JTJ: Walk this Way

Calling all art lovers sans plans for the evening!

Tonight, and the second Thursday of every month, is the free, self-guided, public art phenomenon known as The Downtown Art Walk.   The DAW brings art lovers and community folk together to celebrate the arts in Los Angeles’ ever evolving downtown.   Many of the DAW activities take place in and around the galleries predominantly on Spring and Main streets between 2nd and 9th streets.   However, there is a plethora of other activities should you choose to venture outward.  For the true art aficionados, early arrival to the DAW offers a more relaxed pace throughout the different galleries and art exhibits as many eventual attendees are still leaving work at that time.

When in Rome, or Downtown LA, make like the locals and veer off the art path and visit the surrounding shops, restaurants, and bars for the full downtownee experience.  If you’re feeling frisky and want a more upbeat scene, head over to the Art Walk Lounge for the SoBe “Try Everything Experience,” featuring DIY t-shirt screen-printing, full-sized free samples of SoBe’s 31 flavors, Spin Art by DJ Scratch Academy, Live art by CHASE, free bike valet service and free art walk maps!  Free, free and more free.

The lounge features a different theme each week and is located at located at 529  S. Spring St. and is open from 6-10PM.  The art walk galleries are typically open from 12-9PM during the event, however click here for more information on hours of operation and special exhibits.

Happy day before the weekend!

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Save the Children

I write about food trucks and cheap ways to live a lavish life – but what about those that face complete starvation and haven’t even had a chance to taste the things we’ve tasted?  Ever.  This doesn’t have to happen.

Save The Children has launched an emergency aid response in Africa.  Please watch this video, share with friends, family, colleagues, even acquaintances, and download Bob Marley & The Wailer’s single ‘High Tide or Low Tide.’  All download proceeds go to East Africa Fund’s food crisis appeal.

You can help now.  Be a friend.

 

JTJ: Thrifty Thursday

Food trucks, friends, and photography oh my!

Come meet me at Melrose Night, a monthly gathering of the best food trucks, store discounts, and exhibits LA has to offer.  Let’s create our very own buffet and share something from each of the popular food trucks lining Melrose Ave.   I know, total fat kid at heart, but hey – it’s just being economical.  Or so I tell myself.

Then, once we’ve digested our delicious feast, let’s take a stroll and visit the many shops that stay open late offering special in-store promotions.  Leave it to me to sniff out a deal and dine at the same time.

And finally, let’s check out the opening night of Atticus’ Inspiring Photographs collection before heading to a nearby bar to catch up with friends.

Melrose Night takes place the first Thursday of each month, and is located between Ogden and Stanley on Melrose.  Nearest landmark?  My favorite, Urban Outfitters.  Click here for a list of tonight’s participating food trucks and stores, and be sure to check back every month for the latest in Melrose Night promotions.

See you on the street!

JTJ: I See London, I See France

If you are one of the lucky LA-ites that’s out of work or free after 6PM on a Wednesday, then head over to the lavish London West Hollywood where you can socialize, sip, savor and most importantly…SAVE.  That’s a word you don’t hear often in reference to a Hollywood hotel!

The London West Hollywood’s Wednesdays at Sunset is a chic and sophisticated, open-air twist on the traditional happy hour, with gourmet bites, the most special of specialty cocktails and of course, DJ-curated tunes.  This event takes place from 6-8pm through the end of the summer and is the only time outside guests are granted access to the hotel’s exclusive rooftop Pool Deck.

Entry to Wednesdays at Sunset is free, however a reservation is needed.

Panoramic views and personal space.  Love!

JTJ: Move Over OpenTable

Three words: discount shopping sites.  Thank you economy for giving us unlimited reasons to be online even more than when we first learned of Facebook and Twitter.  It’s unbelievable, a new shopping site pops up daily.  From Groupon to Swirl to Hautelook to Living Social, the list seems to be endless.  It’s starting to feel like these sites are my friends I get so many freaking emails every day.  You can even add the apps to your phone or tablet for even easier access to deals.  I almost want to hold a contest to see who can find something that isn’t sold online yet at all OR at a discounted price.

