Once again, whether you like neighborhood and cultural festivals, community volunteer opportunities, art or almost anything else…mid-town L.A. has you covered this weekend.
Starting on Saturday morning, the 5th Annual Found LA Festival of Neighbhorhoods offers not just one…not just 10…but 19 – yes, 19! – free neighborhood walking tours, led by residents, public figures and renowned artists who share their knowledge and enthusiasm for their communities. This year’s event (which spans both Saturday and Sunday, so you can catch more than one tour, or split your samplings between the two weekend days) is, according to the organizers at LA Commons, “driven by the idea of mapping one’s own Los Angeles” and “inspired by the new Heyday release LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas, which brings 19 diverse local writers together with a cartographer to explore aspects of the city’s geography, history, and culture.” A selection of authors from the book will lead some of the weekend’s tours.
For the pitch-in-and-help-out part of your weekend, City Council District 4 Council Member David Ryu is launching a new Clean Streets Initiative and hosting a Clean Streets Community Cleanup on Saturday morning at the CD4 Hollywood Field Office (6501 Fountain Ave., between Cole and Wilcox). At a 9:00 a.m. program, Council Member Ryu will announce CD4’s new partnership with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) and Department of Sanitation, to help keep “Council District 4 the shining gem of Los Angeles.” Other partners will include the L.A. Beautification Team, Pacific Asian Volunteers Association (PAVA), and a multitude of community groups. After the brief program, attendees can participate in a community cleanup from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If you’d like to lend a hand, RSVP here.
“Budgets aren’t sexy, but we’re trying!” So say the City of Los Angeles Budget Advocates, a city-sanctioned group of Neighborhood Council appointees whose job it is to monitor city budget proposals and provide grassroots feedback to the Mayor and city agencies. The group is holding its Regional Budget Day on Saturday, from 9 a.m. until noon, at several locations around town (closest to us is the Legal Aid Foundation, at 1102 S. Crenshaw Blvd.). The event is open to all stakeholders interested in learning more about and having a voice in city finances.
For those more interested in city history, the 10th-annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, presented by L.A. as Subject and the USC Libraries, promises to help you “experience the diversity of stories that make Southern California such a place of discovery.” A day-long immersion in historical materials, this event features a broad array of institutions and archives, with experts on hand to show off their collections and answer questions—from the Autry National Center of the American West and the Los Angeles Public Library to private collectors whose materials fill the gaps left in the region’s history. In all, more than 80 archives will be represented at the event, which is free and open to the public. The Bazaar will also feature a Day of Preservation, with workshops and demonstrations on the archiving and preservation of photographs and scrapbooks, a program on how to research historical information about Los Angeles, a discussion on the history of imbibing in Southern California, a screening of Lost L.A., a new series from KCET on the hidden treasured of the city, and a panel discussion with some of the authors of LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas, a groundbreaking new collaboration of cartographers, historians, scholars, and writers (which also plays a large role in the FoundLA event above).
By this time, you’re sure to be hungry, so head west a bit to the 10th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival on Crenshaw Blvd., between Stocker and Rodeo Road, open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event, dubbed Los Angeles’ largest street festival, features a taste of all things “soulful,” including food from more than 70 local restaurants, live entertainment (four stages with wall to wall musical performers), displays from local artists, and exhibits from local businesses and organizations. (Pro tip: take Metro to avoid hassles with parking and construction-related street closures.)
As day winds into evening, there are several ways to finish the day:
The Brookside neighborhood is holding its 7th Annual Outdoor Movie Night, starting with a picnic (a barbecue will provided for those who wish to grill) at 6:15 p.m. at Memorial Park (Olympic Ave., between Mullen and Muirfield). After dinner, there will be screenings of old time cartoons and black-and-white comedies (Chaplin, Keaton, Arbuckle, Laurel & Hardy, and the Three Stooges), some filmed right in the neighborhood. The event is great for kids of all ages…and as a special treat again this year, Mr. Michael Mortilla will provide live musical accompaniment. All Brookside residents, family and friends are welcome.
For something a little swankier, try the Craft and Folk Art Museum’s Craft Affair. The cocktail party and silent auction, from 6 to 9:00 p.m., is an annual fundraiser that celebrates the museum’s history, recognizes influential leaders in the community and supports ongoing exhibitions and education programs at the museum. This year’s event honors Artist Phyllis Green and the A.F. Gilmore Company.
Finally, if you’re looking to start off your Halloween celebrations a bit early, the Ghost Train at LA Live Steamers is now running for the 15th year in Griffith Park. This spooky annual tradition is a must for young families and train fans of all ages. (Children must be at least 34″ tall to ride.) If you miss this weekend, though, don’t worry – the train will be running its haunted rails on weekend nights through November 1.
You’d think with so much going on on Saturday this week, there’d be nothing left for Sunday. But we haven’t even got to the weekend’s biggest event, the 15th quarterly car-free extravaganza CicLAvia. This time, participants will roll or walk along a six-mile “Heart of LA” route from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, on streets closed to all motorized traffic. The route meanders from MacArthur Park through downtown to Hollenbeck Park, east of the L.A. River. For those arriving from points west, the Mid-City West Community Council is organizing a feeder ride from La Brea Bike Works to MacArthur Park, starting at 8:30 a.m. Also, for those who prefer to experience the event on foot, there’s an organized WalkLAvia happening at 10:00 a.m. If you’ve never experienced one of these events, it’s time to give it a try – they never fail to show off our fair city at its very best.
Finally, if you’re not too tired after your ride, the Garden School Foundation, which provides garden-based learning programs to several area schools, is holding its annual Harvest Moon Festival Fundraiser, to raise money for the organization’s activities. The event begins at 4 p.m., with “mocktails” in the GSF’s showplace home garden at 24th Street Elementary School (2055 W. 24th St.), followed by a multi-course tapas-style dinner and silent auction, starting at 5 p.m.. Tickets are $125.