18 L.A. Places to Immerse Yourself in Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year

Live your life in Ultra Violet

Pantone recently crowned Ultra Violet the Color of the Year for 2018, stating the rich hue “symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.” As always, Pantone aims to capture the spirit of the times through the meaning and emotion emitted through a specific color (or colors à la 2016), and we couldn’t have asked for a more fitting selection and description for this year. Ultra Violet has a mysterious weight to it, one that encapsulates the collective feeling of “Where the hell are we headed in 2018?” At the same time, it’s hard to miss the implicit political significance, with purple’s ties to the LGBTQ and feminist rights movements, and purple signifying the blending of Democrat and Republican colors. The vivid color feels brazen and powerful, as if it’s ready to galvanize everything around it into action. In its honor, we’ve rounded up 18 places for you to harness that Ultra Violet energy.

Courtesy of Pantone

1. Weller Court, Little Tokyo

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If you haven’t accidentally stumbled upon this hypnotic light installation in Little Tokyo, it’s worth a visit. “Portal” is a trippy LED light hallway designed by Akiko Yamashita that rhythmically changes color as segmented light beams dance across the walls.

2. Museum of Neon Art

Soak in those ultra violet light rays at the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale. Currently on display is She Bends: Women in Neon, an exhibit showcasing the work of 29 female artists dedicated to the male-dominated field of neon bending. We would take home every piece and bask in the neon badassery every night if we could.

3. The Los Angeles Flower Market

Walking into the Los Angeles Flower Market on a Saturday morning throws you into a meditative daze of color, scents, and sounds. We’ve deemed it a necessary weekend ritual. Fill your room with a fresh bouquet of violets for an immediate mood booster each time you come home.

4. Santa Monica Farmers’ Market

This could be any farmers’ market, but we’re partial to the expansive Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. Purple cauliflower is currently in season, so snag a bundle and marvel at the au naturale color.

5. Grand Central Market (at night)

We know you’ve probably been to the market for a morning coffee or weekend brunch, but don’t sleep on nights at Grand Central Market. The 100-year-old landmark takes on a warm, nostalgic feel at night, with colored lights bathing the Hill street side after sundown and live music adding a soulful kick. We recommend jazz nights on Sundays.

6. L.A. Zoo

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Let this serve as a very serious reminder to experience the dizzying display of lights at the L.A. Zoo before they’re taken down. The holidays may be over, but the zoo is still delightfully ablaze until January 7. While you’re there, be sure to see the absurdly cute baby mandrills who joined the zoo fam in August.

7. Hamburger Mary’s WEHO

Because you need to experience Drag Queen Brunch at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood at least once in your life. Sip on a bloody mary and bow down to the queens as they slay in the limelight of the violet-draped stage.

8. Los Angeles Central Library

This is more of a public service announcement to all of you who don’t have a shiny violet library card sitting pretty in your wallet. Newsflash: this is the most important form of I.D. as an Angeleno. Along with your metro card. Ultra violet pro tip: the corner of Hill and Flower is one of the best places to savor the beauty of jacarandas in bloom. Peak jacaranda season is hard to pin down, but it usually falls around late May/early June.

9. “Dividing the Light” by James Turrell

Just a short trek outside of L.A. sits one of our favorite immersive art installations. James Turrell, a visionary artist fascinated with light and space, has created a dreamy outdoor sanctuary that functions as a window to the sky and aims to “heighten the viewer’s awareness of light, sky and the activity of perception.” Don’t expect to have the same experience twice: the installation fluidly changes color, from ultra violet to deep cerulean, paired with the ever-changing colors of the sky.

10. Haskins House on Carroll Avenue

The iconic Charmed House usually gets all the glory on Carroll Avenue, but the violet-trimmed Haskin House deserves your attention. With all its fanciful flourishes and dramatic corner turret (commonly called the “witch’s hat”), this Victorian beauty is a definite standout on the block.

11. Moonlight Rollerway

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Glide along the glossy hardwood floor as the rotating lights bathe you in a deep ultra violet glow at Moonlight Rollerway. You’ll feel like Beyoncé, and everything in the world will feel right. Right?

12. B Sweet

Violet-colored ube is already having its moment in L.A., so this will just catapult the Filipino favorite into more fame. Head to B Sweet bakery in Sawtelle Japantown for ube-fied greatness. The ice cream doughnut is a fan favorite, but we’re all about the ube PopTarts.

13. Mikkeller DTLA

So, Mikkeller is a pretty crazy phenomenon. It’s known as one of the best microbreweries in the world, exporting its microbrews to 40 different countries and opening bars across the globe—Bangkok, Copenhagen, Seoul, and Tokyo to name a few. Yet, despite its massive reach, Mikkeller Bar in DTLA feels as local as can be. Most of the Mikkeller brews are only available for a limited time and in small batches, which makes drinking one feel like you’ve nabbed the Golden Ticket. We’ve had our eyes on Nurple, a sour blonde ale aged on marionberries for 15 months in Port wine barrels, which was released from their San Diego location back in October and premiered at the DTLA location for a limited time. Who knows if Nurple will ever make a glorious return, but here’s to hoping they honor the Pantone Color of the Year by bringing it back.

14. Amazebowls

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You may not see the deep violet-colored acai beneath the castle of alluring toppings, but it’s there and it’s delicious. Amazebowls stole the show when the acai craze hit L.A. by making their beautiful coconut bowls the envy of the Instagram world (the bowl was the cover star of our April issue). Rest assured, the decadent treat tastes as good as it looks.


Young-Il Ahn, Water BLRG 16 (detail), 2016, Oil on canvas, 64 × 52 in. (162.56 × 132.08 cm, Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Baik/ Baik Art) © Young-Il Ahn

Photo by Michael Underwood

We’re sure you could walk into any museum and spot violet lingering somewhere, but we’re giving a special shoutout to LACMA’s exhibit Unexpected Light: Works by Young Il Ahn, the first-ever introduction of a Korean-American artist at the museum. Ahn’s pieces are minimal, yet mesmerizing, with the meticulously repetitive strokes casting you into a sea of movement and color (similar to Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Nets).

16. Stone Island Store

The cult-favorite streetwear brand has added this site-specific installation to their recently opened flagship store on La Brea Avenue. Created by artists Ken Tonio Yamamoto and Nina Heydorn, the color-changing light poles cast a lambent glow throughout the store.

17. Lakers Game at the STAPLES Center

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This seems like an obvious and necessary inclusion. Lakers fan or not, it’s a treat to watch a home game at the STAPLES center with the team sporting their purple jerseys.

18. Those L.A. Skies

Annnnd the grand finale goes to the masterful sky of our beloved city. We’ll never get sick of your otherworldly sunrises and sunsets—even if it clogs our Instagram feed for the next 24 hours.


RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to the Most Instagrammed Spots in L.A.

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