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Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

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What You Need To Know About The Wilshire Grand Center

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

Los Angeles still has the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi, but it is no longer the U.S. Bank Tower. On Friday, the 73-story, 1,100 feet tall Wilshire Grand Center made its official debut as the 9th tallest building in the United States. Christopher Martin, the architect and development manager, said the complex was built at a cost of more than $1 billion by Korean Air. Its chairman, Yang Ho Cho, admires California's scenic beauty (he is a USC graduate) so much that Martin incorporated that love into the design, starting with the glass crown on top that was inspired by Half Dome, the famous rock formation and hiking destination in Yosemite National Park. In fact, the shimmering glass is also meant to evoke the Merced River, which flows steep and swiftly from the Sierra Nevada mountains through the southern portion of Yosemite.

The skyscraper took three years to build, starting in 2013 with the razing of the original Wilshire Grand Hotel. The new InterContinental Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, with 889 rooms (elevators will zip guests to the 70th floor hotel lobby in just 50 seconds), was incorporated into the new tower above office and retail space, and there is a connected seven-story building that houses ballrooms, a pool and a restaurant. For the public, there’s a rooftop bar on the 73rd floor and restaurants on the 71st. Located at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street in Downtown LA’s Financial District, the building stands out visually not just because of the glass accents and unique design, but also because of the rooftop spire, the first one built on a Downtown skyscraper since the 1970s, and its light-up spine. The crown and the spine are equipped with LED lights that can display mesmerizing, neon colors. "Every time the Dodgers hit a home run, we want the building to flash Dodger blue," architect Martin said.

Apart from the stirring design, Martin says the building is also one of the safest in America because it is designed to absorb huge amounts of energy. It uses massive bracing, oceanic volumes of concrete (the Guinness World Records announced that 82 million pounds of concrete was poured at the site in one day, breaking the prior record of one continuous pour that was set during construction of The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas), and plenty of smart engineering to help it withstand temblors. At the heart of the building is a massive, rectangular central core with walls up to 4 feet thick, measuring 32 feet on one side and 128 feet on the other. The core stabilizes the building against both seismic and wind forces, and provides an anchor for structural elements attached to the outer walls. It reaches five levels underground and then 850 feet into the air. 

If you are going there soon and have a chance to stay at the hotel or check out the rooftop bar or the tower's eateries, please let us housesellers know how you enjoyed it. 

 

Summer Gardening Tips For Los Angeles Procrastinators

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

Conventional Wisdom, as it goes, traditionally says that if you have waited until late June to plant your summer garden, you are too late to get the best out of the fruits and vegetables you probably love. But even with the crazy weather we have had this year (including copious amounts of rain and mud) that doesn't mean that is necessarily true. So, if you are a procrastinator and just now realize how much you are ready to get out and harvest the bounty of the earth, we housesellers have some encouraging news for you.

First of all, we have read many experts' tips for getting the most out of your SoCal garden and we have seen some great lists from them regarding their favorite edibles to put in just as summer ramps up. At the top of all of their suggestions is to plant sweet potatoes, one of the healthiest of the so-called "super foods". The non-hipster answer to kale, these nutritious root vegetables are heat-loving garden sprawlers. Their tender leaves can make for great summer greens which can be delicious in smoothies or sautéed. If you have tomatoes already planted, these leaves can also shade tomato roots from the heat. 

Also, it is all about beans in our summer climate. In fact, most varieties of beans are fast-growing climbers that love hot temperatures. Plan successive plantings of snap beans a couple of weeks apart, to extend your harvest throughout the summer. Consider planting dry bean varieties, as well, for winter stews.  Beets, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumbers, egg-plant, oak leaf and other heat-tolerant and bolt-resistant lettuces, melons, okra, peppers, pumpkins, squash and radishes also can be planted now and harvested in the Fall. For pumpkin and squash, it is important to remember that they need lots of room (up to 500 square feet, according to Sunset’s Western Garden Book of Edibles), and it is important to keep water off the leaves to avoid mildew. Make sure to mulch with clean straw to protect the leaves and fruit from rot.

