Thursday, August 4, 2016

Summer in the City: Smorgasburg Does L.A.

Los Angeles - or any major city, for that matter - suffers no lack of food festivals during the summertime. Add one more to that list: Smorgasburg has arrived on the "Left Coast," and runs until September. The artisanal market of food, beverages, crafts, and vintage goods originated in Brooklyn, where it has been known to draw nearly 10,000 visitors of a weekend. The L.A. version is scheduled to be held on Sundays from now until September at the Alameda Produce Market downtown, which is part of the ROW DTLA development. My sisters and I checked it out a few weeks ago and we're ready to go again.

Gets my vote for best vendor name.
While held in the devil-may-care spirit of summer (even in L.A. where the sun is almost always shining!), summer festivals are not without their pitfalls. Smorgasburg is unique in that revelers don't fall victim to one of the greatest public scourges: inconvenient and expensive parking. There is a gigantic indoor parking structure that greets you before you enter the Alameda Produce Market, with two hours free. Which is great, if you only stay for two hours. 

Moveable feast:Todos Verde agua fresca,
Raindrop Cake, and lobster rolls from
Red Hook Lobster Pound.
However, all bets were off when my sisters and I discovered that the American Apparel compound next door also featured an American Apparel outlet. I scored a couple of all-cotton sweater vests/shells for $6. Literally, scored: the versatile "bone" sweater was $5; the identical one in the less popular "nude" or beige was $1. When we finally emerged from our shopping spree, I owed $10 for parking. I decided to cut my losses that day and rationalize that I paid $16 for parking, which is not atypical in the city.

Talk to the hand: My new favorite hamsa
pendant from Santa Monica Healing, and bargain but
quality sweater (cotton is truly king!) from
American Apparel outlet store.

Some tips for enjoying Smorgasburg:

1. It's hot downtown. Wear sunscreen and a hat, if that's how you roll. Or use a parasol, like my stylish sister does.

2. Take a good look around first. Unless you plan to hang around from 10 am to 6 pm, there is only so much you can eat, so choose wisely.

3. Eat dessert first. Really. 

Tired of waiting for you: Frozen pudding from Little Spoon
eased the tardy arrival of siblings.

4. Go when it opens. The illusory liberality of a whole day only means that vendors might run out of food. Which, as we learned, many do well before the 4:00 hour, when we decided to meet. 

Amusing artwork at American Apparel outlet.

5. Laugh. A lot. It burns calories.

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