<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:32:54 -0700 Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:32:54 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Savory Fave: National Fried Chicken Day]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:17:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/friedchicken.jpg

When we think of a foodstuff with a ton of breadth, we very often picture those versatile dishes that can easily assume a bunch of additions, from chili to baked potatoes to milkshakes and, yes, even guacamole (though never, ever with peas, please).

We need another category for food versatility, though, and it involves Eats That Are Consumed Lots of Different Ways. Okay, that's a mouthful -- pun intended? -- but look to fried chicken, that savory summertime classic which can show up inside hamburger buns, or deep-fried chicken sausages, or alongside waffles, or in nugget or wing form, while never really losing or changing its crispy-crunch character.

July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day, and the timing is terrific. We're still in Fourth of July mode, and we want our comestibles to have some history, some nostalgia, and some national flair. Fried chicken more than qualifies here, and there are many ways to enjoy it around Southern California. 

Tuck in your red-and-white-checkered napkin and head for...

Honey's Kettle: The only issue about approaching this superstar SoCal take on fried chicken is not eating about five Honey's Kettle biscuits ahead of digging into the chicken part of the meal. Because the biscuits, right? The biscuits. The chicken is a more than worthy companion, tender and traditional, and folding some meat into a biscuit is the perfect lunch bite.

Holy Cow BBQ: The Fried Chicken Sando has an interesting cameo -- smoked ham -- plus some truly posh attendants, from a brioche bun to honey-ale mustard to Vermont cheddar to bread & butter pickles. And is buttermilk involved in the batter? That's the way we all want it so, yes, it 100% is. Go Culver City or Santa Monica for the grasp-it-eat-it goodness.

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles: Truly the serious standard in the fried chicken field, Roscoe's has been the go-to place for a great plate of crispy chicken -- and that oh-so-perfect syrup-and-butter-drenched waffle -- for decades. Is this where you drive every newcomer to, just after they arrive at LAX? If they adore fried chicken it should be. But do you take the gravy and onions with it, too? Yum.

Willie Jane: The fried chicken is organic, the collards are hearty and made heartier by traditional ham hock, and garden peppers of the pickled variety lend bite and that piquant top note that provides a nice complement to the fried end of things. Go Venice and have that craving well met.



Photo Credit: Fried Chicken]]>
<![CDATA[Shark Week Snackage: Playa Treats]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:18:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/195*120/playasharkweek.jpg

Thanks to the proliferation of nature shows and travel-oriented cable channels, many of us now know, in colorful detail, what sharks like to eat, how they eat, where they eat, and how all of those famous teeth play an impressive role in the shark's digestive process.

But what do we eat when it comes to our shark-focused education?

Sure, you could vote "popcorn" and that wouldn't be entirely incorrect; "Jaws" is still, by far, the best known/beloved/watched shark-obsessed movie of all time, a blockbuster that plays on numerous big screens come early July. (A given, as it is set over the Fourth of July weekend.)

Noshing while we watch various Shark Week programs, though, is up for debate. The popular run of educational fare just kicked off on Discovery and with it, a pair of pretty approachable, not-too-scary desserts at Playa Provisions.

Which, let us note, is a very short walk from the beach, should you want to eat your "shark food" while Pacific-adjacent.

The Playa dey Rey eatery is offering both a Shark Sundae -- bet you've never put those two words together before -- and a red velvet cupcake that comes topped with the ocean's powerful, big-finned superstars.

The sundae is "sea foam mint ice cream" plus gummy sharks and candy shark teeth, if you're curious what makes a cold confection sharky. Pastry chef Kristin Feuer created both, and, in a stroke of knowing one's audience, will make sure they're both on the menu throughout July (and not just for the duration of Shark Week).

If we were to add "kids'll love 'em!" here we'd only be half-correct; we all know a few shark-obsessed grown-ups who happen to have a sweet tooth, too.

And if you're visiting such a grown-up to watch documentaries about the gill-laden, prehistoric-looking wonder of the deep, showing up with a few shark-topped cupcakes may earn you a high fin.

Er, a high five, though "high fin" must be what sharks give each other when the camera are off.



Photo Credit: Playa Provisions]]>
<![CDATA[Eateries Offer Comic-Comic Eats, Sips]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:23:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Comic-Con-Eats-1.jpg

San Diego Comic-Con International 2015 (SDCC) will take over the streets of downtown next week and some restaurants will offer snacks and sips inspired by the colorful pop culture convention.

For starters, Puesto at The Headquarters at Seaport in downtown San Diego will roll out its “El Héroe” Taco, a surf and turf treat on a handmade tortilla layered with Puesto’s signature crispy melted cheese, fresh lobster, filet mignon and topped with avocado, crispy onions and chipotle superhero salsa.

Puesto will also have "El Mezcalito" on the menu as the specialty taco’s “sidekick,” a margarita with a twist featuring tamarindo, mezcal and fresh lime leaves from Puesto's patio. The taco is $7 while the drink is $10.

Meanwhile, The Blind Burro on J Street in downtown’s East Village has also come up with a special Comic-Con menu for next week.

Cocktails include the “Pop Bam Slam Mule” ($12), a tequila mule topped with blackberry liqueur and an exploding Pop Rocks garnish, and the “Kingslayer Sangria” ($12), a combo of red wine, orange liqueur, blackberry brandy, succulent juices and fresh apples, served in a goblet for all of the “Game of Thrones” fans.

As a nod to the campy “Sharknado” TV flicks, the Blind Burro will also offer “Shark Tacos” ($15): olive oil poached mako shark, queso panela, pickled cabbage, cilantro and roasted peach-chipotle salsa.

Over at Saltbox on 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter, the “Johnny Drama” cocktail for “Entourage” fans will mix Johnny Walker Black, Benedictine, Demerara, lime, egg white, bitters and mint.

“Game of Thrones” fans will be reminded of the shocking, drama-filled finale with the “For the Watch” drink, a combination of Bols Genever, basil, lemon, and grapefruit bitters over “snow ice” for Jon Snow. Saltbox will offer its Comic-Con menu from July 9-12.

Meanwhile, Jsix on J Street will offer a variety of sips inspired by big screen and comic favorites, both past and present. This includes the “Darth Monkey,” which boasts Monkey Shoulder, Lustau East India Sherry, Carpano Antica Vermouth and Carpano Dry.

There’s also the “Thyme Lord” with Mt. Gay Black Barrel Rum, fresh pineapple juice, fresh orange juice, cream of coconut and a Demerara float on top. “The Punisher” is a shot of Green Chartreuse with an Angostura float.

Now, these are just a few of the food and drink specials in downtown San Diego during Comic-Con. The area is packed with restaurants and bars, so a quick stroll will yield tons of Comic-Con themed options after long day at the San Diego Convention Center. Look for bright signs and Happy Hour specials, and a place to hang up your cape and mask.

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<![CDATA[How to Enjoy Comic-Con Without a Badge]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 20:25:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/6PR_PKG_COMIC_CON_ANNOU_KNSD6R3V_1200x675_475525187802.jpg

If you don’t have a badge for Comic-Con, don’t worry.

On Wednesday, San Diego’s largest and most celebrated convention celebrating pop culture, comic books and entertainment comes to town and the annual festivities will begin.

Fangirls and fanboys looking left without a badge can still come enjoy the fun from outside the convention center.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Xbox lounge in the Seaport Ballroom in the Grand Manchester Hyatt will be filled with nearly 100 gaming station. Gamers can get their hands on unreleased titles for nearly the entire day, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

Get ready to pull out your geekier side for the second annual Her Universe “Geek Couture” Fashion Show, where finalists’ designs will walk the runway in front of an esteemed panel of judges at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Harbor Ballroom. The audience and judges will vote to pick a first and second place winner that will go on to develop a collection to be sold at Hot Topic. The show will take place Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Put on your running shoes for "Assassin’s Creed" Experience, a life-size obstacle course built from the upcoming video game "Assassin’s Creed Syndicate". Give the course a run-through or play the game or perform the Leap of Faith for no charge, Thursday through Sunday starting at 10 a.m. and heading into the late afternoon. 

Step into new worlds and new spheres in the FX Fearless Arena from Thursday to Sunday at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Lawn. Live through "American Horror Story", escape vampires in "The Strain"’s virtual reality mission, put on your winter coat for "Fargo"’s blizzard. On Thursday, the area will be there from noon to 6 p.m. On Friday and Saturday it will go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

From nightly screenings to live-streaming events, this year’s Adult Swim on the Green is back at Comic-Con. Step into the Carnival Midway and The Meatwad Full Dome Experience, feast of daily live-streaming events, nightly screenings and more. The area will be behind the Convention Center from 9:30 a.m. onward all four days. 

Jump into the worlds of some of your favorite pop-culture phenomenon events around the city. NBC’s "Heroes Reborn" and "Blindspot" will be on Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Square, Fox Television’s "Scream Queens" will be spread throughout downtown and the "Game of Thrones" Experience the Realm will be across the Omni Hotel. Gamers can head over to the Marriott Marquis & Marina for the Nintendo Video Game Lounge.

Last, but not least, "Conan" bingo - a game and party rolled into one, organizers promise - will take place Wednesday and Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. at an undisclosed location as well as Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. There is a waitlist for the event you can join. 

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<![CDATA[Auctioned: Marilyn Monroe's Grave Marker]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 09:56:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/186*120/marilyngravemarkerjuliens.jpg

Grave markers have held a meaningful place in countless human hearts over many centuries. Not only do they pay tribute to a life and individual through name, design, and various details, but they often give those who visit the grave site an important physical touchstone.

A fingertip can trace a raised name, and paper and pencil are often brandished to create a moving memento.

Marilyn Monroe's grave marker is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable of all markers found anywhere. The movie star's crypt at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery regularly draws lifelong fans, the curious, and those who still count the legend as a personal icon.

And now, someone owns Marilyn Monroe's grave marker, after bidding the top amount at a Beverly Hills auction.

That auction took place on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27 at Julien's Auctions, and, no, the marker that currently denotes Ms. Monroe's final resting place is still in Westwood, where it has remained in regal fashion for decades. Rather, the bronze casting that went on the auction block was a former marker, made by Gasser-Olds, a bronze foundry located in Vernon.

On the marker: Marilyn Monroe stands out, in raised letters, and below? The dates denoting her life: 1926-1962.

A Julien's posting reveals that this marker "was removed in the 1970s and replaced with a new grave marker." Where did the older marker go? To a Gasser-Olds employee. 

As for that final bid that brought the grave marker to the top bidder? It was $209,000.

Paying one's respects to Ms. Monroe, a star among stars in the ultimate Hollywood pantheon, is still done every day by visiting fans, who frequently leave lipstick-heavy kisses on the white marble that fronts the performer's grave site.

To see other items of Ms. Monroe's that were auctioned, including a famous flowery dress seen in "Something's Gotta Give," click.



Photo Credit: Julien's Auctions]]>
<![CDATA[Peas in Guacamole? Obama Weighs in on Twitter Debate ]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:15:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/guacamole-GettyImages-456804252.gif

President Barack Obama has a message for The New York Times: please don't pass the peas.

Into the guacamole, at least. 

The president joined the online masses piling on the newspaper on Wednesday afternoon following a much-retweeted story suggesting "adding fresh English peas" to the popular avocado dip.

The tweet sparked cries of culinary foul from users, gaining hundreds of retweets in the process. The Times' public editor even suggested that the backlash could rival the "Minnesota Grape Salad outcry" that hit after the paper listed the obscure recipe as a state favorite. 

When asked about the suggestion during an #ASKPotus Twitter chat Wednesday, the president suggested he'll stick to a more traditional recipe. 

First lady Michelle Obama, a vocal advocate of incorporating more green veggies into daily diets, has yet to weigh in. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[10 Things Deadheads Should Know Before Chicago Shows]]> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:39:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/0626-2015-GratefulDead.jpg

If you’re planning to say “fare thee well” to the Grateful Dead at Soldier Field this weekend, there are some things you should know.

The band’s 50th anniversary performance, set to be members' “last-ever performance together,” kicks off Friday as thousands of fans make their way to Chicago during the July 4 holiday weekend.

The “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” performance will see Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir reunite at Soldier Field, nearly 20 years to the day of the full band’s final performance, which took place at the venue roughly one month before Jerry Garcia’s death in August 1995. The band will also be joined by Phish's Trey Anastasio on guitar, Jeff Chimenti on keyboard and Bruce Hornsby on piano.

