FREEEEE or close to it!

GO OUTSIDE! – The Big LA Parade

paradeTwo Days – 40 Miles – 100+ Stairways. Who says nobody walks in LA?

What: Big Parade LA 2009 – Walk a little, walk a lot… it’s up to you.
Where: First meets at Angel’s Flight Stairway, Downtown. Then moves… as parades are wont to do (they have an itinerary and will be twittering their progress so you can meet them along the way)
When: July 18 and July 19All you need to know can be found here.
Price: FREEEEE!

Details: There is absulutely NO better way to get to know Los Angeles than to get out of your car and hit the pavement. I’ve been doing that a lot lately and it’s shocking all of the things you can discover. Rather walk in a group? Well, here’s your chance… join a big walking community this weekend for all or just a part of THE BIG PARADE, a 2-day, 40-mile, 135-stairway walk. You’re invited!

Kind of like The Great Los Angeles Walk on steroids, THE BIG PARADE is a group effort, and the brain-child of of local stair explorer, Dan Koeppel. Dan undertook a five-year Los Angeles stair mapping/walking project that began in 2003 with a 47-stairway route through Silver Lake and now he’s mapped out a grand two-day walking even through Los Angeles. “The parade will start at the famous Angel’s Flight Stairway Downtown, and finish with six stairways leading up from Beachwood Canyon to the Hollywood Sign. The walk will cover approximately 40 miles and 135 stairways, and will include a camp-out at the mid-point (legalities permitting), the famous Music Box Stairs – site of the Oscar-winning Laurel & Hardy film of the same name – in Silver Lake. It will take place July 18 and 19th, 2009.”

“A core group of five to eight walkers will be doing the entire event. But – as the name “Big Parade” implies – the true nature of the journey is community-based. In addition to passing dozens of landmarks, we will be joined by community members, both individuals and in groups, as we pass through the city’s most diverse neighborhoods. The walk is broken into specific segments so that walkers of all ages and levels of fitness can join us at specific times (of course, anyone is welcome to meet us at any point along the way – and all are invited to join us at the end to celebrate the walk.)”

Think it’s a dumb idea? Well, their FAQ has an answer for that:

Q – The Big Parade is stupid.
A –
You might be right. But not having one would be even stupider.


FREEEEE – Hot Dogs vs. Tacos

chicasWhat: Two hot, overly perky Latina actresses giving out free hot dogs and tacos
Where:
Hollywood & Highland
When:
TODAY – Thursday, July 9, 2-6pm
Price:
FREEEEE!

Details: According to Wikipedia, The Chicas Project is “a reality television show on the bilingual television network Mun2, preeminent voice for Latino youth in America, that chronicles the adventures of the ‘Chicas,’ two VJs for Mun2, Yasmin Deliz and Crash Barrera.” Apparently their show is in its third season, but up until now I had no idea they existed. Which is okay… after watching a few clips it was easy to tell I’m just not their focus demographic. Well, I wasn’t until today. I am officially their demographic as of this moment solely because they’ll be handing out free food from 2-6pm and I’m always a fan of pro bono deliciousness. Yep, these two cute girls have decided (or rather, their show’s PR people did) that the best way to find out whether people prefer a Pink’s Hot Dog or a Joselito’s taco (ie, the best publicity stunt they could think up to promote season four of their show) is to give away 1,000 of each delicacy at a tourist mall. So if you’re in the area and feel like finding parking and braving the Captain Jack Sparrow impersonators this afternoon to snag a free snack from hot chicks, go for it. ¡Buen provecho, Los Angeles!


TIP – Museums Are FREEEEE! And Fun!

To the best of my knowledge, the following listing should be the most thorough and recent compilation of free LA museum days that’s currently on the web. Please feel free to e-mail us with additions, corrections or alterations to the list so we can keep it up to date. Thanks.

Finances are tight for everyone right now. The bad news is one in ten Americans is unemployed. The good news is… you live in Los Angeles where, contrary to how it may seem, there are some incredible, world-class resources that can be enjoyed for little to no money. Case in point… did you know that almost every museum in town – large and small – can be visited for free at least once a month? It’s true. Whether you’re interested in anthopology or art history or aeronautics or stuffed bunnies… you can learn more about them at the places listed below without giving up your rent money. So get out there and explore!
[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSaGrXPvSYE[/youtube]

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EVENTS – The Close Up 7/6-12

Note: Event listings are updated during the week as we see fit.

