GTD This Weekend: Grilled Cheese and Blessing of the Animals, Which May or May Not Include the Easter Bunny

This weekend: the Grilled Cheese Invitational fetes that timeless American classic sandwich.  Animals will be blessed.  And a few Easter egg hunts will help the kids exercise their find-random-things-in-the-grass skills, or as hipsters call it: foraging.

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GTD This Weekend: Wine Riot, Tomato Riot

This weekend: wine, tomatoes, doing good.  Like every weekend, right?


  • The folks behind Wine Riot tell us they’re under 30, so a typical wine tasting room in Santa Barbara this is not: over 250 different wines will be available for your sipping, slurping, and optional spitting at this not-your-retired-grandfather’s wine festival.  The event also features a pretty spiffy Second Glass Mobile App, which you can use to log your favorite wines throughout the day.  Writing general notes on a napkin you’ll misplace later is so 1997.  $50.  Choose your time: 1 to 5pm or 7pm to 11pm at Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica,
  • I had my first real tomato when I was 18? 19?, a very, very sad fact, I know.  Don’t let this happen to your kids: head out to Tapia Brothers’ Farm Stand in Encino to pick up some tomato seedlings as part of the great big heirloom tomato seedling celebration known as Tomatomania!  There will be nearly 300 tomato varieties for your green thumb, the largest of the Tomatomania! sales in the area.  Save those supermarket tomatoes for throwing.  Saturday and Sunday at the Tapia Brothers’ Farm Stand, 5251 Hayvenhurst Ave. in Encino.
  • Some people don’t see the great benefits of 3D, others call those people Luddites and tell them to join us in the 21st century.  If you’re in the latter group and want to learn how to try to convert the former group, check out the Echo Park Film Center’s two-day workshop on how to shoot in 3D.  Bolex cameras with 3D lenses will be available for your experimentation.  There’s nothing in here about how to write a good story with great characters, but presumably, you’ve got that covered.  $100 non-members/$80 members.  1 to 5pm Saturday and Sunday at the Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St. in Echo Park.
  • Some of the best movies are children’s movies, because, I think, we grow up, get into complicated messes, and forget that things really can be so simple.  The Redcat International Children’s Film Festival kicks off this weekend, with different themes from now until April 17.  $5 for each screening.  Check the website for exact movies and showtimes.


  • “Crafty women of the world unite” sounds a bit like Lady MacBeth’s rallying cry, but, no, we’re talking about a different kind of crafty: it’s time for the The Third Annual Pink Parlour Festival, featuring crafts and other artwork by women.  About 150 vendors will be on hand to show and sell their works.  $5.  11am to 7pm at the Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia.
  • The “Do Good Bus” is exactly what it sounds like: a bus that transports you to do some good twice a month.  Except this time, it’s more like the “Do Good Bicycle” as the organizers invites bikers to bring their own two wheels and bike out to do some good.  The exact nature of the activity is not disclosed yet, but they will provide a meal.  That’s all you need to know, right?  $20 to cover costs; RSVP required.  Meet at 1pm at a Hollywood location disclosed to you when they confirm your reservation.
  • We all can’t be so lucky as to have Henry Louis Gates, Jr. trace our family lineage, so you might as well learn how to do it yourself.  The California African American Museum hosts a workshop led by a Daniel Bartosz, a professional genealogist, that will teach you how to construct your family tree, with a few tips from the professional.  Free.  2pm at the California African American Museum in Exposition Park.

“Mural” by East of West LA via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

GTD This Weekend: LA Fetes Baja and Sammy Hagar

This weekend: Baja Night 2.0, post-St. Patrick’s Day beer-ing, and a little running.  Or not.


  • The last time Ricky (of Ricky’s Fish Tacos) and Mexicali Taco Company teamed up at a parking lot downtown for Baja Night, everyone from families to foodies came together to nosh on giant lobster tacos (courtesy Ricky) and generous cachetadas (courtesy Mexicali).  The second edition of Baja Night (Baja Night 2.0) is on Saturday night, and Ricky promises more lobster tacos and a secret dish that he told me about here.  Eating Ensenada-style fish and meat tacos in a parking lot under the warm glow of the downtown skyline and the biggest, brightest moon since 1983.  If that’s not eating in LA, I don’t know what is.  $Pay as you go.  The night starts at 6pm at the parking lot on 1st and Beaudry.
  • My dog is not the only one celebrating a birthday on Saturday – The Egyptian Theater also is celebrating what would have been Sid Grauman’s 132nd birfday. Grauman found a few of the most iconic theaters in LA, including The Egyptian and the Chinese Theater.  There will be a lecture about his life and career, a birthday cake, and a screening of Forever Hollywood, a documentary about – guess! – Hollywood.  $9-11.  The party starts at 2pm at The Egyptian in Hollywood.
  • Beer is the new wine.  Finally.  Cases in point: not one, but three, events focused on the suds are scheduled for Saturday.  First, Angel City Brewery officially opens its doors downtown.  There will be beer, of course, and food trucks, of course.  Second, Bakelab and The Surly Goat will host a Beer & Pretzels Lab in which you will learn how to bake pretzels and how to pair said pretzels with beer.  And third, City Sip hosts a How to Home Brew class in which you will learn how to make an IPA.  Gives new meaning to BYOB.  Angel City Brewery’s party starts at noon at its new digs at 216 S. Alameda in the Arts District Downtown. $75 for Bakelab + Surly Goat’s class, which goes from noon to 3pm at Bakelab’s kitchen at 705 Vesta St., Inglewood. $50 for City Sip’s class, which starts at 1 at City Sip, 2150 Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park.
  • Descanso Gardens hosts the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  There will be Japanese tea ceremonies, cherry trees on sale, and guided walks through the beautiful grounds.  Given everything that’s happened, this event will likely take a somewhat somber tone.  :(  $3 children, $6 seniors/students, $8 adults.  From 10am to 5pm both Saturday and Sunday at the Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive in La Cañada Flintridge.
  • Snow in LA?  No, I’m not talking about a few weeks ago.  Long Beach is having a Snow Day, hauling in 10 tons of fresh snow to a park for you and the kids.  Make snow art, go sledding, and pretend you won the lotto.  Free.  11am to 3pm at Whaley Park, 5620 Atherton Street in Long Beach.
  • MEN.  Make music.  Genderfucking.  $12.  8:30pm at the Echoplex in Echo Park.