The event has made Chicago one of the top destinations for the holiday weekend, so fans will likely need to plan ahead.

Here are some things Deadheads should know before the highly-anticipated event:

1. Tailgating

Tailgating will be allowed in the parking lots of Soldier Field during the weekend, even for fans who don’t have tickets to the fest. The special event parking lots open at 3 p.m. and the North Parking Garage opens at 6 a.m. Tailgating will end once the shows begin at 7 p.m. and there will be no tailgating allowed after the shows.

2. Transportation

The CTA announced Wednesday that it would provide extra buses to routes that serve Soldier field throughout the weekend. The no. 130 and no. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express buses will have extra service running until one hour after the concerts end. Fans can also travel to Soldier Field via Red, Orange and Green line trains. The Roosevelt station is located at Roosevelt and State streets, a few blocks west of the stadium.

Metra will also offer extra service on several lines over the weekend.

CTA buses, cabs and Uber rides can pick up riders on Columbus between Roosevelt and Balbo. A drop-off location will be set at the 18th Street turnaround just west off the 18th Street exit from Lake Shore Drive.

For more on how to get around Chicago during the holiday weekend, click here.

3. Tickets

Most tickets are commemorative tickets but a select amount of Ticketmaster tickets are not. Fans are encouraged to be very suspect of counterfeit tickets.

Those getting tickets at Will Call can pick them up across from Gate 10 on the Southeast corner. You will need a valid proof of purchase to enter the enclosed festival grounds.

Tickets are still available on third-party sites like Stubhub. Last month, ticket prices were reportedly dropping.

A three-day pass on StubHub, once priced as high as $116,000, could be purchased for less than $500. Single day passes were as low as $195. The lowest priced tickets won't give fans a full view of the show, and all of the cheaper seats are located behind the stage, however.

Click here for more.  

4. Parking

Special Event Parking lots open at 3 p.m. and parking will be first-come, first-served. The North Parking Garage opens at 6 a.m.
Shuttles will also from the Millennium and Grant Park garages from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Parking rates are $49 for cars and $121 for RVs.

Lots close one hour after the show. No overnight parking will be allowed.

5. General Admission

Those with field-level general-admission tickets can begin lining up at 7 a.m. in the Stadium Green outside the southeast corner of the stadium.

6. Soldier Field Security

All concert-goers will undergo electronic wand screening and have all approved bags checked. Soldier Field will not allow backpacks bigger than 12x12x12, glow sticks, food, selfie sticks, strollers, camelbacks or companion pets. For a complete list of prohibited items click here.

7. The Stadium

The festival area opens at 10 a.m. at Soldier Field. Only ticketed fans will be allowed on the grounds surrounding Soldier Field.

Fans can enter the stadium in three spots -- one on the North side along McFetridge Drive, and two entry points on the South. Sidewalk areas from parking lots are the designated entry points to the festival grounds.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

8. Refunds

Partial refunds are available for those who ordered tickets via the band’s mail-order system.

More than 500,000 tickets were requested via mail order. Due to the overwhelming number of these requests, the promoters changed the seating plans to accommodate more guests. As a result, some fans were moved to seats with a lower ticket value than what they paid.

Fans who wanted a full refund needed to submit the request by June 22. But those who still want to go to the concert can receive partial refunds to make up for the difference in ticket prices. Those fans need to mail in a request by July 20.

Click here for more details. 

9. Streaming

There are several options for streaming the performances at home. A YouTube stream and webcast are available for purchase each night and the shows will also be streamed live on Pay-Per-View and satellite radio. Click here for more detail on ways to stream.

10. Other GD Events, Places to Watch in Chicago

For a complete list of Grateful Dead celebrations in the city offering a live stream of the shows, click here
 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Tick Tock: 24-Hour Movie Returns to LACMA]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:42:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ChristianMarclayTheClock2010.jpg

If you've ever had to flip back through your checkbook to find out how much you spent at that one store last week, or you've gone through the junk drawer to find a piece of mail, you've muttered something along the lines of "needle in a haystack."

But artist Christian Marclay took the ultimate needle-in-a-haystack-y challenge when he spent around three years combing through hundreds upon hundreds of films from every era while searching for a single thing: A clock showing the time.

He compiled all of those times in "The Clock," a clip-saturated movie that is, in total, thousands of clock cameos, all showing the exact time, to the minute, that the audience member is experiencing.

So if you're wondering if it must be a 24-hour film, wonder no longer: It is a movie that lasts an entire day.

But then you likely know that: When the premiered-in-2010 "time" piece has appeared in Los Angeles in the past, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, queues out the door have been notable, especially in the afternoon hours.

Those viewers who stay overnight to catch 2:13 a.m. on an on-screen clock or 3:39 are fewer but no less mesmerized by the quirky concept.

"The Clock" is back at LACMA, for a two-month run, from July 5 through Sept. 7. Here's a twist: It'll show only when the museum is open, not the full 24 hours, except for two special screenings on Saturday, July 25 and Saturday, Aug. 8.

Those two daylong showings are free to the public while the movie-during-museum-hours presentation will require general admission.

You could, of course, go on several days and, depending upon the hour you arrive, see a different movie. And while people some hook into the concept right away, and feel satisfied after spotting a few accurate times (glancing down at their own watch to confirm), other viewers stay for hours, waiting to see just one more clock, just one more.

In a world of lightening-fast exchanges and oh-so-brief character counts, "The Clock" is something fresh. Is its length and clock obsessions comments on modern time usage, and how zippity we've made it, what with our texting and our tweeting and such?

Feel free to discuss the layers with friends as you all take a break from your 24-hour marathon viewing.



Photo Credit: Christian Marclay]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Happy Fourth of July]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:53:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Fireworks-New.jpg

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS: Wherever you are in Southern California, you're very likely to be within seeing distance of some mondo fireworks spectaculars (the Rose Bowl, Marina del Rey, and Exposition Park have some of the biggies). Or you could skip the pyrotechnics and make for a barbecue-and-beer bash, an old-fashioned Fourth of July barn dance, or some in-the-holiday-theme films (yep, "Jaws" is screening in a few spots). Happy Fourth of July, SoCalers!

ANIME EXPO: Comic-Con International may be revving up in San Diego for next week's cosmically big party, but manga mavens and comic aficionados and spirited sorts who crave creative expression through elaborate costuming will be in downtown Los Angeles over the Fourth of July weekend. Game-centered gatherings, voice-acting presentations, special guest ceremonies, and so many opportunities to show off your glam get-up await at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 2 through 5.

250,000+ LEGOS: What do a quarter of a million LEGO bricks look like when they're all stacked together in neat rows and towers? Well, they can look like the Queen Mary, if that's what the builders were going for. And four pro builders were when they constructed a stunning and sizable replica of the forever-in-Long-Beach ocean-liner. The public can get its first peek of the permanent display on Saturday, July 4 when the LEGO-meets-boat wonder opens.

HUMPBACK WHALES 3D: Summer and the ocean are an age-old pairing, but to get your next delightful dose of whale goodness you won't need to head out onto the Pacific by boat. A new film makes a Friday, July 3 debut at the California Science Center, at the IMAX, so plan on seeing many 50-foot-long humpbacks in full mega expansiveness. But how's your humpback song impression? Perhaps you can work on that during the car ride home.

24-HOUR MOVIE: When "The Clock" tick-tocked into the Los Angeles County Museum of Art a few years ago, impressive lines formed. People were eager to see artist Christian Marclay's 24-hour-long movie, which is full of clocks. Those timepieces all show the exact time that it happens to be in the audience's world, making it all meta and strange and rather wonderful. The offbeat experience is back for a longer run, starting on July 5. 



Photo Credit: Fireworks]]>
<![CDATA[Anime Expo: Creative Cosplay Downtown]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:09:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/204*120/aicosuyorkinabox.jpg

It's always fascinating to see what new words are added to official dictionaries each year, the "selfies" and the "unfriends" and the "tweets" and the "hashtags" and other terms that weren't in common parlance even a few years before.

"Cosplay" is one such word. Even a few years ago the idea of "costume play" at a pop culture convention -- or elsewhere -- was not known to the wider world, but it most definitely is nowadays. And Anime Expo, the huge-scale manga-, anime-, film/TV- and game-focused gathering that lands at the Los Angeles Convention Center each July, is very much behind the expansion of the fan-embodies-art-form concept.

Which means this: Aficionados of Japanese comics and iconic fictional characters and games galore (both tabletop and on-screen) will be out in imaginative costumed force from Thursday, July 2 through Sunday, July 5.

So impressive are the glam-meets-genre get-ups that one can forget that fans, and not movie costume designers, are behind the sewing and design. But fandom has raised various bars, and convention goers work for months on what they'll wear.

And while cosplay is one of the cool-to-see centerpieces of the 24th annual Anime Expo, the character-filled to-dos crowd the schedule. Look for an arcade and tabletop gaming and karaoke and fashion shows and DJ-helmed dance happenings and a manga lounge and vendors and big-name sightings and everything pop-culture-y that can fit into four full days.

Plus? The celebrities of cosplay shall make a showing, with appearances by Aicosu, a couple that cosplays niftily and in theme together, and the elegantly outfitted WindoftheStars. Even Kiba the Cosplay Corgi shall make a much-coo'd-over cameo.

Will many Anime Expo attendees do Comic-Con International the following weekend? You bet. Costuming, and rocking those costumes in a public way, is now an integral part of experiencing the fantasy of a fictional tale in our workaday world. Fans are leading the way on this front, and fewer stages are bigger, or more lively, than Anime Expo.



Photo Credit: York in a Box]]>
<![CDATA[Free 4th of July Fireworks Shows in Southern CA]]> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 09:21:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/4th+fireworks.jpg

With the Fourth of July around the corner, these are some of the free fireworks shows taking place in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties. While all of these events are free, some events may charge a nominal fee for parking.

If you know of a free fireworks show not listed, contact us.

Los Angeles County

Agoura Hills

Summer Concerts in the Park
When: July 5, Fireworks will follow concert
Where: Chumash Park
5550 Medea Valley Dr.
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Alhambra

Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza at Almansor Park
When: July 4, 2 p.m.- 10 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Almansor Park
700 S. Almansor St.
Alhambra, CA 91801

Baldwin Park

Baldwin Park's 4th of July Spectacular
When: July 4, 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fireworks start around 9 p.m.
Where: Sierra Vista High School
3600 Frazier Ave.
Baldwin Park, CA 91706

Diamond Bar

4th of July Blast
When: July 4, 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Diamond Bar High School
21400 Pathfinder Road
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

La Mirada

La Mirada Independence Day Celebration
When: July 3, 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Where: La Mirada Community Regional Park
13701 S. Adelfa Ave.
La Mirada, CA 90638

Los Angeles

Grand Park 4th of July Block Party
When: July 4, 3 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Grand Park
200 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

4th of July Community Festival Fireworks Show
When: July 4, 12:00 p.m.- 10 p.m., Fireworks start at dusk
Where: Exposition Park
700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, 90037
Christmas Tree Lane- South Lawn

Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey 4th of July Fireworks Show
When: July 4, 9 p.m.
Where: Event coordinators recommend viewing from:
Burton Chase Park
13650 Mindanao Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Fisherman’s Village
13755 Fiji Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Norwalk

Independence Day Pageant
When: July 3, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Civic Center Lawn
12700 Norwalk Boulevard
Norwalk, CA 90650

Pico Rivera

City of Pico Rivera Fireworks Spectacular

When: July 3, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Where: El Rancho High School
Don Memorial Stadium
6501 Passons Blvd.
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Porter Ranch

17th Annual Fourth of July Celebration
When: July 4, 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Shepherd Church
19700 Rinaldi St.
Porter Ranch, CA 91326-4100

San Pedro

65th Annual John Olguin July 4th Spectacular
When: July 4, Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Cabrillo Beach
3720 Stephen M White Drive
San Pedro, CA 90731

Santa Clarita

City of Santa Clarita Fourth of July Fireworks Show
When: July 4, 9:15 p.m.
Where: Westfield Valencia Town Center
24201 West Valencia Blvd.
Valencia, CA 91355

Westlake Village

4th of July Fireworks Show
When: July 4, 6 p.m., Fireworks will start at 9:10 p.m.
Where: Westlake Golf Course Driving Range
4812 Lakeview Canyon Road
Westlake Village, CA 91361

Woodland Hills

July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza
When: July 4, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Lou Bredlow Pavilion in Warner Park
5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Orange County

Anaheim Hills

Anaheim Hills 4th of July Celebration
When: July 4, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Canyon High School
220 S. Imperial Highway
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807

Peralta Canyon Park
115 N. Pinney Drive
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807

Dana Point

Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza
When: July 4, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Doheny State Beach
23500 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629

Fullerton

4th of July Festival and Fireworks Show
When: July 4, 5 p.m.- 9:30 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Fullerton High School Stadium
201 E. Chapman Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Huntington Beach

2015 Huntington Beach 4th of July Festival
When: July 3, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., July 4, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m., July 5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Huntington Beach Pier
325 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Note: Fireworks can be viewed from the beach for free, but tickets to view the show from the pier seating are available for $10 here.