Now through 8/31/09 – Photography: The Billboard Show
7/9/09 – Downtown LA Artwalk
7/10-12/09 – Echo Park Community Festival
7/11/09 – Historic North Hollywood Walking Tour, 80’s Prom
Party
7/12/09
– Bastille Day Los Angeles; Art and Poetry with Exene Cervenka

billboard showONGOING THROUGH AUGUST 31st
What: THE BILLBOARD SHOW
Selling the California Lifestyle – Photographic Landscapes of the 1950s & 1960s
Where:
Take My Picture Gary Leonard 860 South Broadway, Downtown (213) 622-2256
When:
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10am–2pm & 3–6pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am–2pm; Saturdays 12–6pm; Sundays 12–3pm
Price: FREEEEE!

Details: “Ever since taking a photograph of the Dodgers as a little boy in 1959, Gary Leonard has documented the mercurial landscape of Los Angeles, from the political to the cultural and economic. A former employee of billboard advertising company Pacific Outdoor recently gave Leonard thousands of billboard slides, a hundred of which are now on view at Leonard’s gallery, Take My Picture (named after his column in various regional publications). Advertising everything from funeral services and early fax machines to civic defense and entertainment, the images provide a rare historical survey of mid-century American commercial design, proving that, much like one of his influences, Weegee, Gary Leonard has an excellent sense of timing.” (SOURCE)

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ONGOING – Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concerts

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4sCFgrpuEk[/youtube]

THURSDAY, JULY 2ND
SUMMER SEASON BEGINS
Santa Monica Pier TWILIGHT DANCE SERIES

Place: Santa Monica Pier parking lot (on the pier)
Time:
7-10pm every Wednesday thru 9/3
Price:
FREEEEE!
Details:
No alcohol is allowed (Dang!). Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash. You are more than welcomed to bring your own seating but seats will be available for rental. The full 2009 concert lineup is as follows:

July 2 – Playing for Change and Bushman;
July 9 – Joan Baez and Tift Merritt;
July 16 – Sgt. Garcia, Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca;
July 23 – Squirrel Nut Zippers and Johnny Vana & The Big Band Alumni;
July 30 – Thomas Mapfuno and The Blacks Unlimited;
August 6 – Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women and Paul Thorn;
August 13 – Idan Raichel Project and Elijah Emanuel;
August 20 – Venice and Lucas Nelson & The Promise of the Real;
August 27 – Lila Downs and Very Be Careful;
September 3 – An evening with music icon Patti Smith and her band.

Yeah, you read right… Rock N Roll Hall of Famer PATTI FRIGGIN’ SMITH is gonna be playing a FREE SHOW at the pier, people!


FUN – Photo Walking Los Angeles

What: Worldwide Photo Walk
When: Saturday, July 18, 2009
Where: Various locations – Chinatown, Echo Park, Malibu, Venice, Venice Beach, Silverlake, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Redondo Beach, Downtown, Claremont, Laguna Beach and Palm Desert
Price: FREEEE!

Do you love taking photos but your camera’s just sitting on the shelf gathering dust? Feel like exploring town, bonding with your fellow shutterbugs, but don’t know where to go? Scott Kelby (of Photoshop fame) is hosting his 2nd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk on July 18th. Scott describes it as “…a social photography event where photographers get together, usually in a downtown area or trendy section of town, to walk around, shoot photos, and generally have fun with other photographers.” and you can see him explain the event himself on the tiny video on this page. For people who feel like entering their best photo of the day into a competition, he offers small prizes for the winners.

There is a 50 person limit on each walk and they’re filling up fast so hurry to register. If you’re late to the game but still want to go, my guess is that the very last location to fill up will be Palm Desert, solely because it’s mid-July in Palm Desert and most people don’t like watching their cameras melt in their hands.

Feel like conducting your OWN private photo walk? NOBODY’S STOPPING YOU! You could do that RIGHT NOW (unless you’re reading this at work, in which case I’d wait). Grab your camera. Dust it off. Go outside! Walk. Take photos. I’m willing to bet your photo walk will probably be more interesting than whatever you were doing.


