Leslie's List: Oysters, Short Films, and Pinball

The best things to eat, do, and read this week.
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The best things to eat, do, and read this week.
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This to-do list is culled directly from my own calendar and interests. Most everything on the list can be done no matter where you live, but because I live in L.A., my "Do" each week will spotlight a unique L.A.-based event or activity. If you're inspired by any of these tips or have some of your own to add, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! Enjoy!

P.S., This is my last Leslie's List for the rest of the year - see you back here in January!

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Tap into your inner child and go to a grownups-approved arcade this week. At Button Mash in Echo Park, you can drink beer and play retro pinball machines while you wait for your table. At EightyTwo in Downtown, you can jam to DJ'ed music while you play one of their classic arcade games—or let the pros show you how it's down every Tuesday night at 9 PM when the LA Pinball League plays there. (Side note: How cool is it that a pinball league exists?)

P.S. There have been a lot of great new restaurants popping up in L.A. if you're in the area. Some recent favorites include Honey Hi, Baroo, and P.Y.T. (probably not a coincidence that they all specialize in rice bowls...). 

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Oysters! Right now we're right in the heart of oyster season (every month that has an "R" in it, aka winter!) and it's the season for celebrating, so what better time to order a batch and throw a party? This past Saturday I did exactly that and ordered 300 oysters from Island Creek Oyster. I supplied the rosé, shuckers, and homemade mignonette but asked friends for help covering the cost of the oysters. It made for a perfect party—especially since I've never seen so many oysters in one place in my life and cleanup consisted of tossing out shells.

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I have a stack of books to read while our office is closed for the holidays and Wangs Versus the World is at the top of that list. I've heard so many good things about Jade Chang's debut novel, including how brilliantly it addresses (then disproves) Asian-American stereotypes and portrays a hectic family road trip in a riches to rags story.

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Every week, the editors at the website Short of the Week publish about an hour's worth of short films on their homepage. The shorts vary widely in subject and country of origin—I'm always impressed by the selection and amazed by how many films I would have never seen if I'd never come across the website. I recommend you start with some of the films in their "Awards" section or just jump into those featured on the homepage. The best part? It's completely free to watch. Speaking of shorts, make sure to check out this very Black Mirror-esque film "Never Happened."

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Spotify recently released a playlist of 2016's most listened-to songs. It's pretty much what you'd expect—a lot of Drake, a little bit of ZAYN—so if you're not a Top 40 fan, this list may be a little more up your alley. And if you're curious, here's a short list of my favorite songs of 2016 in no particular order (and in playlist form here with a couple extras):

1. All I Ever Wondered by St. Paul and the Broken Bones 
2. Technicolor Lights by Jim and Sam
3. Mother by Said the Whale
4. Radio by Sylvan Esso
5. Grigio Girls by Lady Gaga #sorryimnotsorry
6. Tender by Stabwounds
7. Space by Amber Mark
8. Sweet Love of Mine by Joy Williams
9. My Shot by The Roots again, #sorryimnotsorry
10. Rich by Maren Morris