Los Alamitos

4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
When: July 4, 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base
11200 Lexington Drive
Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Mission Viejo

Fourth of July Street Faire & Fireworks Spectacular
When: July 4, 12 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Olympiad Road between Marguerite Parkway and Melinda Road
Mission Viejo, CA

San Clemente

San Clemente Fireworks Show
When: July 4, 9 p.m.
Where: San Clemente Pier
611 Avenida Victoria
San Clemente, CA 92672

San Juan Capistrano

4th of July Celebration & Fireworks Display
When: July 4, 3 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Where: San Juan Sports Park
25925 Camino Del Avion
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-4302
http://www.sanjuancapistrano.org/index.aspx?page=1477

Santa Ana

4th of July Celebration
When: July 4, 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Centennial Park
3000 W. Edinger Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92704

Tustin

City of Tustin’s July 4th Celebration
When: 5 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Tustin High School Football Stadium
1171 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780

Yorba Linda

City of Yorba Linda 4th of July Spectacular
When: July 4, 5 p.m.-9:30p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Between Yorba Linda Middle School and Veterans Park
Yorba Linda Middle School
4756 Casa Loma Ave.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Veterans Park
4756 Valley View Ave.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Ventura County

Simi Valley

Simi Valley 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza
When: July 4, 2 p.m.-10 p.m.
Where: Rancho Santa Susana Community Park
5005 East Los Angeles Avenue
Simi Valley, CA 93063

Oxnard

Annual 4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
When: July 4, 9 p.m.
Where: Marine Emporium Landing
3600 S. Harbor Blvd.
Oxnard, CA 93035

Riverside County

Beaumont

4th of July Pyro Spectacular
When: July 4, 4 p.m., Fireworks will start at 9 p.m.
Where: Stewart Park
653 East 9th Street
Beaumont, CA 92223

Corona

Santana Park Festival & Fireworks Show
When: July 4, 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Fireworks will start at 9 p.m.
Where: Santana Park
598 Santana Way
Corona, CA 92881

Palm Desert

City of Palm Desert Independence Day Celebration
When: July 4, 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Where: Palm Desert Civic Center Park
73600 Fred Waring Dr.
Palm Desert, CA 92260-2524

Palm Springs

4th of July Fireworks & Power Baseball Game
When: July 4, 6 p.m.- 10 p.m., Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m.
Where: Palm Springs Baseball Stadium
1901 E. Baristo Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Temecula

4th of July Fireworks Show and Family Fun in the Park
When: July 4, 2 p.m.-10 p.m., Fireworks will start at 9 p.m.
Where: Ronald Reagan Sports Park
30875 Rancho Vista Road
Temecula, CA 92592

San Bernardino County

Big Bear Lake

July 4th Fireworks Spectacular
When: July 4, 8:45 p.m.
Where: Various locations, Fireworks will be shot over Big Bear Lake

Highland

Highland Community 4th of July Fireworks Celebration
When: July 4, 5 p.m.-11 p.m., Fireworks will start at 9 p.m.
Where: Immanuel Baptist Church
28355 Base Line
Highland, CA 92346

Lake Arrowhead

4th of July
When: July 4, Around 9 p.m., after concert ends at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Various locations, Fireworks will be shot over Lake Arrowhead
Tickets are also being sold for reserved seating in Lollipop Park and Woody’s Beach

Ontario

Fireworks Spectacular Show
When: July 4, 5 p.m., Fireworks will start at 9 p.m.
Where: Westwind Park
2455 E Riverside Dr.
Ontario, CA 91761

Yucaipa

4th of July Celebration
When: July 4, 9:15 p.m.
Where: Yucaipa High School
33000 Yucaipa Blvd.
Yucaipa, CA 92399

]]>
<![CDATA[Infamous Dessert: Cherpumple Meets Fourth of July]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:42:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/193*120/cherblublecp.jpg

It matters not if the Thanksgiving celebration you attend boasts elaborate decorations or a huge chrysanthemum centerpiece or the best mashed potatoes or the liveliest company: If you walk in with a homemade Cherpumple, you and your monster-mash dessert will be the talk of the party.

The Cherpumple, a made-in-LA meal-ender created by retro-tastic entertainer Charles Phoenix, is a sweet that's reached far beyond Southern California's borders, and with fine reason. It is a towering wonder, a symphony of flavors, three different pies baked inside three different cakes.

Now Mr. Phoenix has gone patriotic in the kitchen, and any Fourth of July revelers looking for an extra splashy dessert to haul to the neighborhood barbecue will benefit. Meet the Cherbluble, a colorful cousin to the Cherpumple, a treat that basically takes the zany principles of the original dessert and adds some red, white, and blue flair.

And while pumpkin pie is a staple of the Cherpumple, a colder weather dessert, you won't find it here; rather look for cherry, apple, and blueberry, a fairly faithful rendering of red, white, and blue, if you count the whiter insides of the apples.

Get it? Cher=cherry, blub=blueberry, le=apple. Cherbluble! Say it three times fast.

Some white cake and red and blue food coloring make the non-pie parts of the oversized sweet stand out, visually. Pop Rocks in blue and red are also recommended to round out the vibe of the dessert, if you want to walk that route.

And, really, once you've said yes to making the Cherbluble, you're gonna go there.

Mr. Phoenix advises that this cake-pie creation possesses superpowers and will attempt to rule any cook that takes it on. Best embolden yourself for the task by reading his warm warnings.

And best get reading for the oohs and aahs and what in the heck is that's? that you'll hear upon entering the backyard barbecue on the Fourth of July. Sure, you could show with a tub of ice cream it took you 90 seconds to buy, or you could astound people with a weird and tasty tribute to our country's birthday.

Yes, astound. The Cherbluble, like its cousin the Cherpumple, does rock some mighty superpowers. No tall buildings shall be leapt but chins are sure to drop at the sight of it.

Your recipe is here, brave bakers.



Photo Credit: Charles Phoenix]]>
<![CDATA[Big Independence Day Fireworks Around SoCal]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 07:17:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/195*120/grandparkjohnmccoyfireworks.jpg

The joy of anticipating the first firework on the Fourth of July is a lot like anticipating the holiday itself. You can see it coming, down the road, and suddenly Independence Day is here, as evidenced by the glowing coals heating up barbecues and kids cannonballing into pools and the singing of songs like "Yankee Doodle." 

Once the fireworks begin, you're waiting on the biggest/brightest one, which, traditionally, arrives near the end. Some of the biggest/brightest displays in Southern California attract thousands of spectators, those revelers who both held their breath for the patriotic day to arrive and then its crowning moment.

You can find some of the region's most mega crowning moments from Pasadena to the ocean. Put a small flag in your front pocket on Saturday, July 4 and dance, "Yankee Doodle"-style, for...

The Rose Bowl: Americafest presented by Honda is a grand ol' fireworks show for sure, and that it will mark its centennial in a decade and a year (!) shouldn't surprise: The Pasadena venue is known for venerability. A motorcycle show, Elvis and Beatles tribute artists, and a hugehugehuge fireworks show at 9 p.m. makes this Independence Day happening one of the SoCal standards.

Marina del Rey: Communities along the coast'll be doing the over-the-water fireworks spectaculars, but perhaps this pretty town's July 4 celebration will have a little something extra, given that this is Marina del Rey's 50th anniversary year. Whether that is acknowledged or simply folded into the spirit of things, seeing fireworks glimmer over the Pacific is pure pleasure.

Dodger Stadium: Surely you'll have a Dodger Dog and a lemonade before gazing up at the sparkly sky from your seat at the Elysian Park landmark? Surely. Baseball, with its organ interludes and peanuts and history, is an Americana-sweet pursuit, and seeing fireworks after the game with the Mets and a USO Show troupe perform definitely ups the Americana atmosphere. 

Hollywood Bowl: Something about fireworks over that iconic shell stirs the culture-obsessive soul in a SoCaler, and that the great Smokey Robinson is the night's performer on the Fourth of July only adds to the merriment and magic. The Phil'll be playing, too, so consider this quintessential LA experience even quintessentialier.

Grand Park: The downtown stretch of grass that runs from Music Center Plaza to City Hall has become the highly dramatic setting in recent years for pyrotechnic-based wow. "The Civic Center skyline" is the movie-worthy backdrop for the fireworks, so that wow is well-founded, but be sure to arrive ahead of sundown for picnicking, food trucks, and live local-fab tunes. Cost? It's free.

Exposition Park: Not too too far from City Hall's dramatic front lawn is another mega show, this one at the LA Memorial Coliseum (and Fid Pad + Christmas Tree Lane). The starts-earlier-in-the-day festival is big, so arrive early if you want to chillax to sounds and sights and the sunset before the 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza.



Photo Credit: John McCoy]]>
<![CDATA[SoCal Fourth of July (Fireworks-Free Edition)]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:16:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/mic_flag.jpg

The fact of the matter, come the Fourth of July, is this: Even if you don't set out to see fireworks, fireworks shall be seen, and heard, and sometimes felt inside the chest, depending on how close they are.

For fireworks use the sky above as their backdrop — spoiler alert — and avoiding the sky come Fourth of July, or any day of the year, can't really be done.

But if you prefer your pyrotechnics in the further distance, or you like them just fine but want to change up your Independence Day in 2015, there are festive and/or fun options for celebrating and staying in the theme without staring up after sundown.

Don your Uncle Sam hat and head for...

Topanga: Strap on your suspenders and dancin' boots because the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum is throwing a rootin'/tootin'/hootin' old-style old-time old-fashioned July 4 Barn Dance. It's an afternoon affair complete with a contest involving the spitting of watermelon seeds, a dunk bucket, pie eating, a raffle, and more activities that were staples of our foreparents' long ago day. Sweet? Sweet.

The Aero Theatre: Three guesses as to what this historic venue is screening on Saturday, July 4. Hints: It is swimming into its 40th anniversary, it is very much associated with Fourth of July in its plot, and "da na da na da na danadanadana" is how people drop hints about it without saying the title. Do you see a big fin in the distance? Okay, it's "Jaws"! (And if you're at The Aero on July 3, you'll be watching "Willie Nelson's 4th of July Celebration.")

Santa Monica High School: If you want to see "Jaws" outdoors, because, yes, much of "Jaws" takes place outdoors, you absolutely can: Eat|See|Hear is screening the Independence Day-esque classic in an alfresco setting. Food trucks and bands will complete the scene. And, yes, you're not far from the beach, so think of that whenever the Most Famous Fin in Cinema (tm) appears.

Angel City Brewery: What will the star-spangled centerpiece be of the Art District brewhouse's 'Merica Fest? Definitely the bands, for sure — look/listen for The Get Down Boys and Pretenemy — and the locally made brews. But a Cornhole Tournament may rock friendly competitors to their core. Even if your team doesn't come in first, that's okay: barbecue and grown-up good times await. And if you really really really need fireworks, the Grand Park sky show isn't too far-off.

Jazz Barbecue: It's often called the great American art form, so Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Avenue will fete the genre with a screening of the jazzy "The Spoils Before Dying." Live jazz is on the bill, too, and barbecue and beer, so if documentaries and noshing and tunes are more your jam, the historic theatre on Fairfax is your Fourth-festive go-to.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[250,000+ LEGOs: Queen Mary Model Goes on Display]]> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:59:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/queenmarylegomodelship1.jpg

The Queen Mary, the now-and-forever-in-Long-Beach landmark that was built in Scotland and crossed the Atlantic Ocean 1,001 times, is often described as "stately" and "dignified" and "proper" and "august" and every other word denoting a stiff-upper lip.

But the ship knows how to have fun. The famous ocean-liner transported many young kids along with their parents back in the day, and vintage toys are still seen in the Queen Mary's historic nursery display. 

