Los Angeles is a bricolage of races, cultures, creeds, religions and styles. When I headed out to Hollywood for what I thought was a St. Patrick’s Day event, I quickly realized the event was not exactly about wearing green or day drinking with people dressed up as leprechauns.
I asked if I was at the right event, because I didn’t see anything related to St. Patrick’s Day. The man at the check in booth said yes. “The events are combined.” It turns out the St. Patrick’s day event was combined with the Persian New Year celebration, and together created an event much different than any I had ever been to before.
As I entered The Arena Nightclub, it quickly dawned on me that the combination of events created an atmosphere of multiculturalism. Persian music, Easter booths, Russian dolls and men dressed up in costumes. It felt like a fair, many different elements blending together. There was little cohesion, but an overriding acceptance of everyone that held it all together. Downstairs was a family friendly stage show.
The crowd was largely Persian, families and children, part of the main event the Norooz Festival. The DJ would mix Pop music in with Persian music. On the stage, the host wasn’t speaking English so I wasn’t sure what he was saying, but I know I wasn’t the only one. Families and children were all dancing and singing as bubbles were pumped out onto the crowd.
It had a vibe of everyone just having fun, socializing, eating, drinking and enjoying the social interaction. I asked a man near me how he was enjoying the event. He smiled and nodded. I’m guessing he doesn’t know English because he didn’t have a response.
I heard music upstairs so I went to check it out. Upstairs there was a rather strange band playing. It was a guy sitting in chair, playing a guitar, singing, again not sure what language it was, and another older man dancing around, playing a violin. It was quite entertaining and many people were dancing like no one was watching.
I saw two girls and a guy dressed in green St. Patty’s day attire, giving out beer. I decided to take them up on the free beer. In the side of the room two Japanese food booths were giving out free samples. One was meatless beef jerky made from plants and the other was wasabi covered almonds. They went with the beer. I tried to talk to the guy dressed as a Leprechaun but the music was so loud he couldn’t hear me and I couldn’t hear him. He seemed like he was having fun.
I headed back downstairs and heard English coming from the stage. It was Eric Garcetti the LA Mayoral candidate. After a couple photo ops, Garcetti went outside to get a kabob. I’m a fan of Garcetti, and wanted to know what his thoughts on the event were. I had to wait my turn as Garcetti was interviewed by a reporter who covers LA’s Persian community asked him questions about the Middle East, and then a guy with a green beard wanted to know Garcetti’s thoughts on gun control.
I introduced myself to Mr. Garcetti and asked him what he thought of the event today and what is says about LA. “It’s a mash-up” he said. I could not agree more.
Julian Tyler is a screenwriter and media professional from Northern California. A Los Angeles resident for six years, he has worked on several hit films and TV shows, and follows the entertainment industry closely. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Julian has studied the media industries for many years. When he is not writing, working on films, TV shows, or media projects he is attending the best events in Los Angeles. Julian is proud to be a contributor to Pacific Punch. Follow him on twitter @JulianTyler and the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch.