<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSat, 25 Jun 2016 23:22:57 -0700Sat, 25 Jun 2016 23:22:57 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Four Sunshiny Soirees: Summer Solstice Contd.]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:25:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SolsticeParade_Steve+Hospodar_VSB.jpg

Daylight, says science and people and magazines and TV shows and every other source that produces opinions, is on the whole good for us and everything that's alive.

We know this — we crave a dose of beamful rays come the gloomier days of winter — but we don't often pause to give the daytime its full and festive due.

A prime moment to give due typically arrives on the longest day of the year, which was June 20 in 2016. But as that was a workaday Monday, the biggest bashes surrounding the summer solstice are scheduled to fall over the first weekend of summer.

Or perhaps "rise" is more accurate. The two-day stretch of sunny soirees begins at sunrise at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Saturday, June 25. Actually, make that 5 a.m., which is a pinch before sunrise. What's the theme of the gathering? Watching our nearest star come up over "Levitated Mass," the mega boulder at the mid-city museum. 

Yoga and morning beverages are part of the ticketed LACMA Local event.

Later in the day, and up the coast, one of California's biggest solstice celebrations will unfurl like a colorful banner. It's Santa Barbara's famous Summer Solstice Parade, a procession that has been around since the '70s. Costumes, inflatables, and pretty things that flap in the breeze are hallmarks of the popular event.

Should you want to keep the beams turned up high through the following day, both Fullerton and Santa Monica will be going the solstice-honoring route, and both for free (like the Santa Barbara parade).

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center's afternoon jamboree on June 26 will include tunes -- zydeco favorites Lisa Haley and the Zydekats will be there -- and food booths and craft beers, too. Meanwhile, on Main Street in Santa Monica, the Main Street Summer SOULstice will feature four stages, lots of live music, a petting zoo, and a food court and beer garden.

Our nearest star rises in the east once a day, and twice on the weekend — spoiler alert? — but there's a way to honor it four times over two days, in a quartet of SoCal and up-the-coast locations.

Four solstice parties in the span of a weekend won't change the sun's path, but it should remind revelers to stop and enjoy the sunshine, especially when summer kicks into full, glorious gear.



Photo Credit: Steve Hospodar]]>
<![CDATA[Wildlife Near Us: Urban Nature Festival]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:22:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nhmurbansweet12345.jpg

Wherever you happen to live around Southern California, the chances of you stepping outside your door and encountering A) a squirrel or B) a butterfly or C) a raccoon or D) a coyote or E) a bear playing with a pool noodle is likely on the high side.

If you see all five at once? A slim chance, but not entirely outside of the realm of the possible.

For we live in a wild stretch of land, ocean to mountains to desert, and just because we've built a few (correction: many) freeways and the occasional skyscraper slide along the way does not mean our area's critters have vamoosed.

The Natural History Museum loves upon our local fauna each year during the annual LA Urban Nature Fest, which will scurry with squirrel-like efficiency into the museum's Nature Gardens on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26.

Demos on wildlife photography (with scientific purposes), meet-and-greets with real beasties, silk screening projects, a demonstration on how to feed a snake, and more connect-with-nature doings are on the two-day schedule.

The cost for all this creatureful, educational, hands-ons-y goodness? Just your admission to the Exposition Park institution.

Beyond the crafty fun times, and snake-feeding interesting moments, LA Urban Nature Fest serves as a sweet reminder that we share this land with loads of local residents that boast tails and scales and wings.

We may have laid some asphalt, and put in structures built of cement and glass, but look to the trees, and rivers, and canyons, for beautiful proof that Southern California is now, and always was, deeply wild.



Photo Credit: NHM]]>
<![CDATA[Creativity Reigns: Hollywood Fringe Festival]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 22:18:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hff16_main_herofringe.jpg

When it comes to a fringe festival, you want some mirth, some merriment, some deep thinking, and an iconoclastic spirit, one that says that theater, or comedy, or dance, or all of the above, can be anything it wants to be.

Such is the nature of this sort of creative happening, one that famously takes over Edinburgh for a chunk of the summer, and San Diego, and Santa Cruz, and Hollywood, too.

Tinseltown's mondo extravaganza is pushing into its final days, which means the time is nigh for connecting with a fresh comedy, an intriguing one-person show, or a twist on Shakespeare.

Still to come in the Hollywood Fringe Festival, which can be found on stages both cozy and more capacious around its namesake town? Marcie Maxfield's "Girls Together Always" gets real about love, grief, and more at the Ensemble Theatre, "Alien vs. Musical" pairs, well, the alien from "Alien" with the concept of musical theatre at Sacred Fools, and festive murder mystery "Happy No Year" makes our seasonal occasions more offbeat at the Dark Horse.

As with any fringe-fanciful spectacular, it is impossible, or nearly, to take in all the shows, unless you get very lucky with A) time and B) parking and C) planning.

But dipping into a few tempting one acts or ensemble events or cabarets or a show that combines all of those elements, or more, is at the heart of a fringe festival's appeal.

There's still time to get that happy jolt of a newfound discovery, in Tinseltown.



Photo Credit: Hollywood Fringe Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Forsooth: Free Shakespeare in Griffith Park]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 13:31:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Festivaltempestisc.jpg

Summer 2016 may only be a few days old, but one of the surest signs of its arrival comes in the form of something that's free, something that's old, something that's spritely, and something that's a warm-weather tradition at green spaces around the country.

It's the words of one William Shakespeare — perhaps you've heard of him? — performed, for free, in a park. Like dribbly ice cream cones, and sand in your trunks, watching a play that was penned centuries ago while sitting atop a picnic blanket is about as rites-of-summer-ish as one can get.

And one only need to look to the Independent Shakespeare Company, which is set to launch its light-hearted, pay-nothing summer season at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park on Saturday, June 25.

Well, not exactly "light-hearted"; "Richard III" opens things up, with intensity and anti-hero-ness. But ready yourself for an "electrified retelling" of the tale (one intriguing hint: The photo has the kingly figure swinging an electric guitar.)

"The Tempest" follows in late July. Magic and family reign in what was the Bard's last play through early September.

Yes, both are free, though donations are "gratefully accepted." For sure, picnics are welcome, but leave the wine at home (not allowed in the park). And layering? It gets cool, even after a toasty July day.

For the full schedule, and how to wend your way to the Old Zoo for some riveting dramatics, pack your wicker hamper and hike in this direction.



Photo Credit: Mike Ditz/ISC]]>
<![CDATA[OC Pride: Celebrate in Santa Ana]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 08:38:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pridejune123.jpg

The first Saturday of summertime possesses a few mythic properties for many people. You want to get out and enjoy the sunshine, and celebrate with your friends, and be a part of a community, and welcome a season that has shine in both the literal and figurative sense.

The Orange County Pride parade, which will take place on Saturday, June 26, embraces those ideals, and does so in a hue-happy, dance-tastic, "Live Your Life!" kind of way. 

In fact, "Live Your Life!" is the 2016 theme of OC Pride Week, which was founded in 1989 and has become one of the Golden State's most vibrant gay pride happenings. The new theme was "(i)nspired by exciting changes, milestones and accomplishments in the name of LGBT pride," reveals the event's site. 

"(W)e decided to transform those feelings of admiration, gratitude, and happiness into something visual. Something creative. Something that vividly flaunts what it is we all feel inside!"

It's a festive feeling that will permeate other parties during the June 25 and 26 weekend, from the festival spreading out through a goodly chunk of downtown Santa Ana to the quartet of dance stages to the Kids' Club area to the multiple vendors selling merch that emphasizes unity, joy, and the spirit of "Live Your Life!"

How many people are expected? Over 10,000 attended in 2015. The cost to attend? Watching the parade is totally free, as is browsing the vendor area, but you'll want to alight upon a festival ticket asap.

Happy Pride, OC!



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Skyscraper Slide Opens]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:20:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/OUESkyspaceLASkyslideHS.jpg

OUE Skyspace Debuts: Did your favorite playground have a sweet slide? Probably, but we'll wager it wasn't 70 floors above the street. The new OUE Skyspace, which boasts an observation deck and more, is making its debut near the top of the U.S. Bank Tower on Saturday, June 25, and the buzzed-about centerpiece is the see-through glass slide that whisks people from the 70th floor to the 69th. Oh, right: And Skyslide is outside the skyscraper, too. It's ticketed, as is entry to the Skyspace. Happy "wheee"-ing!

CatConLA: So managing your kitten's Instagram is more important than managing your own? Yep, this is your purr-fect party, a two-day happening that is about all things feline. Some internet superstars will be in the house (Lil BUB, holler) and some cat-tastic human favorites, too (hello there, Julie Newmar). It all rolls at The Reef on June 25 and 26, with cat videos and cat-themed vendors in tow.

Politicon: If you get a little obsessed in an election year, with the various veepstakes rumors, and who will speak at the conventions, and the issues on the table, this is your politics-huge fan festival. The celeb-filled gathering — Bill Nye and Sarah Palin are both due — is a bit irreverent, a bit offbeat, and happening on June 25 and 26. Where? At the Pasadena Convention Center.

Sunrise at "Levitated Mass": The mega boulder at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art sees fans all day long — many with their hands in the hair, to look as though they're holding the 340-ton boulder up, at least for a photo — but a few fans will swing by at 5 a.m. on Saturday, June 25 to watch the sun come up. It's sure to be a memorable sight, and there's yoga and coffee and tea, too. You'll want to join LACMA Local if you haven't already, and then get your ticket.

