Friday, August 31, 2012

The City Prolific: Weekend Events Aug 31 - Sep 2

Labor Day weekend in many cities is often pretty quiet, as everyone hits the road. Not so in LA.  There is tons to do. This list is just a smattering.


LA is drawing a blank tonight. Nothing going on. Am I wrong? Did I miss something? Submit your event here.


FYF Pre-Party Party

It's FYF Weekend, but if you want to avoid the ticket cost, just go to the free events.  I mean, I love seeing bands and I love festivals, but I don't love the price tag.  No need to miss the party, though.  Join DJs Lexinterior and Funzo Verated for music and cheap drinks at Footsies in Lincoln Heights/Cypress Park.


Happy Hour Prices from 1pm - 8pm
$2 PBRS, $3 Wells, $3 Domestics
$5 Marys and Margs

DJ Funzo Verated [Sharif Dumani] will be spinning party tunes from 3-6

DJ Lexinterior [KOOLRANCH]will be spinning ragers from 6-9

2640 N. Figuerroa
Los Angeles

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mapping a Life in LA

It's a vastly different life, this one, and I've lived a lot of them.  Possessing, as I do, a devotion to creativity, as well as a pre-occupation with steady paychecks, I've traversed a lot of ground, mapped many routes.

My legs are sore from all the walking, both literally and figuratively speaking.  I'd like to think that the miles I've walked in life, observing cities from the inside out, have helped form my physical and mental shape. I'm not speaking about fitness, but about being, about the shape I embody in actual space.  So, there are the aggregate miles.  But there's also now.  In the last three days, I've shed the cocoon of my car, and have put my feet to pavement.  See, the thing is, I've gone back to school.  I'm getting a master's degree in writing at USC, and, conveniently enough, the Expo Line has been up and running since spring.  When I was acting in USC student films a few years ago, the Expo line did not yet exist, and getting down there was a pain. Now, it's a real breeze, filtering between buildings, through tunnels, down avenues.

Hence, the new map of my existence: walk 1.7 miles to work, walk 0.7 miles to the train, commute to school, commute back to Hollywood, walk 0.5 miles home.

There are auditions and things that will break up this experience a bit, and require me to, once again, shut myself in a car, but, for the time being, I'm feeling the soreness in my legs as proof of my dedication to this city.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The City Prolific: Weekend Events August 24 - 26

I didn't post for the last two weeks because I was away. Far away. In the High Uintas, the only East-West mountain range in the lower 48 states. I spent six days living in a tent, alongside a creek that provided a far more soothing nighttime soundtrack than the Hollywood traffic to which I usually fall asleep.

Back now in LA, I'm once again amazed at all there is to do. The list below is just a drop in the bucket of free or cheap events this weekend. I've chosen the ones that  seemed the most fun.



A celebration of Los Angeles's rich history, "Fiesta La Ballona Days" offers live music, food and festivities in the heart of culver city.  From the website:  Fiesta La Ballona Days" began in 1951 as a week-long celebration of the region's early settlers. People went to events and even to work dressed up as Native American Indians, rancheros, seƱoritas, cowboys and cowgirls. The early fiestas evoked pride among the descendants of the "first families" and offered the entire community a playful opportunity to connect with its history.  In 1985, the fiesta was reinvented as a "Festival of the People" and the one-day event took on an international flavor. Five or six years later it became a weekend fair in May. In 2003, the Fiesta was once again revived by offering events during the entire week with a culminating festival in Veteran's Park. In 2004 amusement rides were added to attract families to the event. In 2005 the Culver City Lion's Club opened the first Beer and Wine Garden. The Fiesta La Ballona continues to be a celebration of the past, present and future of Culver City showcasing both its warmth and its sophistication. It continues to offer people a place for food and fun and sharing. 

Free Friday-Sunday

Veteran’s Park
4117 Overland Ave
Culver City


Echo Park Rising

Just as yellow is the new black, Echo Park Rising is the new Sunset Junction Festival.  Revel among live music, great shopping and eating deals on Sunset Blvd, Echo Park Ave, and Alvarado. Over 60 bands, performers, comedians, and DJ’s will perform along the streets of Echo park, with the main stage setup on the parking lot of TAIX French Restaurant, a movie screening of a classic horror film on the roof of the citibank building, and a fair of sorts solely dedicated to those who press and print their own zines, books, albums, t-shirts, etc that will take over the entire Echoplex.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The City Prolific: Weekend Events August 10 - 12

Raphael Saadiq took the stage at KCRW's Who Shot Rock Summer Series last Saturday night. It was an evening spent drinking wine in the plaza behind CAA, people-watching the very KCRWesque crowd, and strolling the incredible Who Shot Rock and Roll exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography.  Then, Mr. Saadiq took the stage, and blew everyone away. He was really something.


