<![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-usFri, 23 Jun 2017 22:38:08 -0700Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:38:08 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Ruffed Up: The Dogs in Competition to Be World's Ugliest]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:32:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/191*120/AP_17175106375003.jpg

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg]]>
<![CDATA[The All-Corgi Art Show: It's Happening]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:48:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dandelionfieldscorgi.jpg

When you hear the news that hundreds of corgis regularly gather at Huntington Dog Beach to joyfully waddle, strut about in wacky costumes, and wolf down treats, you likely don't think to yourself "my goodness, that sure is a lot of corgis."

You probably think "...but, honestly now, could there be even more corgis? Maybe?"

Because the only answer accepted on any exam or test is, yes, there can always be more corgis, regardless of the setting or situation.

This has been more than proven by the squatty sweethearts' powerful hold over the hearts and collective online time-spending habits of almost nearly every human being who has ever encountered a corgi.

Viral videos? We may find out one day that corgis have held the patent all along.

Which is why the existence of full art exhibit devoted solely to the charms of the short-leg'd, cute-rear-end'd pups will take no one by surprise while only delivering no-strings-attached delight.

It's The Corgi Show, and it gives an opening arf at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra on Saturday, June 24. And romp it shall, with feistiness and cuddly charms, right through to Sunday, July 9.

Up on the walls, for the corgi-loving humans to admire? Look for a caboodle of paintings and pieces depicting corgis in mid-frolic, in mid-cuddle, and in mid-other-adorable-corgi-pursuits.

If you feel like you might want to own a print of one of the artworks, perhaps to hang over your corgi's bed, or your own, there shall be "Nucleus exclusive print releases" at the opening night reception (which is free to attend).

And speaking of attending the opening night gala on June 24? Your corgi is invited. Because of course she would be. It would be rude if no invitation was proferred, surely.

With corgi-themed beach days here in Southern California, and corgi gallery exhibits, it can't be long before we see a corgi hotel, or corgi café, or the all-corgi theme park, which would involve not-too-scary rides located very close to the ground, making it a snap for these diminutive darlings to board.

Photo Credit: Loris Lora]]>
<![CDATA['Star Trek: Bridge Crew' Goes Where No Gamer Has Gone Before]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:24:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/STBC_Enterprise_AstroGator_1490913773.png

The world of virtual reality in video games has explored places never seen or experienced. In these scenarios, the landscape and everything that goes with it is new and springs from someone’s imagination.

But what if VR tries to recreate someplace that is very well known and puts the player inside that location? In “Star Trek: Bridge Crew,” developers not only let you see what it is like to be on the bridge of a Federation starship but also allow you to take control of different positions, including being the captain.

For a “Star Trek” fan, this is a dream come true. Whether you are aboard the U.S.S. Aegis, a newer starship, or the legendary U.S.S. Enterprise (the first one), the attention to detail by Red Storm Entertainment and Ubisoft is meticulous, lovingly rendered, and reflects the passion of those who loved the television series and the movies.

David Votypka, senior creative director at Red Storm, felt a little bit of pressure to get things right, but he wanted it to be more than just a recreation.

“’Star Trek,’ maybe even more than ‘Star Wars,’ has fans that are extremely adamant about accuracy and scientific logic behind everything,” Votypka said. “We knew from the very beginning we had to get it right. Not only the details on the bridge but actually the sense of being inside ‘Star Trek’ and being on a Federation starship and doing the things that a Federation officer does.”

The VR experience is best done using hand controllers, which allows the players the freedom to use their hands in a more natural motion. Whether captain, engineer, helm or tactical, the roles intertwine and create a sense of team to complete the missions.

It is a smooth experience for the player and doesn’t create any motion-related illnesses that can come with a virtual reality game. The calm motion, when not in a firefight situation, also allows players to really get a sense of how vast and complex the bridge of a starship can be.

Whether on the Enterprise or the Aegis, Votypka and his team created a unique sense of actually being on those starships. Fortunately, they had many years of source materials to make sure they could produce that feeling, both visually and aurally.

“The Aegis was based off the ships in the new films. In recent Hollywood production, the crews keep all the digital copies of everything they’ve done,” Votypka said. “(For the Enterprise,) CBS has an archive in (Los Angeles) and we got to visit that and they have props that exist from the shows.”

Whether it was audio tracks from the films or TV shows or video that play on the background screens on the Enterprise, the developers had a lot of material from which to work. Votypka said it was all very helpful in allowing them to get the finer details while still using them as springboards to tell the stories they wanted to tell.

Some of the most meticulous information as to the look and feel of the Enterprise bridge came from a super fan, James Cawley, from Ticonderoga, New York, who built a life-sized replica of the starship from the original TV series.

“Every hallway, every room, every prop you could think of. When I walked in there, it totally felt like a time machine, especially when I walked into the transporter room. I really expected (William) Shatner to walk around the corner at any minute,” Votypka said. “When I went on to the bridge, it was recreated to the finest level of detail.”

Cawley used screenshots from DVD and Blu-Rays of the original series to help him build his “starship.” He also spoke with set designers who worked on the series in the 1960s to find out what they made their props with and how they constructed each piece.

All that attention to detail is great, but it only becomes truly immersive in a game setting where players can naturally interact with one another. Social VR, allowing players to interact with one another through voice or gesture, gave the starship bridges a new sense of reality with the natural movements of the players.

“The heart of ‘Star Trek’ is the relationships between those people on the crew,” Votypka said. “The idea of social VR and ‘Star Trek’ seemed like a perfect fit.”

Whether in solo mode or in co-op with other players, “Star Trek: Bridge Crew” hopes everyone gets the feeling they are in starship missions. The missions aren’t all combat, but like their inspirations, the starships also explore, find new discoveries, help others when they can, and put them in situations where there is not necessarily one right answer.

“That’s such a common theme in ‘Star Trek,’ where they come upon a situation, and there is no obvious choice here, and we just have to make the best moral decision we can or the best decision that reflects the intent of Starfleet,” Votypka said.

Much like those starship, the game also has its unique computer partners. IBM Watson, and its interactive speech and cognitive capabilities adds another layer to let players use their voice and natural-language commands to interact with their virtual Starfleet crew members.

“We have been eager to find the right way to use interactive speech further the immersive and interactive experiences that virtual reality offers,” said Votypka. “Watson gives captains in ‘Star Trek: Bridge Crew’ the ability to issue commands to non-player crew members in the same way they do with a human crew by using their voice.”

Watson can operate a crew of just AI characters or mix in with other human players without breaking the immersion of the experience. Think of it as having another Vulcan on the bridge.

Votypka doesn’t want people to think this is only for “Star Trek” fans. He hopes the lure of the detailed experience in virtual reality will get other people to dive into the universe.

“The game is about being on a spaceship with others, with your friends out in space, and that’s a pretty broad and universal fantasy,” he said. “The core gameplay experience and the social interaction is still a lot of fun, even if you aren’t a ‘Star Trek’ lover.”

“Star Trek: Bridge Crew” is available now for Oculus Rift, PlayStationVR and HTC Vive. It is rated E 10+ for everyone 10 years of age or older due to fantasy violence.

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<![CDATA[Opening: Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:41:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/The+Nighttime+Lights+at+Hogwarts+Castle_WWoHP+at+USH+%283%29.jpg

If you've dutifully completed your full complement of classes at Hogwarts, from Herbology to the History of Magic to the Study of Muggles to Defence Against the Dark Arts, you surely wouldn't dare display your new spell-casting skills to a bunch of people without practicing first.

Friday Night: Watch Live Video Here

Such has been the case at Hogwarts Castle at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood in recent days. You might have received word, perhaps from your owl or a friendly elf in your acquaintance, that the Universal City theme park had been previewing, here and there, its new after-sundown spectacle, "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle." 

That is as true as butterbeer is delicious. There have been some previews, and the wowza photographs that flew as fast as a broomstick onto social media have looked a little unreal, and definitely straight out of a storybook.

But real they are, which nightly visitors to Wizarding World can now see with their own whimsy-loving peepers: "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle" officially and truly opens on Friday, June 23. 

The projection show, which is expected to run a few times each night, lasts for several minutes, and includes nods to the houses of Hogwarts and mythical beasts, too.

The dazzling presentation all happens on the massive side of Hogwarts, hence the name, so that's where viewers gather to get a better look. And those same viewers will likely raise a cheer when their house makes an appearance during the show, making it fun to see who among your fellow park goers is Ravenclaw, or Slytherin, or Hufflepuff, or Gryffindor.

It's free to see, once you're inside Universal Studios Hollywood. And the illuminations do flow to the soundtrack-thrilling tunes from the films, lending it even more cinematic impact.

If you can't make the opening night, take heart: A Facebook Live event straight from the theme park is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. on Friday, June 23.

And if you do see it in the days ahead, but want more, be full of yuletide cheer: A Christmas version is due at some point in November 2017.

Universal Studios and NBC-owned TV stations operate under the same parent company,  NBCUniversal. 

Photo Credit: B. Goldworthy]]>
<![CDATA[Photos: Inside the New Annenberg PetSpace]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:48:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/06-23-2017-annenberg-pet-space+%2813%29.jpg The Annenberg PetSpace offers an interactive place for pet adoptions and education. Take a look inside the PetSpace, which opened this month in Playa Vista.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Gonzalez/KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Grand Opening: Wallis Annenberg PetSpace]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:48:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/InSuiteannenbergpetspace.jpg

If you live with an animal, you can probably name that animal's favorite go-to, hangout, chill-down, get-nutty space, the place that they love to play, nap, and cuddle with you.