Summer Solstice Continues: There are a number of after-the-fact festivities marking the longest day of the year, including one at the Muckenthaler on June 26 and one in Santa Monica (also on the 26th). Fun, summery times, but for the state's largest lark, and one of the most venerable solstice celebrations anywhere, make for Santa Barbara's mondo parade on Saturday, June 25. It is colorful, costume-y, and full of sunbeamy, everyone-party vibes.



Photo Credit: Hunter Kerhart]]>
<![CDATA[Politicon: The Non-Partisan Political Fan Fest]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 18:43:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/votingGettyImages-155684690.jpg

We Americans? We're a wonderfully high-spirited bunch, full of vim, tenacity, grit, can-do, and optimism. Our confidence shines through in ways both large and wee, our fortitude is phenomenal, and we'll gladly lend a hand, or two, when and where we can.

But come election time we do possess a charming knack for getting, well... a mite passionate about our political leanings, and what way we think the wind will blow, and what should happen to all of the candidates we fervently support. (Spoiler alert: We think they should win.)

It's serious business, no doubt, but if the internet, and late-night television, has shown us anything, we do like a bit of opinion-laden rabble-rousing along the path to Election Day, and pointed satire, to go with the process.

Enter Politicon, "The Unconventional Political Convention," which takes on the topical matters of highly held offices with solemnity, and a healthy dose of sass, too.

The two-day political fan festival wears the red, white and blue at the Pasadena Convention Center on June 25 and 26.

Bill Nye, Ann Coulter, Barbara Boxer, Sarah Palin, and Larry Wilmore will all be in the house, as well as a cavalcade of pundits and politicos. Debates are de rigeur during the convention, as are comedy routines, art happenings and all of the sort of activities you might not see at a traditional party convention.

It's as if the Twitter feeds of those journalists and representatives you follow have sprung into real-life, in Pasadena, for a full weekend of wit, wryness and talks that get down to especially brassy brass tacks.

A general admission one-day pass is thirty bucks.

Figure this is an excellent way to wade into the larger pool of ideas and opining, especially if you've kept to one side of the aisle. It's a nonpartisan party, in a time where nonpartisanship is as rare as a voter who doesn't want to wear that ultimate point of country pride, the "I Voted" sticker.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orlando Tribute: Gay Men's Chorus + Mano a Mano]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 12:04:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/manoamanoconcert.jpg

Joining together, in song, has long been a way to heal, to raise hope, and to honor the memory of those who have gone.

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles responded to the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando with an emotional appearance at a Los Angeles City Hall gathering on Monday, June 13. The spirit of "Gentle Angry People" imbued the large crowd, with the chorus hewing close to the idea that the victims will remain at the forefront of people's hearts and minds.

The honoring of their legacy and lives will continue at Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 when the Mano a Mano, a gay men's chorus from Cuba, joins the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles on stage at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. 

Pulse Victims Fund will receive a portion of the proceeds from both shows.

"Oye Mi Canto — From LA to Havana" will dovetail with "the GMCLA's mission of changing hearts and minds through the power of music." Rhythms described as "muy caliente!" and soaring ballads with roots in Cuban tradition are on the stirring setlist. Look for a few "modern American pop songs reinvented with a Latin twist" that will also keep the energy strong.

It's a joint concert that can be enjoyed twice, on the evening of the 25th and at the matinee the following day.

If you can't make the show, or you can but want to donate an additional sum to the Pulse Victims Fund, you can do so through the fund's GoFundMe page.



Photo Credit: Mano a Mano]]>
<![CDATA[Free Softserve: Magpies Opening Celebration]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:05:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Magpies_Flavors.jpg

Summertime, above all seasons, handily taps into our longing for the simpler pleasures of youth.

That might be a cooling sprinkler with an oscillating head, or a late-night campout in the yard, or a trip down to the stand on the corner, the one swirling softserve into crunchy cones.

Finding that summery softserve dream, with a side of swanky nowness, is about to be a reality 'round Silver Lake, and a very money-saving reality at that. For on Thursday, June 23 Magpies Softserve will be giving away "treats on the house!" in celebration of their grand opening. 

Oh yeah. Free softserve. Summer really must be here.

And, yes, we did throw down "swanky nowness," which means that the flavors of ye olde aren't really what Magpies is all about.

You'll definitely find spins on chocolate and vanilla in the form of Malted Milk Chocolate and Sweetened Cream, of course. But look for au courant flavors like Green Tea Brown Rice, Yuzu Honey, Thai Iced Tea, Horchata, and Cuban Espresso.

To top off all of the lickable loveliness? Look for Salted Caramel Sauce, Toffee Rice Krispies, Graham Cracker Streusel, and more.

Chefs Warren and Rose Schwartz first had the idea of an old-school softservery while visiting Palm Desert, which is, of course, a primo, good-golly-it's-hot place to enjoy such a cool-down dessert.

If you can't make June 23's gooey giveaway, you can still pop in and buy a cone, the better to see the leaps and bounds softserve has made since your youth. Find Magpies near the corner of Hyperion and Griffith Park, and visit any day of the week but Monday.

Now, your softserve summer dreams are taken care of; where to buy an oscillating sprinkler, plus a puptent for a backyard campout.



Photo Credit: Magpies]]>
<![CDATA[Meow Meow: CatConLA]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 19:23:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/LilBub1.jpg

We're feline frank — er, feelin' frank — and we don't mind meowing about how amazing it is to chat with a cat lover about their special whiskered one.

For they won't simply tell you their baby's name, but all of their baby's 17 nicknames, and how the kitty sleeps with her paws in the air, and how she likes salmon treats but not chicken, and is just. The. Best. Thing. Ever.

If this is 1000 percent you, then we'll see you at CatConLA, which will again be swishing its tail, charmingly, at The Reef downtown. 

The June 25 and 26 festival, which is "part expo, part symposium," is all about offering "the world's top cat-centric merchandise including furniture, art, toys, and clothing.." -- all the stuff you want to show off your furry affections.

There shall be more furry affections, though, to give at CatConLA: Celebrity cats will be in the house, so look for Lil BUB, Pudge, and Nala, all internet superstars (and stars in the lives of those lucky enough to live with them).

And a real-life Catwoman — hey there, Julie Newmar — will also make the purr-worthy scene. 

Will there be adoptable cats to cuddle, fall for, and take home and worship for always? Yes. Will a dollar from every ticket go to FixNation? It's an important cause, so you bet. Shall there be cat videos to squee over, discussion to attend, and more meow-y merriment?

The schedule is as packed as a wicker basket bearing a load of felt mice, the kind with little bells sewn inside.

You know this basket, the one with too many toys. In fact, all pet people know this basket well, like they know what kind of treats their pumpkin will or will not eat.

Tickets, times, and all the ear-scratchable info you'll need? Gently tip-tap your paws over here, catists of SoCal.



Photo Credit: Lil BUB]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Westfield Fashion Square Outdoor Movies]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 12:38:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/StarWars-ForceAwakens.jpg

The start of summer can make one feel as though summer is half over, in a quirky twist of time.

Exhibit A: The huge blockbusters are now rolling out as early as early April, and the outdoor movie events around town? Those, too, start in the middle of spring.

So when the third week of June arrives, it can surprise, and delight, to see summery traditions still on the big roll-out. Look to Sherman Oaks for proof of this, and Westfield Fashion Square, which is launching its free outdoor movie series on the first Friday of summer 2016.

Launching in a major way: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be the first film screened at the mall, which is transforming its rooftop parking area into an impromptu theatre. Unlike permanent theatres, though, there are no chairs, so feel free to show with your own low-back seat or blanket.

While the lightsaber-iest flick around will screen on June 24, several films are queued up to follow on subsequent Fridays, including "Minions," "Clueless," "Zootopia," and "Grease."

Special happenings, like an appearance by The Sidewalk Astronomers at "The Force Awakens" and a photo booth for "Clueless," are on the docket. Giveaways, raffles, and more festoon each evening's presentation, too.

The films begin at 8 p.m., but you can stake out your spot starting at 6 o'clock. 

And as for feeling as though summertime is flying by? It has just begun, and warm-weather traditions continue to rev up, like free flicks at Westfield Fashion Square. 

Autumn hasn't quite made its presence known yet, even if we have a way of starting summer in spring nowadays.



Photo Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.]]>
<![CDATA[Watch the Sunrise at LACMA's Big Boulder]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:12:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lmGettyImages-147170279.jpg

When the gargantuan, specially built transporter hauling the 340-ton boulder pulled up to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at 4:30 in the morning on March 10, 2012, it was greeted by a crowd of excited onlookers.

They were excited because the huge rock had made a much publicized journey from a quarry in Riverside to the Miracle Mile art institution, and rising before dawn — or staying awake all night — seemed like the right thing to do for many an art-loving Angeleno.

But those same Angelenos likely never supposed they'd rise again, before sunrise, to view artist Michael Heizer's epic artwork, as it is on view, every day, for free, all year long.

Rise people shall, though, when the museum hosts "Local: Break," an event tailor-made for its LACMA Local Program, which launched in early 2016.

The program, as its name suggests, gives area art lovers fresh and offbeat experiences, beyond the tried-and-true museum stroll-through.

And sunrise at "Levitated Mass" definitely qualifies as offbeat, as you'll watch the sun come up over the famous boulder, like a scene, one imagines, from a highly cinematic movie.

