<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSat, 19 Aug 2017 15:34:11 -0700Sat, 19 Aug 2017 15:34:11 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[JPL Visits Kidspace: Solar Eclipse Fun]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:21:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/seGettyImages-830378050.jpg

If only the sun and moon knew what an excited fuss we earthlings are making over their upcoming spin across the cosmic dance floor.

It wouldn't change their paths, of course, nor their plans to "meet up," solar eclipse-style, on the morning of Monday, Aug. 21.

Make that partial solar eclipse-style, at least around Southern California. But don't let the "partial" part sway or deter you; many people will be out, in sky-staring droves, all to watch the rare and amazing event via a pair of approved solar sunglasses or with a nifty pinhole viewer at the ready.

Two famous neighbors, or near-neighbors, at least, will pair up for the out-of-this-world party on Aug. 21: the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Kidspace Children's Museum. JPL will do the traveling — as it typically does, though to places such as Mars — and Kidspace will play the host for a morning of eclipse amazement. 

On the rocket? We mean docket, rather?

Tots and their families will be able to make pinhole viewers at the Imagination Workshop, while JPL is arriving with the solar eclipse sunglasses you'll need (plan on a beautiful exercise in sharing and turn-taking, as each family will receive one pair). Decorating glasses, too, is on the activity list.

And the Discovery Dome planetarium? Check it out at the Stone Hollow Amphitheater, and discover what "the total eclipse looks like."

There'll also be an opportunity to view the eclipse around the country, too, via the NASA live stream.

Not everyone will be able to say that they got to hang out with representatives from JPL during the eclipse. Or that they found nifty things to do at Kidspace. It's a cool way for families to join the fascinating fun in a kid-sweet setting.

Were you a kid during the solar eclipse of '79? Find that same wonder with your own young'un, in Pasadena, on Aug. 21.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Solar Eclipse: Doughnuts and Cupcakes]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:46:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/KrispyKremeSprinkles1.jpg

Watching an eclipse seems like a straightforward, stay-still activity. But if we're talking about a solar eclipse, you can bet your hands will be busy.

You'll either be holding your pinhole camera, which will allow you to admire the event via a safe-to-gaze-at shadow, or you'll be making sure that your approved solar eclipse glasses are staying snugly in place, also for safety reasons.

Which all leads to this: You'll need to devour your special solar eclipse-themed treats just before or after the Monday, Aug. 21 happening.

Good thing, then, that both Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Sprinkles Cupcakes are starting the "eclipse edibles" party going a few days early, in case sky-watchers want to start the celebration in advance.

The Krispy Kreme treat? It's an Original Glazed Doughnut that's lusciously enrobed in chocolate glaze. If you can't remember this ever happening before, well, it is the first time, making it a must-try for both eclipse aficionados and devoted Krispy Kremers.

The limited-time Eclipse Doughnut will be available during the company's "Hot Light" hours on Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sunday, Aug. 20 (doughnut devotees, you know what the famous Hot Light is, and how it keeps those just-made doughnuts toasty) and all day on Monday, Aug. 21.

Also? You'll also want to see if your local shop is participating in the creation of this cosmic confection.

Speaking of cosmic confections, Sprinkles Cupcakes is bringing back its Black Velvet Cupcake in honor of the sun-moon match-up. It's a three-days-only kind of deal, and it will be available at Sprinkles around the country.

What's inside? Dutch process black cocoa, mmm, and the topping is whipped chocolate ganache. As for the iconic Sprinkles dot on top? There is something eclipse-y to it, in appearance, so see for yourself, at least before you eat it.

And a fun update: Be one of the first 50 people in line at a Sprinkles on Monday, Aug. 21 and score a pay-nothing cupcake. Sweet.

As for the sun and moon? Not edible — the moon isn't made of cheese and the sun is rather too fiery for the palate — which means we'll have to find our celebratory eclipse munchies here on Earth.

Photo Credit: Krispy Kreme/Sprinkles]]>
<![CDATA[Rubik's Cube Showdown: Nisei Week Opens]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:15:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/RubiksHands.jpg

The colors of the Rubik's Cube — the reds and blues and greens and oranges and yellows and whites — have become iconic over the decades, it's true.

But let us also pause to pay touchable tribute to how each square feels under the pads of our fingers.

Hold the slightly-bigger-than-a-palm toy and, immediately, you can feel each distinct square, and the larger side grids that contain nine squares each. Nothing else feels like it, which is a perk, since Rubik's Cube fans spend a lot of time turning it over and over in hopes that all of the squares eventually match up.

Exception to the "lot of time" rule? The competitors in the Rubik's Cube showdowns that take place around the globe. These talented cube wielders aren't going to spend too long getting a tactile sense of the cube; rather, they're busy lining up all of those squares, hue by hue, with seemingly flying hands.

If you've only ever witnessed such feats online or TV, there's a chance to root for this cube-ruling titans in person, on Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center plaza.

It's the Nisei Week Rubik's Cube Open, overseen by the World Cube Association, and it opens Nisei Week Japanese Festival, a week-plus event that includes parades, performances, and a few memorable contests (hello, gyoza eating).

And we do mean "opens," for the Rubik's Cube event is scheduled to take place at 8 a.m. on Aug. 19. That means, if you're participating, you'll need to limber up those fingers bright 'n early.

If you're watching, you'll want to be in the area not long after dawn. 

The Rubik's Cube, which was invented by Erno Rubik, has been around for well over four decades now, drawing in new fans determined to solve its chromatic challenge in well under a minute. Or under five minutes. Or just solve it, however long it might take.

Are you still working on your cube, the one you got back in '82? Big props.

Happy Nisei Week, to all of the attendees and participants, and good luck to those Rubik's Cube masters, the people who know the cube so well they can almost feel what their next turn or twist should be, just by touch.

Photo Credit: Rubik's Cube]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: KCON LA 2017]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:51:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/KCONCONVENTIONWORKSHOP.jpg

KCON LA 2017: The mondo concerts at this mondo convention? They're huge, and bring out the fans by the thousands. But they're just one part of a energetic three-day convention devoted to KPOP, Korean television and movies, major celebrities, a host of cool merchandise, a line-up of workshops, and more. The groups on stage include Cosmic Girls, Astro, Girl's Day, and GOT7, but finding more merriment around the Los Angeles Convention Center and the Staples Center should be a snap. Join the festival devoted to "All Things Hallyu" from Friday, Aug. 18 through Sunday, Aug. 20.

Nisei Week Japanese Festival opens: Starting out a week-plus party with a Rubik's Cube-themed showdown? It's a memorable kick-off to a memorable, historic, and beautiful happening. A Grand Parade on Sunday, Aug. 20 in Little Tokyo is one highlight of many, but there are other must-dos still to come throughout the week, with the lovely Ondo event rounding it all out ahead of the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 27. The dates for the dinners, dances, and other hallowed happenings? Be in the downtown neighborhood from Aug. 19 through 27.