Honest? They may have four or five such favorite spaces around the house and yard, including the couch, behind the couch, the back of the couch, and the nest of pillows on your bed. But there may soon be a new favorite destination to add to your pet's list, though it is a spot that's beyond your front fence.

It's the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, a new "community space" in Playa Vista that focuses on "...the celebration and study of the relationship between people and their pets — and the important and beneficial impact of the human-animal bond."

Announced in the fall of 2016, PetSpace, which officially debuts on Saturday, June 24, will carry an educational component, as its mission implies, but count on plenty of room for high-spirited play and connection, too. 

This means your pup is invited, yes (just check out the list of dog must-dos before you and your hound head over). And if you want to adopt a new kitten or pooch, that's a possibility, too, as PetSpace will offer adoption services complete with "interactive adoption suites."

Like all community centers, multiple happenings and things to do will fill the PetSpace calendar, from classes that encourage kids to burnish readings skills by reading aloud for adopt-ready pets to behind-the-scenes tours.

While the seminars, tours, and adoption-oriented introductions will be ongoing, along with several other events around the center, note that the free Grand Opening party on June 24 will include a few special touches, like tours and on-site food trucks.

After the opening? PetSpace will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, with some holiday closures, and is free to visit. Do note that some programs have a fee, so check before you go.

The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace was a longtime dream of its founder, the Foundation Chairman and CEO of the philanthropic Annenberg Foundation and namesake of the center. "In my life, animals have been a profound gift — not just dear companions, but teachers and healers, showing how to live and love fully in the moment," said Ms. Annenberg.

With PetSpace Ms. Annenberg hopes to "...pass on the kind of awe and affection and insight animals have provided me for all my years."

So many animal devotees understand that very strong and sweet sentiment, one that will play out, literally, through play and learning, at the new center built to honor the human-animal bond.

Photo Credit: David Zaitz]]>
<![CDATA[Hollywood Walk of Fame: 2018 Class Revealed]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:06:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/walkoffame18GettyImages-705334.jpg

Much understandable ballyhoo is made over red carpets, such as when they appear, where they appear, and, most notably, just exactly who is striding down them, posing every now and then for the lively line-up of photographers.

And while there are several exclusive red carpets around town — movie premieres and award shows spring to mind — there's one red carpet that's regularly placed on the ground solely for a single person.

That's the red carpet immediately surrounding a brand-new Walk of Fame star, the famous entertainment symbols that run along a few blocks of Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk, and along Vine Street, too.

Of course, the red carpet only surrounds an on-the-ground star during an induction ceremony, of which there will be several in 2018. That's right, Tinseltown-loving trivia buffs: The Walk of Fame Class of 2018 was just revealed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's Walk of Fame Selection Committee on Thursday, June 22.

It's tradition that the announcement arrives in June each year, and television producer Vin Di Bona, the chairman of the committee, performed the honors live from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce headquarters, along with Leron Gubler, the Chamber of Commerce's president and CEO.

As is (further) tradition, the be-starred performers hail from a few categories, including Motion Pictures, Television, Recording, Radio, and Live Theatre/Performance.

On the glittery roster? Mark Hamill, Lynda Carter, Zoe Saldana, Jack Black, Niecy Nash, Mandy Patinkin, Jeff Goldblum, Jennifer Lawrence, and Simon Cowell, among other luminaries, will receive the forever-sidewalk'd symbols.

Minnie Mouse will get her own star, too, in 2018.

And posthumous stars will be awarded to Bernie Mac and Steve Irwin (Mr. Irwin's family released a sweet video, recorded in Australia, in response to the moving news.)

And one charmer of a story to add to the Walk of Fame annals? Just-announced inductees Lin-Manuel Miranda and "Weird Al" Yankovic learned of their Walk of Fame 2018 Class inclusion while lunching together.

If you know your Tinseltown ins, outs, and must-dos, then you know how charmingly steeped the Walk of Fame is in history, quirky tales, and rules.

One of the rules that the 2018 inductees should immediately note? "Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before they expire," reveals the Walk of Fame site.

The clock is ticking, dear class of 2018, in other words. Best clear a day when you can call upon Hollywood, and your very own red carpet, for one of our ceremony-loving area's most fabled ceremonies.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Observatory in Rancho Mirage Set to Open in 2018]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:11:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/18489591_693827270824951_5290683507336439190_o.jpg A new observatory — the first of its kind in the valley — is currently being constructed in Rancho Mirage at the west end of the city's public library.]]> <![CDATA[Weekend: Arroyo Seco Weekend]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:59:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tpettyGettyImages-453147908.jpg

Arroyo Seco Weekend: Music fest season is in full, guitar-glorious, voice-vivacious bloom, and the newest flower on the vine is this two-day extravaganza at Brookside at the Rose Bowl. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers headline the Saturday, June 24 line-up while Mumford & Sons assume that role on Sunday, June 25. Alabama Shakes, The Shins, The Meters, and other crowd-drawing acts fill out the brimming bill, as do a number of options for flavorful food and drinks, as is the style of music festivals nowadays. Art installations, and a record store, too, will pop up on the grounds.

Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle: There've been a few previews, here and there, but the new evening projection show at Universal Studios Hollywood really and truly begins to cast its magic on Friday, June 23. It's running a few times each night, and viewers who gather in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter can expect an enchanted illumination-driven spectacular that whimsically employs imagery from the various houses from the stories. How to see it? With your admission to the Universal City theme park, good wizards.

Pride OC: Pride month continues with this one-day Santa Ana celebration, a party that'll include a festival, a parade, and a number of special happenings. Honor the LGBTQ community and join the "As One" fun on Saturday, June 24. And in LA, on Sunday, June 25th, make for The Grove and the Original Farmers Market for an Outfest Film Screening and Concert. A tribute to Donna Summer, and a showing of "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," is on tap for the night.

Wallis Annenberg PetSpace opens: A lively new community center created for animal lovers and dedicated to the beautiful "human-animal bond" debuts in Playa Vista. Places for romping with your pooch, a series of classes and tours, and an adoption center are fill the spacious structure. And to celebrate the grand opening? There's a free party, on June 24, with special happenings, food trucks, and more.

"Night Life LA (02)": If you enjoyed the teahouse that popped up in Griffith Park a couple of years back, and the Petal Drop downtown in 2016, check out the latest art installation from the group of anonymous artists who created those two popular happenings. It involves a beach, and glowing algae, and phones/photography is prohibited, the better to keep the light low and eyes tuned into the wonder. The date? It all happens late in the evening on Saturday, June 24.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Dance DTLA Opens]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:09:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/musiccenterdowntowndance2015.jpg

One 100% true fact about dancing? Regardless of style or method, it's always on the move.

Whether that movement involves a subtle hip flick, or a few jaunty steps to the left, or a lavish, toes-pointed twirl, is up to the dancer. But the whole spirit of the pastime is about flow, flux, and motion.

So it's not really a surprise to see an entire dance-oriented enterprise, one that's been associated with a single spot for a number of years, get up and samba away from that spot to a new location. That the fresh dance floor is just across the street will make it easier for longtime fans returning to join the fun.

It's Dance DTLA we're tap-tap-tapping around here, the every-other-Friday-night summer series that gets a whole swath of raise-the-roof Southern Californians out on the dance floor.

That dance floor has long been Music Center Plaza, but for the 2017 run, all events will sway just a minute away, in Grand Park.

As always, this thing is beautifully, save-your-cash, do-a-jig free. Free as dancing is free.

Night one is on Friday, June 23, and will feature the rhythms of cumbia. The final evening of the run? That's the Friday before Labor Day, Sept. 1, and salsa is the star. 

There's something on every Friday night between those two dates, with some Fridays taking on tunes themed to a specific genre — line dancing or disco, for example — and some Fridays focused on DJ-style spins.

Those are the DJ Nights, which will alternate with the Dance DTLA events, so check out the whole roster to make sure you're there to catch your favorite sounds or behind-the-turntables star.

A good thing to keep in mind? The classic moves will be illustrated by an instructor at the lead, as is tradition with Dance Downtown, if you encounter a style you don't know much about (but are game to try).

And as for the vittles and cocktails end of the have-fun spectrum? Those will both be for sale at Grand Park.

So prepare to sashay your way from the former location of Dance DTLA, Music Center Plaza, to Grand Park, across Grand Avenue, where all of the Dance DTLA and DJ Nights events will shake it over the course of the summer of '17.

Photo Credit: Dance DTLA]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrating Octavia Butler at The Huntington]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:13:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/octaviaebutlerhuntingtonlibrary.jpg

Book buffs regularly celebrate the birthdays of their favorite authors, typically by re-reading a few special short stories or a chapter of a much-returned-to novel.

If you're fortunate enough to live in or near that author's hometown, that adds another celebratory dimension to the occasion. And if a world-class cultural institution in that hometown happens to be hosting an exhibit devoted to the life and work of this writer? It's a lucky day, indeed.

One such auspicious day is June 22, 2017, the 70th anniversary of the birth of Octavia E. Butler, "the first science fiction writer to receive a prestigious MacArthur 'genius' award and the first African American woman to win widespread recognition writing in that genre."

"Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories" is on now at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens through Aug. 7, 2017.

On display? "(A)pproximately 100 items that reveal writer's early years and influences." Pages in Ms. Butler's own hand that serve as buoyantly worded motivational guides, you-can-do-it passages where she implored herself to keep writing and keep believing, are moving and meaningful artifacts.