In fact, "2001: A Space Odyssey" may spring to many a movie-obsessed mind here.

The Saturday, June 25 gathering isn't just about the admiring of the sunrise, though; a yoga class, led by Modo Yoga instructor Carolina Phipps, is part of the admission price of twenty bucks for members, $60 for non-members. (As is a LACMA Local Mat.)

That $60 admission also nets you a LACMA Local membership, in addition to the sunrise soiree. Good stuff. (How it all shakes out: $20 for the event, $40 for membership.)

Start time? Five in the a.m. in the morningtime.

If yoga isn't your thing, you are welcome to simply soak up the sun show and then stay for coffee, tea, and hobnobbing, which will all go down at the up-with-the-birds hour of 5:45. 

Parking, by the by, is free.

It's a wake-up party that's got the spirit of the summer solstice, only a few days late. A bonus? That there's a local angle to LACMA's event, too, giving Angelenos a place to meet new neighbors, even if those neighbors live across town. 

What could be more bonding than communing with a giant, mystic boulder at sunrise? It'll be on the quiet side, but we imagine that a few attendees may have "Thus Spake Zarathustra" playing in their head, "2001"-style.

To find out info on joining LACMA Local, to procure a ticket, and to sign a waiver, click.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taco Bell Giving Away Free Tacos Tuesday]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 12:44:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/1779076_10154087090319697_2553296908979305782_n.jpg

Although the Cleveland Cavaliers won the series, you can thank the Golden State Warriors for being able to score a free taco on Tuesday. 

Taco Bell teamed up with the NBA for a promotion called “Steal a Taco,” which gives fans free tacos if a team "steals" a win on the road. 

The Warriors won against Cleveland in Game 4, and now fans across the country can get a free Doritos Locos Taco from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at participating Taco Bell restaurants. 

To find a Taco Bell near you, visit tacobell.com/StealATaco.



Photo Credit: Facebook/TacoBell
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Norton Simon: Summer Garden Party]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 16:21:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NortonSimonMuseum_GardenParty1.jpg

A warm-weather party that takes place outdoors is definitely not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. A picnic is not a barbecue, and while a pool party could be easily folded into both types of celebrations, it can also stand on its own within its own sub-genre.

Likewise, a garden party is a distinct delight, a pleasure that often involves the admiring of flowers, the enjoyment or making of art, and a quieter, reverent approach to alfresco fun. It follows that a museum is an ideal place to throw such a stylish shindig, but the museum, of course, should have a picturesque garden in which to stage the soiree.

The Norton Simon Museum happens to have such a garden, and A Night in Focus on Saturday, June 25 will alight upon all of those time-honored garden party touches.

Like? There shall be alfresco sketching, of the plein air variety, so turn your gaze upon one of the garden sculptures, or a tree, or the water, or the building itself. 

There shall be bubbly to enjoy at the sunset gathering, or if tea is your jam, you can learn how to make a sachet.

The cost to join this summery goodness? Just your admission to the museum, so make time to eye the paintings and artworks within before sauntering outdoors to sketch and sip something sparkly.

If you're getting a Monet-esque vibe from all of this, well, that's definitely what the Norton Simon is going for. For while outdoor entertainments and the hot season have always been a twosome, for centuries, picnics and barbecues and pools do have a way of capturing our modern fancies.

A return to a more old-school soiree, one of art, contemplation, and tony sips, is nice now and then, and definitely on the first Saturday of summer.



Photo Credit: Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging]]>
<![CDATA[Free Adoption Day at Pasadena Humane Society]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 21:26:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Free-Adoption-Day-Puppy-2016.jpg

Fourth of July, as a general rule, is about the most outside-iest holiday on the calendar.

After all, pyrotechnic displays and the wide open sky are a longtime twosome, and sprinklers, Slip 'N Slides, and the eating of watermelon tend to work best when done in an alfresco situation.

But one contingent that isn't quite as jazzed about the noise of the occasion are pups. It's often said that July 4 — or make that July 5 — is an especially busy day at dog shelters, thanks to canines who might have bolted from their backyard due to an especially loud crackle from the sky.

In anticipation of July 5, with the knowledge that a busy time may be ahead for our shelters, the Pasadena Humane Society is taking the move to hold a special adoption day, one that "clears the shelters" and provides pups a new and loving home.

Thursday, June 23 is Free Adoption Day at the Raymond Avenue shelter, which means no adoption fees to pay to find the feline or Fido you've been dreaming about.

Does that fee include spay/neuter surgery? It does. Will your baby be microchipped? You bet. And how about the vaccines? Those will be part of the program, too.

You'll need to show Pasadena Humane a few things before leaving with your lovey. Do you rent? Find that proof that you can have a pet. Do you want to get a move on the adoption process? You can fill out the paperwork ahead of time (which gives you more time for getting down on the ground at the shelter to visit with its home-needing residents).

The watermelon and sparklers and barbecue of Fourth of July are all classics, as is the sky show. But making sure our furry ones are in a safe and comfortable place come nightfall, and that the shelters don't become overwhelmed in a matter of hours, is part of the holiday planning.

It's a good message to remember, whether or not you visit Pasadena for a new pup or kitty on June 23.



Photo Credit: Pasadena Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Sunset Watch: Longest Day of the Year]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 15:47:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/gosunsetGettyImages-72370568.jpg

No one needs to tell anyone currently existing within Southern California that Monday, June 20, 2016 is the longest day of the year.

It's also going to be the hottest day of the year, thus far, so call it an understatement of vast proportions to say that, yes, summer is at the forefront of many sweaty-browed minds. 

But even though we're seeking out oscillating fans, and ice cream bars, and sprinklers, and the ocean, many a local still longs to pay heed to what has been, throughout history, a hallowed time of observance, reflection, and peaceful sunset-watchery.

Know this: If you're hoping to visit that famous hilltop bastion of all things cosmic, you'll find it closed on June 20. But it won't be totally quiet 'round Griffith Observatory, as staffers will host June 20 press events regarding the solstice during the day and evening.

Thus you're bound to see some hubbub if you drive up the hill to call upon the observatory's famous sundial. (A fine and timely outing on the longest day of the year, or any day of the year that doesn't have extreme cloud cover.)

If you want to be in the parking lot at sunset, that's at 8:08 p.m. Starting June 21, the slow and steady march to earlier nightfall times kicks off.

If you desire something less silent, and more celebratory, for your solstice needs, hang tight. A trio of summer solstice parties are just ahead over the final weekend in June, including one at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton on June 26, Summer SOULstice in Santa Monica on June 26, and the long-running, always lively parade in Santa Barbara on Saturday, June 25.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stay Cool: Pool Time Arrives in SoCal]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 19:57:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/shutterstockpool29382323.jpg

If you overhear someone discussing '96, they very likely could be reminiscing about choker necklaces, and "Jerry Maguire," and babydoll dresses, and the Rachel haircut, and other popular trends from two decades back.

But if people are discussing 96, as in degrees, as in Fahrenheit, you can almost bet their next statement will involve locating the nearest swimming pool, or some other frostier spot that will keep overheating at bay.

Summer is arriving in Southern California over the last weekend of spring 2016, and how. And while temps will indeed hit the upper 90s, and beyond, on Father's Day, you yourself can keep it cooler at spots close by, or a few hours away. Make for...

A POOL: There are dozens of local swimming holes -- 38 seasonal, and 16 that go all year -- to choose from, and all are overseen by The City of Los Angeles, Recreation and Parks Department, Aquatics Division. Plan on a small fee to get in -- $3.50 for adults, a buck for youths under age 17 (and seniors, too) -- and take a dip. Find your splashy outing in Wilmington, Van Nuys, Reseda, Pacific Palisades... Check out all the options here.

A RINK: Are there ice cubes in your freezer? Holding one to your forehead can bring a needed chill on a roasty afternoon, but so can seeking out a lot of ice, the sort of ice that is blade-ready and made for winter-style skating. You can rent skates and glide at Iceland in Van Nuys or Pickwick in Burbank, even in June. And, yes, even on a 100-degree day, a knit cap at the rink, or even mittens, is perfectly acceptable fashion. Just be sure to remove both before heading back outside into the blast o' sunshine.

A MOUNTAIN: Okay, truth time. When it is warmish down in the lower elevations, even mountain visitors have to rock the shorts. But you're guaranteed to go down in degrees, at least a bit, by heading up, up, up. Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead have, well, cooling lakes (spoiler alert), and Palm Springs has its famous tram, which whisks riders up to an alpine setting nearly 6,000 feet above the valley. As for Mammoth Mountain? They're still skiing at the Sierra spot, through the Fourth of July.

Yep, there's snow, just five hours from Southern California, so ponder that refreshing image as you dab another bead of sweat from your nape.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Father's Day Tradition: Pasadena Chalk Festival]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 13:22:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/paschalkfest16.jpg

Colorful chalk is a bit of a wonder. It's an easy-to-find art material that may be ably used by both kids and adults, and it isn't expensive, at least when compared with some tonier paints.

And of timely importance? Chalk doesn't melt.

That's a positive, seeing as how the annual Pasadena Chalk Festival, which is a Father's Day Weekend tradition 'round the Crown City, will unfurl during what is, without quibble, the hottest weekend thus far of 2016.

But the amazing artworks, the ones that use cement as canvases? Those will stay intact even if the thermometer flirts with three-digit territory. And even hotter than what the mercury might say: The Pasadena Chalk Festival is free.