California Hot Sauce Expo: Do you happily habañero? Then you'll want to find your way to the City National Grove of Anaheim on Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sunday, Aug. 20. A Guinness Book of World Records Reaper Pepper Eating Contest is one hot-hot-hot highlight, but if you just want to shop the spicy merch and see the latest in caliente condiments, you can do that, too. Still, though, checking out the craft cocktail competition, and the burrito competition, too, might be high on your heat-it-up must-do list.

Art Deco Festival: What's the art-deco-iest place in all of Southern California? There are some major contenders for that title, but the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, is definitely one of the top spots, without argument. The fabled ocean-liner is undergoing some fixes right now, including a paint job, but this Aug. 19 and 20 party will celebrate its architecture and the style of the ship's first forays across the Atlantic (that was the 1930s). Some events are ticketed, so don your bowtie and fascinator and eye the roster now.

National Aviation Day: You don't need to purchase a plane ticket for Saturday, Aug. 19 to explore the wonders and marvels of flight. Just make wing for The Proud Bird, the recently refurbished restaurant that's just a hop/skip from LAX, and take a tour of the property, which includes 16 planes. There's a plane-themed cocktail, too, and a Make Your Own Plane craft for kids. The restaurant itself? It's now got a food bazaar vibe, if that further tempts you.

Photo Credit: KCON]]>
<![CDATA[National Aviation Day at The Proud Bird]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:15:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/proudbirdeatdrinkenjoytheride.JPG

One way to celebrate National Aviation Day, which takes flight on Saturday, Aug. 19?

Be on a plane, is the short and succinct answer.

But if you don't have a long-distance trip to take, and you won't be buckling in and looking over the safety instructions ahead of ascending to 35,000 feet, fret not. There are ways to learn more about flying machines, aviation history, and to have a little family-style fun in the process, too.

The Proud Bird can assist you with lift-off on the holiday, at least in terms of tours, plane-related crafts, and wing-related beverages, too. The recently refurbished restaurant — it shuttered for well over a year before re-opening with a new food bazaar approach in June 2017 — is inviting airplane aficionados to alight at the LAX-close spot on Aug. 19 for a day full of plane (and plain) fun.

At the top of the soar-ready schedule for those who want to get an eyeful of the real planes dotting the property of the '60s-era landmark?

A pay-nothing aviation tour. There are 16 planes on the property, and the chance to learn a bit about the aircrafts, with a guide at the lead, is a one not to be missed, especially if you've visited the restaurant before and long to know more about the planes sitting just beyond your dinner table.

Seek out the restaurant's interactive aviation exhibits, too, to fill out your knowledge of cockpits, velocity, and the history of flight during the 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. event.

For the younger plane people? There shall be a craft-making opportunity at the Make Your Own Airplane station. True, making an airplane is a months-long venture, typically, if not years, but your tots can make a crafty version of the real thing in a fraction of that time (and for free, too).

For the 21-and-over plane people? There shall be aviation-themed cocktails.

And if you work at LAX, or an airline, you'll receive 15 percent off at The Proud Bird on National Aviation Day, a thank you for all you do.

Find your spot on the patio this Aug. 19 to watch plane after plane after plane approach the nearby airport. It's a perfect way to spend an occasion devoted to machines that fly high up in the air, all while you stay here on terra firma, with food and a beverage and a craft station and tour opportunities close at hand.

Photo Credit: Proud Bird]]>
<![CDATA[How to Make Apartment Living Work for You and Your Pup]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:39:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Bergs-dog.jpg

Living in an apartment with your canine companion isn’t much different from living with a human roommate: They don't clean, they don’t pay for groceries and you're starting to suspect they don't even have a job.

But canine roommates present additional, unique challenges.

Arguably the biggest challenge for dog owners in apartments is having to escort their furry friend outside for all exercise — and all bathroom — breaks. That means rain, shine, sleet, snow, 6 a.m. or 3 a.m. or 11:30 p.m. — buddy, you’ve got to put on your pants.

"If you’re living in an apartment with a dog, first and foremost the onus is more on you to get the dog out for all of his or her needs," says Mike Kaviani. Kaviani is the Director of Lifesaving Operations at the no-kill shelter Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, Texas, and he says apartment living can in some cases actually benefit your pup.

"As long as the owner is committed to getting the dog out for fun outings, the dogs actually end up getting more activity and more outings and more time with their person," he says. Kaviani knows from personal experience: He lived in a studio apartment with the first dog he owned as an adult, and he recalls having to "leash him up and go out there."

"As long as you're willing to do that — I mean, he had so much activity." With multiple daily outings, Kaviani realized he and his pup were both getting more activity because of their apartment lifestyle.

"So, I actually think it can be a real win for the dog," he said.

Anthony Newman, a canine behavior consultant in New York City, echoes Kaviani on the activity level of house dogs versus that of apartment dogs.

"Often, in fact, I find dogs in suburban areas suffer from 'suburban dog syndrome,' lacking adequate socialization, exercise and leadership due to lack of regular daily owner-led walks, obedience work and daily off-leash social play in dog parks," Newman says.

He says he noticed his family's dogs, while growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis, had behavior issues stemming from lack of discipline and socialization.

"City dogs can end up being the calmest, most social, peaceful and obedient dogs around," Newman noted.

No matter how committed you are to your apartment dog, however, you're going to have to leave him or her alone sometimes. And since apartments do not have doggie doors, your pup can't just stroll outside for business purposes.

If you know that you won’t be able to get back to walk your pup at the usual time, that’s fine — you can hire a professional or convince a trusted neighbor to come by to walk your dog.

There is likely a dog-walking service of some kind in your neighborhood — research online and ask other dog owners in the area to find a service that works for you. Try to meet the person who’ll be walking your dog if they’re going to be doing so on a regular basis.

You should also give a trusted person in your building a set of your keys; if you’re away and the building needs to be evacuated for any reason, you’ll want someone to help get your pup out, too.

Speaking of neighbors, they present another significant difference between apartment dog life and house dog life.

You should make an effort to introduce your dog to your apartment neighbors, especially those who live on your floor and those directly above you and below you. It’s also a good idea to introduce yourself to anyone in your building with young children — you can let parents know whether your dog is cool with kids. Make clear to your neighbors what your dog's boundaries are, and be consistent in your interactions with them.

Another thing about apartment neighbors is their physical proximity to you.  

