ing the System”, then this is a perfect way to support your local artisans and small businesses. Coachella has become a mainstream mesh of corporations and media-made-pop culture, so for all of you genuine hipsters out there despising the “man” then this is perfect for you.
6. Thy Attire
You might be confused when you see flocks of girls wearing long hippie dresses and flowers crowns, fear not- you are still at Ye Old Pleasure Faire. If not for anything else, go to check out the costumes…
PS: you can rent costumes for the day if you arrive unprepared!
The Ren Faire has something for all ages, and all types of people. Feel free to bring your Mom, your grandpa, your newborn (we did), your accountant, and your pizza delivery guy. I promise you EVERYONE will have a good time. There are acres upon acres of games, food, music, jousting, shopping, and just the most amazing people watching.
Look, if you think I am hating on Coachella, I am not. I understand the cultural experience and importance. I just think over the years it has been deflated from what it is originally supposed to be, and personally I can’t take dealing with the heat, the crowds, and the idiots. I prefer a small shorter version of that, in which I leave and don’t come back after 5 hours.
The faire runs through May 21st, so there is still time to check it out. Buy tickets and get more info here.
There is beyond enough to do on the weekends in Los Angeles, but for those who are looking to get in some hump day action to hold them over until the weekend, consider squeezing in a laugh at one of the many comedy clubs that LA has to offer. It’s the perfect concoction of goofiness, greasy bar food and cocktails, all topped with an early curfew. It’s basically like sitting on your couch watching “live” tv (so no excuses for you lazies). Next time you are having a “Mid Week Crisis” because you can’t TGIF, check out one of the following comedy clubs.
The HaHa has recently moved locations down the street to 4712 Lankershim Blvd. I have been going here for years, and I have NEVER had a bad experience. That saying, you get what you expect; it is a small venue with bar food and a small stage, but every now and then every single member of the Wayans bros family will get up on stage and put on a 3 hour set for the 15 person audience. At the Haha you get anyone from movie writers, to TV personas, and lots of comedians from Last Comic Standing. Wednesdays are “Work Out Wednesdays”, where there are usually 5 comedians, and 3 out of those 5 are fabulous, the other 2 aren’t horrible enough to make you cringe from embarrassment (most of the time). Ask to get on their email or text list and you will be frequently contacted with great ticket deals.
1323-A 3rd St Promenade (A stands for Alley)
Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 451-0850
Located in the alley adjacent to the third street promenade (I am sure most patrons get lost just trying to figure out where 1323 “A” is located), is a small comedy theater opened by a group of UMASS grads in 2009. With a long list of celebrity drop ins, this comedy theater is special for hosting a wide variety of comedy related events from stand up classes, to open mic nights, and critically acclaimed solo comedian shows (Dana Carvey will be performing July 26th). On Wednesdays they offer more improv based sets called The Bear Supply (which begins at 8PM) and Lip Service (which begins at 10PM). With 30 beers on tap and a “no drink limit”, this theater gets some pretty big names for being located in an alley way behind a Johnny Rockets.
If you love Whitney Cummings and Bobby Lee (which I do), then this is your spot. They are regulars, and when I say regulars, I mean that they are there performing or hanging out on any given night. Sammy Shore was the original owner, and the his wife Mitzi took over the joint, and she recognized that female comedians don’t get the same stage time and respect as male comedians, so she opened up a special room called “The Belly Room” for the women to perform. The spot is now run by Mitzi’s children, and this is where you find the A-list stand ups. I am always a little star struck when I go here. Every Wednesday is a different show, so be sure to check the calendar.
102 E Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91502
Though this one is a little off the grid for us Valley or West Side peeps, it is definitely something to make a night of. They alternate their Wednesday shows with Whacked Out Wednesday and Hump Day Nasty Show (always featuring a different host). There are plenty of restaurants in the area to get dinner and see a show, in fact Barney’s Beanery is right next door. Grab a drink at Barney’s and then head over to Flappers. Flappers is very active with the NACA (National Association of Campus Activities) and college community, and is continually on tour across the US at different campuses. They even have special family, all ages welcomed events called Two Milk Minimum, so if you are looking for a comedy show appropriate for all ages, then this is your spot!
It all began here for some of your favorite TV personas and comedians like Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Nick Kroll, Ed Helms… the list goes on and on. This theater has been rolling out our generations top comics for years now. Setting the bar in terms of what is culturally relevant, one of my personal fave shows is their Wednesday Facebook night, where 2 random people in the audience are selected to display their Facebook page on screen where the comics of the night riff off of the person’s posts and photos (show starts at 9:30). The line is long to get in, but tickets are cheap and so worth it. I recommend Sushi Stop next door for dinner, as it is cheap and good quality (and by cheap I mean like $3 for spicy tuna rolls). There is also a few very nice bars next door to grab a drink after (or before- get there early to make sure you get good seats and tix).
Like I said, anytime I am in one of those mid-week, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life, who-am-I, moods, I like to go to a comedy show, and I always leave re-calibrated and ready to roll the following day!