Also moving: the first editions of her books in the exhibit, including 1979's acclaimed "Kindred," which follows "... an African American woman who travels back in time to the horrors of plantation life in pre-Civil War Maryland."

"'I wanted to reach people emotionally in a way that history tends not to,' Butler said about the book."

Photographs, too, help tell the author's life story, and documents revealing how she committed to digging deeper into social issues, and the political climate, to make her fantastical worlds grounded in modern times and essential to contemporary readers.

Ms. Butler, who was born in Pasadena in 1947, passed away in Washington State in 2006. As many authors do, she had thousands of papers in her possession, papers that now reside at The Huntington (over 8,000 items were bequeathed to the institution following the author's death).

See several of those important items, through Aug. 7, in the Library West Hall at the San Marino landmark.

Of course, fans may choose to visit the exhibit on June 22, Ms. Butler's 70th birthday, but any day through early August will help connect readers to one of our greatest writers, a Hugo Award- and Nebula Award-winning Pasadean who changed the course of science fiction, and in doing so helped to change the society in which she resided for the better.

Photograph of Octavia E. Butler, ca. 1998, by Miriam Berkley. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. © Miriam Berkeley www.miriamberkley.com

A page of Butler's self-motivational notes from 1988. The author often kept journals that included positive affirmation to help her visualize and meet her goals. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. © Estate of Octavia E. Butler.

Photo Credit: Miriam Berkley/The Estate of Octavia E. Butler]]>
<![CDATA[Pasadena Humane: Free Adoption Day]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:42:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/freeadoptiondaypasadenajune22.jpg

The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA hasn't hit capacity, in terms of the number of animals it is currently caring for, but it is headed in that direction.

It's a pretty common thing at the busy shelter, being especially full of furry ones when temperatures get toasty and more animals are out and about (and the Fourth of July, too, sees a number of pups spooked by loud noises).

So to address the urgent need of pairing beasties with new human besties, and getting these shelter-living critters into their forever, loving homes, Pasadena Humane hosts an annual Free Adoption Day each year, right around the time that the heat revs up.

That would be now, quite obviously, so you can bet the free adoption drive is just ahead for the Raymond Avenue center. And so it is: Thursday, June 22 is the date, and "all available animals — including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, pocket pets and reptiles — will be sponsored thanks to a donation by Carol Ann Kirby." 

Ms. Kirby is a member of the Pasadena Humane board and a longtime supporter of animals.

So what's covered? Vaccines, you bet. A microchip, for sure. And a check-'em-over health-and-wellness exam is gratis for adopters, as is spaying or neutering. You'll also leave with a "goody bag" which will get you started on the daily care of your new fur-covered or scale-covered or feather-laden lovebug.

The yearly adoption event has paired a lot of pets with a lot of people in the past: In 2016, some 44 cats went home with their new families, and 19 dogs, too. Oh, yes, and let us not forget the critters who aren't feline or canine: Eight of those cuties met their new people parents and siblings during the Free Adoption Day in 2016.

One final thing to note before you head for the historic Crown City animal care destination: Do you need to reside in Pasadena to adopt?

You do not. Residents hailing from all cities are welcome, though keep in mind that you'll need to go through the traditional adoption paperwork and such before you can bundle your baby pup/cat/lizard/bird into the backseat.

Photo Credit: Pasadena Humane]]>
<![CDATA[Mysterious Art Pop-up: Beach Bioluminescence]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:29:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Smith_bioluminescence_movement.jpg

If you've ever thought you saw a strange shine in the ocean, after sundown, it might have been a glint of moonlight on the water, true. Or it might have been some bioluminescent algae, doing that whole amazing glowing thing that it does so wondrously well.

That very phenomenon will take the surreal center stage on Saturday, June 24 when an art installation pops up, for but a very short time, all to admire this watery wonder.

Recall now, if you will, the pop-up teahouse in Griffith Park in 2015, and the Petal Drop last year, the happening that saw thousands of pretty petals drift down, by the seeming bucketload, from an unseen hands above. The jacaranda-themed Petal Drop soon followed, providing a splash of purple whimsy for those who attended.

Both happenings arose from a collective of artists who go without handles or names, making their anonymous, nature-inspired works all the more mysterious.

That next mystery, "Night Life LA (02)," will occur at "a local beach" on June 24 from 10 in the evening to 4 a.m. the next day.

What's promised to be a "surreal environment" will include both artists and performers as well as bioluminescent algae "...which has been specially cultivated for this project."

Bioluminescence is best appreciated in darkness, meaning this: No cell phones will be allowed at the ephemeral installation, and photography will not be permitted. This will give everyone's eyes "time to adapt to darkness," the better to enjoy the beautiful bioluminescence and its glow.

How to get a free ticket? The release begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21. And while the exact location hasn't yet been revealed, that will be, of course, ahead of June 24 on the project's site. 

Photo Credit: Jack Smith]]>
<![CDATA[Make Music LA: Free Tunes Around Town]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:12:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/makemusiclaskirball.jpg

Coming across a sudden string quartet, a couple of guitarists, someone playing a pan flute, or another pop-up presentation of melodies, harmonies, and lovely string-sweet grooves?

It's not all that unusual around Southern California, a spot that's long been synonymous with the sound scene, from the recording industry to our many performance-oriented outfits, from choruses to choirs to bands to solo artists.

But June 21, each and every year, is pretty special when it comes to notes, voices, and higher vibes. True, it is associated with the summer solstice, and the lovely World Giraffe Day, too, but it is, for many a music maven, all about Make Music LA Day.

That's when bevies of groups and crooners take to various corners of our region for brief concerts, a few songs, and the chance to introduce some art, magic, and ear-pleasing amazingness to a stranger's afternoon.

Yep, it's all free, should you find yourself in front of such a singer or band. And it is indeed a tuneful tribute to summer solstice, which kicked off in our time zone at 9:54 p.m. on June 20.

If you don't find yourself in front of singers or bands, you can make your way to a Make Music LA happening. There'll be a quartet of acts in The Egyptian Theatre Forecourt, and an afternoon of flows at The Skirball Cultural Center, and some evening jazz at the Beverly Canon Gardens.

The map is brimming, so check to see what is going on near where you are. Or search by artist, or genre, if you're hankering for some soul, rock, or oldies.

We're fortunate to live in a place that embraces the tune-terrific way of life 365 days a year. But one of those days, June 21, is a joyful stand-out, a wonderful and spirited way to greet summer through the act of enjoying music.

Photo Credit: Steve Cohn Photography/Skirball Cultural Center]]>
<![CDATA[Discover: San Pedro's Rugged Sunken City in Photos]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:28:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/196*120/06-21-2017-sunken-city-4.JPG Gritty graffiti and crumbling slabs of concrete give way to an ocean view in San Pedro’s Sunken City, a spot that has intrigued rogue explorers for its mystique. A dramatic view from above captures the rugged cliff face that holds the ruins. ]]> <![CDATA[Burger King Shakes Up Menu with Lucky Charms Beverage]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:44:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/armus-lucky-charms-shake.jpg

They're magically delicious — and now, they're in a milkshake.

Lucky Charms cereal will appear in a limited-edition shake at select Burger King locations, the fast-food chain announced last week.

At $2.99, the Lucky Charms shake features 740 calories' worth of ice cream, syrup, and crushed pieces of the sugary marshmallow cereal.

"The mashup of our velvety vanilla-flavored soft serve and one of America’s classic breakfast cereals is something we think our guests are going to love," Alex Macedo, the president of Burger King North America, said in a statement.

The Lucky Charms concoction follows the release of other Burger King mashup beverages like an Oreo shake and a Froot Loops shake, the latter of which was added to menus in April.

BK isn't he only food chain to make waves for its dairy creations this year, after Unicorn Frappuccinos swept the nation in the spring as part of a purple and pink unicorn-themed food craze.

Ben & Jerry's has also combined cereal with frozen dairy products, releasing three new ice cream flavors in March called "Cereal Splashbacks" designed to taste like Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Pebbles or Froot Loops.

Photo Credit: Burger King]]>
<![CDATA[Aquarium Cute: Penguin Chick Webcam Debut]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:47:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/RoxyFloydChick.jpg

How do you like to greet the summer solstice?

Perhaps you woke at dawn, just to say hello to the sun. Perhaps you wore your breeziest get-up, the one that says we're currently passing through the doorway to the balmiest of seasons.

Or, just maybe, you kept your ear tuned to the animal world, to see what sort of celebratory news might further enhance a day that's long been known for nature-based festivities.

There's no maybes or perhapses about cooing over a weeks-old penguin chick, because you're going to do it, whether it is the summer solstice or not. But it is, as of this typing, and it just happens to be the day that the Aquarium of the Pacific revealed that a very new Magellanic penguin, born in May to beloved residents Roxy and Floyd, will soon make its webcam debut.

That heart-tugging debut will arrive just a few days after the solstice, on Friday, June 23, so hold onto your horses, or something more akin to penguins. Tailfeathers? Okay, hold onto those, for the on-camera, nursery-based adorableness is still to come.

And the in-public, before-your-eyes cute-a-tude is a few weeks out as of this typing, reveals the Long Beach aquatic destination. Baby Penguin Chick will make its fuzzy debut at the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, after leaving the nursery, at some point during August 2017. 

If penguin hatchery is one of your go-to party-smartie topics, then you know that a Magellanic penguin incubates "between thirty-eight and forty-three days," and fledging, or when it bids those downy feathers adieu, takes a few months. (This new chick'll fledge in August, timed to its grand public entrance.)

