<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usTue, 23 May 2017 11:52:48 -0700Tue, 23 May 2017 11:52:48 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Aquarium New: 'Frogs: Dazzling and Disappearing']]> Tue, 23 May 2017 09:29:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BluePoisonDartFrog39.JPG

What are the specific sounds that let you know that summer is on approach?

Maybe the chukka-chukka of a sprinkler, or the trilly song of a bird, or the hiss and pop of a grill coming to life. 

If you said "ribbit," too, well, you're in the zone. Frogs provide a lovely and lulling evening soundtrack as the days grow warmer in several of the Golden State's watery spots.

One of the wateriest is not found in the rivers of the woods, however, but rather in Long Beach, at the Aquarium of the Pacific. And the awesome amphibians will dominate the summer scene at the fishful institution when "Frogs: Dazzling and Disappearing" debuts on Friday, May 26.

The name of the exhibition, a call to action and change, says much. For spying the slick-of-skin superstars in the exhibit won't simply be about admiring their amazing hues, froggy shapes, and ribbit-making abilities, but pondering how we non-ribbiters can play a role in helping these water-to-land wonders thrive and survive.

A series of lectures, displays, and more educational goings-on will light up the web-footed world of our friend, the frog.

More summer openings are ahead for the aquarium, including a look at the California water story via "Our Water Future." And the archerfish, famous for its ability to "shoot water," allowing it to net its next meal, will also have a fascinating cameo on the upcoming exhibition calendar.

For everything swimming this summer at the Aquarium of the Pacific, including those oh-so-popular Shark Lagoon nights, hop-hop-hop in this direction.

Photo Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific]]>
<![CDATA[Sale Pending for Walt Disney's Technicolor Desert Retreat]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 04:02:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/knbc-walt-disney-palm-springs-house-tn-2.jpg A Palm Springs home where Walt Disney and his wife spent their twilight years is in the process of being sold.

Photo Credit: Klint Watkins/Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside Cyndi Lauper's Connecticut Estate, Now for Sale]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 04:53:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Cyndi+Lauper+and+house+1.jpg Cyndi Lauper’s home in Stamford, Connecticut, is for sale, listed at $1.25 million. The French Country Colonial-style estate sits on the 1.58-acre property. The 3885-square-foot home's interior was designed by Howard Kaplan, and includes three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms and three fireplaces.

Photo Credit: Berkshire Hathaway and Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New: 'Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle']]> Mon, 22 May 2017 12:08:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hogwartsnighttimeush.jpg

While a wizard is still a wizard regardless of the time on the clock, any maven of the magical arts can tell you that evening, as a general rule, affords ample adventure-making, let's-explore possibilities.

Especially, or so it seems, as Hogwarts. Delightful discoveries are made once it is lights-out at the famous wizarding school, and the moonlight has a way of illuminating fresh and phantasmogoric finds in J.K. Rowling's fantastical world.

And while Hogsmeade village inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood has been open after dark nearly nightly since its spring 2016 debut, a fantastical post-sunset spectacle hasn't yet been conjured up.

That conjuring will officially occur, however, beginning on Friday, June 23 when "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle" swirls into being via vibrant illumination, imagery, and nods to the quartet of houses that make up Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin.

The "dazzling light projection experience" will incorporate the high walls of the supernatural school as a see-it-from-afar screen.

Shall there be music lending lilt and drama to the show? There shall be, good wizards of Southern California. Did John Williams compose a "special musical arrangement" inspired by his work on the blockbuster films? It wouldn't be nearly as wizardy without the Academy Award winner's note-soaring touch.

Shall the effect by surround sound, lending extra kapow to any ears in the vicinity? That's the magical M.O. in the Potterverse, so, yes, expect the listening end of the projection show to really possess some power.

"The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle" is included in your Universal Studios Hollywood ticket or pass, as you might expect. But did you expect that the show will run several times each night?

Perhaps you did, if you know how important evening is, as a mood, setting, time, and state of mind to the phenom of a series. Prepare to connect with that after-gloaming time in a new way, outside Hogwarts, through waves of light and listening pleasure.

Photo Credit: Mike Danenberg/Universal Studios Hollywood]]>
<![CDATA[CPK: Children's Hospital LA Fundraiser]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 09:32:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cpkSantaFePowerBowl.jpg

A diner enjoying a restaurant meal, or someone stopping by to pick up take-out, very often chats with their server on a host of topics, topics that might include the weather, local news, or new menu items.

But people stopping by a participating California Pizza Kitchen on Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23 will have another thing to discuss with the friendly person who takes and delivers their order, and it is this: Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

The pizza-famous, salad-celebrated restaurant company is hosting a two-day fundraiser, and all people ordering an Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad or Thai Chicken Pizza or one of the many other dishes on the extensive menu must do is this: Tell your server that you'd like to play a part in the fundraiser, or make mention of it, or simply say "I'd like 20% of the check to help Children's Hospital Los Angeles."

The result? No spoilers here: Twenty percent of your May 22 or 23 check on dine-in or take-out will be donated by the company to support the hospital. And, yes, beverages are included in in the final amount taken into consideration.

Area CPKs on the participant roster include the locations in Northridge, Culver City, Simi Valley, 7th & Figueroa, Tarzana, and Century City. Several Cental Coast restaurants are in the mix, too, including the Santa Barbara California Pizza Kitchen.

For the full menu, and where to find your local California Pizza Kitchen, click. For more on the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and all of the amazing, give-back, community-building tasks it so ably does, click again.

Photo Credit: California Pizza Kitchen]]>
<![CDATA[Grunion Fish-tival: San Pedro Party]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 17:54:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/grunionwomanbeach1.jpg

Every party ever thrown has likely reflected a specific theme, or honoree, or time of day in terms of the activities, how the guests dress, and the other touches that make up the anatomy of a bash.

With that in mind, if a grunion were to host an evening soiree, what would go into the affair? Lots of salt water? And sand? Would the moon need to be at a certain phase, and would an age-old ritual be at its beachy heart?

Good questions all, but you need not ponder this head-scratcher any longer, for there is actually a grunion-themed festival in existence, and while the small, silvery fish contigent aren't the hosts, they are the gill-sweet guests of honor.

It's the Special Grunion Fish-tival at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, a once-a-year, family-cool to-do that falls around the middle of the San Pedro institution's Meet the Grunion run. 

That run of grunion-focused programs will wrap in July, but you can wear your craftiest grunion foil hat on Saturday, May 27 and show your affinity for the famous, ocean-onto-land fishes.

Ah yes, foil hats are the thing at the party, at least for the younger set, which makes sense, as the grunion are celebrated for their flashy, silver-bright hue.

Other happenings during the night, before all the foil-hatted revelers walk down to the beach to watch the grunion wriggle ashore in the eternal act of spawning?

There shall be crafts, and art, with a grunion bent. Grunion eggs shall be hatched. (Coooool.) Grunion-smart honchos'll be in the aquarium, sharing all of their grunion-good knowledge. 

And you can visit with the other non-grunion residents of the aquarium, including those in the touch pool.

Speaking of touching, note that we're currently in a "no capture" period for the grunion, so the May 27 observation is just that: Guests at the Special Grunion Fish-tival will simply be watching, and marveling at, all the beach action.

If your kids are marine mavens, and good at making anything out of foil, send them to the kitchen table, before May 27, so they may create their most stunning, grunion-tributing chapeau.

A ticket? It's five dollars for adults, $1 for kids.

Photo Credit: Karen Martin/Grunion.Org]]>
<![CDATA[2017 Cannes Red Carpet]]> Sun, 21 May 2017 02:57:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TryptichCannes.jpg The 70th Cannes Film Festival opened Wednesday, May 17, in Cote D'Azur amid heightened security measures, restricted access and even an anti-drone system.]]> <![CDATA[April the Giraffe's Baby Is Probably Bigger Than You]]> Sun, 21 May 2017 07:23:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_17105735261797.jpg

Watch out, Mom. He'll be bigger than you in no time.

In just over a month, the baby giraffe that gained a following when his mother, April, was pregnant with him, is growing up big and strong.

Tajiri (Swahili for "hope") is now 6-foot-4-inches tall and 200 pounds. The baby stood at 5-foot-9-inches tall when he was born on April 15.

