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Organic Food + Good Reads = Great Dates

Maya Richard-Craven |
July 26, 2014 | 9:07 a.m. PDT

Contributing Writer

Over the summer I’ve made an effort to spend less time in front of my Netflix queue, and more time in front of galleries, stages and gardens. I called this summer “an artistic adventure,” in hopes to keep my mind stimulated, outside of the realm of academic deadlines, course readings and daily meetings. Here are a few Los Angeles based organizations I recommend for unique date spots, family “Sunday Fun Days,” and some thought-provoking solitude.   

7. ALOUD-Library Foundation of Los Angeles

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles hosts literary events with celebrated authors and fellow literary organizations every week. "ALOUD" promotes literacy and appreciation for contemporary literature, and recently partnered with WordTheatre to perform works by author Denis Johnson. 


6 . Fiore Market Cafe 

Fiore Market Cafe looks like an adobe style villa and sits beside an all-organic garden. The manager walks around and visits every table to make sure customers are satisfied with their service. In addition, appetizer cherries, pastries and fresh bread with olive oil are brought out for tasting. Fiore hosts an intimate setting great for dates or afternoon tea with friends. 

 pic.twitter.com/1sZ81F5wHp/‪@vegan collection
pic.twitter.com/1sZ81F5wHp/‪@vegan collection

5. Beyond Baroque 

Beyond Baroque is a literary arts center located in Venice, California. The small (but powerful) organization hosts a summer poetry series, including free workshops, courses and chances to perform. In late May I attended a Beyond Baroque event in association with Poet's and Writer's, inc., which was by far the most racially diverse literary event I've ever been to. 

At the end of the evening, a black, female poet stood up and recited one of her works titled, " The Ten Commandments of Pussy," which caused me to giggle like a middle schooler learning about sex for the first time. Another performer was Latina, and had been raised in a lower-end community while blind. She managed to read several fabulous poems in braille that brought me to tears. I highly recommend Beyond Baroque, and there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved, including seasonal internships and (free) year-round workshops. 

4. Buffalo Exchange

If you can't afford to spend or just don't feel like spending, then you should probably head over to Buffalo Exchange. The clothing is used, but is in incredibly good condition, and lasts a very long time. I have been to locations on the east and west coast, and have found that the clothing and customer service are both consistent and reliable. If you care about designer labels than this is definitely the used clothing store to go to.

Tip: Unfortunately, Buffalo Exchange isn't located everywhere, and if there isn't a store near you, then I would suggest heading over to a Crossroads Trading Co. 

3. Altar Collective 

In June of 2013, my good friend, Katie Hogan, began The Altar Collective, a literary collective based out of Los Angeles, CA. Within a year, Katie had already published five volumes of poetry and short stories, and had managed to help authors Kris Kidd (I Can't Feel My Face) and Inch Chua (Between the Devil and the Deep blue Sea) spread their books across the U.S. and Singapore. 

You can purchase Kris Kidd's "I Can't Feel my Face" in Marc Jacob's store in New York and watch his incredibly enteraining interviews online. All Altar Collective titles, including poems and anthologies, are available at Skylight books and Amazon.com. Watch musician and writer, Inch Chua, perform her indie hit "Wallflower" below. 

Tip: Also make sure to check out Fractal Literary Magazine, which seeks "art that disturbs the comfortable and comforts the disturbed." Created by USC student and Writer, Jackson Burgess

2. Swingers

The place to go if you feel like pigging out on a classic American breakfast while still having the choice to order a vegan quinoa breakfast burrito. Swingers has the appeal of an All-American diner, with an edgy twist dressed in "hippie" counter-culture influence. With pop art giraffes on one wall and waiters on roller blades, you can't help but wonder who started this funky hot spot. 

Tip: For lactose intolerant (non-vegan) customers, soy-milk and soy-cheese can be substituted in any sandwich, burger, salad or shake

1. WordTheatre 

WordTheatre® aims to create a connection between all human beings through contemporary literature. With actor/author series taking place year-round in Los Angeles, New York and London, WordTheatre has gained an international reputation for giving voice to some of the world's best contemporary literature. WordTheatre actors perform outstanding works, followed by a lively Q & A period with the authors. 

*For a full list of celebrity actors who work with Cedering regularly, visit the WordTheatre website

ALSO SEE: Cedering Fox knows the power of speaking the written word

To purchase tickets to the actor author series with Peter Orner on August 17th, visit their website. If you are a student, you may receive discounts for the event, but will only be able to receive discounted tickets via phone call. If you have any further questions, feel free to email WordTheatre Production Coordinator, Katie Bowman, at katie@wordtheatre.com.

Read more from Maya Richard-Craven here"Shameless" is a new series by NT Columnist Maya Richard-Craven on shame and social status in the millennial generation. Reach Maya here



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