Downtown Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us

For whatever reason, Sparks likes to perform on Valentines Day because this past Saturday night was the SECOND time I’ve seen them on Valentines Day.

At least I had a date for this one.

Sparks was performing their seminal 1974 album Kimono My House with a 30 piece orchestra at the old United Artists theater (now The Theater at the Ace Hotel). Beautiful weather, downtown LA, and Sparks, to me, is the perfect way to spend Valentines Day.

My date and I had a pre-concert dinner at the Pantry.

The menu at the Pantry.

The menu at the Pantry.

Tha Pantry - keeping patrons regular since 1924!

The Pantry – keeping patrons regular since 1924!

The food at the Pantry is pretty good. Nothing spectacular, but I find that food somehow instantly becomes better when you add some history to it.

After dinner, we parked the car by the theater and walked around a little. I miss living in downtown LA, especially now after the Hipster gentrification. I remember having to do my grocery shopping at Rite-Aid or Big Lots, and the only places to eat after dark were the Pantry and the coffee shop at The Standard. Plus, I also miss being mistaken for an undercover cop because lets face it, I was probably the only blonde-headed white girl living a block away from Skid Row.

Besides Audrey from “Little Shop of Horrors”.

The Eastern Columbia Building (now lofts)

The Eastern Columbia Building (now lofts)

The entrance to the Eastern Columbia Building.

The entrance to the Eastern Columbia Building.

My date hates being “in the city”, but I think he enjoyed himself. I was my usual charming and obnoxious self:

“Dude, CHECK out that art deco molding.”

“Did you KNOW that marquee is the longest one on Broadway?”

“I think you NEED to give me $729,000 so I can buy that loft.”

More hot downtown LA action!

More hot downtown LA action!



After our walk, we settled down for a cocktail and dessert at Umami Burger.

“Desert is always better when fried in tempura.” I said with a smile as I sipped my ginger beer.


We then made our way to the show. I snapped the following pic as we stood in line.10

“What is hostess dancing?” he asked.

“It’s like that Pat Benetar video.” I said. He seemed satisfied with my answer.

Once we got inside, I snapped a few pics of the 1924 theater.1112






We made our way to our seats and prepared for an awesome show. I filled him in about the history of the theater. There was a really nice couple sitting next to us and of course I talked about LA history and theater and restaurants with them while my date checked his work email on his phone. But that’s what happens when you don’t like being “in the city”.


The show was excellent. The Mael brothers were on top of their game and the orchestra sounded fantastic. I didn’t take any photos of the performance because I actually wanted to enjoy the performance and not be one of those assholes with their phone in front of their face the whole time. There were comments during the intermission like:

Kimono My House sounds better in it’s original format with the guitar n’ stuff.”

No shit, Hipster. That’s like someone listening to the String Quartet Tribute To The Smiths and saying it sounds better with Morrissey singing and Johnny’s guitar. You’re not supposed to compare the two and each version isn’t better than the other. You’re supposed to enjoy and appreciate each performance separately.

During the performance, my date turned towards me and said “I think the guy on the piano is pissed. He doesn’t look too happy.”

I turned to him and gave him a sympathetic smile, and then filled him about Ron Mael.

My Valentines Day just went from “Here in Heaven” to “Amateur Hour.”