He is happy and doing well with April and his dad, Oliver, at Animal Adventure Park in upstate New York.

The zoo is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

April gave birth to Tajiri on April 15 at the privately owned zoo. It was her fourth calf, but the first for Oliver.

Visitors are expected to flood the zoo for its fifth season after April's pregnancy became the second most livestreamed channel in YouTube history, with more than 232 million live views during a seven-week period.

Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park via AP
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<![CDATA[California Strawberry Fest: Oxnard Awesome]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 16:57:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DSC_7132strawberry.JPG

You've always been competitive, and especially when it comes to one of your favorite fruits, the strawberry.

Perhaps you can balance a berry on your nose (not using the green top but rather the pointy bottom of the fruit). You've fit three large berries in your mouth before (not recommended, of course, as strawberries are best enjoyed one at a time, or in slushie/ice cream form).

And you've always wanted to gain ultimate victory in one of the California Strawberry Festival contests, which include, yes, the classic pie eating showdown, but also the Strawberry Relay, where "(y)ou and a teammate go through a series of obstacles to assemble, and then consume, a strawberry dish in record time."

Those are just two of the juicy competitions at the large-scale, single-fruit-focus'd happening, which will again grow big and delicious in Oxnard on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21. 

It's a mega salute for a pretty wee fruit, but when you take into consideration the strawberry's reach — cakes, fruit salads, even spinach dishes — and its importance to the regional agriculture scene, the out-sized bash makes total sense.

And visitors have a lot to do, from watching a cooking demo on the Strawberry Promenade to taking their tots to Strawberryland for Kids.

There are more contests, too, including the Berry Best Hat competition and the Berry Best Dressed Baby.

As for those all-important eats? As in, "what will they think up for strawberries next"? Check it out: Strawberry beer, strawberry tamales, strawberry popcorn, and strawberry chimichangas are all on the creative cuisine list.

Strawberry chimichangas! That feels like the ideal edible to end this on, for how can the food world top such a perfect pair-up? It may never be done again, frankly.

Photo Credit: California Strawberry Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Hoedown Fun: Topanga Banjo·Fiddle Contest]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 12:34:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/topangafiddleKathleen_Gerber_10--10.jpg

Southern California has seen a number of annual tune-terrific traditions take root, from tuba concerts at Christmastime to a cappella sing-offs to the summer musical on the Hollywood Bowl schedule.

One of the rootsiest has to be the one that blooms each springtime, bringing with it a host of string-sweet sounds, clogging events, and a chance to jam among supportive strangers. It's the Topanga Banjo·Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival, a sepia-toned, denim-donning celebration of old-timey ditties and bluegrassy classics.

It stops to clog during its 57th outing on Sunday, May 21.

That's why we went to "rootiest" for this festival, as it has wayback roots to 1961. And while new people have joined in over the decades, or come simply to watch and enjoy, the contest and festival embrace that vintage character well.

About the contest end of twang-and-warble party? "Over 100 instrumental and singing contests" are woven into the larger tapestry of the day, including Fiddle Beginning, Mandolin Advanced, and some Bluegrass Banjo categories, too.

And while the notion of clogging straight to Topanga Canyon for a glorious, bluegrass-beautiful Sunday afternoon may tempt, note that the location is Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, a landmark that has the perfect character for the ye olde musicale style of the day.

Ticket prices and information? You'll certainly want that. Other good-to-knows, beyond the fact you're headed for a venerable SoCal songfest? Find them now.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Gerber]]>
<![CDATA[Viva La Vida: Long Beach Pride]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 07:36:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/gay+pride+use.jpg

While the spirit, flavor, panache, and soul of Pride run throughout the calendar, there is a time of year when many of the Golden State's biggest and longest-running LGBTQ festivals begin to take shape, reveal parade route information, and post the musicians that'll keep revelers dancing.

You're thinking June, surely, a time of year with ties to the gay rights movement, and the memory of Stonewall. And June is right on, for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Orange County will all host their celebrations at different points of the spring-to-summer month.

But the community fun, effervescent tunes, and parade-day whoopla all revs up in Long Beach 'round about the middle of May. And, as it has been doing since 1984, Long Beach Pride will once again welcome thousands of visitors and locals at the weekend-long tradition.

The 2017 dates? Everything is burbling up in the LBC, festival and parade both, on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21.

There's lots to know like what your festival entrance fee will be ($25 at the door, but $20 ahead of time). The parade's begin point is at Ocean and Lindero Avenue (and it steps off at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday the 21st).

And providing the vibes, crowd shout-outs, and move-to-it rhythms and flows? Chaka Khan, Jody Watley and SRL, Ty Herndon, Monica, Taylor Bennett, Amanda Miguel, Mann Ft. Lanaamak, Brez, and Maria Jose.

"Viva La Vida — Here's to Life" is the hope-filled message at the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride online HQ. Feeling it? Ready to share that strong sentiment? Get your info before making for the huge party.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Bug Fair at NHMLA]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 14:06:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bugfairnhm0298323.jpg

31st Annual Bug Fair: If you've ever called the family outside to the sidewalk to see a mega-ly cool, oh-gosh-look-at-it bug, you're the sort of curious spirit who would dig getting to know a host of crawlies (we won't even add "creepy" to that, because they're so dang cool). The Bug Chef'll be cooking, so you might snack upon something crunchy, and "a variety of exhibitors" will be out with a whole caboodle of wing-major, multi-legged critters. Scurry to the Natural History Museum for the Western Exterminator-sponsored festival on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21.

AMGEN Tour of California: We're plunk in the middle of Bike Month, so spying a group of cyclists happily rolling along isn't that unusual a sight (nor is it, of course, at any ol' time of the year). But seeing some of the top-ranked competitors on the planet roll into Pasadena, as a part of this mega event, is a bit different. The final stage and big finish is on Saturday, May 20 right in the heart of downtown Pas. Check out the big Lifestyle Festival, too.

East Los Angeles Comic Con: One of the newer comics-focused festivities in the region came together in 2016, thanks to "...a group of life long comic and pop culture fans who grew up and live in East Los Angeles." El Gallo Plaza is the spot, Saturday, May 20 is the date, and cosplay will be an element. If you dig Nostalgic Books and Comics in San Gabriel, then you might know the owner Peter Mellini, who is behind the fan-fun gathering.

California Strawberry Festival: There's probably (probably) nothing better than a plain, plump, rosy-hued strawberry, but a strawberry tamale? Or a strawberry funnel cake? Those likely zoom up the amazing-experience scale, too. This two-day fruit-flavorful festival boasts contests, a Strawberryland for Kids, and, yes, a whole host of treats that incorporate the red, green-topped superstar in a host of creative, appetizing ways. Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21

The Desert Cahuilla Birdsingers: Head for Union Station's North Patio at 4 o'clock on Friday, May 19 for a rare chance to hear the "Bird" songs of the Cahuilla, Mojave, and Quechan Nations of Southern California and Arizona. The presentation is free to see, and it also marks the Birdsingers' first appearance at the historical train station. The message behind "Bird," which incorporates voice and movement? It's a beautiful one: "unity and inspiration."

"Underworld" Prop and Costume Auction: If you're a fan of "Evolution," "Rise of the Lycans," "Awakening," and "Blood Wars" turn your eyes upon Premiere Props, which is holding a mondo auction on Saturday, May 20. An animatronic Lycan head mask, a spandex cat suit worn by Selene, and several other pieces from the film will be on the block.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NHMLA]]>
<![CDATA[Ren Faire: Final Weekend]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 12:05:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/FacePaintCharleneHuang.jpg

All told, when you break out the calculator, and the calendar, and the textbooks, and you begin adding this number to that other number, you arrive at this fact: The Renaissance had an impressive run.

It lasted a few centuries, revving up from around 1300 and pushing forward a few centuries, bringing forth a font of fresh ideas and amazing frescoes and generations transformed by the exchange of information, the rise of the arts, and countless other factors that made the Renaissance rock.

The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, while lengthier than most events, doesn't ever last quite that long, sad to say: It opens in early April, hosts a bevy of lively, dress-up, memorable weekends, and says adieu a few weeks into May. It's a big, boisterous time, and it grandly fills out its Saturdays and Sundays, but alas and alack: May 21 is the final date for 2017.

