The York in Highland Park

In my haste of getting ready for my weekend trip, I realize I never told you about my visit, last Saturday night, to The York. To catch you up to speed, check out my blog post about earlier in the day HERE. We had a lovely day at the Santa Anita Park (watching horse races), and decided to continue on to The York in Highland Park for dinner.

Parking was tricky, so I ended up just parking in the lot behind the strip that the York is apart of. It cost a few bucks, but it was worth it not to have to park far away. This neighborhood is also a little sketchy, so walking alone there at night is not recommended. The above photo was taken from that parking lot. SHARK!

The above pictures are of the alley that takes you from the parking lot to the street where all the store/bar entrances are. This alley, if based on smell, is covered in urine BUT look at that cool graffiti.

Once inside The York, I finally got to see what my friend Michelle has been raving about.

They have a large bar in the center of the place and seating/booths in a circle around it. I ordered a girlie cocktail from their extensive drink menu. The menu board photo below is one of 4 (?) large boards hanging. They have everything you could think of.

As for food, my friend Lindsey and I split an order of grilled cheese made with truffle oil (my new favorite oil) and we each ordered the vegan soup on the day. The food was so delicious and reasonably priced. We split this giant grilled cheese, which was a good decision because it was so big. The massive bowl of soup, plus half the grilled cheese came out to about $18. All of this was a great decision.

Look at that soup… yuuuum. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

The atmosphere of this place is as cool as the food is delicious. So, really cool. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Keep in mind that the second Saturday of every month NELAart does their Gallery Night which The York happens to be apart of. Check it out then or check their schedule HERE to see when their next Trivia Night is (it’s Mondays at 9p).

Weekend Guide March 9 + 10 + 11

Hi All! I’ll be hitting the road this weekend for a much needed getaway in the mountains. Expect some wilderness themed posts next week. In the meantime here are the details on things happening around LA this weekend. I’m SUPER jealous I won’t get to partake in these activities, but hopefully you will enjoy them. Lets get into it!

FRIDAY March 9th:

Stop by Art Night Pasadena from 6-9pm on Friday. Expect art, live music, great people watching, and a long list of food trucks. This FREE event involves institutions all over Pasadena and has a FREE shuttle connecting them all. There is even an art night bicycle tour. Follow them on facebook HERE to learn more about this event and their upcoming events.

If you’re not near Pasadena and closer to the West Side, check out Gallery 1988 for a show that combines 2 of my favorite things: art and comedy. Weird Al is hosting the opening of Is This Thing On? which is sponsored by Funny Or Die. I’ve been to this gallery space before and it isn’t huge, so expect a line, but it’s totally worth it. HERE they are on Facebook. Friend them!

SATURDAY March 10th:

Now once you’ve left Gallery 1988.. maybe linger on Melrose and head to the LACMA where anywhere form 2-6am, Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass will be delivered to the LACMA after it’s road trip around LA. The museum will be closed, but their parking lot will be open and FREE. There will be bathrooms available to vistors waiting to see the rock. There will be a coffee cart and food trucks parked along Wilshire. Check the LACMA’s blog HERE for updates and tweets telling you exactly where the rock is at any moment of the night. It might sound like a waste of time, but if you get a couple friends together and make a night/morning of it, it’ll be a night you never forget.

Once you go home and rest up after a night of rock waiting/watching, hit up Silver Lake Art, Craft and Vintage. It’s the second Saturday of every month, so if you miss this one it will be back. Expect a bunch of food trucks and support local. Why not walk around and explore the neighborhood? Silver Lake is awesome, so buy some unique art and hit up an indie coffee shop. Then find a street that’s new to you and explore.

If you aren’t sick of the LACMA from the night before, come back at 7:30p for their Young Directors Night. This is a chance to watch films from directors around LA, as well as learn from a panel discussion about filmmaking. Tickets for the general public are $30. It’s a bit steep, but if you’re in the production world this event is a great place to meet people and network. Once you’re inside there’s free food, drinks and music. Check out images from past events HERE.