Ask your local garden store or nursery, or inquire at your favorite local farmers market, about what varieties of specific fruits and vegetables that might normally not thrive in the Los Angeles heat are actually good for planting this late in the year. For example, the popular spinach variety most of us eat is notorious for wilting in the summer heat, but Malabar spinach, with its deep red stems, purple-black berries and tasty green leaves, thrives in the heat and is a natural for edible landscaping. 

Lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme do well in the hot sun even with poor (but well-drained) soil and with minimal fertilizer. You are also not too late to plant basil, chives, cilantro and parsley, but they do prefer richer soil with more frequent watering so you will have to work a little harder for those well-used spices. Melons of all sorts are also rambling vines that crave heat and organic matter, so take care to supplement your soil with lots of compost and make sure there is plenty of room for roots to spread.

We found a great, comprehensive and amazing guide to June/July gardening tips (in particular), and we think it offers up some compelling reasons why right now may be the best time to start your fruit and vegetable garden. It even suggests you can still plant and grow some amazing corn and tomatoes, as well as other items you might not associate with a summer LA planting. Please let us know if you have any good stories about your SoCal summer garden!

 

 

 

Last Minute Ideas For Celebrating Father's Day

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

Father's Day is tomorrow and for some reason this is one of those holidays that seems to sneak up much more quickly than say, Mother's Day. We housesellers have noticed lots of online articles about the day referencing "last minute ideas" and "procrastinators" so if this blog is just now reminding you that, oops, tomorrow is the day to celebrate dear old dad and you have nothing planned, we've picked out a few fun and great ways to show you care.

One off the first things that we noticed going on around Los Angeles is that this weekend marks the start of LA Beer Week and dads love beer, right? From today until next Saturday, local breweries, bars, restaurants and other venues will be hosting events celebrating the culture of craft beer in our community. There will be tons of events going on all over the area, from Augora Hills to Eagle Rock to Long Beach, but one of the most fun looks to be the Boomtown Father's Day Carnival at Boomtown Brewery in the Los Angeles Arts District. Dads and moms can enjoy craft beer and food pairings, while the kids have some fun with the bounce house, face painting, games and more. The event will also feature local barbecue, gelato and a charity raffle.

If wine is more his thing, get your dad over to the LAWineFest in the ROW-DTLA section of Downtown. Now in its 12th season and bigger and better than ever, this event brings wines (and craft brews and spirits) from all over the world to thirsty Angelenos. You'll get customary wine glasses so you and pops can try samples at each station and you'll have access to wines from more than 30 wineries. There will also be various seminars on topics related to artisanal food and drink, live entertainment, boutiques items for sale and food trucks galore. 

Dads also are known for loving cars and the world-famous Peterson Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard has a great day planned for gearheads and their families. Their special Father's Day celebration is centered on families and kids of all ages, and includes the opportunity to take a family photo inside a classic Petersen vehicle. You can explore the engines of their remarkable selection of vehicles in the hoods up area, visit their Discovery Center where kids can create a trophy for their #1 Dad, and gather on the rooftop from 11am – 5pm where there will be a DJ, drinks, and food such as tacos, sliders, and more. There is also a special Father‘s Day discount: buy 1 adult ticket and get 1 child ticket for free (ages 3-12) at the door.

The Peterson isn't the only place on Museum Row having special celebrations for dads tomorrow and if art is what your father loves, head to the Miracle Mile on Father’s Day where you can visit LACMA to celebrate and create colorful art with dad or paint picture frames at the Zimmer Children’s MuseumThe Kite Flying Project is at CAAM, miniatures are the rage at the Fowler and the Getty Villa goes way back to Rome with ancient art, perfume making and even fortune telling.

