<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSun, 25 Sep 2016 19:07:38 -0700Sun, 25 Sep 2016 19:07:38 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Claws Up: Redondo Beach Lobster Festival]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 02:28:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lobsterfestredondo12345678.jpg

One of the calendar's most charming quirks isn't the fact that some months have 31 days, and some have 30, and some one has 28; it's that there are so many sayings and rhymes that are associated with particular times of the year.

Chestnuts like "in like a lion, out like a lamb" for March and "thirty days hath September" help us keep track of our days, but there's no rhyme for the end of lobster festival season around Southern California. It arrives at the very start of fall, and whoosh! The buttery, bib-wearing weekends are done.

While someone gets to work on dreaming up a seasonally appropriate rhyme, lobster lovers can make for Seaside Lagoon, where the annual Redondo Beach Lobster Festival begins to round the stretch of festivals out. The Port of LA, and Newport Beach, and Long Beach are now done for 2016 on the lobster party front, but Redondo Beach is ready for some lobster & steak dinners.

Accompaniments include "buttered and herbed red potatoes, buttery dipping sauce, cole slaw, and a roll," and there are a trio of meals to choose from, so browse all.

The dates? Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 25. The non-buttery doings? There shall be bands, like a Beatles-y, Stones-y showdown on Sept. 23, and there shall be an appearance by Ambrosia, the hit-making outfit behind the sublime "Biggest Part of Me" and oodles of other great tunes (they'll be at the fest on Sept. 25). More bands are on the schedule, and more chances to dance, listen, chillax, repeat.

Tickets and such? Here. Thinking up a rhyme to signify the end of lobster festival season around Los Angeles? Well, not really necessary, we suppose, if you keep in mind that the autumn equinox usually is a pretty clear reminder to get out and fest it up, if that's your jam. 

Not jam, but rather, your buttery dip.

Photo Credit: Redondo Beach Lobster Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Boo at the LA Zoo: October-Long Festivities]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 02:23:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GL-BooHippo_jamiepham.jpg

While we humans have alerts and apps and alarms to remind us of the exact dates our favorite pumpkin treats hit the stores and restaurants, the animals residing at Los Angeles Zoo only need wait for the arrival of October to nosh upon fall's most famous gourd.

That's when Boo at the LA Zoo begins, and while the animal park's eerie festivities were once scheduled solely over a single weekend, the party has expanded to fill out the whole macabre month.

Well, it isn't too macabre. After all, the animals are pretty stoked to dig into those pumpkins, and the public is stoked to watch the critters enjoy their crunchy, seedy treats. (The feedings happen on "select dates," and the carnivores, of course, receive meals that are decidedly not pumpkins, so check with the zoo as to when this popular event will happen, if you want to see it or forgo seeing it.)

Loads of "(f)ang-tastic activities" are on the Oct. 1 through 31 schedule, with crafts, "strolling characters, pumpkin carving," a "costume-encouraged dance party," and "Animals and You" encounters with all sorts of spidery, snaky sweeties, from tarantulas to scorpion.

A few haunted highlights? The "Mad Science Fire and Ice Show," the Spooky Caves at the Winnick Family Children's Zoo, and weekend appearances by Peppa Pig are all sure to be popular. It's good to note, before you and yours slither to Boo at the Zoo, that some of the special to-dos go down at specific times and days, so if your heart is set on a particular event, check out the web site or contact the zoo to make sure you coordinate your visit just so.

It's all as big as a sprawling pumpkin patch, schedule-wise, so study up on your Boo doings ahead of its October start.

Ultimately, it is more sweet than scary. There's nothing too goosebumpily about animal education, which is at the heart of this yearly not-too-frightful festival. 

Okay, the tarantulas might deliver a goosebump or two, but they're gentle creatures. Call this month-long party the flip side of the spookiest holiday, the behind-the-curtain peek at its scurrying symbols and how they really live.

(Nope, tarantulas do not dangle from strings or pop out of paper decorations in real life, despite decorative evidence to the contrary.)

Photo Credit: Jamie Pham]]>
<![CDATA[Farmers Market Fashion Show: Candy Clothes]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:07:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cms723.jpg

While we sometimes choose our clothing for its admirable ability to carry treats, such as on Halloween night (pockets do come in handy) and perhaps while caroling at the holidays (a pouch or two holds peppermints quite well), we rarely wear clothes inspired by, or made from, candy.

That may all change in delightful and dramatic fashion on Thursday, Sept. 22 when the 3rd annual Metropolitan Fashion Week Opening Ceremony and Costume Contest returns to the Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax. 

As with the past few years, there is a distinctive theme, and that theme in 2016 is fashion with a sweet touch. You might see lollipops on belts, or after-dinner mints lining a hat, but be prepared to see dessert-like details show up on a host of handsome wearables. 

The sponsor? Dylan's Candy Bar, which is a few steps from the main runway. The host? KABC's Tina Malave ("Eye on LA").

Ah yes, there is a runway, near the market's north tower, so arrive ahead of the 6:30 p.m. start time for a closer look at the costuming. The evening is free to attend.

Will you be inspired to slip inside the historic landmark after the runway closes, to pick up some English toffee from Littlejohn's Candies, or perhaps some French chocolate bars at Monsieur Marcel's? It is the season, after all, of candy cravings, now that fall is officially kicking off.

For all the details on this delightful, slightly zany take on a traditional fashion show, swing by the clocktower'd classic at Third & Fairfax.

Photo Credit: Sheri Determan]]>
<![CDATA[Descanso Gardens New: Maple Restaurant]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:27:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/descansomaplepatina.jpg

A stroll in nature is often described as "invigorating," the sort of activity that brings a flush to the cheeks while stoking the appetite for a post-walk nosh.

But finding a nice nosh adjacent to nature, one that comes with a cornucopia of classy, hearty, not-too-fussy dishes, can be as difficult as snapping the perfect photo of a butterfly pausing briefly upon a flower petal.

Keep that flush in your cheeks, and tell your tum that sustenance is near, the kind of plates that come from none other than master chef Joachim Spichal and Patina Restaurant Group: Descanso Gardens is readying a fresh restaurant for the property, one that comes with two lauded names attached and a "warm, comfortable dining experience," per Chef Spichal.

The pretty 60-seater is called Maple, and it will debut at the La Cañada Flintridge tree-laden destination on Saturday, Oct. 1. The restaurant, which will serve inside as well as on a garden-facing patio, is not a three-mealer per day, but rather a brunch destination, one that will welcome weekenders looking for a lovely American cuisine experience right on the expansive property.

You're right, if you just recalled that Descanso Café is also overseen by Patina, which has had a long partnership with the 160-acre spread.

Executive Chef Mark Salazar will oversee the creation of dishes like Fried Chicken N' Beignets, Huevos Rancheros (complete with Guajillo-braised short rib), and the Maple Burger, a posh patty complemented by the restaurant's "signature" red wine dressing.

The eats are luxe-y but the atmosphere is laid-back, the kind of spot you'd feel okay walking into after a vigorous walk around the garden paths in a simple sundress or khakis. The upshot? You won't need to return to your car to put on a necktie or change.

But there is an early change for Maple's brunchy schedule, and it will arrive sooner than later: The restaurant will keep dinner hours during "Enchanted: Forest of Light," the holiday illumination extravaganza taking place at the historic gardens from Nov. 25, 2016 through Jan. 8, 2017.

Perhaps this event will prompt Maple to open its doors more often in the evening, once brunch buffs start calling upon it regularly and telling their nature-loving, burger-craving pals.

Whether you lean brunch or toward a dinner in December, you best reserve soon, as the talked-about spot is taking reservations at Open Table, even ahead of its October opening.

Photo Credit: Maple at Descanso Gardens]]>
<![CDATA[Culver City Centennial]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 12:17:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/culverhotelsonyexpo.jpg

Everyone has that one sweet 'n sheepish friend who misses your birthday but always vows to buy you lunch a few weeks after the fact. Jokes are made — "I'm early for your next birthday" — and you assure them that you love seeing your special day stretch beyond its traditional 24-hour borders.

Culver City is prepping to stretch beyond the 24-hour window of its next birthday, and with fine reason: The historic municipality is marking its 100th.

It's not dissimilar to we people trying to stretch our birthday out a few weeks, but Culver City will keep the big party going for a full year, starting on Tuesday, Sept. 20. 

That's the exact day the city turns 99, and it opens with a history-minded book signing at Westfield Culver City. The grand opening ceremony of the Culver City Centennial'll wait for the weekend, so circle Saturday, Sept. 24 on the calendar if you want to be a part of the Block Party of the Century (there's also a parade and a dignitary-filled opening ceremony). 

It's all free to join, except for Taste of Culver City, which costs $25 if you buy your ticket there (and note they may run out in advance, so nab it now for $20, if you really want one).

Plan on a packed-to-brimming year of all sorts of soirees, both of the colossal and cozily neighborhood-esque sorts. Culver City has a lot to cover in its history, from its cred as a center for movie-making, to the majestic Culver Hotel, to its walkable downtown, to its design scene and handsome Helms Bakery District, to its culture amazements, from the Kirk Douglas Theatre to the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

It is not difficult to grok the reasoning behind keeping the whole 100th birthday thing turned up high for a full 365 days, once you look at Culver City's caboodle of offerings on every fantastic front.

Happy 100th — er, 99th — Culver City. Maybe you're free for a birthday lunch soon?

Photo Credit: Culver Hotel/AFP-Getty/Metro]]>
<![CDATA[Free Cupcakes: Happy 1st Year, Broad Museum]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 23:22:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/broadnightiwanbaan.jpg

Art-making, of course, is ancient, as is a topic long taken on by those who create art: food. From Paul Cèzanne's fruit-filled paintings to Giuseppe Arcimboldo's whimsical edible-packed portraits, what we eat has long been at the savory center of artists' most profound inspirations.

It stands to sugar-sweet reason, then, that The Broad is heading into its very first anniversary celebration with a focus on a frosting-covered classic: the cupcake. True, it is rather difficult to find the pert, made-for-one-person treats in older artworks, but The Broad is a contemporary art institution, and the cupcake is quite the dessert of today.

And if you show up at the Grand Avenue destination on Tuesday, Sept. 20, you'll enjoy the modern munchable at the oh-so-modern museum, all in honor of the museum's first anniversary. It's true: Eli and Edythe Broad's sculpture- and painting-laden landmark has now been a major part of the Los Angeles creative landscape for a full year (even if it does seem as though it just opened).

Sprinkles, the outfit behind the "Broad-inspired" cupcakes, will hand out the goodies on The Broad plaza to everyone visiting the museum on Sept. 20. Will you need a special ticket to nab your free treat? You will, and can get it inside the museum. 

Also? The random handing-out of birthday party hats'll go down, so you may find yourself admiring legendary artworks while rocking a festive paper topper.

Also? The front of the museum will be decorated for the occasion (fingers crossed for some old-school crepe streamers crisscrossing The Broad's famed honeycombed exterior).

Advanced tickets to the museum are sold out for the anniversary, but, as is tradition with The Broad, there shall be a stand-by line. And if you can't get in, and you can't get that desired cupcake, swing by the downtown Sprinkles shop from Sept. 20 through Sept. 25.

The special Broad-y bites'll be available for purchase.

