<![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, 20 Jan 2017 02:01:53 -0800Fri, 20 Jan 2017 02:01:53 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Spread Kindness: Big Sunday Give Back]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:11:44 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/222*120/getPartbigsunvalentines.jpg

Big Sunday, which is very much associated with the month of May, and that's the entire month, and not just the first Sunday (which is where the event got its start), is actually a vibrant volunteer effort throughout the year.

For it matters not the week or month or season: Being kind to others, and helping people in our community cope, thrive, and find neighborly support, is the right thing to do.

Meaning you don't have to wait for May to jump into a joy-making volunteer happening with the give-back group, in short. Turn your sweet sights upon Valentine's Day, or, more specifically, the Sunday before Valentine's Day, when volunteers will gather to make Valentine cards "and gift bags" for those in need.

Perhaps a Valentine you make will be sent to someone who is fighting an illness, or is "facing a tough time," and the tender words you write, and the paper hearts you apply to the front, will be the hint of honey that brightens their hour or afternoon or outlook.

That's it, basically: Making cards to make others smile. The three-hour, get-creative event is open to all ages, and it will take place at 6111 Melrose Ave on Sunday, Feb. 12.

If you have food to donate to Alexandria House — "unexpired, non-perishable food" — Big Sunday will welcome your contributions. ("Pasta and sauce" are on the needs list, but do bring whatever you can.)

A "raucous game of bingo" is part of the to-do, as is a community dinner.

Has it been years, or decades, since you made a Valentine for someone? Have you been longing to connect with others, and the community at large, but aren't sure how to take that initial step?

Here's that step. Valentine's Eve Eve 2017 will be the day that a creative cadre of Southern Californians gather to do something wonderful and spirit-raising for people they don't know but know to be in need of cheer. You can be part of the well-wishing brigade, too.

Photo Credit: Bill Devlin]]>
<![CDATA[Uncorked LA Wine Festival]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:40:20 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/97048424.jpg

Wine festivals, the large-scale ones, the ones that take over a good-sized chunk of land or a big building, are frequently seen when the weather is warm and people are seeking out airy events, the kind where libations cool down a crowd.

But the occasional big vino meet-up has a knack for popping up in the wintertime, too, even when the skies are particularly cloudy and the "airy" end of the equation is more like "cold-airy." 

The show shall go on at Union Station, however, rain or shine, on the evening of Saturday, Jan. 21. That's when Uncorked takes over the aforementioned good-sized chunk of the landmark, the Los Angeles Wine Festival.

"Over 50" wineries'll be in the historic house, with 150+ libations to try. The sustenance end of things? That's incredibly important at a wine festival, and a line-up of food trucks and eats purveyors, including Baby's Badass Burgers, The Chairman Truck, Peaches BBQ, Epic Taco, and more will roll up and break out the bites.

There shall be tunes to nosh by, and sip by, and socialize by, and marvel at the 1939 Streamline Moderne/Art Deco/Spanish Revival wonder by.

There shall be a beneficiary, too, if you're wondering who this evening is lending some love to: MOSTe, or Motivating Our Students Through Experience.

Tickets start at $50, and the event begins at 5 p.m., with an early-ish wrap time of 9 o'clock.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rose Parade: The 2018 Theme Is...]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 21:33:52 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/roseGettyImages-460965618.jpg

Dare we even suggest that you might still be writing "2016" on various documents and checks? We might dare, as that is the eraser-heavy road that many people take over the first month on the calendar.

But the first month also delivers us something, here in Southern California, which isn't about last year, or even the new year, the one that is only a few weeks old: We are encouraged to look into the far future, some eleven months ahead, to the next New Year's Day.

For the Tournament of Roses traditionally reveals its upcoming theme about three weeks after the last tourney wraps. And tradition, as any SoCal fan of the spectacular knows, is at the heart of all that the tourney does.

True, the next flower-famous extravaganza is still nearly a year away, but, please: This is the Rose Parade. It needs to rev up early. And the 2018 theme, which was revealed on Thursday, Jan. 19, is "Making a Difference."

So start practicing your "2018" now, or at least saying it, here and there, because it will be on the horizon, and then right in front of us, before we all realize it.

And the 129th Rose Parade Presented by Honda? Unlike the 2017 event, the 2018 parade will take place on New Year's Day, which is a Monday. Jan. 1 fell on a Sunday in 2017, and the Rose Parade never happens on a Sunday.

So book Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 now, and start pondering the latest theme of one of the planet's most historic parades.

Lance Tibbet, the newly elected President of the Tournament of Roses, announced the 2018 theme on Thursday, Jan. 19.

"The 2018 theme, 'Making a Difference,' is a way to honor and celebrate all of the people in our communities, who quietly and without desire for reward or recognition, act in selfless, generous, and kind ways to aid or benefit others," revealed Mr. Tibbet, who first became a tourney volunteer in 1980.

"It's about human acts of kindness that enrich the lives of others and are the source of inspiration, hope, joy, and optimism for us."

Nice words as we head into 2017, with an eye already on what's to come at the very, very start of 2018.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Huntington: Parade of Blooms Ahead]]> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:42:29 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/huntingtonplumblossoms123.jpg

When you live in Southern California, and it is the middle of January, and the notion of flowers starts popping up here and there, and not the cut bouquet-style flowers of Valentine's Day, but rather flowers found in natural settings, you can be forgiven if the desert first comes to mind.

For it is just about this time of year that the first wildflowers are starting to say hello in some of the state's more arid locations (well, depending on rains and such, but early reports are coming in from desert locals that petals are appearing). 

But we have an amazing flower procession right here in the city, before the Death Valley and Anza-Borrego blooms really get going, and looking to some of our larger gardens will deliver on that front.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens shared some "plum" gorgeous photographs of the plum blossoms, which are juuust ending their 2017 early January run (the coming rains may finish off the bloom, reveals the San Marino landmark).

But more budly goodness is on the way at The Huntington and other leafy spots, like Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge. Peach blossoms and cherry blossoms are coming up, as is the elegant camellia, which gets a few February parties at various locations.

If you're seeking a quiet moment in a tree-lush, green-gorgeous space, and you are sweet on wintertime petals, find your way to The Huntington in the last weeks of January and all of February. 

Exquisite botanical gems are very much abloom, right here, in bustling SoCal, though that should stop desert devotees from making their way out to spy the coming show (fingers crossed the rains have brought a banner blossom year).

Peace, joy, reflection, meditation, plum blossoms, and camellias? Make your way here, nature lovers.

Photo Credit: The Huntington]]>
<![CDATA[Electrical Parade Party at Disneyland]]> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:30:08 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/1_17_DL_9100electricalparade.jpg

If your upbeat, panache-filled friend had been away for seven or so years, across the country, or in out-of-sight mode, you'd surely throw them the biggest of shebangs when they finally made their much-anticipated way home.

You'd display some paper streamers, and bake cupcakes, and host a bash to remember, surely.

One such friend is returning home to California, to the one place that has no need for streamers and such, as it is already whimsically well-decorated all year long: Disneyland.

The Main Street Electrical Parade, a nighttime, bulb-bright procession that first wended its way through the world-famous theme park, left Anaheim, and Disney California Adventure, in 2010. Now it is back, beginning on Jan. 20, but the Disneyland has a shindig afoot on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 19.

It's the Electrical Parade Party, and it will give mavens of the theme-song swirly spectacular an early chance to see it before it officially makes its re-debut.

True, it was last at Disney California Adventure (at least here in California), but the parade's upcoming five-month run is slated for Disneyland, and that's just where the Electrical Parade Party will take place on the 19th.

On the 7:30 p.m. to midnight roster? "Viewing of the parade" is the biggie, of course, but attendees can also shake it at a '70s-themed Tomorrowland Terrace dance party (the parade has roots in the early '70s) and enjoy a "red carpet welcome." 

It's a special ticket. Note also that your parking is complimentary for the event. Best of all, if you like bell bottoms and wide-collared shirts? You'll want to dress like 1972, the year that the Main Street Electrical Parade premiered.

One of the "gets" for party goers is that first chance to see, and possibly buy, special Main Street Electrical Parade merchandise.

Are you ready to hum that theme song again, a theme song so spunky and so peppy that it has become a cheer-raising classic, once again? Be one of the first people to do so, at the kick-off party for Orange County's most illuminated event.

Photo Credit: Rob Sparacio/Disneyland Resort]]>
<![CDATA[On Approach: Museums Free-for-All Day]]> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:50:47 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nhm11socalmuseums.jpg

It's often said that it takes a person about three weeks to firmly set a new, positive habit in stone.

Which means that by the last third of January the resolutions you made, the ones you vowed up and down you'd stick with, could be well-woven into your routine.

If you were flat-out dogged about them. (Surely you have been.)

Or your resolutions could be lagging a tad. There is a way, though, to re-start the clock on one of your promises, if your resolution involved getting out more, learning more, being with people, and growing as a human: Museums Free-for-All Day.

The end-of-January event, in short, arrives at the most auspicious and ideal moment. The winter's delving into doldrum territory, and we need to be among our neighbors, feeling the joy and wonder as we learn about history, nature, culture, and art.

The 2017 date is Sunday, Jan. 29, and a host of Southern California institutions, from the California African American Museum to Pasadena Museum of California Art to the Natural History Museum, will all waive admission.

There are a few asterisks to ponder before setting out on your lovely life re-set, such as this fact: If a museum has a parking lot that charges a fee, that fee isn't going away for the day. But check it: Metro has some discounts on for Museums Free-for-All Day riders.

Also? A number of museums on the list require a timed ticket. Yep, it is still free for Jan. 29, but you'll want to pick the hour you'll arrive ahead of time.

The Skirball Cultural Center, by the by, is observing its free day on Saturday, Jan. 28. And over at the California Science Center? There shall be many cool exhibits to see, but The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition is not included in the day.

Jumping into a joyful day of learning and seeing and thinking is a dynamite route to re-setting at the end of the first month, if the first month has lagged a bit in the "get out there" goals department.

To do so for free? Extra fantabulous. Ring your friends, the ones who also need a re-start on their 2017 promises, and doggedly resolve where you'll go.

Photo Credit: SoCal Museums]]>
<![CDATA[Popcorn Showdown in Santa Monica]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:54:23 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/177*120/3078932.jpg

Stand aside, toast.

Well, not too far to the side, as you are delicious and bready and warm and you work well with apricot jam and pistachio butter and cinnamon sugar and practically anything that can be sprinkled or spread.

But there is another edible that takes to a wide variety of toppings very well, and, like toast, those additions can be from the savory branch of the food tree or the branch that favors sweet teeth. It is popcorn, a hot-to-pop, kernel-mazing concoction that welcomes a handful of chocolate chips as easily as a dash (or nine) of hot sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Where, though, can a devoted popcornian find such offbeat and often gourmet pleasures, outside of their own popcorn laboratories — er, kitchens? Movie theaters often have the shake-it-on line-up, yes. But how about a showdown of salty splendor?

Santa Monica has it, in honor of National Popcorn Day, which is on Thursday, Jan. 19 (as you likely well know, anticipating it like you have been). Spin PR has organized a full-on popcorn battle, or a "'Chopped'-style popcorn competition," if you prefer, to see what light-as-air entry reigns supreme.

It's twenty bucks, you'll find out the exact location once you buy your ticket, and is the word "cocktails" in the very name of the event? Click here to find out. (Hint: yes.)

The three-hour butter-yummy bash'll give even the most snooty gourmand a few fresh approaches to dressing their big bowl of Friday night snackery. (And, let us be clear, "snooty gourmand" is the utmost compliment, a source of pride, because if popcorn experimenters weren't a touch snooty or given to gourmand proclivities, who would ever have invented the perfect combo of almonds, caramel, sea salt, and more caramel?)

It's one of the most dressable eats, popcorn, and it gives toast, and other top-ready tastes, a true run. So gobble a bunch of it down, the gourmet popcorn, on its official national holiday.

Maybe wear a shirt that already has a few visible memories of popcorn parties from your past, for partaking in popcorn gobbling should be done worry-free, without concern for especially fancy clothes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tea Titan Re-Opens in Beverly Hills]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:19:24 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AmericanTeaRoomChamomileTeaSachet.jpg

If your ice cream parlor has undergone updates (maybe new scoopers or stools), you definitely want your re-opening to fall at the height of ice cream season (in other words, summer).

Likewise, if you've got a shop devoted to steam-deep, warm-the-cockles concoctions, the sort of steep-ready sips made with high-quality leaves, throwing your doors wide is probably best done in the wintertime.

Which is just what's happened on Canon Drive in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, Jan. 17. The American Tea Room, which shuttered in 2015 for renovations, is re-opening its flagship location with "over 200... premium teas around the world," including Hekisui Artisan Ceremonial Matcha Tea, which is only offered in this country by the American Tea Room.

True, the bastion of bags and strainers and cups and liquid elixirs does boast a few other outposts, including a shop in downtown Los Angeles as well as Newport Beach. But Beverly Hills was first, in 2003, for the fine tea-porium, which offers tea and accessories for sale as well as libations (coffee, too) to enjoy in the shop itself. 

Snacks may also be purchased at the tea room, to enjoy alongside an impromptu cup.

In the works for the Beverly Hills hot-cuppa HQ: A "rotating, pop-installation that will bring various tea regions from around the world to life." 

It's Tea Central, in a longtime leaf go-to that was closed for a good while. But, just in time for another spate of cold storms, the American Tea Room is back in its first spot, Beverly Hills, to warm cockles and bring minty, green-fresh flavors to the tea-ists of Southern California.

Photo Credit: American Tea Room]]>
<![CDATA[Step Inside a 'Painting,' at the Skirball]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 09:53:45 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Installationview_BedroomatArles_Robert+Wedemeyer_3.jpg

A million descriptive terms, or seemingly, can be applied to a single painting, from "stunning" to "dreamlike" to "humorous" to "offbeat."

But the painting probably won't be called "three-dimensional," as canvases in frames have a notable knack for holding fast to two dimensions.

On occasion, however, a person can actually step inside a painting, if a special three-dimensional room has been constructed to pay homage to an artist and his vision. And such a space is on view, at the Skirball Cultural Center, through March 12, but here's the tantalizing twist: Not only can you walk inside this painting, but it honors two artists, and not just one.

The dots and stripes and comic book-like lines of the space reveal that Roy Lichtenstein, that pop titan of the mid-century painting world, is one of the artists honored, and the second is revealed by the theme: A simple bedroom.

If Vincent Van Gogh just sprung to mind, thank your mind, because it is correct. The Skirball Cultural Center's take on an enterable Van Gogh's "Bedroom at Arles," with loads of Lichenstein levity applied, is one of the most unusual art experiences in some time.

The space is part of a larger exhibit called "Pop for the People: Lichenstein in L.A.," and it explores how the artist "...made fine art accessible to the American public in ways that had not been achieved before."

Screen print workshops, tours, and other happenings are on the exhibit's schedule. And, yes, the show also contains more traditional pieces, beyond the walk-in space, though Roy Lichtenstein's eye-amazing, color-huge pieces weren't described as "traditional" when he first created them a half century ago, nor are they thought of in that vein today.

If you're longing for a three-dimensional art experience, but one that is built around the notion of a painting, that longtime two-dimensional form, you can find such a semi-surreal experience at the Skirball.

All while getting better acquainted with a visionary who saw how common ads, everyday design, and the newspaper comics section could be elevated into something museum-ready.

Mr. Lichtenstein's revolutionary ideas first flowered over a half century ago but feel as fresh, and surprising, as stepping inside a painting.

Photo Credit: Robert Wedemeyer]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Opera Pop-up at Union Station]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:50:35 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LAopera92832.jpg

Where might you be most likely to hear an intriguing snippet of a classic opera?

"An opera house" is an excellent suggestion, and you wouldn't have to fret that your guess would be incorrect. Because, yes: Opera houses house operas.

"From a passing car" is also good, as drivers have been known to crank up an aria or two. "In a movie" is also right, as film scores often turn to lush, voice-driven stories of the stage to lend movies a certain swanky flair.

"In a train depot" or "near the rails" though, are not answers you're apt to hear, as bustling commuters and travelers are running to and fro. But that is exactly where opera will flow, fabulously and for free, on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Union Station is partnering with the Los Angeles Opera for a night devoted to razzmatazzy Jazz Age style, Mozart's comedic timing, and the chance to hang out in the station's famous Waiting Room.

The pay-nothing to-do is called "A Night in the Seraglio," which is based on the Mozart-penned opera "The Abduction from the Seraglio."

The fizzy, light-of-heart work, which opens at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 28, will get a moxie-packed preview at Union Station complete with flapper-esque dancers (straight out of the 1920s), jazz-cool flows, and "acclaimed LA Opera singers performing pieces from the upcoming show."

You're correct if you just lodged another guess, and that guess was "the LA Opera is putting a '20s-flavored spin on the centuries-old opera." Good guess, again, if you surmised that the opera, once it opens at The Dorothy Chandler, will have something to do with trains.

Be at Union Station from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 17 for all the '20s-esque, Mozart-marvelous action. Action that'll go down in a unique setting for opera, and the admission-less vibe to the night is also pretty darn unique.

Must you wear fringe or a boater or another Roaring Twenties outfit? That's up to you.

Must you ponder how Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived well before the Roaring Twenties? The legend did indeed pre-date the decade, but, as ever Mozart maven knows, his work has an uncanny way, much like Shakespeare, of melding well with different eras, fashions, and trends.

Must you assume that opera only ever takes place in an opera house? You must not.

For the arias and melding harmonies can pop up just about anywhere, even, sometimes, the shortest distance from a bustling train platform and ticket hall.

Photo Credit: LA Opera]]>
<![CDATA[National Parks: First Fee-Free Day of 2017]]> Sun, 15 Jan 2017 10:18:31 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dvsunriseGettyImages-450421924+%281%29.jpg

Every year sees its share of firsts, especially near the start of the 365-day run. That's when the tumble of "first day to..." moments occurs, as the new year is fresh.

There is, of course, the first day of the year (we're not even going to "spoiler alert" this one: It's Jan. 1).

There is the first federal holiday, the first day back to school, the first Wednesday, and a veritable waterfall of other first-y occasions.

And the first fee-free day at our national parks always arrives about two weeks into the calendar, as a way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Which means that 120 fee-charging parks across the United States will waive admission on Monday, Jan. 16 to pay homage to the civil rights leader and his legacy.

You're right: There are far more than 120 parks around the country, by a lot, but the majority of the 400+ national parks, sites, and monuments go admission-free every day of the year.

Those that do have an admission fee at the entrance gate, like Yosemite National Park, honor the fee-free days each year by welcoming guests with no money required.

The next one after Jan. 16? That's on Presidents Day, and a full four days of admission-less park fun are up in April 2017, in tribute to National Park Week.

And speaking of Yosemite, and other wild-beautiful locations around California... Visitors would be well-advised to check road conditions, and closures, if heading out on Jan. 16. The recent dramatic snowstorms of early January have delivered a wallop to our state's higher elevations, giving them a frosty beauty, and needed precipitation, but, also, making the journey in a bit more of a challenge.

Call ahead, pack a lunch and your hiking boots, and enjoy the peace, solitude, and majesty.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LACMA: Target Free Holiday Monday]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:53:13 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2100521_105_LACMA_Resnick_alexvertikoffmuseumassociates.jpg

Art, it has long been said, at least since art and sayings have existed, has a knack for broadening vistas, deepening understanding of all cultures, encouraging imagination, and taking us out of our day-to-day, briefly.