Smorgasburg LA, the weekly Downtown food festival with an ever-changing list of vendors that we have blogged about in the past, is celebrating both Father's Day and their One Year Anniversary tomorrow. Cultural events, pop-up restaurants and other surprises will be the order of the day, and some of the original vendors from their grand opening last year will be back to celebrate. The organizers also promise that they'll be packing the center shopping aisle with father-friendly gifts such as records, sunglasses, leather goods and more.

Of course, many of you will want to take your fathers out for a nice brunch or dinner. Whether your dad likes his dining choices to be laid-back and homey or fancy and upscale, this restaurant list from Open Table has all of the bases covered and is the go-to spot for those last minute reservations. 

 

 

Celebrating Frank Lloyd Wright

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

There have been some really fascinating articles of late regarding the 150th anniversary of the birth of Frank Lloyd Wright last week. By far America's greatest and most well known architect, his influence is felt all across the United States and throughout the world (to the point that he designed a section of the famous Imperial Hotel in Tokyo). The primary leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture, he also designed the furniture and interior elements in many of his homes and believed in building structures that were in harmony with nature and the environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. Far from being just a standard architect of private residences, Wright was active in the design of business offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, museums and other structures, and he incorporated stained glass, local building materials, water, air and light into his plans.

While many of Wright's homes were spacious and grand, he believed that quality design could be affordable, that people should live, work and breathe in spaces that embraced nature instead of being closed off from it and that you didn't necessarily need a lot of space to live comfortably. Many familiar threads run through his work including long straight beams, short ceilings that give way to larger open spaces, outdoor elements like plants and trees brought indoors, a heavy emphasis on natural light and a major lack of storage space. In fact, one of his well known idiosyncrasies was hating basements and closets since he believed that if he gave people room to store a lot of stuff, they would just keep buying more stuff (his homes offered a sort of a forced minimalism). 

While his most productive output is centered around Chicago (he spent the first 20 years of his career in the Windy City and the surrounding area boasts more Frank Lloyd Wright buildings than anywhere else in the world), Wright had a major impact on the architecture of Los Angeles, and California as a whole. We housesellers have often mentioned the goings on at his most famous L.A. sites such as the Ennis House and the Hollyhock House, but his influential works are pervasive in California, from Malibu to San Luis Obispo to San Francisco. One of his last projects was actually in Bakersfield, the Usonian style George Ablin House, a project that started when the wife of Dr. Ablin wrote to Wright on a whim asking him to design their new home, never thinking in a million years that the superstar architect would even respond. Another late project in California was the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Redding that Wright agreed to design while he was working on the Guggenheim Museum in New York by saying, “Tell the people of the little church that I will help them out. If I like the ‘feel’ of the job, I‘ll take it.”

During his lifetime, Wright was a prolific creator. He produced more than 1,000 designs and had approximately 500 of his architectural structures built. One of the remarkable things about Wright’s enduring legacy is how popular his buildings remain as pilgrimage sites for his fans. In all, about 380 Wright structures are still standing, and those that are open to the public often sell out their tours weeks in advance. There is an enormous amount of information out there, befitting for a man who immersed himself in his career for over 70 years, but a great place to start if you don't know much about Frank Lloyd Wright or simply want a refresher on his vast importance to the development of 20th century America is the Taliesin website, which details Wright's life in Spring Green, Wisconsin where he had a vast estate that served as his home, a place to experiment, housed his studio and offices and has an incredible history itself that you will definitely want to check out.

 

June Is National Homeownership Month

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

For those who were not aware, June has been designated as National Homeownership Month by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). We housesellers thought we would give you some of the main details on just what exactly that means for Americans. Basically, National Homeownership Month is a special annual event jointly celebrated by mortgage loan lenders and the federal government to promote the key part of the American Dream: owning a home. According to the National Association of Realtors, homeowners move far less frequently than renters, making it easier to build community networks and support systems. This results in a higher membership in voluntary organizations, greater social interaction in communities where they live, higher student test scores by children living in owned homes, a higher rate of high school graduation and higher earnings and better health outcomes (including better physical and psychological health).