As for other celebratory snackage? Look to Otium, next to The Broad, which is offering a clam chowder homage to Andy Warhol and a cocktail that's got some Jeff Koons cred to it.

Both are for sale and on the restaurant's special menu.

On the non-edible front, "Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life" ends on Sunday, Oct. 2, while more of Yayoi Kusama's beloved "Infinity Mirror Rooms" are slated to visit The Broad beginning in the fall of 2017, right after the museum's second anniversary.

How fast time does fly, and how quickly these museums do grow.

Photo Credit: Iwan Baan]]>
<![CDATA[Irvine Park Railroad's Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:59:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/171*120/zNqEPLKwLicOpLGCqX_t-2.jpg

Colossal gourds and Orange County have a rather long history, thanks in part to the sightings of a certain clock-watching, glass slipper-wearing princess 'round Anaheim.

Of course, Cinderella doesn't have much need for her pumpkin-turned-carriage at Disneyland nowadays, but that doesn't mean that gargantuan, patch-grown gourds can't be sighted pretty close to Anaheim, especially around the start of fall.

If you make your way over to Orange, and the Irvine Park Railroad, in fact, you'll see pumpkins so large that they'd do any kingdom proud. You'll need to be there on the first Saturday of autumn to behold this wondrous sight, as that's the date of the annual Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

A host of huge-normous pumpkins will be out at the railroad's charming Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, Sept. 24, with their proud growers in tow. The goal of the day? Determine the very biggest of the lot (and, yep, "cash prizes" are part of the vine-tastic scene).

It's one of the surreal sights of the season, the over-sized pumpkins, a fall-specific gathering celebrated from Irvine Park Railroad up to Half Moon Bay, where some of the world's largest pumpkins show at the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

That showdown is still a few weeks away, so should you want to get your fall moving forward now, with some mega pumpkin admiring, be at the family-cute railroad in Orange County on Sept. 24. A bonus? The patch'll also be open during the midday weigh-off, meaning you can partake in some of the hands-on activities, as well as purchasing your own traditionally sized pumpkin or two.

Hello, fall, and welcome, giant pumpkins. We're not sure if one will turn into a Cinderella-esque carriage come midnight, after the competition, but we're inclined to think the magical potential is there.

Photo Credit: Toby]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Feast of San Gennaro]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 07:59:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GrapeStompcourtesyDanoPhotography.jpg

The 15th Annual Galbani Cheese Feast of San Gennaro: The arrival of fall in many cities means the fluttering of red, green, and white streamers over a city street, and bocce ball showdowns, and string-gooey calzones, and an effervescent expression of Italian arts, foods, and sounds. LA's party grandly revels in Hollywood, near Hollywood High, from Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 25. It's five bucks for adults, free for kids 12 and under, and full of buskers, rides, musicians on the stroll, and all the touchstones of a traditional street celebration.

Redondo Beach Lobster Festival: No one is going to tell you not to enjoy melty buttery dipping sauce after September, but the time for that treat is truly late summer 'round SoCal, when the lobster fests reign. Those are winding down, with this savory Seaside Lagoon lark doing one final weekend push for those who love their briny bites. The to-do runs three days, from Sept. 23 through 25, and there are a few ticket options, when it comes to the lobster dinner choices.

Wiggle Waggle Walk: If you asked your Rhodesian Ridgeback, or your Pekingese, if they'd like to spend the morning of Sunday, Sept. 25 at Brookside Park, near the Rose Bowl, among other pups (and their people) raising funds for furry friends in need (of homes, medical care, love 'n attention), the answer would surely be "yes!" (which might sound like a woof). It's a fundraiser for the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, which assists "nearly 12,000 animals" each year. 

Happy 50th, Gamble House: It can be slightly mind-bending to wish a landmark that famously came into being 'round 1908 a happy 50th in 2016, but that's the story with the beloved Pasadena Craftsman wonder. The Gamble family gifted the home to the city and USC 50 years ago, opening it to the public, and so the public shall celebrate on Sunday, Sept. 25. Walk-up tickets are limited, but the price to see it that day? A buck.

Roaring Twenties Street Jam: While many things are said about Southern Californians, this one is true: They like a good era-specific dress-up opportunity. Look to Dapper Day at Disneyland, and look to this Griffith Park hullabaloo (which is not related to Dapper Day but shares its vintage spirit). Join a jazzy picnic on the lawn near the Merry-Go-Round and dance the evening away, too, on Sunday, Sept. 25. "Dress to IMPRESS" is the word on the street, flappers and swells of SoCal.

Photo Credit: Dano Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Grand Park New: 'Paper Airplane' Canopy]]> Sat, 17 Sep 2016 04:11:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_16257768104335.jpg

Looking up to admire whimsical things hovering above downtown? It's kind of getting to be the best and most beautiful sort of habit.

After all, "Liquid Shard," an undulating overhead wave from Poetic Kinetics, spent several days in early August glittering above Pershing Square, while colossal light projections cast upon City Hall are now a scintillating staple of New Year's Eve.

Now there are paper airplanes aloft over Olive Court at Grand Park, though they're not paper and they're not whizzing by the ear of an unsuspecting friend, as a hastily folded real-life paper airplane is often apt to do.

"Paper Airplane," a public art installation which made its grand Grand Park debut on Tuesday, Sept. 13, is both a treat for the eye and a way to escape the sun's intensity for a few minutes. That's right, like so many wonderful alfresco artworks, the piece serves a dual purpose, and serves it stylishly.

Regional artists Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff proposed the nifty notion of an artwork that has some awning-like abilities. Their handy and handsome idea took the top spot in a design submission for the space (a space that's a bit east of the fountain and a bit west of the Performance Lawn, in a can't-be-missed spot).

Canvas Specialty made the shade-giving "Paper Airplane" from there, taking it right through to its completion, while Goldhirsh Foundation provided the funds through its LA2050 Grants Challenge, "which sought creative and innovative solutions to shape a better Los Angeles."

Fans of the park have been asking for "a place of shady respite," said Grand Park Director Lucas Rivera. "As a two-year installation, "Paper Airplane" is a springboard for incorporating additional pieces of public art into Grand Park," continued Mr. Rivera.

Will "Paper Airplane," like other local free-to-see and easily accessible artworks, become something of a social media star, much in the way that "Levitated Mass," the giant boulder "hovering" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has gained photo fame?

It certainly seems as though the perfect place to fly a traditional paper airplane at, with a few snapshots to capture the moment.

Best stay tuned, stay shaded, and see this fun (and dual functional) new addition to Grand Park before it takes off again in two short years.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Cool Bevs: Los Angeles Iced Tea Festival]]> Fri, 16 Sep 2016 12:48:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/icedtealemon193232.jpg

It's a question that may be quibbled over by loose leaf lovers for centuries to come: Is a lemon slice a more common (and appropriate) accompaniment for hot tea or iced tea?

No one needs to alight upon a definitive answer, for taking lemon, or skipping it, is up to the individual sipper. But there's little doubt that tea's warm-weather version is often as lemony as libations come, nearly as lemony, at times, as lemonade itself. (Another topic to quibble over, we're sure.)

But iced tea can also be rife with rosemary, and lavender, and peach, and seemingly a million other natural enhancements. It's a complex drink that will be celebrated over the course of an afternoon at the Japanese American National Museum, when the Los Angeles Iced Tea Festival lines up the proverbial pitchers for its second annual outing.

Tickets? They're twelve dollars each. The date? It's Saturday, Sept. 17, which just happens to be the final Saturday of summer. Now's the time to get your iced tea on, before all of those pumpkin steamed beverages of autumn begin to nudge their cinnamon-strong way into your affections.

The late-morning-into-afternoon affair includes a pair of interesting talks on (blends and flavors, yes, as well as steeping the ideal brew) as well as "20 varieties of iced ready on TAP."

Have you ever sampled 20 iced teas in one go? How about 20 of anything? This could majorly change up your summertime picnic beverage game.

A host of knowledgeable tea mavens'll also be on hand during the event, so if you want to discuss bags vs. loose leaf, or steep times, or making a single glass instead of a full pitcher, this would be the magical moment.

Summer isn't over yet, iced tea buffs. And it never truly ends in Southern California, which can, at times, experience perfect iced tea-drinking weather in January.

Best brush up on everything from flavoring to steeping to quality now, before the season of pleasurable cool beverage sippage mostly slips away, like a leaf falling from a tree.

And, really, we can all put the whole lemon/no lemon fracas aside, for some people do like a citrus zing with the ancient libation, and some do not.

Mint, on the other hand, is always lovely in tea, hot or iced, and that is pretty much a fact, no quibbling required.

Photo Credit: Iced Tea]]>
<![CDATA[Coastal Cleanup Day: Volunteer Now]]> Fri, 16 Sep 2016 07:56:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/coastalcleanup2939232.jpg

Everyone seeks out their own individual experience of nature, from those people who love nothing more than a silent walk in a rainshower to the adventurers who prefer a rigorous hike through a twisty canyon.

But regardless of our different approaches to connecting with the natural world, we can all agree on one thing: Our trash doesn't belong there. It's a simple statement, but one that's behind numerous spiffy-up efforts around California each year, including what's called "the state's largest volunteer effort."

It's Coastal Cleanup Day, and it draws cleaner-uppers from all over the Golden State, people who will fan out along beaches, and river banks, and lake shores, the better to collect plastic bags and bottles and the random items that wash onto the sand (or were never removed from the sand by the person who brought the item).

Thousands of volunteers are pitching in, and you can, too. Just pick a spot that's easy for you to reach on Saturday, Sept. 17, and register here. Locations around Southern California include Bolsa Chica State Beach, Topanga Beach, and several more Pacific-close stretches (but yes, several inland spots are on the map, too).

This particular effort, which is overseen by the California Coastal Commission, has been around for over 30 years, and the bits of detritus that have been collected by the massive annual effort run well into the millions.

If you're curious about what exactly is littering our beaches and banks, the commission has published a tally of some of the common finds, like straws/stirrers (some 736,595 were picked up from 1989 through 2014).

But collecting trash isn't just about how it impacts our human-based nature experience; we do it for all the critters that call our planet home, and the health of our waters, too.

So clear out the morning of Sept. 17, make for the shore, grab a bag, and join thousands of other Californians in one of the most important, and gratifying, group efforts we undertake all year.

Photo Credit: California Coastal Commission]]>
<![CDATA[The Roaring Twenties Street Jam]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 23:07:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/JanetKlein100th.jpg

If anyone tells you you can't rock fabulous '20s-era fashions whenever you please, just tell 'em "horsefeathers!" in retort.

And if someone should say you can't whoop it up to songs of long ago, inform them that's total "applesauce" (same general meaning, yep).

And if anyone says you're the "bee's knees," well, invite them at once to The Roaring Twenties Street Jam at the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. Clearly they're rhapsodic over the long-ago slang, and styles of dress, and musical ditties, and more, and that's just the sort of vibe that'll be humming around the annual gussy-up and dance it up weekend.

There are a few moving (and moving) parts to the Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25 celebration, including dance lessons with sublime performer Ksenia Parkhatskaya at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Pasadena (those happen on both weekend afternoons, with a Saturday evening dance).

