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Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Northeast LA

Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Northeast LA

Picky writers can’t just go to any coffee shop. We need good working spaces with comfy chairs and tables. We need decent wifi and electric outlets for our laptops. We (or at least I) need good reading light. And we like to be able to hang for a few hours without feeling like we’re overstaying our welcome. Which is to say — I’m really putting together this best coffee shops list for me. I often find myself stuck in a part of town I don’t know very well — usually before or after some event — because I don’t want to drive home until after rush hour ends. Now (or more accurately, soon, when I finish this 5-part guide covering most L.A. neighborhoods), whatever area of Los Angeles I happen to be in, I know where I can stop to read or get some writing done while I wait for traffic to clear. Earlier: * Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Westside * Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: The Valley ___ Silver Lake: Dinosaur Coffee. 4334 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Need freedom from free wifi? This no-free-wifi spot will force you to work on […]

Live Talks Los Angeles: Literary conversations with popular authors

Live Talks Los Angeles: Literary conversations with popular authors

Ever wonder how novelists are treated at the Oscars? At a Live Talks Los Angeles event on Monday, Colm Tóibín dished on his experience attending an Academy Award after his novel Brooklyn was made into a film. “If you’re a star up for an Oscar, you go in one door, and if you’re a just a novelist … you go in another door. And it’s not just the red carpet. There’s no carpet!” Colm Tóibín was paired with arts and cultures writer Scott Timberg for a wide-ranging conversation that covered everything from Brexit to Miro to Irish history to Elizabeth Bishop to Colm’s own latest novel, House of Names. It was a pretty inspiring time — and my first time at a Live Talks Los Angeles event, a speaker series that’s been bringing authors and other thought leaders to L.A. for seven years. And conveniently for me, most of the events happen on the westside; Colm’s event was at the Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre at New Roads School. Sadly I learned of the series only recently — or I would have gone to the conversation between Jami Attenberg and Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney earlier this year! Founded and produced by […]

How to buy dance shoes in Chinatown

How to buy dance shoes in Chinatown

Salsa dancing can get expensive, what with the lessons, the club covers, and the new dance-friendly outfits. A good pair of salsa shoes alone will generally run you at least $100, if you get them at a dance store. So when I heard a rumor that you could buy dance shoes in Chinatown at less than half the cost, my interest was piqued! The place to go is apparently the 800 block of North Broadway, variously known as Chinatown Plaza, Dynasty Shopping Center, or some other permutation of those words. This block houses a big collection of small booths that offer everything from jewelry to housewares to clothes to shoes. I hear this place can get really crowded on weekends, but when I rolled in early afternoon on a weekday, I had the place practically to myself. All the businesses were open but the salespeople — Asian one and all — were really just hanging out on their own, eating lunch from tupperware containers, chatting on the phone, humming pleasantly to Chinese music while sweeping straightening things out. Mostly, the booths sell cheap clothes, ranging from polyester kimonos to polyester prom dresses. Because of this, I found the place a […]

Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Westside

Best coffee shops for writers in Los Angeles: Westside

Picky writers can’t just go to any coffee shop. We need good working spaces with comfy chairs and tables. We need decent wifi and electric outlets for our laptops. We (or at least I) need good reading light. And we like to be able to hang for a few hours without feeling like we’re overstaying our welcome. Which is to say — I’m really putting together this best coffee shops list for me. I often find myself stuck in a part of town I don’t know very well — usually before or after some event — because I don’t want to drive home until after rush hour ends. Now (or more accurately, soon, when I finish this 5-part guide covering most L.A. neighborhoods), whatever area of Los Angeles I happen to be in, I know where I can stop to read or get some writing done while I wait for traffic to clear. Santa Monica: Funnel Mill. 930 Broadway, Ste A., Santa Monica. If you’re into rare, exotic coffees — like the kind made from beans pooped out by little animals — you’ll find what you’re looking for here. I’m more of a plain soy latte type — so I […]

Sublevel and Westwind: Two more journals for Los Angeles writers

Sublevel and Westwind: Two more journals for Los Angeles writers

Just eight months ago I wrote about 12 literary journals for Los Angeles writers — and since then, I’ve discovered two more! Read, enjoy, and submit — Sublevel. CalArts’s longtime lit magazine Black Clock folded a little while back, but in its place a newer, even edgier literary magazine has launched. Sublevel is “devoted to the nexus of literature, poetics, art, criticism, philosophy, culture, & politics,” and its editors “make no hard distinctions between creative and critical enterprise.” In addition to (mostly experimental) writing, the zine includes conversations and art. The main issues go up online, but Sublevel also publishes a supplementary print edition — called B-Sides. The first issue was edited by Maggie Nelson and Janice Lee — but both of these CalArts faculty members are leaving the institution this year, Maggie heading to USC and Janice to Portland State University. It’s unclear who’ll head up the second issue. In the meantime, enjoy browsing the first — Westwind. Unbeknownst to me until two weeks ago, the English department at UCLA has been publishing Westwind, UCLA’s journal of the arts, for over 50 years now! These days, Westwind publishes online issues in the fall and winter, along with an annual […]

How to start salsa dancing in Los Angeles

How to start salsa dancing in Los Angeles

Once upon a time, as in a few years ago, a friend dragged me to her beginner’s salsa dancing class. I learned how to do the basic step and right turn — and instantly developed a semi-addiction to salsa — For writers especially, salsa dancing is in many ways an ideal hobby. Writing is solitary and sedentary. Salsa — being social and active — balances that out. It’s also one of those social night time activities that women can do alone — no need to try and talk a girlfriend into coming with you if you decide you want to go dancing last minute. Many women arrive at salsa dance clubs solo. If you just decide to drop by a salsa club at midnight tonight though, without ever having danced before, you might get a bit intimidated by all the confident strangers shimmying across the floor like semi-professionals. Thus, some tips for easing into it: 1. Take a lesson or two. Let me save you some time. If you really want to learn salsa, take lessons with Danella Dutton. Danella’s a dancer, actor, and choreographer — and IMHO, the best salsa teacher in the L.A. area. Her always energetic and […]