There is still time, though, goodly lasses and lads, to ride your steed for Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale.

As is tradition, there shall be a Closing Parade on Sunday, May 21, but you'll find many of the other hallmarks of the Faire still afoot, from the calvacade of artisans selling period clothing, ceramics, jewelry, and more in the Marketplace to the plethora of ye olde snack choices.

For sure, turkey legs are traditional, but why not go pork chop on a stick?

Whether or not you don your ruff and leggings, or you simply stop by to eat and soak in a bit of the jest-merry scene, know that while the Renaissance was long, the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire always seems to bow its last yearly bow in too fast a fashion.

Photo Credit: Charlene Huang]]>
<![CDATA[350 Stationary Bikes: Tour de Pier]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 06:06:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tourdepierangeladaveshaley123.jpg

If you've ever toodled near Manhattan Beach Pier on a bicycle, something pretty easy-to-predict likely happened: You, and the bike you were on, moved forward with every push of the pedal.

Stating the obvious, of course, but bicycles have a knack of rolling forward, tire rotation by tire rotation, and then stopping when the cyclist has reached their destination. But on Sunday, May 21 350 cycles'll be out, at Manhattan Beach Pier, and they'll be staying very firmly in place.

That's because they're stationary bikes, the kind of cycles meant to stay put while giving cyclists to-the-max workouts. And 1,500 cyclists will take shifts on the 350 cycles throughout the morning and middle of the day, all to play a part in the 5th Annual Tour de Pier.

Once again, this stay-in-place, raise-a-good-deal-of-money happening will support cancer research. A trio of organizations, the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach, and the Uncle Kory Foundation, are the days beneficiaries.

What's "raise-a-good-deal-of-money" mean? Over $3,800,000 has been raised since Tour de Pier began in 2013.

All the slots on all of the bikes do sell out, so there are no spots to hop on left. The great news? You can head down to the pier to cheer participants on, take a look at the Health & Fitness Expo, or send the young'uns into the Cardio Kids Fun Zone.

Live tunes are also part of the (fingers crossed) sunshine-bright morning. Oh, and morning comes early-ish on Tour de Pier day: Everything starts up at 8:30 a.m., and wraps at 1:30.

Photo Credit: Angela Daves Haley]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Museums of the Arroyo Day]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 15:57:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Lummis_Dennis123.jpg

When you drive the 110, you are, wisely, acutely aware of the road, and those vintage tunnels, and the storied neighborhoods you're passing through.

A stirring sense of history can also fill that particular drive, thanks to the Victorian homes of Heritage Square off to one side of the freeway, and the tower of The Autry's Historic Southwest Museum, Mt. Washington Campus, and all of the Craftsman homes that suggest you're near the region's most celebrated example, The Gamble House in Pasadena.

Merely toodling along the 110, in short, is a peek into the past. But the peekhole grows wider each year, over the course of a few busy hours, when Museums of the Arroyo Day returns.

As the name spells out, the day, which'll take place on Sunday, May 21, is very much about spotlighting some of the cultural and historical treasures of the Arroyo Seco, from the three places just mentioned  The Gamble House, Heritage Square, and the Southwest Museum — to the Lummis Home, the LA Police Museum, and the Pasadena Museum of History.

All will be free to visit on May 21, and all will host an assortment of special, get-to-know-us activities during the noon-to-5-o'clock event.

A few important tidbits to keep tucked in your pocket? Be at the final museum you'd like to visit by 4 p.m., as that's the last entry time for the day.

Also? Walking between some of the museums isn't possible, at least with the time allotted, if you intend to try and do them all, but there is a shuttle. Though do note: Heritage Square is not on the shuttle route.

A solid plan: Pick one or two places you want to connect with, and build your history-rich, costume-lovely afternoon around that pairing. 

Photo Credit: Museums of the Arroyo Day]]>
<![CDATA[7-Eleven's Bring Your Own Cup Day Returns This Weekend]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 11:18:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/byocslurpee.jpg

Slurpee fans, rejoice!

7-Eleven is celebrating the start of "Slurpee season" with Bring Your Own Cup Day.

Customers can bring their own cup to fill up with their favorite Slurpee flavor for $1.50 on Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. at participating 7-Eleven stores nationwide. 

But don't go grabbing a cooler to fill up just yet. While customers are encouraged to get creative, there are some rules.

Only one clean, watertight container is allowed per person. The container must also fit upright through a 10-inch slot.

7-Eleven's new cinnamon-flavored Pepsi Slurpee will also be available to try during the two-day event.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of 7-Eleven ]]>
<![CDATA[Customers Getting Chance at 'Marshmallow Only' Lucky Charms]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 10:15:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-455979736.jpg

For fans of one classic cereal, your dream has come true: Lucky Charms is giving away boxes full of just marshmallows.

General Mills announced that, starting this month, 10,000 boxes of the sweet treats will be available. You can enter the drawing for one of the coveted limited edition items by entering a 14 digit code found on normal boxes sold in stores.

After entering the code at MarshmallowOnly.com, you are eligible for the contest that runs through December.

In 2015, a similar promotion was organized with just 10 marshmallow only boxes.

The appeal to nostalgia comes as cereal makers are battling a trend toward products with healthier ingredients like yogurt and energy bars, Adweek reported

According to General Mills' most recent annual report, cereal sales were down 1 percent in fiscal year 2016. That percentage grows to 4 percent when compared to 2014 sales.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lucky Charms to Give Away Boxes with Marshmallows Only]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 10:45:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/luckycharms.jpg

General Mills is holding a contest to give away 10,000 boxes of Lucky Charms filled with only marshmallows.

<![CDATA[New: Old Hollywood History Tour]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 09:59:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hollywoodtour02392923232.jpg

Perhaps, in the past, while calling upon Hollywood Boulevard, either to attend a movie, sip a martini, or accept an Oscar, you said to a friend as you passed by the storied, decades-old structures something along the lines of "if these walls could talk."

Silicon Valley hasn't yet introduced an app for wall-talkery, though, surely, that will be quite the hit one future day, as people rush to get it, eager to know what their home's opinion of them.

But, for now, we rely on tale-packed tour guides to intrepret what the walls might have to say and what the walls have seen.

The latest tour in Tinseltown, the Old Hollywood Walking Tour, is a new venture from the Hollywood Entertainment District. It's an every-last-Friday-of-the-month deal, and it runs about 90 minutes, from 10 a.m. right through to 11:30. One bonus: There'll be a Saturday morning tour on June 17.

The focus of the tour? The years 1886 through 1960, and how, "in fewer than 50 years," Hollywood's story sent it from citrus-sweet burg to starry center of movieland. (Surely that, itself, sounds like a screenplay.)

Price? It's twenty bucks, and you'll need to make an advance reservation. Things you can expect to see? "The first tourist attraction in Hollywood" as well as the "oldest remaining residence on the Boulevard."

April Brooks Clemmer, a member of the Hollywood Heritage Preservation Committee, is the knowledgable guide.

For a peek at some of the places you might strut to while calling upon one of the world's most famous small towns, there are photographs, and further to-knows, at this site.

For a chance to hear walls talk... Well, an app may be a little far down the road on that. But tours that illuminate characters and places go a long way to connecting the thread of time in our history-loving, Hollywood-happy minds.

Photo Credit: Hollywood Entertainment District]]>
<![CDATA[200 Nude Models to Descend on Times Square]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 07:47:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/173*120/7916naked.jpg

Nude and semi-nude people in Times Square, no big deal. 

Two hundred nude people in Times Square ... that's a little less ordinary.

A non-profit called Human Connection Arts said Tuesday it plans a "public art project" called Body Notes on June 9. The event would gather hundreds of fully nude male and female models and let each of them be "painted with a personal message of his or her choosing," the group said in a statement.

Andy Golub, the artist behind the project, is also the founder of NYC Bodypainting Day. In 2011, he and one of his models were arrested during a bodypainting project in Times Square; the city was ultimately forced to pay the model a settlement and Golub was allowed to continue his work

As for the backers, an outfit calling itself the Outdoor Co-Ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society said it is co-sponsoring the event. The group stages topless group readings at parks, mostly recently in Central Park earlier this month. 