Since it’s the 2nd Saturday of the month, check out the NELA Art Gallery Night in Eagle Rock/ Highland Park. If I weren’t going out of town I would for sure be here. You know what bar/ restaurant is in the neighborhood? The York! Check it out while you pop in and out of art galleries. When I was in the York last week, I swear I saw a flyer advertising The John Corbett Band playing there this weekend. I can’t find ANYTHING online to confirm this, but I know what that flyer said. So go to the York, and if they aren’t there then sit, stay and enjoy the food. If they are there, repeat steps 1 through 3 and add “have an awesome listening experience” as step 4. Plus John Corbett is a hottie, so your eyes will have a great experience too 😉

At 7:30p on Saturday night, Devil’s Night Drive-In is screening Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There are car-hops delivering food, new astroturf, and walk-in’s and bike in’s welcome. DJ Morgan will be dropping beats before the movie. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the gate. Add this EVENT on facebook.

If you don’t like art, good food, live music, classic films, and appreciate roughhousing (which my blog never provides for you), then you need to pay a visit to the LA Derby Dolls. On Saturday night the LA Derby Dolls and playing the Sand Deigo Durby Dolls in a March Radness Exhibition Bout. Get your tickets HERE. It’s quite an experience. PArking is tricky, so expect to neighborhood surf for a spot (and bring your rape whistle). Derby Doll events are always a good time. I had one bad visit where the spinning, loud noises, and packed crowd made me really nauseous, but in general this is a fun event. Now you can’t say I never blog about sports 🙂

SUNDAY March 11th:

This weekend is the Los Angeles Animation Festival. There are events happening all weekend (see the full schedule HERE). On Sunday at 2pm there is a Shrek Gala Event. At 4pm there’s a screening of A Cat In Paris, which was a 2012 Oscar nominee. At 6pm Sean Lennon is presenting Grave of the Fireflies. At 8pm Tom Kenny (aka the voice of Sponge Bob and an awesome comedian) will host The Tune and an Awards Ceremony. Is that not a day full of fun events? This is all happening at the Regent Showcase on La Brea and you can get tickets online in advance.

Golden Road Brewing is hosting a Beer Festival from 2-5p for $20. I took the above image at Tony’s the other night. Get your tickets HERE! They do brewery tours… just say’in.

I’m pretty sure your weekend just went from empty to jammed packed, because that was a lot of good stuff. Also, if you want Comedy Bang Bang tickets for next Tuesday, click HERE at noon, so any minute now!

The Santa Anita Park (Horse Racing!)

Saddle-in, because the post is a doozie. Get it? Saddle-in, because it’s about horses! At least I make myself laugh.

Last Saturday I joined my friends at the Santa Anita Park (aka horse race track). It was my friend Tom’s 35th birthday gathering and it was a great place to celebrate (if you’re looking for a good adult birthday spot).

The birthday gathering began at noon, although I was delayed because I was trying to find the perfect hat (come’on, it’s horse racing! You HAVE to) and matching my nail polish to my dress (girly, yes but that’s rare for me so Ill allow it). I didn’t have any cash on me, but Im about to go to a gambling free-for-all, so Im sure they have atm’s up the ying-yang.

I finally got out to Santa Anita around 12:45p and was about to make my way in when I realized it was $4 cash up-front to park. I have no cash. I get out of the parking car line, and head into the town of Santa Anita. It’s pretty busy around town so I find a parking spot, I take it, and then use google maps to find my bank. Knowing how bustling it was, I figured I’d walk to the bank as it’s only a few (giant) blocks away. Well, google maps failed me that day as I’m in front of my “bank”, which is a rundown building. Unless I was planning on making a $4 deal with a loan shark in this “bank”, I needed to find another atm. So I walk several (giant) blocks in the other direction, leaving my car where it was parked because I was worried about finding another parking spot. I get to the bank, which really is a bank, to see that’s it’s surrounded by empty parking lots. Great. And the bank also has several drive-through atms, but no regular atms. Double-great. I almost stood in the drive-up atm line when I decided to go inside and found the one walk-up atm buried in the building. I wait in a line, finally get $4 (and a little extra gambling money) and make the long walk back to my car. On the way a homeless guy asked me to marry him because he “loves my Viking blood”. I like a man who knows what he’s looking for, but I had to decline. Off to the races (finally)!