Any who, I happened to stumble upon a site that I am happy to put my stamp of approval on.  Ready for this?  It’s the discount version of OpenTable!  Savored.com, formerly VillageVines, brings you access to members-only pricing at the most popular restaurants across the US.  A) I love all things exclusive and B) who pays full price for anything at this point?  It’s about time we eat at a discount too, and don’t have to keep up with daily deals that eventually expire or are no longer available online.   Groupon and Bloomspot I’m talking to you (not that I love you any less).  Basically with Savored, you make a reservation for a mere $10 booking fee at one of Savored’s restaurant partners and instantly receive 30% off your entire bill!  No fine print or annoying paper coupons.  You can change or cancel your reservation up to two hours before your reservation AND if the applied discount somehow winds up less than your $10 booking fee, they’ll refund the price of your reservation.   I know!!

Click here to start savoring.

JTJ: Fancy Friday

“…it’s Friday…you ain’t got no job…and you ain’t got sh*t to do.”

Okay so maybe you do have a job and things to do.  But if you don’t already have plans for the evening and like jazz, being outdoors, and avoiding the looming Carmageddon nonsense, then here’s a fun, le fance and free option for your Friday night!

Jazz at LACMA features a different jazz band each week – this week featuring the tribute band, Luther Hughes and Cannonball/Coltrane Project.  This evening’s concert will also feature a special Photographic Retrospective of the 20 years of “Jazz at LACMA,” showcasing eight LA photographers’ work capturing some of LACMA’s most magical jazz moments.  So if you haven’t been to JAL before, you can catch up on everything you’ve missed at this one-night-only exhibit!    And, to make Jazz at LACMA that much more enticing, Ray’s and Stark Bar is on-site so you can grab a bite to eat or an after-work beverage or seven while Luther Hughes and Cannonball/Coltrane Project jam out on stage.  I mean really, what could possibly be better than sitting, eating, drinking, and listening to some snazzy tunes?

For more on Luther Hughes and Cannonball/Coltrane Project, check out the band’s website for music and video samples.

Jazz at LACMA takes place every Friday through the end of the summer from 6-8PM and is free to the public.

BP Grand Entrance – 5905 Wilshire Blvd. (Central Court Area)
Los Angeles, CA 90036
lacma.org
(323) 857-6115

Click here for the complete summer jazz schedule.

JTJ: Wednesday Winos

Calling all self-anointed winos!  I received notice today about one of the most truly amazing Los Angeles wine happenings I’ve ever heard of, and it’s totally le fance.

The Capital Grille announced its summer wine series, The Generous Pour Event.  Kicking off today and lasting through the end of summer, the experience offers unlimited tastings for $25 per person, plus the purchase of one entree (prices ranging from $27-47) from the dinner menu.  I mean wow, really?!  The retail cost for all nine featured wines would be around $750!   I would never pay for that in real life so this is a serious taste of the good life if you ask me.  All wines featured were hand selected by The Capital Grille’s George Miliotes, one of only 173 Master Sommeliers in the world.  He’s a big deal and so is The Generous Pour, now available at all The Capital Grille locations, including Los Angeles and Costa Mesa.

Click here to make your reservation and feel free to invite me along ;).

While you’re out living the life le fance, please remember to drink responsibly!

JTJ

Welcome back to Growing Up Golden self and hello readers!  Yea, I disappeared, I know.  But hey, I’m back!  Whilst on my very extended hiatus, it occurred to both my bestiekins and I that I am neglecting my readers of some valuable knowledge I possess and it would be a crime to keep it from you.   So, without further ado, I present to you “Jen the Jew.”   What?!?!   How dare I use that word in jest?  But I do because it is just so perfect.  And well, we all know I love a good stereotype when I see one.  So it stays.   It’s origination comes from countless conversations with friends about deals I’ve found that are…to put it bluntly, cheap.  Don’t be confused though, cheap does not mean you can’t keep it classy kids.  I have a special talent for finding the most le fance food and fun for almost free.  So there you have it, cheap deals plus a Jewish girl named Jen equals “Jen the Jew.”  Voila!   JTJ segments will detail my latest and greatest finds throughout LA and the country, so stay tuned and find out how to be le fance on a budget.  Now, let’s all take our white wigs off and be honest…we’ve got a little Jew in us!

