“May the Fourth be with You” as you try to navigate the HUGE list of things to do on this Star Wars and Cinco de Mayo weekend.
In addition to those designations, however, this is also the Big Sunday organization’s first weekend in its annual Month of Big Sundays, offering hundreds of great local volunteer opportunities, helping great people at all sorts of great places. If you’d like to have fun while doing some good (and/or a student in your family needs to put in some official community service hours), check the full listing of opportunities at the link above, and sign up for one this weekend…or any other day this month!
Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, you could also join the Everwalk fitness group, with Bonnie Stoll and famed long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, as they lead a monthly First Saturday walking event at Pan Pacific Park. Enter from the parking lot at the Fairfax Branch Library, 161 S. Gardner St. The group will start with yoga stretches, some healthy juice, and then walk 10 one-mile loops around the park. Start on any lap and stop when you want. It’s a great way to some exercise and meet new people, all at the same time.
Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, comic book fans can enjoy the annual Free Comic Book Day at several local stores, including Golden Apple Comics at 7018 Melrose Ave. The event includes free comics, comic book signings, special sales, free Italian Ices by The Ice Guy (while supplies last), free ice cold water courtesy of Comic-Con Revolution (while supplies last)…and, since it’s also Star Wars Day (May The Fourth), you can grab a free Star Wars comic inside the neighboring Coffee for Sasquatch shop. Also, Standings Butcher Shop, another neighbor, will be grilling $6 cheeseburgers and handing out free Bob’s Burgers comic books. And Golden Apple will be offering 50% off back issues and 2 for $1 comics at a special sidewalk sale, with 25% off all comic boks and graphic novels all day until 7 p.m.
Next, and also starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, the Craft Contemporary will present ARTICLE, a special shopping event focusing on wearable goods. You can buy clothing, jewelry, and more, all created by local makers, designers, and artists. There will also be on-site customization available for your goods with chain stitch embroidery by Beatrice Kalmer. Artisans whose works are featured will include Future Ancestors, Rachel Shimpock, Yards Workwear, The Eyd, Summer Vega, Delusions of Grandeur, Molly Surazhsky, Meredith Kelly Allen, Kaoru Rogers, Equihua, and Laphiny. Admission to the event is free with paid museum admission.
Meanwhile, also at 11 a.m. on Saturday, the Queen Anne Village neighborhood will host a meet and greet with LAPD Wilshire Division Senior Lead Officer Hebel Rodriguez, at the Queen Anne Recreation Center Community Room, 1240 West Blvd. Come meet some neighbors, find out more about how a neighborhood association can help you, learn about crime prevention and discuss neighborhood concerns. It’s free and refreshments will be served.
And also starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and a bit west in Little Ethiopia, at 1037 S. Fairfax, come explore the new Diplomatica pop-up shop. This new business, started by three local women who most recently worked with the LA Sister Cities program, helps “trailblazing firms, institutions, artists and designers from Africa, the European Union and Latin America to expand their presence in Los Angeles.” The new storefront and event space will showcase high-quality, ethically made designer goods from Ethiopia and other countries.
This being the first weekend of the month, it’s also time for the monthly book sale at the John C. Fremont Library, 6121 Melrose Ave., running today (Friday) and Saturday from 12-5 p.m. You’ll find lots of great deals – most for $1 each or less, and all proceeds benefit the library and its many free programs.
At noon on Saturday, you could venture a bit further south, to the intersection of Rodeo Road and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., for a huge celebration marking the re-naming of Rodeo Rd. as Obama Blvd., in honor of the 44th President of the United States. The newly-named street will join the others in “Presidential Row,” the sequence that also includes Washington, Adams, and Jefferson Boulevards in the West Adams area. The celebration, which runs until 6 p.m., will include musical guests Doug E. Fresh, Yo-Yo, BJ The Chicago Kid, Battlecat, Kurupt, Alex Isley, Gavlyn, T-Lyons, Baby S, DJ Tee, Verbs, Dj Qwesscoast and more…and there will also be community booths and plenty of food trucks. A 5 p.m. unveiling ceremony will include Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, Los Angeles Urban League President Michael Lawson, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Church of God In Christ Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, President of the LA County Federation of Labor Rusty Hicks, as well as local, state and federal elected officials.
