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 Rallyis 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.
The only thing I want to do this weekend is convince the weather that it’s November, silly, not July.
The votes were tallied, and the venue of the lucky number 13 edition of our Classic Eats event will be held at Pann’s and The Buggy Whip! Julia Frey has all the details in her post here.
Subliminal Projects – aka Shepard Fairey’s gallery – presents “Pattern Recognition,” a group exhibit featuring artists Nikki McClure, Richard Colman, and others. Their homework, presuambly, was to create some visually arresting piece representing patterns and recognitions thereof. The opening reception will be held on Saturday from 8 to 11; the exhibit itself goes until December 4, 2010. Free. Subliminal Projects is located 1331 W. Sunset Blvd in Echo Park.
If art hanging on walls is, I don’t know, a little too 2D for you, head out to the enormity that will be MOCA’s Persepolis LA at the State Historic Park. Six listening stations outfitted with 8 speakers each will take over 70,000 square feet of the park in a performance of composer Iannis Xenakis’ famed Polytope de Persepolis. Free. The performance begins at 6pm at the LA State Historical Park, aka the Cornfield, 1245 N. Spring Street, Downtown.
Day of the Dead festivities live on at Mama’s Hot Tamales. Come for the sugar skull decorating and mask making workshop; stay for the tamale-making demo and Aztec Dancer performance. Free. Drop in for the workshop anytime between 2pm and 4pm. Mama’s Hot Tamales, 2122 W. 7th Street, MacArthur Park.
Vegans who missed out on LA Beer Week, fret not: the LA Vegan Beer Fest will showcase 50 vegan-friendly beers from 20 or so craft breweries. $35 ticket gets you unlimited pours. From 1 to 5pm at the Roxy.
I met Suzanne Goin once. I sheepishly asked her to sign my tattered, extra virgin olive oil-stained, thoroughly Post-It-ed copy of her Sunday Suppers at Lucques, and she did, delightfully. The book, with her inscription – “Thanks for taking such good care of this book!” – became one of my most treasured possessions. Besides making a little big girl’s dreams come true and running a few of the best restaurants in the city (Lucques, AOC, Tavern), she also is an enormous supporter of a variety of local causes. Take, for example, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a great organization that raises funds to fight childhood cancer. This weekend, she, husband Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat), and business partner Caroline Styne are hosting LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade; your $150 per person ticket goes towards the fight. In exchange, you get to sample great eats from Goin, Huckleberry’s Zoe Nathan (whose donuts were part of a four-way winner’s tie in the Best Raised Donut category at our Donut Summit a few months ago); Nancy Silverton; and Grace’s Neal Fraser. Jennifer Garner is the honorary chairperson and Jim Belushi will MC, natch. $150/$350 VIP; children under 9 are admitted for free with a paying adult. LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade will be held at the Culver Studios at 9336 Washington Blvd in Culver City from noon to 4pm.
Bicyclists with vintage wheels (that is, bikes from 1985 or earlier) are invited to the Pasadena Lightweight Ride. You’ll meet at the Pasadena Rose Bowl and pedal 25 miles through Pasadena and its environs. Sure, if you have one of those fancy new bikes you can fold up and stick in your pocket, ride that, but don’t look at me when all the other bikes start talking about living through a recession. Oh, wait. Free. Bikers meet at 10:30 at the Rose Bowl; the pack takes off at 11:00am sharp.
In case the office costumes didn’t tip you off: it’s Halloween weekend.
Judd Apatow swings by my local indie bookstore, Skylight Books, to sign I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces of Humor and Some That May Not Be Funny at All, a collection of funny and, as the title suggests, possibly not-so-funny pieces. To avoid a bum rush, Skylight has a numbered bracelet process that is a somewhat fairer version of the Ticketmaster random bracelet distribution back in the Tower Records days. NOTE: Bum rush for bracelets starts at 10am TODAY (FRIDAY). You must buy an Apatow-authored book to get a bracelet. Signing is free with purchase of the book. Judd Apatow will uncap his Sharpie at noon at Skylight Books in Los Feliz.
No pumpkin? Still need to carve your pumpkin? No fear – head out to the Santa Monica Pico Farmers’ Market, which will host free pumpkin decorating sessions for you and the kids. Free. 10am to 1pm at the farmer’s market on Pico and Cloverfield.
Exercise and support a great cause: Homeboy Industries hosts “Run for Homeboy”, a 5k run inside the State Historic Park, aka the Cornfield. Seventy-five percent of the proceeds go directly to supporting the organization’s myriad of services, including job counseling, tattoo removals, and mentorship. Go for the run, stay for the car show after. Race starts at 8:30am. Day-of registration is $35 at the State Historical Park downtown.
Vespa Sherman Oaks and the Scootabaker lead an all-Vespa Halloween ride from Sherman Oaks to the Griffith Park Observatory. There will be a costume contest and, of course, Scootabaker’s so-good-it’s-scary cupcakes. Free. Arrive at the Vespa Sherman Oaks at 12pm for the festivities; the ride to Griffith Park starts at 2pm.
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery fittingly plays host to the city’s Day of the Dead Festival. There will be traditional Aztec blessings, crafts, and a Calaveras art exhibit. This would be the time to dig out your Calaca (skeleton) costumes. $10. Festivities are from 2pm to midnight.
