Bargain Hunting at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet

Now I don’t really know about the rest of the world, but here in southern CA, swap meets are kinda a big deal. Locals flock to them on the weekends to pick up toys, household goods, new pets, electronics, gifts, furniture… you name it, they probably sell it at the swap meet…at ridiculously low prices. It is a budget shopper’s paradise!

There are several of them throughout the area, but there is one that stands out among the rest: the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet.

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By far the largest swap meet around, it also features live music, tons of food and beer choices, and hundreds of vendors. The Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet is more than just a place to find some great deals- it is a day (or night) of fun for the whole family! Or possibly a unique date night option.

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Back in 1948, 18 acres of land were purchased in an unincorporated part of LA County known as “Dairy Valley.” The land consisted of a dairy and an orange grove, but the new landowners had other plans for it. They began constructing a drive-in theater.

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Full House, a cool metal cover band, was playing when we arrived.

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Robbie showing off the banner featuring his band.

The “La Mirada Drive-In Theatre” opened in 1950 as one of the largest drive-in theaters in the country. It could hold over 1000 cars! The name “La Mirada” was used because the city of Santa Fe Springs didn’t exist yet, and La Mirada was the closet city.

The theater was set up in a way to reserve a good portion of the grounds for future possible projects, including ideas for walk-in theaters, restaurants, or even a heliport. That area (as well as the drive-in theater, eventually) is what became the swap meet.

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It was 15 years before the swap meet was open to the public. In 1965, the “La Mirada Swap Meet” opened for the first time. The dirt field in front of the property provided ample parking for the thousands of swap attendees. Nowadays, more than a million people visit the swap meet every year.

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In 1990, the drive-in theater ceased daily operations due to decreasing attendance and the rising popularity of the swap meet. They installed stadium lighting and began LA’s first outdoor night swap meet. A couple years later, they officially changed the name to “Santa Fe Springs Drive-In Theatre and Swap Meet.”

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The Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet now has over 500 vendors selling everything from collectibles to clothing, electronics to crafts. Pretty much anything you could want. Their slogan is, “Come for the bargains, stay for the fun!”.

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I recommend bringing your appetite to the swap meet, cause there are tons of tasty food options! A full snack bar, food trucks, and kiosk carts selling all sorts of fun food offerings, including their famous menudo available for breakfast, for those with stronger stomachs than me (I just can’t get on board with eating tripe).

To quench your thirst, there is a beer garden serving more than 20 beers on tap. But they are most famous for their micheladas (served all day long!).

My food picks: churros, michelaguas, and bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

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The swap meet has a large stage and covered seating area featuring live music every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This area also includes large HD TVs showing popular sporting events. To see the swap meet’s schedule of events and weekly band lineup, check out their calendar!

However what brought us here on this particular weekend was a special after hours event in which Robbie’s band was playing. KROQ (106.7, southern California’s alternative rock radio station) hosted a “Roq of the 90’s” show featuring four nineties-era tribute bands including Nirvanish, Green ToDay (Robbie’s band!), Lose Your Illusion, and Slaves Against the Machine. Totally an awesome lineup.

Here are lots of pics of Green ToDay! Believe me when I say this is only a small portion of what I actually took. I just can’t help it.

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My boyfriend “Rob Cool” and Kevin “The Other Guitar Player”

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And here’s a video Robbie filmed during their set. Check it out!

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Seriously THE BEST Green Day tribute band around.

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❤ ❤ ❤

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For a list of their upcoming shows and booking info, visit the Green ToDay website!

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That moment when you are trying to photograph the event and accidentally catch bae with a “deer in the headlights” look

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This event was tons of fun! I always love watching my man play, and the rest of the bands totally rocked too! Because of the nature of our particular visit, I wasn’t able to see very much of the swap meet itself or experience all of the foods and tasty treats I would’ve liked. All the more reason to go again!


LOCATION:

13963 Alondra Blvd‎.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

(562)921-4359

Major cross streets: Alondra Blvd and Valley View Ave

FREE PARKING!


ADMISSION:

Tuesday – Thursday: Free
Friday Night: $2.50
Saturday: $1.00
Sunday: $1.50


Have any favorite vendors or favorite swap meet foods? Share them in the comments!

For additional information, visit the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet website.


 

La Musique Francaise au Troubadour

Even if you have never been to Los Angeles, odds are fairly high you have heard of the Troubadour. This iconic venue is where many legendary musicians of the 1960s-90s got their big break into the music industry. A quick glance through the Troubadour’s history is well worth the time. Bands like Metallica and Warrant played their debut shows at the Troubadour, Eagles’ members Don Henley and Glenn Frey met there, groups such as Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan were known to stop by for late night jam sessions…the list goes on and on.

Luckily for music fans, the Troubadour is still a functioning music venue today. They are host to live bands from all over the world, the majority of whom are lesser known artists, which is in keeping with the Troubadour’s early years. Recently one of my best friends had an extra ticket to see French-Canadian performer Coeur de Pirate at the Troubadour, and I jumped at the chance to go with her! Not only was I super excited to go to this amazing venue, but I also love checking out new bands.

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There is no official parking lot for the Troubadour, but there is a parking structure across the street the costs around $15 for the evening. And they know when there is a concert so they are sure to stay open late enough to accommodate concert goers.

The Troubadour is standing room only, and guests are permitted to start lining up outside the venue an hour before the doors open.

