If Lewis Carroll, Ernest Hemingway, and a couple English football fanatics a la Charlie Hunnam in Green Street Hooligans were all to find themselves in a pub (or bingo hall for that matter) one night, their collective energies might birth something akin to the debauch concert/party/rave that is Underground Rebel Bingo. Take bingo from the days of yore, add little to no sense of order, the idea that another drink is always a good idea, and unbridled British enthusiasm and you’re beginning to get the picture. Now, replace those cheezy wannabe-actor announcers who call out the “Quack quack, two little ducks, 22!” with hot ‘hipster-ettes’ add a great DJ and throw it all into a bar/club your parents wouldn’t be caught dead in, much less your grandparents.
There is certainly Bingo to be played and prizes to be won. But attendees of this event vehemently claim that “this is not your grandparents’ bingo.” They’re not wrong. The median age of the participants hovers in the mid-twenties. The prizes you’re winning are not cash – so don’t get your hopes up if you were planning on covering rent or unpaid parking tickets with that horizontal line win in the second round. The numbers are called fast and loose. You better turn up those hearing aids lest you mishear a number and get on stage to claim your prize only to be called out and booed by your fellow bingo players like a convict going to the gallows in Medieval Europe. My friend Mike was one such player (see below).
Costumes and consumption are both encouraged, as evidenced by the DJ wearing a Marie-Antoinette meets Chicago Bulls player ensemble and the $2 24 oz. cans of PBR, $4 Harlem shots, and other libations at fire-sale prices.
Even after the game ends, the music keeps going and the drinks are still readily supplied. $7.50 presale tickets or $10 at the door gets you in, two bingo cards (that are used for multiple rounds) and a marker for marking off your numbers.
At least, that’s what the markers are intended for. What ends up happening is people decide they’ve missed their callings as artists (or maybe they are artists) and begin to graffiti each other with all manner of signs, symbols and words. The number of PBRs consumed greatly increases the likelihood you or one of your posse will be the tagger or the taggee. Don’t worry people, it’s washable.
The “club” travels around the country, and this Thursday, October 20th, is the last stop in LA before December. “Like” them on Facebook to find out more – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=185073141570523.
If you need a night off from the LA pretension and drinks that cost an hour’s worth (or more) of work, grab a couple friends and $20 and take part.
Always eager to defend and promote DTLA, I jumped at the chance to respond to a friend when they quipped “There aren’t even any markets Downtown! Where would I go grocery shopping?” I could barely let her get the words out of her mouth before I promptly stuffed them back in with, “Um, there are 4 markets I can think of off the top of my head within 1 BLOCK of my loft.” I didn’t even want to get into the idea that these were LA blocks, not NY size where some are equivalent to ancient Greek city-states, or the argument that she would have been driving and I using the two legs my parents created for me. She got much quieter after that. “Oh, really?” “Yes, really. And we’re talking gourmet options available at some of them, you’re not in Vons anymore.” Enter Two Bits Market.
Two Bits Market sits humbly on the south side of 5th Street between Broadway and Spring. It is a charmingly limited store offering selections of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, cheese and meats, wines and beers. The Stones’ words are true of this market. You can’t always get what you want. It’s not a Ralph’s Fresh Fare or BevMo. It’s a tiny specialty market that will give you exactly what you need, if you let it. In my case on Monday night, it was Hot Coppa to go with the goat cheese I had purchased at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market the day before. By the way, for those of you who haven’t tried, Hot Coppa is perfection. It really deserves an entire blog post. It’s like a truly classic Hollywood movie star. It makes the bite. Sure, you can have a nice light, pretty cheese, but it only complements the Coppa and should be quiet enough to let the Coppa shine.
But I digress. If, on the other hand, you’re not up for taking raw ingredients and doing a little work, grab a beer and take a gander at their sandwich menu. These sammies remind me of of Larchmont Wine & Cheese and Artisan Cheese Gallery (Studio City) and the prices are comparable.
I always end up leaving happy. Whether it’s after grabbing some Humboldt Fog or Potato Bread or Kosher Salt, the door just never feels as heavy as it did on the way in.
After whetting my appetite for writing reviews at http://megsnaps.yelp.com, I’ve decided, with a little help from some talented friends, to take my show out of the relatively safe world of Yelp! and into the “blogosphere” – hoping I don’t get lost in labyrinth. Each post, I’ll be “snapping” on a recent experience at either an eatery or a business based in either LA or Orange County. And, since I’m obsessed with travel, I’ll probably throw a couple critical morsels in from around the country.
I focus on service, quality of food, and price point. All you businesses out there, if you’re lacking, I give you advance notice to shape-up. I’m snapping.