It's important to remember that dogs are not silent. Barking is not the only noise dogs make — they like to play, to run around and toss and catch. And it’s fine to play those games indoors with your dog, but if you have people below you, just keep in mind what time of day or night it is when you break out that hard plastic toy your dog likes to throw against the floor. If your floors aren’t carpeted, getting an area rug (probably not an expensive one) will help muffle noises for people below and will also help protect hardwood floors from scuffing.

If your dog reacts to your absence by barking herself hoarse while you are gone, this is a problem (unless you never leave, but that actually sounds like a different kind of problem). Not only will this incessant row irritate your neighbors — maybe enough to complain to your landlord — it’s also a sign that your pup isn’t able to relax when you go out to do the human stuff you have to do.

"Separation anxiety," says Newman, can be a problem for your nervous pet, and then for you and even your neighbors — some dogs bark, or whine, to express their anxiety.

To help curb some of that separation anxiety, Newman emphasizes the importance of creating a calm, relaxing space for your pup within your apartment. If she views the apartment as the place where you and she play around and have fun — and not as the place where you do that AND the place where she hangs out and sleeps in her own bed — "when you leave, [s]he barks and tears the place up. Also guarding, digging, chewing, and other destructive behaviors" can present as symptoms of separation anxiety.

Newman says to help your dog get accustomed to chilling solo in a new living environment, it's best to make sure your pet's "exhausted and fulfilled mentally, physically and socially, and feeling comfortable at home with her bed, toys and chews" before leaving her alone in the place.

Kaviani recommends teaching your dog new tricks or providing them with brain-stimulating puzzle toys indoors to keep them entertained in the smaller space.

So, if you've got an apartment but want a dog, or if you've got a dog but want to move into an apartment, you should start by considering your dog's needs and temperament, Kaviani says. "If the dog can handle being in an elevator with strange people, and sometimes strange dogs," he shouldn't have an unusually rough time adapting to apartment lifestyle.

"Where it can go poorly, or where you’ll find some challenges, though, would be if the context or living environment isn’t conducive to the dog’s needs," says Kaviani. He cautions that if you have a dog with some shyness or some fearful behavior, they may not be comfortable hopping in and out of elevators or winding their way through crowded hallways and staircases. You should do your best to find a living space that won't cause too much additional stress on your pet. 

But, he says, "don't overthink it."

"Dogs don’t need a mansion to live in. They don’t need a certain amount of square footage to meet their standards. Really, when they’re home, they just want to chill with you, their person." The living arrangement would only become a problem, he says, if your work or life schedule isn't "conducive to spending a good amount of time with your dog."

Apartment living with your dog requires a more serious commitment than living with your dog in a house with a fenced-in yard. 

Anthony Newman's tips for moving yourself and your dog(s) to a new apartment:

  • Establish a plan to exercise and socialize your dog multiple hours a day from the get-go. Call and interview walkers, walking services and/or daycares. Do research on the local dog parks. When moving in, especially the first few weeks, exhaust your dog mentally, physically and socially, so he can start to condition the new home positively.
  • When moving in, set your dogs’ beds down (the more the merrier!) as a first item of furniture. Work the "go to your bed" command early and often. Experiment with "long rewards", e.g. Kongs stuffed with wet food and chews like bully sticks.
  • When you initially enter your new home, keep your dog on leash and lead her around to every room. You lead and introduce to minimize marking and other destructive behaviors.
  • Be careful of the first few times you leave her home alone to minimize separation anxiety. If you start the ball rolling, it will worsen; so get off to a good start by having your dog exhausted and fulfilled mentally, physically and socially, and feeling comfortable at home with her bed, toys and chews, before you leave her alone in the place for the first time. Then, leave very briefly and return soon. Repeat as needed, leaving for gradually longer periods. After a week of conditioning, most dogs should be fine being left alone for a few hours.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Berg/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[The Luxurious Lifestyle of New York's Poshest Pooches]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:57:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/1LK_3334_NYCDogs_WEB.jpg

Ashley and Cooper get a taste of the high life, New York style. From a five-star hotel exclusively for dogs to a puppy pool party in the Hamptons, it's clear that NYC really has gone to the dogs!

<![CDATA[Knott's 2018 Reveal: HangTime 'Dive' Coaster]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:59:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/HangTimeNighttimeRendering.jpg

Perhaps you're just wrapping up your #summergoals right now, the gotta-do-its that involved you and your pals surfing at a dozen top beaches or eating at every California pier or riding every roller coaster located in the Golden State.

Best add one more coaster to that collection, if you plan on trying out that last plan in 2018. It's called HangTime, a massive steel roller coaster that will rise, rise, rise over the coming months in the Boardwalk area at Knott's Berry Farm.

The Buena Park theme park made the coaster-cool announcement on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

"Rise, rise, rise" may seem a touch dramatic, but consider this: HangTime is described as "the only dive coaster on the West Coast," which means it'll by a sky-toucher, or nearly, in order to fully deliver on the promise of the free-falling, everyone-say-wheeee dive.

"HangTime will send riders up a vertical lift hill into a raised 96-degree drop — the steepest drop in California," a representative of the theme park shared.

As for the promise of the coaster's catchy handle? Riders can expect to "come to a halt once the highest peak is reached," and if the mere thought of staying suspended for "several seconds at a 60-degree angle, giving the illusion of disappearing track" sends a jolt straight through to your toes, this is the ride of your dreams.

The coaster, which will stand at 150 feet, has no official open date beyond the summer of 2018.

HangTime does join the Knott's legacy of creative, push-the-envelope coasters, like Corkscrew ("the very first corkscrew inversion roller coaster") and Montezuma's Revenge ("the first flywheel launch coaster").

If you're a bit of a speed scholar, and a pro at all matters to do with tracks, inversions, and loop-di-loops, the coming of HangTime is something to anticipate. 

And if you and your buds are doing the whole coaster countdown next summer, best leave a day or two to try out the "disappearing track" of HangTime at Knott's Berry Farm. Keep an eye out for more details, and, if you just can't wait, jump on the 2018 pass now.

Photo Credit: Knott's Berry Farm]]>
<![CDATA[Enchanted: Forest of Light Returns to Descanso]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:01:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/IlluminatedOaksDescanso.jpg

Locating luminosity in the natural world?

It's not too difficult, if you know where to go to find flickery fireflies, and bioluminescent algae, and the perfect hillside to see the perfect full moon (pro tip: a shimmering lake below can double the glow).

But finding a stand of tall trees flush with rich, colorful red, green, and blue lights isn't something that will happen on your next walk in the woods, most likely. It will, however, definitely occur if you plan a ramble through the oak-filled bosque at Descanso Gardens this holiday season.

For Enchanted: Forest of Light, the seasonal, mid-November-to-early-January event, will once again lend a mysterious and magnificent incandescence to the La Cañada Flintridge spread's many trees, plants, and open spaces.

