Head to the Natural History Museum this Friday night for this month’s First Friday. The museum will stay open until 10 p.m. and offer a program of scientific discussion, a behind-the-scenes tour and live music. Tours this Friday start at 5 p.m. and feature “Lovely Bugs,” and the discussion at 6:30 p.m. covers the wicked and ferocious bugs at the other end of the spectrum. Performances begin at 8 p.m. and there will also be DJs in the African Mammals Hall. Tickets for concert and admission are currently sold out, but a limited number will be available at the door. Museum admission only, which includes the guided tour, discussion and access to the DJ Lounge, costs $5-$12 and can be purchased in advance online. (Metro Expo Line to Expo/Vermont Station, Metro Bus 550 to Exposition/Vermont.)
If you’re a fan of the show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” (raise your hand if you’re a brony!) then you don’t want to miss the MY LITTLE PONY Project 2012. The launch of the pony exhibition at Toy Art Gallery is Saturday, May 5 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Join the party and check out the customized 18-inch vinyl pony figures created by notable artists such as Mark Mothersbaugh and 6%DOKIDOKI. Other limited edition collectibles will also be available for purchase. Music at the event will be provided by Dim Mak and 10% of all sales will go to a children’s charity. (Metro Bus 10/48 to Melrose/Gardner, walk a block and a half west on Melrose.)
If you’re still wondering how to get around Los Angeles without a car, go to Last Bookstore this Sunday to find out. City/transit planner Nathan Landau, the author of Car Free Los Angeles and Southern California, will be there from 3-5 p.m. There will be a short reading followed by an “urban adventure,” touring the city on foot and by public transit. And what better way to attend the event than by going Metro? (Metro Red Line to Pershing Square Station, exit Pershing and two blocks east on 5th Street. Metro Bus 16 to 5th/Spring.)
A view of downtown from LA Historic State Park. Photo from Earth Day Latino's Facebook page
Get your comedy fix on Friday with 420 Comedy Night, hosted by Gina Bernstein. The lineup includes comics from famed comedy schools such as the Groundlings and Second City. Curtains go up at Archway Studio and Theatre at 9 p.m. and tickets are just $10. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, walk about a block and a half south on Alameda to Traction. Head two streets southeast on Traction; the theatre is located near Wurstkuche restaurant.)
Celebrate nature at Earth Day Latino, which will take place at the Los Angeles Historic State Park. The event begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday and you’ll be able to camp out overnight if you wish; a few activities are planned for Sunday morning. Young and old are invited to plant some trees, learn some history about the urban green space and take a guided walk around the park. There will be local high school bands providing entertainment, as well as a scheduled treasure hunt, bike ride and more. Food will be available for purchase, or you can bring your own picnic lunch. Those who wish to camp overnight need to check in; register online or before 10 a.m. at the park to be loaned a tent. The event is free and open to the public. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, Metro Bus 76 to Alameda/College.)
Pig ears from Haven Gastropub will be available at the 626 Night Market. Photo from 626 Night Market Facebook page.
If you’re into movie fashion, take a long lunch on Friday and visit the FIDM Museum, which is currently presenting the 20th anniversary Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition. Celebrating the art and industry of costume designers, this exhibition presents more than 100 costumes from twenty films released in 2011, including costumes from all five 2011 Academy Award Nominees for Costume Design: W/E, Hugo, Jane Eyre, The Artist, and Anonymous. Also on display are costumes from last year’s winner, Alice in Wonderland. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. (Metro Red/Purple Line to 7th/Metro Station, exit towards Hope Street and walk south for two blocks. Metro Bus 14 to 9th/Grand.)
Saturday is a great day to visit Pasadena. The Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival starts the festivities and the 626 Night Market will take over the streets once the sun goes down. The Earth and Arts Festival takes place at Memorial Park and the Armory Center for the Arts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the festival is free, and there will be food trucks, an eco-swap meet, arts and crafts for kids, live music and an outdoor movie screening. Go Metro and receive a free gift; just show your valid Metro ticket or pass at the transportation booth and get a reusable tote bag.
