On the “First Friday” of every month, what seems like all of West Los Angeles heads for Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice to immerse themselves in food-truck culture. Kogi, Nom Nom, Slammin Sliders, Dogtown Dogs, Vizzi — it’s always a party.
This Friday my friend and I decided to change it up and bust a mish to the other side of LA to sample a First Friday experience downtown. Local radio station 89.9 KCRW hosts “First Fridays at the Natural History Museum,” with dinner, bars, DJs and live bands from KCRW’s playlists.
Driving to Vermont and Exposition Boulevard was challenging. Due to unforeseen circumstances — that is, a block party on La Brea — we got lost, arriving too late for the live bands. However, we made it to the museum’s African Mammal Hall in time for the DJs, with no regrets. I had the pleasure of watching KCRW’s own Anthony Valadez work his magic.
The scene was unforgettable. It was about 9:30 at night and crowds of people moved in unison to mixes of songs that you could easily dance to because of Valadez’s electric style.
Against a backdrop of elephants, monkeys and T-Rex skeletons, beautiful people in their twenties and USC students danced, bellied up to the bar and wolfed down mini-sandwiches.
As we left the museum, we noticed the Los Angeles ICE truck parked outside and stood in line for dessert. The “Tiger’s Blood” shaved ice (a Charlie Sheen-inspired strawberry and coconut flavor) was delicious. Our thirst for blood quenched, we took off on the long journey home, vowing to return later in life.