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It's either totally wondrous or worthy of shared civic shame that the most ethnically diverse, racially mixed, friendly place to chat with Angelenos from all nations is the Canoga Park Costco. And then there's LACMA's Friday Night Jazz Series, a multi-culti/hi-low fashion/blue-red politics powwow set outdoors just a few feet from Chris Burden's city-defining landmark, Urban Light. This wildly mixed and friendly scene offers fine jazz, and if you get there 20 minutes early you can grab a comfy folding chair or take a spot of grass big enough for a beach towel and picnic. It's a crowd, but pleasantly so, thanks to the fact that everyone seems to be sipping plastic cups of wine bought on the premises or secreted in their minicoolers, and proper attire ranges from microshorts to full-on diaphanous night-at-the-museum garb. Talk politics, art or dirty jokes, it's all good. Since the jazz is free, pop for some absurdly expensive appetizers at Ray's, the sleek/posh café acting as LACMA's house kitchen. The series runs April through November. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-City. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org/programs/music/jazz-at-lacma.

—Jill Stewart

LA Weekly