  • Runners will be taking their mark around 6am; the rest of us slackers will be sleeping and wake up to this interactive Google Mapped version to see what the runners have been doing all morning.  The LA Marathon runs (heh) from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica; check out the road closures and plan to sleep in accordingly.  Running from one side of town to another?  I guess that’s one way to save gas.
  • Non-runners, forget your guilt about being not being able to run one mile, much less 26.2, and just head over to Domaine LA’s Anti-Marathon tasting.  The wine shop will have a tasting, and the Get Your Lardon truck will be on hand with the bacon.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a few unexpected guests with their own bibs happened to show up on their way to the ocean.  1pm to 4pm at Domaine LA, 6801 Melrose Ave.
  • As it is the first day of spring, Griffith Observatory will hold two “Spring Equinox” events, one at precisely 1:01pm and another at 7:05pm.  I’m not sure what exactly these events will entail, but does it really matter?  A day at the observatory for any reason is a great day.  Free at the Griffith Observatory.
  • Sammy Hagar, the Van Halen frontman who defined rock for the ages, wrote a memoir.  It’s only fitting, then, that Hagar shows up on the Sunset Strip at Book Soup to sign copies of his rock odyssey, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock.  Note that this book is the only thing he’ll sign, so leave the pieces to your smashed axe at home.  5pm at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.
  • The Museum of Latin American Art celebrates the contributions of women in art with its annual Women’s Day Festival.  There will be workshops, food, music, poetry readings, and a spotlight on artisan female jewelry designers from Brazil and Mexico.  Best of all, the event is part of Target Free Sundays, meaning you get admission to the museum on Target’s dime.  Free.  1 to 4pm at the Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Avenue in Long Beach.

“Early Morning, Santa Monica” by Renee Rendler-Kaplan via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

GTD This Weekend: More Than Enough to Get You Out of the House

Interacting with the "Dreams Deferred" exhibit at the Chinese American Museum.

If your plans this weekend were to stay in and clean your apartment and tend to the garden and teach the dog to sit for more than 10 seconds and all that homebody stuff – do all that next weekend.  This weekend, there’s an absurd amount of things to do, from walking Whittier Blvd. with our own Will Campbell to a Victorian ball to Jonathan Gold’s annual food fest.  You can be anti-social later.  Trust me.


  • Last year, a bunch of brave folks walked all 15.8 miles of Wilshire Boulevard, in the rain, from Downtown to the sea.  Saturday’s weather is supposed to be sunny and clear, perfect for Will Campbell’s second annual March March.  This year, he’s taking a 12ish mile urban hike across East LA.   Starting from Union Station, Will and company will take the Gold Line eastward ho, make their way to Whittier Boulevard, and go back to their starting point via the Arts District.  “A guided tour this ain’t,” Will says, which is his nice way of saying to you A-type folks: relax for once and let yourself figure it out once you get there.  $Enough to cover costs of transportation + snacks.  Meet at Union Station at 10am.
  • Angel City Brewery, the oldest brewery in Southern California, will open its new downtown digs on or around March 17th.  To pre-celebrate, the brewery opens its beer garden and invites you to its weekend-long party.  Bottled beers will be for sale (nothing on tap just yet); food trucks will be there to wash it all down.  For all of you participating in the March March, this probably wouldn’t be a bad pit stop.
    Saturday and Sunday from noon to 1am (yeup, you read that right) at 216 S. Alameda in the downtown Arts District.
  • Officially, my favorite cheese is Abbaye de Belloc, but, really, get me a brick of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and I’m a very happy camper.  The Oregon cheese company has a cute little “Loafster” car that will tour the Southern California area in March as part of its Love Loaf Tour.  Where the Loafster goes, happiness follows: take, for example, Saturday’s free admission to Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific.  The first 100 people wearing orange will receive free entry; everyone gets coupons, recipes, samples, and, dear Lords of Kobol, please, please convince them to hand out tubs of their divine ice-cream.  Free entry for the first 100 orange-d fans starting at 9am at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.
  • We all love CicLAvia.  There are three events this year, but why stop at three?  GOOD Magazine is throwing a fundraiser for CicLAvia to support the organization.  For the price of the ticket, you’ll support a great community cause, have open access to Fat Tire beer, the chance to sample a variety of food trucks, and a possible back left position in a dodgeball game. This is how the adults play.  $20+.  Fun goes from 2pm to 7pm at Atwater Crossing, 3229 Casitas Ave. in Atwater Village.
  • That you can find Edward Gorey’s macabre illustrations plastered on wall calendars, greeting cards, and books available at your local Wal-Mart is a little funny and a lot reassuring.  Celebrate the glory that is Gorey at the Edwardian Ball; it is Victorian-themed, so depending on what side of the gender spectrum you decide to fall on that night, take out that lacy, overflowing dress and/or that skinny tie, silver vest with monocle pocket, and top hat.   Jane Austen-types best look away.  $28+.  The party starts at 8pm at the Music Box at the Fonda in Hollywood.
  • The Chinese American Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary with its Annual Lantern Festival.  You and the kids can take this opportunity to really learn how to make a proper kite, lantern, and/or paper crane.  Other festivities include “abacus-making”, martial art performances, and shadow puppetry.  Don’t forget to wander inside the museum as well – “Dreams Deferred” is a timely, thought-provoking exhibit on immigration reform.  Free.  From noon to 7pm at the Chinese American Museum, 425 N. Los Angeles Street downtown.