A spokeswoman for the society said they had obtained all the necessary permits to hold the event, which will be held on Broadway between 43rd and 44th Streets.

<![CDATA[Frank Lloyd Wright's Home in Chicago Suburb Listed at $1.07M]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 18:37:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/flw+house+thumb.jpg Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic Laura Gale house is up for sale in a Chicago suburb.

Photo Credit: VHT Studios/@Properties]]>
<![CDATA[Book Love: LitFest and Author Fair]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 17:26:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/LitFest-Crowd.jpg

'Tis the season for beach-ready reads to pop up at the top of various web pages, those hot, upcoming picks readers can tear into while on vacation.

But book buffs, though they do love a juicy, ocean-close novel, are also reading while they're packing their suitcase, and lining up the vacation hotel, and before they even decide to take a trip, too.

There's no waiting for summer to start for a reader to jump into the next story, in short.

Which makes the pre-summer timing of two hullabaloos spotlighting the written word, and the creative people who pen the tales we adore, so perfect. It's always the perfect time for a literary party, in short, whether beach reads are needed or not.

LitFest Pasadena is up first, on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21. A host of panels and readings will blithely crowd the delightful calendar, from a panel devoted to Pasadena's own Julia Child (food superstar Jonathan Gold is on that one) to a panel celebrating the interconnection between manga and American comics.

And will SciFi LA be landing their beautiful spaceship in the Crown City, all to participate in "...dramatic readings of the works of finalists for the Roswell Award..?" An award that will be presented "live and in-person"? Affirmative.

Don't stow your favorite batch of bookmarks just yet, however. The Author Fair at El Segundo'll take place on Sunday, June 11, and an author panel devoted to "The History of Mystery" as well as a number of happenings, from kid-sweet activities to signings to more panels, are on the page-turning roster.

Will you find your beach read for the summer of '17 at LitFest Pasadena or The Author Fair? Or are you committed to first finishing the books on your bedside table, meaning you're looking for your winter read of 2019?

Such is the life of the book buff: Always deep inside a few books while yearning for a fresh-voiced author or a thrilling, unmet character, and a local fair where they can find both.

Photo Credit: LitFest Pasadena]]>
<![CDATA[Ducklings Waddle Up New Ramp at US Capitol Reflecting Pool]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 17:33:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cms-%281%294.jpg

Ducklings are in luck! Two new ramps have been installed at the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool to provide easier water access to families of ducks -- and the ducklings have already figured out how to use the new amenity.

Warmer weather has allowed for an increase in the pool's duckling population, but its slanted edge was making it difficult for them to get back into the water.

The Architect of the Capitol consulted with City Wildlife, an organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating animals in the District, and held a design contest to find the best solution to the ducks' problem.

The ducks apparently approve of the ramps. A gaggle of ducklings was shown waddling quickly up the ramp in a short video posted Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.

"Duckling update: Ramp in Use!" read a tweet from the @uscapitol account.

According to the Architect of the Capitol, four families of mallard ducks are   living in the pool. While the ramps are in place to keep the ducks around, officials also warn the public against feeding them.

Photo Credit: Architect of the Capitol
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<![CDATA[Street Food Cinema New: The Overnight Experience]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 12:06:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DirtyDancing3-lg.jpg

A movie is never just a movie for the film fan, for the act of observing a story told onscreen typically arrives with a host of auxiliary traditions in tow.

For some movie mavens this means a bucket of popcorn and some Red Vines. Other fans always need to see the trailers before the movie begins. And for many of us? Flick fun is wrapped up in a whole overnight, sleepover vibe, even if the sleepover is at our own house, with a spouse.

Street Food Cinema is embracing the notion that many of us like to view a blockbuster while sitting in a sleeping bag or wrapped up in blankets. So something new is just ahead for the outdoor film series in the summer of 2017, and it is this: Two overnight movie-viewing experiences at King Gillette Ranch in Malibu.

First up on the special camp-out film nights is "Dirty Dancing" on Saturday, July 15, followed by "The Lost Boys" on Saturday, Sept. 30. Both films hail from 1987, and while "Dirty Dancing" is an ideal height-of-summer watch, the vampiric "The Lost Boys" is the perfect way to say hello to October.

What will happen beyond the screenings at both Street Food Cinema overnights? Like all classic slumber parties, other high jinks will be afoot. The "Dirty Dancing" night will include Johnny Castle's dance lessons, an outdoor lounge, a midnight hike, a bonfire, and a bonfire's BFF: s'mores.

"The Lost Boys" event includes Santa Clara carnival games, Vampire Training, and, yep, a midnight hike, s'mores, and other fang-tastic to-dos.

A continental breakfast buffet on Sunday morning is included in your ticket for either or both flicks.

If you need to get that slumber party spirit on when you catch your '80s big-screen gems, there's now a way to do that, in Malibu, over two special nights. The outdoor movie series scene keeps expanding to incorporate fresh elements, and this latest iteration, camping, may be the quirkiest yet.

Tickets? Samba this way.

Photo Credit: Dirty Dancing]]>
<![CDATA[Free Getty Concerts: 'Off the 405' Opens]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 06:14:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/240*120/getty4051234.jpg

Giving directions to The Getty Center and not saying the words "off the 405"? Well, science hasn't yet studied this topic yet, but you can bet it is nearly impossible.

For as much as we Southern Californians like using a "the" ahead of a freeway number, we also often describe locations as "off" a major thoroughfare. 

Which makes the easy-to-recall handle of The Getty Center's long-running, pay-nothing summer concert series a phrase you probably already have used on more than one occasion.

Off the 405, which jams over five spring-to-summer Saturday nights, is tuning the guitars and testing the mics for the 2017 kick-off. Date? Saturday, May 20 from 6 to 9 o'clock.

Nite Jewel is the first out on The Getty stage, followed by White Fence on June 10, La Luz on June 24, Steve Gunn on July 29, and Savoy Motel on Aug. 26. The "eclectic mix" includes "arty dance music and retro reinterpretations," as well as a spectrum of other styles.

There shall be libations like agua fresca cocktails and beer close at hand — seek out the cash bar — as well as noshes to keep you rocking, swaying, humming along through the evening.

As for that glorious Getty garden? It'll stay open, as will the galleries. As for catching the sunset? That should happen later in the evening, and you'll be at one of the highest points around to enjoy it.

As for who can attend? It's an all-ages kind of happening. As for the free-a-tude? That's on for the music, but you'll need a tenner for parking if you arrive after 3 in the afternoon (a drop from the $15 parking fee earlier in the day).

Photo Credit: Getty Center]]>
<![CDATA[Happy Bike Week, Southern California]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 21:36:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bikeweekmay17.jpg

If you're following the AMGEN Tour of California, and all of the elite racers that pedal across great swaths of our state in seemingly no time at all, you've likely given a thought to the cycle sitting near the back of your garage.

Or maybe your bicycle leans against your front door, where it usually rests after your daily ride. It matters not if you're a sometimes rider, an infrequent-but-gotta-get-out-more rider, or a cyclist who needs to get in a few miles every day: Bike Month is for everybody.

And that Bike Month spreads out in May, with various local, city-specific Bike Weeks flowering here and there around the middle of the month, and Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 18, makes as much sense as keeping those spokes shiny. After all, May's weather is warm but not sweat-inducing, and California's biggest bike spectacular is front-and-centered in many a cyclist's mind.

Bike Week LA kicked off on Monday, May 15 with a groundbreaking at Union Station for the new Metro Bike Hub. And Union Station will be the location for Bike Night on Friday, May 26.

Santa Monica's Bike Week is also on, from through May 17, with Bike Local SM specials and more to-dos. As for what's happening at BikeSGV? The San Gabriel Valley cycle-cool org has an architecture ride coming up on May 21, with a caboodle of other Bike Week happenings on the calendar, too.

And if you want to ride gratis throughout May via the Metro Bike Share, you can, with a special code. All the info you need to hop on the loaner bicycle and get rolling is in this direction, so turn your handlebars and pedal there at once.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[The 'Donut Man' Draws Crowds to His Route 66 Shop]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 00:48:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-566026249.jpg

Nearly every morning since 1972, Jim Nakano has started his day at his Glendora doughnut shop with a cup of coffee and a fresh buttermilk doughnut, NBC News reported.