The nature destination, which includes a celebrated camellia forest, the historic Boddy House, and the Enchanted Railroad, announced the popular event's 2017 return on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

The eveningtime happening, which debuted at Descanso Gardens in 2016, will open on Sunday, Nov. 19 and run through Sunday, Jan. 7.

Member tickets? They'll be available on Oct. 2, while Oct. 16 is listed as the general public on-sale date.

Where will that ticket take you, exactly, once you begin the one-mile, bundle-up walk? You may saunter by a glimmering plot of lit-from-within tulips. You may spy an elegant and large chandelier hanging high, high up in stately oak.

And coming across a twinkly branch or limb? Highly likely.

Pillars that pop with various vivacious hues, lights that seem to dance along tree trunks, and starry lamps dangling overhead further the fantasy feel of this whimsical walk in the woods.

No, Christmas isn't here yet, nor is Thanksgiving, but asking your kin and crew if they'd like to do Descanso Gardens this season, for the second time (or the first), is probably a wise move over the next few weeks, ahead of the ticket on-sale dates.

Photo Credit: Descanso Gardens]]>
<![CDATA[Free Lemonade at Hot Dog on a Stick]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:50:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/HDOS-2017-National-Lemonade-Day.jpg

Don't tell August, but lately it hasn't been acting, well... very Augusty.

We've had some heat blasts here in Southern California, it's true, but these milder days and long-sleeve mornings? Surely September will bring the full-on scorch-o-sity to make up for these cooler stretches.

But it isn't cool-cool — the sun is still doing its intense, summer-strong thing — and National Lemonade Day will again happen, as it has in years gone by, on Aug. 20, a day when we're typically seeking out something cold to sip, a beverage that's loaded with ice and maybe some citrus and maybe a little sugary zing, too.

Hot Dog on a Stick can deliver on those fronts, and it can, and will, do so for free on Sunday, Aug. 20, which is the ultimate holiday for the most iconic of lemon-flavored libations, as was mentioned above.

Here's how you score your pay-nothing sip in a souvenir, you-keep-it cup: Be one of the first 50 people at your local Hot Dog on a Stick on Aug. 20 and ask for it. Done? Done. Waking up earlier on a Sunday is no bigs, in the summer, when it seems so powerfully bright from the dawn onward.

If you don't make that giveaway in time, you're in luck, if you're a fan of the the original Turkey Dog on a Stick. You'll get one, for free, throughout the day, with a purchase of a lemonade. (Further tying it all into the lemonade-important occasion.)

Where's your local HDoaS? If you're near Santa Monica Pier, your go-to stand is the original stand, the place that all of that batter-dipping, lemon-squeezing goodness began in 1946.

Just over 70 years of corn-doggery and fresh lemony drinks? It's a legacy, all right, and one that fans will celebrate on National Lemonade Day. And many of those fans shall be celebrated, thanks to a free drink, or a free Original Turkey on a Stick with a lemonade purchase, so the celebrating is clearly happening all around. 

Photo Credit: Hot Dog on a Stick]]>
<![CDATA[Puppy Ambassadors: London West Hollywood Debut]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:38:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/weholondon1234-3753F.jpg Meet Winston and Churchill, the newest additions to the hotel's team.

Photo Credit: London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills]]>
<![CDATA[Beth Stern, Katie Lee Talk Clear the Shelters and 'Pethood']]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:53:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/Katie+Lee+Beth+Stern.jpg

Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive to help animals in need finding loving homes, will take place on Saturday, August 19.

This year's event hosts, celebrity chef Katie Lee and Beth Stern, stopped by the "Today Show" to talk about the initiative.

They also brought along a few rescues from North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington, New York, who are in need of forever homes.

Stern advised potential pet parents to assess their lifestyle before going through with an adoption, noting "pethood is hard."

Photo Credit: 'Today'
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<![CDATA[Fab Flair: Queen Mary Art Deco Weekend]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:06:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/QM_artDeco123.jpg

#fixitfriday? It's a hashtag that's been popping up in recent weeks on the Queen Mary's various social media accounts.

That's due to the extensive renovation and restoration work currently being overseen by Urban Commons, the still-new leaseholder of the Long Beach landmark. A full stem to stern paint job for the '30s-era ocean-liner is just one major and positive step on the renovation road, a road that will eventually lead to the creation of Queen Mary Island, a full-scale, bells-and-whistles entertainment district surrounding the famous ship.

A ship that is known for its exquisite historical design and detailing, touches that hail straight from the period of high Art Deco. And fans of Art Deco, and the style of the era, regularly gather on the Queen Mary each summer to enjoy stories of the architecture, fashion, and music of the time.

The name of that gathering is the Art Deco Festival, and it is approaching faster than a gangplank lowers to shore: Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sunday, Aug. 20 are the 2017 dates, and the schedule is brimming with educational look-backs at design, info-laden talks, and some fun frippery, too.

The featured lectures include topics like "Art Deco in Entertainment Design," "The Bathroom of Tomorrow: How Hollywood & Art Deco Design Revolutionized the Restroom," and a talk on department stores of the Art Deco period.

A Grand Ball, a Swingin' Sunday Tea Dance, and a Vintage Bazaar are three more feathers in the cap of the on-the-boat convention. While the first two soirees are ticketed separately, you can nab a day pass for twenty five bucks and enjoy the Vintage Bazaar and lectures.

Also? There are ways to stay on the Queen Mary, of course, should you want to make a night or weekend of it.

Southern California is home to many ornate Art Deco wonders, some that are sparkling, some that are in need of a big dose of TLC. The Queen Mary is undergoing that TLC-ing at the moment, but it remains, without argument, one of the best examples of the strong-lined style still in elegant existence.

Raise something bubbly to the architecture of the time, on Aug. 19 and 20, in Long Beach.

Photo Credit: Queen Mary]]>
<![CDATA[6 Free Apps for Pet Owners]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:47:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-77541854.jpg Nowadays, caring for your pet has never been easier and more enjoyable. From finding a pet sitter and setting up play dates to handling medical emergencies and training your pet, there’s an app for that. Whether your looking to better fulfill your pets needs or find resources to help you with yours, these free pets apps have you covered.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Free: JANM Natsumatsuri Family Festival]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:55:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NatsumatsuriShoji1DSC_5251-horz.jpg

When Nisei Week Japanese Festival, the history-filled festival that takes place in and around Little Tokyo each summer, officially opens on Saturday, Aug. 19, there will be much to admire and applaud throughout the bustling area.

But surely some of the coolest kids will be sporting a festive Natsumatsuri hat, a creation that they will have made on their own.

