Posts Tagged ‘Downtown’

The Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend for its third year running. As the name suggests, this event featured all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it had to do with cookies, attendees would find it here. This year’s event setup largely resembled last year – in the first year, it took place at the Pasadena Convention Center. Due to overwhelming popularity, they moved it to the LA Convention Center, expanded the event to two days, and tripled the ticket price. However, last year’s event STILL sold out. This year, admission went up to $60, and it still appeared as though they sold out once again.

Although now in their third year, it appears that some things never change. For the most part, the organizers have solved the problem of most of the lines. Last year, attendees had to wait in a line outside the convention center to even enter, and then once inside had to wait in a line to scan their tickets, and then wait in another line to get into the expo hall where the event took place. All of that did not exist this time – what lines did remain resided within the expo halls. Despite the best efforts to qualm all the line-waiting that attendees did, no one could avoid the massive lines for the vendors once inside the expo hall. Once inside, all the attendees faced lines upon lines for the few vendors that had samples. At this Cookie Con, less than half the vendors had actual samples for attendees to try – most of the vendors set up to sell things, such as products or services. Basically, attendees paid $60 in order to wait in lines to spend even more money. At this rate, eating $60’s worth of food would only occur if this event had a quarter of the amount of attendees so that everyone could efficiently reach the front of lines. In reality, it took half an hour of waiting in each line to finally get a sample of a cookie or some other dessert. On the other hand, the few vendors that had savory foods instead of sweets did not have bad lines, so I could easily get food samples such as jerky and tamales.

I fully expect Cookie Con to return next year, and likely with increased admission once again. When Southern California has food fests similar to this that costs like $175 or more to get in that sell out all the time, Cookie Con can just keep raising their prices, and would still sell out. If paying exorbitant admission fees to see these vendors sounds bad to you, just independently support the businesses on your own, such as Maya Brigadeiro or Bad Pickle Tees. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the admission fees of going to an event, and you get to select what you want to see without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

The Golden Years Vintage Market took place in Downtown Santa Ana this past Saturday. Free to attend for all ages, this outdoor shopping experience on the 2nd Street Promenade featured over a dozen local vintage clothing and vinyl records vendors selling lots of local goods and gifts. Anyone would find something to suit them here, as the apparel ranged from contemporary adult clothing to children’s clothing as well. Though this resembles other similar outdoor market events that take place here, the Golden Years Vintage Market took up a smaller space, so could only accommodate just over a dozen vendors. Regardless, as a free event, this made for a nice visit in the middle of a not-so-busy weekend. Check out when future Golden Years Vintage Markets will take place by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The 3rd Annual Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend. As the name suggests, this all-ages event features all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it has to do with cookies, attendees will find it here. The price of admission actually went down this year from last year’s $50 admission. However, they have introduced multiple levels of attendance, from as low as $20 up to $60. I do not understand why, as they sold out last year even with the $50 admission. Parking at the convention center costs $20 per vehicle.

As anyone can guess, this event draws massive attention from the local populace. As of the time of this post, Saturday has already completely sold out. For anyone planning to attend Saturday, expect wall-to-wall people with long lines at every booth. I highly suggest early arrival, as the line to get in to the building takes about half an hour to clear through, and then you have to face another line to enter the convention hall. Once inside the actual event, you will have to endure even more lines to get to the vendors. I hope you bring your patience this weekend, as well as comfortable shoes, and cash since you will have to pay for the food you consume here. By the way, very few of the vendors actually bring samples – the vendors need to make a profit, after all!

Do some research about the businesses that will attend Cookie Con. Local businesses such as Velvet Rope Bake Shop or Bad Pickle Tees often set up at other cheaper, less crowded events. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the middleman, and you get to select what you want without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

The 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo returns to the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend, taking place over two days in all its glory. Returning to Hall C and the Pacific Promenade area, hundreds of local comic book writers and artists will travel here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. Eager fans can gain access to the entire show floor for $30 per person for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, or $50 for both days, with children 10 and under entering free with a paid adult admission. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars will occur in the surrounding meeting rooms for those who register ahead of time. Diehard fans will recognize the various celebrities sitting in for meet & greet and autograph sessions.

Some general tips to make your visit pleasant:

  • Peak time: 12pm-2pm on Saturday, as you will encounter the most amount of cosplayers at this time
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you will walk a lot.
  • I advise staying for as long as possible to see more and interact with other attendees. Also have enough energy to last the entire time.
  • While mostly indoors, a lot of the cosplayers like to hang out outside for photo shoots. Regardless, it would behoove you to dress for chilly or possibly rainy weather.
  • Have extra cash available for food as well as merchandise if you think you will buy something inside the expo.
  • Get into character! Even if you cannot dress up, cosplayers love to act their part and interact with others.
  • Expect to take a lot of photos, so bring an extra camera or power bank for smartphones.
  • I know we normally tell our kids to not talk to strangers, but at this event, attendees encourage others to chat with the cosplayers, especially children.