Should you fall totes, head-over-tailfeathers in love with this wee, water-loving bird, which would be understandable, you can support the just-got-to-the-planet chick, and all of the Aquarium residents, via the Adopt an Animal program. 

Photo Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific
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<![CDATA[Summer Solstice: SoCal Celebrates]]> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:56:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SummerSolstice_SteveHospodar.jpg

Giving the sun a little extra attention or special notice?

That's not difficult to do here in Southern California. In fact, if it isn't nighttime, and we're not under a heavy marine layer, we're probably out fully basking in the shine of our nearest star at some point of our day-to-day doings, which is no shocker, as that star does shine, quite proficiently, upon the hills and valleys of our sun-warmed region.

But when June 21 rolls up on the calendar, we seem to make mutual note to note the sun, due to the inarguable fact that we're about to enjoy the longest day of the year.

It's the summer solstice we speak of, and while the 21st day of the sixth month is woven through our sun-happy hearts, it is worth noting that the solstice officially arrives in our slice of the Northern Hemisphere on the night of June 20. 

You may choose to honor that moment, at 9:54 p.m. PST, in whatever time-honored, bang-the-drum, raise-the-vibes way you like, but there are multiple ways to dig deep into the science and celebratory nature of the cosmic occasion, both before and after it happens.

The "before" part'll come at Griffith Observatory — you probably guessed that — which is offering two free public programs on Tuesday, June 20. One happens at 12:45 p.m., which is solar noon on the June 20, while the other will take place at 7:50 p.m. on the landmark's West Terrace.

Learning and wonder? They shall both be accounted for and present.

As for the "after"? There's one mondo party that sunnily springs to local mind, and it is the Summer Solstice Celebration in Santa Barbara.

How huge is this effervescent affair? It lasts for three days, with a very colorful, very costume-tastic parade down State Street on the middle day of the festivity, which is always a Saturday. The 2017 dates are June 23 through 25, if you want to join in.

And here in Santa Monica, on Main Street, you can soak in the music at Summer SOULstice 2017, and there shall be plenty to soak in: Expect 18 bands on six stages, and a host of vendors, food purveyors, libation pourers, and more.

Speaking of music, Make Music LA spreads out around the region on June 21, bringing that sun-bright spirit of the moment to listeners ready to make the most of the most daylight-doused day on the calendar.

Photo Credit: Steve Hospodar]]>
<![CDATA[Museum of Ice Cream Extended Into October]]> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 09:17:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/MOIC+April+21st-115922.jpg

Deny, if you want to try, that you're not planning to roam the seasonal candy aisle when the middle of October arrives.

You are, most likely, even if you're not expecting trick-or-treaters, even if you plan on being out and about on Halloween night. Because miniature candy bars? And light-up suckers? They're just so alluringly Octoberish, and difficult to pass up, even if you keep them all to yourself.

But there's more sweetness ahead for the sweet-tooth-iest month of the year, though it isn't of the throw-it-in-a-plastic-pumpkin sort: It's the Museum of Ice Cream, the photo-mondo phenomenon that's been chilling in the Arts District since April.

If you're immediately waving your hand here, pshawing us, we get it: Tickets have flown each time they've been released, with each new extension of the started-in-New-York arts happening.

Or not flown so much as melted, quickly. (Ice cream humor.)

No tricks here, though, only treats: The Museum of Ice Cream will be extended, again, right through to October 16, 2017, putting your possible visit right in the heart of candy-dreaming, candy-buying time.

So hold off on daydreams of Halloweeny mini chocolates for now, for fresh tickets for the colorful, snackable, scratch-n-sniff-able experience will be released on Thursday, June 22 at 9 in the morning.

Have you wanted to visit the sprinkles pool? Or try the very unusual scoops that are handed out through the wending, walk-through experience? Or swing on a swing that looks like a Neapolitan bar?

The picture opportunities, and tasting moments, have drawn the curious, and, yes, repeat visitors, too.

Plan your Halloween costume now, if you like, but think of ice cream when you think of early October 2017.

Ticket info is sitting on ice, thisaway.

Photo Credit: Museum of Ice Cream]]>
<![CDATA[LA Beer Week: Local Foams Rule]]> Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:55:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/beer-2218900_1920.jpg

The first week of official, no-quibbling, it's-actually-here summertime can go a few different ways around Southern California.

June Gloom could still be lingering, just maybe, if the keep-it-cool conditions are just so. Or, on the other (sweaty) hand, we might be in the fan-pumping swing of the hottest season, suddenly, just days after the final gloom has dissipated.

There's no debate as to what we're experiencing in the third week of June 2017: Things are mighty roasty 'round these parts, but one of our city's biggest beverage parties is here to take it all down a notch or two, temperature-wise, for those over 21 who do favor their foams.

It's LA Beer Week, which is pouring all sorts of hopsy libations at all sorts of spots through Sunday, June 25. Finding where you want to go, and what you want to experience there, is as easy as glancing at the sizable, can't-do-it-all schedule on the LA Beer Week site.

Sessions devoted to learning how to brew, a sour beer tasting, the rocking Battle of the Bands, the Billiards Ball, Sierra Nevada Beer Camp on Tour at the Queen Mary, the Gold Line Pub Crawl presented by The Greyhound, and a veritable cornucopia of tap takeovers and brewhouse spotlights are still in store.

First thing is first: Line up your ride, after choosing the event you'd like to check out.

Second thing is... second: Go deeper with our regional masters of the old, old art of beer-makery. This fest, which'll mark its first decade in a year's time, is devoted to not only the newest tastes coming off the conveyor belt and up from the kegs but also the story of beer in Southern California, and who is making it, and what they're doing to make their individual brew so flavorful, complex, and worthy of being a local libation star.

It's warm out. You've got the number for a taxi in your phone, or a friend who is serving as your designated driver. And finding out all sorts of stellar things about LA's ever-growing beer scene is as simple as finding a LA Beer Week event nearby, perhaps, just maybe, even in your neighborhood.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Monica Pier: Twilight Concerts Open]]> Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:05:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/twilightpierconcert34565.jpg

If you've ever made someone a terrarium, or gifted one of those small jars filled with meaningful treasures, then you know the heart-sweet benefits of distilling a favorite mood or landscape or memory down to a few important items.

Which leads us to ask this local question: If you were to compose a beautiful bell jar or terrarium around the idea of the Twilight Concerts at Santa Monica Pier, what would you add to your display? A handful of beach sand, perhaps? And a guitar pick to represent the acts on stage? Maybe you'd throw in a photo of a sunset, and a picnic napkin, and something that's the color of the sun, too.

Many of us know the iconic hallmarks of the Twilight Concert series, for it is one of the music-filled must-dos on the Southern California summer schedule.

And it is back, for another gloriously free run beginning on Thursday, June 22.

Thursday nights and the Twilight Concerts are a longtime pairing, as close as two bits of sand on the beach, so you really only need to remember that fact, that Thursday is the go-to night, if you want to hit a few this summer.

Better yet: Keep "Friday eve" in your mind, to make the whole idea merrier.

One quick note? The series is taking July 6 off, so best not head for the pier, unless you want to ride the new Shark Frenzy, or the Pacific Wheel, or simply hang out in the waves.

As for the lovely, diverse, genres-aplenty line-up? Khalid is the June 22 opener, Warpaint rounds out the sounds on Aug. 17, and LEMAITRE, Marcia Griffiths, Eric Burdon and The Animals, Miami Horror, Valerie June and Irma Thomas, and Mon Laferte play between the two dates, with a bevy of excellent openers.

Tips on transportation are on the Twilight Concerts main online HQ. Because you can guess, with accuracy, that the whole parking deal is a challenge when droves of music fans are descending upon one single destination in an already hopping area.

Also? Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is right there, for any spend-the-nighters, as well as a bevy of other stay-over choices.

Summer officially opens the door on the evening of Tuesday, June 20, but it'll be just under 48 hours later, when the first notes sound at the Twilight Concerts, when many music mavens can firmly say that the season has arrived.

Photo Credit: Twilight Concerts]]>
<![CDATA[Chick-Fil-A To Offer Gluten-Free Buns]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:14:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_CHICK_FIL_A_GLUTEN_FREE_061917_1-149790016143700001.jpg

Chick-Fil-A has become the latest fast food chain to offer gluten-free options to its customers. The new gluten-free bun will come wrapped in plastic since the kitchens are not gluten-free. Customers who pay the extra $1.15 for the gluten-free bun will need to assemble their own sandwich

<![CDATA[Free: Join Big Sing LA at Grand Park]]> Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:34:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bigsingla1234.jpg

You've hummed in the grocery store bread aisle, you've trilled while trying on shoes, and you've warbled while awaiting your grande latte.

You, in short, are a person who likes to sing, with a mighty alluring asterisk attached: You like to sing in public.

This is not as rare as one might believe, but crooning among strangers usually lacks one nonessential but highly desirable component: No one is joining in with you, even if that stranger in the bread aisle would like to, shyly.

That'll all change, gloriously, on Saturday, June 24, at Grand Park downtown, should you show up, do the requisite throat-clearing mi-mi-mi-ing, and join Big Sing LA.

The free event taps into what so many of us love to do, even if we never find quite the right venue, beyond our own shower: Sing in public, loud, proud, and with all of the important flourishes on all of the right words.

The Los Angeles Master Chorale is at the helm of this first-Saturday-of-summer, bright-hearted happening. Don't count on seeing the whole chorale in attendance, but do anticipate a quintet of "dynamic choral conductors" at the lead, in addition to members of the chorale, who'll be on hand lending guidance and tips.

If group singing in Grand Park seems a bit zingy for the lofty Master Chorale, consider this: Our esteemed voices-raised-in-song organization does, from time to time, walk a zingier route. Perhaps you enjoyed the seasonal Caroling Bus from a couple of years back, which sent chorale members out around the city on a double-decker bus, all to spread seasonal joy one "fa" and "la" at a time.

You probably want a peek at the songs'll you'll be singing at the 1 p.m. sing-together, and a peek you shall have: "Hey Jude," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and "This Land Is Your Land" are but three of the tunes on the to-warble roster.

For sure, you'll have a lyric sheet in hand, to help fill in those bits that you've fudged over in the past. (All singers do mis-croon lyrics now and then, because singers are human, so no shame.)

And, given the time of day, you're likely wondering if sustenance shall be near. It shall be, in the form of four food trucks, so bring money to protein-up before joining other Southern Californians in the positive, come-together, raise-the-roof (or-sky-rather) act of harmonizing together at Big Sing LA.

Photo Credit: Big Sing LA]]>
<![CDATA[Top Bay Area Festivals and Fairs to Attend Over the Summer]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:30:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/summer6.jpg

The Bay Area is always buzzing. Every month is packed with celebrations, events, and concerts for locals to flock to. These happenings seem to be in greater abundance during the summer, offering endless choices on how to spend a day in the sun. If looking to explore some of the different events, here are the top festivals and fairs to check out this summer across the Bay.

San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival

Taking place in theatres across the Bay Area, this festival is the largest of its kind. The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival has been running since 1977 and draws crowds upwards of 60,000 people. The annual event screens films from every genre, allowing viewers to expand their movie wheelhouse. Tickets are on sale now and showings will run from June 15 to 25.

Alameda County Fair

If you're craving kettle corn and family fun, head to the Alameda County Fair. Beginning June 16, this summer staple will provide carnival rides, concerts, and fried confections. Some guests who will be performing as well will include the Plain White T’s and Sugar Ray. Tickets can be purchased now on their website. Deals are also available until the fair's closing day, July 9.

63rd Annual North Beach Festival

On June 17, North Beach will begin to host the 63rd annual festival. Attendees will be able to roam through a maze of art booths, all while getting a tan. This is a free event that will take place both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phono Del Sol Music and Food Festival

Many festival goers are accustom to spending hundreds of dollar for a ticket, but admission to Phono Del Sol starts at only $29. This single-day event in Potrero Del Sol Park makes for a great summer day. Taking place on June 17, headliners include the alternative bands Thee Oh Sees and The Coathangers. Along with other local artists, attendees will also be able to hit up food trucks between sets. Make sure to pack your sunscreen and tie up your man bun for this one.

ID10T Music Festival + Comica Conival

Suitably situated in Silicon Valley, this two day affair has a lot going on. Bands like Weezer and Crystal Castles will take the stage, alongside DJs Zeds Dead and Madeon. If the musical line up wasn’t enough, the weekend will also be packed with comedians and panels. Created and hosted by Nerdist inventor, Chris Hardwick, this festival is a must. ID10T Fest will be held June 24-25. Tickets are still available.

Fillmore Jazz Festival

The 33rd Fillmore Jazz Festival will be held on July 1-2. Located in San Francisco, this free event is an all-day affair. Packed with over 100,000 visitors, guests will have to opportunity to enjoy a spread of art, food, crafts, and booze. Of course, this will all be accompanied by Jazz music. This festival is a great way to spend your Fourth of July weekend.

Outside Lands

Outside Lands, one of the most anticipated music festivals in the Bay Area, will take place August 11-13. Known in the past to host big name bands like Radiohead, this year will not be different. Attendees will witness performances by the Gorillaz, Metallica, and The Who during the three day affair. Single-day and weekend passes are available for purchase.

Oakland Art + Soul Festival

Sneaking in at the end of the summer is the Oakland Art + Soul Festival. On August 19th and 20th, the streets of Oakland will be taken over by dancers and musicians that the whole family will enjoy. Many of the performers last year were Bay Area natives, giving locals a true sense of pride for their community. Tickets can be bought at the gate during the event.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rodeo Drive Concours D'Elegance]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:01:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2017concours93832.jpg

Rodeo Drive is, without quibble or fuss, one of our region's best-known thoroughfares. It's a stretch of road that's more than earned the right to be storied, and, of course, if you were to say it is also store-ied, you would not be incorrect.

For when many people think of luxury shopping, they often think of those few glittery blocks that pass through the posh center of the Golden Triangle. But Rodeo Drive isn't just about its swanky merchandise and elegantly attired shop windows; if you're a holiday visitor, you might be picturing those Baccarat crystal chandeliers hanging above the road below, and if it is Father's Day?

Oh goodness. Then it is all about gleaming, tony, magazine-ready cars.

Cars that arrive in Beverly Hills, along with their owners, to play a part at the annual Rodeo Drive Concours D'Elegance, a free-to-visit Father's Day tradition that draws thousands of fender fans and dashboard devotees to the 400 block of Rodeo Drive.

The 24th annual Concours D'Elegance will take place on Sunday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and while there is no theme in 2017, as in years gone by — remember the Learjet that visited the event in 2013, as part of the company's big 50th? — you can count on spying a wealth of pricey, well-tended-to automobiles representing a plethora of award-winning makers.

Bruce Meyer, the founding chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum, is the show chairman, but there's more Petersen cachet to expect: "Petersen Museum Checkered Flag members are also among the attendees making this one of the most anticipated car shows of the year," says a representative.

You can bet you'll see some suh-weet wheels, in short.

Also notable: A VR experience with a Jay Leno car is new at the Concours D'Elegance in 2017 — you'll get to "ride along" in a 1954 Jaguar XK120 convertible as part of the reality experience, whichis presented by CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" — and a booth from the Beverly Hills Police Foundation will help support the foundation's programs through the sale of merchandise.

Have you and your dad visited the Concours D'Elegance every Father's Day for the last 23 years?

It's a tradition for those celebrating the family-nice occasion, for auto buffs, and for anyone looking for a beautiful sunshiny day out, one that's especially sunshiny due to all of that just-polished gleam and sparkle coming off the cool cars.

Photo Credit: Rodeo Drive]]>
<![CDATA[Five Times Athletes Have Challenged Animals]]> Sat, 17 Jun 2017 03:36:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_SPO_5_TIMES_ATHLETES_VS_ANIMALS_061617-149765207316100001.jpg

With the announcement that Michael Phelps will race a shark for Discovery Channel's "Shark Week," we take a look back at five times athletes competed against animals.

<![CDATA[Advertisers Strive to Show 'Real Dads']]> Sun, 18 Jun 2017 20:57:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-657869706-withchild.jpg

"Diapers don’t care who change them."

That's the attitude companies are increasingly adopting when advertising products for dads.

The diaper phrase, part of Procter & Gamble's #WeSeeEqual campaign from March, captures advertisers' recognition of changes in how society views fatherhood. In the ad, men, women and children defy stereotypes in the roles they take, including a father changing a diaper. Procter & Gamble is not alone: many advertisers are trying to give a truthful representation of fathers in their campaigns.

Fewer fathers are the sole breadwinners for their families now, according to the Pew Research Center. In addition, fathers are just as likely as mothers to see parenting as central to their identities. This research can shape how advertisers market their products to consumers.

"A lot of [Procter & Gamble's ads] are about breaking down stereotypes and representing this more equal world that we all aspire to," said Christine Wever, leader of the gender equality communications team at Procter & Gamble. 

Father's Day, which is being celebrated on Sunday, provides an opportunity for advertisers to showcase dads in the roles that they are increasingly taking on in home life, including caretaking and household responsibilities.

Dove Men+Care, a branch of the Dove brand and a part of Unilever since 2010, has worked to show fathers in realistic ways when advertising products. Most recently, the 2017 Dove Men+Care Father's Day campaign, #ThereToCare, features men who act as father figures for children in their latest campaign video.

"These guys want to see themselves portrayed in media in movies, T.V., pop culture, everything, the way that they're actually acting in their real lives—and that is in the caring role for their families," said Josh Levs, author of "All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses—And How We Can Fix It Together” and Dove Men+Care partner.

Competitors have followed suit in harnessing "modern masculinity and modern fatherhood," according to Levs. Gillette, a Procter & Gamble brand, has garnered praise for its "Go Ask Dad" Father’s Day campaign, which began in 2016. The campaign video features sons seeking guidance from their fathers instead of the internet.

"Modern dads are the most misunderstood parts of modern families," said Levs. "We have this scourge of the bumbling, clueless dad in ads, and we have some companies that have stepped forward to take the lead in changing that."

Social media plays a role in the shifting trends of advertising to fathers, and families more broadly. But social media platforms' emphasis on picture-perfect moments can distract from the issues that might prevent fathers from spending time with their children, according to Laura Tropp, professor of Communications and Media Arts at Marymount Manhattan College and co-editor of "Deconstructing Dads: Changing Images of Fathers in Popular Culture."

"The more we have these positive moments [in advertisements], the less we’re really debating what it takes to allow people to be what they would consider 'good fathers,'" Tropp said. "We’re not discussing paid family leave, we're not discussing people who aren’t given the same chance to be good fathers due to problems within society."

In the end, advertisers look to sell products to consumers. But that does not mean that companies do not realize they can effect change.

"When you embrace the reality of the modern dad, that we are loving, that we prioritize families, that we are absolutely capable of doing everything that parenting requires, you see fantastic results," said Levs. "People respond, people agree, people believe in it."

Photo Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Garden Party: Norton Simon Nature Night]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:25:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/gardenpartynorton123.jpg

If you're locked into all of this lovely sunshine and bright illumination, and you're giddy over the fact that our daytimes are far longer than our nighttimes at the moment (by a couple of hours, and then some), we hate to be the bearer, but we know that you know what we know: summer solstice is nigh.

Which, in fact, is a very celebratory, positive thing, and worth dancing/picnicking/singing about, or whatever your chosen solstice-welcoming activity happens to be. But you're aware that, following the June 20 event, our nights'll lengthen, and the amount of rays we're soaking up shall lessen, day by day, almost through to the close of the year.

But there's a way to bask hard in the heady idea of lighter evenings before the solstice arrives: the Norton Simon Museum's annual Garden Party. Nope, it isn't strictly a summer solstice deal, do note, but rather a genteel soiree built around the pleasures of nature, evening, art, music, and the social graces.

All of those exceedingly pleasant pursuits and ideas will weave together, like a chain of fragrant blossoms, on the night of Saturday, June 17.

The Pasadena party isn't simply about lingering around the museum's watercolor-worthy Sculpture Garden, however; you can sketch, or learn how to make potpourri, or savor a bite at the Garden Café, or join a scavenger hunt.

Wearing something garden-party-ish? We mean... You don't have to, but if this is the only garden party on your calendar, finding something blithe and airy might be just the ticket, togs-wise. After all, the beautiful bash finds inspiration in Money, and the painter's grounds at Giverny, so thinking painterly about your outfit is encouraged.

As for the price of all of this pleasantness? Joining the soft-evening'd celebration is free with your museum admission or twelve dollars.

Stopping the days from growing shorter? It won't happen, after June 20, as the march of time is powerful and absolute. But then the pleasures of nightfall, and coziness, will soon reign, which is nice, even if a garden party in June at a picturesque Pasadena museum truly holds our hearts.

Photo Credit: Norton Simon Museum]]>
<![CDATA[The Costs Of Being A Dad]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 10:57:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dad-generic-and-son-shaving.jpg

Welcome to parenthood. You are a proud new father, simultaneously overjoyed and terrified. Since you are now responsible for another human being, you should know that the estimate of what it will cost to raise your child is approximately a quarter of a million dollars, without accounting for inflation.

If you would like to send him or her to college, you will probably need at least that much more. 

A report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated the cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 at $233,610 ($284,570 adjusted for inflation). That is for the average middle-income couple; costs ranged from families in the Northeast that will spend around $264,090 to residents in the urban Midwest and rural regions who will spend about $227,400 and $193,020, respectively. 

Unfortunately, that figure is not likely to drop, and inflation-adjusted wages are not filling the gap. Costs are up across the board, and certain areas are taking an increasingly large share of the costs – especially health care, childcare and education (pre-school through high school). 

That ratio will continue to climb based on recent trends, especially with respect to childcare. 

Child Care of America (CCA) has put out an extensive report breaking down the demographics of childcare costs by state and the variations with respect to income and style of child care. Combining their data with Department of Labor statistics, CCA estimated that just in the last year, childcare costs outpaced family income by up to a factor of eight.

The CCA report shows that childcare costs and housing are the two largest components of household expenses by far – varying slightly by region, but each one is approximately twice the expenses of transportation and food, and around five times the expenses of utilities and health care. 

The percentages from the USDA report do not show childcare as quite as large of a component. Housing tops the percentages of child-raising costs at 29 percent, followed by food at 18 percent, childcare and education at 16 percent, transportation at 15 percent, health care at 9 percent, and clothing at 6 percent. Miscellaneous costs compose the remaining 7 percent. 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sets 10 percent of family income as a general benchmark for affordable childcare. Yet in the CCA study, only 10 states averaged less than 10 percent of family income for child care — the Dakotas, plus the southern block of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. 

The actual expenses of childcare are mostly independent of how much you earn. As a result, the disproportionate rise in childcare costs hurts low-income and single-parent families the most. It's no surprise that the steep bill that comes with raising a child can put a strain on your family's finances. 

Single dads have a difficult enough time handling childcare with a single income (as do single moms), because if they can't find affordable childcare or programs through their work, they have no choice but to rely on friends, relatives, or some form of unlicensed childcare. 

For married couples, there will be a threshold earnings value for the lower-earning spouse where it makes economic sense to stay home and care for children – but it may be hard for them to re-enter the workplace if they do. These are not always mothers, as there are increasing numbers of stay-at-home fathers with breadwinning mothers. 

It's okay to feel a little overwhelmed and terrified as a new father — there will be plenty more anxious moments along the way, but there will be even more moments filled with joy and wonder. Although it won't show up in your bank account, you are likely to get a great return on your investment of fatherhood. Have a happy Father's Day.

This article was provided by our partners at MoneyTips.com. Read more from MoneyTips:

Photo Credit: File-Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['AHS: Roanoke' Meets Halloween Horror Nights]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 09:57:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/roanokeahsuniversal.jpg

"American Horror Story" is that unusual modern television series that almost, and quite eerily, seems to reach through the screen and into viewers' lives.

Dedicated fan sites, thousands of online fan fiction stories, and even a new costume and prop display at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills all put the show's ultra-scary stuff on this side of our TVs, drawing viewers further into all of those freakish frights devised by creator Ryan Murphy and his team of top-notch terror-inventing writers.

Now viewers will be drawn in even further, with no screen available for separation purposes, at the 2017 Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood -- as well as Orlando, Singapore and Japan. The late-summer-into-fall Halloween mazes-and-more event just announced that the latest, stomach-drop-iest turn for the FX hit series will get its own maze this upcoming autumn.

You're right, if you just recalled that "American Horror Story" made a macabre Halloween Horror Nights showing in 2016. That was a walk-through, jumps-aplenty maze focusing on three of the series: Murder House, Freak Show, and Hotel.

The diabolical destination for 2017, though, will focus solely on "Roanoke." Will the Piggy Man make a cameo? The blood moon? You may feel the tingles in your toes well in advance of the Sept. 15 of the mazeful Universal extravaganza.

An extravaganza that will also include a maze for "The Shining," which was revealed in the middle of May.

What mazes are still to come? And special happenings? The creative 'n creepy minds behind HHN will be rolling those out, drip by unnerving drip, in the eeks — we mean weeks — to come.

Universal Studios and NBC Owned TV Stations operate under the same parent company NBCUniversal.

Photo Credit: AHS]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Happy Father's Day]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 16:56:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/fathersdayshutterstock2932.jpg

Happy Father's Day: How will you pay lavish attention upon your beloved pops? There are wonderful ways to do so around Southern California. Two of the regional biggies are again on the 2017 holiday weekend schedule, as is tradition, with the Pasadena Chalk Festival running on both June 17 and 18 and the Rodeo Drive Concours D'Elegance happening on June 18 (and, yep, hooray, both are free). Also free? Our beaches, which'll be brimming over the warm weekend. Also: LA Beer Week begins on June 17, if you're over 21 and your father likes craft brews, and the Aquarium of the Pacific will hold a special Father's Day BBQ.

Tacolandia: What's your perfecto, no-quibbles-about-it tortilla topper? Does it involve cheese, and pico de gallo, and carne asada, or fish, and some cabbage or sour cream? Tacos are pretty darn limitless, in terms of all the things they can deliciously become, and this annual LA Weekly/Tabasco festival celebrates our tantalizing regional bounty via dozens of top-notch taco specialists. Be at El Pueblo on June 17 for all the choice chow-down-ery.

Dessert Goals: True, there are some sweets to be had at Tacolandia, but if gooey, sugar-mondo goodies are your sole focus, best head to a different part of downtown, The Cooper Design Space, for a foodie experience that's similar (a singular focus) but different (dessert is the theme, obviously). In addition to tastes of all sorts of artisanal treats, attendees can also sign up for workshops detailing dessert photography, blogging, and crafts. Tempted, by both the creamy bites and upping your Instagram game? Here's your frosted 411 on the June 17 foodtacular.

Garden Party: The summer solstice is but a few days away, making evening soirees lushly lovely at the moment. It's light later, and nature is abloom still, and the notion of swanning about Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum, during its annual Sculpture Garden-based bash, just makes one feel a little fancy, all while keeping it real and a touch outdoorsy. The Saturday, June 17 gathering will include sketching opportunities, potpourri blending, a scavenger hunt, the savoring of live tunes, and more enjoyment of a cultural, natural, art-participatory sort.

Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours: These every-so-often, into-the-wee-smalls parties always have a quirky vibe, and plenty of art-forward happenings, the sort of happenings participants can take part in. But the Friday June 16 to-do has a pretty specific and celebrated focus. It's Walt Disney Concert Hall, and attendees will explore "...its curious angles and hidden spaces" while enjoying the installations and chances to dance. The bash starts at 11:30 p.m. and wraps at 3 in the morning. Feel eternally drawn to the spectacular silver colossus? Here's your chance to know it better.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Disneyland: Railroad, 'Fantasmic!' Return Dates]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:31:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dlrrbrr580751.jpg

Much of the Disneyverse is craftily constructed around clocks and the nature of time, and a fan only need dip into a song, or story, to find references to the meaning, and passage, of hours and minutes.

From the stroke of midnight in "Cinderella" to Cogsworth the clock of "Beauty and the Beast" to "Step in Time" from "Mary Poppins" to the beloved doll clock at It's a Small World at Disneyland, tick-tockery weaves throughout the Disney-style wonder.