  • So excited for this: Jonathan Gold brings together 40 of his favorite restaurants and eateries that define LA in food and culture – AOC, A-Frame, Chichen Itza, Jitlada, among others – for his third annual Gold Standard event at the Petersen Automotive Museum.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Heal the Bay.  $60.  From 1pm to 5pm at the Petersen Auto Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd.
  • Could it really be that LA finally – finally! – is starting to appreciate coffee?  Hopefully, the turnout at the Southwest Barista Regional Competition will indicate yes.  The event runs all weekend, but Sunday is the final round of competition: the best of the best from the southwestern US will be evaluated on the fine points of coffee making, including whether the crema on the espresso is the right color and whether the art on the cappuccino is sufficiently visually appealing.  I don’t think the best in show will parade their drink around the ring in front of an adoring judge and audience, but who knows – after all that caffeine, anything can happen.  Free.  The competition is on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm at Siren Studios in Hollywood.
  • Jane Espenson, who wrote and produced several stellar episodes of Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Torchwood, is the type of person you wish you could talk to and/or be when you grow up.  I can’t help you with the latter, but the former may be arranged: in every part of the four-part TV Writing series, a handful of television writers, including Espenson, Rob Roy Thomas, and Jeff Greenstein, will discuss the Business, offer sage advice, and generally encourage you to pursue your small screen dreams.  If you attend these seminars and end up writing Charlie Sheen’s inevitable reality show, though, I will never forgive myself for pointing you here.  Neither will you.  $12 for each discussion; if you know you’ll attend all four discussions (held every Sunday in March), get the full series ticket at $36.  The discussion starts at 7pm at Meltdown Comics in Silver Lake.
  • I don’t know which one of who is to blame for spreading nasty propaganda about how it is an American right to be dumb, and that defending that right should go so far as attacking teachers and shutting down libraries, so I will just blame both Bush and Obama and everyone in between.  Measure L, which would give city libraries some much-needed funding after it was stripped of much of it a few years ago, is up for vote on Tuesday.  A “Keep the Magic of Libraries Alive” rally will be held to support the measure.  In keeping with the theme, there will be a magic show as well.  Of course.  The rally is from 10am to 11:30am in front of the Memorial Branch Library, 4625 W. Olympic Blvd.

GTD This Weekend: Elmo’s Birfday, Too Much James Franco


Happy birthday, Elmo!!!


  • OMFG it’s Elmo’s birfday’s month!  The furry red monster who taught me how to count to 10 celebrated his third-and-a-half birthday on February 3, and Borders (well, the ones that are still open) will be have a belated birthday celebration with all sorts of family-friendly events.  Free.  The Borders at Hollywood and Vine will be celebrating; check the site for your local Borders celebration.
  • I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: there are people other than lesbians who enjoy folk music.  Case in point: the New Los Angeles Folk Festival at Joshua Tree will celebrate “the emergence of new LA Folk in all its shapes and contrasts” with none other than Amanda Jo Williams and He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, among others.  That’s right, the spirit of Peter, Paul & Mary lives on outside of the Michigan Womyn’s Fest.  $10+.  The shows will on Saturday and Sunday in and around Joshua Tree; RSVP for full details.
  • It’s probably going to rain, but how about staying warm with some heated Derby Dolls competition?  It’s LA versus NYC at the Doll Factory on Saturday night: the city’s roller derby all-star team Ri-Ettes will square off against the Gotham Girls Roller Derby.  Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets are $18 (GA) and $40 (VIP), but I would check Goldstar first.  Doors open at 6pm at the Doll Factory, 1910 W. Temple St.
  • After the Derby Dolls bout, the appropriate thing to do would be to pick up your own pair of skates and roller the night away.  The World on Wheels Roller Skating Rink holds its monthly disco roller fest with plenty of DJs, a bar, and a smoking patio.  It’ll be like the 1970s all over again.  $12, which includes skate rental.  Party starts at 10:30pm at the World on Wheels, 4645 1/2 Venice Blvd.
  • Who constructed James Franco, why did he suddenly explode as a hipster jack-of-all-trades, and does anyone else remember when he was an extra in an episode of The X-Files?  These questions probably will not be answered, but others probably will crop up, at Unfinished, a curious collaboration between Franco and director Gus Van Sant at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills.  Van Sant apparently gave Franco free unpoetic license to tinker and edit with deleted scenes, alternate takes, and other excess footage from My Own Private Idaho; the result is not one but two films.  The first, Endless Idaho, is presumably named because that will be how it feels to watch the 12-hour film that Franco cobbled together; the second, My Own Private River, is a portrait of River Phoenix’s character in My Own Private Idaho.  The press release makes a point to tell us that the score for the latter film is by Michael Stipe, “who is an art school drop-out.”  My eyes had better things to do today that read that pointless bit of uninteresting trivia. Free.  Daily screenings until April 9 at Gagosian Gallery, 456 North Camden Dr. in Beverly Hills.


  • It’s Oscar Sunday, the most important day of the year to people you know exist, but possibly have never met.   A few options for those of you who want some company while watching James Franco and Anne Hathaway: at the Cinefamily Awards Oscar viewing party, the Oscars will be screened appropriately on a big screen (no, not on IMAX 3D, sorry and/or you’re welcome) and ticket proceeds will go towards supporting the non-profit theater. For you downtown folk, the Downtown Independent will hold its Oscar screening complete with a drinking game.  And for those who want to eat while you drinking game, Akasha in Culver City will have a special Oscar-themed menu and happy hour at the bar during the show.  Whatever you do, just avoid Hollywood – they’re not going to let you in on their viewing party.
  • Femme Festivale is a nifty gathering of local women and the businesses they own.  This Sunday’s edition will include food trucks (Lake Street Creamery), a mannequin art installation, and photography.  Free admission to the gathering; prices vary by vendor.  1pm to 8pm at The Other Door, 10437 Burbank Blvd. in the SFV.
  • For the family that seeks to bond over art, participate in one of the Hammer Museum’s workshops on making art using ordinary found objects.  Parents and children will learn how to create using what resources they have, a lesson that we all probably need to learn and re-learn from time to time.  Free; a $25 refundable fee is required to hold your place.  From 1pm to 3pm at the Hammer Museum.