Which makes an opportunity to engage with sculptures and paintings and the chance to create a work of our own all the more important when we find we have an extra few hours in the week.

Those hours, for many Southern Californians, will arrive on Monday, Jan. 16, the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Once again, Target will host a Free Holiday Monday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, meaning you won't need to pay admission to enter the galleries and dream/think/draw away.

Well... The special exhibits will still require a ticket on that day, thus admission, but definitely check out the permanent pieces on view, as well as some of the activities at the Miracle Mile art institution. If you don't want to stroll on your own, but instead crave a tour of some of the museum's best-known paintings, hop on a tour (there are bilingual tours, do note).

Also happening? Flamenco music by Mark Towns around midday and early afternoon — times are here — as well as a "family sketching activity" which'll give your whole crew a chance to exercise your art-making longings.

Hours? It all begins at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 16.

Photo Credit: Alex Vertikoff]]>
<![CDATA[Unity Celebration: Kidspace Peace Mural]]> Sat, 14 Jan 2017 11:33:05 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/UnityCelebration982321202.jpg

A hand print has long represented a host of meaningful and symbolic messages through time, from long-ago prints left on ancient cave walls to a continuing contemporary presence in everything from lauded artworks to kindergarten crafts.

Leaving your hand print says, in short, "let it be known that I was here," a simple statement but one with weight.

You and your tots have a chance to participate in something bigger than a single hand print at Kidspace Children's Museum through Monday, Jan. 16. In honor of the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Jan. 16, the Rose Bowl-close institution is holding a Unity Celebration, one designed for families who want to honor tenets like peace and justice.

The centerpiece of the three-day weekend event is the sizable peace mural, which will come together hand print after hand print. Want to contribute? It's a snap: Just cover your palm and fingers in some hueful paint and press down, leaving your heartfelt contribution to the larger whole.

Other activities during the weekend include dream boards (where you'll be able to "share your hope for the world") and the creation of a "communal unity chain."

Admission to the museum? It's $13, and there are a number of other exhibits and places to create around the Pasadena gem including the Arroyo Adventure and the Galvin Physics Forest.

Photo Credit: Kidspace Children's Museum]]>
<![CDATA[Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:25:13 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/011809-mlk-p2.jpg

Whether you attend a parade, join a procession, sign up for a local volunteer project, or paint a peace sign with your children, you can find a way to pay tribute to the memory, and continuing work, of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Several events and observances will happen around Southern California over the weekend ahead of the official holiday, which is on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. That's also the day of the venerable...

Kingdom Day Parade: It's the 32nd annual, and the theme is "Now More Than Ever, We Must All Work Together." To find a seat for the long-running celebration, which steps off at 10 a.m. at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Arlington Avenue, be sure to arrive by 9 o'clock. It's "America's Biggest Celebration of The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," a major way to honor the 89th birthday of Dr. King.

Peace & Unity Celebration: If you're making for Long Beach on Saturday, Jan. 14, head for the area of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street for the 10:30 start of the parade. The 2017 theme? It's "Love & Forgiveness." An after-parade festival at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park is on from noon to 6 and will feature "a free celebratory afternoon of music featuring the powerful work of artists whose vision coincides with King's voice for justice, peace, and civil rights."

Unity Celebration: Gather the family together and make for Pasadena, near the Rose Bowl, for a day of art, ideas, and paying homage to "...the message of Martin Luther King, Jr. with your fellow community members!" The place is Kidspace Children's Museum and the dates are Jan. 14 through 16. Want to leave a hand print on the large-scale peace mural? This is the spot. 

MLK Day of Service: Would you like to pitch in on a neighborhood project, help out a school, or make the world of a local organization just a little nicer? Find your volunteer project or take part in a blood drive. For details on the Jan. 16 happening, and to find a way to give back in your area or beyond, start here.

National Park Free Entrance Day: There are only a few no-admission events on the national parks calendar, and Monday, Jan. 16 is the first. Spend the observance at your favorite national park on a hike, on a clean-up volunteer effort, or just finding some quiet and reflection. Details? This way.

Photo Credit: Time & Life Pictures]]>
<![CDATA[The All-Jerry Maguire Video Store Opens]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:18:11 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jerrymaguireiam8bit.jpg

There are those fabled and hard-to-find stores that only sell or rent one highly specific thing, and, nope, they're not fictional or the dream of some retail maverick.

Evening gloves, casserole dishes, accordions... All of these items boast various iterations and could easily fill a store with several different makes, sizes, and brands.

But what of the one-item shop, where there is only a single thing on display, over and over and over and over? There was the famous One Book Bookstore in Arizona a few decades back, which was devoted solely to Bisbee local Walter Swan's memoirs, but such fabled places rarely exist.

Until now.

Look no further than the new pop-up video store at the iam8bit gallery, a store that only stocks... "Jerry Maguire" VHS tapes.

That's it. Don't inquire about other films from director Cameron Crowe, or stars Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, or Cuba Gooding, Jr., for the only film on the shelves is the 1996 tale of a sports agent facing, and creating, major changes in his life.

The vision to back a pop-up with "(o)ver 14,000" "Jerry Maguire" VHS tapes hails from video-obsessed iconoclasts Everything Is Terrible!, the group behind a host of pop culture-tweaking live shows and a caboodle of online videos, some of them involving cats.

One, of course, doesn't just saunter across a box of 14,000 VHS tapes, and the chances that all of those tapes might hold the same film is even unlikelier. Thus the call went out, to people around the world, to send in their own "Jerry Maguire" VHS tapes, should they have one on the shelf. 

How to experience more "Jerry Maguire"-ness than ever, though? The Sunset Boulevard store is open from Friday, Jan. 13 through Sunday, Jan. 29 from noon to 10 in the evening. A number of live performances are on the schedule, from artists and acts like Daedelus and Moaning and Permanent Records.

A Jerry Maguire Video Store Exclusive Membership Card is your festival pass to all of the upcoming shows.

Though the story won't end with the pop-up: A plan to build "an enormous, permanent pyramid," in the desert, of all the "Jerry Maguire" VHS tapes, is in the works.

Photo Credit: iam8bit]]>
<![CDATA[Friday the 13th Flashlight Safari]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:12:34 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/RoseHairedTarantula.jpg

You don't have to be a regular, every-other-weekend kind of camper to know what we're about to say is true.

And that is this: If you step away from your campfire, and spy something scurrying through the bushes, your critter sighting will be the talk of the night, and one of the main memories of the trip.

But if coming across a wild beastie is one of your thrills, you don't need to wait for luck, and the forest, and a moment away from the campfire, to see something furry and prone to scurry; you only need to be at the Wildlife Learning Center on Friday evening, Jan. 13.

It is, indeed, Friday the 13th, but talk about your lucky day. Animals of all "creepy crawly" sorts, from a baby alligator to, wait for it, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, will be in in the literal spotlight during the popular Flashlight Safari, and once-every-so-often to-do that gives fans of claws 'n maws a chance to connect with wilder things after the sun says bye-bye.

The time? The first tour kicks off at 6 p.m., with the final tour of the night scheduled for 7:15 (with a few groups between the two times).

Do you need your own flashlight? You do, yep. Are layers or a light jacket in order? Always, in January. Will you sip hot cocoa, to warm the tum? It'll be available, so hooray.

Do you need to be eerie'd-out by the creepy crawlers on the schedule? Not at all. The world is a wondrous place, Friday the 13th or note, and every beastie has their role to play, even the rose-haired tarantula (a critter who is on the map for the evening).

The price is $15.

Photo Credit: Wildlife Learning Center]]>
<![CDATA[Neutra Home: LA Site Named National Landmark]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:49:07 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NeutraVDL_exterior123.jpg

Prestigious, grandly announced rosters can cover a host of accolades, from acting awards to peace designations to academic prizes.

But if the announcement of the roster is coming from the Secretary of the Interior, there's a solid chance that the lauded list will involve new additions to our country's National Historic Landmarks Program.

Such a list was presented by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

The 24 new countrywide additions to the protected place registry included a trio of Golden State sites. Chicano Park in San Diego is a brand-new National Historic Landmark, as is Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission Chapel in San Jose, and the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences in Los Angeles.

The mid-century modern home and design studio, which is located in Silver Lake, was built by Richard Neutra, a forward-thinking titan of one of Southern California's most quintessential architectural styles, beginning in 1932 (with some various stages of work through the years).

Mr. Neutra's son Dion Neutra joined his father in a "redesign" of the structures following a 1963 fire, and today the property serves as "a resource for Cal Poly Pomona and the community at large," says Prof. Sarah Lorenzen, the VDL Research Director.

The destination stays true to its community commitment, with tours for the general public each Saturday (join one from 11 a.m. to 3 o'clock).

Called "a laboratory for modern architecture," the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences also played host to a host of historic figures through the years, including composer Igor Stravinsky and architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

The house, which is located in Rep. Adam Schiff's district, found a champion in Rep. Schiff as well as Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Both officials supported the important structures receiving the protective national landmark status.

It's a status shared by 2,532 national sites, which encompass 150 California sites, including, in Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills Village, the Bradbury Building, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

For the full list of the newest 24 sites to join the most recent class of National Historic Landmarks, check out the Department of the Interior and the expanded rundown of each important location (and why each location was deemed significant).

The Neutra home "is a valuable piece of American Heritage," says a Cal Poly Pomona statement about the designation. Now the Silver Lake landmark is assured of a long and continually inspiring future.

Interesting fact: The Neutra VDL Studio and Residences isn't the only Neutra-related entry on the January 2017 National Historic Landmarks nods. Mr. Neutra co-designed another just-announced National Historic Landmark, the Painted Desert Community Complex in Arizona, along with architect Robert E. Alexander.