A new beloved plaything has arrived on the ship, and while you can't actually play with this toy, you can admire it. We speak of the LEGO brick. Actually, strike that, we speak of over 250,000 LEGO bricks, which went into the building of a most impressive replica of the ship that will house it.

That's right, meta mavens: As of July 4, a Queen Mary (in LEGOs) will now be on display inside the actual Queen Mary. Weight? It's 604 pounds. Length? Almost 26 feet. Hours to build? Oh, just 600, is all.

Bright Bricks, a UK-based company was behind the brick-by-brick construction of the ship. The project, which was completed a couple of years ago, took four pro builders four months. Bright Bricks co-founder Ed Diment added that this ship was built "for our own satisfaction" and not as a for-hire project by a company (Bright Bricks has been officially certified by LEGO to build models, a rare designation). 

It's all adds up to a charming back story for a charming model, one that takes many of the ocean-liner's details into sweet account, from the big red smokestacks to the wee portholes. There's even a tiny Sir Winston on the ship, an ode to Winston Churchill, who considered the ship his "headquarters at sea" during World War II.

The LEGO Queen Mary is getting its own display space, and visitors can try their own hand at rebuilding the landmark at Bright Brick LEGO stations nearby.

Fun facts are plentiful when LEGOs are the theme, and here's another: The brick-built boat is being hailed as "the world's largest LEGO brick ship model."

If only the tots who traveled on the ship back in its very early days had had a few small bricks to build with. Toys and the Queen Mary do have history, and now history has been captured, via many, many LEGOs, in the form of a brick-tastic Queen Mary.

For more of the LEGO-lovely work of Bright Bricks, eye this gallery.



Photo Credit: Bright Bricks/Queen Mary]]>
<![CDATA[Live in Pasadena: Masters of Musical Whistling]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:49:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/musicalwhistle2.jpg

It's a most unusual day when audience members walk into an auditorium carrying the very same instruments that will soon be seen on stage. 

After all, you don't see concert goers hauling harps nor drum kits to their various seats, but audience members do show with the instrument of the day when the day deals with a certain tone made by the mouth. We speak of whistling, and the mouth-and-throat-based mechanics needed to play this particular instrument are part and parcel of being a human being.

Even if your own personal exhale + mouth/tongue/teeth/cheek combo produces little in the way of sound, you can admire The Masters of Musical Whistling on Saturday, July 11 when they and their tone-sweet prowess take centerstage in Pasadena. 

The place? The Ahiah Center. On the stage? Wonderful whistling artists aplenty. Behind the stage? Producer Carole Anne Kaufman, the Whistling Entertainer of the Year for 2012 (and a two-time world champion). The vibe? Performers will whistle with "recorded back tracks" during the early competition and in an "all-live music whistling concert accompanied by a four-piece band" later in the day.

Whistling has been around since people have been around, of course; it is considered "the first musical instrument." And while it is still heard and seen today with many performers -- singer Andrew Bird has taken on-stage whistling to melodic heights in his songs -- it is an art form that has a lot of nostalgia attached.

You remember tunes from when you were a kid that employed whistles as a main vocal component, like theme to "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Give a Little Whistle" from "Pinocchio" and Otis Redding's sublime "(Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay." You may have even tried to whistle along, in the car or the shower.

So, can you whistle nowadays? What has to be the best-known whistle-themed quote of all time says it all on this matter, of course. Lauren Bacall famously advises Humphrey Bogart in 1944's "To Have and Have Not" that "you just put your lips together and blow." 

Of course, time, talent, practice, and skill are crucial components to creating a master of the form. Is it all in the shape of the lips, the tongue, or the strength of the exhale?

Such an ancient art form, such the challenge to perfect, and so very easy to start. Perhaps The Masters of Musical Whistling will be your purse-your-lips inspiration on the ride home.



Photo Credit: The Masters of Musical Whistling]]>
<![CDATA[Rose Bowl Ready for the 4th]]> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 09:11:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Rose_Bowl_Ready_for_Fireworks_1200x675_475964483830.jpg The fireworks experts are ready for blastoff at the Rose Bowl this weekend. Michelle Valles reports for Today in LA on Friday July 3, 2015.]]> <![CDATA[How Fireworks Work]]> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 06:51:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Behind_the_Scenes_Rose_Bowl_How_Fireworks_Work_1200x675_475914307846.jpg The fireworks experts at the Rose Bowl take NBC4 behind the scenes and show off how they celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang, sparkle and boom. Video broadcast Friday July 3, 2015 on NBC4.]]> <![CDATA[Happy Canada Day: Best SoCal Poutines]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 13:12:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/poutinelittlefork.jpg

Ask any pal who hails from The True North what they consider to be the most legendary of Canadian comestibles and you'll receive a wide range of passionate responses, as you'd expect, given the country's openness to new ideas and proud diversity and vastness and no joke, the vastness.

Seriously Canada is huge.

Possible answers might include ketchup chips, mmm, or a cup of Tim Hortons coffee and a breakfast sandwich, or wood-fired Montreal bagels, or butter tarts.

But poutine is queen, and you'd have your argument pretty locked-up from the get-go if you were to attempt to convince a companion that fries + cheese curd + gravy is the iconic Canadian dish.

Thank you Quebec for the whole poutine thing. You really get us.

Simply put, there's no way not to like that savory trio, and there's no way not to semi-shout out the word "poutine!!!," complete with exclamation marks, when you see it on a menu. Given that so many of our Southern California-based friends know all of the words to "O Canada," and given that we SoCalers like bites with backstory, we present some of the best poutines around town in honor of Canada Day, which is the first day of July.

Littlefork: You're in Hollywood, you want poutine, and you'd like some variations on the theme. You can go short rib at this stylish joint, or duck confit, or classic Montreal. The cheese curd is cheddar on that one, which only ups the yum.

Redondo Beach Cafe: This ocean-close spot is so famous for its poutine that the dish is one of the stand-out options on the initial dropdown menu. That tells you much, but here's more: The poutine arrives nine different ways, including topped with mushrooms. Is that another yum-upper? Yup. 

Ox & Son: Take a look at these four fascinating words all in a row: Mussel & Tomato Chorizo Poutine. Talk about a whole bunch of kick within the confines of a single plate, and talk about getting to the Santa Monica restaurant to change up your classic poutine game.

Seoul Sausage: Korean galbi is some of the tastiest, most piquant stuff on earth, so pairing it with poutine, with a kimchi kick, seems like an incredibly sensible thing to do. That garlic jalapeno aioli is involved only furthers the food-memory-making-ness of it all.

Brun's Creole Soul Kitchen: If you can catch this kitchen on the roll, and your brandish the right amount of cash, you can dig into a Creole poutine that comes with "Creole roast beef with debris gravy." Tummy-fillers may not arrive heartier around these part, nor more flavorful. Debris gravy.



Photo Credit: Jakob N. Layman/Little Fork]]>
<![CDATA[Huell Howser's Desert Pad for Rent]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:58:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/huellhowserhousedesert.jpg

Many an adventurous Californian hits the road with a very special list in hand: The towns and attractions and offbeat nooks once recommended by Huell Howser, the public television host known for championing smaller enclaves and quirky individuals and "California's Gold" (the name, of course, of one of his many Golden State travel series).

But traveling to explore Mr. Howser's own house was never something any fan ever imagined doing. Well, maybe, sometimes, in their daydreams, because honestly? We all wanted to be Huell's pal.

Mr. Howser passed away in 2013, leaving his many travelogues behind to be enjoyed again and again.

And, yes, his mid-century Twentynine Palms house, too, stayed on as a living legacy to the man who loved California the most. The desert-elegant casa was purchased in 2014 by an artist, and many fans of the host hoped the house would hold onto its cool '50s-era swank.

Now those fans can see with their own eyes: The Wheelhouse is for rent for extended vacations and special events. New owner Joan Robey did some refurbing and buffing on the vintage home, and you can eye the buff-up on The Wheelhouse's very own photo-riffic web site.

Curbed LA mentions that Mr. Howser also bought an impressive chunk of the surrounding land, which means that those wild pink-peach-orange sunsets that are a birthright in Twentynine Palms can be enjoyed without other structures standing between the sky-viewer and the colorful horizon.

So while you maybe didn't ever get to be Mr. Howser's pal, nor did you get to journey with him while he shook hands with thousands of Californians in a hundreds of places, you could get married in his beloved abode now that The Wheelhouse may be rented for weddings.

And isn't that a bit like having the sweet memory of Uncle Huell at your nuptials? With all of his affability and cheer.

Desert dreamers and mid-century mavens, this is one of the most magazine-able houses of the Golden State's arid region. Even if you're not going to host a yoga retreat there, or a family reunion, a few minutes spent clicking around the site will have you applying a little SPF, making a mimosa, and throwing a much-watched "California's Gold" VHS in the machine.

If you'd like to know more about Ms. Robey and her sculptures, find her pieces and statement here.



Photo Credit: Huell Howser/The Wheelhouse]]>
<![CDATA[New: "Humpback Whales 3D" at California Science Center]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 23:18:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/245*120/humpback-whales-3d-mom-and-calf.jpg

There's always a chance that, if you wake up in SoCal to a free day and a bit of cash in your pocket, you just might see a whale that day.

Of course, you'll need to find a whale-watching cruise or a pal with a boat (or, yes, in some cases a well-situated, shore-close bluff). You'll need to be a bit lucky. And it'll need to be a particular time of year: Winter for the greys, summer for the blues, basically, with the always delightful orca or minke whale making a surprise cameo.

Or you can swim for the California Science Center, beginning on Friday, July 3. True, you won't need sunscreen to sit inside the Exposition Park institution's IMAX theatre, and you probably won't need to layer for a day out on the ocean.

But you will need some wonder and/or joy, though "Humpback Whales 3D" may provide that before you leave. The Ewan McGregor-narrated film celebrates the 50-foot-long animals in all of their blowhole-laden, fluke-tail'd, 48-ton glory.

And, yes, they're travelers at heart: They "migrate more than 6,000 miles round-trip every year." Surely that's rather longer than the distance you'll need to travel to the California Science Center to see the documentary about "the most acrobatic of all whales"?

Surely.

If you're playing around Exposition Park before or after the film, and visiting Space Shuttle Endeavour, a centerpiece of the California Science Center, ask your kids this: What is longer, a space shuttle or humpback whale? Answer: A space shuttle, which is 184 feet to a humpback's 50. 

Still, measure out, with your eyes, how long a whale might be when you see the huge craft. Very impressive stuff, and a conversation sure to send young imaginations reeling.



Photo Credit: Humpback Whales 3D]]>
<![CDATA[Taste of Farmers Market: Tickets Available]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:51:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tasteoffmglasses12345.jpg

Public markets, those all-sorts-of-foods-in-one-place places, are perennially popular, and always have been, and with fine reason: The eats tend to be affordable and the choices vast.

But regular customers who frequent such places can be lulled by the "next time" effect. Next time I'll have the shrimp/burger/croissant/nachos, next time I'll try that coffee place, next time. For while variety reigns, we are indeed creatures of snacky habit, returning again and again to our favorite dishes.

The Original Farmers Market has a savory solution. In honor of its anniversary, and as a way to showcase the many yummy wares of its dozens of food-making tenants, it throws an annual bash called Taste of Farmers Market. The eat-a-wide-swath-of-goodies happening just happens to be on July 14, which just happens to be the 81st birthday of the longtime landmark at the corner of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue.

If you buy your ticket ahead of the to-do, which is on a Tuesday, then it is forty bucks. At the door? The price moves to $45.

And if you need a way to describe it to your pals, to get them to join, here it is: Every restaurant/stand/booth at the Market will have a tidbit for you to try. The 2015 theme is "Best Bites," so count on munching on the most asked-for dish/nugget/snackable of each restaurant inside the green-awning'd, clock-tower-topped market. 

Think tastes, not full meals, but trust, that's a-ok: You'll need room to try all, if not most. Call it a marathon of the fork.

Past bites have included fried shrimp from Tusquella's, little mini burgers from Huntington Meats & Sausages, and chilaquiles from Loteria.

Tunes shall serenade your snacking and beer and wine samples will be on the pour for the 21+ crowd.

And don't you want to wish Farmers Market a happy 81st? And don't you wonder how many bagels and omelets and turkey sandwiches and ice cream cones have been enjoyed within its lively labyrinth-like walls over the last eight decades? And isn't a rather charmed night to be able to try a lot of what makes it famous, food-wise, all in one go?