Free, and a weekend-long affair, too, one that spreads out over a sizable chunk of Paseo Colorado. And while you could easily fill a morning gazing downward at the Impressionist-inspired, abstract-nifty, 3D-neato creations, there are lots of to-dos sprinkling the scene.

Like? There's a Kids Chalkland, where tots may make cars for their pops. Animation Alley salutes cartoon-y creations, and a Police Car Show on Sunday, June 19 summons the auto buffs.

Do note, as you make your way there, that the artists will be at work throughout the weekend, and pictures will be more fully fleshed out by Sunday afternoon (as compared to Saturday morning).

Don't let that deter you from visiting on the first day, however. Watching how an artist outlines her project, and starts to shape her vision, can be quite compelling.

Some umbrellas will be set up, surely, for artists to work beneath, and nearby restaurants and shops have shade, too, should you need it. Best pack your sun hat, though, and some sunblock, and your love for ephemeral, chalk-cool art that appears in a day or two and then disappears again nearly as fast. 

It's definitely an event from the "Seize the Day" files, which are fine files to visit as often as one can.



Photo Credit: Pasadena Chalk Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 18:09:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/rodeoconcours2016.jpg

A concours has a rather stylish way of summoning some of the sleekest automobiles in the area, and then presenting them in the same way that a row of masterful paintings are displaying along a museum wall.

The setting also enhances the car-admiring experience, and there are few Southern California settings that rock the general cachet of Rodeo Drive.

But the Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance cachet to spare beyond even that: It's called "the largest single-day concours in North America," and that single day is always Father's Day.

And has been for nearly the last quarter century, since the event's founding. The shiny cars will roll into The Golden Triangle once again on Sunday, June 19, but they won't only be shiny. They'll be fast, thanks to the 2016 theme of "The Fast Lane."

The tip-top autos, known for their polish and performance, will include names like McLaren, Bugatti, and Ferrari. 

The price to walk among these world-renowned "supercars"? Nothing at all. As is tradition, the Father's Day celebration is free to attend. (Daydreaming about owning one of the expertly engineered vehicles is also free, but owning one might take a bit of saving.)

Dozens of these dream machines are expected, so many so that visitors can expect to stroll the lengths of three Rodeo Drive blocks: 200, 300, and 400.

If you can't get your fill of "The Fast Lane," there's another event vrooming over Father's Day Weekend, and while it isn't free, it does involve a live viewing party of the action at Le Mans. That's revving at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Saturday, June 17, which is just about a 15-minute drive east of Beverly Hills along Wilshire Boulevard.

The Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance is on from 10 to 4 on June 19. 



Photo Credit: Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance]]>
<![CDATA[Plant-Based Bites: Vegan Beer & Food Fest]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 08:40:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/vegan15glassesfest.jpg

If tacos are your delight, and empanadas your jam, and you could really go for a Sloppy Joe right about now, you know that seeking out those timeless tastes, sans the whole beef element, can be something of a fruitless search.

Fruitful searches, however, warm the cockles of many a meat-eschewing eater, especially when that eater lands at a large-scale gourmand gathering that is full of fruit, and of vegetables, and healthy grains, and dozens of dishes that incorporate a caboodle of nutmeats.

In fact, nutmeats'll be the only meats at the Vegan Beer & Food Festival, a big, many-vendor'd extravaganza which will spread its plant-based bites around the Rose Bowl on Saturday, June 18.

How many vendors are set to show? Over 70, including Mama's Tamales, Plant Food for People, Donuttery, Garden Grill, Charlie's Brownies, and Rabbit Hole.

Where does the "Beer" part of the name come in? There are loads of libations to try from the likes of Wolf Creek Brewing, Babe's Brew, and Honest Abe Cider. You'll receive a four-ounce tasting glass with your ticket, so keep that in a nearby hip holder or shoulder strap for handy retrieval. (Surely you have some sort of fanny pack constructed for just these sort of events? Surely.)

The Vegan Beer & Food Festival is a 21-and-over to-do, do note, but also note that kombucha and posh sodas (on draft) are there for the alcohol-eschewing drinkers in the crowd.

Live tunes, and vendors selling goods that aren't eatable/drinkable, are also party of the daytime happening. 

A general admission ticket? It's fifty bucks. Saying the word "nutmeats" in place of "nuts"? Not done nearly enough these days.



Photo Credit: Vegan Beer & Food Festival]]>
<![CDATA[OC Fair Reveals 2016 Fried Treats]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 18:48:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/fried2016ocfair.jpg

Awaiting the listing of deep-fried edibles headed for at a county fair is not dissimilar to anticipating the rumor-fueled roster of a major music festival or the slate of summer blockbusters.

For all anticipatory events have their serious, scholarly fans, fans who will change up schedules and reroute trips just to be in front of the stage, or the movie screen, or the food booth, to savor the moment they've been dreaming about.

Fans of the Orange County Fair, and its fried offerings, best now take a seat, because the Costa Mesa spectacular has announced the fryer-sizzly edibles that will be front-and-centered during the 2016 to-do.

How fried are these treats? Tucking a napkin into your shirt as you read on isn't a wholly bad ideal.

The Bacon Nutella Pickle is pretty self-explanatory, name-wise, but you may want to know how those particular foodstuffs come together and where to find them. The place? Pickle O' Pete's. The concoction? The dill pickle is filled with the sweet hazelnut spread before it is looped in bacon and submerged in funnel cake batter.

After that? The bubbling fryer awaits, then, after a cooldown, your tummy.

Biggy's has the Pork Belly Bacon Dog, which involves two feet — we'll type that again, two feet — of bacon. The meatstuff entwines the pork belly before it meets corn dog batter and, you guessed it, the fryer.

Bacon will also wrap French Toast Bacon Bombs at Bacon A-Fair. Bits of French toast get a cream cheese filling before a outer bacon coating. There's some deep-frying, and then these bites are "rolled in cinnamon sugar."

There are other items beyond the famous deep-fried dishes of the fair, like the Diablito Sundae at Fruit Caboose (Tamarindo and chili chamoy sauce give it kick) and a classic Dole Whip at Crutchee's Ice Cream.

But deep-fried concoctions remain the dare-you-to-try-it headliners of the July 15-Aug. 14 fair. 

Who wants a Chicken Waffle on a Stick? A Deep-Fried Pizza Log? Kool-Aid Hot Wings? Rev up your chowdown anticipation for all that is offbeat and batter-bacon-y, deep-fried fans.



Photo Credit: OC Fair]]>
<![CDATA[INFOGRAPHIC: Doting on Dad, Father’s Day 2016]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 12:33:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-93909607-edited.jpg

Millions of Americans will take some time out of their day Sunday to celebrate Father's Day, spending a projected $14.3 billion in the process. Here are some more fun facts about the gifts U.S. dads can look forward to this year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Happy Father's Day]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 12:06:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/FathersDay.jpg

Happy Father's Day: Sunday, June 19 is going to be a majorly sunny one, which makes heading outdoors pretty tempting. Even more tempting? Two of our area's big Father's Day events are on, and they're both free to attend. The Rodeo Drive Concours D'Elegance is on Sunday, June 19 — "The Fast Lane" is the theme — and the sprawling Pasadena Chalk Festival is on both weekend days. Angel City Brewery is throwing a Dad's Day Food Truck Festival (kids under 14 are welcome with a parent before 8 p.m.) while the Fillmore & Western will serve a Father's Day lunch on the rails. Sure to be popular overall? The beaches (see "majorly sunny" from earlier).

LA Beer Week 2016: The craftiest, foamiest, behind-the-scenes-iest brewery-themed bash of the year makes its annual debut on Saturday, June 18, just in time for Father's Day. But you and your pops don't need to attend the June 18 kickoff to taste interesting ales and ciders; the party will run through Sunday, June 26 at taverns and brewhouses around Southern California.

Vegan Beer & Food Festival: You love a plate that brims with plant-based vittles, and you like something sudsy on the side to wash it all down? Best make for the Rose Bowl on Saturday, June 18 to nosh on goodies from Donut Friend, Sage, and The Herbivorous Butcher. Lost Abbey and Smog City are two of the many brewers that'll be keeping warm revelers chilled-down, libation-wise.

Sunstock: If you're a solar-powered festival, with themes built around care for the earth and harnessing sunbeamly energy for power, then you probably want to land near the summer solstice. That's just what this big Autry-close happening is doing, with dash and style. Cults, Wavves, and Kaki King are some of the artists set to play the Saturday, June 18 concert.

Music on the Meadows: A day spent listening to tunes, and picnicking, at Terranea Resort? It's a yearly thing right about now, and it always attracts some most excellent artists. Colin Hay of Men at Work is the headliner, and there shall be beer and wine for purchase, should you want to enjoy a glass of something chilled while enjoying all of that Pacific Ocean adjacentness. Date? Father's Day Eve, or Saturday, June 18 if you prefer.



Photo Credit: Father's Day]]>
<![CDATA[Buena Park's Skip the Selfie Contest]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 09:28:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-187928720.jpg

Photography is a vibrant art form that's forever in flux. The sepia-sweet daguerrotypes of yesteryear eventually gave way to Polaroid technology, after a few twists and turns along the way.

But there's a #truefact about the moment we currently occupy at this typing: If there's a contest involving photography at popular attractions, some of the entries will include the photographer in the foreground, in some sort of stylized self-snapped picture.