Photo Credit: Cal Poly Pomona]]>
<![CDATA[Cirque du Soleil's 'Avatar'-Inspired Adventure]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 16:28:06 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/_LPH9122_Credit_ErrissonLawrence.jpg Venture to the planet Pandora for fantastical feats of strength, gorgeous sets, athletic acrobatics, and deep enchantment from the world created by James Cameron.

Photo Credit: Errisson Lawrence]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: LA Art Show]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:19:58 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dosshauswritersroomlaartshow.jpg

LA Art Show: How much fabulous and idea-provoking and avant garde art can fit into 150,000 square feet? The only answer is a lot, but best see for your own eyes, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where this annual visual works spectacular will unfold through Sunday, Jan. 15. Performances, talks, and tours complement the stroll-around-and-see aspect of the art extravaganza, which places the emphasis on "modern + contemporary" pieces from several corners of the make-it-share-it world.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Observances: A number of parades, volunteer days, and family outings will happen over the weekend, with the long-running Kingdom Day Parade taking place on Monday, Jan. 16. The 29th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace & Unity Parade and Celebration happens in Long Beach on Saturday, Jan. 14, while Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena will hold a Unity Celebration from Saturday, Jan. 14 through Monday, Jan. 16. And the MLK Day of Service asks people in the community to pitch in and give back.

Cirque du Soleil's "TORUK — The First Flight": If you recall the world of James Cameron's "Avatar," you'll remember that characters moved in extraordinary and seemingly unearthly ways. That melds well with the imaginative and athletic expressions of the lauded Montreal troupe, a troupe which will lithely leap into The Forum through Sunday, Jan. 15. How does a well-known film look, in acrobatic and expressive tribute, on a big state, in real-life? Here's your chance to find out, Cirque and "Avatar" aficionados.

"La La Land" IMAX Debut: The winner for the Best Comedy or Musical at the 74th annual Golden Globes makes its big bow on the very, very big screen at the TCL Chinese Theatre. Director Damien Chazelle will chat after the 7 p.m. screening on Saturday, Jan. 14. It's playing at the Hollywood landmark for one week (and, yep, a quick image of the landmark appears in the movie, making it an especially meta experience).

photo l.a.: Eye images from the 19th century through to right now, nearly this instant, in this wide-ranging, wide-of-mind snapshot show. It'll all go down, click click click, at The REEF/LA Mart, and panels, special events, and other to-dos will fill the shutterbug-loving show. You can go to see, and maybe even buy, if photography is your perfect idea-embiggening, world-knowing jam. It's on through Sunday, Jan. 15.

Photo Credit: Dosshaus]]>
<![CDATA[Fish ZZZs: Aquarium Family Sleepover]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 10:00:48 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Boy4aqpacific.jpg

So many of our childhood bedtime books revolved around what exactly animals do when the sun goes down, tales that not-so-subtly encouraged us to also fall fast asleep.

Do you remember these books? The cows find some nice hay for the night, and the birdies go beddie-bye in their favorite nest. As for the fishies? Well, the ocean denizens run a gargantuan gamut, from mammals to cephalopods, giving us an array of sleep stories to marvel at from our locations on dry land.

But sleeping alongside the planet's watery residents isn't something we typically are invited to do, unless a special aquarium event is involved. And one is just ahead, at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, on Friday, Jan. 13.

The Winter Family Overnight isn't a school field trip-type situation, but rather a happening for parents and their young fish fans to roll out the sleeping bag in what might be termed a highly unusual setting.

But the night isn't just about closing one's eyes and dreaming of the snoozing sea creatures nearby; you'll arrive at 5 o'clock, giving you and your kin a few hours before pillow time to "take a tour of the aquarium in the dark, using specialized lights," where you'll "discover and learn about amazing animal adaptions."

It's like a bedtime storybook come to life, only you're there, with the animals featured in the pages. A scavenger hunt, pizza, and an early-morning cereal breakfast are also on the docket.

You'll be home in time for cartoons, or chores and errands, if that's the more probably outlook, on Saturday morning, as everything wraps by 7 a.m. (the aquarium residents will have already stretched and yawned, proverbially, as fish, as a rule, don't sleep in like we humans like to do).

Was one of your 2017 resolutions to do more offbeat family stuff, have real, dig-into-a-place outings, and learn more? This is your all-in-one, with cool shark sightings and cheesy pizza thrown in, to make it even way cooler.

Photo Credit: Brian Gray/Aquarium of the Pacific]]>
<![CDATA[Knott's Berry Farm: Major Item Auction]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 15:40:32 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/knottsrail29392093232.jpg

Just hold your horses, pardner, and don't go jumpin' out of your spurs quite yet.

For when we say there's going to be a Knott's Berry Farm auction, we don't mean that the classic theme park, located in Buena Park, is going to go up up on the block, roller coasters and all.

Nor will the Boomerang, or Montezooma's Revenge, or any of its see-'em-for-miles-around coasters be up for bid.

But particular items from the boysenberriest place on the planet will go to the highest bidder, when Heritage Auctions stages a large-scale going-once-going-twicer of Knott's memorabilia.

Though if "memorabilia" makes you think of pins and dolls and t-shirts, think a bit bigger. "More than 300 one-of-a-kind items from America's first theme park..." will be part of the spring 2017 auction, an event set to take place at the Buena Park destination's Charles M. Schulz Theatre.

Up for bid? Prepare to mull over what you'll pay for "...historic artifacts from Ghost Town, Camp Snoopy, the famous Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, theme park rides, Knott's Scary Farm, and the Walter Knott Archives."

And while you can't put the entire Boomerang coaster in the trunk of your car, there will be "important theme park vehicles" in the auction.

Plus player pianos, too, which'll be dear to the hearts of Ghost Town buffs. The Old-West-y part of Knott's Berry Farm is one of the most vintage slices of the founded-in-1920 park, hence the necessity of unleashing a "pardner" and some "spurs" action at the beginning of this post.

(Nope, the Ghost Town didn't open in 1920, but did recently celebrate its 75th, so yippee-ki-yay to that.)

What would your personal dream Knott's piece be? Something from the Timber Mountain Log Ride? Or a Snoopy skating costume? The time is on to make some room in the den, and watch the Heritage Auctions online headquarters, for exact details on the springtime date and what treasures will be up for grabs.

Photo Credit: Sean Teegarden Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Disneyland FASTPASS: Two Rides Added]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 15:41:47 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/disney5_08_DCA_90011.jpg

What's the best way to pass your time while standing in a ride line at Disneyland Resort?

You can A) decide which Disney characters best represent each of your friends or B) discuss all of the hilarious anecdotes from the last time you enjoyed the ride or C) play Imagineer and decide all of the park icons you'd make FASTPASS attractions.

And if you've ever participated in C), chances are solid, as solid as a certain stone that holds a certain sword, that you've named the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Toy Story Mania as potential FASTPASS-ready attractions.

Get excited, imaginary Imagineers, for it turns out Cinderella was right: "A dream is a wish that your heart makes," or, in other words, your hope will come to (fast)pass: Disneyland Resort announced on Wednesday, Jan. 11 that the respective Disneyland and Disney California Adventure rides will soon join the popular FASTPASS program.

The FASTPASS program, in short? It allows theme park guests to secure a pass, for a specific time period later the same day, to return to a busy ride and join the shorter FASTPASS queue.

Current FASTPASS attractions at the pair of parks include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Soarin'.

The news of both the Matterhorn and Toy Story joining the FASTPASS family, which kicked off at the park (as well as at the Magic Kingdom) in 1999, isn't the only fresh word from the Anaheim destination: A new "Disney MaxPass" will launch "(l)ater this year," and will include "unlimited downloads of (guests') high-resolution PhotoPass images" as well as the chance to handle FASTPASS times via "mobile booking."

The Disney MaxPass will be available through the Disneyland App. Price? You'll spend a tenner a day for all of your photo-downloading, FASTPASS-arranging needs.

The park points out that the bustling FASTPASS kiosks, the line-up of six or seven automated pass-giving stands seen in front of the FASTPASS rides, will stay put (and will remain free to use, with no additional charge). There will now be 16 FASTPASS attractions found throughout the resort, says Disneyland.

It's a big announcement for Matterhorn mavens and those who dig the rack-up-the-points thrills of Toy Story, but it isn't the world's best-known theme park's only reveal for the week. Dates for the upcoming Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure were announced, as well as a Southern California resident park-hopper deal.

Photo Credit: Gene Duncan]]>
<![CDATA[Your State's Favorite Netflix Original Series Is ...]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:28:03 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Netflix-GettyImages-464215297.jpg

If you ever found yourself hunkering down under a blanket at home weathering some type of storm, be it physical or emotional, you've probably turned to Netflix for solace at some point.

According to Fortune, more than half of Americans use the streaming service for access to both movies and TV episodes, and in recent years, many subscribers have turned to Netflix originals for some fresh content.

So which binge-worthy series was most likely to be streaming in neighborhoods near you? Cable TV looked at state data from Google Trends in 2016 to identify the top Netflix original series for each state.

New York's favorite original Netflix series last year was "The Get Down," a show about a ragtag group of teenagers running wild in the streets of the Bronx in the 1970s, according to Cable TV's research. 

Streamers in New Jersey, along with Netflix bingers in 13 other states, preferred "Daredevil," while Connecticut viewers streamed "Bloodline" more than any other original series provided by the service.

Click here to see the full methodology and map by state. 

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Singin' in the Rain': Special Big-Screen Event]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 12:16:06 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SinginintheRain2786.jpg

Hollywood, like any major city, has a calendar full of important days and anniversaries, those time-honored occasions that are annually observed around town for a host of reasons.

And while March 24 might not technically appear inside Tinseltown date-keepers, any classic movie fan will recognize it as one of the key Hollywood holidays, at least in the fictional, fabulous sense. For that's the day, in "Singin' in the Rain," when our leading trio decides to turn a failing silent film — "The Dueling Cavalier" — into a lavish "talkie" musical.

But you won't need to wait for March 24 to get your umbrella-twirlin', puddle-splashin' fill of the 1952 MGM Technicolor classic: The beloved flick returns to 700+ cinemas around the U.S. to "Make 'Em Laugh" once again.

Note that the special TCM Big Screen Classics happening, which is helmed by Fathom Events, is very much a two-night-only thing. So don your galoshes, find the nearest theater featuring the film, and be there on Sunday, Jan. 15 and/or Wednesday, Jan. 18.

That's right: Jan. 15 and 18, 2017 are your dates. We're simply saying that March 24, which is weeks after the movie will screen large, is like an official "Singin' in the Rain" holiday and should be celebrated as such.

Really. Celebrated with actual cake, the kind of cake that a dancer might pop out of, only to see the actor she has a crush on but just bickered with is in the audience.

For has there been a more crackling satire of Hollywood in the six-and-a-half decades since the film tap-tap-tap'd its way into our hearts?

And, as far as cinema-obsessed satires go, has there been a sweeter one? The Stanley Donen-directed treat deftly has you rooting for Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor while keeping a soft spot for Jean Hagen, the story's delightful (but don't-ever-cross-her) Lina Lamont.

Her nasally delivered lines are a comical throughline, but it was surely no easy feat to remain as happily haughty as Ms. Hagen so deftly does.

Surely, too, many Debbie Reynolds fans will be out on Jan. 15 and 18 to see one of her iconic performances, in honor of the beloved star, who passed away in December 2016 at the age of 84. Her charismatic, sunshiny take on the role help to set the template for actors playing actors for decades beyond.

It's also the 65th anniversary of the movie.

And while we're tying Tinseltown's cred to this most Tinseltownian of movies, let's throw down "Sunset and Camden" as an essential intersection in the "Singin' in the Rain" canon.

That's where Kathy Selden drives Don Lockwood early on in the film, as his drop-off point. And, as Kathy, Debbie Reynolds charmingly sings, rather than says, their destination point.

Thus the only thing to do, from here on out, is this: Pay a quick thought to the legendary film every time you pass through the Beverly Hills-based intersection, and pay the film another thought on its unofficial holiday, March 24, the very day that kicks off the "Good Morning" dance sequence.

But, first of all, before all of that, see it again, in theaters, on the big screen, this Jan. 15 and 18. Tickets? No need to visit Sunset and Camden; they're here.

Photo Credit: Singin' in the Rain]]>
<![CDATA[Haggis Ahoy: Tam O'Shanter Shindig]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 08:25:40 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/haggisburnstamoshanter123.jpg

Roll up to a Southern California eatery and chances are solid you'll encounter a menu that features one of the following: hamburgers, pastas, doughnuts, omelets, French fries, onion rings, salads, pies.

This isn't to say that each of those staple-style dishes isn't presented in a fairly unique and gotta-go-back-for-it way at their respective restaurants, just that seeking them out isn't a task of the most demanding order.

But locating a spot that'll do up an old-style, traditionally cooked haggis? You probably can't just park your wheels anywhere and find it at the next grill-boasting joint you pass. It's a complex dish, one with historic Scottish roots, one that involves a sheep's stomach, and other organs, and oatmeal, and spices.

Plan, though, at calling upon the Tam O'Shanter on a few specific January nights and you're apt to encounter Scotland's well-known national dish. 

It is on those chilly January evenings that the landmark Atwater Village tavern marks the anniversary of the birth of poet Robert Burns. Mr. Burns, who was born 258 years ago as of this typing, is much associated with the tam o'shanter, as in the hat, an article of clothing he celebrated, via poetry, centuries ago. 

He also wrote "Address to a Haggis," making the dishe an obvious centerpiece of an event devoted to his immortal words. But the fragrant, fabled dish isn't the only part of the Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Wednesday, Jan. 25 parties; the wearing of kilts, the playing of bagpipes, and more pomp than is normally folded into a neighborhood restaurant are all on the dress-up docket.

How many dining to-dos have you attended that folded in poetry, step-dancing, and oratorical touchstones stretching back over the decades (and an ocean)? If this is a regular thing for you, you are to be commended for your stellar social life.

But the Robbie Burns Dinner at the Tam O'Shanter is pretty singular, as singular as a carefully crafted tam o'shanter hat, or well-cooked haggis, and it only comes around once a year, over two nights.

Surely that's worth breaking out the kilt for? 

There are two seatings, on Jan. 24 and 25, for this popular affair, one that recommends guests attend in "traditional Scottish dress." Gather ye heather and high hopes for a poetic and stylish night now.

Photo Credit: Tam O'Shanter]]>
<![CDATA[The Garland Celebrates Beverly Garland Day]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 18:06:22 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BeverlyGarland2323001.jpg

Plenty of aspiring movie stars hope to see their name emblazoned upon a Walk of Fame star one day or lit up in a splash of glowing bulbs above a cinema marquee.

But not every actor can claim to have their moniker on the front of the hotel. Beverly Garland can, and The Garland, the North Hollywood inn she long helmed, continues to pay tribute to the star, nearly a decade after her 2008 passing.

The Vineland Avenue stay-over spot is, in fact, observing all of Thursday, Jan. 19 as Beverly Garland Day.

While Jan. 19 isn't Ms. Garland's birthday, it was not a randomly chosen date. The City of Los Angeles released a resolution on Jan. 19, 2001 declaring Beverly Garland Day with the opening sentence "WHEREAS, BEVERLY GARLAND, a magnificent actress, beloved human being and cherished friend to the City of Los Angeles..." A lovely statement, indeed.

The spirit of Ms. Garland's magnificence lives on at The Garland, which will offer a martini and burger for nineteen bucks on Jan. 19 at both The Lobby Bar and The Front Yard. (You got it, the beverage, plus a delish burger, was her very favorite combo.)

Beverly's Movie Marathon, featuring highlights from her career, will screen from 3 to 10 p.m., and "complimentary theatre snacks and drinks" will be served. And The Store will shave 25% off the price of "local and unique California gifts."

What's your most-loved Beverly Garland flick or TV show? "My Three Sons"? "Scarecrow and Mrs. King"? "7th Heaven"? "It Conquered the World"? The icon had a varied and vibrant career in Tinseltown, with her eponymous hotel standing as a swanky and bustling ode to her memory.

Photo Credit: Beverly Garland]]>
<![CDATA[photo l.a.: Admire Celebrated Artworks]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 13:03:44 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/laphotowarhol23923.jpg The major exhibition includes "lectures, roundtable discussions," and a host of photographs that speak of art, history, culture, and humanity.

Photo Credit: photo l.a.]]>
<![CDATA[Disney California Adventure: Food & Wine Fest 2017]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 17:48:34 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hdb813.jpg

If you've ever spent a day at Disneyland Resort, it is likely that, at some point, you held something tightly in the palm of your hand. It may have been a Donald Duck toy, or a light saber, or an autograph book, or a balloon string, or a dill pickle, or all of the above.

And while we wouldn't advise you to unhand your balloon or light saber, we will pause here to suggest that while the dill pickle at the famous theme park are tangy tubes of sour sublimeness, there are, from time to time, other tidbits to try at the Anaheim destination.

And when the Food & Wine Festival arrives at Disney California Adventure, those tidbits greatly multiply, for a month-plus emphasis is placed on gourmet goodies, mealtime favorites, and fresh new flavors from innovative chefs.

The festival, which was set on hold a few years back as Cars Land rose, is a springtime staple of the newer theme park, a hallmark that will again spread out, via Festival Marketplaces and other must-visit locations, from March 10 through April 16, 2017.

Disneyland Resort revealed the dates on Monday, Jan. 9, with the announcement that "even more Festival Marketplaces" would be part of the foodie fun in 2017, as well as "Festival-inspired menus at existing restaurants and eateries..."

The interaction, learn-a-lot element has traditionally been a big part of the Food & Wine Festival since its 2006 start, and that will continue in 2017 via "seminars, demonstrations, and presentations." Guy Fieri, Duff Goldman, and several more chefs'll pay the park a visit during the festival's run.

As for tickets? They'll be available beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

As for the aforementioned pickle, or a churro, or ice cream in a waffle cone, or a chocolate-dipped pineapple spear, or another classic Disney treat? For sure, you should get your go-to goodie if you're at the park. Don't completely unhand it, is what we're saying.

But when some fresh flavors unfurl in the spring, via the Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure, setting aside that pickle or churro for an hour or two, while you try zingy dishes and bites, gives theme-park eating a whole new dimension. 

Photo Credit: Disney California Adventure]]>
<![CDATA[PaleyFest 2017: Line-Up Announced]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 12:01:31 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP284248783765.jpg

Every television show worth its dun-dun-dun cliffhanger knows that a little taste, the merest tantalizing preview, is part-and-parcel of what makes a series so darn word-of-mouth-y.

And PaleyFest, the 34-years-running, stars-in-person panel series, more than understands how TV, and all of its anticipation-building-ways, best works. For The Paley Center for Media's annual Q&A spectacular is very much about suspense, and thrills, and making an audience long for just a bit more.

That was the case in December 2016, when a few early shows were announced for the 2017 PaleyFest, which will take place at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood from March 17 through 26.

The new NBC series "This Is Us" was revealed in December to be one of the upcoming participants, as was the HBO series "Westworld" and "American Horror Story: Roanoke" from FX. On Monday, Jan. 9, PaleyFest made several more reveals just ahead of the ticket on-sale dates.

Shows ready to take the big stage include "Pretty Little Liars," "The Walking Dead," and "Scandal," which will celebrate its 100th episode as part of the 2017 PaleyFest.