Photo used with permission from The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Start Passover Friday at Rosa Mexicano and their fantastic Mexican Passover dinner. Bringing a new twist to traditional Seder specialties, chef Jonathan Waxman has created a menu that is kosher, unique and tasty. Some dishes include Huachinango “gefilte fish,” traditional red snapper dumplings served with pickled vegetables and jalapenos, and tacos de tinga de res – savory pulled beef brisket mixed with jicama and carrots and cooked in Tecate beer. Mexican Passover is available at Rosa Mexicano from April 6 to April 13 at both the L.A. Live and Hollywood location. (To L.A. Live restaurant: Metro Blue Line to Pico Station. To Hollywood restaurant: Metro Bus 2 to Sunset/Sunset Plaza, walk half a block northeast on Sunset.)
On Saturday, take the family to Olvera Street for the Blessing of the Animals. The event takes place from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at El Pueblo Historical Monument, with the procession on Olvera Street commencing at 2 p.m. There will be musical entertainment, free pony rides and a petting zoo. Celebrated every Saturday before Easter for over 80 years, the Blessing of the Animals serves now as recognition of the services animals provide for humans. Olvera Street is located across the street from Union Station, which is served by Metrolink, Amtrak, Metro Gold Line, Red Line, Purple Line and a multitude of buses. Check Trip Planner to find the best route.
For those of you not “prepping” for the first ever L.A. Beerathon this Saturday – which is no longer a Beerathon but more a city-wide bar crawl, check out the event’s Facebook for a map of venues with special food and drink offers – get out and enjoy some of the history and culture Los Angeles has to offer.
Photo by k12istina15 via Flickr
One last reminder: Thai New Year Festival is this Sunday. There will be food, dancing, crafts and a parade, and if you show your valid Metro pass or ticket at the event booth you’ll get a free Thai umbrella. The festival is free and lasts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Western Station.)
The South Pasadena Library is holding a free, public discussion to celebrate the life of civil rights leader César Chavez on March 30. The event will take place at the community room, which is one block from the library, and starts at 6 p.m. Victor Griego, Jr., who is a founding member of the César E. Chavez Foundation, is the guest speaker and will be moderating. The documentary “Fighting for Our Lives” also will be shown at the event, and there will be refreshments. No reservations are required. (Metro Gold Line to Mission Station or Metro Bus 176 to Mission/Meridian, walk three blocks east to 1115 El Centro Street.)
Going to see “The Hunger Games” will be the highlight of my weekend – to those of you who went to midnight showings, I hope you had fun! – but there are a few other events worth checking out too.
Strawberry donut from The Donut Man. Photo by Space Pirate Queen via Flickr
Swing by Echo Park Film Center on Friday to watch the screening of The ADD Channel’s “The Virtual Zone,” a hilarious and sometimes offensive web series featuring real online classified ads acted out by brilliant actors. A few episodes of season one will be shown and the screening is free. Seating is limited so make sure to RSVP. The screening starts at 8 p.m. (Metro Bus 2 or Metro Rapid 704 to Sunset/Alvarado.)
Prepare to pig out the rest of the weekend because For Your Art is offering free donuts for 24 hours. They are setting up a pop-up doughnut shop across from LACMA and giving away donuts from 12 p.m. Saturday until 12 p.m. Sunday. The menu will rotate throughout the day; some of the donuts being offered are UMAMIcatessen’s Tres Leches donut, The Donut Man’s Strawberry donut and Nickle Diner’s Maple Bacon donut. The schedule will tell you which donut is being offered when, but make sure to get there early because the good ones (and they’re all good) will run out fast. The event coincides with the 24-hour screening of “The Clock” at LACMA. (Metro Bus 20 to Wilshire/Spaulding, DASH Fairfax to Wilshire/Spaulding, please note DASH Fairfax does not run on Sunday.)
Get ready to party this weekend. St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday and that’s just one of many events in the area.
Escape on Friday to the all-new Infusion Lounge at Universal CityWalk. Happy hour runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and special guest DJ HEM will be providing the dance beats. The lounge enforces a dress code so wear something nice. By the way, if you visit CityWalk on Saturday you’ll be able to meet Dr. Seuss’ Lorax! (Metro Red Line to Universal City Station or Metro Bus 156 to Cahuenga/Universal Studios and take the free shuttle up to CityWalk.)
