By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
BEST PLACE TO SKATE AND AVOID SUNLIGHT
On the second Monday of every month, DJ Xian takes over the booth at World on Wheels, armed with classic tunes from Depeche Mode and Siouxsie and the Banshees and the latest hits from the Presets, IAMX and VNV Nation. Wumpskate, now entering its sixth year, is the only roller disco in town that brings together punk families, hipster teens and goth-club regulars for an affordable night on wheels. The $6 cover includes skate rentals. Drinks (nonalcoholic) are $1, and small snacks are often available for free. In the kitchen, caterer Doomie serves $1 tacos. Watch for frequent theme nights, including the popular Pirate Skate, which features a costume contest. With a cool sound and a friendly crowd, Wumpskate has even become popular with those who don’t skate, and regulars brings board games to play on the sidelines. Wumpskate @ World on Wheels, 4645 Venice Blvd., L.A. (323) 933-5170.
BEST PRINTING, DRAWING AND SILK-SCREENING CLASSES
For a young visual artist, Self Help Graphics just might be the best deal on the Eastside, if not all of Southern California. Following its historical mission to promote emerging talent, SHG offers classes in printmaking, etching and silk-screening throughout the year. Many classes are free, while others cost no more than $10 per class. The Monday night drawing class ($10) promises a a new model every week, including an “Aztec man” and a “voluptuous rockabilly girl” for the aspiring, postmodern Rubens. The Digital Media Program offers free, weekly classes in video production and computer-aided design. Self Help’s famous Dia de los Muertos celebration is the culmination of a series of free workshops that takes place every Saturday in October. The free November 2 event will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. at the East L.A. Civic Center this year and annually attracts thousands, including those who got their start, or just a great bunch of skills, from Self Help Graphics. 3802 Cesar E. Chavez Ave., E.L.A. (323) 881-6444, selfhelpgraphics.com.
BEST BALLROOM-DANCE STUDIO
With its weathered hardwood floors, mirrored walls and constant soundtrack of waltz and tango music, 3rd Street Dance looks and sounds every bit the classic ballroom studio. Visit some evening, and the West Hollywood space will likely put you in the dancing mood. No worries if your moves aren’t quite Broadway-caliber; that’s why 3rd Street’s expert instructors are there. In group classes priced at only $15 a session (or less if you buy an eight-pack), they’ll steer you through the steps in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. Their curriculum has been thoughtfully crafted and avoids the cookie-cutter approach some of the franchise competitors take. Also available are more intensive private lessons for those who have a wedding dance coming up or who are simply serious about their paso doble. You may attend as a couple or by yourself; either way, your days of dance-floor awkwardness will soon be in the past. 8558 W. Third St., L. A. (310) 275-4683, 3rdstreetdance.com.
BEST EXERCISE Rx FOR INJURIES
Less expensive than a chiropractic session and more addictive than Vicodin (in a good way), the healing vibes of Kristen Eykel’s Yoga Emergency class at Inner Power Yoga releases hunched shoulders, lessens back strain, and soothes the aches and pains of pregnancy. And if you’re just a neurotic mess, the soothing incantations of this model-beautiful instructor with 20 years of experience in shamanism, Reiki and Kundalini could even calm the suicidal. Her candlelit class is taught with subtle strains of Indian music playing in the background, accompanying her easy-to-follow instruction; Eykel guides you through relaxing postures that even the tightest of truck drivers can follow. She emphasizes that this is not a “sweat class” (although you’ll probably sweat) but a class to make you feel better. “Its purpose is to bring into your day an energy that you’d like to accentuate, or to release something that no longer serves you emotionally or physically,” Eykel explains. Occasionally, a particular movement can release so much emotion that it’s not uncommon to witness a student burst into tears during the practice. A 75-minute session costs $16. 22233 Mulholland Hwy., Calabasas. (818) 591-2639, innerpoweryoga.net. Thurs., 5:30-6:45 p.m.