The Race is on!

Hey there readers!

In case you’re wondering, “What good could I do in the month of May?”   The answer is easy.   Purchase a shiny, aromatic bag of Don Francisco’s Coffee limited edition “Blend to Erase MS.”   Now you may ask, “How does a bag of coffee help me do good?”  Well, I shall tell you dear friends.  Don Francisco’s Coffee is partnering with the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis to help ERASE MS!   Learn about the foundation and how you can buy coffee that raises money for MS research.

Budget Beach Day

imageIt’s no surprise I would try and fance up a beach day to the best of my ability.  When you have limited funds for vacations, your best bet – and mine, is to plan staycations.  This past Saturday was the first of many to come.

I set my sights on Paradise Cove in Malibu and grabbed two friends to come along.  With our pitcher of low carb margaritas (tequila, club soda, splenda, and lime juice) and cooler in tow, we set off toward our destination.

First stop – Malibu Country Mart for some food to bring with us to the beach.  I remembered my LA-born cousin taking me to an awesome sandwich shop a few years back when I first moved here called John’s Garden.  Yum.  It’s a tiny place in the center of all of the snazzy shops, movie theater, and restaurants and it’s always got a line out the door.  We happened to beat the crowd and each ordered a deliciously large ‘wich for the road.  We, being the sensible yet curious shoppers that we are, coincidentally stumbled into Kitson, Crumbs Bake Shop, J. Crew, and Chocolatebox Cafe while looking for the restroom.  Finally after prying ourselves away from the stores, we departed for the beach.

imageStop numero dos – Paradise Cove off the Pacific Coast Highway.  After finding free street parking and paying a mere $5  entry fee, we carted our stuff down toward the beach.  To our left, the nifty Beach Shuttle that brings the beach bums back to their cars atop the hill and…a food truck!  But not just any food truck, the Leblon Caipirinha truck!   At this point, we knew we chose the right beach to spend the day at, and not just because of my affinity for food trucks.   Paradise Cove happens to be one of the only beaches in the Santa Monica to Malibu spread with a cafe and bar on the actual sand.  Being a native Miami-an, the lack of restaurant-water locations in LA has always upset me.  Restaurants on a cliff overlooking the water comes close, imagebut just doesn’t cut it.  Even though we were food and beverage sufficient, I was happy just knowing it was there – in case.  Finally, we reached the sand and set up shop.  Talk about a view…and relaxing.  So relaxing, one of my gal pals passed out while the other and I flipped through LA Magazine’s “Best of LA” issue and planned our post-beach move, a pit stop at Malibu Yogurt and the neighboring coffee shop.

image

From there we made the long trek back to West Hollywood, and keeping with the beachy theme, stopped at Mexico Restaurante y Barra’s happy hour.  A few casa margaritas and a shrimp ceviche later we had accomplished our goal to feel like we were on a vacation and spend little money doing so.

Having had a full day of festivities there was nothing left to do but take a much-needed nap.  However, our day was far from over.   We regrouped and headed to the launch of the new Xomad private events sponsored by Blackberry.  Being that I hadn’t eaten dinner yet, how could I turn down the yummy catered food, cupcakes, and open bar?  Yea, I don’t think so.

Now, with all that being said and done, the grand total of our fun-filled day in LA came to a whopping…drum roll anyone? $32 per person.

How you ask?  Here is a breakdown of our costs:

Home-made margarita mix $25, sandwiches $30, beach entry $15, coffee and yogurt $9, happy hour $18, Xomad event and parking FREE.

Talk about stretching a dollar!  Hey, if you can’t afford it, improvise.

Check back soon for another awesomely fancy-cheap day in LA.  Suggestions are always welcomed!