GTD This Weekend: Slake, Arianna, Mothra

A relatively quiet, rainy holiday weekend this weekend, with just enough to do to get you out of the house for an hour or two before returning you indoors for some well-deserved you time.


  • For those of you who doubt that this city has literature outside the Courier New words on spec sripts, witness the second – yes, the second! – volume of Slake, the literary journal for literary Angelenos.  On Saturday, a few of the contributing writers, including Amy Scattergood, Hank Cherry, and Jackie Gorman, will be at Stories for a little reading.  Gather ’round the shiny Algonquin Table, kids, it’s arrived in LA.  Free.  The reading starts at 7:30pm at Stories, 1716 W. Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park.
  • For a decidedly different perspective on the future of writing, see Arianna Huffington, who either brilliantly sold her Huffington Post to AOL for some $315 million or simply just sold out.  She’ll be CSUN-Northridge to talk about this and other ideas about the future of not paying bloggers for their content.  $15-$66.50.  8pm at the Valley Performing Arts Center at CSU-Northridge.
  • “Giant caterpillar-turned-avenging-insect Mothra wreaks havoc on Japan when its best friends – two tiny, telepathic, singing sisters – are kidnapped by an unscrupulous promoter and forced to perform in a Tokyo nightclub” sounds like a Funny or Die sketch starring The Smothers Brothers in drag.  But no, it’s not — it’s the plot to Ishiro Honda’s 1961 cult classic Mothra, and this year marks its 50th anniversary.  The Egyptian will monster mash the classic with the more recent (2001) Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.  The former is dubbed in English; the latter has English subtitles.  You decide which one better enhances the experience.  $7-11.  The tiny, telepathic, singing sisters start their swan song at 7:30pm at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood.


  • The NBA All-Stars game is at Staples Center this year, which means only one thing: unless you have to go to there, avoid Downtown.  See the full map of street closures here [links to PDF].
  • The Flying Pie Man creates delicious savory meat pies, perfect for this chilly weather.  He’ll be at the Eagle Rock Brewery on Sunday afternoon so you can wash down that pie with a growler on tap.  I’m getting all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about this lovely pairing.  Pie prices are around $5.  12pm to 6pm at Eagle Rock Brewery, 3056 Roswell Street in Eagle Rock.
  • For the budding or blossomed artist, this one’s for you and definitely not me: during the Getty Drawing Hour, an artist will be on hand to provide some pointers while you look and sketch, look and sketch, erase, and sketch again in one of the beautiful galleries at the Getty.  Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  BYODPAP (Bring your own drawing pads and pencils).  Sign-up at the Information Desk at 2:30; the sketching begins at 3:30 at the Getty.

Very nifty photo courtesy nicadlr via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

GTD This Weekend: Happy New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year/Tet!  Unlike the Western new year – which builds up to counting down and is possibly one of the most anti-climatic holidays during the year – the Lunar New Year and Tet celebrations are a week-long fe(a)st: all sorts of foods (some of it specially prepared for the new year), parades with dragons, red envelopes, and symbolic animals.  This year, the Chinese celebrate the Year of the Rabbit; the Vietnamese don’t have a rabbit in their calendar, so, for us, it’s the Year of the Cat.  This weekend, then, is full of celebrations.  Oh, and something about football.


  • The Rose Parade’s Grand Marshal was Paula Deen; the Chinese New Year’s parade unofficial marshal is a golden dragon.  Which do you prefer?  Yes, I thought so.  The celebratory dragon dances and snakes its way during the annual Chinese New Year’s parade in downtown LA; it delights as it scares the beejeezus out of toddlers.  Trust me, I know from experience. Other festivities are planned throughout the weekend, including ping-pong tournaments, cultural workshops, and, of course, food.  If you’re in the San Gabriel Valley, there will be a similar day-long celebration on Valley Blvd.  Free.  The downtown LA parade starts at 1pm at Temple and Hill.  See this calendar for a somewhat informative listing of events.  For those in the SGV, the festivities are from 10am to 5:30pm on Valley Blvd. between Garfield and Almansor.
  • The Vietnamese’s version of new year, Tet, actually is in the OC and thus exceeds this blog’s geographical boundaries; nonetheless, I’d be a terrible Vietnamese if I didn’t mention it here.  The Tet Festival – the world’s largest outside of Vietnam, owing to the huge population of my people living in the Garden Grove/Westminster area – ushers in the Year of the Cat with a weekend full of activities and eats.  $5 adults/$4 children.  Saturday, 10am to 10pm and Sunday, 10am to 9pm at Garden Grove Park, 9301 Westminster Ave. in Garden Grove.
  • I saw a photo of an “indoor picnic” courtesy some poor New Yorkers trying to make do with the snow storm last month; I was sad, especially I watched my dog lazily munch on some green grass in the front yard.  But, then again, we do things like make up snow.  Take, for example, the “snow” in the forecast at the LA Zoo: for one weekend only, the zoo animals will get to experience the white stuff  (you earned your Angeleno badge if you immediately associated “white stuff” with “coke” instead of “snow”).  Presumably, you will be highly entertained by seeing a polar bear in its almost-natural habitat.  $9-$14.  Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm at the LA Zoo.
  • The City of Santa Clarita will designate the day as “Charlie Chaplin Day” to coincide with the 75th anniversary of one of the earliest films about the progress of progress, Chaplin’s Modern Times.  It also happens to coincide with ChaplinFest, a celebration of Chaplin that will include a screening of Modern Times, as well as a few other classic Chaplin films.  There also will be “Chaplin vendors”, from which I presume you can buy yourself a nice bowler hat and cane.  $15 for just the screening; additional passes available for admission to other parts of the fest.  While the fest is all day, “Modern Times” screens at 6:30pm in Newhall.
  • The official description says, “‘Poster Peepshow‘ celebrates the pin up girl by featuring original artwork by contemporary artists and pays homage to pin up masters such as George Petty, Gil Elvgren, and Alberto Vargas.”  I think the presence of the Suicide Girls at this art reception is meant to indicate that this celebration fetes the art of the posters, not so much the misogyny and objectification of the women in them.  Julie Newmar, who, even now, would make for a far, far better Catwoman than Anne Hathaway, will be make an appearance.  Free.  From 7pm to 11pm at Gallery Nucleus, 210 E. Main St. in Alhambra.