The two in hand, he greets new and longtime customers as they wait in line picking between the nearly two dozen types of doughnuts The Donut Man sells. He then heads to the back of the shop to taste-test some of his stock, making sure everything is handled with care and fried to perfection.

"I don't eat all the donuts," Nakano told NBC News. "I eat part of it, look at it, and taste it. I look at the consistency."

The Donut Man is located on Route 66 in Glendora, California, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for major holidays.  

Photo Credit: Mark Boster/LA Times via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Make a Black-Eyed Susan]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 15:14:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/blackeyedsusan.jpg

The Black-Eyed Susan is the official drink of the Preakness. Find out how you can make one of your own while watching the race.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Breathing Light': Glow Room's Final Weeks]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 11:41:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BREATHINGLIGHT_turrellj.jpg

In the last day or so, or even in the last hour, we'll wager, you walked into a new room or space. If you did so at night, there was likely a light on, or you flipped a switch as you entered.

The wagering isn't done, however. We'll also wager that the light you turned on didn't change hues, very slowly, nor were you required to remove your shoes and don special booties before entering the room.

There is a changing-color room in Los Angeles that requires booties, and it is like no space you've ever encountered. It's artist James Turrell's "Breathing Light," an enterable work of art that has been on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for just over five years. 

The popular piece is in its final days at the Miracle Mile museum, so get there by Monday, May 29 if you want to see it again or for the first, fabulous time. "There are no immediate plans to show the work in the near future," take note, so best make a date with it ASAP.

"Breathing Light" was tied, in the early part of its run, to a larger James Turrell retrospective, but stayed on, thanks to an extension in 2014. In that time thousands of Southern Californians and visitors from afar has signed up, at the ticket window, for the short but impact-making experience.

An experience that asks you to remove your shoes while goosing your sense of the mysterious, of wonder, and how the softest of shades, from pink to blue, can change one's interior personscape.

The glowful room is just one of Mr. Turrell's studies on the nature of light and color. If you've heard about Roden Crater in Northern Arizona, which is indeed a real crater, and how the 74-year-old artist have been creating a vision of light and sky within it, then you are aware of his dedication to big ideas writ in huge, hue-laden ways. 

"Breathing Light" is an incandescent example, one that Los Angeles has been lucky enough to enjoy for over a half decade. A dramatic and chromatic art experience you can walk inside doesn't glow along every day.

Photo Credit: James Turrell]]>
<![CDATA[Happy Chocolate Chip Cookie Day]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 05:53:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/milkjarcookiesgiveaway123.jpg

One of the common and brain-tickling twists in a time-travel flick is the notion that, within a single room or house, it is always a particular day or year, no matter what the date beyond the room might be.

A lot of us feel like it is always National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day within the confines of our kitchen. The calendar can say what it will, and the world beyond our pantry can move forward, but National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day remains a steadfast and delicious constant in our day-to-day lives.

But there really is such a holiday — May 15, each and every year — and some sweets-selling shops do, in fact, honor it, as so many of us honor it, each and every day, May 15 or not, in our own homes.

Whether your local cookie hut'll be marking the day is a beautiful mystery, but swinging by to support what they do, and see what's baking, is always a great idea.

Milk Jar Cookies, on Wilshire a few blocks from the tar pits, is honoring the holiday with a get-a-free-cookie-with-purchase deal. Nope, your purchase doesn't need to be giganto, or especially big, to qualify. A cup of coffee'll nab you that chocolate chip cookie.

Making the holiday at the busy treat emporium even more festive? Milk Jar Cookies typically shutters on Mondays, but will stay open for the chewy, milk-dippable occasion. They want to connect customers to that free-with-purchase goodie, and if observing Monday hours is the way to go, well, that's how this cookie crumbles.

Is it always National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day in your kitchen? Morever, in your heart? You're not alone, maven of melty-chipped dessert-perfect staples.

Photo Credit: Milk Jar Cookies]]>
<![CDATA['Extreme Mammals': Opening at NHMLA]]> Sun, 14 May 2017 09:17:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Ambulocetus_DF.jpg

You would not be stepping out of bounds, nor would you be stepping on any toes, if you were to claim you've got the whole mammal thing down pat.

After all, if we might say so, you are one, and you might live with a few (family members) and you might socialize with a few (your friends) and you might even give a mammal a nightly yum-yum treat (your kitty-cat or puppy).

But would you get down on your knees, pat your thigh, and offer a yum-yum treat to beasties bearing "over-sized claws, ferocious fangs, trunk-like snouts, and huge, complicated horns"?

Well, you might (we don't want to assume).

Mammals run a vast, glorious, and ancient gamut, and all those eye-popping traits have been, at one time or another, classifiable as "mammalian." And several of those "Extreme Mammals" will go on view at the Natural History Museum beginning on Sunday, May 14.

That's when "Extreme Mammals: Odd Features, Unusual Creatures" opens for its summer-long run. Well, nearly summer-long; it scurries away on Sunday, Sept. 10.

That should give all mammal mavens ample time to admire the re-created extinct mammals on view, like the Indricotherium, "the largest ever discovered." How much could an Indricotherium weigh? If you guessed that an adult at maturity could click in at "up to 20 tons," you get the ding-ding-ding correct buzzer. (And, yep, that's "...the weight of three or four adult African adult elephants," the planet's current biggest land mammals, if you guessed that, too.)

Reconstructions, fossils hailing from around the globe, dig-in activities, and "animated computer interactive" to-dos will fill out a lot of mammalkind's long, long story.

How long is "long, long story"? "For over 200 million years, mammals have inhabited the Earth," offers the Natural History Museum site.

That's rather longer than your favorite mammal takes to chow down on his yummy treat each night.

The American Museum of Natural History in New York organized "Extreme Mammals: Odd Features, Unusual Creatures." A trio of institutions, including the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa all collaborated on the exciting, info-packed exhibition.

Little bitty monotremes will get their moment in the exhibition, as will Columbian mammoths, proving further that the gamut for mammals is positively gargantuan and ripe for we people-type mammals committing to more mammal-marvelous exploration.

Photo Credit: Denis Finnin]]>
<![CDATA[West Coast BBQ Classic: Tasty Time]]> Fri, 12 May 2017 16:36:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/qmsandwich93834203232-horz.jpg

Of all the items you threw a weather-resistant cover over last November — the patio furniture, the garden table, the pool — you might be, at the moment, longing for your grill the most.

We're not saying that you checked on it, throughout the winter, peeking under its sturdy cover just to say hello, but you might have, if you're particularly attached to the time-honored summer rite of grilling. 

And if you can't wait to get back to it, or perhaps you're already back, here's one route to finding inspiration, exciting, and fresh new notions for really piquant, taste bud-tempting rubs: The 6th annual West Coast BBQ Classic on Saturday, May 13.

The one-day meat-stravaganza will again take place at the Queen Mary, with "more than 50" pitmasters turning out with tongs, brushes, and mitts in hand. You don't need to stand and simply watch, though, while all of that smoky fragrance makes you wish you could try what's resting atop the flames: Your General Admission Value Pack includes five tasting tickets, and entry to the Queen Mary, too.

It's $24 to try what's cooking at the competition, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. And when Kansas City comes into play, you know you're talking some serious 'Q.

What's new in 2017? There's a brush-to-brush battle in the fields of bacon and desserts. 

What's the general vibe? The Classic goes for an "ultimate 'Backyard' cook-off" kind of feel, with lawn games and line dancing adding to the convivial, beyond-the-plates mix.

Will all of this goose you into finally pulling the cover off your grill? What? It's already off? All righty, then: Happy grilling, at home, and happy trying, should you make for the Long Beach landmark on Saturday, May 13.

Photo Credit: West Coast BBQ Classic]]>
<![CDATA[Girl's Wedding Photos With Burrito]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 10:13:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/051217+main+burrito+wedding+photo.jpg What if you loved a burrito so much you married it? A teenager in Loudoun County, Virginia, loved a burrito so much she had beautiful, backlit "wedding" photos taken with it.