Sunday shimmers with a couple of different happenings, including the new Jazz Age Lawn Fest at Griffith Park. Best "dress to IMPRESS!" (ponder a boater hat or glittery beaded gown) and pack a picnic. There shall be era-sweet tuneage, and more bee's-knees-ian pleasures, upon the grassy area near the carousel.

And later that evening? The whole brassy shebang that ends the weekend, a dance at the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, complete with live performances from Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys. A Speakeasy Wine Garden, a dance-off competition, a contest spotlighting the best dressed, and more doings that are positively "berries" are on the stylish schedule.

The Sept. 25 Griffith Park party is a solid one, stretching from noon to 9:30 that night, though you can just attend the lawn lark if that's your pleasure or the nighttime dance.

Best look into a ticket, though, before placing that sequin headband in your hair and Brylcreeming your mustache, because this growing event has panache and cachet, both. (Meaning tickets'll fly like pie, which isn't an actual '20s saying but sounds like it maybe could be.)

Photo Credit: Janet Klein]]>
<![CDATA[The Best of NYC Fashion Week 2016]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 09:33:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-603544622_master.jpg New York City's fall fashion week brings together models, celebrities and fans of fashion as top designers unveil their latest creations.

Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Savor Santa Ana: Try Bunches of Bites]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 19:19:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_113265007.jpg

True story: You can't eat things you see online with your eyes, no matter how much you shorten the distance between the food-laden screen and your peepers.

What you can do, however, is go to an area known for interesting, piquant, deep-toned tasty stuff and try a bunch of things, once again proving that IRL eating is all about the getting there (and not simply scrolling through photo after photo of various tacos, omelets, and such).

The "there" on Friday, Sept. 16 is very much Santa Ana, which is has been on the up and up (and about a dozen more ups beyond those), restaurant-wise, for the past few years. It is, in fact, a primo place to discover your next favorite chef, or cookie, or enchilada, or tea, and the primo time to do a lot of that discovering is during Savor Santa Ana.

The evening-time stroll-about is oriented to a "Taste of" structure, which means that you'll purchase a quintet of tastes for a tenner (or two packs if you want to go for 10 tastings).

Advance tickets are strongly suggested, because A) Santa Ana on a Friday brims with fun and B) people are rather stoked about the idea of sauntering about while supping it up at lauded local eateries.

"(O)ver 40 distinctive restaurants" dot the downtown eat-around map, including Gypsy Den, Alta Baja Market, Downtown Donuts, and Sweet Mission Cookie.

And between you noshing here and there? Lively lovely tunes out on the street, with the theme being Mexican Independence. Mariachi music, courtesy of Santa Ana High School, will be the sweet soundtrack to the night. (Look, too, for a karaoke station.)

Where to go? Follow the farolitos to DTSA for yummy bites, beautiful sounds, and the sort of scene that deftly marks the final Friday of summer.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Chinatown Moon Festival: Cakes, Tunes, Joy]]> Fri, 16 Sep 2016 07:01:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ChinatownMoonFest13.jpg

You're off the hook, there's no pressure, and absolutely no expectations, so relax: The moon does not expect a gift from you on the occasion of its annual autumn celebration.

What would be lovely, however, is if you'd join with other residents of this planet, at least a sizable handful, anyway, to ponder the loveliness of our lunar satellite, its mystery and magic, and the beautiful moon-related traditions that stretch back centuries.

That can be done, with verve, style, sound, and sweets, at Chinatown's historic Central and West Plazas on Saturday, Sept. 17. It's the 78th annual Chinatown Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, and, as is longstanding custom, many visitors will spend a good portion of their visit to the lantern-laden area gazing up.

But they won't be solely admiring the plazas' famous illumination sources (neon and lanterns, both); they'll be looking at the harvest moon through on-site telescopes provided by Griffith Observatory.

Other terrestrial to-dos include an LA Weekly Live Music Stage (which is plum-full of rocking acts for the evening), and cooking demos, and eating showdowns, and the all-important devouring of moon cakes, the ultimate September sweet.

Samples of the quintessential falltime cakes shall be provided of this delight, so don't fill up at the gourmet food trucks (though, you know, take in the sustenance you require).

And best visit the photo booth, should you want to record your post-cake grin for posterity. 

Start time? It's 5 o'clock, which isn't a prime moon hour, but maybe you should get there then, to find your meditative moon-loving brain space. (Lunar admiration is some deep business, when you think about.)

End time? It all wraps at 11, though, spoiler alert, the moon'll stick around, doing what it does so well. (Orbiting us, and very nicely, too.)

Cost? It's free to fest it up. Free as spying the moon any ol' time it is up overhead. 

So cheers to you, dear harvest moon, and all of the earth-bound bashes you so spectacularly inspire, year after year after century after eon.

Photo Credit: Chinatown Moon Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Halloween Horror Nights Opens]]> Sun, 18 Sep 2016 16:25:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/HHNMG_7374.jpg

Halloween Horror Nights: Viral videos of haunted house visitors shrieking their way through mazes have racked up the views in recent years, and understandably. Many people know the visceral thrills of being scared, over and over, in a well-themed environment. The annual Universal Studios Hollywood creep-tacular is a master of this macabre art form, and its movie-quality walk-through experiences are key. Find your courage and enter the worlds of "The Exorcist," "American Horror Story," "Krampus," "Halloween," and more scream-worthy stories, starting on Friday, Sept. 16.

East Los Angeles Mexican Independence Day Parade: Southern California boasts a beautiful bevy of meaningful processions and parties, but few possess the history of this yearly East LA celebration. Music, dance, and community are all woven through the day, with Fernando Allende and José Luis Orozco on the bill, and the post-parade festival brims with savory fare and more family-sweet goings-on. Want to join in? Be at Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Mednik Avenue for the parade's 10 a.m. start on Sunday, Sept. 18. (NBC4 is a part of the celebratory day.)

Emmy Awards: You may be on the red carpet at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Sept. 18, rehearsing your acceptance speech in your head, or you may be hosting an at-home party, the better to catch the stars of the shows you love best. If you're planning on doing it up, consider a stop by a Patina Restaurant Group eatery. This is the outfit catering the 2016 Emmys, and they've got a line-up of libations saluting the small-screen accolades, from "Writer's Block" to "Director's Cut."

Nautica Malibu Triathlon: The ocean-close community is pretty darn Instagrammable most days, but few Malibu moments are as big as this swim-bike-run competition. As is tradition, several stars compete, with Scott Eastwood, Max Greenfield, and James Marsden all expected to join in at the 2016 event. Can you watch the Sept. 18 water-land showdown? You can — look for the bleachers near lifeguard tower #14. All the information on getting to the early-in-the-morning Zuma Beach to-do is right here.

CicLAvia's pLAy Day in LA: The thrice yearly close-the-streets, ride-your-bike bash is now a staple of local life, but, up to now, there's never been a CicLAvia fundraiser. That'll all change on Saturday, Sept. 17 when the bike-walk-roll extravaganza throws an afternoon party at 613 Imperial Street in the Arts District. This isn't the usual CicLAvia bike ride but a day filled with raffles, eats, Golden Road brews, helmet decorating, games, and more activities. Cost to help out this beloved organization? It's a hundred bucks for an adult. Join in now.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood]]>
<![CDATA[Music Center: Late-Night Time Travel Portal]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:09:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/3G9C3394sleepless.jpg

If there's someone living here in Southern California who has access to a working, Jules Verne-inspired time machine, they're being pretty darn quiet about, and with understandable reason.

People would be ringing their doorbell at all hours, trying to gain access to the device, the better to retake that one quiz in 9th grade, or send that apology letter, or simply see what a T. Rex looks like, for reals.

There won't be any actual time machines at the Music Center Plaza on Friday night, Sept. 23, but "Sleepless," the sometimes-on, always-late-into-the-night series will be gleefully afoot.

The event "bends time and reality to create an otherworldly late night experience at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion" via a kaleidoscope of quirky goings-on. "Space-age records" from the '50s will play on the plaza during this go-around, as people peer into sky-pointing telescopes, while a "futuristic light tunnel" from artist Michael Ohsann will be the bridge between outdoors and indoors.

An '80s-reminiscent arcade, a pillow-laden, projection-cool lounge area, and a telephone booth "where guests can reach out and touch someone with live chats from the past and future" are also on the way-past-midnight docket.

Tickets are $20 ahead of the 11:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. happening, $30 there, and the scene can hum (aka get busy), as one might expect from an offbeat bash that takes a formal setting like Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and ups the general fizz and funkiness.

And, truly, whether you pay $20 or $30 to go, that's probably far less than passage aboard an actual time machine, which likely uses a combination of Pluto water and Alpha Centauri mist as some sort of fancy petrol. 

Best do downtown for your weekend travel and save a bundle. 

Photo Credit: willteeyang.com/Music Center]]>
<![CDATA[Whisky a Go Go: New Streaming Channel]]> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 18:57:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/whiskyagogowehopage.jpg

Livin' life as a through-and-through music fan has oodles of ups, the kind of big-moment experiences that range from hearing your favorite deep cut performed live to having your favorite singer call you out in the audience to having your favorite singer pull you on stage for a quick, Instagrammable duet.

But there are, of course, a few downs in La Vida Band Fandom, from losing the rare vinyl copy of your go-to album to learning of a dreamed-of concert the morning after it happened to not being able to attend a sold-out show at a legendary club.

This last letdown may permanently vamoose for fans of the Whisky a Go Go, including those include music mavens who live great distances from the famous venue's longtime Sunset Strip home. 

Shows from the club will now stream on Roku and Connected Television, with more platforms to come, reveals the LA Daily News. It's news that definitely from the cool beans category, but the beans get even cooler: Older shows of seminal acts will also be part of the service.

So if you caught Metallica there, and raved about the solos, strums, and sheer power of the night to all of your couldn't-make-it pals, they'll now be able to join you, in your home, to see it all over again.

Will you still go see the shows you want to see? Of course. If you had other plans, or couldn't make it, or couldn't find a ticket, can you still find the on-stage magic via a streaming service?

That's Whisky a Go Go's plan. For while finding some photos online is part of the post-concert ritual, or poring over the previous night's set list, being able to experience the sounds in a full, TV-ready way from a famous club is up there with re-locating your favorite album on vinyl, the one that somehow slipped behind the stereo for a few years.

There are numerous ups in music fandom, and stream-ready rock from the Sunset Strip definitely belongs in that particular column.

Photo Credit: Visit West Hollywood]]>
<![CDATA[Watts Towers: UNESCO Designation Sought]]> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 19:07:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/wattstowersdiscoverla.jpg

UNESCO World Heritage Sites, those places deemed to possess "Outstanding Universal Value" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee, truly dot the globe in a grand sweep, a sweep that includes a host of spectacular destinations meant to last the ages.

Angkor in Cambodia is on the list, as is Chartres Cathedral in France. And in California? Yosemite National Park and Redwoods National Park are the two natural sites designated as World Heritage Sites.

A third Golden State treasure, a cultural site, may soon join the parks on this hallowed, protections-aplenty list: the Watts Towers.

Simon Rodia carefully created the towers, tile-by-tile, for 33 years, beginning in 1921. And while "towers" are in the very name, the whimsical and intricate creations both soar up and span dramatically across a sizable lot. There is, in short, nothing quite like these magical and majestic artworks.

But the road to becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site isn't necessarily short, for any potential place, for there are typically a number of agencies and people involved.

The Cultural Resources Division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation made a request in April 2016 with the National Park Service's Office of Internal Affairs that Watts Towers be considered "for inclusion on the United States Tentative List" for the protected sites. 

"In the letter, State Parks made the case that the property meets the requirements for authenticity, integrity, legal protection, and management that the World Heritage Convention needs for consideration of potential properties."

UNESCO will then be "formally" asked by the park service to review the request.

The making of Watts Towers was a fantastical feat, a wonder of art and persistence, but that still didn't prevent talk of possible demolition in the past. Numerous passionate supporters and advocates have played a part in saving the Watts Towers, and securing its future; today it is a U.S. National Historic Landmark as well as a California Historical Landmark.

This loved-upon landmark is a place Southern Californians can see often, but September is a special month. Two long-running events, the Day of the Drum and the Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival, traditionally happen in the early fall, and 2016 is no exception: Both will unfurl, with sound and heart, on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.

Will one of the topics among visitors be the possibility of the towers becoming a World Heritage Site one day? It would surely be a huge development for one of LA's, and the planet's, most singular and soulful experiences.

Photo Credit: Discover LA]]>
<![CDATA[Special (and Spooky) Warner Bros. Evening Tour]]> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:17:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/watertowerwbevening.jpg

Saunter around a movie studio at noon and you'll find a bustling workplace full of creative types running to and fro as they carry scripts and props and all of the necessities that go into making a film or television series.

Step onto that same studio in the evening and the feel immediately changes. The gargantuan sound stages cast huge shadows, the backlot seems like a town that's been mysteriously and suddenly emptied, and there are hoots and rustles from the nearby trees.

Warner Bros. Studio, beyond being one of moviedom's powerhouse dream factories, has gained a reputation for making some truly macabre masterpieces, from "The Exorcist" to "House of Wax." And while those iconic films, and others, often receive mention on the popular daytime Studio Tours, they'll be the focus, along with other frightful treats, during the studio's special "Horror Made Here: A Halloween Screening and Twilight Tour" event.

It's a sure-to-be sold-out happening, as it is only scheduled over two nights: Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29. The pre-Halloween tour also includes a screening of "The Conjuring" on Friday night and "The Conjuring 2" on Saturday, setting it apart from the traditional tour (which includes clips from many movies, but not full films).

What will go d-d-down over the dastardly studio look-around? You'll get some background on the venerable company's horror offerings, from "The Exorcist" to "House of Wax" to "The Lost Boys" to "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (And, yes, scenes from "True Blood" were shot there, as the Burbank lot doubled as the Deep South.)

A ticket to all of this terrifyingly entertaining ghoulishness? It's $75, and ten bucks to park (and you'll need to choose which night you'll want to go, as entry is good for one night). 

A visit to "Stage 48: Script to Screen" will also give visitors a glance at some of the ghosty props and costumes that are part of the studio's horror-making past. A bonus? "(M)ovie-themed treats" are part of the event, the better to keep you fortified as you face all of that fearful film fun.

Tickets go on sale on Saturday, Sept. 17, and it is bound to be popular, given the not-to-be sated modern appeal of the ghouls-and-monsters genre. Might "Horror Made Here" even expand beyond two nights in 2017? Or even become a year-round happening in years to come?

Horror is a hot commodity, and that's due in large part to Warner Bros., a studio that has been leading that charge for decades. So don your late-October scarf, gin up some bravery and pluck, and get to Burbank, if you dare...

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.]]>
<![CDATA[Border Grill Santa Monica Closing: Deals, Fun]]> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 17:26:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bordergrillsm12345.jpg

You don't need to drive too far along any big boulevard or street to know that Southern California is chockablock with splashy eateries.

Sometimes, though, the splash dries up, a bit, after the fanfare settles down, and the proof of a place has to be in the pudding (or, er, whatever dish the restaurant is known for).

The proof has been in the pudding, or, rather, the salsa, for Border Grill Santa Monica, and for over a quarter century, too. Thanks to its vivacious, knowledge-sharing founders Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger — the "Too Hot Tamales" — the 4th Street eatery became a hub of nouveau Mexican favorites from chicken poblano enchiladas to an array of zesty ceviches.

It's a stand-out supper-perfecting superstar, in short, which is a tall order in this town. But even superstars change it up, from time to time, as is Border Grill. The Santa Monica lease is up on the 26-year-old eatery, and staffers and fans alike will spend the last 26 days of its flavorful existence celebrating in salty-rimmed, extra-guac fashion.

The final day of Border Grill Santa Monica is Thursday, Oct. 8, which makes Tuesday, Sept. 13 the kick-off of the final 26-day run. There shall be a quartet of throwback specials, one for each week, so swing by for portabello mulitas during the second week or sauteed shrimp during week numero four.

As for the deals? The margaritas are returning to the '90s, with $3 house margs the order of the final days. Also? Look for all-day happy hours every weekday through Oct. 8. And that famous Border Grill brunch will offer up "unlimited" small plates for twenty six dollars.

There are other Border Grills around, from downtown Los Angeles to Las Vegas, but if Santa Monica played a role in your world, from an important first date to lively after-work gatherings, best swing by before Oct. 8 to bid it farewell.

And, of course, snack upon a tortilla chip or two. The eatery has served thousands upon thousands over the last 26 years, and thousands of customers who'll forever recall that it was a stand-out in a region rife with iconic restaurants.

Photo Credit: Border Grill]]>
<![CDATA[Roald Dahl Centennial: LA Eateries Fête Author]]> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:43:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/MissHoneyPieWholepoisonchocolate.jpg

Centennials, as a general rule, tend to be packed with pomp, and a good deal circumstance, and oodles of highbrow happenings, and a pinch of chest-puffery, and the sorts of stuffy must-dos that are both solemn and given to heavy-handed gravitas.

None of this feels quite right for the man who gave the world Willy Wonka, and Matilda, and James (and a certain over-sized peach-hued fruit), and several other legendary characters who have leaped from their books to the big screen.

And, of course, leaped into our hearts as well. Author Roald Dahl was born a century ago, on Sept. 13, 1916, and some Southern Californian desserteries are remembering his levity-filled legacy with some in-shop parties and special treats.

The Pie Hole and Milk Jar Cookies are working with the Dahl Estate, along with Coolhaus and Knuckle & Claw, to remember Mr. Dahl and his timeless tales, tales that have let generations of children know that always toeing the line isn't as much fun as having some spirited adventure (and keeping a funny bone throughout life's foibles, too).

Look for a "Dahlicious Delights" menu at participating restaurants, with treats like the "James and the Giant Peach" cobbler cookie, Dahl-esque pies, and more nummy delights.

There are also weekend happenings, including a Roald Dahl birthday party on Saturday, Sept. 17, co-thrown by The Pie Hole and Coolhaus.

And a fizzy-fun update: Roald Dahl's granddaughter Chloe Dahl, the co-owner of oceanic favorite Knuckle & Claw West, will be at a Sunday, Sept. 18 party, which will include a reading from "The Twits" by none other than Lucy Dahl, Roald's daughter. More activities await at the seafooderie, as well as grilled cheese sandwiches complete with "worms" (which are really lobster). Cupcake goodies, more authorly doings, and Roald-esque revelry awaits.

A party at Milk Jar Cookies on Sunday, Sept. 17 will include readings, high jinks, and more happy doings, all to remember the author and his sparkly, sometimes selfish, often offbeat, often brave, incredibly smart, and forever effervescent characters.

For the full roster of Roald Dahl goings-on around Southern California, visit the Roald Dahl Day online HQ.

Pictured below: The Knuckle & Claw Grilled Cheese with Worms

Photo Credit: The Pie Hole]]>
<![CDATA[Amoeba Music: Staying Put (for Now) ]]> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:47:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/amoeba2.jpg

The history of popular songcraft brims with ditties detailing the lives and heartbeat of our cities and towns, and how the places we call home greatly evolve over time, for better or worse.

What is less expected is a vibrant, much-visited center for those songs to be a part of those changes.

Word broke after the weekend that Amoeba Music, the capacious shop at Sunset and Cahuenga Boulevards housing all of tunedom, or seemingly so, might be due for a date with a certain hard-material ball made for wrecking (another popular theme in contemporary music-makery).

The independent record store outfit, which had its start in Berkeley over a quarter century ago, was going to make room in Hollywood for a new building. (Public records reveal the sale of Amoeba's current home went down last fall, per Time Out Los Angeles.)

But, like so many excellent concept albums or epic love songs, there's a twist: Amoeba Hollywood is not going anywhere for "several years" per an update on the store's Instagram page. 

The shop, which is due to mark its 15th anniversary in Tinseltown in November, is riding out its lease, which has a ways to go. Even more heartening for fans? "...Amoeba and the building owner are open to us potentially staying longer."

The final upshot of it all, in the end? Well, this much we know, from the Instagram post, which is a handwritten note: Amoeba Music "is committed to staying in Hollywood."

That looks to be at its current home for years to come, so breathe a sigh, people who love flipping through album after album over the course of a perfect Saturday afternoon. Your go-to is not gone, nor will it be, for a good amount of time.

The needle, in other words, has not reached the record's final groove. Best stay tuned to see what's on the B side.

<![CDATA[Gamble House: $1 for 50th Anniversary Party]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:19:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GambleHouseExteriorAlexVertikoff.jpg

Obviously, and truly, and without-argument-ly, Pasadena's exquisite Craftsman masterpiece, the Gamble House, has been around for longer than 50 years.

After all, Marty McFly traveled back to 1955 in that DeLorean, and he called upon Doc Brown at home, which, as every fan of "Back to the Future" knows, is the regal house at 4 Westmoreland Place.

Oh wait. Right, that's a movie, not real life, but it feels as though there should be some quirky time travel involved when a home that was constructed 108 years ago celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Here's the story, and it involves you, should you want to honor this magnificently woodsy, stained-glass-a-rific wonder and only pay a dollar to do so: The Gamble family, lo these 50 years ago, donated the grand domicile to the city of Pasadena and the University of Southern California.

The gift was beyond major, and it was a major boon to the architecture-loving public, for now they now longer had to solely admire it from the curb. They could (gasp) go inside.

While the official anniversary date was in January, the public party is on Sunday, Sept. 25 from noon to 4 o'clock. A single buck, as mentioned, gains you entry, and there are other happenings on the photo-perfect grounds, from soap carving to woodworking.

While advance tickets are no longer available, some walk-up tickets will be, so be sure to arrive early.

Tune shall be played, if you simply want to lounge upon the Gamble House's lawn and pretend, for a moment, you lived there back when it first rose in the Rose City, the height of nature-inspired, strong-boned construction in an era that was still awash in somewhat fastidious Edwardian trends.

Well, those Edwardian homes, many of which still dot Southern California, are pretty phenomenal, but the Gamble House is unto itself, a superstar that's instantly recognizable, both from its star turn in a beloved '80s sci-fi flick and as a way to time travel back to the Pasadena of the early 20th century.

None of that could happen for we lookie-loos without the Gambles making that huge gift a half century ago.

Gratitude to them, to the organizers of the Sept. 25 event, and to all who keep this classic casa looking as lovely as when it first came into being, not 50 years ago, but well over a century back.