But when a number of beloved and historical attractions shuttered at the Anaheim theme park in January 2016, all to give "Star Wars" land construction some room to start up, that ol' tick-tockery had fans a mite concerned. How long before they could again board the Mark Twain Riverboat or the Disneyland Railroad or watch "Fantasmic!"?

The answer is ticking 'n tocking this way: July 2017, with one attraction opening earlier, on June 16.

The theme park's official blog revealed on Thursday, June 15 that all of the Rivers of America attractions, including the Mark Twain, the Sailing Ship Columbia, Pirate's Lair at Tom Sawyer Island, and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes will paddle into view over the next few weeks, with Pirate's Lair up first and right away, on Friday, June 16.

The other waterborne attractions shall follow with openings at the end of July (Saturday, July 29, to be exact).

"Fantasmic!" flies back on Monday, July 17, with several of the details fans love intact. But some fresh additions have been made to the nighttime spectacular, too, like new mist screens, as well as a nod to both "Aladdin" and "The Lion King."

Oh, you're so right, if you just raised your hand, excitedly, at reading "July 17" a moment ago: July 17 is Disneyland's birthday. And, in 2017, the world's most celebrated rides-and-more merrymaker is turning 62, making the re-debut of "Fantasmic!" an even bigger event.

Finally, and we do advise you to hold onto your favorite dinosaur, train enthusiasts, at this bit of news: The Disneyland Railroad chugga-chuggas back on July 29, complete with a restoration of the dino-filled Primeval World as well as the Grand Canyon.

Both scenic displays have been brought back to "their original splendor," says the park blog.

And here's something nifty: "For the first time ever, the Disneyland Railroad will make a left-hand turn to continue around Disneyland Park."

As Mr. Disney himself said, and as others have seconded over the decades, Disneyland will always change, and grow, and continue to burnish the existing enchantment in interesting, to-the-future ways.

Even the classic railroad, one of the original 1955 attractions, has a few new tales to tell along its much covered tracks.

Photo Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer]]>
<![CDATA[Tacolandia: 'Unlimited Samples' Ahead]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 10:05:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/chicastacostacolandia1.jpg

Comparing an edible to a blank canvas? It happens frequently, on cooking shows and in foodie magazines and on menus, too.

But while a pie shell might be accurately described as a canvas awaiting color, and perhaps a piece of toast, too, nothing is quite as canvas-like, visually and anticipation-wise, as a perfect tortilla.

Unlike an actual canvas, however, a tortilla can be loaded with carne asada, and radish slices, and cotija cheeses, and it can be handily devoured by the artist, who may already be pondering his next work of art during the devouring.

That fine art of taco-ery is on beautiful, bite-ful display at Tacolandia, the LA Weekly's annual celebration of our region's plethora of tortilla-terrific, filling-fantastic, wrap-'em-up-in-foil delights.

El Pueblo de Los Angeles is the location — or museum, if you prefer — for these piquant works of art, and the date? It's Saturday, June 17, making it an ideal pre-Father's Day outing for those families that regularly and wisely gather around a platter of tacos back at home or while out and about.

Tabasco is the day's spice-tastic sponsor, and the beneficiary is El Pueblo Park Association, which "...was founded in 1982 to foster public interest in and good will for El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument (El Pueblo)."

Among the 120-plus vendors: Chicas Tacos, Loteria Grill, Naugles Tacos, Tacos Kokopelli, and so many that, we need to be totally frank: You won't try them all, over the course of four hours, but you'll probably make a totally impressive and satisfactory run at it.

Chill-the-tongue treats, from purveyors like McConnell's Fine Ice Creams and and the Marscapone Cheesecake Truck by Chef Turok, will handily address the dessert side of the (mostly) savory scene. 

Cash bars, too, will dot the afternon, sun's-high festival.

As for tickets, and info on sampling, and how all of this art creation, art eating, art enjoyment in the belly shall go down? This is your next stop, dear mavens of tortillas, and all of the marvels they do hold. 

Photo Credit: Chicas Tacos]]>
<![CDATA['White Skittles' for U.K. Pride Month Are Drawing Backlash]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 10:07:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/skittles-and-tesco-crop.jpg

An all-white, limited edition of Skittles sold in the U.K. has ignited internet debate over what some critics are calling a tone-deaf marketing scheme to celebrate LGBT Pride month.

Skittles partnered with British retail chain Tesco for the second year to offer an all-white version of the candy in a black-and-white bag, following the launch of the #onerainbow campaign at London Pride last year.

Ads said that because "only one rainbow matters this pride," the multicolor candy would be going colorless in order to celebrate LGBT Pride month. It's celebrated every year in June—often with rainbow flags.

This year, some social media critics were not so happy with the brand's all-white campaign, saying the move erases racial diversity within the LGBT community.

"Happiness, fun and inclusion are at the heart of who we are," a U.K. spokesperson for Wrigley, the company that makes Skittles, said in a statement. "Any suggestion that this support for Pride is in any way racist is clearly wrong.”

Others still said they appreciated the marketing gesture and that the backlash was undeserved.

"This campaign allows us to have great fun with our brand while also raising awareness of an important issue," the Wrigley statement said, adding that the campaign allows the Pride rainbow to take center stage.

Photo Credit: Tesco.com
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<![CDATA[LA Zoo Summer: Roaring Nights Returns]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:39:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GL-RN-Snakejamiepham.jpg

Summertime at the Los Angeles Zoo? You'll want to show up with your sunblock well applied, and you'll of course keep hydrated, and you'll completely understand when you find your favorite beastie taking a mid-afternoon snooze in the shade of a big tree.

But something else is hot, like the sun, at the Griffith Park animal park when the warmest season arrives, and it actually has nothing to do with the sun, daytime, or standing in the direct rays of our nearest star.

It's all about a trio of special evenings called Roaring Nights. True, the LA Zoo does open after sundown on occasion, like around the holidays for Zoo Lights, but Roaring Nights is full-on, bare-the-arms, keep-cool summertime enjoyment of the classic June-to-September sort.

And each of the three parties has a theme. Be there on Friday, June 23 for a '60s Summer Safari, go country on Friday, July 21, or revel in an '80s-to-'90s vibe on Friday, Sept. 15.

Some common denominators? Well, critters of all sorts, of course, since the zoo is their home turf. Educational talks from keepers, as well as "special animal encounters," will be centerpieces at the June 23 happening, an evening that will include "an expanded route" near the animal habitats (the route will be open from 6 to 8 p.m.).

Live music from Woodie and the Longboards, as well as Detroit Nights, and spinning sounds from DJ Johnny Hawkes, provide the soundtrack among the chirps and roars of the lush setting.

Given the hour, you might expect to find some grub, and your expectations shall be met: There will be a number of food trucks, as well as full-service bars.

Oh, and games, too, if you need to work off some of the week.

It's an all-ages party — Minions from "Despicable 3" will make a cameo — and it continues to highlight the zoo's "ZooLAbration," an ongoing celebration in honor of the roar-filled, chirp-chirpy destination's 50th anniversary.

True, the zoo's residents do generally like to tuck up come night, or at least many of them choose to trundle to bed, meaning whatever comfy tree branch or soft bit of leafy loveliness they naturally prefer.

But some'll be out and about, with the keepers, so keep your eyes peeled, and your evening enjoyment set to "high."

After all, we're more likely to encounter the zoo under sunshine, not moonlight, on most days of the year, making Roaring Nights a rarity on the critter-loving calendar.

Photo Credit: Jamie Pham]]>
<![CDATA[Dessert Goals: Fresh Confection Fest]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 16:48:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dessertgoals0293923.jpg

Lumping all food photography ever into one lumpy catch-all category?

Doesn't work. No way, no how. No one would ever dare to do this, even people who've never dreamed of snapping a quick pic of a sandwich or bowl of pasta. 

Because different bites require different approaches, it's true, and a quick glance back at the decades, from the 1950s to the 1970s to today, tell us that capturing cuisine, by camera, is an art form that varies depending upon the vittles.

Enter Dessert Goals, a one-day confection celebration that has already dipped a long, frosty spoon into the New York City sweets scene. Next up for the dessertacular is Los Angeles, on Saturday, June 17, at the The Cooper Design Space in Downtown LA.

Let's just put this out there as prominently as a cherry sits atop whipped cream: There shall be eating, and a good amount of it, from artisanal, creatively minded makers of confections around SoCal, outfits like Gotta Have S'more and Coolhaus and Honey & Butter macarons.

Mallow & Hop marshmallows, Le Bon Garçon caramels, and Kettle Me Up kettle corn will also make a sticky, chewy, crave-another showing.

But it isn't just about the munchery at Dessert Goals, for workshops dedicated to dessert photography, and blogging, and dessert crafts and businesses, are also on the tart to-do list.

You'll need a separate workshop ticket, do note, in addition to your Dessert Goals entry, if you want to join the jam-boree (certainly jam, as a gooey, yummy concept, is often front-and-centered in modern desserts).

Have your ticket already? Find your way to your dream workshop. And start pondering how your contemporary capturing of a bowl of pudding can stand out on social media, or wherever you choose to display your stellar sugary skills.

Photo Credit: Dessert Goals]]>
<![CDATA[Tail O' the Pup: New Home for Hot Dog Icon]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:47:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tailothepupvintage123.jpg

Ever get a hankering for a frankfurter while passing through the nexus of San Vicente and La Cienega Boulevards?

Does the sight of Beverly Boulevard or the Beverly Center make you think you detect a whiff of mustard in the air?