Recognition of the importance of homeownership began as a week-long celebration in 1995, and was later expanded in 2002 to include the entire month of June. This year, HUD has published a comprehensive toolkit containing talking points and key messages, HUD press contact information, stories and infographics about “Beating the Odds” and attaining homeownership (please be aware the release date of 2016 is a typo). Throughout the month of June, HUD will host a series of Twitter chats to discuss important topics surrounding homeownership and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan programs. 

Although the promotion of Homeownership Month is typically low-key, most of the players in the housing industry sphere participate. For example, the major lending organizations lead an extra push in June to make sure the public is aware of their rights and obligations when you enter a mortgage contract. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses the month to launch a drive to promote home purchases in rural areas to encourage population growth, development and commerce. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also publishes a toolkit promoting the benefits of owning a home that can be customized for local markets. The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) uses June to promote the fact that your local community bank can be an excellent source of guidance when navigating the home buying process.

Of course, your local realtor is one of the best resources you can turn to for information on the value and importance of owning a home and, as always, we remain committed to helping you with any questions you may have. Whether a first time buyer or a long term homeowner looking to make a possible move, we will provide you with comprehensive and detailed answers.

 

 

The Pioneer Of California Modernist Architecture Passes Away

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

If you love California Mid-Century Modernist architecture as much as we housesellers do, John Lautner, Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler are probably familiar names to you. You may know the rich history of the Mar Vista Tract by celebrated designer Gregory Ain and, of course, the famous Los Angeles homes by Frank Lloyd Wright such as the Hollyhock House and the Ennis House. But you might be less familiar with William Krisel, who died Monday and is credited with introducing Mid-Century architecture to postwar, mass-produced homes in suburban developments. His ability to design original architecture at a price that appealed to buyers and made developers happy cemented his career and shaped the image of Palm Springs as a mecca for Mid-Century Modern architecture.

Krisel's personal story was fascinating. Born in Shanghai to parents who worked for the U.S. State Department, his father was also the sole film distributor in Asia for the Hollywood studios. When young Krisel learned that the family would be moving back to the United States and settling in Southern California, the then 11 year old sent a local architect sketches for the proposed family home. The architect was so impressed that she told Krisel's father that the boy had great talent and should become an architect. After serving in the Army and studying architecture and landscape design at USC, where he graduated from, that is exactly what he did.

By the 1950s, Krisel's innovative housing vision helped to nearly double the size of Palm Springs by building 2,500 tract homes that still exist today. Krisel varied roof lines, paint schemes and the length that homes were set back from the street so that no two tract homes near each other looked the same despite all having one basic floor plan. He popularized the butterfly roof that is seen in homes all over Southern California, from Palm Desert to Bel Air and Brentwood to San Diego. His homes featured open spaces and clerestory windows to bring in optimum light because, as Krisel stated, "It makes you aware that it's a beautiful day or a dark day...you're aware of the weather because the outdoors come in. The space that you're in is not held in by four walls, your space goes as far as your eye can see." In the late 1950s, buyers could purchase one of his 1600 square ft. homes on a 100 x 100 lot, all of them landscaped with modern design touches, air conditioning and a swimming pool, for $29,900.

His huge success in Palm Springs led to his designs being implemented in over 30,000 homes in Southern California. Krisel's tracts brought revolutionary design to something once viewed as being below serious architects, and his meticulously planned neighborhoods elevated mass-produced housing to the realms of respectability and admiration among both his peers in the architectural profession and the general public at large. With his business partner, Dan Saxon Palmer, Krisel also designed many custom homes in Bel-Air and Brentwood. Among his famous commissions was the futuristic House of Tomorrow in Palm Springs, which was featured in Look magazine in 1962 and five years later came to be known as the honeymoon hideout of Elvis and Priscilla Presley

 

 

The Los Angeles Free Outdoor Summer Movie Schedule Is Here!

