- Hello Hello Kitty! “Small Gift” – as in, “For the last 50 years, Sanrio has excelled at sharing small gifts (including small milk flavored chewy candy that you can pick up from your neighborhood 99 Ranch)” – is a giant 10-day celebration of Sanrio’s 50th birfday. There are a ton of events; on Saturday, there is a sand art workshop, mini golf, and a I Heart Nerds Party. That’s right, love your fellow nerd. Ticket prices vary. The Small Gift event goes from now until November 21 at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica. Full details here.
- It’s tamale time: Oskies Tamales, Tamales Elena, and other masters of the masa will compete in the ultimate LA Tamale Throwdown. Free with a canned food donation. The event is from 10am to 10pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 4522 Browne Ave. in El Sereno.
- Jim Carroll — best known for The Basketball Diaries – was finishing up another novel, The Petting Zoo, when he died September last year. The Echo presents The Nervous Breakdown Literary Experience II, a celebration of the book’s posthumous release. There will be readings from both The Basketball Diaries and The Petting Zoo, as well as performance art and music. Psst: after-party at Stories. $5. This generation’s version of a book salon starts at 6pm at The Echo in Echo Park.
- I spent a good amount of time in Alaska a few weeks ago, and, in the middle of the wilderness, with the Northern Lights dancing in the sky, I learned an awful lot about myself. For example, I learned that I am irrationally terrified of forests, because I assume there is someone in there, running frantically through it, away from something. Thank you, X-Files. The LA Conservation Corps is doing their part to re-educate urbanites by offering free shade trees to Los Angeles residents. Take a tree, love nature. Free trees from 9am to 2pm at the Corps’ location at 1400 N. Spring Street.
- This sounds like something that should take place in a giant arena with sand dunes and spotlights and maybe a rodeo in the corner … but it’s not. The Monster Drawing Rally is a giant live art exhibit, with 100 artists creating art in front of your very own eyes. Keep an eye for your favorite: at the end of the event, the pieces will be on sale for $75 each. Free admission. The live-draw goes from 12:30 to 5:30 at the Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock, 2225 Colorado Blvd.
- Oh man, if I was in town on Sunday, I would totally go to this: LAfreestore is taking the whole pop-up phenom and doing it one million times better with its pop-up swap meet. Bring something, take something, simple as that. It’s like we’re in the days of old, bartering and trusting ourselves to assess the value of goods and services. Bring some things to swap so karma won’t kick you in the ass later. The swapping goes from 10am to 2pm outside of Casa Princessa Cafe, 4527 York Blvd. right where Highland Park meets Eagle Rock.
- Pickles, really? Out of all the foods that deserve a holiday (pho, fried chicken, raspberries), I’m not sure I would have given the honor to the pickle. Guess the pickle industry won this round, though: Sunday is National Pickle Day. To celebrate, The Counter will have their tasty fried pickle chips for just $1.