For those of you who want nothing more from this Saturday other than green beer, you have plenty of options to get it from. Discover L.A.has put together a St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl with Metro guide, featuring some of L.A.’s best Irish pubs that are accessible by Metro. My personal pick is Casey’s Irish Pub. The festivities, which takes over two city blocks, start at 6 a.m. and features live music and great food until 2 a.m. The outdoor area will be tented so there’s no need to worry about bad weather. Admission is free. Don’t get there too late or you’ll be waiting in line for awhile. (Metro Red/Purple Line to 7th/Metro Station, walk east down 7th Street and turn left on Grand. Metro Bus 14, 96 to Grand/6th.)
The star this weekend is once again Pasadena. Head to ArtNight on Friday and enjoy a free evening of art, music and entertainment. Twelve of Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions will open their doors from 6 to 10 p.m. ArtNight also features pop-up galleries, paint-spewing army ducks and food trucks, including ice cream sandwich truck Cool Haus (try the balsamic fig & mascarpone ice cream with an oatmeal cookie, weird but delicious!). Free shuttles will loop the area throughout the evening with stops at each venue, and a bike tour is available as well. Show your valid Metro ticket or pass at participating venues and receive special discounts, including 10 percent off store merchandise at the Pasadena Museum of California Art or 10 percent off exhibition catalogs at the Armory Center for the Arts. (Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station, depending on which venue you’d like to visit first different buses will serve your needs, check Metro Trip Planner.)
If you’re into acoustic music, visit the Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday. String Theory, an all day acoustic music event, starts at 11 a.m. The event features musicians and dancers who put on a unique show using invented instruments and large-scale performance installations. Over 30 artists and special guests will be taking the stage. (Metro Red Line to Pershing Square Station, walk east on 5th St. to Spring St. Metro Bus Lines 16, 55, 62 to 5th/Spring.)
It’s been a pretty cold week by Angeleno standards, but it’s supposed to warm up this weekend. This is good news for those who believe in weather forecasts and want to get out and about.
If you haven’t gone to see “Three Year Swim Club” yet, you should! The play, put on by East West Players at the David Henry Hwang Theatre, has been getting great reviews. “Three Year Swim Club” is inspired by the true life story of Soichi Sakamoto, an assistant coach of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team from 1952 to 1956. The Friday night showing starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online or can be purchased two hours before show time at the box office. Check the website for pricing and see if you qualify for any discounts. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, Metro Bus Lines 30, 42 to Judge John Aiso/1st St. The theatre is at 120 Judge John Aiso.) Continue reading →
It’s Oscar weekend, and if you’re like me, you’ll probably be avoiding Hollywood like the plague. For those of you not busy watching all those Oscar-nominated movies before Sunday, here are a few activities around town.
Inside of The Last Bookstore, from their Facebook page
The Last Bookstore, a used book buyer/seller located in downtown’s Historic Core, is hosting The Rattling Wall, a semi-annual literary journal. The Rattling Wall will be presenting the second issue of their lit mag and will have some of the authors on hand to read their essays, poems and short fiction. A signing will follow, and then feel free to browse the bookstore. Make sure to check out the record section or grab a coffee from the café. This Friday night event is free and starts at 7 p.m. (Metro Red Line to Pershing Square Station, walk east on 5th St. to Spring St. Metro Bus Lines 16, 55, 62 to 5th/Spring.)
Put on your glitter, feathers and dancing shoes for the Brazilian Carnaval Exotica on Saturday. Turning Club Nokia into a multi-level dance floor, the event features an all-star Brazilian Carnaval band, samba and capoeira dancers, Brazilian food and drink and a 200-piece drum corp. Attendees will also have the chance to enter a drawing for a free trip to Brazil. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are $75 at the door. Check online to see if cheaper pre-sale tickets are still available. (Metro Blue Line to Pico Station, Metro Bus Line 81, 460 to Figueroa/11th.)