Freely Cultured

Ah, after a much needed break, I feel a lot better. Did you miss me?

Today I got a free aerobic workout in the courtyard of the Music Center in Downtown LA. You must be wondering the huh what when where and why. "Don't they just have musicals, plays, and operas there?" Almost...I would take out the word "just." "Unless you're talking about running to catch a show, what kind of exercise could you possibly get?" Plenty, actually. Yes, I've done the running to catch the show thing before, and when you're doing a full sprint in 3-inch heels and outrruning guys while you're at it, it really is quite a workout. All that running was probably what killed my favorite pair of Payless sandals.

Putting that aside, my workout was the courtesy of a program called Dance Downtown. Every once in a while--roughly twice a month on Friday nights, between April and October--there would be a dance complete with lessons and live band. There's a good variety of dances from around the world, ranging from salsa and swing to bhangra and line dancing. Salsa and swing are popular enough to get 2 nights in the season. Best of all, you get all that for free! There's also a free coat check so that you won't have to worry about your stuff while you're smokin' the dance floor. They sell water and other beverages for probably an arm and a few toes, but you can get free water from the fountain located by the sidewalk (it's not obvious, but it's not that hard to find either). Parking, however, is not free. It costs about the same amount you would have had to pay for cover at a club, but unlike a cover charge, you can split the costs if you carpool. If you don't want to hassle with parking, you can try the subway. Take the Red Line to the Civic Center exit, and get out on the 1st Street side. I've been dumb enough to get off on the Temple side and had to walk extra. Extra exercise is usually good, but not when you're going to be on your feet all night long.

While there's a "you get what you paid for" element to the event (small dance floor and very simple lessons), it's still a very enjoyable one. Even if you run out of space on the wood floor, there's plenty of room on the concrete to dance on. October 13 is the last dance of the season, featuring Chicago Steppin' (whatever that is). I've been wanting to go the the Salsa lessons, but I got schedule-conflicted out each time. Bummers. At any rate, you can see the schedule here.

While I was at the dance, I got a very pleasant surprise: I saw my friend there with a bunch of his friends. I totally didn't expect to see him there. Since I don't get to see him much, it was great to see him and meet some of his friends. It was equally nice to see they're a cultured group that enjoys dance and opera (not exactly popular amongst young people nowadays). They mentioned that this weekend many LA museums have free admission, so I decided to look it up when I got home. Sure enough, it's this Saturday. Not all of the museums in LA participate, and none of them are the real biggies, but it's still a nice thing to have. You can check out the list here. Be sure to check out the list of free museum days as well; some museums, including major ones, have one non-peak day (usually a weekday) in the week where admission is free. For MOCA, it's every Thursday, and for LACMA, it's the second Tuesday of the month. LACMA is also free after five all week.

1 comment:

Brian said...


Sop said it was Sunday... is it both Saturday and sunday??