Saving your pennies for a jaunt to Paris or Peru?

No need to feel deprived while being thrifty.

Check out these three FREE events for a weekend that’s L.A.-fab and frugal to boot!



FISHEYES  — We’re big fans of DTLA’s FREE Grand Performances AND Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre‘s site-specific performances.  Tonight, Duckler and her troupe of performers will dance under the stars  with a giant fish: a 15 foot stainless steel structure designed by architect Alex Ward. The performance, inspired by themes of water, drought and (of course) fish, will take place, appropriately, in the fountain area of California Plaza. FishEyes is the first segment in an L.A. series (and a larger tour) that includes A Fish Out of Water and Fancy Fish and features a score by Andrew McIntosh, projections by Josephine Wang and costumes designed by Valerj Pobega.  Why: Imagining what it would be like to be Jonah (or Giuseppe and Pinocchio) in the whale.


Mary Austin-Klein

See this painting by Mary-Austin Klein at the Frogtown Art Walk on August 13, 2016


FROGTOWN ART WALK 2016 — The official name of this Los Angeles river-adjacent area is Elysian Valley but it got its “Frogtown” nickname from the (sadly long-ago) days when the river was full enough to deposit croaking critters on either side.   These days, instead of amphibians, the river banks are home to artists who will open their studios this Saturday for the 10th annual FREE art celebration in Northeast Los Angeles. Visit 30 artists studios and listen to music and more at seven stages (one curated by Spaceland of Echo Park).  Art walk guests can also get a sneak preview of the new Los Angeles River VR Experience: a virtual reality documentary produced by Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) that “takes viewers on a journey from the mountains to the sea, from the past, through the present, and into the future of the Los Angeles River.” Parking is limited: RIDESHARE HIGHLY ADVISED!  Why: Checking out art installations on the river path via foot or pedi-cab.




CicLAvia – ICONIC WILSHIRE — This Sunday, one of the city’s most historical connectors is once again being opened up for a FREE, all-day, car-free experience as cyclists, walkers, sprinters, peddlers, skaters and scooters travel the boulevard en masse. Explore the neighborhoods of Koreatown, Westlake and Downtown Los Angeles with PokeStops, coffee and water refueling opportunities and public art participation spots at three hubs: One Wilshire, MacArthur Park and the Wiltern in Koreatown.  All three hubs have great giveaways (while supplies last).  Check out the link above for information on a pre-CicLAvia 5K run as well as walks and feeder rides to the main event.  Why:  A chance for open air exploration including pedi-cabs for the less ambulatory.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go…. 

"War Paint for Trees" from MODERN RUIN by Jeff Frost at Kickstarter Film Fest 2014

“War Paint for Trees” from CIRCLE OF ABSTRACT RITUAL  by Jeff Frost at Kickstarter Film Fest 2014

The weekend has plenty of sultry summer stroll but make no mistake….

The fall-stravaganza of fun starts now!

Ready for Its Close-up

How many times have you donated a dollar or twenty to a Kickstarter project?

How many times have you seen the finished project?


This Friday, get vicarious bang for your buck at the Kickstarter Film Fest, which unlike your Aunt Shirley’s neighbor’s kid’s project is FREE.

Keeping the summer vibe intact, the curated slate of movies, which is presented in association with Eat/See/Hear, screens at the Autry Museum’s “event lawn”.

See teasers from popular indie OBVIOUS CHILD, Sundance award-winning documentary RICH HILL,  and campy time traveling KUNG FURY, as well as an animated music video of a Future Islands song, and excerpts of films including CIRCLE OF ABSTRACT RITUAL from artist/viral phenom Jeff Frost.

In addition to TGIF mob movie love, you’ll be able to eat Kickstarter-funded food like Max City BBQ  and frozen Nitro Pop popcorn, and check out Kickstarter funded projects like Carpool de Ville: a hot tub in a vintage Cadillac.

Which gives new meaning to the phrase “hot rod”….

KICKSTARTER FILM FESTFri, Sept 12, 6-11 pm.  FREEAutry at Griffith Park, 4700 Western Heritage Way, LA 90027.  More info HERE.

Frogtown Art Walk

Frogtown Art Walk

Art Yes. Frogs No.

Saturday will be a scorcher, which makes it a perfect evening for a languid stroll along the river at the Frogtown Art Walk.

Because Elysian Valley/Frogtown?

A river really does run through it..

The L.A. River will actually be a focus of the 9th annual FREE art/music/performance fest.  In addition to multiple open studios of must-see artists, attend Play the L.A. River, which is like a living Monopoly game with fun instead of “Go to Jail” cards.

