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Broxton Nights Sweetheart Market offers community space for attendees, loved ones

Pictured are Westwood community members skating on Broxton Avenue. Broxton Nights brought love into the air last Saturday with a Valentine’s Day-themed market. (Zimo Li/Daily Bruin)

By Eva Danesh and Jonah Danesh

Feb. 14, 2024 9:06 p.m.

Hundreds of Bruins and Angelenos gathered on Broxton Avenue with their loved ones last Saturday for the Broxton Nights Sweetheart Market.

On the second Saturday of every month, Broxton Avenue is closed to traffic and transformed into a night market for the community. February’s Valentine’s Day edition featured an artisanal vendor marketplace, music from the Soundbox Truck and roller skating with the Skate Hunnies.

The Sure Good Soft Serve truck, parked on Broxton Avenue, served specialty ice cream and milkshakes. Jodi Simon and UCLA alumnus Greg Herman, who are the founders of Sure Good Soft Serve, have served the community several times over the past year at events such as UCLA First Thursdays and sports games.

Simon said they have built a following, most recently over their new apple pie shake with fresh apple puree, cinnamon sugar and a homemade crumble crust. Compared to other events in Westwood, Broxton Nights brings a wider crowd, Herman said, adding that one attendee who skated up to Sure Good’s truck came to Westwood from Pomona, which is around 45 miles away.

Herman said he thinks the Broxton Nights event series is a much-needed event in Los Angeles, where consistent community-based events can be hard to find. He added that as the weather improves, he believes even more people will come out to Westwood for events, though the chillier temperatures Saturday did not get in the way of attendees enjoying the sweet treat.

“Ice cream transcends weather,” he said. “It brings people out for a good time all year.”

[Related: Students find ice cream, space to unwind from midterms at UCLA First Thursdays]

Newer businesses were also showcased last Saturday. Representatives from Sender One, a new indoor rock climbing gym, spoke with attendees about the company’s plans for its Lindbrook Drive location and offered tours of the nearly completed gym.

While it is scheduled to open its Westwood doors later this month, Sender One already has three locations across Southern California, with one of the earliest locations having opened over a decade ago.

Czar Goss, the training and development manager at Sender One, said through the new gym, students and community members will have the opportunity to gain an introduction to climbing. He added that LA is centrally located between several true outdoor climbing spots, with Malibu Creek and Echo Cliffs to the west, Yosemite to the north and Joshua Tree to the east.

“This gives you some exposure to rock climbing very close to home,” Goss said.

Goss added that his team looks forward to sharing climbing with the new community. He said he thinks this activity has something for everyone, from the physicality of climbing to the mental and emotional strength it takes to reach the top of the wall.

(Nina Schmidt/Daily Bruin)
Community members wearing roller skates are pictured. The Skate Hunnies set up roller skating during Broxton Nights on every second Saturday of the month. (Nina Schmidt/Daily Bruin)

Those who came with their loved ones could snap photos to capture memories from the evening together with FunDay Photo Booth. Samuel Wendt, the booth’s founder, said the event series is a prime opportunity for people to enjoy what Westwood offers at night.

“Everyone’s having a great time,” Wendt said. “It’s great to get together in a community and just enjoy the night.”

He said Saturday was the first time he brought his photo booth to Westwood, adding that it showed him how the activity can enhance community spirit and provide memorable experiences.

The event brought joy to students on campus and those in the Westwood community, said Elian Lei, a second-year environmental science student. He added that he appreciates having lively events and opportunities close to campus.

“It’s definitely a lot more convenient,” Lei said. “LA is a really big place, so it’s great having a place like Westwood that’s so convenient to go to.”

For those looking for a more hands-on activity, Splatterz! Studio – a paint-your-own pottery experience on Broxton Avenue – invited attendees to get crafty and paint with their loved ones at the event.

Bobby Zole, the studio’s owner and a UCLA alumnus, said he appreciates the Broxton Nights event series because it encourages Bruins and the local community to explore and enjoy Westwood.

“We really want to make sure that the students at UCLA know about Broxton, know about the Village, and know that there is action down here,” Zole said. “For whatever interests you have, there’s something going on.”

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