Have bike, will vamp....

Have bike, will vamp….

Staycationing?

Stay happy all weekend!

Read on for ways to make the city your personal playground….

BIKE NIGHT AT UNION STATION — If you thought Union Station was just a place to scurry through as quickly as possible, think again.  This Friday night, the architectural icon invites you to linger when it becomes an innovative fashion runway for  the designs of OTIS fashion students working under the guidance of Todd Oldham: legendary designer and OTIS alum.  The FREE evening includes live music by Jungle Fire, non-hosted food trucks, a bike valet, raffles and prizes (including a Public Bike) and an early peek at Metro Bikes: the DTLA bike share program debuting this summer.  Why:  Watching high-fashion models interact with bike chains and banana seats.

At Gronk's Theater of Paint, we are merely players....

At Gronk’s Theater of Paint, we are merely players….

GRONK’S THEATER OF PAINT: OPENING RECEPTION — Become part of the show at Gronk’s Theater of Paint, which opens with a reception this Saturday evening at the Craft and Folk Art Museum.  The legendary muralist and performance artist’s newest exhibit focuses on his 40 years of theater design; most recently, in operas for Peter Sellers.  The exhibit  is interactive: wander in, around and through the standing pieces while interacting with the props.  Why: Celebrate a legend by enacting an impromptu tribute to his life, in his art.

For the women and men who have served....

For the women and men who have served….

CLIFTON’S CANTEEN – 1940’s USO SHOW Clift,on’s Cafeteria rightly describes itself as “living history” — which makes it the perfect place to celebrate the women and men who were a part of history via their service to our country.  CAC Studios, the troupe that brought you the bawdy, hilarious Thenardier’s Inn, is bringing the full USO experience to the iconic eaterie for one night only.  Dress in your 1940’s finery for the Saturday night show, which includes hot jazz, Big Band music and songs performed by show biz icons of the era.  Why: Cocktails with patriotism and a giant redwood.

Playa Provisions: where to start your summer this Monday.

Playa Provisions: where to start your summer.

PLAYA PROVISIONS’ MEMORIAL DAY BEACH SIDE BASH — If your Memorial Monday plans include a day at the seashore set your beach towel sights on Playa Del Rey: specifically, the expanse of sand across from Playa Provisions: the four-in-one drinking and dining concept by Top Chef alum Brooke Williamson and her husband Nick Roberts.  On Memorial Day, Playa Provisions will be pulling out all the stops: celebrating Memorial Day and their 2nd anniversary with an afternoon, beach side/parking lot bash that has no admission fee and  includes grilled burgers and hot dogs, cocktails (from their fab Grain Whiskey bar) and a beer garden with The Stone Hop Wagon, featuring a variety of Stone Brewing’s craft beers on-tap. The Royal Rats plus a DJ provide the soundtrack to your perfect California summer kickoff.  Face painting and a bouncy obstacle course keep the small fry busy so you can enjoy the ocean breezes and the booze.  Why: A beach side sunset with great food, a perfect cocktail and preoccupied kids.

Ready?  U Know U Want to Go Go….

Ms. Go Go is ready for NYE! How about you?

Ms. Go Go is ready for NYE! How about you?

So many NYE events, so little time.

Maybe it’s the proximity to the Christmas full moon but L.A. taste makers and fun providers have gone into overdrive for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Ms. Go Go has carefully sifted through the approximately one billion (+/-) L.A./NYE events to create the following cheat sheet of 15 events where you can bid a memorable good-bye to 2015.

Some are FREE, some are intimate, some are big, all are fab.  Each has something special to make it a Go Go-worthy NYE destination.

L.A. party people, rev your engines….

FREE!!! (No entry fee, at the very least….)

N.Y.E.L.A. at Grand Park + Music Center (Downtown L.A.) — 3-D projections!  Art installations! Photobooths!  3 music stages!  20 food trucks!  (Family friendly/no alcohol.)  Why: Seeing yourself projected two stories high on the side of City Hall.

Pluto’s First Party at the Ace Hotel (Downtown L.A.)— DJ’s include Devendra Banhart!   Alien sightseeing!  Future life form caricatures!  Interstellar light installations!  Why: Devendra Banhart + Encounters of the Stirred Kind….

No Cover New Years at Angel City Brewery (Downtown L.A.) — Limited edition “best brews of 2015” on tap!  Midnight toast!  Food trucks!  Free party favors to first 150 guests!   Why: The opportunity to drink your way through a “best of” list.

NYEx10: Have Cocktail, Will Travel at Big Bar (Los Feliz) —  10 time zones!  10 cocktails!  10 countdowns!  10 playlists!  1 Cocktail World Map (supplies limited)!  Why: “Drinks Without Borders” with new bar manager Carrie Hah in  the cocktail cockpit.

Seven Grand Whiskey Bar (Downtown L.A.) — L.A.’s best whisky bar!  Masquerade themed!  No reservations required!  Why: Sipping top-flight whisk(e)y incognito.

Stiletta Maraschino at TRAPEZE: NYE Golden Regale! (Photo courtesy, Trapeze)

Stiletta Maraschino at TRAPEZE: NYE Golden Regale! (Photo courtesy, Trapeze)

Best NYE Bang for Your Buck

Madera Kitchen (Hollywood) — Ticket includes welcome cocktail & dessert bar!  Table reservations available!  Cash bar + dancing! Gorgeous heated patio!  Artisanal restaurant! ***Book through LASKEY***  Why: Pretty people in a beautiful space….