Yep, market mavens are creatures of habit, like all humans, but when coaxed to broaden our cuisine favorites, they'll do so, with gusto, a roving fork, and an I-bought-a-ticket wristband. Get yours now.



Photo Credit: The Original Farmers Market]]>
<![CDATA[Pasadena Patooties: Free Adoption Day]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:28:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_24568963.jpg

The car ride over, to possibly adopt a new kitten or bird or senior dog or gecko, has so much delightful planning and pie-in-the-sky-a-tude that you almost want to record the conversation that's happening within.

You've maybe had such a ride with a family member. You're deciding all the awesome things you'll do for your new cat or dog or parakeet — a neon scratch post, a fancy water dish, an indestructible chew toy, you name it — because feathering a new friend's nest is nice.

Free Adoption Day at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA may help some of the dreams plotted out on the car ride come to fruition. How? It's simple: Adoption fees on all "dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, pocket pets, and reptiles" will be vamoosed for the whole day.

And that day is Tuesday, June 30. Board member Steve Johnson is the day's honoree and the winners are everybody who finds a loving sweetie to drive home (and, of course, those loving sweeties are big winners, too). 

The 2014 event had several placements, including "29 cats, 13 dogs, one parakeet, one lovebird, and one chicken." Did your heart just skip a beat? It sounds rather like the cast of a for-kids adventure movie, but there's no need to guess the ending for the in-need-of-a-family animals: They found a home.

"The event is open to anyone looking to adopt a pet," so worry not if Pasadena isn't your home turf. "(T)he shelter fills to capacity" come summertime, so placing beasties with new besties is important stuff.

And maybe, by saving that adoption fee, you'll have some extra cash for the fancy scratch pole or cute squeaky chew toy or special fuzzy Fido blanket. More than anything, of course, your new bud just wants your lap and your love and considerate care. Those are good things to give, too.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Selfie Stick Ban Coming to Disney World, Disneyland]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 09:19:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/94889901.jpg

Don't bring your selfie stick to Disney World.

Officials announced Friday that a ban takes effect Tuesday at all four Disney theme parks in Orlando as well as at Disney's water parks and Disney Quest, a gaming attraction at Downtown Disney.

Spokeswoman Kim Prunty told the Orlando Sentinel selfie-sticks have become a "growing safety concern for both our guests and cast."

Selfie sticks will also be banned at Disneyland Resort in California on Tuesday and at Disney's parks in Paris and Hong Kong starting July 1.

Officials say guests will have the option of turning in their selfie sticks for pick-up later, or returning them to their cars or hotel rooms.

The sticks have been banned at a growing list of museums, music festivals and sports venues.

]]>
<![CDATA[New: LA Urban Nature Fest]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:46:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/laurbannaturenhm.jpg

You can always sense when an article about Los Angeles is about to excoriate our city for the usual things when the words "concrete" and "asphalt" and "freeway" and "glass" and "towers" appear in the first couple of paragraphs.

We're not saying that our especially citified city isn't a glass- and asphalt-laden place, but to paint LA as a location lacking in natural beauty is wrong, wrongheaded, and not at all correct. 

Look to our sunflowery urban gardens and growing-back-to-itself river and Griffith Park and the weird little wild places that sprout up between buildings and homes. Raccoon and coyotes and occasionally bears make regular cameos in our neighborhoods, as do seagulls, that wonderfully unquiet bird.

The Natural History Museum is feting all of this fabulous nature-within-the-city-ness at its inaugural LA Urban Nature Festival. The two-day gathering takes seed at the Exposition Park institution, with many happenings sprouting around the museum's plant-pretty, quintessentially California grounds.

The dates? Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, the first full weekend of summer. That feels like the right time to spotlight shrubs and lizards and sunlight and nature.

The schedule is a crowded one, crowded like a bed of phlox, so pick out what you want to do. A snake feeding demo, a seminar on worm composting, a look at edible wild foods, the building of a willow hut, nature walks, nature photography, lots of activities, lots of real animals saying hello -- it is busy, busy like bees in a rose garden.

Cost? You'll just need to buy/have a general admission to the museum.

Loving our leafy city, which isn't all asphalts and freeways? It's something we should all do, and all probably do, regularly.

Reading another article that opens with an observation about LA's lack of nature, except at its hilly edges? We know what's really happening here, on the ground, in the grass, with the raccoon and the crows and the coyotes and the jacaranda and our still-regal river. 



Photo Credit: NHM]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Free Shakespeare in the Park Opens]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 05:16:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/mikeditziscromeojuliet.jpg

To be, or not to be going out this weekend, that is the question. But if you fancy enjoying some works of the bard in open air, an event is happening that could swing your decision.

FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK OPENS: If your winter and spring were far too soliloquy-free, and your early summer has been a mite expensive, here's the rousing remedy: Words by the Bard performed at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. Performed for free, so save for your cash for your picnic our buy-there treats. This year's plays by the always effervescent Independent Shakespeare Company? A "Romeo and Juliet" that is equal parts "fairy tale and punk" and "Much Ado About Nothing" set at the close of WWII. The picnic blankets meet grass on Thursday, June 25.

FAST & FURIOUS -- SUPERCHARGED: One of the most successful film franchises of all time just vroomed into Universal Studios Hollywood in thrill-ride form. Where will you see big effects, pedal-to-the-metal cars, and cameos by the film's stars? On the iconic Studio Tram Tour. The car-laden storyline gets some throttle via tram surprises, a garage visit, and an end-of-the-tour 3D chase sequence. 

LA URBAN NATURE FEST: So often parties that are paeans to our wilder world take place miles from the nearest city, in a grove of trees or upon a lake shore. But we know our busy city is flush with furry visitors from the hills and giant oaks and a burbling river. The Natural History Museum wants to strengthen this bond further -- city + the bounties of the outdoors -- with demos, activities, and two full weekend days spent around the pretty grounds of the Exposition Park favorite. June 27 and 28

PASADENA'S BIRTHDAY: A free party, with cake, and history, and a loving look-back, and tunes, all at the Pasadena Museum of History? That sounds as big as the Crown City itself. For sure, one of LA's oldest communities has a lot of history to share, and its famous rosy parade on New Year's Day is just one stunning slice. Get to know the town, eat a sweet, and hang out on a nice summer Sunday at the Feynes Mansion. Oh yes, the party's on in a truly storied casa. Be there June 28.

"SOUND OF MUSIC" SING-A-LONG: Do you not only know allll the words to "My Favorite Things" but the various inflections that Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp uses? Then you, dear friend, need to traipse your way, like a governess heading out to head up a rambunctious household, to the Hollywood Bowl for this hugely popular happening. June 26 is the night and the costumes will be as plentiful as edelweiss flowers in the springtime. Bonus: It's the film's 50th anniversary this year.



Photo Credit: Mike Ditz]]>
<![CDATA[50th Fun: "Sound of Music" Sing-A-Long]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:31:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/soundofmusic.jpg

Maybe you never got the personal marionette theatre you begged your parents for, the enormous kind that takes up the better part of the den.

And maybe you never wore stylish togs sewn from sturdy curtains. And maybe, sadly, you didn't have a massive Alp outside your grand manor's front door.

But despite all this you grew into a serious, lyrics-mastering maven of "The Sound of Music," by golly. You practically owned the 1965 film, in spirit, because you loved it a million billion times more than anybody else ever who had ever seen it ever.

Ever.

Prepare to take a seat among 17,000+ of your "Sound"-obsessed co-owners. Millions of people have become incredibly invested in the story of Maria Von Trapp and her song-filled journey from the convent to the governess quarters to the arms of Captain Von Trapp, and several thousands of those fans make the famous Hollywood Bowl "Sound of Music" Sing-A-Long a must must must-do each and every summer.

Those movie memorizers shall be out at the outdoor amphtitheatre in lederhosen-rocking force on Friday, June 26. The sing-with-the-movie event is super-extra-way special this year, given that this is the 50th anniversary of the Robert Wise-directed movie, a winsome work that filled the world with all of the joyful Julie-Andrew-ness we film fans continued to crave following the 1964 release of "Mary Poppins."

Are there special surprises and cameos during the evening? You know it. Do so many attendees show in costume in order to snag prizes and glory and the oohs/ahhs of every audience member they saunter by? So many people. Will fun packs be handed out? The gewgaw-filled packs do delight.

So who will dress as a marionette, complete with strings? It's hard to pull off but think of all the warm and, yes, lightly jealous glances you may be on the receiving end of, among other costumed participants.

Go as one of the goat marionettes and score extra awesome points.

Last question, before we go, and feel free to discuss with your row mates at the event: When we really love something, and that adoration grows over the decades, and the name of the something begins with the word "the" as in "The Sound of Music," do we naturally start dropping the "The" at the front? Because the thing in question is so familiar and dear to us?

Because who says "The Sound of Music" these days? To fans it is just "Sound of Music" or even "Sound."

If any film qualifies here, it is the one that lionizes the simple things, like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, and the important things, like family and hope.



Photo Credit: The Sound of Music]]>
<![CDATA[El Capitan: Yosemite Monolith Goes Google Street View]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 21:18:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/capitanstreetview.jpg

When Google launched Street View via Google Maps back in 2007 -- and Google Earth as well -- just about everybody simultaneously went and did the very same thing at basically the same time: They looked up their house.

Now that Google has just released a spectacular Street View of El Capitan, one of the planet's great granite monoliths, a nearly vertical 3,000-foot wonder that stands starkly in the middle of Yosemite National Park, we do wonder if the hawks and owls and smaller crevice-living denizens who call El Capitan home are currently scrolling, scrolling, scrolling as they try to find where they live.

Perhaps not, but climbers of El Capitan, and those who wish to climb, and those who'll never climb it but wouldn't mind trying their hand at doing so, from the safety of their armchair, are playing around with the stunner of a Street View.

Google made the reveal on Wednesday, June 24.

And, true, El Capitan possesses many routes and ways up, but Street View focuses on The Nose and bits of Dawn Wall. Steep stuff. Is there a word steeper than "steep"? That's the word we want.

Dawn Wall, of course, was much in the news earlier in 2015, when climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson spent 19 days going up, up, up, sideways, up, down, sideways, and up a route called a "once unimaginable feat." Not only were many people inspired, but "free ascent" fully entered the everyday lexicon.

Using Street View on El Capitan, the aspiring (read: never done it) climber can see that ascending a mountain isn't just a story of upwards forward motion but sometimes inching side to side, swinging a leg, pausing, rethinking, then pushing on. 

It's amazing to see from any angle, but the Street View user will have to determine, in his or her heart, whether looking up, down, or out at Yosemite Valley makes the soles of the feet tingle more. We'll vote for that valley view, for the moment, but every sight captured by the Google team and climbers is pretty epic.

An overused word, nowadays, but El Capitan can pretty much trademark the term by this point.

Check out climbers Lynn Hill, Tommy Caldwell, and Alex Honnold as they take part in this epic production:



Photo Credit: Google Street View]]>
<![CDATA[Opening: New Fast & Furious Thrill Ride]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 11:42:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/universalfastfurious1.jpg

Perhaps the most amazing thing about a movie is how well it travels. Look to the "Fast & Furious" franchise, which, at seven movies in, has made over 3 billion dollars in worldwide box office and zoomed to all corners of the globe, playing to millions in every venue and home screen imaginable.

But simply seeing all seven slick-car flicks doesn't make one a franchise completist, at least as of Wednesday. There's a new way to dip into the world of Dominic Toretto and his crew, a hydraulic-based motion ride that peels out as the fast finish to the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tram Tour.

"Fast & Furious — Supercharged," the newest attraction at the Universal City theme park, is "a technologically advanced mega-attraction designed to catapult guests into the high-stakes underground world of street racing at perceived speeds of 120 miles per hour." Stars from the franchise, including Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Statham, swung by the studio a day ahead of its public debut to try out the adrenaline-raising adventure.

And, yes, the thrill ride is considered a "new installment" in the franchise, one that can "only be experienced at the Entertainment Capital of LA." So while all seven "Fast & Furious" films can travel the world, super fans'll need to travel to Universal City in order to complete the total auto-iconic immersion.

Three-dimensional audio and 3D-HD projection imagery work in concert to catapult tram goers into the world of the films. That means the tram will move in unexpected, you're-on-the-freeway ways, courtesy of hydraulics below.