In short: Do you miss Tail O' the Pup?

Many Southern Californians ate many, many bite 'n snap hot dogs at the iconic West Hollywood stand, a beloved business that found longtime homes on both La Cienega and San Vicente. But new construction unrelated to the stand sent the Pup into storage in Torrance, and then to Nevada, for a spot on a cable program (perhaps you saw it sailing down the 405 a few years back).

And while a new Tail O' the Pup made a food truck debut in 2016 on La Cienega, complete with the old-school frankfurters in tow, many fans wondered where they could see the Milton Black-designed programmatic building, the one shaped like a big ol' bun, the one that remains as symbolic of LA as the Hollywood Sign and swimming pools.

Here's the happy answer: The Tail O' the Pup will soon take up permanent residence at the Valley Relics Museum.

Jay and Nicole Miller donated the stand to the SoCal pop culture institution, a locally minded museum founded by Tommy Gelinas in 2013. 

Mr. Miller is the grandson of Eddie Blake, a former owner of Tail O' the Pup.

"After years of preservation and storage of the iconic Los Angeles landmark, we have found the perfect home for Tail O' the Pup," read a statement from the Millers. "Building codes have made it unrealistic to use the iconic building in future locations which led us to seek out Tommy Gelinas at Valley Relics Museum."

"Tommy has generously agreed to restore the landmark and put it on display for fans to enjoy," concluded the Millers' statement.

To see the built-in-1946, huge hot dog of a building, well... you'll need to hold your horses for just a bit longer, as Mr. Gelinas will be busy performing restoration work on the stand.

But once it is officially on view, you'll only need to visit Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth on a Saturday to commune with the Pup. That's the weekly open day for the treasure-packed vault, a spot that includes a host of signage, retro-cool cars, and other known-to-SoCalers finds, throughout the sizable space.

Though the historic stand won't be serving hot dogs, once it is on view, you can find Tail O' the Pup food today, at temporary pop-ups as well as future, down-the-road permanent eateries.

Kevin Michaels and Brett Doherty of Killer Shrimp and Hamburger Hamlet are working with Jay and Nicole Miller to bring more hot-doggery to more places around Southern California in the years to come.

Photo Credit: Tail O' the Pup]]>
<![CDATA['Boy Meets World' House Finds a Buyer]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:15:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/knbc-boy-meets-world-house-for-sale-tn-3.jpg A Studio City house featured in the 1990s TV sitcom "Boy Meets World" has sold for $1.29 million, a spokeswoman for the real estate agency said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/JBT Photography, John Turner]]>
<![CDATA[Queen Mary: Dark Harbor Auditions Ahead]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 15:43:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/QMauditionsdarkharbor928390232.jpg

Summer's official, actual, on-the-books start is but a week out, which obviously means you'll need to start preparing your monster skills for those upcoming theme park Halloween event auditions.

For theme park scare spectaculars wait for no season, and when the sun is high over Southern California, and the mercury is pushing up, up, up, that's when the call goes out for all manner of monstrous thespians.

Dark Harbor, of the Queen Mary, recently sent out just that call, and you won't have to wait long to moan and/or groan at the Long Beach ocean-liner: Tryouts will howl on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15.

Those dates are over two months ahead of autumn's start, yes, but consider that both Midsummer Scream and ScareLA, our region's two huge Halloween-themed conventions, will arrive right on the Dark Harbor audition's heels, in late July and early August respectively.

For sure, the Dark Harbor honchos will be searching for spooky background players, the kind of theatrical people who can glower with the best (and freakiest) of 'em. But main players, like Graceful Gale and Scary Mary, are also set to be cast, too.

And can you juggle? Sing? Perform magic? Those skills may net you a role in the multi-week spine-tingler of an extravaganza. 

Crew will also be interviewed later in July, so if a stage supervisor is more your thing, or bartending, consider heading for Long Beach to see if the operations team might be a good, ghoulish fit for what you have to offer.

Summer's nearly here, Halloweenies, which means the theme parks are turning on the pumpkin-orange search lights as they look for their line-up of eeky maze monsters and goosebump-summoning superstars.

Photo Credit: Michael Wada]]>
<![CDATA[Seattle’s Space Needle Set for Renovation]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 15:10:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_02_21.Still002.jpg

Starting in September, the 55-year-old Space Needle will undergo renovations to add a floor-to-ceiling glass observation deck and a glass restaurant floor.

Photo Credit: Space Needle]]>
<![CDATA[Mid-City Houses Go Pink (Ahead of Demolition)]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 13:41:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DSC_8266pinkhouse.jpg

Not only are Southern Californians pretty used to outlandish architectural statements — we do live in a place that boasts Storybook homes, spaceship-inspired abodes, all-out castles, and modern glass cubes — we're even somewhat accustomed to seeing buildings covered in family photos or a single, startling hue.

Exhibit A? Artist Gary Sweeney recently placed vintage snapshots all over the exterior of his childhood home in Manhattan Beach before it was demolished.

And when the former Sunset Pacific Motel in Silver Lake went fully bright white, in the spring of 2015, it was a sensation, drawing shutterbugs who wanted to record artist Vincent Lamouroux's "Projection" before the moment passed.

Now a few homes in the Mid-City area are sporting a fully pink coat, thanks to The Most Famous Artist and iMpermanence, "(a) citywide initiative utilizing development sites as temporary canvases which blend art, architecture, and urbanism."

The three houses, which have pink tile roofs and pink walls and, well, pink everything, for the most part, will soon be torn down to make way for a 45-unit apartment building from firm M-Rad, per LAist.

The "ephemeral conceptual art project," which seeks to inspire more dialogue about development in Los Angeles and its impact on the community, has stirred a lot of conversation, and controversy, in the surrounding area, as curious people swing by to have a look or snap a photo. Curbed LA reports that the nearby neighbors did not know about the project in advance.

The single-family homes and their current state of pinkness do inspire questions. Do the slated-for-demolition structures encourage passersby to ponder the ever-shifting urban landscape of our region? Are they novel, and noticeable, in a way that most tear-down homes are not? 

The here-today-gone-by-July project is even inspiring events, such as over the weekend, on Pink Rosé Day, when Nomadica Wine and The Most Famous Artist used the bright backdrop for a beverage launch (Pink River Rosé).

But "ephemeral" is the key word, for the houses will soon meet the proverbial wrecking ball. The date with the demolishing crew is set to occur just down the road, before June wraps.

As for that address? The pink houses are located at 1500 Hi Point Street.

Photo Credit: The Most Famous Artist]]>
<![CDATA[Happy 25th, Pasadena Chalk Festival]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 09:54:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pasadenaDSC_0171.JPG

If you called upon the colossal, well-known, and highly hue-bright Pasadena Chalk Festival in 2016, you may have made the commitment, then and there, to practice your own chalk/sidewalk illustrations before the 2017 festival arrived.

And... you may have been thwarted, by all of those wintry rainy days we had, as water and chalk tend not to mix. But no worries: As is tradition, the Paseo Colorado extravaganza, which is free, will once again take place on over one very warm, sunshine-laden weekend.

That weekend, as is also tradition, includes Father's Day, making the walk-around-and-admire to-do an event that many Southern California families include in their holiday celebrations. Of course, it isn't just about looking down, and around, at all of the artistry on the ground below, but also taking part in the numerous activities that surround the busy artists.

There's the Children's Chalkland, which'll be focused on the creation of fun Father's Day cards, as well as face painting. There's the 15th annual Pasadena Police Classic Car Show, on Sunday, June 18, from 10 a.m. through 3 o'clock (it's a fundraiser for a few organizations, including Peace Over Violence). 

And there's an art gallery and silent auction, too, if that's your jam.

The June 17 and 18 happening marks the 25th annual Pasadena Chalk Festival, meaning there are bunches of past artworks to look back upon. And the Pasadena Museum of History, which is a short drive from Paseo Colorado, is spotlighting oodles of bygone chalk masterpieces, and the festival as a whole, in the "Art in the Street: 25 Years of the Pasadena Chalk Festival" exhibit.

That show is still ongoing, through Aug. 13, 2017, so think about visiting both the museum, for a glance back at the festival, and then calling upon the festival itself, to see what's going down, on the ground, in real time, as the 2017 artists put color to concrete, one stroke at a time.

Photo Credit: Pasadena Chalk Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrating Griffith Park, LA's Wilderness Jewel]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 09:18:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-152488743.jpg Griffith Park has provided a wilderness retreat in the hills above Los Angeles for more than 120 years.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wild Food Crazes: Unicorn Frappuccino and Sushi Donut]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:31:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/starbucks-unicorn-drink.jpg Raw cookie dough, sushi donuts, Nutella burgers and Swedish Fish Oreos are just some of the recent foods trends that have swept the culinary world. ]]> <![CDATA[Warriors' Game 3 Win Earns America a Free Taco Tuesday]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 07:29:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/taco-bell-doritos.jpg

Whether you were rooting for the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals, everyone wins Tuesday with free food from Taco Bell.

The taco franchise challenged the Eastern and Western Conference winners to "steal a road game" during the tournament and offered to give free Doritos Locos Tacos to everyone in return.  

Thanks to the Warriors' 118-113 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 in Cleveland, taco fans everywhere can now claim their prize.

The "Steal a Game, Steal a Taco" giveaway is from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Taco Bell locations nationwide, while supplies last. Customers are limited to one taco and there is no purchase necessary.

Taco Bell held a similar promotion during the 2016 World Series.

Golden State defeated Cleveland on Monday to win their second NBA title in the last three seasons.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>