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First Friday's @ The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

2 Ratings: 3.0
A monthly event held at the NHM of Los Angeles.

First Fridays is culture in the making. From January 8 through June 4, 2010, First Fridays returns.       Each evening, the entire Museum stays open until 10 pm and features live music, exciting scientific discussion, and … see full wiki

1 review about First Friday's @ The Natural History Museum...

Can I get the Introductory Course to science? First Friday's threw me in an Upper Division mania.

  • Jan 12, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+3
Last weekend, a couple of friends of mine decided to check out First Friday's which was happening at the Natural History Museum in downtown Los Angeles. From what I had learned about it before going, it was a cool event in which the museum stays open late, and exhibit halls are turned into dance floors and lounge type settings. They bring in bands and DJ's as well as speakers and integrate the whole thing into one crazy scenario where you can go learn about science while getting your dance on over drinks with friends! 

FIRST, THE GOOD

I didn't know how legitimate an event like this could actually be, and I was pretty hesitant to go. In fact, I missed out on the entire 2009 season because I just wasn't excited enough to do something as extraordinary and unheard of as First Friday's.  So this month, I finally gathered myself up and try it out. 

I had lots of fun checking out a new place to hang out with friends. Making it out to the museum is pretty different from your normal bar + club experience. Here's how my night turned out - turn by turn.
  • PARKING - Pretty normal. The place was easy to find and get to, and parking is conveniently right next to the museum. No jumping from block to block looking for the best deal. It was a flat rate - $8.00 for the whole night. Not so bad, just make sure you have a full car.
  • ADMISSION - CHEAP. It was only $6.50 for students with ID! $9.00 regular, which I thought was so much better than dropping $20 in Hollywood. Off the bat, we were off to a good start. 
  • CROWD - Smarter than average. I was interested in seeing what kind of people came out to First Friday's. Young'ns? Hipsters? Drunkies? Who knows? Well, for the most part, it was a good mix of people (which I like) at the event plus an additional type of folk: science fans. The music and bar brought the normal night crowd, but the fact that you could come out and listen to experts speak about their passion was pretty cool to me. Overall, First Friday's brings out a more intellectual crowd - so you won't have to worry about getting into a brawl, losing your digital camera or carrying somebody you don't know who passed out on the dance floor outside.
  • ATMOSPHERE - Classy. In Hollywood, you get promoters in your face handing you flyers for the next event. Random photographers take pictures of you dancing the night away, only to post them to some scene site later. None of that happening at First Friday's. Instead, you're free to choose who's events you want to learn more about as various vendors have tables set up throughout the halls. A cameraman from the museum offers to take your digitally enhanced photo in front of the t-rex at the main lobby and lets you know where you'll be able to find them. Cool air flows through the exhibits, and there is enough space to keep you from sidestepping amongst strangers all night when you're trying to get a drink. The music is good, the lighting is nice and the mood feels positive. Great place, for sure.
The coolest thing of all is that the entire museum is open for viewing throughout the night. So between dancing to the DJ, listening to the band, or learning about what the speakers talk about - you can stroll through the museum and check out the normal exhibits. Awesome idea! 

AND NOW, FOR THE BUZZ KILL

While First Friday's was probably one the most unique outings I've been on in Los Angeles, it was one that I attended with high expectations. A place that was more than just a club scene. A place that I can enjoy learning about new things.  This is the part where I started to feel like an outsider. The lecture being given last Friday was on the topic of spiders, and is part of an ongoing series of science that has to do with Southern California. No offense to the speaker, but as I sat for the first 20 minutes of the discussion, I felt like I was in college again - in a bad way: dozing off, becoming distracted, thinking of how in the world I could relate to what was being talked about. I just couldn't connect.

I expected First Friday's to give me something more inspiring, more applicable and more practical to a person who doesn't necessarily have a science background. I want to say the "learning" part of First Friday's was too intense for my taste, but that's just me. As I noticed people begin to file out as the lecture dragged on, I felt the urge to do so too, and eventually did - feeling horrible for the professor who was speaking. But on the other hand, I felt like as a guest to the science community, I was thrown into an upper division version of things that I'm sure had weight. But as an event open to all of the public, can I get an Introductory course instead?

Maybe I'll need to give First Friday's another try, and I most certainly will. I'll bring more friends (more who love science) - and I'll bring more of an open-mind. Hopefully the next time I go, I won't feel like the longer I decide to stay in the discussion part, the more I want the night to just turn into a simple club/dance outing.

Check it out if you haven't, science lovers will not be disappointed. Promise.

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January 12, 2010
I went on Friday for the first time too - but to see the bands. Next time I'll go way earlier than I did (7:30 pm) to make sure I don't wait on line while the bands played (exactly what ended up happening). Also, I opted to park on the street because with only 2 people in the car, $8 is wayyyy too much for parking for a 2-5 hour ordeal!

Do you know what the deal was with drinks? I saw people with beers and saw tons of empty bottles on tables, but had no idea where to get them.

Also, I think I saw about 5 people I knew (but not you, haha). So random! I guess it really is very popular.
January 12, 2010
Parking on the street is a good idea, but I don't remember seeing a street that let us do so. I'll have to look again next time. As for the bar, you could find several of them all throughout the museum. They looked like little kiosks they set up in the hallways, mostly. I'll be going again next month, probably. See you there!
January 12, 2010
Haha I parked like 3 blocks away :-/
 
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