Photo Credit: ©Alexander Vertikoff]]>
<![CDATA[Wiggle Waggle Walk: Pasadena Fundraiser]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 21:52:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WiggleWaggle12.jpg

The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA is a venerable organization often seen in the headlines, but the story springing from the Raymond Avenue animal center a few weeks back was off the scales.

Full disclaimer: We used "scales" there in a cheeky fashion, as Tina the alligator, a beloved reptile who'd lived at the society for many years, was the beastie we were ready to reference. Tina departed the pet shelter for roomier digs at the LA Zoo, but still under the care of center staffers? The many dogs, cats, and other furry cuties who need some TLC and a permanent home.

That's where the Wiggle Waggle Walk comes in. The early-in-the-fall fundraiser has been around for as long as Tina lived at the Pasadena Humane Society — 18 years, give or take — and it raises a lot of money each year for the well-being of the shelter's animals, from medical needs to food to comforts (blankets, beds, and such).

"(N)early 12,000 homeless animals are taken in by the PHS each year," reveals the organization.

The Wiggle Waggle Walk, which shakes a tail at the Brookside Park at the Rose Bowl on Sunday, Sept. 25, will provide many necessities for these critters. The Pasadena Humane Society has a goal of $325,000 in mind, and both individuals and teams are making that happen.

It's a whole tongue-happy, lap-cuddly to-do, too, with pet-minded vendors, various prizes, and food trucks on hand to complement the main happenings, the 1K and 3K walks.

A big question, of course, is this: Are dogs allowed to join the walk? On leash, for sure, and there are a few other rules to know. But also know this: If your pup wants to sit this one out, or you don't have a Fido of your own, you are more than welcome to sign up.

Perhaps Tina the alligator, now settled in at her fresh pad at the zoo, would be cheered to know that her former home was once again on the receiving end of so much community-driven good will (and impressive fund-raising).

The reptile's story is the story of an animal shelter that cares. That the Pasadena Humane Society has welcomed so many beasties, of all stripes and scales over its century-plus history, is a testament to a terrific organization that goes the distance for dogs, kittens, and a host of other animals needing TLC.

Photo Credit: Wiggle Waggle Walk]]>
<![CDATA[Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon: New Date]]> Mon, 12 Sep 2016 17:02:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/surfclassesleosurfdog.jpg

September Mondays, on the whole, aren't like Mondays in most other months.

After all, the first Monday of the ninth month of the year is a holiday, and other Mondays deliver small but sweet pleasures, from the first Monday you switch out your normal coffee for a pumpkin-flavored java to the first Monday of autumn (and all of its wake-up crispness).

And for many canine-loving Californians, the second September Monday has become all about the surfing dogs of Del Mar, from their colorful puffy vests to their styling goggles to their polished, on-the-waves, hang-twenty moves.

But alas, and woof, and sniffle, and such: Dog Beach's best-known paw party, the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, did not happen on Sunday, Sept. 11, the long-scheduled date for the Fido-fun fundraiser.

An "unfortunate water contamination advisory" prompted organizers to postpone the event, a happy happening that sees both pooches on surfboards and pooches on the sand (plus, of course, all of their human companions, too).

The new date for one of late-summer's saltiest shindigs? It's in the fall, early fall, on Sunday, Oct. 2. Dogs and their people will still be out in full furry force to raise money for the Helen Woodward Animal Center of Rancho Santa Fe and all of the critters the center takes care of each and every day.

Keep in mind that many of the canines who catch a wave or two at Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon have practiced over numerous summer weekends, all under the tutelage of those who know about sharing safety tips and skills tailored to dogs and their people.

So it's a heart-warmer that these pups will get to surf in 2016, after all, after a full summer of practice. Even if the date is a bit late (dogs are pretty patient, on the whole, at least compared to we humans).

And as for that anticipated Monday and the fresh photos of dogs on surfboards? It's still ahead, on Monday, Oct. 3, the day after the Del Mar gathering. Truly, for pup buffs, it is one of the best Mondays on the calendar, and it yields some spectacular snaps. 

Just because it was postponed by a few weeks doesn't mean that the dogs won't be in rocking their surf gear soon. Stay tuned...

Photo Credit: Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon]]>
<![CDATA[Fashion Students Create 99 Cents Looks]]> Mon, 12 Sep 2016 11:58:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/99_266619--G090816B-0337.jpg Eye the quartet of offbeat dresses at a 99 Cents Store on Pico Boulevard.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages]]>
<![CDATA[Oompah Now: Oktoberfest Season Arrives]]> Mon, 12 Sep 2016 09:19:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/oktoberfest293829382312.jpg

If you feel the oompah deep down in your heart, and your feet get to tapping at the first wheeze of an accordion, and your nose can detect the scent of schnitzel at 50 yards, and the sight of a fleet-of-feet Dachshund makes you want to cheer, you must be a true Oktoberfest aficionado.

Which is a most excellent thing to be, but here's the thing: Oktoberfest, as its very name implies, is a happening that's in and around October (with a traditional September start). 

So if you're sensing schnitzel in the air, and your arms are starting to move in a Chicken Dance fashion, take heart, and take your nearest freeway to Huntington Beach, for Old World is revving up the traditional Oktoberfest revelry for 2016.

Day one was Sunday, Sept. 11, the stow-the-accordions date is Sunday, Oct. 30, and while Mondays and Tuesday are Oktoberfest-less, the various parties'll raise a stein from Wednesday through Sunday, with Kinderfest, the family happening, landing on the final day of each weekend. (Which also happens to be when the Dachshunds of Old World famously race, at 3 o'clock, so prepare yourself for some unparelled canine cuteness.)

Brassy bands'll break out the tubaful dance music and lederhosen shall be on full and fashionable display.

There are more Oktoberfest celebrations are oompahing around Southern California in 2016, from Big Bear Lake to Lake Arrowhead to Anaheim. While the parties tend to cluster close to the weekends, you'll want to check out the spot you're headed, to make sure the festivity is on, what's on the menu, who is on the stage, and whether that stein-holding competition, the one on your bucket list, is going down or not on the day you want to attend.

But like all revelries, Oktoberfest must bid auf wiedersehen sooner than we expect. Find your Chicken Dance before the old-time to-dos shimmy away for another year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Smithsonian Celebrates 'Star Trek's' 50th Anniversary]]> Mon, 12 Sep 2016 04:09:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Star+Trek+Model+at+Smithsonian.jpg

Fifty years ago, millions of Americans were glued to their TV sets for what would be a transformative glimpse into the future: The original “Star Trek” series debuted on NBC Sept. 8, 1966. In honor of the show, which led to six more series and 13 movies, the Smithsonian is celebrating science fiction becoming science fact.

"Space, the final frontier," and “the Enterprise” are two of the best known elements of our television history. Now they're attracting crowds at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.

In 1966, if you wanted to have a spaceship in your TV show or movie, you had to physically build one and film it. The 11-foot long studio model of the USS Enterprise is the centerpiece of the Smithsonian's three-day celebration of the original series. The museum got the model in 1974, five years after NBC canceled the show. For a new permanent exhibit, it's been refurbished and rewired.

"I think it's an important part of connecting the popular culture enthusiasm around space flight to the actual artifacts of space flight," Smithsonian space history custodian Margaret Weitekamp said.

The museum is screening the first episode, "The Man Trap," Thursday for a capacity crowd with a discussion to follow.

Friday night will feature a Smithsonian documentary called "Building Star Trek" and another film by the son the late Leonard Nimoy called "For the Love of Spock."

Despite the jokes non-Trekkies make about the TV franchise, “Star Trek” made an undeniable mark on many parts of our history.

"’Star Trek’ is an optimistic view of the future," local attorney Charles Hildebrandt said.

He is part of a group working to build the Museum of Science Fiction in the D.C. area. 

Scenes, like an interracial kiss in 1968, were “Star Trek's” bold and covert way of helping Americans face their demons, Hildebrandt said.

"Allowed them to talk about and discuss and confront the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, all these issues that most other entertainment can't even discuss," he said.

"Nichelle Nichols, who is the African-American actress who played Lt. Uhura in the original series, was actually recruited by NASA to recruit astronaut candidates when they wanted more women, more African-Americans, more Asian-Americans," Weitekamp said.

“Star Trek” also inspired things we now see in the real world. What Capt. Kirk called a communicator then, Motorola called the first flip phone in 1996 and revolutionized how we communicate.

"There are really a lot of things from automatic doors that you walk through at the grocery store to the iPad that you can look up your information on that really have some connections to ‘Star Trek,’" Weitekamp said.

Get more details on the Smithsonian’s celebration here

Syfy, an NBC Universal channel, is airing three “Star Trek” movies Thursday evening.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Lobsters of Long Beach: A Buttery Bash]]> Fri, 09 Sep 2016 12:56:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LBCGroupLobster.jpg

Ask to hear about the specials in a fancy-dancy seafood restaurant and the chances of something involving lobster — lobster bisque, lobster Thermidor, lobster pasta — receiving mention are on the high side.

It's one of those sumptuous suppers, and the traditional complement of butter in or near the dish only ups the specialness of the word "special."

But lobster-themed months qualify as "special," too, and, around Los Angeles, September is the most special of all. That's when a few lobster festivals traditionally have clustered together, and while the Port of Los Angeles party made a recent move to July, and Newport Beach makes a bib-fun stand in early August, Long Beach and Redondo Beach rule the school come the ninth month.

The Rainbow Lagoon lobster-tacular is up ASAP, from Sept. 9 through 11, and, once again, the organizers behind the Long Beach bash'll do it up, both on the food front and the get-up-and-have-fun front. 

Steamed Maine lobsters, with cut lemons and butter dipping sauce and dinner rolls and coleslaw make up the meal end of things, but you'll want to check out all the dining-related packages, to make sure you alight upon the eating experience that suits your lobster-loving self the best. Best (dinner) roll this way to see the whole line-up.

The away-from-the-table happenings are plentiful, from live tunes to karaoke opportunities to comedy-magic stylings to kid-cute to-dos. Will you continue to wear your lobster bib as you step up to the stage to karaoke? It could be a nice sartorial touch.

Has September long been your special month for that special-of-specials, the lobster? Your twofer of tasty to-dos starts now, or on Sept. 9, in Long Beach, with Redondo Beach up later in the month.

Photo Credit: Long Beach Lobster Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Halloween Time at Disneyland]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 08:58:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/htatdisney2016.jpg

Halloween Time Begins: If you thought the spookiest holiday was still a wicked ways off, ponder this: Disneyland Resort is starting the frightful festivities on Friday, Sept. 9. This means that the Haunted Mansion is wearing its "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" finery, yes, and that Mickey's Halloween Party, the select-night costume-up to-do is on the way. And will there be pumpkins out along Main Street and Disney villains glowering (good-naturedly) at guests? You got it, Grim Grinning Ghost fans. 

Long Beach Lobster Festival: The ninth month of the year and the donning of plastic bibs is forever entwined in many a Southern Californian's mind, and for fine reason: September is when a few of the big lobster fests unfurl. This one's at Rainbow Lagoon, the steamed lobster arrives with the classic trimmings, and dancing, karaoke, and more after-lobster-eating-ing shall go down. The dates? This is a three-dayer, from Friday, Sept. 9 through Sunday, Sept. 11. 

Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon: Cheer on foam-riding pups as they help out other pups at the Helen Woodward Animal Center fundraiser. The dogs'll be salty in Del Mar, but you don't need to register your own Lassie to hang ten (er, twenty). There are vendors to browse, an agility course for the furry ones, and an on-the-land costume contest. And if you dig surfing dogs, hang tight: Huntington Beach's annual to-do is in a few weeks. But up next? The Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon catches a wave on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Public Star Party: September 2016 is quite the eclipse-y month, with a solar eclipse kicking things off on Sept. 1 and a penumbral lunar eclipse arriving on Sept. 16. If this has your thoughts turning skyward, you, and your wallet, are in luck: The next free look-up lark at Griffith Observatory is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10. It's not an eclipse-filled night, but count on learning some cool things about the cosmos (and seeing them, too, through the on-site telescopes).

PaleyFest Fall TV Preview: If you know PaleyFest, you know that the small-screen spectacular lands in the springtime (and includes panels featuring stars and creative honchos talking about beloved series). The September outing of the festival is all about shows on the horizon, those fresh titles and stories just revving up at the gate. A few already-on-the-air shows, like "The Mindy Project," will get a night on The Paley Center for Media stage, too. The Sept. 8 through 15 schedule? It's right here.

Photo Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer]]>
<![CDATA[Tim Burton: New Hollywood Handprints]]> Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:42:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tburtonbobfreeman.jpg

Spy a hand reaching for something in a Tim Burton film, and you can count on the object in question being mysterious and/or eerie and/or beautiful and/or extraordinary.

Think of Jack Skellington grasping a delicate snowflake in his elegantly bony fingers or Adam placing tiny homes around his model town in "Beetlejuice." And, of course, you have what qualifies as moviedom's most famous set of fingers, those shiny and sharp digits belonging to Edward Scissorhands.

The funnily frightful filmmaker's own hands now have a tale to tell, via a set of prints left at the TCL Chinese Theatre forecourt in Hollywood. In addition to the traditional handprints, Mr. Burton also stepped into a square of wet cement on Thursday, Sept. 8, giving fans the chance to one day place their own shoes inside his for a moment.

The occasion had its touching ties to both man and place, for seven of the filmmaker's movies have premiered at the historic Tinseltown cinema. And while he is apt to visit fictional lands for his highly visual tales, let us pause to applaud 1994's "Ed Wood," a work that is lush with love for Hollywood. (Yep, Boardner's, which is just down the street from the theater, makes an atmospheric cameo.)

As with all TCL Chinese Theatre ceremonies, the director's came with a delightful stop-by courtesy of a longtime friend, which was, in Mr. Burton's case, Winona Ryder. The actor, seen currently on "Stranger Things," introduced Mr. Burton, a creative partner she's worked with on multiple whimsy-packed projects, from "Beetlejuice" to "Edward Scissorhands" to "Frankenweenie."

Next up for the director, post-handprints? "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" debuts on the final day of September 2016.

Photo Credit: Bob Freeman/TCL Chinese Theatre]]>
<![CDATA[Pixar Tech: California Science Center Exhibit]]> Fri, 09 Sep 2016 21:13:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/MikeandSulleysciencepixar.jpg

Let's just get something straight from the get-go: Radiator Springs, Monstropolis, the Axiom are all real locations, true story, and Woody and Buzz Lightyear and Lightning McQueen and WALL-E absolutely exist, too... in our hearts.

The feelings for Pixar places and people (and robots and toys and cars) run strong among fans of the company's dandy line-up of films, and delving deeper into how these characters and worlds are created, from a technological angle, will only enhance our positive emotions for "Toy Story" and "Monsters, Inc." and the 15 other heart-tuggable features the Emeryville-based studio has masterfully created.

The California Science Center will dig into just exactly how a Pixar story wends its way to the screen when The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition debuts on Saturday, Oct. 15.

It's the large-scale exhibit's West Coast premiere, one that includes hands-on activities spread over a sizable (as in 12,000-square-feet) space.

Kids and bigger kids shall learn how animators employ modeling, simulations, rendering, rigging, lighting, and a host of other complex and marvel-filled tech-cool techniques to give Sulley his teal-purple fur, Nemo his clownfish scales, and all of those "Up" balloons their color, movement, and presence.

STEM, in short, will be in full effect throughout the show, revealing how the mysteries of art and the principles of science can weave together to create a perfect and perfectly satisfying blend of both disciplines.

And if you need a snapshot with Buzz Lightyear or WALL-E or Sulley or Dory or Edna Mode — "no capes!" — look for "human-size recreations" dotting the exhibit. Over "40 interactive exhibit elements" play a part of The Science Behind Pixar, filling out the Pixar universe in detailed and delightful ways.

Have an aspiring animator in the family? Simply adore funny films lush with feeling? Is everything in Pixar real to you, from Bing Bong of "Inside Out" to WALL-E's bff Hal the cockroach?

Secure your ticket now.

(And, no joke, everything in Pixar is totally 100% real, according to our emotions, no argument, let's not even go there, done. We mean, the scene in "Toy Story 3"? Please. Don't argue with your heart strings on this one.)

Photo Credit: Kristina Kurasz]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Griffith Observatory Star Party]]> Fri, 09 Sep 2016 06:26:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/freepublicstarpartyGettyImages-72370592.jpg

The moon will never reach down and tap us on the shoulder, and the sun isn't going to send an alert to our phone (though, of course, the sun has different ways of grabbing our attention, from illuminating our world to the occasional sunburn).

Wish as we will, we humans are not receiving urgent reminders from beyond-our-world phenomena, the sort of memos and mail we receive from the must-dos in our daily lives.

But every so often something like a couple of eclipses in the space of a fortnight, and even a nifty double eclipse, is akin to the most eye-catching of phone alerts. We're prodded to look up at what's happening in the universe.

You can browse the "what's new" alerts from the universe at Griffith Observatory's Free Public Star Party, a monthly meet-up which finds a caboodle of powerful telescopes lining the landmark's vast lawn and grounds.

Will the Saturday, Sept. 10 gathering catch an eclipse? It's actually smack dab between September's two sky shows (the Sept. 1 solar eclipse and the Sept. 16 lunar event), but you can chat up astronomers about those events and find out just what is going down with moon shadows, earth shadows, and the sun's mega-super-epic role in both. 

Perhaps, though, you'll be able to see Mars or Saturn through some incredible lenses, or admire the star Spica and the constellation of Virgo.

We terrestrials might benefit from phone alerts from the cosmos, but they'd be alerting us every day to the marvels over our heads (and, more accurately, all around us), and not just when an eclipse comes back around.

A chance to delve into that, for free, next to one of the solar system's superstar observatories, is a chance to plug into what goes down nightly above us.

Oh, and it's the 50th anniversary of "Star Trek," and there are few better ways to celebrate than making a date with deep space.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Coaster Art Exhibit]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:56:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Sep_laluz2coaster.jpg

When it comes to the creation of art, there's no strict rule about A) the size of a canvas or B) where the canvas originated or C) what might or might not be employed in the making of a memorable visual piece.

So while we might long to swing by a store and get the whole top-to-bottom make-some-art dealie, easel and ergonomic chair included, we can get started with the coasters we pocketed at the last tavern we visited.

It's this inventive and slightly cheeky spirit that rules the yearly The Coaster Show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Feliz. The premise is as clear as an unfilled pint glass: Coasters star as wee canvases, welcoming all of the whimsy and/or strangeness and/or beauty that can fit within a four-inch space.

Also known as the space typically reserved for the wet ring created by the bottom of a bottle.

The 4th annual show features the work of artists like Frank Forte, Jay E. Moyes, and Daisuke Okamoto. The topics? Look for birds, Frankenstein, multimedia coasters, movie tributes ("Raiders of the Lost Ark" and such), abstract paintings, and more.

What might you create within the space a coaster affords? And would you prefer a round drink holder or one that is square to work with? True, square coasters are a bit rarer, but still would make a fine canvas for a lean-in-closer piece.

The gallery is located inside the Soap Plant/Wacko and the show? That's on through Sunday, Oct. 2. Be sure to visit the handsome and hue-free Mark Todd comicbook covers, too, which are also on display with the dozens of coaster artworks.

Photo Credit: La Luz de Jesus]]>
<![CDATA[Emmy Governors Ball Preview]]> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 14:23:52 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Emmy_Governors_Ball_Preview_What_the_Stars_Will_be_Eating_1200x675_759771715767.jpg A preview of what stars will be eating and drinking at the Emmy Governors Ball. Ted Chen reports live for NBC4 News at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. ]]> <![CDATA[Tall Ships Festival Sails into Dana Point]]> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 18:49:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/wassmann_tallships_IMG_7932s.jpg

Labor Day Weekend has its longstanding traditions, from backyard cookouts to 5Ks to community picnics.

But the weekend following Labor Day is, around Dana Point, very much about one striking thing: the tall ships. We speak of those mammoth-of-mast, big-of-bow vessels that recall another century when terms like "seafaring" held sway, and we speak of fans turning out, waterside, to admire them, and board them, too.

The Tall Ship Festival will once again return to Dana Point Harbor for three days of sailing opportunities, dockside delights, a Sails 'n Ales party, on-deck tours, legend-filled storytelling, mermaid talks, and re-enactor meet & greets.

Don your tri-cornered hat and turn your boat, or, erm, car, for Dana Point from Friday, Sept. 9 through Sunday, Sept. 11.

The landlubbery larks are plentiful, and there are a few different harbor-close locations involved, from the Historic Maritime Wharf to the Samueli Conference Center. Best square away your crew on what everyone wants to do (your salty scheduler is right here).

The on-the-water wonders are equally as epic, with cameos from some of the best-known tall ships around. Look for The Brig Pilgrim, Spirit of Dana Point, Bill of Rights, Californian, and other photo-ready sea-worthy wonders. Truly, each ship in the line-up is a star in its own right, and a visit from one to the harbor would draw devotees aplenty. 

Your full line-up of the historically accurate vessels has dropped anchor thisaway.

As for the famous and much-photographed Sunset Parade Sail? That always happens on the opening afternoon, which, in 2016, is Sept. 9. 

You don't need a compass to find the breeches-and-barnacles bash, a party piloted by the Ocean Institute; you only need to dip your oar in the waves, over and over, with a final stop at Dana Point Harbor. 

Cameras are out in photo-amazing force at this one, as is a devotion to the ocean and those storied structures rightly known as the tall ships.

Photo Credit: Cliff Wassmann Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Rubel Castle: Glendora Landmark]]> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 08:10:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/rubelglendora.jpg

Finding a castle in California is actually easier than it sounds, despite the fact that our state is given less to drawbridges and turrets and more to ranch-style homes and Spanish stucco structures.

You can admire art in a castle, at Hearst Castle in San Simeon. You can make a wish alongside a castle, at Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle (and the adjacent Snow White's Wishing Well, of course).

And sleeping over in a fairy tale-style building? Well, Riverside's Mission Inn Hotel & Spa doesn't have "castle" in its name, but few would argue that its tower-laden look draws from the ye olde castles of olde.

There are even, on occasion, live-in castles around the Golden State. True, an Oak Glen castle, complete with grassy moat, recently went into escrow, but there is Rubel Castle of Glendora to keep in mind, a handbuilt, made-with-love landmark that contains a few for-rent residences.

