Budget friendly fun: Building a cushion in pockets instead of burning a hole

By Annette Vitkievicz

When people ask for a penny in exchange for my thoughts, I’d
rather try to work a deal and get that coin for free.

I can’t help but agree with Notorious B.I.G. when he rapped “mo’
money, mo’ problems.”

From tipping based strictly on service to collecting precious
quarters left in vending machines, I am a passionate advocate of
cash conservation.

Living a fun lifestyle with less green can be a challenging task
for beginners, but luckily I am a self-proclaimed economical
expert. There is no reason to sacrifice thrills for thriftiness
when it’s possible to have both.

Be my BFF and discover my favorite spots for budget friendly
fun. It ain’t easy being greenless, but it’s possible.

While big cities like Los Angeles and Long Beach host their own
large-scale art walk events, Pomona’s monthly street soiree brings
all the art for half the gas. Located less than five miles from Cal
Poly in Pomona’s Arts Colony, the Second Saturday Art Walk provides
an inexpensive self-expression outlet.

With cool cuisine and eye candy to fulfill every craving, the
walk should be a staple in anyone’s artistic diet. Sprawling across
a few blocks south of Pomona’s antique row with plenty of free
parking, almost every medium of art is represented.

Chalk murals provide a literal interpretation of an art walk,
with brightly sketched designs at the tip of one’s toes.

Student artists also surround sidewalks, holding up their
creations for comments or critiques. The artist line provides a
unique opportunity to interact with the faces behind the art.

Roomy galleries lining the blocks from Second Street to Mission
Avenue stand wide open for pedestrians to filter through. Arrive
early to take advantage of complimentary cheese, crackers and other
snacks.

After enjoying free finger food as appetizers, stroll down to
Casa Jimenez on Third Street for authentic Mexican cuisine.. The
family-style restaurant offers options from a $9.95 endless buffet
to $6.95 combination plates.

After taking one bite of a crispy, light golden flauta, I knew
Jimenez’s casa was one I’d revisit often. The portions are large,
the service is friendly and the tortilla chips are continuously
refilled.

The art walk also offers a farmer’s market, street vendors and
live music. Retail shops and other restaurants stay open later in
order to take advantage of the moving masses. Stop by La Bomba, an
eclectic vintage clothing boutique with plenty of inexpensive retro
finds. Women can sift through racks of 50’s frocks while men may
discover classic staples of the past, such as Member’s Only jackets
for $10 or less.

Walk a few steps down to pass through the Magic Door, a charming
used bookshop with an impressive selection. Energetic owners Dwain
and JoAnn Kaiser create a cozy atmosphere and treat each customer
like an old friend. The pair uses their literary expertise to
recommend specific titles based on a customer’s preferences.

From signed CDs in every genre to limited edition publications,
it isn’t difficult to unearth a gem. With books starting at $2 and
all paperbacks 50 percent off their original price, Magic Door
opens endless possibilities.

Popular concert venues the Glass House and the newly renovated
Fox Theater ensures that catching live music is no stress for the
cash-strapped. If paying for entertainment isn’t an option, take a
detour upstairs to the train station tower for a picturesque view
of Pomona’s city lights.

Pomona’s next art walk is Saturday, April 5 from 6 to 10
p.m.

Reach Annette Vitkievicz at:
lifestyle@thepolypost.com

Explore Hollywood without the expen$e

Explore Hollywood without the expen$e

Budget friendly fun: Building a cushion in pockets instead of burning a hole

**File Photo**/Poly Post

Budget friendly fun: Building a cushion in pockets instead of burning a hole

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