"The Late Late Show with James Corden," "Orphan Black," "Grey's Anatomy," "NCIS: Los Angeles," "Bob's Burgers," and a superhero extravaganza featuring "The Flash," "Supergirl," "Arrow," and "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" fill out the multi-day, night-and-matinee run.

The first on-sale date is Jan. 9, with Paley Center Supporting and Patron members having first crack at tickets (as well as Citi cardmembers). Individual members of the Beverly Hills TV institution can get their tickets on Jan. 11, while the general public has its ticket-buying moment on Jan. 12, 2017.

Truly, PaleyFest, for decades, has been the go-to place to see small-screen actors live and on stage and answering a host of questions about charactiver motivation, arcs, and behind-the-scenes stories.

Adore one or more of the 2017 series? Here's your chance to connect with it in an oh-so-LA fashion, one that'll see both stars and creators come out to say a congenial "hi" to the most ardent fans.

<![CDATA[Neon Neat: Van Nuys Studio Tour]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 09:09:30 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/neon_stamp_celebrate.jpg

While a handwritten letter can hold news or sentiments that positively burble with emotion, we can't say, with total truth, that the stamp on the envelope glows quite as brightly.

Stamps can be gorgeous, of course, and wee works of art, but only one recent example of postage stands out as being especially "bright": The Neon Celebrate! stamp, which was first issued in 2011 and was tapped for reissue in 2015.

Artist Michael Flechtner created the zazzy, colorful rectangle, a piece that hung on millions of "walls" (if you want to think of an envelope as a miniature gallery). Mr. Flechtner regularly fashions fabulous things from neon, a form that is much identified with signage but, of course, has plenty of "buzz" in the art world, too.

A chance to spy a neon-neat art studio is an unusual one, but Flechtner fans, neonists, and stamp mavens alike will make for Flektro Studios on Sunday, Feb. 5 to get the 411 on these mysterious tubes of light.

Well, not so mysterious: How the elements work to illuminate an artwork is science, and learning about that, as well as Mr. Flechtner's process, from "design to fabrication and electrification," is on the docket for the special Atlas Obscura field trip.

It's a field trip that'll include a "glass-bending demonstration," too, proving that neon isn't simply filling up a clear tube with the requisite gases and necessary, make-it-glow additions. There's a physicality to working in neon art, beyond a talent for imagining how incandescence can create an eye-catching object for the ages.

Plan on donning closed-toe shoes, as you'll be inside "an active art studio with glass, machinery, electronics, and other materials."

And plan on securing your $50 ticket, soon. Neon is as much a part of Southern California's cultural legacy as noir, and we see this each night, along our roads, after the sun goes down.

That this same form can appear in fanciful artworks, and the occasional much-celebrated stamp, invites us to become acquainted with how illumination transforms into a piece that uplifts, inspires, and touches the imagination.

Photo Credit: USPS]]>
<![CDATA[David Bowie Rollerskate Night: Tuneful Tribute]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 08:36:41 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/01-07-2017-rollerskate-bowie-1.jpg

Slipping into a pair of skates with the knowledge that you're about to twirl to several hours of "Ziggy Stardust"-y, "Let's Dance"-ian hits presents you this quandary: How does one dress to properly pay tribute to the music-filled memory of David Bowie?

The legend passed away on Jan. 10, 2016, and a "year has unbelievably gone by" tributes are springing up around the world like so many vibrant No. 1 singles.

But one of the most meaningful to those who grew up listening to songs like "Heroes" and "Golden Years" may be the chance to get out and move in the way that people once moved when those songs first debuted.

We speak of rollerskating, or dancing on wheels, a panache-filled pursuit that Moonlight Rollerway regularly celebrates from its old-school home base in Glendale. And the turntables will be fully given over to the sounds of David Bowie on Monday, Jan. 9, all in honor of his life, legacy, and the really rollerskatable tunes he so deftly fashioned over decades of hit-makery.

This is an 18-and-over deal, so your young Bowie buffs will have to enjoy tales tomorrow of their rollerskating parents.

You can rent skates, if your wheel-rockin' made-in-1978 shods, the ones with the glitter laces, aren't looking their best these days.

The time? It all starts at 8 p.m. and wraps at the mysterious "Labyrinth"-like hour of midnight. 

Which returns us to our original question: Will you don your Jareth, the Goblin King wig to rollerskate, as it has such good flutter when met with a breeze? Or one of David Bowie's shiny and chic '80s suits?

You can just arrive in your jeans and tee, of course, the kind of wear people sported back in the decade when David Bowie began to dominate the charts (and never stopped).

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Birthday Cool: Elvis Ice Cream]]> Sun, 08 Jan 2017 16:08:46 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/HappyBirthdayElvissaltandstraw-horz.jpg

If you've ever admired an icon, or studied what it takes to become a legend, or you're on the way to achieving superstar status, or you're currently, as of this typing, a beloved idol at the top of the pop culture heap, then you know that tributes can take many memorable forms.

A star-directed tribute isn't just about a local singer dressing up as his favorite performer and warbling the songs; tributes can, in fact, cover a wide spectrum of enjoyable things, from concerts to clothing to comestibles.

One such comestible, currently available for purchase at all four of the Salt & Straw Ice Cream shops around Los Angeles, is a tribute of the tastiest sort, and knowing the main ingredients means immediately knowing the particular idol it is tributing: banana custard ice cream and peanut butter bacon cookie dough.

Indeed, it is Elvis Presley the shops are loving up, and just in time for his birthday month, too. In fact, Sunday, Jan. 8 is the 82nd anniversary of the birth of "The Boy from Tupelo," meaning you can have a scoop of Happy Birthday Elvis! ice cream while you sit in our convertible and crank up "Don't Be Cruel" and "Love Me Tender."

But even if you can't get to a Salt & Straw on Jan. 8, you're in luck: The flavor'll be in the cold cases at regional Salt & Straws through Friday, Jan. 27.

And there's another fact about being a super-legendary icon for the ages: You get a whole birthday month, in honor of your legacy.

That's Elvis, through and through, a legend that starts our annual calendar with memories of music, great style, mega charisma, and the occasional scoop of peanut-butter-y bliss (one that comes with "a ribbon of marionberry jam," the better to complement, sweetly, all of those deeper bacon-forward flavors).

Photo Credit: Salt & Straw Ice Cream/Elvis Presley]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Oshogatsu Family Festival]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 17:37:30 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Furuta1Oshogatsu_DSC7511.jpg

Where will you welcome The Year of the Rooster?

New Year celebrations will flower, like so many auspicious azaleas and cherry blossoms, around Southern California in the weeks ahead. It's The Year of the Rooster, and parades, parties, and ceremonies will bring the joy and fun to the momentous doorway.

It's a doorway that's opening now, at least around the Japanese American National Museum. The Little Tokyo-based cultural and art institution is ready to celebrate the sweetness of a new start at the Oshogatsu Family Festival, which is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 8.

"New Year-themed activities, performances, and crafts" are on the roster, and admission to all of the bright-of-future festivities is completely free.

Also free during the day? A special time capsule workshop with artist Sebastian Masuda. Yes, you can contribute, but know that the Hello Kitty- and Domo-shaped vaults will remain closed through 2035. 

Anticipation is, of course, always a part of a good New Year's party.

A Nerdbot Photo Booth (think whimsical props), rice cake-cool crafts, the art of Omikuji (a "Japanese fortune-telling method"), and origami will play roles in the gratis, good-time-having day.

As will rooster- and chicken-sweet happenings, from the chance to pet a chicken (Bantams and Giant Cochins will call upon the museum) to rooster-y sculptures made out of sweets.

Other luck-focused to-dos, from eats to purchase-ready gifts, are on the docket.

Can't wait for The Year of the Rooster to arrive? Start the celebration now at this come-together, activity-rich celebration, one that's perfect for kids and grown-ups and New Year's revelers and visiting fowl, too.

Photo Credit: JANM]]>
<![CDATA[Join Now: Aqualillies-Led Swim Class]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 12:38:43 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/201*120/Aqualillies_Carla+Blumenkrantz+at+ResolutionPhotographics4.jpg

Countless exercise regimens and plans are in full bloom at the moment, as they often are when the new year starts.

And while returning (or continuing) a tried-and-true program is flat-out fantastic, if that is what fills you with the bloom of health, vigor, and energy, pondering a totally new direction, to keep your workouts fresh, is also commonly advised by those who advise on such important things.

If you're at that juncture, where you enjoy your chosen exercise but also long for some surprising new path to strength, stamina, and feeling-good-a-tude, seek out Santa Monica, and the Annenberg Community Beach House, which is offering, in January, one of the town's most offbeat classes.

It's synchronized swimming, which may immediately bring to mind LA's famous synchro-swim troupe, the Aqualillies. Which is the right thing to have in mind, as members of the athletic-amazing group will lead the classes at the historic beach house, classes that will roll out over three January Sundays.

And you're in luck, for the first class, on Sunday, Jan. 8, is happening on the warmest January day yet. The high is expected to hit the 70s, and while this isn't the toasty swimsuit weather of summertime, it is a change from the damper days we saw earlier in the year.

Each class is 75 minutes, and the syllabus is swimmingly full: Prepare to "learn sculling techniques, back layouts, ballet legs, torpedoes, tuck turns, and marching."

Cost per class is $37, or $83 for all three, and best read about the parking deal, too (if you choose to sign up online). And "(c)omplimentary hot chocolate" will be on the pour, so yippee to that.

Will synchronized swimming, a challenging and poetic practice, become part of your 2017 workout goals? Perhaps, or perhaps the moves you try at the Annenberg Community Beach House will come in handy for years to come, when you find yourself in a swimming pool with some time to work out.

Certainly your friends will be amazed at your ballet legs and tuck turns, cool talents you will have learned under the tutelage of the Aqualillies on one fine January Sunday.