I tell you the above story with one moral in mind: bring $4 with you to the Santa Anita Park. I finally arrived at the park around 2pm, 2 hours late. FRUSTRATION. The other thing that didn’t occur to me is that on a gorgeous Saturday, this place is packed. It’s an adult Disneyland. I park on what must have been the outskirts of LA County, and make the 3 hour journey to the entrance. I’m only exaggerating a little.

Once I get to the entrance gates, they have different levels of tickets. I buy the cheapest one, obviously, for $5 and enter the park. A few minutes later I get a text saying “get the $8 ticket so you can sit with us”. Once you’re past the gates, there’s nowhere to upgrade. This would be my second fail of the day.

I make my way to the race track stands and convince an adorable 80+ year old VIP section bouncer that I’m willing to pay to upgrade my ticket, but I don’t know where to do it. He says “whatever, go in”. I’m IN!! My group finds me and we have great seats right along the track. I highly recommend the $8 seats, if you can afford the three extra dollars. We had plenty of space to spread out and could stand along the fence to get the best view if we wanted. This is when my friend Michelle handed me a beer for all my troubles, I put my feet up, and took some photos. I hope you enjoy:

As a vegetarian and animal lover, I thought the horse racetrack would be depressing, but I was really impressed with it all. The jockeys weren’t beating the horses. The races were really quick and they didn’t have the horses run in multiple races (from what I could tell). They even bring all the horses around a loop near the entrance to the race so that people can see what they’re betting on. Although it was mostly for kids to pet the horses and take pictures with them. I was shocked at how nonviolent it was and the horses even looked prideful (yes, I am a horse-whisperer now).

I thought the above dog was the dog in The Artist. I’m also an idiot. He was just your run-of-the-mill rich dog.

Here’s how it all worked. They would bring the horses for the next race out for a walk around the entrance loop (which I described above). This would take some time and allow people time to make bets. There must have been 30+ minutes between races so people could make their bets. When you arrive you have to buy a $2 (?) book which is your guide to the races of the day. Without this guide, you can’t really make bets. The book tells you all the stats, names of the horses, info about the Jockeys, and any info you need to understand what you are gambling on. Once you read up about the next race, then go see the horses, you should have enough info to place your bets. There are all sorts of types of bets (that I won’t get into because I don’t understand them). Then you take your seats and wait for the race to start, while everyone discuses who they want to win. Or you are like me, don’t bet, pick the horse with the coolest name and root for that one. Then the race happens, you collect your money if you’re lucky and then the cycle starts all over again. It probably sounds like a lot of waiting for a 30 second race, which it is, but if the weather is nice it’s so relaxing to layout with friends and join in the anticipation of the races.

The people who where outside were there to relax, place some bets and enjoy the day. On the inside of the building that surrounds the stands, there were big windowless rooms where the “hardcore” gamblers were stationed. This was like being on the floor of Wall Street, with people yelling at tvs. They were inside to be close to where they could bet, but it was dark, dank and a little smelly. This room was the definition of a gambling problem. This was the dark side of the racetrack.

On the weekends they have food trucks on the other side of the track. You take an underground tunnel and come out to a zillion food trucks. I got some fish tacos and truffle fries (omg so good).

When we made our way back to our seats, I decided that I needed to make one bet. A $2 bet to be exact (the lowest they let you bet). I picked Cat Talk to win, so I was instructed by the birthday boy to say “$2 on 2” at the betting station. I got my ticket and waited in anticipation.

As you can imagine, Cat Talk didn’t win. And if he had won, I probably would have won ten cents and a wish because I placed such a low bet. I’m glad I participated though, because it was fun to join in the cheering as I had $2 on the line.

The rhythm of the races made the day fly by, and before I knew it, it was time to go. The above picture shows a part of the loop where they show off the horses. These horses are all next up to run. We said goodbye to some of our friends and started the three-day journey to our cars. The birthday celebration continued as we made our way to Highland Park’s, York bar and restaurant. A post about The York is up next!