It’s easy to stop keeping count of the days when we’re all quarantining for the seemingly unforeseeable future (at least a chic home office helps?) For those who want to keep their spirits alive and minds stimulated, some of L.A.’s coolest creatives and places are hosting virtual events and other activities to fill our physically distant social calendars.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up ways to transform your abode into a disco, drag show, yoga dance party, culinary class, and more — and given that it’s Mother’s Day weekend, there are plenty of happenings that are perfect for inviting along mama or your fave mom pals (via Zoom). Keep reading below and stay tuned as we’ll update this list.
Party at Sunset and ditch the velvet ropes
Last fall, Studio 54 founder and hospitality guru Ian Shrager teamed with Marriott to debut the breathtaking West Hollywood Edition hotel on the Sunset Strip, bringing the long-esteemed boulevard a starry new nightlife spot in the form Sunset. Now, the venue’s music program curator and DJ Zen Freeman is bringing the party to you — no VIP wristband needed — through live broadcast sets on Instagram Friday and Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Meet the DJs who keep the decks spinning
SBCLTR co-founder Patrik Khach is streaming at Our Scene Live‘s YouTube channel every Friday at noon to shine a light on promoters that have shaped the sound, attitudes, and behavior of our city’s dancing nights. Due to the pandemic, “the DJ industry completely got cut off, so my way of bringing people together is by setting up my stage in my home studio and hosting in-depth conversations with the underground electronic music community,” says Khach. He’s interviewing those who keep the underground house scene going, including artists, label owners, and other movers and shakers. Coming up: Sol Selectas label owner and DJ Sabo.
Dance with L.A.’s coolest moms
Fashion Mamas, the members-only community for mothers who work in creative industries, is hosting an early Mother’s Day virtual dance party powered by DJs who happen to be moms. “Grab yo kid, a cute look, and a cold drink” and join the tribe for a vibe Saturday, May 9 from 4 to 6 p.m., when vinyl-only DJ Victoria Rawlins, DJ Lady Sinclair, Nicole Lyn (a.k.a. DJ Ms. Nix), and Hollywood-beloved DJ and Woman. collective co-founder Daisy O’Dell, will spin for a digital audience of all ages.
Drag your mother to a glam show (at home)
Allow drag performer Billy Francesca to entertain you and your mama (from a safe digital distance) with WeHo pizzeria Rocco’s Rocc-ettes this Mother’s Day. We suggest Zooming with mom as you both join the virtual party by following the hashtags #MothersDayDrag and #fromWeHowithLove on Instagram and Twitter. — Danielle Directo-Meston
Take your tastebuds (and culinary chops) to Italy
Learn to whip up authentic Italian fare via L.A.-based Impastiamo, which is streaming live cooking classes led by chefs hailing from Venice, Calif. to Milan, Italy. Tickets are $12.50, and you can also get the ingredients delivered right to your door for an additional fee. Even better, 80% of ticket proceeds go directly to each culinary teacher. Coming up: Tiramisu with Echo Park’s Francesco Lucatorto (Monday, May 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.), fresh gnocchi with James Beard-nominated chef Mirko Paderno (Thursday, May 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.), and moqueca with WoodSpoon co-owner and chef Natalia Pereira (Saturday, May 16 from 6 to 7 p.m.), to name just a few.
Sweat, get crafty, and more at Row DTLA from home
Cool lifestyle center Row DTLA is tapping its directory of shopkeepers, entrepreneurs, fitness trainers, and creatives to lead quarantainment every day of the week. From 2 to 4 p.m., head to the hub’s Instagram Live and get crafty, work out, learn something new, get inspired, or just day drink with a new buddy. Past events have featured Making the Cut winner and L.A. designer Jonny Cota (whose Skingraft and Cota Studios flagship is located at Row DTLA), while upcoming activities include masterclasses with Still Life Ceramics, Sunday morning flows each week with Bender Yoga (which usually hosts rooftop workouts at Row), 30-minute workouts every Wednesday with Coreology, and more.
Flow with a star-faved L.A. choreographer
L.A. yogi-turned fine jeweler Ann Korman turned us onto choreographer and Sweat Spot dance studio founder Ryan Heffington‘s Instagram Live dance yoga classes (which regularly feature starry guests like Emma Stone, Margaret Qualley, P!nk, and others), and now we can’t get enough of his free #Sweatfest workouts, which attract upwards of 4,000 home fitness fiends around the world. Donations are encouraged and proceeds benefit Heffington’s Silver Lake studio, which also offers IG Live classes from its cool instructors. — Danielle Directo-Meston
Channel your favorite KCRW radio star
Sick of “traveling” to the Golden Gate Bridge for every Zoom meeting? KCRW created its very own virtual backdrops so you, too, can “visit” their L.A. studio and channel Anne Litt, Cherry Glaser (or Cherry Glazerr), Madeleine Brand, or Steve Chiotakis from your home office. You might not actually be reporting live from the performance stage or in the seat of a late-night FM DJ in the control room, but at least you can treat yourself and your co-workers — or whoever you’re Zooming with — to some newness.
Play with the Library of Congress’ historical beats
Another way to play DJ? The Library Of Congress is offering a vast music collection — including new additions such as L.A.’s Dr. Dre and the sounds of Whitney Houston — to take classics and spin them into something new. Sample music from Hollywood’s Golden Age soundtracks, dialect samples from historic speeches and interviews, and more. The best — and most important — part? The recordings are all free to sample, download, and share. Simply search by subject, pitch, or musical note then feed it into a mixing program and come up with your own remix with a new rhythm and drum kick, like this intriguing 1922 Santa Claus laugh. Have fun and get lost to your own beat.
Main photo: Sunset Edition