Photo Credit: Laura René Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Museum of Ice Cream: Chilling Into August]]> Fri, 12 May 2017 17:15:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/MOICApril+20th-1173.jpg

If a cake left out in the rain brings to mind an iconic Los Angeles location — MacArthur Park, and its famous eponymous song — then pause to imagine ice cream, staying perfectly unmelted, through much of August, in the Arts District.

It might be a bit of a fanciful stretch between the beloved tune and the pop-up, oh-so-popular Museum of Ice Cream, which debuted in Los Angeles in April after a buzzy New York City run, but things are pretty darn fanciful at the ice cream-themed experience.

Perhaps "fanciful," though, doesn't go nearly far enough, for there's that wade-in sprinkles pool (they're not real sprinkles, but so life-like, or, rather, sprinkles-like, you'd swear they were) and a room full of dangling pink and yellow bananas.

Those bananas will continue to dangle, and sprinkles will continue to fill the wading pool, and the Instagrammable happening at 2018 E. 7th Place will continue to Instagram-on through the bulk of August, rather than the end of May, the museum just revealed. 

More tickets for the popular, hard-to-get-a-ticket to-do are again on sale as of Friday, May 12.

A ticket for a guest over the age of 13 is $29. A ticket for a senior, or a child 3-12, is $18.

If you go, know this: Cameras are as essential as cones are to cold scoops. So you'll want to snap a photo or twenty while inside the pink-tastic palace.

And come ready to lick, as a few offbeat, what-flavor-is-this? edible treats are handed out along the way.

Also? There's a gift shop at the end, for all of your temporary ice cream tattoo needs.

So, there's a solid answer to the age-old, or, rather, just-thought-up question: How does ice cream not melt in the city of Los Angeles in August? Why when it is the Museum of Ice Cream, of course.

Ba-dum-bump here, if you feel so inspired, or not. Or simply proceed to the ticket-buying page now.

Photo Credit: Museum of Ice Cream
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<![CDATA[Hello, Summer: Griffith Park Beer Garden]]> Fri, 12 May 2017 09:35:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/griffithparkbeergarden.jpg

No spoiler alerts required here, or lengthy explanations needed: A beer garden, we'd like to point out, has the word "garden" in its very name.

That doesn't mean that an alfresco set-up of tables and taps needs to be placed among a plot of petals and shrubs; beer gardens can, and do, charmingly show up in brewery-adjacent alleys, in parking lots, and, yes, even occasionally indoors.

But finding a beer garden that happens to be adjacent to nature, and located in one of the world's greatest urban parks, is a true find, even if it happens to be a pop-up, and even if it'll be a Saturdays-in-the-summertime kind of thing.

The Roosevelt Cafe, sitting, as it does, tucked just inside Griffith Park off Vermont Avenue, is pretty much an ideal place to stage a beer garden, and so it shall for the spring-into-summer season, every Saturday, beginning on Saturday, May 13.

The name? This'll be a snap to remember. You won't even need to jot it down, seriously, as it is 100% memorizable: Griffith Park Beer Garden.

There shall be top-notch suds, and eats, too — the garden's Facebook page features a tempting sausage and a flight of four beers for twenty bucks — making it a true beer garden in character, too. (There should be sausage-y noshes at an authentic garden, or at least beer-complementary noshes.)

LA Weekly reveals that a DJ'll be in the house, or rather garden, when the sun dips down, and that the "beer menu will be expanded."

Oh, and the Saturday hours shall grow, too, along with the warmer temps and longer days.

If you've been to the Roosevelt before, maybe while playing a few holes at the Roosevelt Municipal Golf Course, you might have enjoyed a burger or some eggs and bacon. It's a pleasant setting, and even a touch bucolic, bringing the country right into the city, and, for a series of special spring and summer Saturdays, a beer garden, too.

This isn't to say that beer gardens shouldn't charmingly show up in parking lots, alleys, and other un-shrub-laden spaces that could be improved by some song, suds, and socializing, but getting one in a green place, at least for awhile, holds up the "garden" bargain in the name.

Photo Credit: Griffith Park Beer Garden]]>
<![CDATA[How to Write a Good Mother's Day Card]]> Fri, 12 May 2017 09:48:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cardsGettyImages-488591684.jpg

You may not have decided on what to do for Mother's Day. But at least your mom can expect a card. 

Nearly 80 percent of Americans plan on purchasing greeting cards for the special women in their lives, according to the National Retail Foundation. 

If snarky messages are your thing, joking and rude cards abound online. One card on Etsy reads, "I love you more than dad," while another says, "You may have carried me for nine months, but you'll always carry me financially." Others reference giving birth and "ruining" mom's body, while some explicitly say, "I hate you." 

Crafting a more uplifting Mother’s Day card that speaks to you can be a challenge. But don't worry. American Greetings and Hallmark, two of the nation’s largest stationery retailers, have plenty of advice for penning that note. 

Anne McEvoy, a senior writer at American Greetings, said people are finding it pays to be "honest and real." 

She said there’s no way to pinpoint whether a more sentimental card is better than a cheesy, humorous card. But humorous cards often sell more for Father’s Day than Mother’s Day, she said. 

When picking the perfect card for your mom, go the "simple and sincere" route, she says. 

Keely Chace, a Hallmark Master Writer offers tips for writing cards to mothers, mother figures, grandmothers and more in a blog post on the stationery company's site. 

Some of her suggestions for writing out cards for mothers include simple phrases such as: 

"You're my one and only mom, and I'll always have a special place in my heart for you." 

"Sorry if I drove you crazy sometimes. I only did it because I love you!" 

"To my mom, my friend, my angel." 

McEvoy said that when she sits down to write a card, she tries to think of a particular type of mother — but when it comes to crafting a message for your own mother, it all comes down to individual relationships. 

"Nobody knows your mom like you do," she said, "So trust your instincts." 

She added that relationships with people who aren't necessarily a mother, but are like a mother, are important to celebrate, too. Stationery companies offer selections of cards that cover such relationships. 

Some of Chace's recommendations for writing out a card for mother figures include: 

"With love to an amazing lady…from someone who hopes to be one someday." 

"Happy Mother’s Day to an amazing woman I'll always admire, appreciate and love!" 

But as McEvoy said, nobody knows your mother — or mother figures — like you do. So keep it sincere and write from the heart.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Hallmark Signature, File ]]>
<![CDATA[Handmade Finds: Echo Park Craft Fair]]> Thu, 11 May 2017 19:04:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/4X8A7634.JPG

Live in Southern California long enough and you're going to meet a host of creative spirits, the inspired people who work not only in the entertainment industry but also in a whole line-up of imagination-based, sky's-the-limit callings.

You, in fact, may be such a creator, or you might love one or call a painter or jewelry designer or baker a neighbor. So to call the making of handmade goods, and art, and wearables, and edibles kind of the local way of life 'round Los Angeles is playing down how much people do create here, and what good things are made.

The Echo Park Craft Fair is a primo, dream-filled example of all of this marvelous makery. More than 120 artists show up at the started-in-2009 event, a spectacular that highlights some of the best artisans working in SoCal today.

And the Spring Fair is just ahead, at the Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake, one of our region's original creative spaces. The dates? Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14, so if your mom loves browsing earrings, bags, belts, and lots more, a fair stop-by would be a beauteous Mother's Day outing.

Tickets are $10 per day, though a weekend pass is $16.

As for what you can expect to see on the tables? Think "ceramics to jewelry, perfumery to clothing design, woodworking to fabric art." The 2017 artist roster includes Edible Gardens LA, Four Leaf Wood Shop, Moon Canyon Flowers, PAX Ceramics, and Ursa Major Jewelry.

Expect "two massive soundstages," soundstages that once held some of moviedom's early silent stars, full of great goods and the talented makers who thought them up (and then followed through and made them, beautifully).

It's a spring-sweet shopping experience with an enthusiastic emphasis on locally sourced items and locally livin' craftspeople and dreamers. 

More need-to-knows about this gem? And Mother's Day hours? All here.

Photo Credit: Nancy Neil]]>
<![CDATA[Disneyland New: Lightsaber Churros]]> Thu, 11 May 2017 15:22:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jonzarcochurrostartours-horz.jpg

Like autumn follows summer, and night follows day, and you'd always put mustard on your hot dog, if mustard is available, there are a number of set-in-stone, fast-and-absolute rules in this world.