We're talking, of course, about that large-of-brim, papery, highly whimsical chapeau that speaks to the joys of the Natsumatsuri Festival, a buoyant, come-together celebration of summer.

That free festival will be happening at the Japanese American National Museum, and while it won't last for the entire run of the nearby Nisei Week, which concludes on Sunday, Aug. 27, families will find plenty of activities and workshops throughout the day on Saturday, Aug. 19.

All you and your hat-making tots need to do? Make your way to JANM for a jubilant roster of to-dos, from a Taiko workshop (kids will learn the first steps in making powerful percussive music) to the Ruthie's Origami Corner (creating a "jumping frog" is the theme) to the beautiful Bon Odori community dance.

A Happi Coat photo booth, traditional Okinawan treats for sale, the making of an original superhero character, and a petting zoo spotlight kaeru — hello, little frogs — and reptiles are but three more of the many happenings.

A moving and important centerpiece of the day is the Paper Cranes for Peace activity, which will ask visitors to "...fold paper cranes for Harvest of Hope, a project that aims to collect 1.5 million cranes in memory of children who died during the Holocaust." 

Take time to fold a crane, to spend some minutes in reflection, and to honor the music, history, memory, and joy of Natsumatsuri, the heart of summertime, on Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Japanese American National Museum.

For the full Nisei Week schedule, including the Nisei Week Rubik's Cube Open, a spirited showdown which will take place early on the morning of Aug. 19 at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, start here.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Japanese American National Museum]]>
<![CDATA[Let's 'Clear the Shelters' on Saturday, August 19!]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:46:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2017+CTS+Collage+TopLine+2083x854%5B1%5D.jpg Every summer, animal shelters and rescues are filled to the brim with new spring litters and homeless pets. Shelters run on all cylinders to match pets with new forever families. Their efforts result in many pets finding new loving homes, but unfortunately some pets are left behind and live in shelters for months or even years until they are adopted. Inspired by a North Texas pet adoption effort led by our Dallas NBC and Telemundo stations, all of our NBC and Telemundo-owned stations decided to step up to the plate to help their local animal shelters and communities 'Clear the Shelters' every summer.
View Full Story

Photo Credit: NBC Universal]]>
<![CDATA[OC Fair: 6,000 Fried Peanut Butter Meatballs Sold]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:33:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/35651092512_84f79ccdbd_k.jpg

Ever stated, with complete confidence, that you plan on eating every flavorful treat that a county fair has to offer?

Though many of us boast about such matters, we never seem to meet those goals, even though our eyes, stomachs, and predictions claim otherwise as we stroll through a fair's front gate.

But we can, as fair fans, find out how many treats of particular types were sold at the OC Fair, as well as some other interesting numbers, such as record-breakers, thanks to the fact that the historical event always shares its most interesting stats.

The impressive numbers were released just hours after the 2017 Costa Mesa extravaganza wrapped on Sunday, Aug. 13. And if you had guessed that the fried peanut butter meatballs at Chicken Charlie's would be a big hit, well, consider yourself a pro prognosticator.

Some 6,000 fried peanut butter meatballs crossed the famous stand's counter, as did 4,000 Krispy Kreme Ice Cream Chicken Sandwiches, one of the buzzed-about foodstuffs that made headlines prior to the 2017 fair's July 14 opening.

People also went for the Unicorn Pork Legs at Bacon A Fair — 4,900 were sold over the four-week run — and just over 40,000 turkey legs were bought at Juicy's.

As for the popular, seen-everywhere churro? Get ready to drop the jaw: Fans devoured twelve thousand feet of churro goodness at the 2017 fair. And fries made a very strong 'n salty showing, too, with 22,500 pounds finding their way into guests' hands and, eventually, tummies.

The edible arithmetic isn't the only notable slice of fair statistics, however. The OC fair people revealed that "(m)ore than 402,000 feet of yarn was used to make pom-poms, flowers and octopuses, and, on the final weekend, fairgoers helped make 600 boat soap carvings."

The fair's exhibitors — 4,219, in all — "submitted 23,000 entries this year, which is a 20% increase in exhibitors over last year, and a 112% increase in entries over last year!" trumpeted the fair in trumpet-worthy news.

And guests at the fair donated over 28 tons — that's tons, t, o, n, s — of food to OC Food Bank and Second Harvest Food Bank on July 19. Children's books, too, were donated by attendees by the thousands, with the final count standing at 94,078.

The Think Together drive happened on July 26.

And one final foodie factoid from the fair? If cotton candy is your game, you're not alone: The fairy floss sold at the 2017 event could fill four semi-trailers.

That's a staggering amount of air-spun sugar, but don't gape for too long: The 2018 OC Fair will be back, in 11 months, starting on July 13, to try to go for even bigger, juicier, doughnut-ier records.

Photo Credit: OC Fair]]>
<![CDATA[LACMA Late Night: Muse 'til Midnight]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:10:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/MuseTilMidnightLACMAAug202016MattKamimura.jpg

Do the sculptures inside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art yawn and stretch and blink and go night-night when the sun sinks into the west?

Do the paintings call it a day, and flip some internal switch, making the pastoral daytime scenes seen throughout the museum go suddenly dark when evening falls outside the building?

Well, no. But our cultural institutions do have a pretty predictable and understandable way of shuttering as the day winds down, like a lot of places, though most places don't host a stylish late-night party, every so often, to keep the creative, art-tastic vibes going well beyond the closing hour.

LACMA does, and that party is called Muse 'til Midnight. It isn't every week, or even every month, which means that when it dances into view, seizing the moment is advised. 

That moment arrives next on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. at the BP Grand Entrance. Indeed, that's next to Chris Burden's Urban Light, and the lamps will be all aglow, as they always are, but with a twist: DJs'll be spinning vinyl 45s nearby, so feel free to shake your stuff in and around the famous lampposts.

Elsewhere around the museum? Most excellent stuff'll be going down all around, from a Latino dance room at BCAM to an area, also at BCAM, that'll pay tribute to the '90s ditch parties, music- and vibe-wise.

East LA Chicano music also will have a special area, further loving upon the theme of this Muse 'Til Midnight: Latin American and Latino tunes and art. ArtDontSleep is the evening's curator, and the wind-down time?

Midnight, as the name suggests. Ever been at a museum when the clock strikes twelve? It's rare, and special, and maybe, even, a touch magical.

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, that mega art happening, is one of the event's inspiration's, if you're a PST:LA/LA fan.

LACMA is the beneficiary, a non-member ticket is $35, the age is 18 and up, and several galleries will be open for strolling/looking, including the gallery holding the recently opened "Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage" exhibit.

Photo Credit: Matt Kamimura]]>
<![CDATA['Saw' Maze: New at Halloween Horror Nights]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:08:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/SawHHNatUSH.jpg

Instantly recognizing the voice of a cinematic horror legend, and instantly feeling a mixture of dread and curiosity?