They're currently occupied by artists a recent tour revealed, but strolling the grounds of Michael Rubel's dream project, a wonderous home that took decades to come together, is possible. Decades and many local volunteers, as well as a host of offbeat and photo-worthy materials, both donated and gathered.

The Glendora Historical Society leads tours of Rubel Castle on select days each month, providing guests with a deeper experience of one of Southern California's most distinctive domiciles.

It's a property with its roots in the long-ago citrus packing industry of the San Gabriel Valley, but Rubel Castle came into being when Michael Rubel and his mom took up residence in the on-site packing house in the 1960s.

Mr. Rubel had a bigger vision beyond the historic house: a castle. He soon began pouring concrete, placing river rocks in walls, collecting interesting odds 'n ends, and including anyone in the area who wanted to lend a hand to this big-of-vision project, an honest-to-Glendora castle.

A castle with tons of charming quirks, from silverware to bottles to typewriters and bicycle parts mortared into the walls to wandering chickens to a beautiful clock tower. It even starred in a T-Mobile commercial as none other than Dr. Frankenstein's castle.

"Idiosyncratic" might be one word to describe the large and rambling space, but "full of heart" is more apt. It clearly came together with passion, humor, seat-of-the-pants-y inspiration, and the joy of a bunch of people pitching in, simply to see something monumental and whimsical come together over many years.

You'll need to reserve a spot on a tour, which costs ten dollars for an adult. Sturdy shoes are a fine idea, too, as you'll stroll the surrounding grounds, as well as some stairs and passages.

Mr. Rubel passed away nearly a decade ago, but he had given the Glendora Historical Society his life's work, the castle that stands dramatically near the mountains. 

It's a treasure, one that is on the National Register of Historic Places, so generations of Californians can see what a built-by-hand castle looks like. As for those apartments within its high walls? They're desired, of course, but once people fall in love with Rubel Castle, it can become a longtime relationship.

We Californians do adore our castles, though, whether for living in, visiting, spending a night, or the making of wishes. Glendora's Rubel Castle provides a visit opportunity for most people, though one senses that many wishes, and a little magic, went into its multi-decade construction.

Photo Credit: Alysia Gray Painter]]>
<![CDATA[The LA You May Not Know: Take Me Out To The Ball Game]]> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 21:20:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/la+you+may+not+know+160906.JPG Our national pastime's anthem "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" has a few Southern California connections. It's part of the LA You May Not Know. Hosted by Lexi Campbell. Learn more about the Laguna Beach Indy, the Laguna Beach Little League and the Melrose Abbey Memorial Park Cemetery here. (Produced by Patrick Campbell)

Photo Credit: Patrick Campbell]]>
<![CDATA['Nightmare' Fun: Danny Elfman at Hollywood Bowl]]> Tue, 06 Sep 2016 18:51:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/deGettyImages-479743264.jpg

Traveling to Halloween Town, if you're a fan of 1993's "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas," may be a dream, but ultimately it is something of a sticky wicket.

You need to locate the right tree, with the right door, and then gingerly proceed to Holiday World, with the hope you don't find yourself in the middle of a madcap caper deviously devised by Lock, Shock, and Barrel.

Perhaps easier than locating the entrance to Halloween Town, though, is finding your way to the Hollywood Bowl on Halloween Eve Eve and/or Halloween Eve. None other than Jack Skellington himself, Mr. Danny Elfman, is making a dramatic return for two nights of "Nightmare"-flavored drama and delight.

Halloween Eve Eve and Halloween Eve, of course, is a ghouly way to say Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. The ticket on-sale date? The not-too-ghouly date of Friday, Sept. 9 at the highly unghouly hour of 10 o'clock in the morning.

We said "dramatic return" earlier and we emphatically meant it: The film's iconic composer sang his Jack-joyful heart out as the stop-motion classic screened over two nights in 2015, alongside a host of goosebump-delivering performers and a full orchestra (and, yes, some original cast members stopped by to reprise a role or croon a ditty, which also delivered the goosebumps).

Did all of this Halloween-happiness sell out quicker than Jack Skellington slides down a snowy rooftop? Yes.

Will it again? Yes. (Note that there is some pre-sale action going on ahead of Sept. 9, including via KROQ.)

Do people dress up? Oh sweet Zero, do they. If you need Sally-sartorial inspiration, check out the new gingerbread house in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, which is debuting on Friday, Sept. 9 as part of the theme park's Halloween Time. 

Is there actually a Halloween Town? In our hearts and on our DVD shelves, forever. But, yes, locally there is a store called Halloween Town, in Burbank, and while it isn't strictly "Nightmare"-related, it is packed with eerie goods aplenty.

Might Danny Elfman perform "Dead Man's Party" at the end of the show, like he did to much acclaim in 2015? The Oingo Boingo favorite is as Halloween as a pumpkin, that is a true fact. Who knows? Best be there and seeeee... (cue an Elfman-esque overture).

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[EverWalk: Join Diana Nyad's Fresh Trek]]> Tue, 06 Sep 2016 12:43:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/everwalkphotobyDalmiroQuiroga.jpg

Plop down in front of your computer, or on the couch with your tablet or phone in hand, and you're bound to scroll by one of the major stories of the modern day: We all sit too much.

It's a timely topic that's spurred at-work exercise classes to treadmill desks, but, above all, experts have implored people to simply get out and get some fresh air on a regular basis.

Lauded athlete Diana Nyad knows rather a lot about that concept. She completed the 110.86-mile swim from Cuba to Florida over Labor Day Weekend in 2013, but her big goals didn't stop with that applause-worthy, shark-cageless crossing (a first-ever moment for any swimmer, by the by).

Now Ms. Nyad, along with her expedition leader Bonnie Stoll, is taking that health-happy approach to trekking, via her new EverWalk events.

Billed as the "biggest walking initiative in American History," EverWalk will unfurl in several states, stretching between towns and providing participants with a vigorous multi-day get-out, get-moving goal.

And the first EverWalk is happening right here, from Los Angeles to San Diego, from Sunday, Oct. 23 through Saturday, Oct. 29. 

If you're adding up distances in your head, here's the general outlook: The trek'll cover about 20 miles a day, give or take, with a Santa Monica start and a Point Loma finish.

Day 4, the Wednesday walk, covers Costa Mesa to Laguna Niguel, for example. Look for a rest stop about every five miles, one that includes some water, some sustenance, some "inspiration and other services to empower the EverWalk community to complete their journey." 

There are a few ways to approach the walk, from the "Half Tripper" option to the "First Legger," should the entire stretch not be in the cards for you.

Walkers will enjoy some pretty sights along that route, for sure. Other City2City treks will cover "the beautiful outdoor corridors of America," so if long-walking is your passion, and you are eager to be a part of more EverWalks, best follow where the initiative will stretch a leg next.

"The Cuba Swim was an epic journey for me and my team," said Diana Nyad. "I want the American public to have their own epic experience. That's the soul of EverWalk. Each EverWalker, from 5K up to the whole 7-day trek to virtual participants, will be part of the Revolution to evolve us from a sedentary to a moving culture."

Boston, New York, and Philadelphia are all to come for this get-moving gathering. For more information, and to join the first walk, the California walk, tie on your tennies and make strides now.

Photo Credit: Dalmiro Quiroga]]>
<![CDATA[Day-to-Night Bash: LA Neon Jubilee]]> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 12:26:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/velaslavasaynight.jpg

The Golden State is very much about its various illumination sources, whether it involves a full moon hike in one of our treasured national parks or the sun dipping into the Pacific Ocean each evening.

Of course, our sun and moon obsessions make sense, given that California's very nickname glows. And it's no surprise that our glowful state is home to many natty neon signs, those roadside eye-catchers that cast a colorful light on everything from diners to motels to bowling alleys.

Los Angeles has plenty of retro neon to crow — er, glow — about, and one of the loveliest theater examples is The Union's marquee. The Velaslavaslay Panorama has called the 1939 building home for several years, but the sign is getting a grand relighting on Saturday, Sept. 10, a come-one-come-all hullabaloo with history at its heart.

The relighting isn't only about the marquee. It's also the Los Angeles International Neon Jubilee, a free afternoon affair that'll include cameos from the Bob Baker Marionettes, the Echo Park Film Center (which will be on hand with nifty activities), and the dancing-on-roller-skates LA Rollers.

Once evening arrives, and the turning on of the marquee's neon, things get ticketed, all in support of the jubilee and the spiffying-up of the sign. A ticket is $20.16 (easy to remember), though Velaslavasay Panorama Enthusiast Society members pay $18.98 ("the year NEON was discovered!").

You'll want to RSVP for the free, earlier-in-the-day doings, and secure your evening ticket in advance for this community-cool, old-fashioned-fun, charms-aplenty celebration of the buzziest incandescence around.

"Buzziest," of course, in two senses. Neon has buzz, or cachet, if you prefer, now and always, and that buzzy sound the tubes make, up close, is truly a sound that can't quite be replicated by anything else.

Throw this fabulous buzz-worthy light source a party already.

Photo Credit: Velaslavasay Panorama]]>
<![CDATA[Green Chile Roasting: (Almost) a Wrap]]> Tue, 06 Sep 2016 08:47:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/greenchileroast2016.jpg

Chile, as in Hatch-grown chile, as in the piquant peppers used in countless ways in hundreds of New Mexican dishes, as in the bright green fruit that ends in an "e" (and not an "i"), has had its day in the Southern California sun.

That sun isn't setting quite yet. But consider this an urgent missive to the dear chileheads of LA and beyond: We are at our final heat-happy hour of the 2016 crop, at least in terms of finding the good green stuff freshly roasted in a regional zip code.

For while our local roasting parties fired up around the middle of August, filling grocery store parking lots with that sweet, slightly woodsy, but ultimately indescribable fragrance of chile peppers over fire, they're winding down, and ahead of autumn's official start, too.

This is where it gets tricky, because Hatch chile is one of the unofficial foods of autumn and winter, an add-in ingredient that makes heartier fare full of the fuego. 

But the roasting'll be done well before the start of fall, on Sept. 22, so best clear Sept. 9 or 10 and get to one of the final spots on the Southern California list (a list provided by Melissa's Produce, which has trucked in sack after sack of the spicy pods).

Pavilions West Hollywood'll have the roasters turning on Saturday, Sept. 10, as will Bristol Farms in Santa Monica. A few spots around Orange County, including the Gelson's in Dana Point, will host Sept. 10 roasts, too.

See for yourself, though: This is it, chile-wise, for another year, and the ever-popular, obsessed-over, social-media'd foodstuff, a superstar of late summer, is ending its see-it-roasted-live run for now.

Can your breakfast burritos and chimichangas go without chile's particular flavor wow for the next several months?

Thought not.

It's that serious and that delicious, whether you go mild, medium, hot, extra hot, or the extremely yowza-packed peppers that seem to laugh good-naturedly in the face of the Scoville scale.

Photo Credit: Alysia Gray Painter]]>
<![CDATA['Willy Wonka' at 45: Burbank Film Festival]]> Mon, 05 Sep 2016 21:12:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/genewilderwillywonkawarnerbros.jpg

Film festivals flower all over the planet, with many concentrated in and around Southern California.