  • It’s Super Bowl Sunday, which means only one thing: the return of Glee! If you haven’t squared away your game day plans yet, check out Super Bowl XLV at XIV.  For just $30, you’ll get AYCE wings, burgers, BBQ chicken, and pork burgers to nosh on while you watch the real men go head to head on a giant (10 feet x 15 feet) screen.  No word on whether you’ll be able to watch a Super Sized version of Glee after the game, but I know you just can’t wait to see Brittany shot out of a cannon.  $30.  The coin toss is at 3:30pm, though I’d get there a few hours earlier to pre-game.  XIV, 8117 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.
  • For those of you who want to get away from all that football and watch some futbol, head out to Echo Park for LA Filmforum’s screening ofFootball Like Never Before. Way before ESPN’s 30 for 30, Hellmuth Costard captured a story of an athlete (Manchester United’s George Best) by watching him play one game.  Eight 16mm cameras focused on Best, and only Best, during the match.  As the description notes, it wasn’t a particularly important game (i.e., it was no Super Bowl), but the filming technique was revolutionary.  $6 students/$10 general.  The screening starts at 7:30pm at the Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado Street at Sunset in Echo Park.
  • Some people hate Bank of America more than they hate AT&T; nonetheless, even the bank’s card members begrudgingly may admit that this isn’t a bad deal: as part of the corporation’s Museums on Us weekends, flashing your B of A card at a participating museum will get you in, gratis.  LACMA, the Autry Center, the Skirball, and the Hammer Museum all are participating.  This doesn’t redeem the bank, it just makes one hate them a tiny bit less.  Free admission with your BofA card.  Full details of the program are on B of A’s website; check each museum for individual hours.


Photo courtesy hexodus via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

GTD This Weekend: Culture

Art, music, food, and fashion, all this weekend.  Who said LA lacks culture?


  • Oh em gee!  The cast of Glee is going American Idol on themselves, except they’re skipping the contest part and going straight to solo album.   Puck was the first out of the recording studio; now Mr. Schuester, Matthew Morrison, is ready for his close-up.  He’s launching his solo career at The Grove on Saturday, with performances and, likely, dancing.  Two words of caution, Mr. Morrison: Joey Lawrence.  Free.  12pm to 3pm at The Grove.
  • The Louvre says that anyone can enter its doors regardless of ability to pay; from firsthand experience, I can tell you that this policy is sort of a lie.  In contrast, museums across this city really will let you in gratis on Saturday and Sunday during the sixth annual Museum Free for All.  The California Science Center, MOCA, and the Skirball Center all participating.  Free, really free.  Saturday and Sunday; check participating museums for exact hours of operation.
  • After the Museum Free for All, check out even more art at Art Los Angeles Contemporary, LA’s “international contemporary art fair.”  High end galleries as far flung as Dublin and as close as Culver City will be on hand, and there will be everything from installations from artist-magician A.Bandit to conversations about the role of this city in producing and supporting women in the business of art.  $18 single day admission/$28 for a 3-day pass.  11am to 7pm on Saturday; 11am to 6pm on Sunday at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica.
  • You, like me, probably harbor a very secret hope to be one of those people on Antiques Roadshow who walk in with their grandmother’s tea kettle and walk out with The Tea Kettle Used By Abraham Lincoln The Morning Before He Was Assassinated.  Here’s our chance to satisfy our curiosities: antiques dealer and auctioneer I.M. Chait is hosting an appraisal clinic.  You bring in up to six items; an expert appraiser will evaluate the object of your dreams and tell you, without any obligation, whether you’re sitting on a gem or family souvenir (read: it’s not worth anything but the memories).  Free.  From noon to 5pm at I.M. Chait Gallery, 9330 Civic Center Dr. in Beverly Hills.


  • Tickets may be sold out by the time you read this, but hopefully not: a few more tickets were released for Peter, Bjorn & John’s exclusive show at the Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock.  This will be an almost impossible chance to see a very good band in a very tiny venue for a very small price: $12 plus a nominal ticket fee.  And no, I would not have told you about this unless I already secured my tickets.  $12.  7:30pm at the Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock.  Really, get on this NOW.
  • Oh, this sounds very cool: female-owned food trucks like Mandoline Grill and Dosa Truck will gather around the parking lot table in the first ever Femme Festival Food Truck event.  Yeah, women know how to drive. 1pm to 5pm at The Other Door, 10437 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood.
  • Yes, Amoeba is right across the street from Space15 Twenty, but if you can have an outdoor record fair at the end of January, why not?  Amoeba teams up with a few record labels, pop-ups, Origami Vinyl, B-Music, Dublab others in a big Record Fair.  Pick up a few vinyls for the ol’ record player, maybe a CD for the ol’ CD player, and Judas Priest rock tee for ol’ times sake.  Free.  10am to 2pm at Space15 Twenty’s courtyard in Hollywood.
  • If you thought clothes when I said vinyl up there, you’re probably better off going to the Vintage Clothing and Textile Show in Burbank.  Some sixty-five vendors will be on hand to show off and sell a variety of materials, as well necessities like cute buttons, linens, and perfume bottles.  There’s enough there to inspire you to open up your own Etsy shop.  $7 GA/$20 early admission.  9am to 3pm at The Pickwick Gardens, 1001 Riverside Dr. in Burbank.

Photo of an exhibit at the California Science Center by calvinfleming via the Blogging LA Flickr pool. Yeup, science and museums are pretty cool.

GTD This Weekend: The Brother and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantless

Plenty of opportunity for beer, followed by an opportunity to go pant-less.  In other words, start the new year off right.