And one of the most widely known, closely adhered-to tenets is this: When you're wielding a lengthy piece of food like a lightsaber, you would not, repeat, would not make the "pew, pew, pew" sound as you wage battle.

"Frwuummmm" is close, or maybe "ssschoonnrrr," if you can give it some guttural spin.

Whatever your sound choice, know that you no longer need to rely on a carrot, or breadstick, to be your lightsaber, for there are actual totally edible lightsaber churros in existence, and you don't even need to visit Hoth to find one: They're for sale, right now, in this particular time stream, at Disneyland Resort.

They're only available through May, and only near Star Tours — The Adventures Continue.

You know how fast it takes a lightsaber to frwuummmm on, once you flick the switch? That's how quickly you'll need to get to Anaheim to enjoy one. They're a May-only treat, as in May 2017, and there's a "while supplies last" asterisk included, too, straight from the resort.

There are also two churro lightsabers for sale, for $4.50 each, so choose your side: blue or red.

A Disneyland representative says that the "red and blue coloring is not cinnamon like our traditional churros, but instead sugar."

A few last things to know before you set your ship to hyperdrive for Hoth, er, we mean Anaheim? You'll need to visit the Churro Cart near Star Tours: The Adventures Continue to find 'em, so don't just saunter up to any cart in the park in hopes you'll find your all-in-one toy-snack.

And two? There's already a hashtag for the treat — #lightsaberchurros — as, no surprise, the flavorful phenomenon is lighting up social media.

Photo Credit: Jon Zarco/Disneyland Resort]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Happy Mother's Day]]> Thu, 11 May 2017 10:54:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/shutterstockmothersday1.jpg

Happy Mother's Day: You've filled a card with sweet sentiments; now, you'll want to treat your mommy to something a little special. Numerous restaurants around Southern California are brunching it, including Fuego in Long Beach, Hotel Casa del Mar, Baldoria, The Independence, The Church Key, and Mr. C Beverly Hills (and maybe even your local go-to; just call and ask). Unusual brunch spots that come with a little post-brunch strolling? The Huntington in San Marino, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, and Skypark at Santa's Village. May 14 is also the final day for The Flower Fields in Carlsbad.

6th Annual West Coast BBQ Classic: Perhaps, now that it is the middle of May, you're pondering giving the ol' grill a serious scrubbing. Here's inspiration: Several mega skillful pitmasters'll call upon the Queen Mary on Saturday, May 13 to break out the best cuts of savory meats, and the top-notch sauces and rubs, too. There shall be five tastings, too, included with the General Value Pack ticket. Plus, new this year? Dessert and bacon categories.

'Extreme Mammals' Opens: When a new Natural History Museum of LA exhibition has a "Odd Features. Unusual Creatures" sub-header, you know you're in for a info-rich treat. Spy some of the most "bizarre, amazing, and extraordinary" mammals, extinct and here today, at this large-scale show. It opens on Sunday, May 14, and gallops with mammalian-like grace right through to Sept. 10.

"Anne of Green Gables" Party: Fans'll gather at Chevalier's Books on Larchmont Boulevard to celebrate the timeless story from author Lucy Maud Montgomery, and the new Netflix series (that debuts on May 12). The bookstore gathering date? That's on the afternoon of Saturday, May 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. Other independent bookstores across the country will also be honoring the plucky heroine, with spots in San Francisco, Menlo Park, and La Jolla hosting parties.

"Them!" at Union Station: If you dig an over-the-top big bug movie, the kind of B flicks synonymous with the 1950s, and you'd like to see one of those big bugs arrive in LA, looking for mayhem, you're in luck: The classic "Them!" will screen, for free, at the landmark train station on Friday night, May 12. It's part of the ongoing sci-fi film series, which includes movies that use Los Angeles as a surreal setting.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 15:48:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/OB-Farmers-Market-Troy-Orem-2.jpg You don't need to spend a fortune to have fun in this city.

Photo Credit: Troy Orem Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Queen Mary New: Free Evening Admission]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 21:46:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/QueenMary75thAnniversary.jpg

"Ship's time" is something that conveys the reading on the clock at the location where the vessel is currently afloat. And keeping track of the hours? An on-board horn often does that, loudly and with impressive tone, several times each day.

Big boats and the time of day have a pretty tight, very old relationship, which is quite understandable, as staying on top of the whens and wheres while at sea is essential. But there's a new time of day to keep in mind, when it comes to one of the biggest boats around, at least if you're enjoying an evening out in Long Beach.

It's the Queen Mary, the '30s-era, born-in-Scotland Art Deco landmark that transformed into the Grey Ghost, and Winston Churchill's office-at-sea, in World War II.

Visiting the ship's many historical displays, and reportedly haunted hallways, just got a mite easier: The Queen Mary will now waive admission after 6 o'clock each evening.

There may be some holidays and special nights when this new policy doesn't apply, keep note, but most days you can show up at 6 and saunter on in while keeping that wallet tucked away.

One large asterisk? Parking is not included, but here's another asterisk to place alongside that: If you "...spend $20 or more at the Observation Bar" or dine at Sir Winston's or the Chelsea Chowder House, your car entry is also gratis for the night, too.

That's it, a perk for people who like to do a little ghosty and/or historical nosing around after dark on the fabled ocean-liner. And as for those water-shimmery views of lovely Long Beach? Those are pretty darn nice by moonlight, too.

And we weren't exaggerating about time and ships before. If you've been on the Queen Mary at 10 a.m., 3 p.m., or 6 p.m., you've heard her horn blow.

Golly, if you've been within ten miles of the ship you've heard the horn's celebrated sonorous sound, an auditory experience that's as Long Beach as a seal bark or the lapping of the waves.

Photo Credit: Queen Mary]]>
<![CDATA[Grand Park Delish: LA Times Night Market]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 12:44:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Bludsobbqlatimenightmarket.jpg

The fountain-pretty, bench-nice, walkway-laden stretch of grass that runs from Music Center Plaza to City Hall has seen some memorable parties since its initial debut just over five years back.

But, for the most part, those parties have a way of wrapping up after an evening, and revelers who enjoyed the scene must be content with knowing it could be another year before the bash comes back around.

That won't be the case with the first annual Los Angeles Times Night Market, which will set up shop at the 12-acre open space for a full five nights.

Make that consecutive nights, meaning if you visit the park on Wednesday, May 10 for a nosh, and a libation, and you dig it, you can return on May 11, 12, 13, and 14. Which, of course, is Mother's Day, so if Mom's a regular food Instagrammer with a special love for local vittles, that could be your gourmand go-out.

The Los Angeles Times Night Market is part of the larger Food Bowl, "...a month-long love letter to the food scene in L.A.," and it will include 50 booths with a starry array of those celebrated chefs, and eateries, currently making tums smile across our meal-major region.

Bludso's BBQ is joining, as is Jitlada, and Holy Cow, The Poke Shack, Side Chick, and WP24. On the "trucks and street vendors" front? Locol will be there, and Dogtown Dogs, and Bling Bling Dumpling, and Stickhouse Gelato, too.

Admission: free, very free, so free, just show up and don't worry about paying for entry. Unless, of course, you want to visit the Super Market area, which comes with additional booths and bars and such. That's ten bucks per adult, and $5 for a child.

Food and beverages: Not free, as expected, so come ready to buy your tostada, and poke bowl, and rice, and ribs.

How much will you have? How can you try it all? That's always the question. Always.

Music, as in the live, right-there kind, will serenade diners as they stroll 'n sup. Diners who may even want to catch the Metro home — the Red Line is only a short saunter from Grand Park.

One note? While the Night Market is a nifty, consecutive-nights kind of thing, hours vary a bit between some of the evenings, so eye the opening/closing situation before you hop your train downtown.

Photo Credit: Bludso's BBQ]]>
<![CDATA['Rare' Disneyland Hand-Drawn Map at Auction]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 19:21:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/disneymap12392832.jpg Walt Disney himself "co-created" the recently discovered 1953 map of the Anaheim theme park.

