For this week’s “journey” section, we decided to wander no further than our own front yard: Los Angeles. With 4th of July around the corner, there are plenty of reasons to stay home and celebrate the country’s 240th year of independence, with dozens of events happening all around the city.
4th of July usually means fantastical firework displays, BBQ’s and gallons of beer (Budweiser, of course!). For those seeking a little off-the-beaten path adventure, though, we’ve planned out our perfect 4th of July itinerary for the day- Gyspet style.
Anime Expo- Los Angeles Convention Center
Why not start the day by celebrating the diversity in culture in America, by stopping by at the “Anime Expo” (AX) held at the LA Convention Center from the 1st-4th of July? The 4-day expo is the largest exhibition of Japanese pop culture in America and features hundreds of events that showcase new games, fashion trends, foods and, of course, manga and anime from the island country. There will be an opportunity to sing in karaoke competitions, take part in “cosplay masquerades” and relax in a “Maid and Butler Café,” where servers are dressed in Victorian maid and butler attire.
Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 South Figueroa Street, LA, CA 90015. Doors open as early as 6:00AM. For more info click here .
Indulge in a classic American dish, by tucking into a serving of hot (and we mean hot) chicken at “Howlin’ Ray’s.”
Ray’s, a small, counter-only food shack tucked away in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, has been making huge waves in the LA foodie scene recently for its “Nashville style” hot chicken. The chicken is basted in a potent chilli sauce that ranges from “Country (no heat)” to “Howlin’ (Can’t touch this 10++).” The all-natural chicken (hormone & antibiotic free) is served plain or with bread, coleslaw and pickles. Alternatively, you can have your chicken with crispy waffles.
The line to get into Ray’s snakes around the block, so make sure to get there before the lunch crowd. Contact: (213)935.8399 Address: 727 N. Broadway Ave #128 LA, CA 90012
‘Merica Fest – Angel City Brewery
Kicking off at 12pm, “Angel City Brewery” will be hosting a 4th of July event, to end all 4th of July events. Essentially, “The ‘Merica Fest” celebrates everything that is”‘Merican.” The backyard will be transformed into a beer garden dotted with food trucks, frozen treats, lawn games and of course, a traditional BBQ smoke out. Live music, featuring the likes of “L.A. River Swim Team,”and “Calvin Winbush” will play throughout the afternoon. Delicious artisanal food, great “tunes” and craft beer make for the perfect ingredients to a memorable 4th of July.
Angel City Brewery, Contact:(213) 622-1261, Address: 216 South Alameda Street – LA, CA 90012. Event info here.
“Rose Bowl Fireworks” Echo Mountain Hike
After an afternoon of music and scarfing down delicious BBQ, what better way to end the day than to watch one of the most spectacular firework shows on the West Coast, the “Rose Bowl Americafest” fireworks show (without the shoving, drunken crowds and terrible parking).
A tip from bustle.com revealed a spot on the Echo Mountain (part of the San Gabriel mountain range north of Altadena), which serves as a perfect look-out point from which to watch the spectacular Rose Bowl fireworks show. According to bustle, the Echo Mountain hiking trail remains unaffected by the recent wildfires that have raged through the San Gabriel Mountains.
The hike is about 5.5 miles long and considered doable even for unseasoned hikers. The hike is praised as one of the best hiking trails around and is especially rewarding to do at night.
The fireworks show starts at 9:05PM so bring a snuggly blanket and a thermos of hot chocolate (or wine) to ring out America’s 240th Birthday, while overlooking the glittering city of LA below.