Weekend Buzz – Events for January 6-7, 2018

You can celebrate the Year of the Dog this weekend at the Japanese American Museum.

After the hugely busy pre-holiday event season, and then the very event-sparse actual holiday weeks, things are getting back into a more normal groove this weekend, activity-wise.

Since it’s the first weekend of the month, the Friends of the John C. Fremont Library will be holding its monthly book sale today (Friday, 12-4 p.m.) and Saturday (12-5 p.m.) at the library, 6121 Melrose Ave.  You can buy a book – most are priced from $.10 to $1 – to support the library’s monthly programming…or, even better, join the Friends group for $10/year.

Also on Saturday, for those who enjoyed the Museum of Ice Cream – the ultra-Instagrammable installation that was so popular last year (and which might be back this year in a new location) – you could try the new Museum of Illusions, now open at 6753 Hollywood Blvd.  Like the MoIC, it’s definitely more camera-ready fun than a serious cultural experience. As the description reads, “this is a place where photography is not just encouraged – it is part and parcel of the exhibition. The museum of optical illusions is intended to fill visitors’ photo albums with vivid and unusual photographs. Everyone finds something to their liking here because we tried to cover every topic of interest for the humankind. The Museum of optical illusions opens its doors for the viewers of all ages, without restrictions, and guarantees – no one will feel bored!”  Tickets and more information at the link above.

In a similar “cool installation” vein, but definitely more serious in content and intent, you could also check out the  Museum of Failure, now open at the A+D Museum, 900 E. 4th St., downtown.  Described as “a one of a kind international collection of more than 100 innovation failures,” the exhibit demonstrates how, “for every successful product corporations put on the market, there are many failures behind it.”  “The Museum explores these sometimes humorous misses, giving visitors a fascinating learning experience and insight into the risky business of innovation.” Among the large collection of items on display are the Apple Newton, Bic for Her, Google Glass, Nokia N-gage, Orbitoclast Lobotomy, Kodak Digital Camera, Sony Betamax, Lego Fiber Optics, and Harley-Davidson perfume.  Hours are noon-6 on Saturday and Sunday; tickets are $15.

On Sunday, our attention turns to a couple of transit-related items.  First, if you’ve never done this before, it would be a great weekend to check out Metro’s transit station art tour, which runs on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month.  Saturday tours leave from the Red Line station in North Hollywood…but Sunday tours leave from the slightly closer (for most of our readers) Union Station, 800 Alameda St., downtown, at 10 a.m.  Participants meet at the station’s information booth.  Trained Metro Art Docent Council volunteers lead the tour and provide insights into the artworks, artists and art-making processes at the various stations along the Metro Red Line (yes, you really ride the train from stop to stop).   The tours are also free, and no reservations are needed.

For a different kind of Metro-related fun on Sunday, but much more unofficial (and this does not mean we’re endorsing it or attending – only that we can’t resist mentioning it), is the 17th (!) annual No Pants Metro Ride.  Details for this one are pretty guerilla-style:- at 1 p.m. “agents” are directed to meet “captains” at any of six Metro train stations (Sierra Madre Villa, Atlantic, Willowbrook/Rosa Parks, North Hollywood, Wilshire/Western or Culver City).  The captains will then “meet & brief the agents, to answer any questions, to have everyone de-pantsed before getting on the trains, and to ensure you leave on schedule.” All normal Metro fares apply, and participants are advised to bring “pants you can easily remove, [and] something in which to keep them.”

Also, as long as you’re downtown (and re-pantsed!), the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) will be holding its annual Oshogatsu Family Festival on Sunday, January 7, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free event, which rings in the Year of the Dog, includes Japanese and Japanese American performances, crafts, and activities for all ages, incuding a Japanese-style lion dance; two mochitsuki (rice pounding) demonstrations, with mochi samples for tasting; a drawing demonstration and book signing by comic book creator Stan Sakai, famous for his Usagi Yojimbo series; and sample bowls of lucky zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles) to bring good health in the New Year. There will also be a variety of craft activities, book readings, souvenir photos, a koto performance, and – yes – even dog adoptions.  (But please don’t bring your own dogs.  Only service animals are allowed in the museum.)  See the link above for the day’s full schedule.

Finally, turning our attention back to Metro for a moment, please note that full closures of Wilshire Blvd., between Western and Gramercy, resume this weekend from 9 p.m. tonight (Friday) through 6 a.m. on Monday, for Purple Line subway construction preparation.  For full details, please see https://www.metro.net/projects/notices/notice_purpleline1_102517/ .

Have a great weekend!

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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