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

From the beach cities to Downtown LA to Beverly Hills, every Summer in Los Angeles seems to present more and more spots for movie lovers to watch their favorite new, cult or classic films for free. This year is no exception so we housesellers have put together a list of the best free film series that everyone from singles looking to mingle to families and kids can enjoy.

Friday Night Flicks at Pershing Square offers up a group of films with a decidedly apocalyptic feel to them and this series is more for older teens and adults. Sci-fi and zombies figure heavily, and the films include Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise, World War Z with Brad Pitt and The 6th Day with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Attendees can pack a picnic, bring a blanket or lawn chair and sit back and enjoy a fun selection of free films that are shown on a 20-foot inflatable screen. The movies start at sunset and family dogs are welcome if they are well-behaved and kept on a leash.

Long Beach has a great family friendly selection of films starting June 15th titled Moonlight Movies that includes recent blockbusters like Star Wars: Rogue One and Finding Dory and beloved favorites like The Princess Bride and The Little Mermaid. Plus, there is the added thrill of watching Jaws while sitting on a blanket at the edge of the ocean in the dark of night! There is plenty of free parking but make sure you check the schedule carefully as the films rotate between Cherry, Granada and Alamitos Beaches. The movies start around 8 p.m. and there will be popcorn, snacks and dinners offered for purchase.

Playa Vista Movies in the Park is a fairly new entry to the free movie scene and though their schedule isn't complete yet (although it does kick of June 23rd with Rogue One), last year featured movies that were big crowd-pleasers such as Frozen and Guardians of the Galaxy. This series is held on Friday nights and is known for the quality of the gourmet food trucks on site and the super friendly family vibe. Check this link in the near future for an updated schedule. 

Although it is billed as a free movie event, CineMalibu at Malibu Bluffs Park offers a whole bunch of activities for kids and families including arts and crafts, movie character appearances, ocean conservation programs and a recycling drive, food trucks and an on-site cafe, shaved ice and a photo booth. Their list of films is not yet complete but if you arrive early in the afternoon on June 17th (activities begin around 6:30 p.m., with the movie starting at dusk), you can dispose of your Household Hazardous Waste/E-Waste at Malibu City Hall before heading down the street to the park to watch Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

If you don't feel like hiking down to Long Beach or out to Malibu but still want to watch some flicks by the water, one of our favorite spots for free activities, Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey, has its Summer film series planned to start on July 8th. This link will update you when the films are announced, but last year they ran the gamut from My Fair Lady to The SpongeBob Movie. This is an absolutely fantastic picnic spot and we can attest that they always have great food trucks, too.

If you live out in the western part of the Valley, there are a couple of pretty cool free movie series you might want to check out. One of them, the CSUN Summer Movie Fest at Cal State Northridge, has probably the best variety we have seen ranging from 1960's Psycho to this year's The LEGO Batman Movie and Beauty and the Beast to 1985's classic The Breakfast Club and 1996's Space Jam. Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills screens free outdoor movies on Saturdays throughout the Summer and the films are presented on a 30-foot theatrical screen with digital projection, surround-sound and high resolution digital picture. Their Movies on the Green series also offers pre-show entertainment starting around 7:15 p.m. Dive-In Movies at the Rancho Simi Community Pool offers up family favorites that you can watch as you splash around in the swimming pool. You will have to pay a $3 pool admission but that gets you a 30-foot screen in the grass area and a smaller screen poolside.

There are also some smaller events in and around LA like the Silver Lake Picture Show at the Sunset Triangle Plaza that offers up a unique mix of popular films, short films from local filmmakers and live musical acts, so for a more complete list, please see this link. There are also plenty of amazing film events and series that charge admission but offer much more than just movies that we will be posting about soon. 

 

 

 

 

 

Plans Underway For Historic Crossroads Of The World To Shine Again In A MAJOR Way

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

There has been some interesting and unexpected news out today regarding Crossroads of the World, the iconic Los Angeles landmark that opened in 1936 that is often cited as America's first outdoor shopping mall. The location is now known mostly as a place where different businesses related to the entertainment industry have offices but, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Sunset Boulevard complex is set to be transformed into one of the biggest mixed-use projects in Hollywood history.

