From Resale to Rodeo
By Sujata Day
As one of the premiere fashion destinations in the world, Los Angeles offers myriad options for all, and huge bonuses for the savviest of shoppers. Don’t be surprised if you run into a celebrity while searching for hipster ensembles at a funky Melrose boutique. Feel like popping into Forever XXI, enjoying some fine sushi, and possibly unwinding at a special event? Check out the Grove, Beverly Center, or the Americana at Brand for a unique shopper’s paradise. Spend a lazy afternoon strolling the Venice Beach Boardwalk for handmade bracelets (and take a break to watch the talented street performers on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade). Hop the subway downtown to shop to your heart’s delight at Santee Alley and Olvera Street. For the best deal on goods sold to the public at wholesale prices, a trip to the LA Fashion District is a must. Take full advantage of LA’s love affair with high fashion and designer labels by cruising down Rodeo Drive. As most of LA’s shopping complexes come fully equipped with fine and causal dining options, end your day with some much-deserved grub and revel in your newly acquired bounty.
10 The Americana at Brand
Let your inner yogi shine at the complimentary yoga class offered by Lululemon Athletica every Sunday morning from 9:30-10:30. A petting zoo, pony rides, and live music will entertain the entire family at Gigi's Farmers Market on Saturdays from10am-2pm. Sister shopping center to the Grove, this outdoor shopping complex features a spectacular dancing fountain and light show to the voices of Judy Garland and Andrea Bocelli. After a long day of successful shopping, unwind with an organic ice cream treat from LA Creamery. (818-637-8982)
9 Beverly Center
Sip a Starbucks caramel soy latte, while delving into the newly added Prada, Tiffany, and Fendi stores. Located in the heart of Hollywood, at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and 3rd Street, the Beverly Center houses 160 boutiques and shops catering to every shopper's most personal needs. Parking is a breeze, $1 for the first four hours in the adjacent garage. (310-854-0071)
8 Venice Beach Boardwalk
Muscle-ey, tanned Mr. Universe types at Gold's Gym? Check. Skater dudes straight out of the "Lords of Dogtown" flick? Check. Random street performers dressed in neon outfits singing and dancing their hearts out? Checkity check check. In Venice, anything goes and come for the great souvenir shopping and super deals on handmade jewelry item, but stay for the entertainment and highly satisfying people watching. Save on parking by choosing the lot at the corner of Pacific and Venice Boulevards, instead of paying the hefty $15 at the beach lot. (310-822-5425)
7 Olvera Street
Located in the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, the birthplace of LA, Olvera Street is an internationally renowned marketplace offering visitors the best shopping and dining reflected in Mexican and Latino cultures. The old world feel, surrounded by historical buildings and churches transports your imagination to a small market in Mexico. Shop for discounted goods while a Mariachi band plays down the street. Enjoy a crunchy churro from any one of the many food stands hawking their Mexican small bites. (213-628-1274)
6 The Grove
Take a free ride on the Grove Trolley, built from an historic undercarriage of 1950's Boston street car, whisking you from one end of the Grove to the other. Catch a show every hour at the dancing fountain, located in front of the movie theatres, and sway along to tunes by Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and other classic voices. Snap a photo in front of the nationally renowned sculptor De L'Esprie's "The Spirit of Los Angeles" magnificent bronze statue, which serves as the centerpiece for the Grove. (323-900-8080, 888-315-8883)
5 Melrose Avenue
Score the perfect pair of suede vintage cowboy boots or skinny stone-washed jeans at any of multiple resale shops like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads lining Melrose between Fairfax and La Brea Boulevards. Fun boutiques offer the latest fashions and hot trend at cutthroat prices. Pop into the homey Blu Jam Café for a mid-day shopping snack and try the tasty olive tapenade along with the complimentary bread.
4 Santee Alley
Offering the latest fashions at hugely discounted prices makes Santee Alley one of the hottest shopper's destinations in LA. With over 150 stores, "The Alley" spans two downtown blocks from Santee Street, Maple Avenue, Olympic Avenue, and 12th Street. The open market and festival type atmosphere add to the discount diva's search for tomorrow's trends. Parking lots generally run around $8 and make sure to bring plenty of cash, as most stores do not accept credit cards. (213-746-6776)
3 Third Street Promenade
The newly renovated Santa Monica Place, the outdoor mall that anchors the Third Street Promenade boasts a brand new Nordstrom and fancy outdoor Dining Deck. Host to many special events, including Happy Hour, Yoga, and Movies on the Deck make this a fabulous shopping experience unique to this laid-back beachside city. Take a stroll along Third Street to soak in the various performance artists, listening to the tunes of tomorrow's Justin Bieber or clapping along to the moves of the next winner of America's Best Dance Crew. (310-393-8355)
2 Fashion District
A bargain hunter's paradise, LA's Fashion District is home to over 1000 retail stores that sell their wares to the general public at deeply discounted wholesale prices. A newly inducted member into Downtown's monthly Art Walk, Los Angeles Streets and 9th Streets hosted fashion-inspired art and food booths. Plan your shopping trip from Monday through Saturday, as 30% of the stores are closed on Sundays. (213-488-1153)
1 Rodeo Drive
Experience old world cobblestone paths and quaint architectural styling at Two Rodeo make your unique shopping experience at Cartier and Valentino reminiscent of an Italian piazza complete with bubbling fountains and romantic archways. Gucci to Gabbana strut their designer garments on this world-famous street known for its chic labels and straight-off-the-runway couture. Break out your inner "Pretty Woman" and max your credit limit at over 100 boutiques and hotels at this epicenter of luxury fashion.
About Sujata Day
Living in the land of perpetual sun, beautiful beaches, and gorgeous people has fueled Sujata Day’s creativity in myriad ways. Her short story “Forbidden Fate” won the WRITE STUFF competition sponsored by MTV and People magazine, birthing a prosperous writing career. The tale was published in a collection of short stories titled Pieces, edited by Stephen Chbosky. Reviews hail Pieces as “an exciting glimpse into the future of fiction” and “endearingly raw, undeniably bold, and engagingly inventive.” Since moving to LA from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, Sujata has appeared in many TV shows, films, and internet productions. TV credits include Desperate Housewives, Secret Life of the American Teenager, Campus Ladies, Greek, and The Loop. She plays a supporting role in 2009’s Down For Life, alongside Danny Glover and Snoop Dogg. Sujata produced, wrote, and starred in the web pilot Raveena and the Vampire chosen to launch as a 2010 premiere vehicle on the popular internet channel, Somebody’s Basement. Currently, she stars as ‘CeCe’ in the hit web series, Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Sujata can be seen next starring in the film, Big Breakin', to be released in early 2012.
Read more about Sujata Day here.