Where else but Los Angeles will you find city-sanctioned computer hacking, an over-the-top “Hair Ball” (no it’s not something the cat coughed up), and giant bunnies…all in one little weekend?
On Saturday, if you’re a techie with mad programming skillz, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants you…to participate in the Hack for LA event on the National Day of Civic Hacking. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, there will be a full slate of workshops and events at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools (Wilshire and Catalina), focusing on visualizing and analyzing data relating to L.A.’s Promise Zone. There will also be a design challenge for participants – to build an app that can help organizations in the Promise Zone collaborate more effectively.
If your interests run more to local history and architecture, the West Adams Heritage Association’s annual spring neighborhood tour this year, “A Walk in the Park,” focuses on Victoria Park (a.k.a. Victoria Circle). This unique neighborhood, opened in 1907 in the then-very-suburban area south of Pico Blvd. and west of Crenshaw Blvd., is laid out in a distinctive oval, with the lot numbers as addresses (a model used a few years later in nearby Fremont Place). Homes were designed by Frank M. Tyler, Train & Williams, Frederick Noonan, and Garrett & Bixby, among others, and the architecture includes Craftsman, Tudor, and Mediterranean Revival styles. Five homes will be open on the tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. See the above link for tickets and other information.
For foodies, and especially carb-lovers, there’s the Los Angeles Bread Festival, which runs both Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Grand Central Market, downtown. The event, which is billed as “a celebration of Southern California’s artisinal bread renaissance,” includes free workshops, special one-time bread offerings on the menus of many Market vendors, a pop-up marketplace showcasing another 20 or so local bread bakers and purveyors of jam and nut butters, bread-centric workshops and demonstrations…and a community bread bake. The event itself is free, but come hungry and prepared to drop at least a few pennies on your daily (or weekly) bread.
After stuffing yourself, you can head down the street and take in a classic ’80s film – “Top Gun” at the Los Angeles Theater, one of LA’s most stunning old movie palaces. The 2 p.m. screening (and another at 8 p.m.) is part of the L.A. Conservancy’s annual Last Remaining Seats festival, which shows vintage movies in our marvelous vintage movie theaters each year. Other films in this year’s series include “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Some Like it Hot,” “Dos Tipos de Cuidado,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Double Indemnity,” and “Safety Last!” See the link above for the full schedule and ticket information.
For even more film action this weekend, check out the LA Film Festival, now in the midst of its June 1-9 run at Arclight Cinemas locations. The festival “showcases compelling new independent films, TV, emerging online content and filmmaker-driven studio titles,” and “fosters valuable alliances and working relationships between independent artists and the film industry.” In addition to the long list of film screenings, featuring artists well-known, up-and-coming and not-yet-known, other events include a Filmmaker Retreat, Coffee Talks, Master Classes, the Spirit of Independence Award, Fast Track (a film financing market) and Diversity Speaks (a day-long forum for content creators of color). Tickets are available for individual films, the full slate of films and events, or various combinations.
Finally on Saturday, if you’d rather party than sit, check out the one-of-a-kind Ice Age Hair Ball, an annual extravaganza benefitting the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. A “wild mash-up of fashion + science,” the event invites guests to “let your hair down for the night and don a wild style to compete for the title of “Hair Ball Champion.” So put on your best wig and join the museum for The Mane Event indoor/outdoor cocktail party at 8 pm. Tickets are $75 and include free cocktails and desserts, “nerd-chic” presentations with museum scientists, “Boozy Nitro” liquid nitrogen ice cream, a runway fashion show, dancing, torchlight tours of the Tar Pits and, of course, the big hair (or big-hair?) contest.
Neighborhood festivals are always a lot of fun, and on Sunday, you can check out one of the big ones – as the South Robertson neighborhood, just south and west of our general area, holds its 19th Annual SoRo Community Festival. The festival, which will be located on South Robertson Boulevard, between Cattaraugus and Beverlywood St. (just north of Hamilton High School and the 10 Freeway), runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features live entertainment, free mammograms, a blood drive, an eco car expo…and much, much more.
And what would a weekend day be without a big, whimsical event? Saturday’s got the Hair Ball (see above), and Sunday brings us giant bunny sculptures, courtesy of artist Amanda Parer’s travelling Intrude exhibition, which will be on view in downtown LA from June 5 –11 at three different sites: Bank of America Plaza (333 South Hope Street), Wells Fargo Center (330 South Hope Street) on Bunker Hill; and FIGat7th (735 South Figueroa Street). The inflatable white rabbits, about 7m tall, are illuminated from within and, according to Parer, “represent the fairytale animals from our childhood – a furry innocence, frolicking through idyllic fields…They are huge, the size referencing “the elephant in the room”, the problem, like our environmental impact, big but easily ignored.” Like the giant yellow ducks in the L.A. harbor last year, this one’s definitely a must-see.
Finally, subway construction at Wilshire and La Brea is getting really real…with daily and weekend closures ramping up (and full weekend closures scheduled to start next week). So it’s probably a good idea to leave you with the latest on the traffic situation at that intersection for the next few days. Here’s the word from Metro:
New jet grouting, piling work and pile beam/delivery activities will lead to a closure of northbound Detroit St., a lane reduction of northbound La Brea Ave. and a lane reduction on eastbound Wilshire Blvd. from June 3 thru June 6. Also, an eastbound Wilshire Blvd. directional closure will be in effect between Detroit St. and La Brea Ave. Thru traffic will be detoured at Fairfax. Local access will be maintained from June 3 thru June 6.
Avoid the trouble spots…and have a great weekend!