That's called a "selfie" — that term will probably take off one of these days — and the city of Buena Park is calling for a brief moratorium on the au courant trend. Cheekily so, we'll add, but one that comes with real prizes for going the non-selfie route.

The deal with the Anti-Selfie Instagram Contest? Take a photo, or multiple photos, at a designated Buena Park location, post it on the photo-sharing service through Monday, Aug. 15 with the hashtag #VisitBuenaPark, and find yourself in the running for "several prizes including a $500 Visa Gift Card."

Be sure to make Buena Park your location, too, when you post.

Locations include some of the B.P. biggies: Knott's Berry Farm, Knott's Soak City, Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, Medieval Times, and the Ralph B. Clark Park and Interpretative Center are all on the list, as well as other attractions and eateries around the town.

Selfies are indeed verboten, but people in the picture are not. In fact, there should be at least one person in your snapshot, so round up your Pirate's Adventure-loving pals and invite them to put on their best "arrrr" face.

Of course, selfies will still reign after the contest wraps, thanks to the ease of reaching for the camera in your pocket. Soon, however, some new photo trend will capture our fancy, as hard as that is to believe at this selfie-laden moment.

What will the shorthand nickname for a virtual reality photograph be? A virtie?



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Complimentary Treats at Last Call]]> Wed, 15 Jun 2016 15:11:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Westbound_Brownies.jpg

Restaurants and bars are forever seeking out winsome ways to charm and serve a sometimes fickle, treat-craving public.

Offbeat specials might pop up every month, or deep discounts at happy hour, or a jukebox featuring local artists, or a behind-the-bar toteboard full of regulars' photos and their favorite dishes or drinks.

But the fact is this: Free food is always a fine way into people's affections, especially if that free food is dessert, and more specifically a brownie, which few people, if any, can find the power to resist.

And certainly not at last call, when a mellow mood reigns and eyelids are droopy and customers are yawny and taxis are on the way. Westbound in downtown Los Angeles is going the free brownies route nowadays, a moist-chewy move that is charming its usual customoers and new fans alike. 

The meringue-topped brownie bites, which are delivered on the warm side, aren't merely a midnight snack, but, rather, a post-midnight snack. The time they emerge from the back of the house? It's 1 a.m., which might be the most comfort-food-iest hour of the night, as that's frequently when revelers are closing up their carousing for the evening and looking for a nosh.

If you know Westbound, you know that it isn't just train-lovely in name-only; it is located in a La Grande Station, which hails from 1893. And, yes, you're right, railroad mavens: Santa Fe Railroad did use the train station lo these many decades ago.

Did early 20th-century travelers dine upon chocolate confections while awaiting the night's final train? Westbound is honoring the long-standing tradition of snacking in a train station as the hour grows late.

This is, by the by, something of a tasty trend. Both Rec Room in Chicago and the Rec Room in Aspen do gratis last-call goodies these days, and Employees Only in New York ladles chicken soup out to the guests who've hung around through 3:45 in the morning.



Photo Credit: Westbound]]>
<![CDATA[24 Hours of Le Mans: Petersen Viewing Party]]> Wed, 15 Jun 2016 11:42:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lemansGettyImages-476761204.jpg

There are long-running sportscar events, and world-famous sportscar events, and sportscar showdowns that are all about some serious, push-it-to-the-max endurance.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans ably wins the top spot in every category mentioned, and probably a few others, too. Founded in 1923, the race involves a full day of driving -- the "24 Hours" is in the name for a reason -- with each competing car being helmed by a trio of drivers (oui, turns are taken at the wheel).

A mid-June tradition in Le Mans, France, the endurance race shall put le pedal to le metal again on Saturday, June 18, with a finish exactly a day later on Sunday, June 19 (3 p.m. is the local start time).

If you can't jet off to the continent, but you'd still like to see a slice of the streak-by action, you can do so at the Petersen Automotive Museum, which is throwing a Michelin 24 Hours viewing party, complete with an open bar and complimentary bites.

Space, like the space to compete in the fabled race, is limited, so make your reservations as fast as it takes a primo machine to do a lap. (Which is incredibly fast.)

Don't be daunted by the notion that you'll be at the car museum for a full 24-hour span: The party is on from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery. The time means you'll be watching the nighttime driving portion of the race, or at least part of it. 

It can be heart-racing stuff, especially since the cars regularly push past 200 mph.

A ticket? It's a bit less than getting to Le Mans at $25 for a non-member.

Cheering on the drivers among other sportscar buffs? There's a definite verve to it, and that verve is only upped by the presence of dream machines that fill the Miracle Mile location.

It's almost as if you're at the racetrack, in spirit, with so many shiny vehicles close by. But no plane ride home is required.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Colossal Craft Confab: LA Beer Week 2016]]> Wed, 15 Jun 2016 17:40:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/labeerweek15glasses.jpg

Southern California's craft beer scene could be easily compared to a glass of a really robust, multi-dimensional IPA. There's a lot going on in that glass, flavor- and tone-wise, and each hearty pull reveals complexity, depth, and the brewer's creative spirit.

But you don't need to be as hoity-toity as all that, if you simply want to say that our fancy foam makers are doing an excellent job these nowadays, turning out stand-out, award-garnering brews. LA Beer Week recognizes those makers and their beloved libations while giving the fans a lot to chew on over several days of special events.

Those several days fall from Saturday, June 18 through Sunday, June 26, meaning if you and your pop want to attend the kick-off as a Father's Day Weekend outing, well, that can happen (of course, if you and your pop are over 21).

The LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival happens on June 18 at LA Center Studios, and "over 75 craft breweries are expected." While you sip you can enjoy tunes, noshes, and other craft brew-enhancing convivialities, like a keepsake glass.

You don't need to attend the big party, though, if more intimate hangs are your bag. Well, "intimate" might be a stretch, but you can find your beer-oriented activity on the extensive calendar. There's a Run+Yoga+Beer event at Angel City Brewery on June 19, a Battle of the Bands at Eagle Rock Brewery on June 21, and a Belgian beer night at Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie on June 22.

Crazy about discussing coriander notes, hints of citrus, bready chewiness, and the right way to journey through a flight of lighter beers? This is your week to talk about all of that with others who share your passion, and to raise a hops-y glass of something cold while you do so.



Photo Credit: LA Beer Week]]>
<![CDATA[After the Jacaranda: Agapanthus Time]]> Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:25:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/agapanthusflower+-+Copy.jpg

Roses get a lot of deserved attention as a famous Southern California flower — we do, after all, host a certain parade each New Year's Day 'round about Pasadena — while several other flowering plants, from bougainvilleas to the Bird-of-Paradise, deservedly bask in local love.

But only one bloom scores high on the stop-and-gape scale when May Grey and June Gloom rolls into town: the purple buds of the jacaranda tree.

That too-short show has pretty much bid its annual adieu for 2016. And while many jacaranda-obsessed Southern Californians are feeling blue (or perhaps purple) at their favorite flowering tree ending its yearly show, there is another regional favorite be-purpling yards across the region.

It's the agapanthus, which technically comes in both white and purple, and several shades of both. Some might claim its flowers aren't quite as spectacular as the jacaranda, which can shower its pretty purpleness onto passers-by, but others would disagree.

The agapanthus is, after all, the most fireworks-y of flowers, in shape and spirit.

The season for these floral fireworks, however, is soon to wain, though they're still nicely blooming at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. 

And, of course, in yards across the region. Lavishly so.

The long-stemmed perennials are not solely a Southern California sight, as they hail from Southern Africa and thrives in many spots, from Mexico to Australia. Like the jacaranda, the agapanthus is an international jet-setter that has put down lasting roots in LA as well as other points around the globe.

Three questions remain, however...

1) Is the agapanthus more magnificent in its full blooms-in-every-direction form? Or right before it bursts, when all of the tiny flowers are tightly coiled and easy to see through a thin skin?

2) Could the color of an agapanthus be said to be more of a blue-purple, or even a sky blue? It might be an eye of the beholder thing, while simultaneously saving the purple flower crown for the jacaranda tree.

And 3): In the pantheon of SoCal springtime purple flowers, will the wisteria vine, which is first out of the gate each year, even before jacarandas and agapanthuses, get its purply due? 

The short and the long (stem) of it is this: Southern California is home to many hue-packed petals come April, May, and June. 



Photo Credit: Agapanthus]]>
<![CDATA[Spiked Lemonade Tasting in Culver City]]> Tue, 14 Jun 2016 13:50:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lemonade-generic.jpg

Summertime arrives with a number of marquee events, from the big Fourth of July fireworks shows to concert festivals that last an entire weekend, plus a day.

Bringing up the quieter end of the season's convivial doing is the Third Wednesday concept. It's been embraced by many towns, and interpreted in several ways, but it comes down to this: On the third Wednesday evening of a warm-weather month, something special will happen, like a dance or a wine walk or free movie screening.

For Downtown Culver City, that "something special" will take on a few different prisms over the summer of 2016. And on Wednesday, June 15 the Third Wednesday's vibe will be very, very tart, indeed.

The theme is Spiked Lemonade Tasting, and a number of spots around the downtown hub will offer citrusy samples that arrive with a little adults-only vim 'n vigor.

If you're not into that particular vim 'n vigor — if you prefer your lemonade to arrive sans alcohol — there shall be samples for you, too.