If dragging the skeletons out of your closet doesn’t sound as appealing as hiding them under a mask, try KCRW’s second annual Masquerade Ball. KCRW DJs will let loose, allowing you to do the same. Just don’t think about Eyes Wide Shut too much. $75 in advance, $85 at the door. Masks on from 9pm to 2am at the Legendary Park Plaza near MacArthur Park.
Making Paradise: The West Hollywood Musical! is Cornerstone Theater‘s well–received play about the history of WeHo – and it, of course, is a musical. Come back to the area during tomorrow’s Halloween parade to see a whole other set of theatrics. $20. Performances on various dates from now until November 7 at the Fiesta Hall in West Hollywood.
Steve Ross hosts a haunted house every year in Venice. It’s so scary, you should be 13 or over to enter. Free. Haunted house doors open at sundown, 414 Rose Ave., Venice.
Miss out on the free-spirited roaming biking parade at cicLAvia? Compensate, then, at Saturday’s Tour de Fat, “the biggest, most enjoyable traveling bike festival” sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company. The brewing company, if you didn’t notice, has a bicycle in its logo; they believe in biking as much as they believe in proper beer. You bring the bikes and the costumes; New Belgium will bring the booze. Free; donations accepted to support your friendly neighborhood bike advocates, CICLE, The Bicycle Kitchen, and LACBC. The ride starts at 11am at the LA Historic Park. Full details here.
A two-day event, Artisanal LA brings a bit of the Ferry Building to downtown Los Angeles. There will be local artisan vendors with delicious wares you won’t be able to resist, as well as demos and workshops. I wrote up the event here. $10 in advance; $15 at the door. The event spans Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm at the Cooper Building downtown.
For all you MAD hatters, prolific MAD artist Sergio Aragones will be at Book Soup to sign his book, Sergio Aragones: Five Decades of His Finest Works. His oeuvre spotlights his most insightful, most illustrative work for the magazine from 1963 to the present. The event starts at 5pm at Book Soup. It’s free, but you probably should buy the book if you want him to sign it. That’s just common courtesy.
Downtown art gallery Crewest is home to the “Faces on Skid Row” exhibit which features various artists chronicling their experience of homelessness in downtown LA. On Saturday night, the gallery will host a fundraiser benefiting The Midnight Mission, a great organization dedicated to providing those on Skid Row with housing, educational services, and job counseling. The fundraising starts at 6pm and goes until 9; there is a $10 donation at the door. More details here; if you decide to go, don’t forget to RSVP to skidrow at crewest dot com.
Fancy a cemetery tour? Of course you do; it’s almost Halloween. Start your Sunday with a guided tour of one of the city’s oldest cemeteries, Evergreen. Built in 1877, the cemetery has been carefully plotted (heh heh) to house over 300,000 grave sites. The Studio for Southern California History will guide you to the spots where the Van Nuys and the Workmans, among other city founders, are buried and/or currently haunting. The only downside is that the tour does not take place at midnight. The tour is from 10am to 12pm at the Evergreen Cemetery on Evergreen Avenue between 1st and Cesar Chavez. It’s free, but you must reserve your spot by calling (213) 229-8890 or emailing thesocalstudio at gmail dot com.
Pretty soon, each neighborhood in LA will be defined partly by its food, and that’s a good thing. Case in point: the second annual Taste of Abbot Kinney festival in Venice, which highlights over 50 neighborhood eateries and drink-eries. Of course, food trucks will be there, as many of the trucks make a weekly pit stop at The Brig’s parking lot. Proceeds benefit Inside Out Community Arts. The festival runs from 3 to 7pm on Abbot Kinney. You can wander the block party for free, but to eat, you’ll have to buy tickets here.
San Pedro has an annual lobster festival – but not just any pithy lobster festival. It’s the Guinness World Record holder for Most Seafood Served at an Outdoor Event. This is a big deal. The crustaceans are flown especially from Maine and sold at a major discount to you; while this is all well and good, it sort of makes you wonder why the record holder isn’t over there. Maybe it’s the weather. If you aren’t feeling the lobster, however, there will be, of course, the requisite food trucks. There also will be live concerts, with Gram Rabbit, Fitz & Tantrums, and Dengue Fever headlining tonight. Tickets are usually $9, but print out the coupon on the Tickets page and get $2 off your admission. The festival runs today until 11pm and tomorrow from 11am to 7pm at the Ports o’ Call Village in San Pedro.
If you’re craving gyros, souvlakia, and other Greek eats instead, head over to the Pasadena Greek Festival where you will find folk dancing, cooking demonstrations, art, food, short history lessons, and, yes, more food. Print out the flyer on the festival’s website and get in for free; the festival is at the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Opa!
It’s Puppy Mill Awareness Day at the La Brea Tar Pits. Cesar Milan, whose unpatented shht! technique worked exactly three times on my dogged dog, will make an appearance, as will the Mayor. The event goes on until 3pm this afternoon.
The Hollywood Farmer’s Market in general is a weekly event for me, but tomorrow’s market is slightly different: the first 100 LA Department of Water & Power customers will receive a free shade tree. For, you know, all your shady needs. Bring your California ID or water/power bill to prove yourself worthy. Don’t forget to pick up a few nectarines from Ken’s stand while you’re there – they are the best.
MOCA presents a new exhibit today: The Artist’s Museum. It’s an ode to our local artists, as the installment features the “finest contemporary works” by LA artists from 1980 to the present. The exhibit runs from today to January 31, 20011 at the Geffen; a similar exhibit will be installed at MOCA on Grand Avenue from October 31 to January 31, 2011. Information on the museum’s tickets and hours can be found here on MOCA’s website.