Next time you're in Chinatown, the storied Central Plaza area, and you're throwing pennies into the lucky fountain (we always go for "Vacation"; how 'bout you?) and you're eating and you're shopping and you're gallerying, take a look around. Is someone holding a camera, snapping pictures?
Yes. We have rather uncontroversial theory at the beautiful historic core of our city's storied Chinatown is one of the most-photographed spots in all of SoCal (a quick spin through Instagram will support this observation). And it makes a perfectly evocative setting for Chinatown Summer Nights, the annual, thrice-a-summer, DJs-and-dance-and-martial-arts-and-eats extravaganza.
We mention the setting, because we think that lends much of the mood, but so does KCRW, the outfit behind the music and dance floor. (And, yep, people really get out and groove at this thing; no lingering at edges here, being shy.)
Other offerings include live bands, cooking competitions, a craft beer competition, and the LA Craft Experience Market (where you'll be browsing all sorts of funky, hip-happy goods).
Admission is free, but, yep, cash for some delicious dim sum and that fancy IPA will come in handy.
And the two other nights this summer? July 20 and Aug. 17, both Saturdays. The party rolls from 5 p.m. to midnight, but be sure to stay for dark, when the historic plaza lights up. The red lanterns and neon form a quintessential Los Angeles sight, and the poetic tags photos of it merit on various social media sites are beyond warranted.
Oh, and a very happy 75th, Chinatown!