Helmed by Harridge Development Group, the project is intended to revitalize and expand the complex by returning it to its former glory—and then some. Dubbed Crossroads Hollywood, the complex will “meld residential buildings and creative office space with restaurants, retail storefronts and a hotel, all accessible via a vibrant promenade”. With 1.43 million square feet, Crossroads would comprise more square footage than Hollywood’s most recent mega-development, the $615 million Hollywood & Highland shopping and entertainment complex completed in 2001. The project, estimated to cost between $500 and $600 million, is moving forward after its Draft Environmental Impact Report was released recently.

Some of the plans include:

  • A 26-story tower with 308 hotel rooms​​
  • A 30-story tower with 190 condominiums
  • Four apartment buildings holding 760 units, including a 32-story tower and three six-story buildings
  • Two low-rise buildings offering 95,000 square feet of office space
  • A restaurant at Crossroads of the World
  • An underground lot with nearly 2,500 parking spaces
  • Ground-floor stores and restaurants would take up 185,000 square feet throughout the development

​​The central feature of Crossroads of the World, the iconic 60-foot tower with a spinning globe on top that is surrounded by a miniature ocean liner with an Art Deco facade complete with portholes, railings, life preservers, and decks, is expected to be preserved. The buildings have become legendary, with a replica of the tower at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida getting much more attention on social media than the actual tower these days. Featured in films such as Indecent Proposal and L.A. Confidential and TV shows such as Dragnet and Remington Steele, the complex is featured in the cover art for the band America's multi-platinum selling greatest hits collection titled History. Fun Fact: the album's cover art was done by an unknown artist named Phil Hartman, who later became a legendary comic actor and Saturday Night Live cast member who had a successful TV and film career until his death in 1998.

We housesellers are interested in what your opinion of this new development is, so please feel free to comment here or on our Facebook or Twitter pages. 

 

 

These Are The Best Non-Beach Things To Do This Memorial Day Weekend

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

Memorial Day Weekend is usually referred to as the unofficial start of Summer and for many Angelenos the holiday is the first weekend they start spending some serious time at the beach. While Fiesta Hermosa and other beach events will have plenty of folks heading to the ocean, we housesellers thought we would select some non-traditional, but still L.A.-centric, events you might be interested in that are fun and interesting ways to enjoy the long weekend (and also avoid the beach crowds).

For those of you still humming tunes from La La Land the Hollywood Bowl has a treat for you tonight and tomorrow night with their premiere of the new touring show, La La Land in Concert: A Live-to-Film Celebration. This will be a true spectacle featuring a viewing of the film with its Oscar-winning composer, Justin Hurwitz, conducting the score with a 100-piece symphony orchestra, choir and jazz ensemble. And, because it's the Hollywood Bowl, expect a killer fireworks finale to end the evening.

Our vegan friends will be in heaven Saturday if they make their way to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the EAT DRINK VEGAN food and beer festival. Actually, looking at the food and drink menus, this would be heaven for anyone who likes good food and drink. There will also be tons of clothing, body care and housewares boutiques.

Long before the internet made it easy to find out where the latest underground music was being performed, where to order supplies for your latest DIY project or how to get people to read your poetry and record reviews, fan and artist produced "zines" were where the folks looking to stray far outside the box got their clues and inspiration and knowledge. This was especially true in cities like New York and L.A. and we are glad to see that that culture still thrives here. Celebrate zines and their insider-outsider place in the world of experimentation and discovery at this year's L.A.Zine Fest on Sunday at the California Market Center. Over 200 exhibitors will be there to share ideas and trade or sell their zines.