Marcelle Gravel will debut: River of Wings, an installation of kinetic birds, along the river.   Also in the winged theme: beloved Americana/roots band I See Hawks in L.A. performs on one of the Fest’s six stages just steps from the river’s muddy-bottomed Glendale Narrows.

Worried you won’t be able  to see it all?

Opera del Espacio and Padua Playwrights will stage site-specific performances throughout the fest.  Riverside pedi-cabs are available to transport  weary  walkers to the Anonymous Renegade dance party, instant poetry production from the Poetry Society, and  walk-in dining at the elusive supper club elysian.

Note: you’ll actually have to walk in for the walk-in dining….

FROGTOWN ART WALKSat, Sept 13, 4-10 pm.  FREE Elysian Valley (near downtown Los Angeles/Dodger Stadium) along Blake Avenue, CA 90039. Parking, schedules and more information at

You won't be able to see all of the fork until you JOIN Secret Fork.

You won’t be able to see all of the fork until you JOIN Secret Fork.


It’s an irresistible mix; combine the exclusivity of a secret club with “early discoverer” bragging rights and the thrill of the culinary hunt, which taps into our deepest hunter/gatherer selves.

No wonder clandestine cuisine is all the rage!

This Sunday, check out a new edible adventure with The Secret Fork: a members-only, pop-up marketplace.  You have to join to get the location and other deets — perhaps download a secret handshake? —  but rumor has it this week’s fork fest takes place in the foothills of leafy Altadena.

Go Go’ers, that info is on a need-to-know basis.

In addition to sips and nibbles from food crafters, urban farmers, artisanal vendors and chefs, Sunday’s Secret Fork features the appropriately named Tongue & Groove hosted by Tammy Abell and Conrad Romo.  The fantastic, long-running “literary variety show with music” will be performing in a stone amphitheater on the property.

That is Top Secret information and tickets are limited.

You know what to do….

THE SECRET FORK Su!n, Sept 14; noon – 6pm.  $9 —  Secret location in Altadena; for more info and to join, go HERE.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Check out The Go Go on EAT: Los Angeles, LA.’s best online source for curated food news and reviews!

You'll probably only hear the frogs....

Paradise overrun by pests….  The story sounds apocryphal, even Biblical.  Even the dates are disputed (1950’s?  1960’s?), moving the tale into the realm of urban myth.  The only thing that everyone does agree on is that in the middle of last century, frogs fled the Los Angeles River and swarmed Elysian Valley.   The Eden-named enclave became known as Frogtown, as if the frogs had enchanted the area, casting it into warty oblivion.

If  the neighborhood was a fairy tale, Frogtown would be the princess under a spell, laboring in obscurity until her true beauty was rediscovered.   The happy ending?  In real life, this is actually what happened.  Decades after the amphibian invasion, artists like Derek Boshier, Michael Todd and Frank Romero (whose rainbow-tiled live/work space is currently for sale) led the artist immigration into the area, which was also revitalized due to the efforts of architect Tracy A. Stone (one of Frogtown Artwalk’s movers and shakers) after she heard a city planner suggest the rezoning of Frogtown warehouses, which allowed occupants to apply for artist-in-residence status.

In the Frogtown Art Walk’s fifth year, Stone’s studio will host three of the thirty artists participating in the free, self-guided, dusk-into-dark art walk through the lofts and studios of Elysian Valley’s artists.  Start your stroll at F&J Seafood Outlet. (A Ms. Go Go recommendation! Oysters!  Fish tacos!   Seafood dinners!).  With a one-time-only coupon (see below), you’ll get a map and a bottle of water and the art walk sponsor (one of thirteen) will donate $1 to the Frogtown Art Walk Association.

Don’t be startled by thumping as you meander; it’s not the frogs invading again but a youth art parade courtesy of the summer “Art and Drum Camp” sponsored by Gallery Frogtown.   Big and little kids can join pro hula hoopers HulaHips (also at Stone’s courtyard) or watch two Elysian Valley-themed films on a giant, inflatable screen at Elysian Gateway Park while enjoying a frozen treat from the Icycle Bicycle or a taco from Tacos Kevin.  Or, indulge your adult side with mixologist Nora Gordon‘s cocktails and DJ’ed dance music at RAC Design Build or bands Rough Duchess and Oakwood Brass Conspiracy at  Framatic .  And of course, there’s all the gorgeous art just waiting to be discovered and appreciated.

Just like Frogtown itself.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….