And, of course, "the world's longest and most expansive 360-degree screen," a screen that wraps around guests on nearly all sides, transports people into the "Fast & Furious" universe for a few heart-pounding minutes.

As for you fact hounds, check out the screen's length: 400 feet. That's a wee bit longer than the screen down at your local cineplex (make that a whole lot longer — movie screens run around 70 to 80 feet in length). The newly constructed building that houses the screen, and a few other distinct views and areas, is larger than the average movie theater, too, at 65,000 square feet.

The theme park is undergoing a renaissance — look to the Hogwarts-big The Wizarding World of Harry Potter rising in the middle — and the new pedal-to-the-floor finale of the Studio Tour is a centerpiece.

The tour, by the by, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and still includes classic looks at "Jaws" and the Norman Bates house and motel from "Psycho." Best buckle up though, or hang onto your seatmates, as you pull into the "Fast & Furious" garage come the close of your tour. 

Even Jaws can't swim nearly as swiftly as you will seemingly go once the thrill ride reaches for the throttle.



Photo Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Tests New Pork Sandwich]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:51:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/happy+meal+new.jpg

McDonald’s has a new pork item on its menu.

The world’s largest hamburger chain has debuted a new pulled pork sandwich in at least one Midwest market.

The McDonald’s of Northern Indiana, which operates in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan, tweeted about the news Wednesday.

The new sandwich joins the McRib as another pork option on the Oak Brook-based chain’s menu.

It’s not clear how many restaurants will offer the new sandwich or how long it will be on the menu. McDonald’s could not immediately be reached for comment.  

Wendy's and Burger King also sell pulled pork sandwiches, CNBC notes.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Star Car Auction: Eye Famous Wheels]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 09:09:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/48307.00.jpg KITT is one of the acclaimed autos on the block, in Beverly Hills.

Photo Credit: Julien's Auctions]]>
<![CDATA[OC Fair Food Reveal: Deep-Fried Starbucks]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:23:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/185*120/ocfairdeepfriedstarbucks.jpg

Look, we don't know what you do with that cup of Starbucks once you leave the drive-thru or pickup counter. You might take it home and pour it over cereal or sip it alongside a bag of salty chips.

But we'll wager you haven't, at this juncture in history, taken your Starbucks deep fried. That's all about to change, however, for devotees of deep-fried treats and loyalists of the Seattle-based hot beverage phenomenon when the Orange County Fair opens on July 17.

Yep: deep-fried Starbucks is on the menu.

Like other deep-fried beverages that have cameo'd, to great acclaim, at past county fairs around the country, the deep-fried Starbucks isn't a "cup" of hot deep-friedness, per se. You'll find a ball of Starbucky tastiness, "a fried ball of dough," and within that orb treasures await: ground-up coffee beans and chocolate, for two, and sugar and whipped cream on the outside.

Hoo boy. Talk about intensity in fried dough form. Will the pep you gain lend oomph to your midway game prowess? That's between you and the colorful rings you have to throw at the glass milk bottles. 

Bacon A-Fair is your spot for the au courant caffeinated sweet treat. As for other new fair goodies readying for their monthlong Costa Mesa run? Deep-fried pizza and deep-fried birthday cake at Apple Fries are two more sweet/savory choices.

And look for chocolate-covered pork rinds at Bacon A-Fair as well as a totally deep-fried peanut butter pickle at Chicken Charlie's.

We mean ... Just. Right? Exactly. You get our meaning here.

There comes a point when words fail the fair goer and they must resort to outright pointing, which their mother told them never to do. Pointing at bright signs covered with peanut butter pickles and chocolate-covered pork rinds and deep-fried birthday cake. Pointing, agog, because the fair goer is a little stunned and very much intrigued.

After all, unusual snackage is part and parcel of the summertime OC party. If you can't post your deep-fried Starbucks on your Instagram page and brag about it at work, then, really, have you truly dined at the fair?

And how will you step up your next in-store cup of Starbucks after this? Better go for a triple pump of peppermint, or extra whipped cream, the better to wacky-up your tried-and-true coffee order.



Photo Credit: OC Fair]]>
<![CDATA[Mural Magic: POW! WOW! Long Beach 2015]]> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 19:50:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/EsaoAndrewsVV.jpg

Murals are a mammoth and marvelous part of cities the world over, unmissable and unsubtle and thoroughly important on the civic storytelling front.

The large-scale paintings transform alleys and byways and piazzas and corner stores into huge canvases and voilà: The museum is no longer indoors but outside for all to see, think about, learn from, and admire.

California doesn't have the trademark on mural makery, but we have plenty of cities rightly famous for them, from Lompoc to Exeter to downtown Los Angeles. Next up, in a summery splash of color and social commentary and whimsical subject matter and oomph: Long Beach.

Brushes and paint are transforming a number of corners and pockets of the city into a gallery of gargantuan proportions, thanks to Pow! Wow! Long Beach. Artists put paint-rich bristles to brick and wall starting on June 21, with the end date of June 28 on their make-a-mural horizon.

The out-sized art, however, will extend to the indoors, in a surprising twist, at least for an event based on murals. The Long Beach Museum of Art is hosting an "exhibition in collaboration with Thinkspace and Pow! Wow!" called "Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape."

The show, which will spotlight twenty artists, opens on June 26 and boast installations as well as murals.

If the Pow! Wow! name is familiar to you, you might be familiar with Pow! Wow! Hawaii, which has, in the past, brought loads of lovely alfresco art to Honolulu. The art-for-all concept also has made a showing at South by Southwest in Austin. 

Vitality and Verve celebrates the "fully immersive experience" that is so much apart of seeing, and folding into, the spirit of a mural. You can see the artists' big, bold, and at times "hyper-realistic" works through Sept. 27.

The pop-up shops and music events and gallery happenings and ongoing mural painting of Pow! Wow! Long Beach is on now through June 28. 

bottom image: Audrey Kawasaki, courtey of the Long Beach Museum of Art 



Photo Credit: Long Beach Museum of Art]]>
<![CDATA[Cake and History: Happy 129th, Pasadena]]> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:22:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pasadenasunsetjamiepham.jpg

Too often we lose one of the most endearing habits of childhood along about age 9 or so. And that's planning ahead to future birthdays, when the next birthday on the calendar can't possibly contain all of the balloons and games and ice cream and themes and pool time that you want it to possess.

With that sweet tradition of the young in mind, let us ponder what Pasadena saw for its 129th birthday, back in the 1800s when it was a mountain-close city, blessed of citrus and sunlight and those captains of industry that came from the east to enjoy the climate and light winters.

Did the town, in its early infancy, see that it would be the future home to JPL and leaders of the not-quite-invented-yet modern aerospace industry? Could it imagine its many pretty homes and museums and gardens? And did it know about its huge New Year's Day parade, a parade famous everywhere?

You can ponder such questions while digging into free birthday cake on Sunday, June 28. The Pasadena Museum of History and the City of Pasadena are throwing a sweet shindig for the Crown City — or City of Roses, if you prefer — complete with a frosting-laden treat, music by the Blair Viking Jazz Band, and cool balloonage from Mind Blowing Balloons.

History shall rule the day, too, so take a peek at the transportation of the time of Pasadena's birth (cars and bikes of ye olden days shall be on view). Two exhibitions, dealing in aerospace and the Civil War's role in Pasadena's start, are also currently on at the museum.

Getting into the museum? Free. Parking? Free. You likely won't pull up in a horse-drawn carriage, a mode of transport often seen around the city in the 1880s, but feel free to pretend your auto is clip-clopping as it pulls into the museum lot.

But those early Pasadena people didn't have to gaze too intensely into the crystal ball to fathom when the city's most famous event would officially roll, float- and pony-style, for the very first time. 

Do the math: Pasadena is turning 129 and the 127th annual Rose Parade blooms on Jan. 1, 2016. One could accurately say that Pasadena and the flowery procession are so synonymous that one only existed without the other for, really, what adds up to a matter of months.

Pasadena's 129th birthday party is on from 1 to 4 p.m. on the 28th.



Photo Credit: Jamie Pham]]>
<![CDATA[Announced: 2016 Walk of Fame Stars]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 18:01:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WalkofFameSidewalk.jpg

You may have a member of the Class of 2016 at home right now. They might be cleaning out their backpacks, and thinking about senior projects, and reviewing class reading lists as they head into that last year of high school or college.

Or, you know. They may be kicking back, because it is summer vacation, after all.

Tinseltown, however, is home to another kind of Class of 2016, where the assigned reading sometimes involves Oscar-worthy screenplays and upcoming projects might have a budget topping 100 million. We speak of the Walk of Fame honorees, those stars and professionals chosen to be forever immortalized upon the the sparkling sidewalk of Hollywood, California.

Is it just about the look-down-iest landmark on earth? Well, maybe alongside the cement handprints at its neighbor, TCL Chinese Theatre.

Leron Gubler, President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce made the big reveal regarding next year's honorees, a time-honored announcement that typically arrives right around the first day of summer.

On the list? Actor Kathy Bates, she of "Misery" and dozens of excellent films and shows. Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, the man behind the film "Hateful Eight," due this Christmas. More performers including Tracy Morgan, David Duchovny, Bradley Cooper, Ashley Judd, Kurt Russell, and Michael Keaton, all people who will be out and kneeling on the red carpet, as is tradition, at their 2016 ceremonies.

LL Cool J, Bruno Mars, Itzhak Perlman, and Cyndi Lauper are among the musical stars on the roster.

And each year, the posthumous honors bring a bittersweet note: Actor Toshiro Mifune and "Mama" Cass Elliot will be remembered in Hollywood in 2016.

As to where exactly the stars will be located for these honorees? Stay tuned. Addresses will be revealed.

As to how this all happens? A star on the Walk of Fame starts with a nomination, and a form, which can be found here.

As to whether the Class of 2016 will take a zany group photo, like a high school senior class might? That's a tall order for a busy group of performers, artists who are very often on the road.

But we'll dream of the day, one year, when the Walk of Fame honorees band together and get special matching t-shirts made.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Regal Cinemas LA Live: $1 Movie Mornings]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 14:13:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/regalpopcorn1.jpg

How much money you'll need to see a movie is a thought you need to have well ahead of approaching the box office window.

You'll want to parse out the payment needed for a ticket, and then the dollars required for a treat. Because digging around in your pockets, mid-movie and in the dark, when you decided you wanted something sweet, is tricky (and sometimes your neighbor gets a random elbow).

But Regal Entertainment Group's Summer Movie Express makes the movie money equation very simple, at least on the box office end of things. If you go to a select movie on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, through the summer, here's what you'll need to pay: one buck.

As in 100 pennies. Ten dimes? That works, too. However you plunk your cash down, you'll be participating in a Regal Cinemas summertime tradition that hits its quarter-century mark in 2016.

Yeah, people love $1 movies. This thing just may be around forever.

The specifics? Go to Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14 on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning starting on June 23 (and wrapping up on Aug. 19). Make sure the film is one you want to see -- "Paddington" and "How to Train Your Dragon 2" and "Penguins of Madagascar" are all on the cleared-for-families schedule -- and tuck that buck into your pocket.

Or bucks, if you're paying for a whole crew.

The morning matinees have a start time of 10 o'clock and a portion of the dollar entrance fee will help out the Will Rogers Institute.

That buck-to-get-in price'll leave you more money for the concession counter, where regularly priced treats await. But rather than digging for change mid-movie, why not popcorn-up ahead of the credits? There's a Zap Pack deal, with popcorn, candy, and beverage, and, again, Will Rogers Institute is a beneficiary of part of the proceeds.

And why can't popcorn be eaten before noon? It's hard to believe that some LA breakfast entrepreneur hasn't yet walked that culinary road (popcorn omelets, popcorn pancakes). Maybe these movies-in-the-morning deals will lead the way on that whimsical dining front.



Photo Credit: Regal Cinemas/Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Above LA: A New Book Goes Aerial]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 10:21:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/mikekelleyairspace1.jpg

Say the words "golden hour" to people who live outside of the Golden State and you might be met with a shrug or a stare or a high five or a "woohoo," depending on how familiar the term is to the people who don't call California home.

And while Californians don't have a trademark on golden hour, that perfect stretch of time around sunset when the world seems mistier and magical and softer and splendid, we do do it very well.

Look to photographer Michael Kelley's in-the-works book "LA Airspace." You may know Mr. Kelley's name for that went-viral-in-seconds snapshot of LAX, the one with dozens of planes lined up in a single sky. 