Photo Credit: Carla Blumenkrantz at Resolution Photographics]]>
<![CDATA[No Pants Subway Ride: It's Back]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 17:28:30 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nopantsGettyImages-462008113.jpg

What were the chances, after a run of brisk days that only hit a high of 60-something, with a notable run of chilly afternoons, some flirting with the 50s, still to come, that No Pants Subway Ride would align with the one warm-ish winter day?

That's exactly what's in store for local knee-showing participants on Sunday, Jan. 8, a day that will actually see a high temperature in the mid-70s. 

If you've heard rumor of this, er, cheeky event, one that got its bare-legged beginnings back in New York City over a decade and a half back, you might have believed it to be a summer thing, the kind of event where wearing your swim trunks out in public might be, well, comfy for an hour or two.

Au contraire. It takes place in wintertime, in locations around the world, including places far frostier than Southern California.

Helsinki, Vancouver, Zurich? They're all on the roster.

A roster that traces its origins back to Improv Everywhere, and all of the impishness and high-jinks-ery that improv, as a rule, delights in bestowing wherever it alights.

And while it is indeed billed as the No Pants Subway Ride as a general name, here in Los Angeles it is the No Pants Metro Ride, given that we're all be-Metro'd 'round these particular parts.

The 9th outing'll take place during the early afternoon hours of Jan. 8, just in case you happen to be on a train and see the traveling shin-revealing spectacle.

Details about joining up? They're here. Long shirts, roomy sweaters, and appropriate bottom-half wear, and such? Photos from previous years may help guide you.

Like other semi-surreal worldwide happenings, from the autumntime "Thriller" dance day ("Thrill the World") to International Pillow Fight Day, No Pants Subway Day is built on brevity, a sense of the absurd, and "positive pranks," in the words of the day's founder.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[JANM Time Capsule: Write Your Future Self]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 09:20:44 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2016-11-01+11.02.16timecapsule.jpg

Survey all the weeks on the calendar, and then pinpoint the one that's all about reflection of the past, future ponderings, deep wishes, and goals.

If you picked your birthday week, well, that feels right, true, but we all share down-the-road yearnings at the start of a new year. And whether that involves us listing resolutions, or writing a note to our end-of-the-year self, is up to us.

Should you be feeling this impulse rather strongly at the moment, and if you're ready to gaze well beyond the end of 2017, allll the way to 2035, in fact, make your next resolution this one: Pay the Japanese American National Museum a visit on Sunday, Jan. 8.

That's Jan. 8 in 2017, not 2035, though the effervescent, big-of-joy Time After Time Capsule Workshop will have that not-so-distant year in mind. Led by artist Sebastian Masuda, the free workshop is all about stocking "two giant time capsules — one shaped like Hello Kitty and one shaped like Domo, the official mascot of Japan's public broadcaster NHK!"

So show with "a cherished personal item" or spend a few minutes at the museum jotting a note to the person you'll be in 2035.

Which'll basically be you, only older and even more awesome. (We're predicting this, pretty accurately, if we might take such a liberty.)

There are a number of capsules involved in this mega project, and a Tokyo 2020 visit for the capsules is in the works, as well as a 2035 return to the respective cities where the time vaults were filled, long ago, back in 2017.

That means you already have an event to add to your 2035 datebook: See what you submitted for the time capsule back on Jan. 8, some 17 years earlier.

As mentioned, this is free, and the capsules will be on display at the Little Tokyo-located institution through Jan. 29 (though do note that museum admission will be required after the Jan. 8 free day wraps).

A beautiful bonus? The Oshogatsu Family Festival will also be happening on Jan. 8, further creating an atmosphere of community and creativity, one that should enhance that letter you'll pen to future you.

The festival, too, is free to join, and it also has some forward-looking-ness, as The Year of the Rooster, which is upcoming, is the theme.

If you've visited Tokyo's Harajuku district, then you know Mr. Masuda's store and its affection for kawaii. But there's a chance to get acquainted with the fizzy-fun sweetness that kawaii embraces by taking part in the future-forward workshop right here in LA, at the Japanese American National Museum.

Photo Credit: Japanese American National Museum]]>
<![CDATA[Derby Dolls: 'Keep Rolling' Campaign]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 12:28:44 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DerbyGrantPSirens.jpg Dig the banked-track, wheels-cool athletes? Help them raise funds to file an application with the city, an application that's needed to host events at their famous Dollosseum.

Photo Credit: Grant Palmer Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Nighttime New Year's Race]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:41:04 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/newyearsrunlanight123.jpg

New Year's Race: True, there's no denying it, and the calendar tells us so: The first of January 2017 has now passed. But the New Year's-type reveleries and resolution-y to-dos continue, capped with this mondo race that's notable for a couple of different things. One? It has "New Year's" in its name, and those looking to commit to exercise as a resolution can use it as a first step. Two? It happens in the evening, through lit-up downtown. There's a 5K and a 10K, and Grand Park is your start point on Sunday, Jan. 8.

Oshogatsu Family Festival: The Year of the Rooster is on its way, and the Japanese American National Museum is throwing a sweet welcome party, complete with "New Year-themed activities, performances, and crafts!" Look for a Nerdbot Photo Booth, a cool time capsule happening, and other auspicious and awesome doings during the free event. It's on Jan. 8, Sunday.

Goodbye, "Spaghetti" Sculpture: Los Angeles is home to some mighty well-known artworks, from "Urban Light" at LACMA to the Jeff Koons "Balloon Dog" at The Broad. Like those two pieces, this walk-into-it work, also at LACMA, has been a favorite photo op for visitors, who must now get their pics quick. Jesús Rafael Soto's "Penetrable" leaves on Feb. 12, but a special snapshot day is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 8. Step into the spaghetti — er, plastic yellow tubes — and smile.

Happy Birthday, Elvis: Honoring The King on the anniversary of his birth is as simple as throwing some vinyl down on the ol hi-fi, but Presley buffs around SoCal can do something even niftier: Visit the house where he and Priscilla honeymooned. It's in Palm Springs, there shall be tribute artists, there shall be tours, and it all happens on Mr. P.'s birthday eve: Saturday, Jan. 7.

Pageant of the Masters Tryouts: It's a bucket-list-y goal for many people around Orange County, whether those people have ever officially acted before or not: Pose inside a "painting" during the summertime Laguna Beach spectacle. Auditions are just ahead, from Jan. 6 through 8, and if travel is your love, be glad, for the 2017 theme is "The Grand Tour." Nope, you don't need theatrical experience to give this a go, either, but you should be able to hold very, very still.

Photo Credit: New Year's Race]]>
<![CDATA[The LA You May Not Know Randy's Donuts]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 08:02:33 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/201*120/01-05-2017-randy-donuts-1.JPG Randy's Donuts is a Los Angeles icon, but the building's "unique" look might not be so unique. Discover more with latest edition of The LA You May Not Know Friday, Dec. 6, 2016.

Photo Credit: Patrick Campbell]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Monica Restaurant Week: Healthy Plates]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 19:20:44 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP742732234097_Veggies.jpg

If you spent the end of December stowing all of the special casserole dishes, and terrines, and cookie sheets, and bundt pans, know this: The food-forward festive-making has not yet full come to a close.

Well, perhaps in your kitchen, at least for the time being (you did, after all, make dozens of buckeye balls and a turkey or two, so yay you). But pause here to glance beyond your kitchen door, to the restaurants of your immediate area, and then look to the whole state, which is currently marking California Restaurant Month.

That particular month always arrives in January, which has a tendency to come right on the heels of all that December dining (spoiler alert). Which all leads up to this: Sometimes a healthy spin on a Restaurant Week-type situation can be a very welcome situation following the bigger-meal'd days of the holiday season.

Santa Monica offers just such a vege-luscious, fruit-laden situation each January via its own Restaurant Week, which used to be known as Eat Well Week.

Now it is called "Santa Monica Restaurant Week" — a snap to remember — but the emphasis is still on fresh ingredients, like, wait for it, the radish.

The crunchable root vegetable is, in fact, the spicy star of the 2017 Santa Monica event, a multi-day happening which'll spotlight a number of "delicious, healthy, and custom dishes centered..." around the flavor-powerful, red-and-white orb. 

Well, it is an orb with a pointy end, and a green top, which makes the radish all the more quirky and lovable, certainly. 

What are the dishes to expect? Look to Belcampo Meat Co., which is offering a Belcampo Braised Pork Belly, complete with pickled radish salad and other goodies, during the Jan. 9 through 15 run. And Perry's Café'll rock a Creamy Radish Soup, complete with potatoes to mild-out some of the radish's amazing taste-bud-dominating superpowers.

For the full rundown of special entrées and such, including wellness prize packages, visit the Santa Monica Restaurant Week site. 

And, truly, why shouldn't a Restaurant Week love upon a certain element or ingredient that rarely steals the spotlight? How great it is to remember that the grub we love is comprised of piquant high points as well as other tasty tidbits that fill out the healthy, crunchy-worthy base.

Thank you, radishes, for all of that crunch and bite-nice back-up you give to so many beloved dishes. And thanks, Santa Monica, for once again championing healthy dining in the very days many of us are seeking out fortifying, good-for-the-body sustenance.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Spaghetti' Sculpture to Leave LACMA]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 13:13:44 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/penetrableL2010_14.jpg

If you've asked a foodie friend about where to find the best spaghetti in the Miracle Mile area in recent years, you might have received a surprising suggestion in response: LACMA's main plaza.

Of course, the "spaghetti" that hangs like so much sunshine-hued drapery in the central court of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art isn't so much edible as walk-through-able, a fact that's found in the name of the piece: "Penetrable."

If "Penetrable" has been your go-to stop while visiting the art museum over the last five or so years — Jesús Rafael Soto's striking sculpture arrived at the institution in 2011 — then you should make a date to visit it again, one more time, in the very near future.