The Normandie Club (Koreatown) — Welcome cocktail, snacks and Midnight Champagne Toast; reservation only from 9pm!  Limited table reservations!  Or check out the earlier Extended Happy Hour Cocktails and Bites (no entry fee/reservations) from 5-8:30p.m!  Why: Cozy kissing at midnight without the crowds.

Trapeze: NYE Golden Regale at Syrup Loft (Downtown L.A.) —  Burlesque beauties!  Electroswingers!  Lascivious poets!  Champagne countdown!  Rooftop oasis!  Royal photo booth!    Drink specials!  Continental breakfast!  Why: Watching the first dawn of 2016 on a DTLA rooftop surrounded by strippers.

Intimate Dinners with a Twist

New Year’s Eve at The Varnish (Downtown L.A.) — Full, late-night dinner!  Open bar + snacks!  Live jazz trio!  Annual limbo contest!  E-mail thevarnish@thevarnishbar.com to make reservations.  Why: Finding out how low you can go in a speakeasy….

Jardin Enchanté at Little Door/Little Next Door/Little Door Santa Monica (WeHo/Santa Monica) —  Alice in Wonderland-themed NYE !  4 course prix fixe dinner/2 seatings!  Fantastic attire requested!  Queen of Hearts dancers!  DJ!  Cheshire Cat fortune teller!  Why: Go down the rabbit hole on NYE….

Dita Von Teese is the Grand Hostess of EVERYTHING!

Dita Von Teese is the Grand Hostess of EVERYTHING!

Hey, Big Spender: Stellar Bashes Worth Every Penny 

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza with “Grand Hostess” Dita Von Teese at Clifton’s (Downtown L.A.) — Legendary  burlesque!  Live music! Magic!  Surprises!   Select complimentary cocktails created by barman extraordinaire Michael J. Neff!  Why: Taxidermy, a giant redwood, and a gorgeous, mostly naked woman in an oversized martini glass.  On the same night.

Unparalled Cabaret Bar at the Edison (Downtown L.A.)  — Singer Desi Valentine!  Aerialists!  Stilt walkers!  Dancers!   Epic champagne toast!  Glam Deco in a former power plant.  Why: The (NYE) toast in the machine.

Prohibition NYE at Union Station (Downtown L.A.)  40-foot ball drop!  Union Station!  Water Grill oysters!  Signature cocktail!  Dollhouse Entertainment burlesque!  Premium open bar!  Why:  Vamp the night away….

Black Tie Masquerade Ball at the Viceroy Hotel (Santa Monica) —  Hosted bar!  Decadent hors d’oeuvre! s KCRW DJ’s Jason Bentley & Raul Campos!  Why: (Optional) NYE countdown in a cabana.

New Year’s Eve: A Benefit for the Victims of Paris w/ Jesse Hughes of Eagle of Death Metal at Harvard & Stone (Los Feliz) Dancers!  Live music!  DJ’s!  All night open bar: craft cocktails & punches, craft beers, and bottomless champagne!  Plus, so much good karma!  Why: Good drinks and good deeds for the new year.

Happy New Year & thanks for making The Go Go your 2015 guide for “offbeat fun, quirky culture and cocktails whenever possible…!”

Have fun; be safe!  Metro Los Angeles will operate 24-hour, overnight service on Metro Rail, plus Orange and Silver Lines with FREE fares from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Too much NYE?! Take Metro!

Too much NYE?! Take Metro!

Author John Buntin brings his book to life in his guest-hosted tour from Esotouric.

 

The weather forecast may call for sunshine and blue skies this weekend but it’s always shady in the land of Noir.  This weekend, check out gangsters and gun molls plus real-life cops and robbers.  Snap-brimmed fedoras optional….  

The second* weekend of American Cinematheque’s Film Noir Festival at the Egyptian Theater features some interesting curiosities. The script for  Bodyguard, the second film in Friday night’s double feature (playing with The Locket) was written by a young Robert Altman.  Sunday night’s Drive a Crooked Road features the double delight of cast-against-type Mickey Rooney as a car mechanic whose penchant for pretty dames has him on the skids in a script by Blake Edwards.  (Walk a Crooked Mile follows.)  Saturday night’s fare has no stunt casting/screenplays but offers a double dose of Broderick Crawford in New York Confidential and Human Desire.  

Go Go’ers in the know dine on dry martinis and other Rat Pack staples across the street at Musso & Frank Grill, Hollywood’s oldest restaurant (opened 1919) and a favorite haunt of Hollywood royalty and writers on a budget  or a binge; John Fante and Charles Bukowski both ate/drank here as did F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway when they wrote for “the studios”.  (NOTE: The bar at Musso & Frank Grill is now open until 2:00AM; a limited but beyond-bar-food menu, such as  steak filet, is also available.)  

Check out L.A.’s real back alleys, brazen gangsters, and beat-cops-with-a-mission in Esotouric’s L.A. Noir Crime Tour.   Author John Buntin brings to life his  highly praised book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City about the decades-long power struggle between cold-blooded-killer/Hollywood scenester Mickey Cohen and controversial Police Chief William Parker.   Buntin guest-hosts the tour  with Esotouric’s Crime Tour creator Kim Cooper.  The tour leaves from the classic Clifton’s Cafeteria; get there early to jolt yourself into consciousness with a cup of joe and a sugary dessert.  

Bad boys and b-girls, this one’s for you.  

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….  

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