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The front bar inside the venue is like a small music history museum. Be sure to take a few minutes to see the cool stuff they have on display!

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Whiskey in hand, I was ready to see the show! Knowing I was in a place that once housed Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan was beyond awesome!! It was enough to make any music lover giddy.

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Sophie Auster opened for Coeur de Pirate, and I was blown away by her performance. Auster’s songs are a melodic blend of soulful lyrics and folk-inspired music that all at once feels pleasantly retro and thoroughly modern. She played an acoustic set that combined original music and cover songs, and by the time she finished, I knew I had to buy her album.

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And then it was time for Coeur de Pirate!

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Coeur de Pirate, featuring singer/songwriter/pianist Beatrice Martin, hails from Montreal and has a sound uniquely their own. Combining elements of indie rock, pop, classic rock, electronic, and dance music, Coeur de Pirate put on a show that had the audience dancing and singing along till the very end. Martin’s soulful songwriting (though granted, she sang half of the songs in French so I am not sure what they were about) was perfectly suited to the intimacy of this small venue, and she formed a connection with her audience members, creating an awesome energy in the room.

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A couple things that are important to note before heading to a show at the Troubadour are to be prepared to stand for a really long time, and to dress cool because the venue gets incredibly hot and humid. There is about zero air flow inside once the floor gets packed, so you will likely head home drenched in sweat and with sore feet. But really, it is a small price to pay to experience live music in a historic place.

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For a calendar of upcoming shows at the Troubadour and to purchase tickets, visit their website.

Flamenco at El Cid…Ole!

Few things last in LA. In a city where everyone is constantly searching for the next big thing- the new, yet to be discovered cool place to hang out- the hip and trendy flourish, while the older establishments fall by the wayside. Tradition and history don’t carry much weight with Los Angelenos, as one historical venue after another is shut down and replaced by something new.

However, one venue that has persevered against all odds is El Cid, a small restaurant/theater located on Sunset Blvd where the trendy areas of Los Feliz and Silverlake meet Hollywood. The building was built back in 1925, became El Cid in 1963, and has remained much the same ever since. It doesn’t look like much from the street, but as you step inside and descend the staircase, it opens up into a gorgeous Spanish courtyard, complete with fountains and a bar. If you continue to follow the hallway, it leads you to an old-world tavern style showroom.

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Flamenco shows at El Cid have been performed since the supper club first opened its doors in 1963, and continue to happen every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. After hours, and on the other nights of the week, El Cid is host to a variety of other acts and performances. But the Flamenco shows are the reason to go here.

“With its bewildering beauty and passion, Flamenco has gained fans worldwide. Flamenco is a unique spectacle, captivating for all. Think of the fire, the passion and the defiance of those stomping feet, making Spanish flamenco dance an integral part of Spain’s culture. With its roots deeply embedded in Andalusia, the southern region of Spain, flamenco is a passionate music and dance art form. No two shows are ever the same” – El Cid website.

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Tickets are $15, and it is recommended to buy them in advance online to guarantee your seat for the performance. The food at El Cid is incredible, so show up early, order some tapas and sangria, and settle in for an amazing show! There is no minimum purchase required, and all food and drink items are sold a la carte. El Cid’s menu features Spanish entrees and tapas, as well as a full bar. Ticket price includes show only. Show is open to all ages.

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Flamenco at El Cid has been a part of Los Angeles history for over 50 years now, so stop by to check out one of the last remaining venues of old Hollywood! For more information on show dates and times, as well as to purchase tickets, visit the El Cid website.

El Cid is located at 4212 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

Phone: 323.668.0318

John Fogerty at the Hollywood Bowl

To southern Californians, the arrival of summer is marked by a series of events: longer days, bigger crowds at Disneyland, rooftop pool parties at the Standard, and the release of the summer concert schedule for the Hollywood Bowl. Every summer Californians flock to this beloved outdoor music venue to see everything from modern big name performers, to symphony orchestras, to classic rock legends, such as John Fogerty. When I heard he was playing at the Hollywood Bowl this year, I was beyond myself with excitement. Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of my all time favorite bands, so being able to see CCR frontman John Fogerty play live was a dream come true.

The Hollywood Bowl is a so cal landmark, and watching shows there is a fun and easy experience. My best friend and I purchased “Park and Ride” shuttle passes through the Hollywood Bowl website, which enabled us to park our car in a huge structure in Pasadena, and then take a shuttle to the Bowl. Much easier than fighting through LA and Hollywood traffic and dealing with crazy post concert parking lot problems. And the best part about seeing shows at the Bowl is that you are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks. Information regarding what you can and can’t bring into the Hollywood Bowl can be found on their website.

And so here we are inside the Bowl! I am a poor recent college grad, so we got the cheap seats in the back. But I actually like these seats better anyways… there is always such a fun camaraderie that happens with the other concert goers in these sections!

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Our beautiful picnic feast. And yes, we did eat the entire chicken.

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Aw, my bestie got me a Coke with my name on it! ❤

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YAY JOHN FOGERTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Seeing John Fogerty live was everything I hoped it would be. He sounded just as amazing now as he did back in the 70s, and being able to hear so many of my favorite songs performed live by the original artist was seriously one of the best experiences ever. The fact that doing stuff like this is even possible is one of the many, many reasons I love living in Los Angeles so much!!