He followed that up with another trip to Los Angeles International Airport, this time to capture a morning-to-night day at one of the world's busiest plane hubs.

Now Mr. Kelley has a "100% locally supported" book in the works, a tome full of taken-from-above photographs celebrating our vast city at a particular, and particularly attractive, time of day: the aforementioned golden hour. Mr. Kelley took the photos over two years and several parts of the region are featured.

There's the Hollywood Sign, bidding adieu to the sun for another day. There are surfers riding the waves, catching the last light. And there are the skyscrapers of downtown, looking like fingers held up to the sunshine (with rays pouring through the space between).

Consider that we typically see our city from above in movies (earthquake disaster films seem to love that sweeping shot of downtown), airplane windows (when we're tired from travel), and traffic reports.

To enjoy its landmarks at the golden hour, from a gull's eye view, is a different and delightful take. Want more info on the project? Spread your feathers and turn your beak this way.



Photo Credit: Michael Kelley]]>
<![CDATA[LA Beer Week: Brunches, Bacon, Craft Brews]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 07:55:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/UNITY_photobw.jpg

One of the comforting aspects of having a neighborhood tavern is that the jukebox is typically playing the same songs, the television is tuned to the same games, and the same corner in the table still needs a coaster or two under one of the legs, the better to balance it out.

But visitors calling upon their local pubs over the fourth week in June may notice that things are changed up, and for a fine reason: It's LA Beer Week, or #LAB7, if you prefer, which denotes that this citywide brewers-and-brew-buffs bash has been around for a good long while (start year: 2008).

A lucky seven years is symbolic of the big scene that's come about in the Southern California beer scene, which now runs in the same "top 20" lists as its California cousins San Diego and San Francisco. Look to the local craft breweries at the center of LA Beer Week's many to-dos, and look to beers like Unity, which is the official and multi-brewer collaborative beer for the 2015 fest.

How to jump in and try something new, something sudsy, something local? You could take a chance that your neighborhood tavern is doing a special tap night or food pairing, or you might eye the lengthy list of happenings, which are on from June 20 through Sunday the 28th.

Those hoppy happenings include Beer & Bacon with Three Weavers Brewing Company at The York, BEERBOWL at A-Frame, Beer & Dessert Pairings at Bow & Truss with Golden Road, and a Grilled Cheese & Beer night at Vertical Wine Bistro.

A rocking highlight of the week? Eagle Rock Brewery's Battle of the Bands at the Echoplex. A band led by Stone Brewing Co. brewmaster Mitch Steele and "comprised solely of Stone employees" will jam it out as craft beers are enjoyed. Band name? The Flocculators, which, of course, refers to the process of yeast settling "at the bottom of the fermentation vessel.")

Plus a thirst-quenching slew of tap takeovers, local flights, anniversary parties, guild meet-ups, and nights focusing on a single foam or maker.

The events span the city, from bars to bistros to breweries. So, yeah, you could saunter into your local tavern, for an ale, only to find a tap takeover or special suds sipping.

Fine beer, after all, is one of the things LA is known for, and the brew community is collaborative and tight. Look to Unity, the official beer of the 2015 Beer Week, which is brewed at Smog City in Torrance but came together with the help of the LA Brewers Guild.

Will you raise a glass over this warm June week? Here's where to find your place and pint.



Photo Credit: LA Beer Week]]>
<![CDATA[Aquarium Birthday: Spy a Mermaid in the Tropical Tank]]> Fri, 19 Jun 2015 19:10:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/aquariummermaidvisit.jpg

One never knows when a bit of marine magic'll happen and they'll suddenly encounter a mermaid.

True, true: If you happen to be Peter Pan's Flight in Disneyland or at Ariel's Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure, you shall encounter the famous humans-with-fishtails of lore and legend. Do they also frequent certain rocky outcroppings around Catalina Island or the Channel Islands? Perhaps on moon-bright nights, when the flying fish are in season.

But you'll absolutely see a mermaid if you happen to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific in honor of its 17th birthday. The Long Beach aquarium has invited Mermaid Linden to stop by -- er, swim by, would be more correct -- in honor of the special occasion.

That occasion will be marked on Saturday, June 20, and Mermaid Linden will appear around 3:30 p.m. in the Tropical Pacific Gallery. Not just sitting, mind you, and singing or watching the horizon or doing the things that popular culture tells us mermaids do.

She'll "take a dive" into the 350,000-gallon tank, a tank that includes blacktip reef sharks, groupers, clownfish, sea dragons, and loads of lovely coral. 

Wait... Clownfish? Do you suppose Mermaid Linden knows Nemo? Surely, right?

The special guest will also appear outside of the large tank to talk about her line of Mermaid Monofins -- yep, kids can wear them -- and stop for sea-sweet photographs with mermaid mavens visiting the institution.

Be sure to also say hello to the jellies, which are some of the surreal, outer-space-y superstars of the Aquarium of the Pacific's summer program. The Jellies exhibit is large, but a first stop, right inside the aquarium's front doors, to touch a moon jellyfish, is a must.

Yes, we said "touch." The moon jellies have the smoothest of backs and the most docile of behaviors. There are a lot in the touch tank, too, so roll your sleeve up, stretch your fingers, and dip your digits in for a gentle back-brush.



Photo Credit: Mermaid Linden]]>
<![CDATA["True Detective" Season 2 Spotlights LA City Vernon]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 08:25:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/235*120/tdfour929292.jpg

Just about every pop culture fan who resides in the Southern California area can tie a regional city or suburb to a major movie or television series or book. 

Beverly Hills has been the setting for numerous fictional stories – bet "90210" is one that comes to mind. "The L Word" and West Hollywood, "The New Girl" and the Arts District, "Melrose Place" and, well, Melrose -- the list is long and very localized.

Add Vernon to the movie-TV roster. With the June debut of HBO's second season of "True Detective," the industrial stretch south-southeast of downtown Los Angeles gets to play its own starring role on a major television series, one that already gained fame for using a number of Louisiana settings in a highly atmospheric, very visual way.

Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn, Taylor Kitsch and Colin Ferrell star in the complex crime drama. Transportation and corrupt and underhanded doings are at the heart of the arc-intense series.

A series that won't call Vernon "Vernon" -- look for the real city, which is full of warehouses and plants, to go by the civic sobriquet of "Vinci."

"Mad Men" and the 1976 horror movie "Carrie" both used Vernon for scenes while the 1983 "Thriller" zombie dance took place just beyond the city's northern edge.

It's also a long-standing tradition, among SoCalers, to brag when a TV series comes calling in one's neighborhood. Vernon has 114 residents, according to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau, which makes it a city of notably low population density.

But will that change when fans of the show begin to arrive in LA solely to visit Vernon and look for locations they recognize? It happened to just about every Albuquerque setting seen in "Breaking Bad," as well as the cities featured in other popular hourlongs.

How will Vernon's star moment impact the industrial, railroad-historic city? Stay tuned: "True Detective" only just had its season two debut on HBO on Sunday, 21.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Wireimage]]>
<![CDATA[Hangin' 600 in HB: One Big Surfboard Holds 60+ Riders]]> Fri, 19 Jun 2015 13:32:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/bigboardwesterlymaine1.jpg

The first weekend of summer brings a lot of great things this year -- Father's Day, Summer Solstice, International Surfing Day, to name a few -- but it is also the kickoff for doggie surf lessons at Del Mar, lessons that will eventually lead to the famous Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon in September.

And while the "hang twenty" jokes shall fly, where the four-footed surfing Fidos are concerned, there is a surfboard in Huntington Beach which will see, in spirit, people hanging 600, rather than the traditional 10.

We'll wait while you do the math: Hanging 600, as in 600 toes off the board, means 60 people will be on the same surfboard, all at once.

Gnarly? Gnarly.

If you're guessing it is a World Record Attempt, you'd be correct, and if you're thinking it should be near the pier in Surf City, USA, you'd be right again: The Epic Big Board Ride will put at least 60 riders on the 42-foot, 1,400-pound board on the morning of Saturday, June 20, in attempt to coast past the former Guinness World Record for "most people riding a surfboard at once."

But hold up! There's another record in the works, and that's "world's largest surfboard." So the June 20 ride will have not one but two Guinness attempts on the line.

Make that TWO, rather. It's a bold, go-for-it adventure, and bold, go-for-it adventures deserve to be commemorated in all-caps. If we had an echo machine we'd play "two, two, two" over and over, to make the attempt all the more rock 'n roll.

The story of the Big Board, which started at a custom fiberglass house in Rhode Island and traveled across the country in two huge pieces to a Santa Ana boat builder, is one of dedication, derring-do and a dream team. Innovators, engineers, and surf pros got involved -- Bob Hurley of Hurley International and surf legend Peter "PT" Townend were two of the many makers behind the build -- and a 42-foot-long surfboard is the stunning result.

Kudos, big thinkers/wild dreamers. We're giving you the "hang loose" sign, in respect.

There are things to know about the attempt, like how long the riders have to stay on to be counted (10 seconds). The full requirements are listed here, if you happen to be on the pier with your stopwatch at the ready.

Nine o'clock in the morning is the start time for the morning-long event, and some International Surfing Day festivities will be afoot in the area as well.

Supporters will be out in full, board short-wearing force, for sure. After all, it has been a full decade, plus three or so months, since the last "most people riding a surfboard at once" record was broken. (That was 47 people in March of 2005, which is, in surfer parlance, majorly rad.)

And, nope, the 60-plus riders expected on the Big Board won't all be actually "hanging ten," which means, of course, to hang toes off the board, physically. Even a grommet knows that's probably not the way to keep dozens of surfers on the same surfboard at the same time.

How they'll all stay on, and upright, will be quite the sight to behold. Big vibes to the Big Board and all of the riders going for glory in, where else? Surf City USA.



Photo Credit: Visit Huntington Beach]]>
<![CDATA[Sixty-Rider Surfboard: See It Built in the HB]]> Fri, 19 Jun 2015 13:32:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/bigboardCollins+4_9105455f-5980-4608-995d-0c941371ad1ahuntington.jpg Is there a Guinness World Record attempt in the works? You betcha.

Photo Credit: Visit Huntington Beach]]>
<![CDATA[Father's Day Food: Mancakes and Brass Monkeys]]> Fri, 19 Jun 2015 09:18:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/mancakeschristinapeters.jpg

You wouldn't stir up heated culinary controversy if you were to say that just about every holiday has its own specific, iconic eats, foodstuffs so singular to that day that the time and the taste are forever entwined in most minds.

Chocolate roses (Valentine's) and candy corn/cider/popcorn balls (Halloween) and green bean casserole (Thanksgiving) would all qualify here. The examples are seemingly limitless, but what exactly is the flavor of Father's Day?

A number of local restaurants are seeking to break June's parental holiday out of its standard brunch items mold. Eggs and hash browns are yummy, yes, but they're not enjoyed just on the day for your dad.

But mancakes could be, if you start a new tradition going a little livelier, a little gourmetier, a little tastier for Dad's Day Out. Look to...

Plan Check... which is serving up mancakes and pig candy at all three of its locations -- Sawtelle, Fairfax, and downtown -- on Sunday, June 21. Mancakes are traditional pancakes that have bacon and Grandma's Pecan Brown Ale mixed in, and pig candy? It's brown sugared bacon. Brass Monkeys -- think oj, beer, and vodka -- are the suggested brunch cocktail of the holiday. Time: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chaya Venice: Is pops an adventurous eater? Oh yeah? Then you best toast his holiday with a barbecued eel omelet or Chaya buffalo burger, two of the suggested items on the Father's Day menu. A Korean Galbi beef & poached eggs dish puts an especially rich spin on the morning classic. The $49-for-grown-ups price includes a swag bag for Dad and a glass of draft beer. If you go Chaya Downtown, there's a special brunch on for your main fella.

Tam O'Shanter: Dad may favor this Atwater Village landmark for its Scotch selection or cozy pub atmosphere, and if that's so, then doing up his day there seems right. On the brunch menu? Some savory favorites plus zingy additions like horseradish deviled eggs and Scotch rarebit, plus Lawry's famous corned beef hash.

Border Grill: The downtown outpost will have both Papacito's Peach Julep on the pour (perfect for a day that is also the first day of summer) and Sonoran Steak (a bone-in steak that comes with, wait for it, chipotle butter. Glad you waited? Yeah, because chipotle butter). Is this your spot to shower your father in all the Father's Day kindnesses? Get info/make reservations.