EVENTS – The Close Up – Updated 6/27

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHekCJdQUHE[/youtube] 6/25/09 – Harold & Maude EXTRAVAGANZA!
6/28/09 – Free Food at Ruby’s Shake Shack in Malibu; Discounted Tickets for The Los Angeles Accordion Festival
; Mondo Jerry Lewis Barbeque at Cinefamily
ALL WEEK: 6/22-28/09 – Bigfoot Drink Discounts
ALL SUMMER: Free food/drink specials at Arby’s

THURSDAY, JUNE 25th
A Salute to Hal Ashby – A HAROLD & MAUDE EXTRAVAGANZA!!!
Place: Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Time:
7:30pm showtime, doors open at 6:30pm
Price:
ONLY $5 for non-Academy members, $3 for Academy members
Note: YES, this fabulous Harold & Maude event is SOLD OUT, *BUT* a standby line will form on Thursday afternoon. Standby numbers will be assigned at approximately 5:30pm and any available tickets will be distributed shortly before showtime.
Details: I love this movie. Always have. And if you have too, then check out the following details about this incredible event: it’s hosted by Cameron Crowe and Peter Bart; features a discussion with Ashby’s colleagues and admirers including Judd Apatow, Diablo Cody, Seth Rogen, Jon Voight and Haskell Wexler; and includes a performance by Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens – !!!). On top of that, Ruth Gordon has been defrosted from her cryogenically frozen state and will be doing an Egyptian fan dance as Yusef performs the soundtrack from the film. Okay yeah, unfortunately I was only kidding about that last sentence (her fan dance would’ve been GREAT!) but I’m *not* kidding when I say that when everyone stops gushing over how insane and wonderful the movie is, they’ll be screening a brand new print of it from the Academy Film Archive. (Note: The Hal Ashby tribute continues through the end of June at the Linwood Dunn Theater, with The Landlord and Shampoo – June 26; The Last Detail and Coming Home – June 27; Being There – June 28)

SUNDAY, JUNE 28th
Ruby’s Shake Shack – MALIBU LOCATION GRAND OPENING
Place:
Malibu Pier, Malibu
Time:
Between 11am and 4pm only
Details:
During the hours shown above, everyone who shows up will be treated to *FREE* burgers, fries, and shakes. Garden salads have also been mentioned. Official opening day is June 29.

mondojerryMondo Jerry Lewis Barbeque
Place:
Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre,
611 N Fairfax Ave, Hollywood (323) 655-2510
Time: See below
Price: $12
Details:
To close out their Jerry Lewis retrospective–the first in LA ever!–Cinefamily is celebrating with a Jerrython, an all-day (and we mean it!) blowout of all the assembled rare Jerry footage they could find, including our own mash-up of our favorite moments… So, come early, get a couch, and settle in for hour upon hour of FLAVIN! with hot dogs and the JERRY!

Here’s an approximate itinerary (things might run 15-30 minutes over, give or take):
3-5:30 BBQing, and watching Colgate Comedy Hours with Martin & Lewis
5:30-6:30 Mondo Jerry mix of great scenes and rare clips
6:45-8:15: Cracking Up
8:30: Three on a Couch
10:30: The Big Mouth

Los Angeles Accordian Festival – SQUEEZE FEST L.A.
Place:
John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East., Hollywood (323) 461-3673
Time: Pre-show picnic/party: 5:30 pm; Show: 7:30 pm
Price: Full Price $40, $30. Mention “NELA” for a 20% discount.
Details: “The LA Accordion Festival hosts SqueezeFestLA at the majestic outdoor John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, one of LA’s most underappreciated architectural gems. After making forays into music scenes from the parlor to the speakeasy for nearly 200 years, the accordion has also recently experienced a major comeback on the indie stage, expanding its modern influence. This evening, three very different groups showcase the rich, nostalgic sounds of the instrument: operatically infused, neo-boho cabaret act Vagabond Opera, Conjunto Los Pochos (the epitome of culturally complex Tex-Mex music), and Louisiana’s Feufollet. Visitors are encouraged to come early and picnic on the grounds, while local “accordion diva” Gee Rabe performs in the plaza before the show.” (SOURCE)

**********
Oh, and as long as I’m looking for good deals to put into the events listing to help everyone survive financially during these tough times… I’ll just sneak this little tidbit in for ya. It’s not a local thing, I believe it’s nation-wide, but Arby’s is giving away FREE FOOD/DRINKS EVERY WEDNESDAY THIS SUMMER as follows:

July 1st – Free Regular Beef and Cheddar with soft drink purchase.
July 8th – Free Orange Cream Shake with sandwich purchase.
July 15th – Free Regular Roast Beef with soft drink purchase.
July 22nd – Free RoastBurger with soft drink purchase.
July 29th – Free FruiTea with sandwich purchase.
August 5th – Free Regular Roast Beef with soft drink purchase.
August 12th – Free Roast Chicken Club with soft drink purchase.
August 19th – Free FruiTea with sandwich purchase.
August 26th – Free Roast Beef ‘n Cheddar with soft drink purchase.