Pretty much any fright fan knows, from the very first word spoken, the inimitable vocal stylings of Freddy Krueger or Jack Torrance, the temporary, typewriter-wielding caretaker of the Overlook Hotel.

But there's another skin-prickling icon of the vocal-familiar form, and while his voice can bring a shudder or three, so can his singular, and singularly scary, catchphrase: "Do you want to play a game?"

It's Jigsaw, of course, a figure that has so memorably, and so macabre-tastically, asked that very question on the big screen through a series of blockbuster "Saw" films over the last 13 years.

Now the tauntful, chat-having, ten-steps-ahead character is headed for his own deviously twisty original maze at the 2017 Halloween Horror Nights. The maze's name? "Saw: The Games of Jigsaw."

Hoo boy.

The maze-filled, attraction-eeky spectacular, which will debut for its upcoming run on Friday, Sept. 15, made the revelation on Monday, Aug. 14, an announcement that may inspire even the most devoted movie fans to instantly put their hackles up.

But those hackles won't stay up for long: The "Saw" maze will open at the Universal Studios Hollywood event in just over a month, giving fans little time to ponder what traps Jigsaw might be setting for them.

And while the maze will hearken back to past "Saw" films, count it also to pay terrifying tribute to the eighth installment of the Lionsgate hit, "JIGSAW," which will be released on Oct. 27, 2017.

"Saw" will join mazes inspired by "The Shining," "Ash vs Evil Dead", "American Horror Story: Roanoke," and the very recently announced "Titans of Terror Tram" and "Titans of Terror" maze.

A brand-new RIP Tour is also giving monster-loving mavens a chance to head to the front of the lines, with a guide, as well as valet parking and a buffet dinner with drinks, too.

If you're visiting Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando this year, take note: Jigsaw will not be outwitted. The "Saw" maze will also open at the Florida fear festival in addition to Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood.

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

Photo Credit: Lionsgate]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Pikachus Parade Through Yokohama, Japan]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:58:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pikachuparade.jpg

More than 100 Pikachus, a character from the game Pokemon, paraded through the streets of Yokohama, Japan, on Aug. 14.

<![CDATA[Final Week: Main Street Electrical Parade]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:47:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/parade0117_DLR__0832.jpg

Finding some curb to sit upon while enjoying a parade?

It's as hallowed a Disneyland Park tradition as that first dill pickle of the day or comically striking a pose for your Space Mountain photo.

The chance that the section of curb you choose will be located near a slight bend or a corner? That happens, as the Anaheim theme park's famous parades do wend and twist around attractions and other features as they make their way from a spot located near it's a small world to Town Square, near the park's entrance (and vice versa, of course).

And, without fail, regardless of your age, a person can find herself, mid-parade, staring at that corner, hoping one more delightful float or character will appear, meaning the parade hasn't yet ended.

Which is all to say this: The Main Street Electrical Parade is about to round that final proverbial corner, Disney devotees.

The classic, bulb-bright procession, which returned to the park in time for its 45th anniversary, is winding up its multi-month run, which started earlier this year in January.

The final date is Sunday, Aug. 20. 

There are two parades each night — and no surprise, they happen after the sun goes down, the better to let all of those bulbs so charmingly glow — and fans'll start finding spots hours in advance.

There are dining packages, too, that give people an opportunity to sit or stand in a designated section, though those often book up far in advance. Still, checking, just to see if there's a spot, is always a solid plan.

Pete's Dragon is one of the best-known sights from the venerable spectacle, as are the cute bugs that bob and blink along the route.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs dance along the Main Street Electrical Parade, too, and Pinocchio makes a playful appearance.

The frolicking characters and charming, on-the-move floats stay in many minds long after the parade has wrapped, but so does the Main Street Electrical Parade theme, a song that can easily get stuck in one's head, if one is lucky.

It's a synth-sweet version of "Baroque Hoedown," and if you're not already humming it at the mere thought of the parade, give it a few minutes, and it may find its sprightly way into your thoughts.

Photo Credit: Scott Brinegar]]>
<![CDATA['Extraordinary: Stan Lee': Starry Saban Soiree]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:01:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/StanLee_50987604.jpg

Various superheroes and beefy villains can easily lift cars, toss bridges, and harness the energy of the sun, but there's one moment in a Marvel movie that's guaranteed to draw a collective gasp, or at least a knowing chuckle, from the audience: When Stan Lee appears briefly, and often cheekily, on the screen.

Because the comic book legend and pop culture king? He's as famous as his famous superheroic creations, or even more so.

And putting the co-creator of Spider-man alongside the Hulk or the Fantastic Four or Doctor Strange in a motion picture feels as right as assembling the perfect dream team to save the metropolis from whatever baddie is passing through.

Mr. Lee is the man of the hour, and the man of the night, at "Extraordinary: Stan Lee," a star-filled tribute scheduled to alight, with all the nimbleness of a man who can spin webs, at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Nerdist impresario Chris Hardwick is hosting, while Lou Ferigno — the Hulk! — and Tom Bergeron and Todd McFarlane and Michael Rooker and Andy Signore and other creative people who make comic book stories are set to fête the icon.

The organizers of this summit of superheroes and fantastical characters? In-Theater Live and Agents of Mayhem, along with Stan Lee Collectibles.

If you've only ever seen Stan Lee make his classic cameo in a Marvel movie, but never had the chance to applaud him in person, this is a great evening to do so. And you don't even need to swing in, building-to-building, to gain entrance: Tickets start at $65, and may be ordered here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[BrunchCon Returns to Los Angeles This Weekend]]> Sat, 12 Aug 2017 14:38:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/brunchcontriple.jpg The pancake-iest, most-mimosa-ian shindig around returns to LA this weekend.

Photo Credit: BrunchCon]]>
<![CDATA[Road Trip: Wildlife, Mystery and Hidden Treasures Along PCH]]> Sun, 13 Aug 2017 10:44:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/places-youll-find-along-pacific-coast-highway-tn.jpg Built more than 80 years ago to connect California's coastal towns, the Pacific Coast Highway hugs the edge of the Golden State as it passes through busy cities, beaches and abandoned relics of the past.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CatCon: Take a Purr-fect Peek Back]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:06:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/catconGreenscreenphotobooth.jpg Kitty-ologists are padding for Pasadena for panels, purchases, cosplay, and Instagram superstar sightings.

Photo Credit: CatCon]]>
<![CDATA['SNL' Alum Rachel Dratch Gets 20-Year-Old Parking Ticket From Chicago]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:50:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/Rachel+Dratch+2007+Tribeca+Film+Festival+Bryan+Bedder.JPG

Former "Saturday Night Live" star Rachel Dratch posted a photo on Twitter of a 20-year-old parking ticket she received this week from the City of Chicago.

