Today’s rare and much-needed rain makes us think about water, and water usage…which makes us think about the L.A. DWP…which is holding its monthly Customer Service Saturday at the Crenshaw service center, 4030 Crenshaw Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. In addition to being able to discuss and resolve billing and other customer service issues, attendees can get free trees, and participate in a “Ways to Save” workshop on water use. Come and learn about LADWP rebates for many water and energy-saving appliances and products, and discount programs available for low-income customers, seniors and people with disabilities. The workshops will be held at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. To receive a free tree, you must be resident of Los Angeles or own property within the city. Verification will be required (ID/driver’s license or copy of a LADWP utility bill). Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. The limit is one per property address.
From the LADWP service center, you can easily continue to the weekend’s major event: the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books , which will be open – rain or shine – from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the USC campus. The full-day celebrations of books, reading and literacy include a multitude of events, workshops, books, authors and much, much more. The full schedule, maps, program guide, etc. are available at http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/tickets-and-schedule/schedule/ …and there’s truly something for everyone, of all ages. (And if you can’t get enough during the day, Festival After Dark continues the fun into the night.)
In addition to books, another two-day event, the Artisanal LA spring show, both Saturday and Sunday at The Reef in Downtown L.A., showcases the best in artisanal food and craft vendors. Attendees can shop a wide array of edible treats from nearly 100 “hand selected food and beverage artisans,” from butchers to chocolate makers, and enjoy hands-on workshops, chef-led demos, expert panels and speakers educating guests on various food related topics…and learn about non-profit organizations changing the local food scene in Los Angeles. The organizers say, “Many of our artisans aren’t yet accessible through retail stores or even through farmers markets.” You can buy local, support LA’s economy (100% of the vendors’ products are made in SoCal with local and sustainable goods), discover new favorites and even get a jump on holiday shopping.
And if you like beer with (or after) your artisanal food, the LA Beer Festival – Saturday, 12-3 pm. and 5-8 p.m. at LA Center Studios, 450 South Bixel Street in downtown LA – will feature more than 200 beers, food trucks, DJs, live music, a dueling piano bar, and more. Admission is $45, with tickets including beer samplings. Note that food is sold separately and tickets will not be sold at the door. (And it’s also nice to note that proceeds will benefit Noah’s Bark, which rescues dogs from shelters and finds permanent homes for rescued pets.)
On Sunday, you could start your day with a multi-famliy yard sale, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 757 S. Plymouth Blvd. (between Wilshire and 8th St.) The organizers promise “some amazing pieces” including wingback chairs, an art deco book shelf, tiger oak twin bed frames, bean bag chair, artwork from the 1920s, tinted photographs, kids toys, books, electronics, and “home decor from some very stylish neighbors.”
Later, LACMA’s opens its new Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015, which explores the history of men’s fashionable dress from the eighteenth century to the present, and “re-examines the all-too-frequent equation of “fashion” with “femininity.”” Drawing mostly from LACMA’s own renowned collection, the exhibit “makes illuminating connections between history and high fashion” and “traces cultural influences over the centuries, examines how elements of the uniform have profoundly shaped fashionable dress, and reveals how cinching and padding the body was, and is, not exclusive to women.” Special tickets are required; see the link above for details.
Since you’re already in the neighborhood, and in fashion mode…after the LACMA exhibit, check out the Craft and Folk Art Museum’s CraftLab Family Worshop – Fiber Sculptures with Mimi Haddon. Drop in on Sunday afternoon between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. and join artist and maker Mimi Haddon to create a colorful, textured, small sculpture, wall hanging or wearable art piece out of fiber (yarn and string) and fabric. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children (or free for CAFAM members.
And finally, just a bit further south, another big event for kids (of all ages) is the Westside Jewish Community Center’s fourth annual Kid-a-Palooza festival, from 2:00 to 4:30 on Sunday. This year’s event features a “Reptacular” animal show, snacks, crafts, games, facepainting, a raffle, and more. Admission is free, and everyone is welcome. Have a wonderful weekend!