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Support Street Vendors And Small Businesses At LURN's Alternative Black Friday Artist Marketplace

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(Photo courtesy of LURN via Facebook)
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Shopping on Black Friday—once considered the domain of vulgar, capitalist pigs and their deal-obsessed prey—has taken a turn for the socially aware ever since LURN opened their City Labs space in Boyle Heights and started hosting alternative marketplaces.

Forget the agony of a crowded mall on the day after Thanksgiving and instead imagine yourself in a lovely courtyard just over the river from downtown, eating delicious food and talking to local artists, all while voting with your dollars to support local entrepreneurs and street vendors. And that's to say nothing of the music, and the chance to find some of the coolest gifts in town. Welcome to LURN's annual ¡AyE! (¡Artistas y Empresarios!) Boyle Heights alternative marketplace, which will be open today from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It's a win-win: at ¡AyE!, you can find incredibly cool, unique stuff unavailable anywhere else, all while actively participating in an economic development and arts initiative designed to anchor entrepreneurs in the local community. Some of our favorite vendors include El Machete (micro-brew piquant hot sauces and elixirs produced in and inspired by Los Angeles culture), Cha Cha Covers (insanely cool nail covers), and Alegria Xocolatl's hand-crafted essential oils and serums.

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Run by Rudy Espinoza, Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN) is a non-profit community development organization dedicated to revitalizing low-income communities, often in creative, entrepreneurial ways. The organization has been deeply involved in the Legalize Street Vending campaign, and also operates the City Labs space in Boyle Heights as a purpose-driven workspace for both nonprofits and creatives.

¡AyE! runs from 12 p.m. to 4: p.m. on Friday, November 25. City Labs is located at 533 S. Clarence Street in Boyle Heights. (323) 993-8944