The major holiday season is now behind us, kids are back in school, and local event schedules are definitely rolling again.
Parents, kids, educators and others are invited to attend a Free Kids’ Books Distribution and Family Festival (including storytelling and other activities) at the Lafayette Park Recreation Center, 625 S. Lafayette Park Place, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. It’s sponsored by Disney, First Book and the Youth Policy Institute’s LA Promise Neighborhood. There will be 40,000 free books available for kids and teens, including “lots of Marvel Universe and Star Wars and Disney Channel,” so come on down and get reading (Note: if you’re an educator, come early – from 8-9 a.m. – to sign up with First Book and receive even more books!)
A bit later on Saturday, from either 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., or from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Public Library, 444 N. Rexford Dr., you’ll have one of your last chances for an early preview of the new Vote Centers being planned for the 2020 elections. These new voting locations, along with an extended voting period (no longer just one single election day) will be replacing our long-time system of community precinct polling places. The two meetings this weekend, part of a lengthy series at locations around the metro area, will provide information about the new voting system, seek stakeholder input on locations for the new, more regional Vote Centers, and will be targeted specifically to our local neighborhoods (and several others in adjacent areas).
For automotive fans, the Petersen Museum launches its new series of “P Talks,” on the future of the automotive industry, at 12 p.m. on Saturday. This first event will be a discussion with David DeRosa, a car enthusiast and expert in transportation and infrastructure planning, on the future of automotive technology. The session will cover the trends of automated vehicles, connected vehicles, electric vehicles, and the future of road-pricing. The event is free but requires paid admission to the museum.
If you’re more in the mood for vintage movies on Saturday, the American Cinematheque, at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, has a couple of good options. The first, at 12 p.m., is a 70th anniversary matinee of the Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy classic, Adam’s Rib, with an introduction by Cari Beauchamp, and a book signing afterward by contributors to “When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry.”
Next, for book lovers, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, you could attend a “Book Tasting” at the Wilshire Branch Library, 149 S. St. Andrews Pl. Join library staff and patrons for an hour of socializing, refreshments, and discovering new books…featuring cookbooks, hard-boiled/noir fiction, and other staff picks.
Later, since you’ll no doubt be hungry after such tasty literary offerings, this is the first weekend of the semi-annual restaurant extravaganza, DineLA. A huge list of LA-area restaurants will be featuring special discounted prix fixe menus for both lunch and dinner from January 10-25, including a number of them in our area. It’s a great chance to try someplace new…or re-visit an old favorite. Check the link for the full list of participating restaurants, and menus and prices at each establishment.
After your gourmet dinner, art lovers can attend the opening reception for the new dual exhibit, June Edmonds: Scats and Stitches, and A.M. Rosseau: Drawing Near, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the LaunchLA gallery, at 170 S. La Brea. Edmonds, recipient of 2018 City of Los Angeles ‘COLA’, Individual Artist Fellowship, presents “vibrantly layered surfaces primarily inspired by meditative practices,” in abstract compositions that “explore how color and repetition serve as conduits to spiritual contemplation and interpersonal connection.” And Rosseau “employs drawing, painting and collage in a new series that integrates her ongoing interest in the subject of line with her earlier work as a photojournalist.” If you can’t make it to the opening, regular gallery hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 12 to 6 p.m., and the show runs through February 9.
You could also head back to the movies on Saturday evening, as the Cinematheque presents a special free triple feature – all three films in director M. Night Shayamalan’s “Eastrail 177” thriller trilogy. The “Shamalan-A-Thon” begins at 4 p.m., again at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., with “Unbreakable,” (2000). The event continues with “Split,” (2016) and finishes with the brand new “Glass.” Since this is a free screening, organizers ask attendees to please arrive early; RSVP is not a guarantee of seating. (Doors open an hour before showtime and Cinematheque members receive priority seating. Also: attendance is required for all three films.)
Next, a Saturday appearance by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris at the Wilshire Ebell Theater is sold out, but there’s a second chance for fans to connect at a celebration of the children’s book, “Superheros are Everywhere,” hosted by Barnes & Noble at the Grove, from 12-2 p.m. on Sunday. In the book, Harris “takes readers through her life and shows them that the power to make the world a better place is inside all of us.” According to the organizers, Harris says that before she became a district attorney and a United States senator, she was a little girl who loved superheroes. And when she looked around, she was amazed to find them everywhere. In her family, among her friends, even down the street…teaching her that all you need to do to be a superhero is to be the best that you can be. Note that wristbands for the event will be issued on a first come, first serve basis to customers who purchase the book from Barnes & Noble’s Grove store, starting at 10 a.m. Also, no posed photos or selfies will be allowed (only candids taken from the waiting line).
Moving from the serious to the pretty ridiculous, Sunday is also the day for the 18th annual (!) No Pants Subway Ride, taking place at various locations along our Metro subway routes. According to the event’s website, “We encourage everyone to travel pantsless throughout the Metro system that day.” The only requirement is a “willingness to take off pants to ride the Metro” and be “able to keep a straight face about it.” The nearest connection point in our area is the Purple Line’s Wilshire/Western station, and participants are advised to purchase a day pass for unlimited riding during the event. For meetup info and other details, see the link above.
Also on Sunday afternoon, from 1-5 p.m. and a lot more family friendly, is the first-ever Mobile Museum Fair at downtown’s Central Library. The free event will include more than 15 different libraries on wheels, portable exhibits, and mobile museums from the greater Los Angeles area, for an afternoon of surprise and discovery for visitors of all ages. Participants include: the African American Museum of Miniatures, American Museum of Straw Art, Bob Baker Marionette Theater, California Sneaker Museum, Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum, Feminist Library on Wheels (F.L.O.W), Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village, International Printing Museum, LACMA On-site, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes’ La Troka: Sembrando Cultura y Nutrición, Libros Schmibros’ Bicycle Library, Mosquito S.W.A.T. Lab, Museum of Teaching & Learning, Santa Monica Mountains’ LA Ranger Troca, Self Help Graphics Barrio Mobile Art Studio, Star Eco Station Exotic Wildlife Museum, Theodore Payne Foundation’s Seed Museum, Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology…and more yet to be announced. In addition, the special 21 Collections exhibition will also be open for viewing on the 2nd floor of the library.
And finally on Sunday, for music fans and general aficionados of the weird, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, 9341 Venice Blvd. in Culver City, will host a musical program of “Theremin & Voice,” by Carolina Eyck, starting at 7:30 p.m. Eyck’s solo program “creates layers of sound colors with her voice and theremin, playing with loops and effects. The style of the music varies between jazz, contemporary and experimental. While many parts are composed, there is always space for improvisations.” It’s a great chance to experience both the odd instrument, and this local treasury of oddities, if you’ve never been before.
Have a great weekend!