Lay out a map of the world, close your eyes and put down a finger. Locate the closest country. Now find a restaurant within one hour driving distance of your home that specializes in this country’s cuisine. Go there and ask the server to bring you their favorite items on the menu.
“I’ve been unplugging every week for more than two years and still, nearly every week, as Friday night draws near, I’m bothered: why am I doing this again? The whole idea of depriving myself of computers for one can feel like a showy, self-conscious and ultimately meaningless exercise. Look at me! Different than those around me! Nobler! More authentic! Deeper! Why not actually change the way I deal with technology in my actual life rather than go through this weekly exercise/performance? And it is awfully inconvenient. After a round of teeth gnashing, I unplug anyway, and at some point I’m always reminded why. It’s something. It’s a stand. It’s worth taking action that’s personal and direct and that reflect my deepest priorities. It makes space for real life, unmediated experience and reminds me that sometimes it’s the limits that help us feel most free.” (Christopher Noxon)
There may be no more quintessentially LA experience than spending a late-summer afternoon at the Lake Shrine Temple operated by the Self Realization Fellowship.Tucked into a small ravine near where Sunset Boulevard meets PCH sits this oasis of groovy, mindful tranquility. The ten-acres of lillypads, windmills, shrines and meditation spots are a perfect place for some unplugged goodness.
Twenty minutes north of Berkeley, along a drab and unremarkable commercial stretch, you’ll find a peculiar and wholly wonderful place – Playland-not-at-the-Beach, a shrine to the obsessions of one Richard Tuck, amusement park fanatic and lover of circuses, toys and all things childlike. Playland-not-at-the-beach is primarily focused on memorializing the long-shuttered Bay Area attraction Playland, but it also hosts special events like the one this Saturday: a local celebration of Talk Like a Pirate day featuring a (presumably pirate-talking) kid magician. Along with a few salvaged ride parts, games and costumes, the museum has a full room of (free play!) pinball machines and working carnival games.
Get down to 14th Street today (from Avenue C to the Hudson) for the last day of the Art in Odd Places Festival, the annual event that sets loose on the street all manner of site-specific installations and out-there performance art. Men in minotaur masks, giant ketchup bottles, video projections on the walls of bodegas — just another day in the city.