There's a Third Wednesday Passport to pick up at a participating business, and, once it is filled it out, you may turn it in at the Kirk Douglas Theatre for a chance to enter a raffle.

It's an evening thing, with a 5 p.m. start time and an ender around 9, but if you can't make it there are a couple of more flavorful Third Wednesdays to come around Downtown Culver City: A Summer Tini happening on July 20, and a Spiked Punch stroll-around on Aug. 17.

Admission to one and all? Free, free, and free.

And it is 100% true that the Third Wednesday concept frequently stretches throughout the year, especially in places with milder temperatures. It's nice, overall, if you think of the Third Wednesday in the way that people anticipate Friday each week.

Something nice is going to happen on that night, a night that returns every 30 or so days. Third Wednesday really is to a month but Friday is to a week.



Photo Credit: Lemonade]]>
<![CDATA[Sunstock Solar-Powered Music Festival]]> Tue, 14 Jun 2016 11:52:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cultsGettyImages-186009737.jpg

The longest day of the year is nearly here, and revelers will greet it in a number of festive ways, from the mondo Santa Barbara festival (which unfurls the weekend after the solstice) to various wake-up-with-the-sun ceremonies.

But one of the most unusual and intriguing of solstice-adjacent festivities shall rise at The Autry Museum of the American West on Saturday, June 18.

You won't need to rise with the first rays of the day — the party doesn't rev up before the warm hour of 4 p.m. — but you will want to ponder what a music festival fully powered by the sun looks like.

Because that's where Sunstock Solar Festival is coming from. It's a music party, with a series of singers and bands rocking the Autry-close stage for nine hours, but a party that is "100% Solar Powered." It's a billing that finds support in the festival's partners, partners that include the Sierra Club and Grid Alternatives.

Further embracing the big-of-mind giveback-a-tude of the day is this: All proceeds from the festival will go toward procuring "new rooftop solar panels for Kids Cancer Connection." As in, 100%.

The artists taking the stage and sending out the beams of charitable spirit and spirited song? Kaki King, Cults, and Wavves are just a trio of the top-notch acts on the bill. Off the stage look for art installations, food trucks, a bar, and more. 

The show is all ages, do note. Also note that while parking is gratis, there's a bike valet, if you want to further fold into the eco-sweet theme of the festival.

A ticket is twenty bucks.

It's true that Sunstock will technically occur in spring, but in springtime's very final hours. You'll still have time to wake with the sun on the longest day of the year, June 20, and observe the solstice, even if you push it into the wee small hours at the June 18 show.

So grab an afternoon nap on June 19, perhaps outdoors on a blanket, while basking in a few beams, beams that will soon translate into solar power for a Kids Cancer Connection, thanks to the fundraising fest.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Late Night': Look at the Orlando Shooting]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 23:51:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_myr_hlt_s3e122_382_closerlook_20160610_1200x675_705061443828.jpg Host Seth Meyers processes the Orlando shooting over the weekend. He looks at the tremendous amount of support that came out of the violence. Meyers turns to consider the ease with which the shooting suspect bought the weapons used to kill 49 people in an Orlando night club.]]> <![CDATA[History Future: Highland Park Time Capsule]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 22:32:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/HighlandTheatre111.jpg

Type "2041" in an email or on social media and your readers may assume that you actually meant the year before last, and not the one that's a long twenty five years down the road.

But when the history-loving locals of Highland Park say 2041 nowadays, they're indeed discussing a not-so-far-in-the-future time. They're really referencing that future day when the world will be fully digitized, cars will glow, and the contents of the 2016 Highland Park Time Capsule will be revealed.

Okay, we're not sure on the digitized, glowing cars front, but the time capsule is a definite go, thanks to Councilman Jose Huizar and the Historic Highland Neighborhood Council. 

On Saturday, June 25 Highland Park residents are invited to stop by the Highland Park Senior Center to submit "flyers, photographs, publications, posters and digital media" that are meaningful or "significant." The Eastsider has some lively suggestions on that front.

Locals are already deciding what they'd like to contribute. Alessandro Gentile, the co-founder of the Highland Park Film Festival, reveals that a Highland Theatre historical documentary will be a part of the capsule.

"(A) brief, printed narrative explaining the significance of the item" should be included, says the capsule's online HQ, and there are some important requests regarding the format of the future artifact (no flash drives, please).

The community-sweet capsule is a reminder that the act of compiling items for future review and reflection isn't something that happened long ago, nor are capsules merely curiosities currently sitting underground and in vaults, awaiting some surprise debut.

They're still forming, and coming together. And people in Highland Park are hoping that people in 25 years will be inspired, charmed, intrigued, and educated by the Highland Park of today.

Those future people won't be strangers, of course; surely many contributors will be there to see it opened, and revisit what the item they donated, and marvel at how fast time does truly fly.



Photo Credit: Highland Theatre]]>
<![CDATA[Bloomsday: A Free Lit Lark at the Hammer]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 12:45:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bloomsdayhammer16.jpg

There are as many book-oriented bashes around Southern California as there are pages in a particularly plump novel, and each has its own distinctive character and set of must-dos.

One general theme of our local literary gatherings is "lots of books, lots of authors, lots of panels," which, all in all, is a fabulous, full-bodied theme. You get a wide taste of tones, and tomes, by strolling the booths and lining up for the writer Q&As and surveying the out-sized scene.

Then, every so often, on the rarest of occasions, you have a party like Bloomsday, which comes back around every June 16. It's a literary happening, and all about the written word, and it unfolds at a major venue, too: the Hammer Museum.

But here's the twist: Bloomsday is only about one book — "Ulysses" — and its author, James Joyce. It's a super-concentrated bibliophile love-in, with the heat of a thousand suns pointed at a singular, and seminal, work.

Or the foam of a hundred Guinnesses, perhaps. Guinness is the drink of choice during the Thursday, June 16 party, which will include "dramatic readings" from "Ulysses" in the Westwood museum's Billy Wilder Theatre and music straight from the fair shores of Jame Joyce's homeland, Ireland.

Rattle the Knee is stirring up the spirited sounds, if you so want to lift your heels a bit. And a commissioned piece from Patrick Gutman will summon the soul of the 1922 novel, a work so unorthodox and genre-defying that the whole of literature just up and changed forever, without a glance backward.

While this annual cèilidh is free, parking below will cost a few bucks, as will your Guinness. Being moved by words that are just about a century-old, however, requires no brandishing of the wallet or showing of the cash.



Photo Credit: Hammer Museum]]>
<![CDATA[Annenberg Pool: $1 Mondays Opens]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 06:36:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/William_Short_Photography_Santa_Monica_Annenberg_Beach_House_246.jpg

While the Annenberg Community Beach House pool may occasionally open during the springtime, should warm temperatures arise, the schedule at the Santa Monica landmark grows pretty consistent come the beginning of June.

And one of the weekly happenings you can now count on through the summer, save a couple of holiday dates? Monday swims for a buck.

Best to get those exceptions out of the way first: July 4 is a Monday, as is Labor Day (as always), and $1 Splash Mondays will not apply to either.

But as of Monday, June 13 — the start date — you only need to pack four quarters, or ten dimes, to dip into the outdoor pool, which sits mere steps from the sand. And the sand, of course, sits mere steps from the Pacific Ocean, should you decide to take a saltier dip after your time in the historic home's beloved swimming hole.

Note: The Pacific Ocean observes pay-nothing Mondays, now and forever, as well as pay-nothing other days of the week, too.

There's also no first-come dealie with the Big Water, but there is at the pool, as a pool is finite. (Well, the Pacific is finite, too, though we'd surmise that everyone on the planet could do some laps and still have plenty of room to spare.)

Rules and such? They're good to know. Upcoming doings beyond $1 Splash Monday? Sunset Swims, classes, and the Cardboard Yacht Regatta all dot the summer schedule, like the dots of sunblock one makes along one's arm.

That was a stretch, comparison-wise, but we included it to remind you to pack your sun protection. June Gloom may still be murkying up our skies, but you just know that ol' sun will peek through sooner than later.



Photo Credit: William Short Photography]]>
<![CDATA[The Santa Ana Street Breakfast]]> Sat, 11 Jun 2016 07:41:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/santaanastreetbreakfast.jpg

Venerable community traditions are often saddled with heavy words, words like "hallowed" and "time-honored" and "vital" and "lofty," which are all fine and good but remarkably limited.

And, truth be told, a bit stodgy.

Because sometimes traditions can be "fun" and "light" and "syrupy" and "butter-scented," especially when they revolve around the first meal of the day.

Look to Santa Ana, and the Santa Ana Breakfast Club, an up-with-the-dawn civic group that began many decades ago. The club first formed in 1928, and the Santa Ana Breakfasteers kept the meal-oriented meet-ups going for years beyond, with sepia-sweet photos and newpaper articles telling the tale of a town that kept in touch over plates of egg, toast, and similar.

Now breakfast is back in the streets of Downtown Santa Ana, at least for one day: Sunday, June 12. Locals will pay homage to the memory of that long-ago club with a feast of chilaquiles, pancakes, coffee, and juice, eats which may be enjoyed while dining at the tables lining La Calle Cuarto, a major thoroughfare of downtown.

The City of Santa Ana and the downtown business district are the organizers of the 4th Street-based celebration, while area chefs will be at the grills, whipping up a fortifying alfresco treat.