  • This one basically writes itself: at the Pancakes and Booze Art Show, over 50 “underground” artists will show off their art.  In addition, there will be live nude painting, music, and an all you can eat pancake bar.  A little beer to wash it all down, and you have the breakfast of champions.  $5.  From 8pm to 2am on Saturday and Sunday at 2441 Hunter St., Downtown.
  • If you want to cut straight to the beer, head out to Eagle Rock Brewery, which is celebrating its very first birfday.  Ten bucks gets you a commemorative pint glass with four drink tickets.  $10 at 3056 Roswell Street in Glassell Park, which really is right next to Eagle Rock.
  • 826LA hosts the 3rd Annual “I Work in Reality TV” benefit, with proceeds going to 826LA.  Thankfully, you’re not going to be the next Snooki at the benefit (and I mean, “Thankfully” on behalf of the civilized and uncivilized world); rather, the benefit features photos taken by all the people behind the camera who create the reality that you think is television.  Suggested donation of $10.  Reality bites at 8pm at Lot 613, 613 Imperial Street, Downtown.
  • ZOMG you’re either going to want to ride the subway today, or avoid it like the plague: GuerilLA Improv leads the charge in the No Pants Subway Ride of 2011.   It’s the LA edition of Improv Everwhere’s No Pants Subway Ride, now in its 10th year.  That’s a decade of riding the subway pantless, people.  See the event stripped down and explained in detail here.  Heh heh.  The brother- and sisterhoods of the traveling pantless plan on boarding the 2:34pm train from Union Station.  Pay your own train fare ($1.50/one way) and fines levied for indecent exposure, if any.
  • Resolve to really lose weight this year?  Start it off right with Richard Simmons.  Yes, you read that right: he of the shiny workout wear is offering Slimmons, a free motivatonal seminar and exercise classfor those who need to lose 50 pounds or more.  Why?   “Because you deserve it!”  Yes, you do.  Registration is at 12:30 at 9306 Civic Center Dr in Beverly Hills.
  • The Echoplex celebrates Elvis’ birthday a day late with a giant bash to benefit the Union Rescue Mission.  Lisa Finnie, the Dusk Devils, and the South Bay Surfers will be covering some classic Elvis hits, including, I hope, “Suspicious Minds.”  The King would have been 76 this year.  In the words of Perry White, Great shades of Elvis.  $20.  7:30 at the Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd. in Echo Park.

Photo courtesy ~db~ via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

GTD This Weekend: Last Minute Shopping, Neon Lights

I guess first thing on everyone’s GTD list is to finish holiday shopping, eh?


  • The monthly flea market at Dodger Stadium is supposed to rival the one at the Pasadena Rose Bowl; from what I hear, it’s close enough for LA residents who don’t want to snake up the 110 to get to Pasadena on a balmy Saturday morning.  Like the USPS, the flea market is on rain or shine.  $5 (GA); $10 (Early Bird); $15 (VIP).  Early birds start arriving at 7am (ouch); normal birds who missed the worm but are ok with the leftovers arrive at 9am.  The market is open until 4pm at Dodger Stadium.
  • If you couldn’t find the antique you were looking for at the flea market, try the other end of the spectrum: the boutique shops on tony Montana Avenue in Santa Monica are having a street-wide shopping festival, with many stores offering extra special sales and discounts.  There also will be free cider.  Depending on where you are on the income bracket, you’ll be here for the great deals or for the free cider.  From 10am to 5pm.  See participating stores and specials here.
  • The present that keeps on giving (and pooping)?  A dog or cat.  Found Animals is sponsoring a Happy Pawlidays pet adoption event at a number of local shelters; swing by any of these and, for a discounted adoption fee, pick up your very own Santa’s Little Helper.  From 10am to 5pm at your local participating shelter.
  • I never, never understood the draw of the DWP Holiday Light Festival at Griffith Park.  People snarl traffic on the 5 to drive slowly through a fairly lame light show that doesn’t come close to the stuff you see in any neighborhood in the hills or in Beverly Hills?  The kid’s asleep before you even get to the entrance.  Thankfully for me and my ability to get around my local ‘hood, the light “show” was called off this year.  If you’re really missing a light show, try the Neon Museum Neon Cruise through town: you’ll see the city’s best lights on display in their natural habitats.  $65.  Meet at the Neon Museum at 136 W. 4th St. in Downtown at 7:30pm.
  • Last year’s Santa Monica Pub Crawl was such a hit, they’re doing it again this year.  You bring three non-perishable food items in exchange for a wristband; you flash said wristband at any of the participating pubs and get free drinks and/or drink and food specials.  They have this planned like a racing game: there are three suggested routes for you to follow.  With all that beer and food flowing, though, everyone wins. Sign up here, choose a route, and show up at the starting line with your non-perishable food items.  The crawl begins at 5pm.
  • The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles’s holiday show is a hit every year, and this year looks to be a showstopper.  Sunday’s performance already is sold out, so you better grab these Saturday tickets before they’re gone too.  Glee, eat your heart out.  $15-$55.  Performances at 3pm and 8pm at the Alex Theater in Glendale.


  • If you missed shopping local at last week’s Unique LA and/or Renegade Craft Fair, here’s one last chance: Hand/Made 157’s Women’s Craft Event in Lincoln Heights.  There will be crafty vendors, as well as musical acts and a tarot card reader.  Don’t scoff at the latter – that shit works and, when it does, it’s scary.  $3.  From 10am to 6pm at HM157, 3110 N. Broadway Ave. in Lincoln Heights.
  • The LA Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence introduce themselves as such:We are an Order of 21st Century Nuns dedicated to the promulgation of universal joy and the expiation of stigmatic guilt. Our ministry is one of public manifestation and habitual perpetration.”  What more do you need to know?  Likely, you’ve seen these sisters around town, either at a Prop. 8 protest or at a church.  On Sunday, they will donate a bit of their history to the ONE Archives and talk about their work.  Stripping homophobia to its embarrassing, naked self, and supporting gay rights – pretty good habits to get used to, methinks.  Free.  2pm at the ONE Archives, 909 W. Adams Blvd, near USC.

