Who says "Nobody Walks In L.A.?" Who says Los Angeles is not an exciting place? Not the Militant!
Part I: Walk-Off FTW.
The Militant probably doesn't have to tell you that the Los Angeles Dodgers won game 2 of the NLDS, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Thursday with a come-from-behind, walk-off hit in the bottom of the 9th. But he will.
First off, the 3:07 p.m. game time was a concern for the Militant. Not personally, but the fact that many people couldn't come to the game due to school or work schedules (and even a few operatives trying to sell their tickets). He feared a relatively empty Stadium shown on national television would be more diss fodder for all the Los Angeles out there. This was clearly a conspiracy created by the East Coast hegemony. And with the Atlanta-based TBS cable network broadcasting the game, the Militant rests his case.
Alas, only 51,000 showed up, with the outfield reserve bookends of The Stadium clearly empty.
But fear not, as dullsville, Dodgertown definitely was not.
The night simply oozed Los Angeles all over: The locally-raised rock guitarist Slash (born Saul Hudson, no relation to Orlando) performed the National Anthem and "God Bless America" on his (Kirk) Gibson Les Paul axe. Then came Mission Hills native, comedian George Lopez (donning a Fernando Valenzuela jersey), pitching both the ceremonial first ball as well as his new TV show on (surprise!) TBS. Finishing off the game was the dramatic walk-off RBI by the Santa Monica-born, Arcadia-raised Mark Loretta. RE-PRE-MUDDAFUGGING-SENT!
This Is My Town, indeed.
And after the score had been settled, the 51,000 fans that did come for the weekday afternoon game didn't want to leave. Whoops and hollers were heard all over the stadium for over an hour. Fans chanted, "SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP!" and perfect strangers donned in blue enthusiastically exchanged high-fives on their way out. They don\t call this "Blue Heaven On Earth" for nothing.
The parking lot also became a party zone, with horns honking in celebration, rather than agitation. The sound of cheers, chants, screams and whistles turned the parking lot into a party zone. Dodgertown was alive!
Part II: Art Walk OMG!
The Militant didn't feel the night was over just yet, so he set out towards Downtown Los Angeles to sample the second-Thursday-of-the-month Art Walk. Obviously not a totally new thing, having been a DTLA tradition for the past five years, it was still a new thing for the Militant.
Surely the hipster thing was a deterrent for the Militant all this time, and possibly just plain apathy, but after he got over the apparent hipsterness of most of the crowd, it really became a pretty cool event.
Certainly for the first-time Militant, walking into the Art Walk would lead one to say, "This is a hipster thing, let's GTFO of here." But after sticking around a while, the crowds are really a little more diverse than at first glance. The art aspect wasn't as much a huge deal for the Militant as was the urban scene, with upwards of 10,000 people roaming around the Gallery Row district at night, creating an undeniable energy not too unlike the one at the earlier sporting event. Galleries, restaurants, bars, cafes and some shops were open, with much of the action going on from 7 p.m. to midnight.
The local squadron of teh tr3ndy food tucks represented, such as Nom Nom, Don Chow Tacos, Skewers On Wheels, India Jones, Coolhaus Ice Cream and more (BTW, the Kogi BBQ truck was too cool for Artwalk, and had other plans tonight). A few trucks were on Spring Street, between 4th and 5th streets, with another set a block east on Main. In fact, no other local event brings so many of them to one place.
The interesting parking lot arts/crafts/food outdoor bazaar on Main near 5th brought back memories of Hong Kong's Night Market, something that Los Angeles really needs.
There's also music performances on the street, which is mostly of the lo-fi, sub-par style the hipsters just love and the Militant really doesn't care for, but that's a small price to pay for such buzzing nocturnal street energy. It's the kind of event you'd want Westsiders, suburbanites and those originally from those so-called "real" cities to come check out.
The Art Walk is definitely something to see, if even just to sample the street vibe. Besides, it'd make an awesome locale for a flash mob (But you didn't hear that from the Militant...). The next one is slated for November 12. The Militant may or may not be there!