Tickets? They're five dollars a pop. Full tables for your party? They're a hundred bucks each and can seat eight people. Going on at the same time? The Downtown Santa Ana Farmers' Market, Frida's Cinema's Sunday Matinee (look for vintage cartoons to keep the kids in stitches), and live tunes, as well as activities for the younger attendees.

It's a reminder that sweeter doings of long ago don't have to just exist within scrapbooks of the local history society.

Once and awhile a tradition as light-hearted as a street breakfast can be revisited, with charm and chilaquiles, giving neighbors a chance to catch up, hobnob, or just picnic outside on a pretty June morning.



Photo Credit: Santa Ana History Room]]>
<![CDATA[Art Installation: Huge Downtown Rabbits]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 16:48:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/intrudeGettyImages-519280332.jpg

If you've ever approached a rabbit, perhaps to place some vegetables in his vicinity before quietly departing, you know that the long-eared jumper can be off in a flash.

The same holds true for the rabbits currently visiting downtown Los Angeles, though we know when they'll leap out of town: After a short staying ending on Saturday, June 11.

But they aren't the wee nose-twitching forest denizens you might expect; these rabbits are behemoth inflatables, and they glow, too, come nightfall.

The over-sized hares, which are located at three spots during their LA sojourn, are all part of "Intrude," an art installation by Amanda Parer, an Australian artist who created the installation to call attention to the damage often done by a species that arrives late to a particular landscape. 

"Rabbits first traveled to Australia on the ships of the First Fleet and were brought ashore in cages in January 1788 at Sydney Cove -- the site of my proposed installation 'Intrude,'" the artist writes on the project's Pozible page.

The fact that the artist's inflatable rabbits are plush-seeming, like illustrations straight from a childrens book, draws further stark parallels to the environmental issues their Australian introduction created.

Art that's cute from a distance, but with an urgent message, and a title that says much? "Intrude" encapsulates all of these things.

Where can you view the rabbits? Make for Bank of America Plaza, Wells Fargo Center, and Figat7th, through June 11.

Where else have they been? New York and Houston were their first two stops on their American tour, and Denver is next. A swing into Portugal follows, with a visit to Memphis, Tennessee early in 2017.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rare Car to Visit Petersen Museum]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 10:29:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/centenariopetersen.jpg

Flashy, kitted-out dream machines powering around the streets of Southern California? It isn't an unusual sight whatsoever.

Add those day-to-day sightings to the annual LA Auto Show, and the upcoming Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance on Father's Day, and you have a city that frequently hosts fantasy automobiles of all sorts, styles, and price points.

Another Wilshire Boulevard-close auto event will roll just about a week ahead of the free Concours, and it has one buzzed-about, bells-and-whistle-laden star: a Lamborghini Centenario.

An ultra-shiny symbol created to celebrate the centennial of Ferruccio Lamborghini's birth, the Centenario was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this spring. And leading the many Centenario-related headlines that surrounded its first bow? This: The company will only make 40 of them.

As in, three dozen plus four. That's it. Half'll be roadsters, the other 20 coupés, and all are expected to be on the roads of the world by the close of 2016. Vintage cars can be rarer, but a modern release of only 40 cars under one designation is, of course, quite unusual. 

The price for that rarity? The car's window tag can hold a lot of zeroes: It's a pinch under $2,000,000.

This exclusive ride is readying for its official North American debut at the Petersen Automotive Museum, at Wilshire and Fairfax. The day? Saturday, June 11. The party? There's a Lamborghini Cruise-In, with dozens of tony vehicles set to show for the early morning gathering.

If you want a Centenario, here's the hard fact: They're sold out. But you can see a model, right here in LA, as a host of flashy Lamborghinis come to a stop atop the garage at the Petersen Automotive Museum.



Photo Credit: Petersen Automotive Museum]]>
<![CDATA[LA Pride: Concerts + Parade Info]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 13:31:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lapride1GettyImages-450302244+%281%29.jpg

So say you've had an ongoing celebration for 46 years, one that happens each and every June, a party that is full of festive spirit but also the unity of community, a deep sense of inclusiveness, and historical importance.

Add to that a parade which a few hundred thousand people attend -- about 400,000 or so -- and you've got a gigantic gathering that needs, well, one very helpful grid. 

LA Pride Music Festival & Parade can help you out on the grid front. The mega festivity, which is billed as the "world's first gay pride parade," knows that visiting the three-day, all-over-West-Hollywood party can be a bit daunting, at least when it comes to choosing what you'll do and when what you want to do is happening.

Choices, choices.

So there's the concert grid, which gives times on the Delta Airlines Main Stage, the Nissan Latin Music Stage, and the Hip Hop Stage (all located around West Hollywood Park). Want to see Trina? Make for the Hip Hop Stage on Sunday night. Or Charli XCX? You'll want to be at the main stage on Saturday night 'round about 10:30.

But even if you push it late, late, late into Saturday night, you'll want to be up and on Santa Monica Boulevard between Crescent Heights Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard for the Sunday morning parade. There's an 11 a.m. start time -- not too early, Saturday night party people -- and the aforementioned 400,000 people are expected (so a timely arrival can only help you find your perfect slice of curb).

Jewel Thais-Williams, of LA's groundbreaking Jewel's Catch One night club, is the 2016 grand marshal. 

Floats, bands, groups of friends, and more merry participants will make the annual strut. 

Tickets to the concerts, a pride-tastic Spotify playlist, and other things that are good to know as thousands of people make for West Hollywood? Queue up here for more on one of the most venerable and vital LGBT festivals in all the world.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Father's Day Gifts That Keep on Giving]]> Sat, 18 Jun 2016 10:56:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nicelynoted-fathersday-final.jpg There are more subscription services that bring meals and products right to your door than ever before. Here are a few gift ideas that keep on giving long after Father's Day.]]> <![CDATA[Mickey Retro: Collecting Disney Auction]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 07:03:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/collectingdisneyvaneaton12345.jpg

The drive from Van Eaton Galleries, at 13613 Ventura Boulevard, to Disneyland, which is located at 1313 Disneyland Drive in Anaheim, should ideally take a pinch under an hour (if traffic doesn't do its predictable stop-and-go thing).

But you can immerse yourself in the nostalgia of one of the most famous character-packed universes on the planet by wandering the many Mickey-fied items going up for auction on Saturday, June 18.

Nope, you don't need to bid on any of the Collecting Disney treasures to swing by the galleries and see the goods, and, no, Mickey Mouse isn't the only character present on the hankies and dolls and wristwatches and tea sets and, yes, pocket knives.

These wall-to-Walt artifacts date from decades back, right around the company's "Silly Symphonies" era, give or take a few years. And they all come with cachet for the serious Disney collector, as well as historic importance for anyone who simply wants a peek at their childhood past, or the early days of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pinocchio, and the Three Little Pigs.

So how does one spy these sweet tokens of days gone by? No wishing upon a star is required: The galleries are closed on Monday, but you can swing by Tuesday through Sunday, through June 17, to peruse some of the items from the catalog. 

Or you can page through the catalog online, stopping to look more closely at the Donald Duck Bisque Toothbrush Holder and a Pin the Tail on Mickey game.

While many media companies create household goods, games, and toys for their characters, The Walt Disney Company famously did so in a time when fashioning lines of dolls after animals in animated shorts wasn't done, or widely done, at least. 

Even in animation's relative infancy, Walt Disney and his brother Roy had visions for Mickey's life off the screen and in homes around the world.

These artifacts are a memory-filled testament to that brand-building era, one that proved to be, for the company's long-reaching fortunes, both major and Minnie.



Photo Credit: Van Eaton Galleries]]>
<![CDATA[Muhammad Ali: A Paley Center Tribute]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 07:01:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-232894-muhammad-ali.jpg

Remembering a legend can be personal and solitude-filled for a fan, or it can take on a more public dimension, one that involves coming together with other people who want to recall the life of someone who made a lasting and meaningful impact on society.

And those inspired by Muhammad Ali have been taking both journeys since his passing on Friday, June 3. Many online articles, and broadcast retrospectives, have celebrated at the man who transformed the sport of boxing and the world beyond the ring. 

As his loved ones, friends, and supporters gather in Kentucky to pay their respects, a museum in Beverly Hills will be readying two weekends of television specials looking back at major moments from the life of Muhammad Ali. 

"Muhammad Ali the Greatest, Captured by TV" will unfold on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 at The Paley Center for Media, and again the following weekend (June 18 and 19).

The free screenings include "four rare programs from the Paley Archive that exemplify Ali's wide-ranging contribution to sports and culture," reveals the museum

A documentary looking back at the fighter's face-off with Joe Frazier, a conversation with William F. Buckley, a celebration in honor of Muhammad Ali's 50th birthday, and an ESPN documentary about his amazing life are all on the schedule.

Start time each day? Be at The Paley at 12:05 p.m.

It's a moving way to join other fans in remembering the life of a figure who impacted so many lives for the better, and an excellent way to see his strength and spirit portrayed on the big screen of The Paley Center. 



Photo Credit: Gray Mortimore/ALLSPORT via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Celebrate LA Pride]]> Thu, 09 Jun 2016 14:38:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pridewesthollywoodGettyImages-450302900+%281%29.jpg

Happy 46th, LA Pride!: One of the nation's largest gatherings — "the world's first gay pride parade" — is set to spotlight LGBT community, family, history, and good times at several locations around West Hollywood. The concerts? Look for Carly Rae Jepsen, Charli XCX, and Hailee Steinfeld, among other artists, to be on the big stages. The famous and festive parade? That's on Sunday, June 12 along Santa Monica Boulevard, but the revelry revs up on Friday, June 10.