Photo courtesy ~db~ via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

GTD This Weekend: Shop Local, Local Santas

This weekend: an absurd number of local fairs to get your local shopping on.  Also: Santacon.


  • Artisanal LA and Unique LA tag-team this weekend downtown to bring you a curated mall.  Artisanal LA is for the foodies; Unique LA is for the crafties.  Hit one; better, hit both.  See full details here.  Tickets $6-10 and both downtown at the Cooper Building and California Market Center.
  • It’s almost the same, but not really: the Renegade Craft Fair is sort of like Unique LA, except it’s outdoors, a little smaller (150 vendors to Unique LA’s 300), and offers free admission.  Free.  From 10am to 5pm at the LA State Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring Street.
  • Tired of downtown?  Valley citizens get the Rotary Arts and Crafts Fair in Woodland Hills.  With over 50 artists, you’ll find a variety of home-made ceramics and other artistic-type gifts.  From 10am to 4:30pm at Warner Center Park at the intersection of Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Oxnard St.



  • Santcon.  It’s too late to bum a ride off of one of the sleighs, but show up at Pershing Square at 11am dressed up as St. Nick to join in on the fun anyway.   Or, for additional holiday fun, I suggest you dress up as Rudolph, and see if anyone wants to play any reindeer games.  Maybe you’ll meet the Santa of your dreams.  Fun starts at 11am at Pershing Square.  If anyone asks who sent you, say Santa.
  • Take that can-do attitude of yours and learn how to can and preserve foods for the holidays (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) at the Farmers’ Kitchen, a community kitchen run by SEE-LA, the same non-profit that operates the Hollywood Farmers’ Market.  $75; you must reserve your spot here by 8am on Saturday.  The workshop is from 9am to 1pm at The Farmers’ Kitchen, located at Selma and Vine in Hollywood.
  • The Silver Lake Craft Vintage Market has been going strong all year; Saturday’s will be the last one of 2010.  Consider hitting this flea market up before heading out to one of the craft fairs downtown.  From 10am to 4pm at the Micheltorena Elementary School’s parking lot, 1511 Micheltorena St. at Sunset.
  • If you’re tired of all that shopping, swing by Food 4 Love, a fund- and awareness-raiser for the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the Mentawai Island off of Indonesia in late October.  There will be food trucks, bands, and dancing.  11am to 5pm at the Indonesian Consulate, 3457 Wilshire Blvd.
  • Didn’t grow up in a predominantly Asian community where you origami’d tiny pieces of notebook paper to pass the time during AP Calc?  For you then, the Japanese American National Museum hosts “Fold, Crease, and Crinkle”, a full day of origami workshops and demos.  Your friendly neighborhood Target is sponsoring the event.  Quick, someone origami a bullseye.  11am to 4pm at JANM, 369 E. 1st St. in Little Tokyo
  • Always wanted to go to the Magic Castle, but didn’t know any local magicians to give you an invite?  Go, instead, to Theatre West, where a good group of the Magic Castle’s magicians and mind-fuckers gather to show off their best.  It’s a fundraiser for the theater, so it’s all for a good cause.  $15-20.  The magic (literally) starts at 8pm; there’s also a show at 2pm on Sunday, at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd West in Hollywood.


  • GO TO THE HOLLYWOOD FARMER’S MARKET. This is the only thing you have to do today.  The market is currently in a turf battle with the neighboring LA Film School.  The school wants to secure access to one of its three parking lots on a street where half of the markets’ farmers vend, because it may, or may not, need access to that lot on future Sundays.  Regardless of the “maybe”, the school does own that property and has a legal right to access it.  If the school’s request is granted, vendors on that street will be displaced; if a suitable re-location can’t be found, the market will be severely truncated.  The market is a communal property, one of the best farmers’ markets in the city, much beloved by the shoppers (me) and chefs who object ferociously to the school’s plans.  LA Weekly has an excellent recap of both sides’ arguments here; here’s to hoping the two work out something that is best for everyone, not just the school.  This is where property rights sort of fail all of us.  Tragedy of the commons, what?

A photo of a very Super Santa at last year’s Santacon, courtesy Al Pavangkanan via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

GTD This Weekend: Shop and Eat

It’s the first weekend of December, which means you’re already one weekend behind in your holiday shopping.  Lucky for you, there’s shopping and pre- and post-shopping treats scheduled for this weekend.


  • Mash food bloggers and a bake sale and what do you get?  Some pretty delectable baked goods, if only because those of us who write about food damn well better know how to cook it.  Eat My Blog will offer delicious baked treats from bloggers, restaurants, and chefs; proceeds from the sale will benefit the LA Regional Food Bank.  Yours truly is baking up Idgie’s Dog Biscuits for the plethora of dogs living in the WeHo ‘hood.  Full details here and the menu is here.  Everything will be priced between $1 and $4.  From 10am to 4pm in front of Tender Greens, 8759 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood.
  • Antsy for Unique LA next weekend?  Check out the Echo Park Craft Fair to tide you over until then.  Organized by Beatrice Valenzuela, the crafty fair will feature almost two dozen local artists.  Free.  From 1 to 5pm at 1719 Sargent Pl. in Echo Park.
  • The Los Angeles State Historic Park is quickly becoming the go-to spot for everything from MOCA shows to this weekend’s Love, Music & Art Festival.  The Festival is basically a giant holiday party, with some 25 bands, food trucks (of course), a beer garden, and, count ’em, 200 vendors.  There also will be “real snow shipped in.”  It’s like that Lotto commercial, but not.  It’s just LA.  $20, which supports Homeboy Industries and the Chinatown Youth Service Center.  Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm at the LA Historic State Park, 1245 N. Spring Street off of Chinatown.  Bring a toy to donate to their toy drive.