"Chicago does not f around," the New York City-based comedian wrote on Twitter. "I received this parking ticket in the mail today. Look at date. It's from TWENTY years ago." 

The ticket was issued on Dec. 8, 1997 — right around the time Dratch was a member of the Second City cast in Chicago.

Sure enough, the "offense location" is listed as 150 W. North Ave., just a block from the historic comedy club in the city’s Old Town neighborhood.

NBC 5 asked the City of Chicago about the ticket's authenticity and whether there is a statute of limitations on parking violations. 

A spokeswoman for the City of Chicago’s Office of Budget and Management and Department of Finance, which is responsible for collecting parking and red light ticket fines, responded. Here's what she said:

"The City sends at least five separate notifications to motorists regarding parking violations before referring a ticket to collections. Once a ticket is in collections additional notifications are sent, and it can be re-referred to a separate collection agency to work to identify new or updated mailing information. We followed the same process in this instance."

While a 20-year-old parking ticket sounds like it may be a plot line from Dratch's iconic "Debbie Downer" sketches, the actor will have to pay a real $73.20 fine to the city, unless she contests it.

Dratch performed on Second City’s main stage from 1995 through 1998, alongside fellow 'SNL" alum Tina Fey, according to her bio on the theater’s website.

She then went on to star on "SNL" from 1999 to 2006, and has appeared in several films and television series, including Fey’s "30 Rock," "Bob’s Burgers," "Inside Amy Schumer" and more.

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<![CDATA[Free: Watermelon Festival at Tanaka Farms]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:45:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/169983115.jpg

In a matter of weeks, the harvest festivals will roll into town, with all the color and excitement of a tumbling pile of pumpkins falling off the back of a cart.

Surely that's exciting? You'd say "whoa" if you saw it.

And when we say "into town" we mean that these quintessential fall parties will alight at various farms and agricultural destinations around Southern California, just outside of the cities, giving autumn fans a chance to carve pumpkins, pet goats, and devour kettle corn.

But summer trucks on, and so do the sweet summer celebrations, like the Watermelon Festival at Tanaka Farms in Irvine. If you know this venerable destination, then you know that melons are a major part of what they do, and Melon Tours have been on the schedule in recent weeks.

The melon mania, though, will go wider, and juicier, over the weekend of Saturday, Aug. 12 and Sunday, Aug. 13. Games themed to the green-and-red fruit are on the roster, and crafts, too, and can you hop on a Melon Tour, should you want to know more about how watermelons begin on the vine and grow, grow, grow?

You can join a tour, yes. A Puppy Party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday will bring some sweetness, but several other sweetness-delivering animals will be around and ready for petting, including rabbits and a miniature cow.

Admission is free. You'll want, of course, cash for any activities or food you might purchase.

Oh, and those vittles? They're not all centered around the star melon. In fact, there's a touch of heartier fall in the air at Tanaka Farms, in the form of the Roasted Corn Bar.

There's a Baked Potato Bar, too, if that floats your particular boat, or butters your tater, if you prefer.

Call it a summer's-still-here, fall's-on-the-way weekend on a treasure of a Southern California farm, with cow petting, puppies, and watermelon-based pursuits in the happy mix.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CicLAvia: San Pedro Meets Wilmington]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:51:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Ciclavia_GaryLeonard_2012.jpg

An open street, one that has no zooming cars but, rather, a good number of pedestrians and cyclists toodling down the center of the road?

That's something we might see, very rarely, at neighborhood block parties, the kind of get-togethers that close a cul-de-sac to traffic. But to witness several miles of major thoroughfares in a car-free state, one must look to an open-street event.

And the one that is billed as "...the largest event of its kind in the United States & a leader in the global open streets movement" is pedaling in this direction for its next out-sized outing.

It's CicLAvia, which first pedaled into LA, and into the hearts of hundreds of thousands of new fans, in the fall of 2010. Now happening a few times a year, in various parts of Southern California, the open-streets event welcomes anyone who wants to roll or stroll for a day of free, neighborhood-acquainting, exercise-getting fun.

Next up, on Sunday, Aug. 13? It's San Pedro Meets Wilmington, a first for the pedal-through party. And as with every other CicLAvia, it is free to join.

The stretch, though it isn't along a single street, will cover seven miles, so getting an early start is a solid idea.&

Plus you'll want to check out the specials and goings-on along the way. Hojas Tea House in Wilmington will be giving out gratis tea samples, and there'll be a jazz band, too, performing in the early afternoon. And at the Burrito Factory in San Pedro? Oh yeah: Burritos stuffed with beans and cheese will be a buck.

A quartet of hubs along the way will feature activities and a host of helpful services for participants, like places to get a kid's helmet fitted (for free) and phone-charging stations. Turn your handlebars toward Banning Park Hub, Wilmington Waterfront Hub, Port of LA Hub, and Pacific Avenue Hub, though you might want to see what each hub offers before swinging by.

The route, and all of the places you may want to stop? There's a downloadable map, and it comes with a lot of the features of the event.

As for those hours? Spokes'll be sparkling from 9 a.m. to 4 o'clock on what looks to be a perfectly perfect, water-close, get-to-know-a-new-(or-beloved)-area kind of summer Sunday.

<![CDATA[What Kind of Dog Best Fits Your Lifestyle?]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 05:03:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Dogs-GettyImages-180680638.jpg

There are a million reasons why people love dogs. They make great companions, provide a slew of the health benefits and love unconditionally.

Yet, there are lots of valid reasons why some people opt out of bringing home a furry friend. From cramped living quarters, to allergies, to busy work schedules and social lives, caring for a dog is a huge commitment, so it’s important to make sure your lifestyle is compatible with your four-legged friend’s.

Fortunately, dogs come in all shapes, sizes, personality traits and energy levels, and chances are there’s a pup who’s right for you.

Use the filter above to see what kind of dog could potentially match your lifestyle:

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Cardboard Yacht: Help Build One in Santa Monica]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 17:37:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Oneidasketch2-horz.jpg

The OC Fair, which will take its final bow for 2017 on Sunday, Aug. 13, offered, like it always does, a little bit of absolutely everything one could dream up or imagine.

It even includes what has been billed as "the world's largest paper garden," a mega craft project that came together, petal by petal, under the eye and inspiration of artist Kiel Johnson.

Did you cut a daffodil out, or a daisy, while visiting the Costa Mesa event? Then take note that Mr. Johnson has a fresh goal in sight, and it is ramping up just as the OC Fair closes.

He'll be taking on the building of the Oneida, William Randolph Hearst's yacht, and he'll be doing so at the Annenberg Community Beach House, a landmark that has wayback ties to the publishing magnate.

