Money Sucking Hole: DTLA Night Market

I am a consumer. The amount of money I spend on “deals,” novelty items, and unique foods is probably the reason our economy hasn’t completely collapsed yet. If there is a festival advertising food, art, and merchandise, you better believe I’m there. Especially if it involves “celebrating diversity.” I’m a sucker for progressive buzz words.

Last Friday, I dragged John and Kimi to yet another LA event–the first Downtown LA Night Market. After hitting up the KTown Night Market a couple months ago, I was pretty hesitant since I had an awful experience there. I came to DTLA Night Market prepared to wait in long lines to get in, wait in long lines for food, and waddle through crowds of folks hopping on the hype.

I’m proud to announce this night market proved me wrong. We got to Staples Center Parking Lot 7 around 6pm (it went from 4-10pm) to avoid the lines, but it never got extra crowded throughout the night. Major points for this. The lot was huge and there were a ton of booths so the throngs of people kept moving–I swear it wasn’t dead! We walked the food aisle twice picking up some things and scoping out what other goodies.

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$5 filet mignon barbeque stick. Melted in my mouth!

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$8 tuna poke chips. Great flavor and super fresh.

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One booth boasted this giant boba cup that seemed like a cute display, until they offered for us to drink out of it for $4. That’s just disgusting. I suppose if we were to do it, it would have been smart to go first. I didn’t quite understand the logistics of sipping from this giant cup… but there had to have been some demand for it, right? Also, sorry to the poor volunteer in the photo–I wanted some size reference!
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John and Kimi had the sample game on lock. Basically Costco samples on crack. You could have gotten full scouring for samples. We had dessert buns, beef jerky, fried squid, passion fruit juice, and more. Samples drew interest and made the admission price worthwhile. This made a difference in terms of the event being welcoming and fun, rather than just seeming like a money-grab. photo 3 (1)

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$4 blackberry lemonade. Sour and delicious.

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$5 pork belly slider. So tender.

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$5 potato swirl – half cajun, half parmesan garlic. All bomb.

We also enjoyed the Night Market’s Art Walk, which consisted of local contemporary artists. Minion Me definitely grabbed our attention with his adorable Despicable Me Minions versions of popular characters. The prints showed everything from Marvel to The Simpsons to Justin Timberlake and even Jesus. 2×3 prints were $15 each. If you bought two, you got the third for $5. And if you bought nine, the tenth was free. Needless to say, we bought ten.

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The artist, Kris Kehasukjaren, was onsite turning us all into Minions for free! He does events at a rate of $45/hour, which seems like a steal to me. I need him at my next birthday! I think this is socially acceptable even though I don’t have kids.

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Kimi was extremely excited to become a Minion

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L to R: Kimi, John, me

Other artists also created their masterpieces before our eyes, which I love witnessing. It’s crazy to think these canvases were blank and these folks just went to work on them. Some by brush, some by spray can, all amazing.

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We perused the other sweet booths, checking out novelty items, clothing, and merchandise. I also took the opportunity to join the national bone marrow registry with Be The Match. Although I haven’t been personally affected by a need for bone marrow donors, I have learned about the shortage of Asian-Americans on the bone marrow registry list via various social media campaigns and acquaintances. What’s a little pain if I could help save someone’s life? I filled out some paperwork and swabbed my cheeks, briefly went over the process, and that was that!

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Procuring my cheek cells as she double-checks my form

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Cheek swabbing action

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I love local business because they give me a good reason to justify my impulsive spending habits. You’ll encounter sweet pieces that you won’t find at the mall. Up your style game by shopping local! Abstrakt LA hooked it up with some unique jewelry I’ve been missing from my collection. Kimi and I also picked up some hats–every girl needs a floppy hat! Especially when it’s $7.

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All in all, DTLA Night Market surpassed my expectations and it’s great to see these types of events growing into a SoCal staple. Whether you’re looking for some grub, some garb, or just a good time, you’re bound to find it at a night market like this. This was a great way to kick off summer outdoors and get in the spirit of LA’s vibrant culture. Thank goodness for my down ass friends who trust me to plan adventures. Can’t wait for the next one!

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