Even to those not interested in comics, everyone should attend a comic expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly don their best gear for this expo.

When people go to visit a microbrewery, what do you think people look for? Do they simply want good beer, or do they want more of an experience? All sorts of breweries cater to their crowds differently, so some breweries will have a minuscule tasting room where they offer only their beers, while other breweries will have a larger tasting room with other things to see and do for customers to pass the time and enjoy their experience, such as at Boomtown Brewery. Located on the northern end of Downtown LA’s Arts District, this brewery has laid dormant for quite some time, brewing and distributing beer without a functioning tasting room. That all changed this past Saturday as Boomtown Brewery finally officially opened their doors to the public with the grandest of all grand openings. On their launch day, Boomtown had more than enough beer to last the entire day, and had multiple mobile food vendors throughout the day to keep the masses fed.

Take one step into Boomtown Brewery’s tasting room, and you will see that they mean business over here. From the outside, you will see two separate buildings for Boomtown Brewery – the tasting room to the left and the brewing facility to the right. While their brewing facility has lots to see for the brewing enthusiast, the tasting room has much more in terms of keeping the people happy and entertained. The massive tasting room allows for over a hundred customers at one time, which extends into an annex to the left of the entrance. This annex to the left makes for a great rental space for private parties or more. Each section of the tasting room contains multiple things to keep customers occupied besides the beer, such as billiards, shuffleboard, table tennis, darts, chess, foosball, and more.

Whether a craft beer enthusiast or just someone who likes to find neat local places like this to hang out with friends, you owe it to yourself to check out Boomtown Brewery, which opens for business Thursdays through Sundays each week. Check out what Boomtown Brewery has brewing up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The Fit Expo Los Angeles returned for its 14th year running this past weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Taking place over the course of two days in the South Hall, this massive expo showcases all forms of fitness and athletics with live competitions, demos, workshops, seminars, and more. Visitors could view various forms of fitness and non-arena sports, such as CrossFit, weightlifting, arm wrestling, Zumba, Parkour, wrestling, (mixed) martial arts, and more. The massive expo hall contained enough vendors to fill multiple swap meets, but once visitors got past all the vendors, they found the various demo areas strewn about the expo hall. The middle of the hall primarily contained the vendors and giveaways, while the perimeter of the hall contained all the competitions.

The Fit Expo opens their doors to all demographics of all ages, not just those in the industry or those who work out frequently. Fit people love this expo because they can keep up with latest trends and news in the fitness industry. Casual visitors like this expo because they can learn the right ways to get fit, as well as feel motivated after seeing all the fit people around. The Fit Expo occurs routinely in California, and will return to Southern California in August at the Anaheim Convention Center. When an expo like this comes your way, consider attending to see what it truly takes to stay fit, and gain first-hand experience from people who know how to stay fit.

The craft beer scene in Downtown Santa Ana has grown substantially from almost nothing to booming the past year. At the start of 2014, places like The Playground, C4 Deli, The Copper Door, and Chapter One existed that served local craft beer; however, most of Southern California’s craft beer enthusiasts never truly regarded Santa Ana as a craft beer destination. This all turned around in 2014 with the introduction of places like The Good Beer Company and Native Son Alehouse, which essentially got the snowball rolling to transform Downtown Santa Ana into a bustling scene where millennials can rampage all they want. The gentrification cycle appears strong in Downtown Santa Ana, and at least its introductory phase shows its progress with these new bars and artisanal shops popping up before the tech businesses move in. For now, we can enjoy these new places to spend our time, such as at the recently-opened Mission Bar.

Nestled right in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana, Mission Bar marks the perfect hideaway for any craft beer fan that ends up in the neighborhood. Mission Bar officially opened their doors to the public a week ago, replacing an old ranchero dive bar. After taking the spot over, the folks touched up the place, spruced it up a little, and added dozens of fresh beer taps all containing a plethora of craft beers. Mission Bar stands out from the rest of Orange County by also carrying beers from out of the area. While lots of Orange County places will only serve local beer. Mission Bar extends a hand to breweries across the country and taps their beers here as well. Some out-of-town breweries seen here include Bell’s, Epic Brewing, and Great Divide. Of course, catering to the local crowd, Mission Bar still has a large selection of local beers. While Mission Bar does not serve food, patrons can bring food in from elsewhere if they so choose. Multiple pool tables and televisions will keep patrons occupied as they enjoy their brews. In the future, Mission Bar plans to implement tasting flights and tap takeovers. Who knows – they may one day host a bottle share here!