For a list of street closures, click here.

Make Music Pasadena: It's called the biggest free music festival on this coast, and that's no exaggeration: Some 50,000 people are expected in Pasadena on Saturday, June 11. Where will they be headed? To 30+ stages, from intimate to Colorado Boulevard, to hear The Mowgli's, The Dead Ships, James Supercave, and a caboodle of other rock/indie/alt acts turn it up. Hours? 11 to 11. Parking/getting there? Metro is a solid bet, or arrive early.

Looff Hippodrome Centennial: The carousel at Santa Monica Pier is a beloved landmark, as is the striking structure that houses it. History buffs and pier enthusiasts will gather to ride the ponies, tour the rarely seen upstairs apartments, and love upon the Looff, one of the coast's most notable buildings. One bonus? Old-fashioned Brass Ring Potato Chip Sundaes'll be for sale at the Sunday, June 12 jamboree, mmm. 

Tacos 'n Doughnuts: They're two of the incredible eatables that Southern California is rightly, brag-worthily known for, and they're getting two festivals on the very same day, courtesy of LA Weekly and Time Out LA. The Time Out Donut Party layers on the frosting at Avalon in Hollywood on Saturday, June 11 while Tacolandia indulges in another squeeze of lime at El Pueblo on the very same date. Two delectable icons, one day, two parts of town, too easy, so do both.

Los Angeles River Ride: You've crossed it hundreds of times, by car, by bus, and on foot. But have you ever shined the spokes, buckled your helmet, and toodle along its beautiful, and growing ever more so, banks? This annual fundraiser for LA County Bicycle Coalition includes rides of varying lengths, if you simply want a short roll. Longer rolls? There's a 100-miler at the June 12 event, if you're up for it, river-enamored cyclists. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Garage Theater: New Play Boasts Realistic Backdrop]]> Thu, 09 Jun 2016 14:01:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ICOE-OCT11--195.jpg

Southern California has seen a number of dramatic vignettes and dances and full-scale plays take place at locations that cannot be, in any manner, described as traditional curtains-and-lights stages.

Wicked Lit, the autumn-time celebration of macabre stories, lurks about the Mountain View Mausoleum & Cemetery in Altadena each fall, while dancers from the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre have shimmied through laundromats, empty hospitals, and, very recently, a carwash.

Chalk Reperatory Theatre takes a similarly offbeat, though ultimately realistic tack when choosing the setting of a performance. If the setting is, say, a garage, the company doesn't just dress up a stage with boxes and bikes; they go to an existing garage to tell the tale.

That's what they're doing this June and July for "In Case of Emergency" by Theatre co-founder Ruth McKee. The site-specific play follows Meredith who is "preparing for the 'Big One'" while other urgent life matters further tangle her heart.

The play, which began in a Montrose garage over the first weekend in June, moves to an Atwater carport on June 10, 11, and 12. Pasadena will follow in late June and early July.

And, yes, the "garage door of an actual private home becomes a curtain," if you're longing for some of the traditional touchstones of a theatrical experiences.

But nothing is traditional beyond that, in terms of a lobby, or ushers, or a string quartet playing an overture, or the usual hallmarks of a night spent watching a play.

You're in the actual setting, IRL, if you prefer, and few places are as "in real life"-y as a garage, one of the most clutter-filled and humble hearts of a home.

It's an achingly realistic spot, in some ways, to play out the dramas of life, for many viewers will likely relate, having dealt with their own life questions while cleaning up, or passing through, their own garages.



Photo Credit: Jim Carmody]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Summer Concerts at The Grove]]> Wed, 08 Jun 2016 14:09:58 -0700 Erica Camille.)]]> Erica Camille.)]]> http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/plainwhitetsecamille.jpg

If you've ever rushed by the grassy area at the heart of The Grove, the one that's steps away from the dancing fountain, and you've seen a kid doing arms-out twirls, you've likely pondered how you'd like a bit more of that grassy, fountainy, fun times spirit in your own life.

And then you continued on your errand, leaving the grass and fun times behind. But the outdoor shopping center encourages we adult errand-runners to pause each summer and capture a bit of that no-worries-no-hurries magic via its free Wednesday concert series.

The close-to-the-fountains shows launch on Wednesday, July 6 with a show from the Plain White T's. July 20 is Smash Mouth — now you most certainly have "All Star" in your head — and Cher Lloyd rounds out the July jamboree-ing on July 27.

As for Wednesday, July 13? That wasn't left off the calendar, but the guest(s) who shows is, for now, a surprise. You'll just have to arrive early, and do some fountain-adjacent grass twirls, while you wait to see who the mystery artist might be.

It's the sixth consecutive annual outing for the pay-nothing series, a series presented by Citi. LA Magazine is the media partner on the mid-summer party nights, nights that just happen to fall on Wednesdays.

And let's be honest: If ever a day of the week needed a better rep on the "have a good time front," it is probably Wednesday, even more than Monday, which still has the benefit of sitting cheek-by-jowl with the weekend.

Six years is a solid amount of time for a free summertime tradition, but consider this: The Grove is closing in on its 15th anniversary. 

Meaning that the first kids to do grass twirls near the dancing fountain are now returning for the Wednesday night concerts as full-fledged grown-ups. But should grass twirls at The Grove ever be just a kid thing?

Spend enough time at the famous shopping destination and you're bound to see a few adults giving the twirl a try.



Photo Credit: Erica Camille for NBC]]>
<![CDATA['Outlander' Costumes: Paley Center Exhibit]]> Wed, 08 Jun 2016 08:46:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/episode202outlandercostume.jpg

Lots of people make travel plans around the beginning of June, right when summer is still stretching ahead in its lazy-days-y, lusciously long way.

But here's a pro tip from a current hit series on television: If you're planning to time travel, say, instead of spending a weekend at the beach, it is best to do so in incredibly ornate, down-to-the-detail style.

"Outlander" is the show we reference for that tip, a series that takes place in both 1940s Scotland as well as the Scotland and France of the middle of the 18th century. And its clothes, and accessories, and set pieces? They're some of the most sumptuous on television, with elaborate corsets, breeches, and wigs pitching in to paint the larger, richer picture.

That picture will be on full, fashion-forward — er, backwards — view at The Paley Center for Media this summer when "The Artistry of Outlander" goes on multi-month display.

The exhibit, which is rife with frocks and interesting items from the Starz and Sony Pictures Television series, opens on Wednesday, June 8.

How big is the display? It will spread out on not just one but two floors of the Beverly Hills television museum. Not quite as big as a moor, but still impressive.

How free is it to see the display? As free as the wind rippling through some Scottish heather. No admission is required.

Is it open every day of the week? Well, no. Time travel may frequently allow a person to land at whatever minute on whatever day they desire, but "The Artistry of Outlander" is on view Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5 o'clock.

If you're a fan, you likely already know who to applaud when it comes to much of the show's textured look, but here's a ribbon- and pearl-bedecked shout-out to costume designer Terry Dresbach and production designer Jon Gary Steele.

Those are vital roles in bringing the world of the past into eye-popping, minutia-marvelous reality, and both artists rise to the occasion on "Outlander."

There are multimedia parts to the exhibit, and interactive areas, too, as well as some large-scale photographs.

True, some "Outlander" costumes did make a stop at The Grove in 2015, but it was only the briefest of sojourns. "The Artistry of Outlander" is open through Aug. 14, 2016, giving the public over two months of luxe lookie-loo-ing.

Which means that even if you're super-overscheduled with your own travels through time at the moment, you can probably still find a day to visit.

That is, if you haven't already, even before it makes its official debut. Such is one of the benefits of time travel. Time travelers can sneak peeks at future costume exhibits before the opening day has arrived.



Photo Credit: © 2016 Starz Entertainment, LLC]]>
<![CDATA[World Ocean Day in Long Beach]]> Tue, 07 Jun 2016 19:55:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/vanishinganimalsaotp.jpg

Crack open any book about the ocean and you're bound to come across the word "teeming," as in "the ocean is teeming with life."

True story, with little embellishment or exaggeration: The planet's vast drink does teem. The ocean holds an extraordinary breadth of bio-based diversity, from those beautiful behemoths, the blue whales, down to organisms undetectable to the eye.

But while it teems, land dwellers are called, with urgency, to work on its behalf. World Ocean Day reminds us of our responsibilities of keeping the largest part of our planet — the watery part — vital and in fine feather, and thus serving its denizens well, too, from whales to zooplankton.

The Aquarium of the Pacific will spend Wednesday, June 8 marking World Ocean Day in a host of ways, from "(s)hows in the Ocean Science Center" highlighting the "sea level rise, sustainable aquaculture, and ocean health" to a vaquita-themed program.

The vaquita, a small marine mammal, embodies the word "endangered": Some 60 are left. That's 60 on earth, and the Long Beach aquarium has spent recent years sounding the call on behalf of the five dozen remaining porpoises, a call that comes with the somber reality that the vaquita's extinction may be a half decade away. 

"Vanishing Animals," in fact, is an exhibit that just debuted at the institution in May, so spend some time getting to know those aqua-dwelling creatures that are facing a critical moment in terms of not just numbers, but existence. "(S)alamanders, juvenile American alligators, corals" are part of the display, a display that presses for the urgent need for conservation and serious stewardship from we humans.



Photo Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific]]>