Photo Credit: Christina Peters]]>
<![CDATA[Comedy Podcast: President Obama to Visit Marc Maron]]> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 14:21:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/presobamamarcmarongetty123456-horz.jpg

When the President of the United States passes through a town on a fundraising trip, he historically engages in a few things that the locals like to do. Maybe that's noshing on a popular club sandwich or bowling at a beloved set of lanes or trying the hot cupcake place.

Here in Los Angeles, though, we put a slight twist on this particular tradition, given that a lot of locals are aspiring performers.

This means our local must-dos include getting a spot on Conan O'Brien's show or a headlining gig at Largo at the Coronet or, apparently, a one-on-one sit-down with loved-all-around comedian Marc Maron on his buzzed-over podcast.

Mr. Maron says President Obama will pay him a visit on Friday, June 19, for a conversation that is sure to be lively, given that the name of the podcast is "WTF with Marc Maron."

The comedian famously runs the podcast out of a garage in Highland Park, so if what should be Friday-lite traffic on Figueroa Avenue gets a bit robust, it could be our president stopping by what is now one of the best-known garages in all of Southern California.

We're a car city, and to call a garage well-known is no stretch of the imagination. Total cred.

The interview will run about an hour or so -- rather longer than what is probably President Obama's most celebrated foray into comedy, his spring 2014 chitchat with actor Zach Galifianakis on "Between Two Ferns" to discuss the Affordable Care Act (though his recent appearance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner with Keegan-Michael Key as his "anger translator" is now legend, too).

As for getting to know Mr. Maron, if you don't already follow his talked-about, listened-to, I'd-love-to-be-a-guest-on-that podcast? His episode guide is an excellent place to start, and to find out where to listen. Past guests have included funny people like Nick Kroll, Jen Kirkman, and Bob Odenkirk.

The president's conversation with the comedian will be available on Monday, June 22, Maron says.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Free Father's Day Fun: Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance]]> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 12:02:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/rodeoconcours929302.jpg

The thing about possessing a penchant for admiring well-made automobiles is that those automobiles, when spied, tend to be moving at a rather impressive clip, as are, most likely, you and your own car.

True, you can sometimes find a dream machine parked by the side of the road, which makes ogling ever so much easier. But locating dozens of dream machines, in a row, that you might admire without paying any admission, is a considerable coup for any car fan.

Many of those car fans'll be out along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills on Sunday, June 21 at the annual Concours d'Elegance. Why, yes, that is Father's Day, so many a dad and kids shall be out among the vehicles, looking and pointing and discussing steering wheels and hood ornaments and horsepower.

As always with this fender-laden 22-year-along happening, there is a specific theme, though the 2015 theme brings a twist -- or a bend in the road, if your prefer. Rather than highlighting a single make or model or company or brand, the Concours d'Elegance will pay homage to "Highways to Heaven," those famous roads known the world over for their driving style, ease of use, or storied history.

Two are in Europe -- Italy's Autostrade and the Autobahn in Germany -- while a blacktop in the ol' U.S. of A. makes the third star of the day. Have a guess? You're so right: Route 66 rounds out the trio of legendary highways.

Expect to see a wide range of cars during your visit, from the new 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe to the 2015 Ford Mustang to a 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom. It's an auto extravaganza that doesn't just lay down the red carpet for vintage beauties. The future gets a little love, too, so prepare yourself to talk about "turbocharge" and "intercooling" and the terms that apply to modern car tech.

Time? It's on during the day, all along Rodeo, from 10 o'clock to 4 in the afternoon, so you can do brunch for Dad and arrive in the Golden Triangle in time to do some heavy-duty lookie-loo-ing. And that gives you just enough time, if you wish, to catch Santa Monica Boulevard on your way home, for a little driving along Route 66.

That's right: One of the honorees of the 2015 Concours d'Elegance sits just north of the event itself, or at least a portion of it does. Route 66 in LA is almost synonymous with Santa Monica Boulevard, so celebrating the famous road's history, and then driving it, is as meta, free, and Father's-Day fun as outings get.



Photo Credit: Concours d'Elegance]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Father's Day Around SoCal]]> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:12:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Happy+Family+Shutterstock.jpg

Happy Father's Day: The gamut of great ways to honor your Pop on the third Sunday in June has grown over the years. There are the free ways, full of cool stuff, that have become longtime Southern California Father's Day traditions, from the Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance on Sunday, June 21 (2015 theme: "Highways to Heaven," a celebration of famous driving routes) to the 23rd annual Pasadena Chalk Festival, which features around 600 artists creating sidewalk stunners. And grown-up kids can take their dad to Angel City Brewery, which is throwing an afternoon-long tunes-and-beer fest.

Pups at the Park: No two tail wags about it: The play-with-your-dog-to-Dodger-Stadium day is one of the most anticipated events of the season. Why? Because you get to parade on the field with your barker, and your barker gets to dress up, and show off, in his or her Dodger Blue. There are a couple of to-knows, about vaccination requirements and such, so know now. The Dodgers play the Giants, and all of the doggie good times happen earlier in the afternoon, ahead of the game, on Saturday, June 20.

Hollywood Bowl Opening Night: For a sizable chunk of a century, It's been the big summer show of the middle section of our huge metropolis, and there are numerous reasons why. Those numerous reasons are made up by the top acts -- Journey opens the season, and lots of good stuff shall follow through September, including appearances by Smokey Robinson, Pink Martini and more -- and the fans who love to fill up the benches and boxes. Saturday, June 20 is the kick-off.

LA Beer Week: You don't even have to be all that into the craft and bespoke and fancy-pants brew scene to know that our region's handcrafty breweries are on the up, up, up. It's the seventh go-around for this long stretch of special tastings, food-and-drink pairings, meet-the-brewmaster happenings, and general ways to find your next favorite local foam. Three Weavers is doing a beer and bacon thing, just so you know. Brunches and parties are plentiful from June 20 through 28.

Mammoths Alive: You'll probably never seen an actual Ice Age mammoth trundling down Wilshire Boulevard, around LACMA, or at least let's hope not, because if you do something has gone amiss with the space-time continuum. But you can see these ancient former residents of the La Brea Tar Pits brought to life, or nearly, via a new 3D film set to run several times daily at The Page Museum. Big trunk, big tusks, big legend, and so many neato fossils left behind: cool beans. Opens June 20.



Photo Credit: Yellowj, Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Demolished: Marilyn Monroe's Valley Village Residence]]> Wed, 17 Jun 2015 16:26:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/monroehousevalleyvillage.jpg

Many people, when it comes to the most famous legends of the silver screen, can sort of feel like the lasting legacies are set in stone.

Or cement, in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre, or on a glittery star, along Hollywood's Walk of Fame. There's something immutable and unmovable about our long-gone movie stars, until things get moved.

Moved, or taken down to the ground. A San Fernando Valley residence that Marilyn Monroe called home in 1944, back when she was Norma Jean Dougherty, is no longer as of earlier this week, when a developer brought in a crew to demolish the 1940 house.

The house, which was located at 5258 N. Hermitage Avenue, possessed a special significance for fans. A release reveals that Ms. Monroe "was living in the rear house at the time she was discovered by photographer David Conover, who encouraged her to follow a career in modeling, which soon led to her work in the movie industry." 

The gabled abode had been submitted to the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission for possible Historic-Cultural Monument status in the middle of April by Charles J. Fisher, a local protector of historic structures. Mr. Fisher, Valley Village-based preservation advocate Jennifer Getz, and several other fans of the actress and neighbors wanted to see protections placed on the two single family residences sitting on the lot.

"We are slowly erasing our history in this city," opined Ms. Getz. She continued "...and the San Fernando Valley as a whole." Ms. Getz says supporters of the Monroe house did not hear back on the issue from Councilmember Paul Krekorian's office.

Just days ahead of when the city was to have met on the proposal, the demolition crew moved in.

Monroe mavens know that just prior to Ms. Monroe trying out a modeling career she had a very different role: "(S)praying airplane parts with fire retardant and inspecting parachutes" at the Radio Plane Munitions Factory. Young Norma Jean's husband Jim was a Merchant Marine in World War II, and she lived in the Valley with her mother-in-law, Ethel.

Look here for the full list of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments.



Photo Credit: Jennifer Getz]]>
<![CDATA[That Marilyn Monroe Feeling: Iconic LA Places to Find It]]> Wed, 17 Jun 2015 16:25:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tlmd_080612marilynmonroe.jpg The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and other starry spots summon the legend's glam vibe.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New: "Mammoth" 3D Film Roars at La Brea Tar Pits]]> Wed, 17 Jun 2015 13:33:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TOTIAWoollyMammoth3.jpg

Outside of local acting schools devoted to pantomime and stagecraft, the place you're most likely to see wild arm gestures around Southern California is on the Miracle Mile.

We speak of the La Brea Tar Pits, specifically, an ancient fossil site that once was home to big animals doing big things. Mammoths ruled the roost 20,000 years ago, or so, along Wilshire Boulevard, as did a host of other extinct creatures. Which means we modern visitors are prone to making over-the-top arm movements, an attempt to bring long-ago beasties back to life for our generally amused (though sometimes not) kids.

Our swinging "trunks," fashioned from our forearms, can be now stowed: The Page Museum, the tar pits-adjacent institution devoted to housing the jaws and femurs found around the Mid-City excavation site, is debuting a new film which will bring former furry area residents to life, in huge and furry 3D.

"Titans of the Ice Age: The La Brea Story in 3D" debuts on Saturday, June 20. The film will run throughout every half-hour at the Miracle Mile fossil-a-torium, every day the museum is open, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum entry, plus the film, for an adult, is $16, $13 for youth, students, and seniors, and eight bucks for the kids.

The mammoth-filled movie is a "22-minute action-packed immersive portal to the great Pleistocene Ice Age" and it features "recent footage and interviews with museum paleontologists" (so, yep, there's some local cred: it was "partially filmed at the La Brea Tar Pits.")

The story behind Zed, one of "the most complete Colombian mammoth skeletons ever uncovered," will be one of the highlights of the visually rich film.

If you know where Zed was discovered, raise your hand now. What? You're right: Zed "was extracted in 2008 from a parking lot next to the La Brea Tar Pits." 

Think about that the next time you park your car anywhere. What wondrous ancient treasures might be deep beneath the asphalt?

The new 3D theatre joins a recently refurbished Page Museum lobby and other updated touches. More than anything, this in-depth look at the beasties who once held a Wilshire Boulevard address — long before Wilshire Boulevard arrived, of course — will give your tots, and you, a fuller, more real look at the animals we know mostly from today's fossils.

Whether this means you need to stow your big arm movements, and your excellent impression of a mammoth, swinging trunk and all, is up to you. (We'd probably keep that in your repertoire, just to be safe.)



Photo Credit: Titans of the Ice Age]]>
<![CDATA[OC to DC: Surfing Artifacts Head for the Smithsonian]]> Wed, 17 Jun 2015 08:12:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/smithsonsurf1.jpg

The spirit of surfing may be deeply chilled and extravagantly happy at its heart, but that doesn't lessen its gravitas or deflate its important story in any sense. Surfing, after all, is both cultural and recreational cornerstone of the human story, and definitely the human story as it has played out near large bodies of water.

The Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center in San Clemente keeps thoughtful tabs on the tales of surfing, and the characters who've brought the calling the life. And the artifacts, too, beautiful boards that could spin a few yarns about big waves and wicked wipe-outs. 

A quintet of surfboards will be surfing east, over a whole lot of land, but they don't need to ride a crest to do it: The artifacts will be shipped to The Smithsonian for display at two programs and a much-anticipated August event: The Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center National Luau.

A June 17 announcement at the Orange County-based center revealed that five boards will make the journey, including "one shaped by Duke Kahanamoku." The 125th anniversary of the legendary surfing figure's birth will be celebrated at The National Museum of the American Indian, one of the two programs featuring the artifacts.

The National Museum of American History will be the other location looking at the history of surfing, the film "The Endless Summer," and the daring characters who headed out onto open water, with bravado and pluck. The "cultural impact" of the 1966 film is a centerpiece to the Smithsonian-meets-surfing summer.

The National Luau rounds it all out, dramatically, like a wave rider's big and daring finish just before hitting the sand, over several days in August. Eager to join? Point your board this way for tickets.

If you can't hang ten for our nation's capital, The Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center is open to visitors and a fine 'n funky way to discover more about the ancient communion of humankind and the salty vastness.



Photo Credit: Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center]]>