  • If you’re looking for gifts that are more artsy than crafty, try Create:Fixate’s Locals Only Holiday Gift Bazaar.  Featuring art and fashion by over 30 local artists, most items are under $100, so you don’t have to break the bank in pursuit of that perfect gift.  Free, but you must RSVP by emailing localsonly [at] createfixate [dot] com .  From 2 to 5pm at High Profile Productions, 5896 Smiley Dr. in Culver City.
  • One of the highlights of my trip to Salzburg was the Sound of Music tour.  We drove around in a small bus, and as we climbed a small hill, the tour guide pointed far over to the other side of the country (it seemed), and said, “See those hills?  That’s where Julie Andrews sang, ‘The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music’!”  And then they dropped us off at Mozart’s mother’s village, where there were convenient tourist shops full of, I dunno, Mozart mother memorabilia.  This year is the 45th anniversary of the classic, and The Aero is showing off a new print so you can relive the experience maybe a little more personally than I did.  $7-$11 depending on who you are and what cards you carry.  Showtime is at 4pm at The Aero in Santa Monica.

GTD This Weekend: Walks, Cupcakes, Tron

Did you tell us who you think should be on LA’s naughty and nice lists?  No?  That’s first on your GTD list.  And then:


  • It seems like LA Beer Week was just yesterday – it was wonderful while it lasted, and over much too soon.  For those nostalgic for the yeasty times of yesteryear, hit up the First Annual Harvest Beer Fest at the Echoplex.  There will be autumnal brews from over 50 West Coast and national breweries, there will be food trucks to complement the drinks, and there will be bands.  $30, which includes unlimited sample sized pours – but please don’t abuse your privileges, because there’s nothing worse than going to a beer festival and ending up at a frat party.  21+ only. From noon to 7:00pm at the Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd.
  • Friends who move to LA from giant metropolises often bitch about how LA doesn’t feel like a proper city because you can’t walk and feel the city through your shoes.  And, except for the tonier parts of town, they’re sort of right.  Right?  Maybe not right.  The fourth annual Great LA Walk will bring people from all walks of life (ha ha) in a epic, day-long trek across the city.  Starting at Pershing Square, you’ll urban hike 15.6 miles down Wilshire to the ocean.  Sure, it may rain, but don’t let that stop you.  Angelenos may not know how to drive in the rain, but walking?  Is something we can do.  …Right?  Free, but lunch is on you.  Don’t eat and run!
  • On the other hand, if you’re anti-walking, check out your options at the LA Auto Show.  Pretty and electric cars are on display from now until November 28th.  Frazgo has the full details here.
  • Apparently, the cupcake craze is one that will not die, ever.  Case in point: the city of Los Angeles issued an official proclamation recognizing Cupcake Camp LA, a giant gathering of cupcakes and the girls who love (to fight over) them.  The city’s proclamation makes all sorts of lofty declarations, like “Cupcakes evoke fond memories of childhood, family gatherings and other good things in life” and “The variety of [cupcakeries] and the cupcakes they offer is as diverse as the city itself.”  Fifteen city councilmembers signed the proclamation; the largest John Hancock belongs to one Jan Perry.  Think she was trying to tell King George that he can’t have his cupcake and eat it too?  $15 in advance/$25 at the door.  The cupcake wars begin at noon and end at 5pm at the Music Box in Hollywood.
  • I don’t understand chili.  Is it a sauce?  A stew?  A topping?  All of the above?  How do people eat it without any starch?  I am very confused, which is why, I suppose, chili cook-offs exist in places outside Texas.  Like at La Cita downtown where the Derby Dolls will attempt to raise money to buy new wheels (for their skates) (they roller skate) (on a banked track) (it is a game they play) with their chili cook-off.  Decide who makes the best chili, then explain this distinctly Southwest American phenom to me.  Me, I’ll be in the valley slurping my pho.  $10 to eat/$20 to compete.  From 3pm to 6pm at La Cita, 336 S. Hill Street.
  • DesignerCon is sort of like walking into the bedroom you wished you had as a kid: amazing toys, creative knicknacks, rad comics.  This year’s installment will feature artist Bwana Spoons’ Spoonful of Star Wars art exhibit and exclusive creations from, among others, Mr. Toast and Buff Monster.  $5/free after 3pm.  From 10am to 5pm at the Pasadena Convention Center.


  • It started on Friday, but you had so much to do on Friday and Saturday (see above) that you couldn’t get to this until now: a friggin’ TRON pop-up shop at Royal-T Cafe in Culver City.  It’s a total marketing ploy from the fine folks at Disney, but for this amount of coolness, I’ll play along.  There will be TRON-inspired gear, art, and even food.  Damn you Disney, capitalism suits you too well.  10am to 6pm from now until December 23rd at Royal-T, 8910 Washington Blvd. in Culver City.  TRON opens in theaters nationwide on December 17th (<– Dear Mr. Disney, I did that for you.  Please give me $$$$.  Thank you!  $$, qq.)
  • Walter L. Williams “draws on the insights found about ancient religions to suggest a new direction for gay and transgender people in the new era of human existence now dawning” in a lecture entitled “The Role of Gay and Transgender People for the 21st Century” at the ONE Archives near USC.  That’s a lot of high falutin’, academic, and unnecessarily dramatic phrasing; I sympathize and am intrigued at the same time.  Free.  2pm at the ONE Archives, 909 W. Adams
  • Everyone seemed to hitch their food truck dreams onto Kogi’s exhaust pipe at the same time, so it’s not surprising that everyone’s birthdays are coming up all at once.  First up: Frysmith, which will celebrate its one year birthday at Verdugo Bar.  On the birthday menu: a five-course fry meal of the very best of their specials, including breakfast fries; enchilada fries; and red wine and bacon poutine.  Wash it all down with Verdugo’s optional beer pairings.  $11 in advance for the fry menu.  Party goes from 7 to 9pm at Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park.
  • It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, people, but trees are being lighted already.   Mario Lopez, along with a very random line-up of special guests Wilson Philips, David Archuleta, and Jesse McCartney, will play host to the Grove’s tree lighting ceremony at 7:30pm.

Photo courtesy sneakypeteiii via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.