We all love a good theme party and Main Street in Santa Monica will transform into an interactive Monopoly board game this Sunday, allotting attendees special "MAINopoly dollars" to be exchanged for food and drink tastings at 20 of the street's finest establishments. The event, the 4th Annual MAINopoly: Taste Of Main Street, will help benefit Heal the Bay and Summer SOULstice, a fun free festival featuring local musicians on five stages on Main St. from Pier Avenue to the Strand.

If it is a parade you are looking for on Monday, you'll have to head to the Valley for the Canoga Park 28th Annual Memorial Day Parade. This is an old-fashioned, patriotic event with church, military and school marching bands, floats, choral groups, classic cars, local celebrities, give-aways and all of the classic parade trappings.

A fun way to honor the spirit of Memorial Day would be by celebrating the men and women of our military at the Clifton’s Canteen full-scale U.S.O. tribute to our troops. Held Sunday and Monday at Clifton's Republic in Downtown L.A., this event is a totally 1940s themed extravaganza and will feature non-stop music and dancing of the era. Everyone is encouraged to dress in period clothing and there will be current and retired military folks who would love to teach you the hot dance steps of the day. As a special thank you for their courageous service to our country, all military and veterans will receive free admission.

 

 

 

 

Free Summer Concert Lineups For Los Angeles Venues Are Starting To Be Announced

by Jeff White and Lori Donahoo

It is that time of the year where the different communities around Los Angeles start to release their free concert lineups for the Summer and we housesellers have made it a habit over the last few years to make sure we have the newest information for you. As always, we will update you periodically as the new schedules are announced and as you scroll through this post, you will find the most recent lists shows and events that make Summers in Los Angeles so much fun (and so cheap!).

One of, if not THE, most anticipated Summer concert events each year is the Twilight Concerts program at the Santa Monica Pier. The variety of the music spans almost every genre and in the past few years has included legendary acts such as Jimmy Cliff and Jefferson Starship, 60's superstars like the Zombies and surf-guitar legend Dick Dale and Indie darlings including Best Coast and Neon Trees. This year's lineup is equally as eclectic and includes the newest superstar of the Americana Music scene, Valerie June (who will be on the bill with legendary R&B singer Irma Thomas), as well as current chart-topper Khalid and one of the greatest British rock groups of all time, Eric Burdon and the Animals. The concerts are Thursday evenings from 7-10 starting June 22nd and get crowded, so make sure to arrive early. Go here to get the best info on where to park, how to best use Metro, how to valet your skateboard and bike and other handy bits of information.

The Grand Performances series in Downtown L.A. is an epic outdoor concert series that features live performances by artists from around the world on the gorgeous water-encompassed California Plaza stage. This event is a diverse and highly intriguing mix of musical performances, live scores, films, poetry and theater. The shows run from June 2nd through September 22nd and will run the gamut from a Friday Gospel lunch show that kicks things off to the Long Beach Opera's performance of Frida about legendary artist Frida Kahlo to plays and demonstrations narrated by famous actors. This series of events probably offers more bang for the buck than almost any other of the free events in the area and it is highly recommended that you check out their entire schedule.

KCRW Summer Nights, the all-ages concert series from KCRW, sets up shop across the city every week from June through August, and is definitely among the liveliest of L.A.'s summer concert series. This event invites you to participate in cultural workshops before hitting the dance floor to groove to multiple DJ sets or jam out to a variety of live bands. There will be the ubiquitous food-truck grub and special deals on cuisine from surrounding restaurants as well as other vendor deals. You can party until midnight in the heart of Chinatown and Pasadena, as well as at the Hammer Museum, Union Station, Center City Anaheim and other locations. Photo booths, craft beer and wine gardens and a variety of fine art classes are some of the things to be found at these music-centric events.

Some of the schedules for other top events, like the extraordinary 50 show line-ups at the Levitt Pavilions in Pasadena and MacArthur Park, have not been announced yet so keep following our blog as we update you throughout the next few weeks. And keep an eye out for our list of the free Summer outdoor movie showings that we will be posting soon!  

 

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