NO MORE – Dive Bar Comedy

UPDATE 4/22:  Thanks to Ryan for letting us know D+D’s Joke Center is no more. Basically, the lack of love took its toll on Denver Smith, the creator: “…hopefully i can do another show somewhere less stressful. i’m still afraid i’m going to have a heart attack from doing that show. which isn’t very fun. it was just too stressful for me putting that show on every week in a place where the regulars and even employees (not Cheazer) reminded me regularly that they don’t like it. Even when there was good crowds and stuff. i love putting on shows and think i’m pretty ok at it, especially when doug and i did it together, but doing it alone every week was just really getting to me. and the guy who was filling in for Cheazer last night really made me lose it on account of he was very rude. i just can’t keep doing that right now. i want to live!”

Poor guy. :(

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rxElFqPs8Q[/youtube] D+D’s Joke Center is a *FREE* comedy night that happens 9pm every Tuesday at The Big Fish in Glendale.  Although the video makes it seem otherwise, rumor has it that well-known comics occasionally show up to do sets right alongside locals getting their start in front of the heckley dive bar crowd… but you didn’t hear that from me.

The video at left is a This American Life web episode on the show.

The Big Fish 5230 San Fernando Road, Glendale (818) 244-6442


NATURE – Zoe Visits Coldwater Canyon Park

*Click on the thumbnail below to launch a photo gallery of Zoe’s hike through Tree People’s Coldwater Canyon*

Zoe Hiking Through Coldwater Canyon

My dog Zoe and I have been exploring the canyons lately. I hate to admit that despite living in L.A. for decades, up until now I’ve never really spent quality time venturing through the hills. Now that I’ve started, I can’t seem to stop. When there’s nature to discover just five minutes away, it’s a shame to stay indoors… especially since exploring the hills is free (unless you get one of those infamous stop sign tickets). One thing for certain… people who lament the lack of wildlife and trees in Los Angeles haven’t spent much time making effort to look for them. There are plenty, and close by.

So the other day I drove up to the TreePeople campus and Zoe and I went for a leisurely sunset walk. Certain parts of the trails were more populated than others, but for the most part it was very peaceful… I sat at a picnic table for a few minutes to listen to the birds, and within moments I spotted a family of deer just feet below me. FYI, one thing about Coldwater Canyon is that it can be whatever you want to be, a workout or a leisurely stroll. Also, you don’t have to worry about getting lost unless you start blazing your own trail… the paths are easy to follow.

Other web sites have already spent quality time discussing what the Park has to offer, rating the trails, and exploring the wonderful good deeds of Andy Lipkis and the great folks at TreePeople (who maintain the park and are definitely unsung heroes of Los Angeles). No need reinventing the wheel, so I’m just going to share a photo gallery from our relaxing walk and hopefully inspire you to check out the canyons for yourself. And be sure to bring your pup… a tired dog is a good dog! :)


TIP – *ACTUALLY* party like it’s 1999

JUNE 22-28, 2009 – WEEK-LONG DRINK DISCOUNTS
Bigfoot Lodge – TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

Place: 3172 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90039
(323) 662-9227
Time: Opens at 5 p.m. daily, Closes at 2:00 a.m. with happy hour from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Details: Calling all lushes! Longtime Los Feliz hipster hang the Bigfoot Lodge has officially been around for a decade, and in honor of the bar’s 10th anniversary, drinks will be slashed to 1999 prices through Sunday night. WOO HOO! Plus, if you’re in the mood for a little spa treatment as you get your party cocktail on, just check out Bigfoot’s Happy Hour Friday with dtox Spa. (RSVP required)

“Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Bigfoot Lodge brings us a week of special events, reintroducing live bands on Sunday afternoons, “Sasquatch sightings,” vintage drink prices and the opening of a sister-bar in Culver City, Bigfoot West. Bigfoot Lodge’s weeklong 10-year anniversary party takes place June 22nd-28th. Drinks will be priced as they were way back in 1999! Plus, they’re bringing back Sunday Sessions of live bands to entertain the masses as we down their Bloody Sunday crafty cocktails, which we can only imagine will be spicy as hell. On Tuesday, June 23rd, check out the fourth monthly Knotty Pine Derby—and enter your own pint-sized car for the heated races across the bartop. Take home a trophy! For those who reside on the west side, Bigfoot’s coming to you with a new venue called Bigfoot West, taking the place of the old Rae’s Tavern on Venice Blvd. The flaming Toasted Marshmallow cocktail, of course, is always waiting for a new victim.” SOURCE


EVENTS – The Close Up 6/21

UPCOMING EVENTS:
6/21/09 – Opening of the Eagle Rock Rock’N Roll Farmers’ Market
6/22/09 – The Song Stylings of Jackie Chan and Friends – Free Concert in Chinatown; Elvis Costello – Free Show at Amoeba

SUNDAY, JUNE 21st
Eagle Rock’N Roll Farmers’ Market – GRAND OPENING / REOCCURING WEEKLY

Place: 2700 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041 (Located on the upper parking level next to Macy’s)
Time: Every Sunday from 10am to 2pm
Details: Eagle Rock’s groovy new Farmers Market opens up this Fathers’ Day… and if it’s anything like PD Markets’ other locations (I try to attend the Woodman Avenue Market when I can), it’s definitely worth checking out. According to founder Philip Dane, “For those of you that are not familiar with our markets, we are not your ordinary farmers’ market. PD Markets has a unique feel and brings together farmers with artisans and live music. (This Sunday) we have The Bar Band playing 2 sets and of course it’s all Free. Plus we have a Rock Climbing wall and obstacle course for the kids or the kid in you.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cEow6iOWlk[/youtube]MONDAY, JUNE 22nd
Jackie Chan and Friends – FREE CONCERT IN CHINATOWN
Also featured will be Xu Dong Mei, Xu Nin, Jack Tu, Jerry Liao, Yang Zheng, and Ji Tao of the New Lucky Seven, Korean singer Yoo Suengjun, and America’s Sharon Jiao.
Place:
Central Plaza, 943-951 N. Broadway, Los Angeles Chinatown
Time:
Monday, June 22, 2009 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Details: The always adorable Jackie Chan will reunite friends and pop singers from China in a free performance in Los Angeles Chinatown. The concert will be performed in Mandarin and English. Martial arts performances by both the New Lucky Seven and the Shaolin Warriors of Chinatown will be a part of the evening. According to the press release, Jackie is taking time out from rehearsing for the remake of ‘Karate Kid’ to perform his inspirational music in L.A.’s Chinatown, where his very first U.S. feature film, ‘Rush Hour,’ was shot.

Elvis Costello – FREE IN-STORE CONCERT
Place: Amoeba Records, 6400 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood
Time: June 22, 2009, 8pm
Details: I *really* don’t need to tell you who Elvis Costello (aka Declan McManus, International Art Thief) is, or why you should see him. You already know. And if you don’t? Seriously? Ummm. Well I… I… oh, I just don’t think I can see you anymore. I’m sorry. I really do care about you, but this relationship just isn’t going to work out for me. Yup… that’s a dealbreaker, ladies.


TIP – The Daily Groupon

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW0nBOpgeN0[/youtube] Their Deals of the Day have saved millions of dollars for the people of Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. already. Now it looks like Groupon.com will soon be sharing the love and coming to Los Angeles. According to their website, their aim will be to find “the most interesting stuff to do in Los Angeles, and work with businesses to offer our subscribers the best deals available on things like Art, Theatre, Restaurants & Bars, Concerts, Movie Tickets, Retail, Lessons & Classes Events, Hotels, Spas & Salons, and more.”

“From the guy behind ThePoint.com, Groupon’s a daily e-blast offering the masses one exclusive and heavily discounted deal per 24-hour window, like a giant soup of the day, and everyone gets a spoon. To take advantage, you prepay the stated rate, but you’re only charged if a predetermined amount of other users do the same — basically, enough that the deal makes sense for the business, establishment, or knee-sock wholesaler in question.” SOURCE

Groupon.com — Los Angeles
A big thanks to Kim for the tip! :)