But a film festival centered in the Media Capital of the World has a certain cachet and natural cinema-cool cred that few other places can replicate. After all, when many movies are born and created within your borders, a party to celebrate some of the best recent movies, and a few retro favorites, feels especially lovely and local.

That local-lively movie love will be in the air at the Burbank International Film Festival, which is heading into its 8th year in 2016. Downtown Burbank is the spot — the Burbank AMC 16, to be specific — and the five-day cinespectacular rolls from Wednesday, Sept. 7 through Sunday, Sept. 11.

Five days will definitely be needed to make sure all 140 works get their time on screen. A few classic favorites will have anniversary screenings including "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," which turned 45 in 2016. Fans will gather to remember Gene Wilder, who passed away at the end of August, and enjoy his top-hatted turn as the magical confectioner.

The 30th anniversaries of "Top Gun" and "Aliens" will also be a part of the festival's full-to-brimming run.

As for the debuting and newer flicks? A dozen of those are world premieres and nearly two dozen hail from outside the U.S. (14 countries are represented). And as for shorts? They'll be in the swirl, as well as one very special award.

It's the Garry Marshall Spirit Award, a moving tribute to the entertainment icon who passed away in July. The award will be handed out each year, but 2016 is its inaugural go, making it a meaningful moment for recipient and those who knew Mr. Marshall, both.

For the full grid on what is playing when, make for the festival's HQ, and connect with what the Media Capital of the World is pretty darn famous for doing: Making oh-so-watchable stories, the kind that can be savored over a few meaty minutes or a couple of deep-dive hours.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.]]>
<![CDATA[California Beer Festival Arrives in SoCal]]> Mon, 05 Sep 2016 12:45:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/CaliforniaBeerFestival2010.jpg

Beer-themed trails and specialty brewery tours have risen, like so much flavorful foam, from a specialized area of the getaway sector to something many a craft brew buff dreams of doing one day.

But actually making the time to reach a favorite brewhouse, and find a place to stay nearby, is another matter in our busy workaday worlds. There is, however, an on-the-road event which brings together bunches of top-notch brewers and heads out to the fans each year, as it has done since 2009.

It's the California Beer Festival, and, as is tradition, it made its early-summer start in Northern California, calling upon Marin County and Santa Cruz with dozens of Golden States suds in tow.

Now it is Southern California's turn, and the go-to spots are the ones you know from previous years: San Dimas and Ventura.

The San Dimas weekend falls on Saturday, Sept. 10 and Sunday, Sept. 11. Frank G. Bonelli Park is the place, the student athlete-backing Gen Giammanco Foundation is the beneficiary, Saturday is the beer sampling day and Sunday is the Sunday Funday family day. 

Tickets, including your designated driver? Find them here.

The Ventura weekend follows a week later, but this one's a three-dayer, from Sept. 16 through the 18th. A food & beer pairing happening, craft beer tastings on Saturday, and a country-themed party on Sunday are on the schedule. Designated driver tickets, deeper info, info on the day's beneficiaries (Downtown Ventura Organization and Gen Giammanco Foundation) and some of the brewhouses set to show? All thisaway.

The California Beer Festival is a summer staple, but summer is winding right on down. If you haven't taken the brewery tour trip you wanted to this year, count on this large-scale lagers-and-more to-do to bring your next favorite brew to you, or at least one or two you might like a whole lot.

Photo Credit: California Beer Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Operation Gratitude Care Packages]]> Mon, 05 Sep 2016 09:11:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/OperationGratassemblyboxes.jpg

Expressing your true thanks is done in myriad ways, from a few lines jotted on a piece of paper to a few hours spent assembling care packages, boxes that brim with sheer appreciativeness.

You can roll up your sleeves and get down to both kind acts on Sunday, Sept. 11 when a bevy of volunteers will line up to fill hundreds of Operation Gratitude boxes.

It's likely you've heard about these boxes, since over 1,600,000 have been put together and shipped out to date. The non-profit organization, which is based in Chatsworth, keeps active military members, as well as veterans and first responders, at heart as it goes about its big-of-scope mission.

That mission will take on a special poignancy at the next gathering, which will keep the memory of the Sept. 11, 2001 in mind, and the first responders who arrived to help, comfort, and give their all.

The First Responder Appreciation Day will draw volunteers from fire departments and police departments around Southern California, as well as organizations, groups, and individuals who want to play a part in the major package-assembling event, as a way to say thanks.

The Care Kit Program has been around for 13 years, and while many packages are shipped to military members serving overseas, the First Responder Appreciation Day boxes "will be distributed to Los Angeles Police Officers, Firefighters, and Emergency Medical Technicians" serving our region.

Have a few hours to give on the morning of Sept. 11? Sign up here to volunteer, and let the organizers know you'll be in Chatsworth that day, with sleeves rolled up and box-assembly skills at the ready. And, of course, gratitude on full display.

Photo Credit: Jessica Bernstein]]>
<![CDATA[Labor Day in LA: March, Concert, Fleet Week]]> Mon, 05 Sep 2016 07:44:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/labor+day+beach+generic.JPG

Labor Day will be marked in Los Angeles Monday by a march, rally and barbecue in Wilmington, a music festival in Exposition Park and other events.

Labor Day March

The theme of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition's 37th annual Labor Day March and Rally is "One Goal, Many Voices." Thousands of union members, their families, supporters and friends, are expected for the march, which will begin at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Broad Avenue and E Street, go east on E Street to Avalon Boulevard, continue north on Avalon Boulevard to M Street, concluding at Banning Park, where a rally and barbecue will begin at noon.

Nightshift Festival

The fifth annual Nightshift festival is billed by organizers as the biggest Labor Day event on the West Coast. Performers include Snoop Dogg, Los Lonely Boys, Poncho Sanchez, Victor Orlando & Fun-Ja-La, the Dennis Jones Band, Korduroy, Mahkenna, Martay, That Infernal Machine and Thunder Snatch.

Doors open at 11 a.m. with the opening act taking the stage at 12:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $20.

The festival is organized by Working Californians, which describes itself as a nonprofit research and advocacy organization consisting of a coalition of innovators, entrepreneurs, labor groups, public opinion research and community engagement professionals, public policy experts, entertainment industry executives, community leaders and policy makers.

Fleet Week

The annual event celebrating ships representing the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and Coast Guard wraps up Monday in and around the Port of Los Angeles. 

Labor Day Reminders

Government offices, courts, schools, libraries, banks and post offices will be closed today for the Labor Day holiday. Trash collection in the city of Los Angeles will be pushed back by one day, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation.

All Metro-operated buses and trains will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule. For information on Metro schedules, visit www.metro.net, or call (800) COMMUTE. Metrolink trains will not be operating. The agency will offer two round trips via buses following the route of the Antelope Valley Line between Lancaster and Union Station. More information is available at www.metrolinktrains.com or by calling (800) 371- LINK.

The following Foothill Transit lines will run on a weekend schedule: 178, 185, 187, 195, 197, 269, 272, 274, 280, 281, 282, 284, 285, 286, 289, 291, 480, 482, 486, 488, 492 and the Silver Streak. No other lines will be running.

About Labor Day

Labor Day, a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the nation, was first celebrated in the U.S. on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City. In 1887, Oregon became the first state to formally recognize Labor Day. By 1894, 31 of the then 44 states had made Labor Day a holiday when Congress passed a bill designating the first Monday in September a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and territories.

<![CDATA[National Cheese Pizza Day: It's Happening]]> Fri, 02 Sep 2016 16:57:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cheesepizza_good.jpg

Some people gaze upon a straight-from-the-oven pizza pie and think "why doesn't that pepperoni olive ham onion tomato mushroom pizza have more toppings?"

While others see the loaded disc and think "I can't see the cheese."

If you're the sort of snacker who prefers his pizza without a bundle of add-ons obscuring the layer of mozzarella separating the sauce from the surface, then take gooey, happy heart in the fact that Monday, Sept. 5 is National Cheese Pizza Day.

As if we needed one more sign that pizza is everyone's favorite dish, its national holidays are broken down by types and not simply an all-encompassing "National Pizza Day" (though, of course, there is such a date on the food calendar, too).

So, cheesy pie people, how will you honor the keep-those-toppings-away occasion?

A straight-up at home cheddar, sauce, and dough creation is easy enough to make, and many a shopper has the foresight to keep these essentials on hand. (And it doesn't even have to be dough, as an English muffin or tortilla nicely does in a pinch.)

If you make a beeline for some restaurant 'za on Sept. 5 — and, yes, you're allowed to say "'za" on pizza-based national holidays — consider a stop at Hungry Howie's, which has a special on for the special day: a 5-cent medium cheese pizza when the buyer purchases a large pizza with at least one topping. (In fact, this special is happening "all weekend long" at the Hungry Howie's restaurants.) 

Could that topping be more cheese? Well, if cheese is your jam, then why not? It's also worth noting that your 5-cent special can also include a topping, if you don't want to go straight-up cheese. 

But surely you will, if you're a cheese pizza person, because that's a pretty darn dedicated group. Do you pick the olives off your slice and donate them to a friend? Same with the pepperoni? Yeah, this is your holiday.

If you happen to be a pepperoni-mad maven, hang tight: Sept. 20 is National Pepperoni Pizza Day. You know, of course, that Oct. 11 is National Sausage Pizza Day, and Nov. 12 is National Pizza with the Works (Except Anchovies) Day. 

Truly, it is an icon among icons, pizza, to be bestowed with some many holiday variations on one gooey, savory, cheese-stringy theme.

Photo Credit: Cheese Pizza]]>
<![CDATA[Hoods Up Weekend at the Petersen]]> Sat, 03 Sep 2016 16:25:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hoodsuppetersenlabor.jpg

Pulling up alongside a dream machine at a stoplight can give a car connoisseur a few seconds of design-delightful bliss. 

You can admire the automobile's sleek lines, and the way one window seems to flow into the next. You can appraise the eye-popping hue, and the handsome headlights, and, if you're lucky, you might even get a quick glance at the sumptuous interior.

But taking even the briefest of peeks under the work of art's shiny hood? That's never going to happen, not with a gorgeous vehicle you happen to pass by, for a moment, on the street.

Fret not, however, for seeing what's under the hood, or rather 25 hoods, of some ultimate autos is in the works at the Petersen Automotive Museum over Labor Day Weekend.

True, most of the cars on display at the museum are typically shown with their hoods firmly clasped, but that won't be the case from Saturday, Sept. 3 through Monday, Sept. 5.

So what's on the wander-by roster of Hoods Up Day? The Miracle Mile car institution mentions that Buick, Bugatti, Tucker, Delahaye, Dodge, and Toyota will play a part of the revved-up line-up.

Expect an "intimate viewing of the complex, big block and alternative powered motors that power some of the rarest cars in the world."

What's the admission for this deeper look at what exactly makes an auto go from standing still to full zoom? The admission to the museum, which is fifteen dollars for an adult guest, $7 for guests ages 3 to 12.

It's not a separate ticket, in short, to visit Hoods Up Day. And you won't need a different ticket to eye the dozens of other wonders that call the recently redesigned museum home (including, yes, the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 from "Back to the Future," another recent acquisition).

What makes a fine auto go, go, go? Hoods Up Day is on the way, lookie-loos.

Photo Credit: Petersen Automotive Museum]]>