H+ The Digital Series Screening at USC School of Cinematic Arts

One of my dear friends, and master acting coach, Marjo-Riikka Makela appears in this Bryan Singer-produced apocalyptic web series.  USC offers a free screening open to the public, followed by a Q&A with Stewart Hendler, Jason Taylor and John Cabrera.

H+: The Digital Series takes viewers on a journey into an apocalyptic future where technology has begun to spiral out of control.... a future where 33% of the world’s population has retired its cell phones and laptops in favor of a stunning new device – an implanted computer system called H+. This tiny tool allows the user's own mind and nervous system to be connected to the Internet 24 hours a day.

But something else is coming... something dark and vicious... and within seconds, billions of people will be dead... opening the door to radical changes in the political and social landscape of the planet -- prompting survivors to make sense of what went wrong.

7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre
SCA 108, 900 W. 34th Street
Los Angeles, CA

Friday, August 3, 2012

The City Prolific: Weekend Events August 2 - 4

Sand, sun, and stars: I saw a lot of each last weekend.  Went to the Nick Waterhouse show at the Getty, and spent a good portion of the time looking up.  The sky is so big over those Santa Monica hills.  I also got a lot of sun. Went to Huntington Beach with my SoCal cousins, and played in the sand with the littlest one, as seen below.

It's August now, my favorite month. Its days cast a wash of deep yellow, my favorite color, 3:00pm yellow, hottest time of the day yellow. Again this weekend, everyone in LA is outside, absorbing the late summer sun at screenings and festivals.


First Friday At The Refine House (Art Show)

Refine Mixers is hosting a specialty “First Friday” where they will serve complimentary Refine specialty low-calorie cocktails for guests to enjoy while mingling amongst the artwork of Renowned artists Louie Ferrigno Jr. and Kelcey Fisher.


Refine Mixers House
619 San Juan Ave
Los Angeles 90291

Oscars Outdoors Presents "North by Northwest"

Oscars Outdoors is a summer screening series at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s new open-air theater, located on the Academy Hollywood campus. The series features a permanent 40’ x 20’ screen, a 10,000 square-foot plaza, and lawn seating (blanket or low chair). Food trucks are curated by Roaming Hunger and tailored to the movie showing whenever possible.

For sold out films, a standby line will form on the day of the event, and standby numbers will be distributed at 6pm; available tickets will be sold at approximately 7:45pm (grab happy hour at Wolfslair Biergarten while you wait). Ticketholders should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the event to ensure a seat at the venue.

Gates open at 6:30pm, screenings begin at sunset.

Oscars Outdoors
1313 Vine St
Los Angeles 90028

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Exercise of Meandering

I wrote about walking recently, and it's been on my mind a lot. On my mind, because it isn't in my life as much as is necessary to not think about it.

Some years ago, I would alter my after-work journey home with the errands I wanted to run.  I'd zing down the 6 to hit up The Strand Book Store, and then wile away the last hour of dusk in Union Square Park or window shop along 5th Avenue before hopping on the L train home. I'd walk over to Central Park to pick up a new read at the used book stand on Central Park South, and then take the F to 42nd Street and wander over to Grand Central Market to pick up a little gourmet something for dinner.  Or I'd take the F to West 4th and grab a cocktail at Do Hwa and then indulge in a cupcake at Magnolia ($1.25 at the time seemed extravagant), before moseying around the West Village until I was ready to go home.

I guess it's both walking and public transit I'm talking about: the foot-to-ground, visceral connection to a city, literally mapping your community with the soles of your feet, public transit serving as a means to speed up the journey while keeping you contained in an area only as big as yourself (you get in a car and you're twenty times your regular size, requiring a lot more space and energy).

I got tired of being underground so much, though, especially when I lived in Brooklyn. In Manhattan, I could walk or bike everywhere, the train simply being the quicker option.  In Brooklyn, the train was my only option (I'm not a gung-ho bicyclist, and was never prone to riding over bridges, nor was I near enough any of the bridges for this to be an efficient mode of transit).

In LA, I am above ground, and I see a lot of sunlight and trees, which is an improvement over the dripping concrete ceilings and rusted pipes of NYC subway stations.  However, I'm always just where I am, or going there, usually in my car.  I'm never meandering. Oh, to meander. I miss it so.  I regularly attempt it, often spending my lunch breaks wandering around the Hollywood and Vine area. It's a fascinating stroll of opposites - urban and suburban, industrial and corporate - but it has no parks. Nowhere to sit, reflect, absorb. When I get back to my office, my legs are very tired, my shoulders browned by the sun, my forehead flecked with sweat.

Walking in LA. It's an exercise, in more ways than one.