For all of that surreal-sweet "spaghetti," the step-inside-and-snap-a-pic "pasta" that's been a popular part of the museum for several years now, will be departing the campus on Sunday, Feb. 12.

The interact-ready artwork has been on loan, in fact, and will return to the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

How beloved is this stunning square of hanging pasta-thin hoses? Check it out: LACMA has scheduled "a special photo-op" for fans to bid "Penetrable" farewell. 

The date? Sunday, Jan. 8, and a pro photographer will be on hand, no less, to snap the perfect art-cool, spaghetti-sweet snapshot of you and your crew.

The time is noon to 4 p.m., and LACMA advises this is a "(l)imited availability" event. In short: Arrive early. There's a form to sign, and you'll get your pic by email, so best read all.

It's a bittersweet moment for a creative city that likes its art with some unusual panache. Which asks this question: How many Southern California kids have walked into that wall of unsauced spaghetti over the last decade? For that matter, how many gleeful adults?

It was a rare sight to see the enterable sculpture completely devoid of wonder-filled visitors. And it will be a stranger sight, at least for a bit, to see the LACMA plaza without its pasta.

But we are glad it was here, for a considerable amount of time, and that some of the most interesting spaghetti to be found, in all of SoCal, was at a museum just off Wilshire Boulevard.

Image: Jesús Rafael Soto, "Pentrable," 1990 Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Photo Credit: Museum Associates/LACMA]]>
<![CDATA[IHOP Brings Back 'All You Can Eat Pancakes' ]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 07:20:09 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ihop+GettyImages-84259123.jpg

IHOP is bringing back its “all you can eat pancakes." 

The restaurant chain said the offer, which will be available at any time of day, will continue until Feb. 14. It started Wednesday. 

As part of the deal, customers can order either five “famous buttermilk pancakes” or a short stack of two pancakes with a combo plate of eggs, golden hash browns and a choice of breakfast meats. Once the initial serving is finished, customers can “keep a short stack of two buttermilk pancakes coming again and again until they have had… all they can eat,” the restaurant said.

“Since the moment we opened 57 years ago, our guests have been able to get the perfect breakfast any time of day,” Kirk Thompson, vice president of marketing for the International House of Pancakes, said in a statement. “And now, with the return of All You Can Eat pancakes, one of our most beloved traditions, it’s even easier for our guests and fellow breakfastarians to get their fill of our warm, delicious buttermilk pancakes, morning, noon and night through February 14 — and what better time to end this promotion than Valentine’s Day, when breakfastarians can celebrate their love of IHOP!” 

Pancake eaters can add toppings to their pancake stacks for an additional cost, according to IHOP. 

The offer is available for dine-in only and price and participation will vary, the company said. 

IHOP, which is based in California, has more than 1,600 restaurants across the country and in Canada and Mexico.

<![CDATA[Elvis Birthday Bash: Tributes, Tours]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 09:33:20 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/elvis_bw.jpg

If you loaded up your 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible, the baby blue one with the sky-high fins, and you applied some extra Brylcreem to your pompadour and made sure the AM dial on your radio worked just fine, it would still take you over a day to drive from Palm Springs to Memphis, Tennessee.

Surely it would be an important drive, if you treasure the legend of The King and all of the major music, and influences, he left the world to enjoy. But you can save the 1700+ miles, at least for the time being, and mark the 82nd anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley at the famous desert-snazzy Honeymoon Hideway.

The acclaimed abode, which is where Elvis and Priscilla Presley spent the days following their 1967 wedding, will once again honor the legend's birthday with more music, memories, and tours than you can fit into a tour bus, proverbially.

The date? It's all going down, with hip shakes and thankyouverymuch-ing, on the eve of Mr. Presley's Jan. 8 birthday.

So you'll need to be at the lauded Ladera Circle locale on Saturday, Jan. 7 to catch performances by a pair of tribute artists (George Thomas'll be homaging Elvis while James King will step in for Frank Sinatra) and a trio of midday "Tours of the Kings House."

Other happenings, like an appearance by Dick Grob (who worked for The King), as well as The Palm Desert Strummers, fill out the daytime schedule.

You'll want to secure a ticket before gassing up the convertible, so do that, blithely, as you hum "Love Me Tender" or another croony hit.

Of course, if you're a through-and-through King fan, making the highway-epic drive to Graceland, with, perhaps, an emotional stop in Tupelo, Mississippi, is a commendable dream to have. (Tupelo, of course, was the birthplace of the icon.)

And Elvis was very much a dream-maker. His songs were lush with fantasy and hope, as was his life, outlook, homes, cars, and fabulous glittering jumpsuits.

It is good to have a dream, in short, and that The King's birthday arrives just days after the new year is a buoyant reminder of this notion. Need to find that hope-filled thread again? Put on a few songs, sway the hips, and pursue a Presley-themed party now.

Photo Credit: Elvis Presley]]>
<![CDATA[Girl Scouts Celebrate 100 Years With New S'mores Cookies]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 19:33:06 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/smores-cookie.jpg

Girl Scouts cookies fans can look forward to a new flavor that honors an old campfire classic: the s'more. 

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scout Cookies, the company has added two s'mores-inspired treats. The ABC Bakers S'mores layers a creme icing and a chocolate coating over a graham cracker wafer. The Little Brownie Bakers version is a "crunchy graham sandwich with creamy chocolate and marshmallow-y filling."

The new flavor pays tribute to the Girl Scouts' history of getting girls outdoors, and of course, enjoying s'mores around the campfire, the organization said in a press release.

The Girl Scouts were one of the first to spread the recipe, publishing it under the name "Some More" in 1925 in a Girl Scout Leader magazine.  

During the six-week 2015-2016 cookie season, girls in the NYC area sold 1,107,524 individual boxes. All proceeds from the annual fundraiser remain within the five boroughs, with $0.65 per box going directly to the individual troop. 

Customers can use the Cookie Locator App to find the nearest booth sale. The upcoming cookie season is set to begin early this spring.

Photo Credit: Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas]]>
<![CDATA[Golden Globes Sip: The Coffeetail]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 18:05:34 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/coffeedrinkgoldenglobes17.jpg

The Golden Globes is a stand-out celebration for numerous reasons. It honors both film and television work, for one, while many other entertainment awards ceremonies spotlight one or the other.

It happens at a hotel, and long has, The Beverly Hilton, rather than an auditorium-type setting.

And, most charmingly, and perhaps commented-upon of all? It's a dinner, complete with drinks and desserts, which gives those watching at home much to comment on, and, if they're so emboldened, to try and cook or make beforehand.

Which leads up to this: The days ahead of the Golden Globes are filled not just with nominee chatter but also recipe sneak peeks, which not only give film and TV fans an idea as to what their favorite stars'll be sipping and supping upon but gives those of us at home a chance to shop for ingredients, if we're so inclined.

And if you're inclined towards coffee, but of the adult-beverage-y sort, check out the caffeinated, spirited libation that'll be in the hands of nominees and other guests on Sunday, Jan. 8 inside The Beverly Hilton's International Ballroom: LAVAZZA's Coffeetail No. 51.

The Italy-based company has revealed the ingredients for the cocktail, which includes: 3 parts ginger ale, 2 parts cold brew coffee concentrate, 2/3 part vodka, a splash of Grand Marnier, a splash of simply syrup, sliced lemon, orange, and cucumber, Maraschino cherries, and fresh mint.

The directions? "Fill a 12 oz. glass with ice. In a shaker, combine cold brew, Grand Marnier, vodka, and syrup; pour over ice. Top with ginger ale. Decorate with wheels or slices of orange and/or a lemon. Skewer cherries and cucumber wedges. Garnish with mint."

Of course, keep in mind that the 74th annual Golden Globes does have a start time of 5 p.m. on Jan. 8, so ponder making your Coffeetail earlier in the afternoon, while you watch the red carpet action (or using decaffeinated coffee for the fancy concoction).

Photo Credit: LAVAZZA]]>
<![CDATA[Cheeseburger Week: Pasadena's Meaty Must-Do]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 20:59:35 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-564988703.jpg

January is the first month of the calendar, the first full month of wintertime, and the time of the year when we vow to make a fresh start, clean out the storage room, or finally start getting to bed at a decent hour.

But the out-of-the-gate month is also known by a different handle in the Golden State, one that's very much built around the pleasures of grabbing a bite out (and, quite often, not paying a bundle).

It's California Restaurant Month, in short, and while many counties and cities and neighborhoods across our foodie-mazing state will be going the grub-centered, money-saving route in January, you only need to look to the Crown City for one of the quirkiest Restaurant Weeks on the calendar.

It's Cheeseburger Week, a tasty Pasadena tradition, one that has its ketchup-slathered beginnings in 1924 (the year the cheeseburger was said to have been invented at the local Rite Spot). Rather than staging a more general, all-sorts-of-eats Restaurant Week, the city puts the focus on meat, melty cheese, and buns.

The dates for the 2017 celebration are Jan. 8 through 13, which should give Pasadena a moment to catch its collective breath, post-Tournament of Roses. But after breaths are caught, prepare to get to know the patties and cheddar-yummy ways of the restaurant-laden locale.

Deals might be found at the classic Pie 'N Burger, as well as Meat District Company, and "specially created cheeseburgers" will be on the menus at a handful of area eateries.

As for the Cheeseburger Crawls? You're on your own to arrange one with your burger-lovin' buds, but the people at Pasadena Restaurant Week have kindly compiled a trio of suggested neighborhood outings (and what to try).

And if you want to have your say in the annual Cheeseburger Challenge, make your protein-powered opinion known.

After roses, and footballs, and floats, did you already know that the cheeseburger is another January staple of Pasadena? If you know your food history, and how cheeseburgerdom got its piquant start in pretty Pas, then you surely named the meet-and-cheeser as an essential part of city's first month.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>