Weekend Buzz – Events for March 17-18, 2018

Saturday this weekend could start very early for parents of gifted and talented kids, as LAUSD’s 9th Annual Gifted and Talented Parent Conference starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, 701 S. Catalina St.  The conference is free to all parents of LAUSD GATE/SAS students (and there will be free childcare provided, too).  Sessions include a keynote speech on “Cultivating the Gifts in All Children Through Partnerships Between Parents and School,” and workshops on  the social-emotional needs of gifted students, differentiated instruction, college preparation and planning, extended learning at home, parenting gifted/talented children and more.  

If you’ve more interested in parenting furry family members at the moment, and are considering adopting a new pet, all of the L.A. City Animal Shelters will be hosting a big “Spring ‘Em” adoption event on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  The event is sponsored by the Pet Care Foundation, and adoption fees will be reduced by $25 on all cats and dogs. You can start out by viewing all the currently adoptable pets in the city shelters with the Department of Animal Services’ adoptable pet search page.  Then visit any of the city’s six shelters (see www.laanimalservices.com for locations)  to meet hundreds of wonderful pets just waiting to become your new best friend.  And all L.A. City Shelter pets are vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and microchipped, to make it even easier to take one home with you right then and there.

To learn about other kinds of local flora and fauna, check out the Natural History Museum’s L.A. Nature Fest, running from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday this week. The event explores the wild side of Los Angeles. You can meet an opossum, do lunch with a rattlesnake, and go for a walk with a desert tortoise. Museum scientists will also be on hand to answer your questions about snails, bugs, birds, and all things city nature. Each day will be filled with performances, hands-on activities, and presentations, and there will be more than 30 exhibitor booths, as well as live animal presentations, stage performances, nature walks, expert tips on how to attract wildlife to your garden, nature crafts​ and more.  For tickets, see https://tickets.nhm.org/webstore/shop/viewItems.aspx?cg=nhmonline&c=LANF1

If you’re up for a bit of a road trip, and are specifically interested in the kind of nature you can grow in your garden, it’s Tomatomania weekend at the Tapia Brothers farm stand in Encino (not really local to Larchmont, but still “Mecca” to local tomato-growers, we are assured).  The event runs both Saturday and Sunday, showcasing the Tomato of The Year, a wonderful list of unique peppers, and more than 275 varieties of delicious, unique, and rare tomato varieties.  There will also be a full schedule of tomato-growing classes to give you a leg up on the season…along with expert advice to help you find the right fertilizer, soils, tie tape, and cages, and then soak up some tomato and garden wisdom. Directions and more details are available at the link above.

A bit closer to home, the John C. Fremont Library , 6121 Melrose Ave., will be hosting an organizational meeting for its next Los Angeles Reader’s Theater production, starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday.  Parts will be handed out for the next play reading, Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carré.”  If you’d like to take a part, or just find out more, please plan to attend.  The performance of the play will take place on Saturday, April 28.  Also, a bit later, at 2 p.m., the library will host a discussion of the “History of Psychedelic Music.”  Your guides for this magical mystery tour into the explosion of psychedelic music in the mid-1960s will be drummer (& Friends of the Library Treasurer) David Kendrick (DEVO & Sparks) and author/former Rhino Records executive Gary Stewart. A turntable will also spin some discs and a lava lamp may appear to complete the scene. Light refreshments will be served.

Just an hour later, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, you could follow the music over to the Wilshire Branch Library, 149 N. St. Andrews Pl., for another melodious talk…this time by musicologist Sheila Sumitra, on women composers.

Finally, after an afternoon of music, you could switch to the visual arts on Saturday evening, as the Launch LA Gallery, 170 S. La Brea Ave., hosts an opening for two new shows – Stanton Hunter – Intimate Corners/Intimate Sprawl, and Alison Ragguette – Visceral Bandwidth, from 6 to 9 p.m.  Hunter’s work explores the duality between the intimate scale of his wall sculptures in contrast to the sprawl of his installation, composed of individual pieces that create the larger whole arrangement…while Ragguette’s first body of work uses hybridized forms of objects that combine aspects of modern assemblage with traditional sculpture. Admission is free, but space is limited, so if you’d like to attend, please RSVP to rsvp@launchla.org.  For more information, contact info@launchla.org

Of course, Saturday is also St. Patrick’s Day, and what would St. Paddy’s Day in L.A. be without a visit to Tom Bergin’s Public House, 840 S. Fairfax Ave., a Miracle Mile neighborhood institution since 1936, but which has been running on much more limited hours and service since January.  On Saturday, however, the joint will definitely be jumping with a special holiday celebration starting at 6 a.m. with an Irish Breakfast and Irish Coffee.  A big outdoor festival with beer, whiskey, food and a DJ will then run from 11 a.m. on Saturday until 2 a.m. on Sunday…and there will be a special “Hair of the Dog” gathering from 5 p.m. to Midnight on Sunday.

We’re guessing there won’t be much overlap between the late-night revelers on Saturday and those participating in Sunday’s big event – the L.A. Marathon – but it looks like local event planners are assuming most people are going to be involved in one or the other to some extent, so there are not a lot of other big events planned for Sunday.  But even if you’re not planning to run the marathon, or cheer along someone who is running, it’s still good to be aware of the route, and street closures (especially through Hollywood, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, if you’ll be travelling in those directions). Luckily, Metro is running extra trains that day, so that could help, too, if you need or want to go anywhere near the event.

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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