Meanwhile, on another of those “presidential” streets – Washington Blvd. – the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council and the West Adams Heritage Association will sponsor their 2nd Annual Walk on Washington, running from 12-5 p.m. on Saturday. The WOW, a free, self-guided walking tour, features the many art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques on Washington, from Wilton Place to Bronson Ave. – including the Underground Museum, Surfas Culinary District, Amazing Grace Conservatory, Truffle Brothers, and even two separate escape room businesses. There will also be local food, music, entertainment, and community information all along the route. The event is FREE (unless you find something fabulous to purchase) – just pick up a “stroll” brochure with information aobut the route, some of Washington Boulevard’s historic commercial buildings, and recent preservation advocacy efforts. There will also be entrepreneur booths at the Walk on Washington Market Place in the parking lot of Amos Memorial Church, 2445 West Washington Blvd. Everyone is welcome!
Just a bit later, starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, and running until 6 p.m., join residents of the Longwood-Highlands neighborhood for the 36th annual Longwood Area Neighborhood Association block party, which will take place on Edgewood Place, between Longwood and Keniston. Come enjoy food, games, information booths from local businesses and schools, music, a raffle, a dog show/contest, and lots more good old fashioned fun for the whole family. It, too is free, with treats and other items available for purchase.
Of course, as noted above, this is also Cinco de Mayo weekend, and celebrations start a bit early this year, from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, May 4, with the annual Taco Madness festival at the LA Plaza, 501 N. Main St. in downtown LA. The festival features the city’s best tacos, micheladas, margaritas, beers, music, and live art, with celebrity guest judges actor Eric Wareheim of Tim and Eric, acclaimed film and TV producer Pablo Cruz, and KCRW’s Chery Glaser.
Meanwhile, back in the Miracle Mile, the Petersen Museum will celebrate the opening of its new Hollywood Dream Machines exhibit with a gala opening event, starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The exhibit, in collaboration with the Comic-Con Museum, will bring together more than 40 iconic vehicles that fly, time-travel, and navigate alien planets, along with props and concept art representing decades of cinematic vision. The opening event will also feature live entertainment, food by Drago, and a futuristic Microsoft Hololense experience. Tickets are $75 and available at https://www.petersen.org/hollywood?mc_cid=7224e3cfff&mc_eid=8978aa7d88
For another kind of cinematic fun, the romantic comedy “Amelie” will screen at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The “marvelous poetic fantasy” stars Audrey Tautou as “a wide-eyed young Parisian waitress who manages to influence the destinies of all who meet her.” The program begins with the short films “Deux Escargots s’en Vont” and “Things I Like, Things I Don’t Like.” There will also be a discussion following the feature with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Moving into Sunday, the Craft Contemporary will hold a panel discussion called “Collecting Images,” starting at 3 p.m. It features ADVOCARTSY founder Roshi Rahnama, with director of Photo L.A., Claudia James Bartlett, and photography collector Paula Ely, in a conversation about collecting photography – -including strategies for collecting work and methods for collections care. The event is free, but space is limited, so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend.
A bit later, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, at the Wiltern Theater, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., you can enjoy a special premiere of “Broken Bread,” a new television series hosted by social activist, restaurant entrepreneur and acclaimed chef Roy Choi. In the show, “Choi takes a journey through his hometown, the city of Los Angeles, exploring complex social justice issues, and meeting inspiring individuals and organizations who use food as a platform for activism and a catalyst for change.” After the screening of the series’ debut episode, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Choi himself and featuring some of the heroes highlighted in the series. Following the discussion, there will also be an after-party with DJ Dan the Automator. The event features a full cash bar with additional food options available for purchase from some of the city’s most sought-after food trucks. The event is free (with food available for purchase), with RSVP.
And finally on this super-packed and diverse weekend, film lovers may want to return to the Egyptian Theater, for a 7:30 p.m. double feature screening of “Taxi Driver” and “Minnie and Moskowitz,” starting at 7:30 p.m. The 1976 “Taxi Driver “follows iconic cabbie Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro’s seminal pistol-packing, insomniac loner) as he “drives through the open sewer that is mid-1970s Manhattan with its pimps (Harvey Keitel), hookers (Jodie Foster), politicos (Cybill Shepherd and Albert Brooks) and other scummy creatures of the neon wilderness.” Meanwhile, the “Minnie” in 1971’s “Minnie and Moskowitz” is a museum curator (played by Gena Rowlands) whose married boyfriend does little for her self-esteem…but then she meets parking-lot attendant Seymour Moskowitz (Seymour Cassel), who tells Minnie, “I think about you so much, I forget to go to the bathroom!” 1970s screwball romance ensues.
Have a great weekend!