Venice is a conundrum. It’s all locals and all tourists. And perhaps that’s...
Hollywood Farmers’ Market Survival Guide
Nothing says that you’re a tough mofo like enjoying locally grown, organic, fair trade fruits and vegetables. It shows that you know how to care for your body, your significant other, and your community. And even if you don’t care about any of those things, it’s also a nice way to make sure that you don’t die of scurvy from only eating Hot Pockets. It’s win-win!
Still, for recent transplants, the Hollywood Farmers Market, with its crush of pseudo-celebs, white dreads, and soccer moms, can be a daunting place. Here to help are 10 valuable tips to surviving the Hollywood Farmers Market.
1. Sample Everything
After a night of moderately heavy to extremely heavy drinking and 2 am In-N-Out binge eating, nothing helps the body recover like fresh, natural, and free samples. Enjoy gorging on cherries, apples, oranges, grapefruit, etc all for the low, low price of pretending that you’re interested in actually purchasing something.
2. Dress Nicely
You might feel like rolling out of bed and blindly stumbling into the market, but I can’t stress enough how bad of an idea that is. Show up in stained sweatpants and a spring break tee and you are guaranteed to run into an old boss or ex-girlfriend, both looking fit and trim while standing by the cherry tomatoes. The extra ten minutes of clothes-changing will be worth it when your ex doesn’t ask, “Do you have a place to sleep?”
3. Keep Your Head Down, Look No One In The Eye
For all its good, the Farmers Market is also the weekly home to panhandlers, activists, and people who just like giving surveys. The intersection of Ivar and Selma is ground zero for cheery young men and women who want only a moment to talk to you about whales, upcoming elections, environmental issues, puppy mills, boycotts, and/or whether you’ve ever considered Scientology. While you’ll appear crazy to the rest of the crowd, you’ll also enjoy the lack of conversation thrown your way.
4. Enjoy the Music
As long as you’re a fan of droning folk music, saxophone solos, bluegrass-n-jug bands, or jazz trios, you’re bound to find a street musician with a treat for you! Bonus: sometimes you’ll find a high school kid who has just learned to play guitar or a man playing sweet bass solos. It’s just like going to a concert except that all the bands play at once and you don’t really want to see any of them.
5. Play Games
To get the full experience, I recommend that you play a few games. You can play with friends or by yourself. A few of my favorites:
- Hippie or Homeless: Using just visual and olfactory cues, can you tell the difference between a homeless man and a hippie?
- Benchpress the Pomelo: Have you ever seen these grapefruit looking things that are about the size of a human head? See how many reps of these your muscles can handle.
- Shot for Shot: Sidle up to the wheatgrass provider and go shot for shot. Both winners and losers get the great detoxifying effects from that hideous juice-like beverage. Also, the winner gets to punch anyone they want. It’s the law.
6. Make Friends With the Goat
While purchasing fresh goat cheese to make a tasty pizza, make sure you stop and say hello to the cute and cuddly goat that the cheese makers usually bring along. The happier the goat, the more delicious the cheese.
7. Pluots. Buy Them.
The pluot, a perfect hybrid of the plum and the apricot, gives me hope that science and nature can one day co-exist. Even better, studies have shown that people who keep pluots in the house have 60% more sex and enjoy it 80% more than their pluot-less peers. So, the next time you ask a girl (or boy) to come home with you, be sure to tell them “We can eat pluots for breakfast.” Chances are someone’s getting lucky tonight.
8. Avoid the Western Block
As you push through the solid gaggle of people and make your way past the tamale stands, roasted corn purveyors, and cheese steak carts, you’ll soon find yourself in the zombie wasteland of the market: the arts and crafts aisle. Instinctively, people avoid this half-block where the only sounds are that of a Yanni CD and homemade windchimes swinging in the breeze. Run, don’t walk, back towards the rest of the market before you find yourself the proud owner of a half-dozen African wall masks and a handful of beaded necklaces.
9. Bring Your Autograph Book
Been dying to run into your favorite cast member from Season 6 of the Real World? Hoping against hope to shoot the breeze with a Celebrity Rehab cast member? Then come on down to the Farmer’s Market. These C and D-listers love to be seen and, with the economy the way it is, are really banking on those free samples.
10.Come Again Soon
Thought your first trip was too exciting? Well, be sure to come back next week when the wonders of freshly grown foods co-mingle with the subterranean Hollywood dwellers out for their weekly sun-walk. Maybe you’ll see a man take a shit in the street, or maybe you’ll see a child sing Nazi folk songs. You really never know what to expect.
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About the author
Michael is an LA-based comic and writer who loves beer, burgers, and baseball in equal proportions. His baseball writing can be found at OldTimeFamilyBaseball.com and he still plans on selling his 'The Catcher in the Rye'/'Weekend at Bernie's' mash-up to a major studio sometime this year. Michael can be reached at email@example.com.
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