Photo Credit: Van Eaton Galleries]]>
<![CDATA[Petal-Topped Lattes: Bia Coffee]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 17:09:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/biacoffeekoreatown.jpg

T-shirt aphorisms are, on the whole, humorous, and catchy, and, yes, often quite true.

Take "Powered by Coffee," a popular tee design that's made the rounds through the years. Perhaps you're nodding, because you've also been powered by coffee, and agree with the sentiment... but have you ever been flower-powered by coffee?

There may soon be a t-shirt suggesting just that, thanks to Bia Coffee, a recently debuted shop devoted to beautiful beverages.

They're tasty coffees and teas, for sure, with a range of traditional and unexpected ingredients as well a good variety of leaves and styles, but the topper to many of the drinks is creating quite the caffeinated buzz: It's a flower petal.

A delicate and fragrant memory of a rose isn't your everyday latte add-on, like a flavored sugar or chocolate sprinkles or whipped cream. And while it is completely removable from the top of your drink, and you can easily set the petal aside before you sip, leaving it in the cup or glass feels pretty fancy-pants, and feeling a little fancy-pants on a coffee run is a treat not to be undervalued.

The Koreatown coffeehouse from Silbia Lee, which opened in February, has an assortment of tempting elixirs, from the sparkling appleade (you can get a petal topper on that, you betcha) to a lavender latte that takes on the very hue, in part, that its name strongly suggests.

Klatch Coffee, which is headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, is behind the top-shelf beans. And if you're looking to nosh while you quaff, there are meringues and cakes nearby (and, yes, they also boast interesting flavors such as lavender and rose).

If you have your coffee- or tea-obsessed heart on enjoying a libation topped with a petal or sprig, just double-check your choice on the handy menu on the counter to make sure your chosen beverage arrives bepetaled or bespriged.

Call it a novel way to power up by caffeine, or, rather, flower-power up, complete with a picture-ready flourish straight from the floral world. The address? It's at 3907 W. 6th Street, near Western Avenue.

Photo Credit: Alysia Gray Painter]]>
<![CDATA[The Flower Fields: Final 2017 Days]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 14:35:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/flowerfieldsyellowranunculus.jpg

What's the fastest possible way to fold space and time together?

In a book, you might invent a complicated device that manipulates how we perceive clocks. In a movie, a spaceship with a laser might do the job.

But here in Southern California, at least among those who adore incredibly colorful spring blossoms, all you need to do to fold time is vow to visit The Flower Fields at the beginning of March and then find, suddenly, it's the middle of May.

The famous Carlsbad flower-powerful spread, which includes 50 acres, is traditionally open from March 1 to Mother's Day. While that stretch can seem like an impressive amount of time when it starts, there's a scramble to make good on your promise to finally go before the season winds down.

Also winding down? The remarkable ranunculus show. "There are 20 acres of color left," reported a Facebook post for the fields on May 5, "but the ranunculus are nearing the end of their life cycle. The color will continue to quickly fade over the next week."

There's admission to enter the fields — $14 for adults — and they're sure to have a busy last day of the petal-famous attraction on Sunday, May 14, which is Mother's Day.

But the cultivated flower season isn't quite done for this general slice of the Golden State. Lompoc's flower fields are starting to make a showing, with a recent photo of a lush blanket of sweet peas popping up on social media in early May.

More Lompoc-close, field-based blooms are still to come, and there's a pdf map and info on how to wend your way around the Santa Barbara County burg's bud-packed places.

Photo Credit: The Flower Fields]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside: Chris Bosh's Pacific Palisades Estate]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 15:54:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Chris+Bosh+Pacific+Palisades.jpg

Photo Credit: Sotheby’s International Realty/Shen Schulz/Getty]]>
<![CDATA[New Dove Campaign for Shaped Bottles Gets Backlash]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 09:56:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dovecampaign_1200x675.jpg

Dove debuted six body wash bottles in different shapes and sizes as part of the company's latest campaign to celebrate women and their bodies.

But rather than celebrate the campaign, social media handed Dove a backlash.

The bottles came in tall, short, round, curvy and straight with a slight, curvy shape. Dove said the unorthodox shapes were in line with its decade long "Real Beauty" campaign portraying and celebrating the diversity of women everywhere. 

"Each bottle evokes the shapes, sizes, curves and edges that combine to make every woman their very own limited edition," Dove said in an online statement."They’re one of a kind–just like you. But sometimes we all need reminding of that."

The statement went on to says its own research revealed that "one in two women feels social media puts pressure on them to look a certain way. Thankfully, many women are fighting with us to spread beauty confidence."

Not everyone was fond of the campaign. Some mocked it for being unrealistic:

Others were a bit more practical and showed concern about their bathroom space:

Photo Credit: Dove
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<![CDATA[Desert X: What's Still Open]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 09:08:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/miragedesertxagp123.jpg

Maybe your friend's friend's friend went out to the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, or spent Easter in Palm Springs, and returned gushing over the much-praised "Desert X" art show, an installation-focused happening that included sizable pieces placed around and beyond the desert resort cities.

That word-of-mouth vibe can take a bit to heat up, for any event, but once it does? Other people want to experience what their impressed pals saw on vacation.

Alas, however, and darn: "Desert X" closed at the end of April, after a run that lasted just over two months.

But here's some peachy news: While most of the pieces are being dismantled and removed, three do remain, and they're all free to view.

The mirror house, aka the house on the hill, is Doug Aitken's "Mirage," an artwork that proved so popular, and posted about, that impressive queues would be begin to form soon after its early morning opening.

Not only is the cool casa lined with looking glasses on the outside, but mirrors dominate the inside, too, giving the abode a surreal, fun-house-esque quality. And it's a quality you can connect with through the end of October 2017, the expected close date for "Mirage."

Also? Armando Lerma's large-scale mural "La Fiesta en Dieserto" remains on view in Coachella. Flowers, animals, trees, a woman in a pink frock, a table dominated by fruit, and a party atmosphere fill the wall-side gem with joy.

And over at the Palm Springs Art Museum? That tall, painted turbine blade out front is the work of Jeffrey Gibson. "ALIVE" is an exuberant, message-driven artwork, reminding us of the nowness of life and this fleeting moment in space and time.

If you've never seen a turbine blade up close, from ground-level, well, it is huge, as you might expect. The colossal size adds to the hugeness of Mr. Gibson's happy message.

Will the well-attended, much-Instagram'd art show return? Word has it, per The Desert Sun, that it could once again lay its surreal, mind-expanding stakes in the beautiful California desert as soon as 2019.

Photo Credit: Alysia Gray Painter]]>
<![CDATA[Häagen-Dazs Shops: Free Cone Day]]> Mon, 08 May 2017 19:18:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/FallingConeImage960x480.jpg

One could say, with a general air of being-right-a-tude, that most things in life depend upon excellent, on-the-mark timing.

Perhaps nowhere is this more true than the ice cream freezer. Most desserts, when set out early, won't change shape or consistency, but the melty, scoopable superstar sure will, so planning the exact time the carton of ice cream emerges is key.

You want it soft, but not counter-spreading puddle-soft, we can all agree on.

Timing will also be key on Tuesday, May 9, when Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Shops give away a veritable ice cream mountain, scoop by scoop by scoop. It's Free Cone Day, but let's jump to the time part ASAP-like: You'll want to arrive at your local shop for that gratis glacial goodie from 4 to 8 p.m. on May 9.

That's 4 in the afternoon. Then 8 in the evening. Between those hours, a pay-nothing cone or cup is 100% gettable, should you stop by a participating shop.

Southern California has a number of Häagen-Dazs destinations, including at The Grove, Glendale Galleria, Fashion Island in Newport Beach, and Downtown Disney.

What will you choose? Green tea? Java chip? What ice cream flavor best represents May 9, in your mind?

Being at your local Häagen-Dazs between 4 and 8 on May 9 isn't the only precise timing surrounding the event. Free Cone Day is also raising awareness about bees, and the flowers and plants they pollinate (many ice cream flavors depend on such flavor-cool flora).

If you're inspired by the message, use a bit of timing back at home to plant a slew of bee-attracting native wildflowers. Spreading the word, too, on our friends the bees, is also part of the lovely, lickable, free-cone-able day.

Photo Credit: Häagen-Dazs Shops]]>