August 21, 2019




Los Angeles is the breeding ground of fun, crazy, and even just plain bizarre pop-ups. From your favorite indie-brand opening a temporary storefront to charities creating cool photoshoot opportunities as a fundraiser, or even films using the Angelino’s love of exclusivity to market their new movie: pop-ups are the way of the future. So today I visited a few!

First, we went to Pet Pop, a brand-new pop-up “museum” by No-Kill Los Angeles, an animal shelter whose initiative is to end the killing of dogs and cats for their lack of a home. I am not aware of whether or not this use of the term is absolute or follows the same ethical guidelines as the Humane Society which grants merciful death to animals who are injured to the point that they would die suffering if this option were not available. The museum was more a pet-themed photographer’s wonderland, which doubled as an adoption event. On weekends when the event is busiest it’s filled with dogs that can be adopted on the spot, however, because it was a weekday Nala the husky was our shy but fun playmate for the extent of our visit. It was also open to bring-your-own-pet though Luna was busy lazing it up in Washington. The myriad of rooms was designed to be the most Instagammable, interactive venue of the week.

After that, we drove to Thinkspace Gallery a few minutes away. The same gallery I had gone in search of (and gotten terrified and scurried back to my hotel) on August 11. From what I had read in a magazine it was a huge gallery with multiple artists creating unique, photographable art experiences, but when we entered it seemed to be only a front room gallery showing the Other Realm exhibit by Michael Reeder which featured lots of bright colors and skulls. It didn’t take long for us to have our fill and be ready to move on.

We grabbed lunch before returning to Upland. We stopped at My Delight Cupcakes, which had an overwhelming array of deliciousness. I choose classic chocolate, though there were plenty I was eager to try. The cake was moist and the frosting decadent without either being heavy.

After dinner, we drove back to Los Angeles this time to Hollywood Boulevard for the It Experience: Chapter 2. If you decide to visit anticipate a wait oft least an hour, though it can be up to four hours. The line closed right after we arrived at around 8:30 pm and the event closed at 11. We didn’t get to the interactive carnival games and the haunted house by about 10:30 with about a 15-minute experience. All that being said, it was a spectacularly well-done haunted house. It was more interactive than other haunted houses and the actors were much better at surprising, shocking, or scaring the guests.

The real adventure began when we got back to the parking lot where we had paid to park for the evening. When we had parked the car at the parking lot on Cahuenga Boulevard in between Hollywood Boulevard and Yucca Street the attendant (and sign) said that it was a $10 flat rate until the parking lot closed at midnight.

He asked what time we would be back and I said, “around ten or eleven.”

He responded, “that’s good,” and threw a parking pass onto my windshield.

When we returned he immediately came out of the little metal box that he perched in to watch over the little parking lot and yelled, “YOU’RE LATE!”

I checked my phone, it was 10:48 pm exactly. “What are you talking about? I said we’d be back around eleven.”

He blocked my driver’s side door and yelled, “No! Parking ticket says 10, you’re late! $8 late fee.”

It was then that I noticed that he had scrawled a sloppy ‘10’ in the corner of the parking pass he had thrown into my car but he wouldn’t let me get the pass out of my car to read the detailed fine print on the pass. Later I would find that in all capital letters the pass said: “THIS TICKET EXPIRES AT MIDNIGHT ON THE DAY IT’S GIVEN.”

I was outraged and told the man that I was not late and I was not giving him anything. He could let me in my vehicle or call the cops. He said, “NO! You call the cops!”

I laughed and went to enter my vehicle, the man shoved me away from my vehicle. By this point, I was absolutely fuming. Vanessa, the conflict-avoidant of the trio said, “Fine. I’ll pay the $8.”

The man said, “okay, go,” suddenly smug.

While Vanessa walked away to the ATM I informed him that holding me there against my will was false imprisonment, pushing me was assault and he could be convicted of a felony.

He yelled, “NO!” He pointed at me as if to jab me in the chest.

“Call the police!”

“NO!”

“Do you have a supervisor?”

“Yes.”

“CALL HIM THEN.”

“NO!”

He was less than six inches from my face, clearly trying to intimidate me with his childish shouting match.

Vanessa then reentered the parking lot and I got in my vehicle, picked her up, and took off back to Upland.

The next morning I called LAPD and informed them of the details of what had unfolded. They informed me that the officers in the area would be informed to watch the parking lot and parking attendant because it sounded as if he was running a scam.

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