The estate of Marion Davies, Mr. Hearst's companion, once grandly stood on the site, decades ago. Today? The beachfront property serves as a cultural, social, and splash-fun beacon for Southern Californians searching out some history, some stories, and a place to swim.

And a place to make memorable art. For this yacht, under Mr. Johnson's direction, will not contain the typical materials, such as fiberglass and steel, found in a sea-worthy vessel.

Rather, it will be constructed from cardboard.

You can help Mr. Johnson's quirky quest from Monday, Aug. 14 through Friday, Aug. 18 by contributing to the cardboard Oneida. Just stop by the beach house from 10 a.m. to noon on any of those days, roll up your sleeves if you have roll-up-able sleeves, and pitch in.

The yacht build actually starts on Aug. 11, if you want to observe, but should you want to participate, Aug. 14-18 is your window. And, of course, the yacht will look more boat-like with each passing day.

If you're wondering if the construction of the cardboard Oneida is all leading up to the annual Cardboard Regatta, which will row across the Annenberg Community Beach House Pool on Saturday, Aug. 26, ponder no longer: The offbeat Oneida "...will be on display as an inspiration to all — especially the builder-participants..." joining the regatta competition.

Photo Credit: Kiel Johnson]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: 'Hamilton' Is Here]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 22:35:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AmberImanEmmyRaver-LampmanHamiltonCompanyHAMILTONNationalTourJoanMarcus.jpg

"Hamilton" opens: Few works, be they on the screen, on the page, or on the stage, have as positively impacted the modern era like Lin-Manuel Miranda's idea-rich, history-minded, multi-layered musical about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. A sold-out Broadway run, sensational sales for the original Broadway cast recording, devoted fans found around the world and far beyond the show's New York City (and then Chicago) base, and emotional tributes galore make it the must-see of not just this season but, truly, of this moment in time. Didn't yet get your ticket? There's a daily $10 lottery. Find your way to the Pantages Theatre, in Hollywood, through Saturday, Dec. 30, before the much-anticipated tour is back on the road.

Clear the Shelters Pre-Events: Hoping to welcome a new furry family member soon? Make for The Grove on Saturday, Aug. 12, where LA Animal Services will be standing by with a number of cats and dogs, or Citadel Outlets on Sunday, Aug. 13. LA County Animal Care will call upon the shopping center, also with adoptable cats and dogs. "NBC4 and Telemundo's Clear the Shelters," which is set for Saturday, Aug. 19, "...aims to raise awareness about the benefits of pet adoption and reduce the animal population at local shelters."

CicLAvia: It might be a stretch to say that temperatures have cooled down, though they have a bit, at least from where they were a couple of weeks back. The upshot? This is ideal bike-riding weather, and if you get to do just that, in the middle of a large street, with no cars involved? The pedal-sweet joy is amp'd even further. The 7-mile stretch of the latest edition of this popular cycle event wends from San Pedro to Wilmington — or the other way, if you prefer — and a host of community groups, interesting booths, food trucks, and local businesses will add liveliness to the day. And that day? It's Sunday, Aug. 13.

CatCon: Prepare to don those sparkly cat ears and pad your little paws for the Pasadena Convention Center for two days of feline-related Q&As, panels on catly topics, a Meet & Greet with Julie Newmar (Catwoman on "Batman"!), kitten-cute cameos by Instagram stars (including the beloved Lil BUB), and a host of vendors providing those who live with and love cats a caboodle of items to purchase. Kiss your own furry babe goodbye and slink for the Crown City on Saturday, Aug. 12 and Sunday, Aug. 13.

Festival of Arts — Fashion Fun + Free: Laguna Beach's summertime fun always involves a stop at the long-running, painting-filled, sculpture-wonderful Festival of Arts, one of the stalwarts on the culture calendar. Two major happenings are ahead for the event, including a funky fashion show featuring clothing made from recycled goods (that's on Saturday, Aug. 12) and a free-admission day to celebrate the festival's 85th anniversary (that rolls on Sunday, Aug. 13). It's big, colorful, and oh-so-Laguna-Beach-y.

NKLA Kitten Shower: If you've attended a baby shower, you know some of the hallmarks and traditions to expect. You might play a game, or eat some cake, or socialize, or all of the above. This sweet feline fundraiser, which meows at the NKLA Pet Adoption Center on Sunday, Aug. 13, won't boast those usual to-dos, but it will help area rescue groups with the stuff they need most. Want to swing by with a donation of food, blankets, or something else from the Amazon wish list? Clean your whiskers, swish your tail, then get all the needed information.

Photo Credit: ©2016 Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[New SeaWorld San Diego Ride Approved by Coastal Commission]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:11:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/170*120/SeaWorld-New-Ride-Eel_3.jpg Images of the proposed ride submitted to the California Coastal Commission.

Photo Credit: California Coastal Commission Exhibit]]>
<![CDATA[Free: KCRW Summer Nights at Union Station]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:56:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jasonbentley_travisholcombe.jpg

Please: Don't give up on summer just yet.

Look, we know you're not even in that realm, or near it, and you probably don't own the map. For the hottest season, as a rule, doesn't even really crank up the furnace before September in Southern California, and its flame-y fingers can reach into October.

And yet? Summer's quintessential activities, the free play-outside-at-night stuff, have a way of jettisoning once we glimpse the backside of August.

Union Station, though, is not supportive of this notion, nor is KCRW. Both the landmark train station and the public radio station are dedicated to keeping those August-awesome fun times going, and they're committed to participants not needing to pay anything in the process.

The result of this exceedingly thoughtful impulse? Summer Nights at Union Station, an all-ages double-header that'll alight, with style, sound, and games, too, on two still-to-come Friday nights: Aug. 11 and 25.

Metro Art is behind all of this good-feeling-ness, which will include appearances by KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez and Valida on Aug. 11 and KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley and KCRW DJ Travis Holcombe on Aug. 25.

The hours are 5:30 p.m. to 10, which means surely, and understandably, you'll want to seek out sustenance. Food trucks like Plant Food for People, Pho King Awesome, and Free Range'll be nearby, taking orders and filling tums.

And filling your personal fun bank? There shall be games — Jenga and cornhole will make competitive cameos — as well as body painting by Amir Migdal and turns with the Hula Hoop, with instructor Jen Jensen at the lead.

The setting is the Union Station South Patio, which further reveals just how dedicated the organizers are to keeping that summer shimmer aglow: Dancing under the stars will soon wind down, as chillier days arrive, but it is August, which means the time is now for alfresco nighttime revelries.

Summer is still here, even as Halloween candy is making its first frightful foray onto our store shelves. Best connect with the season, at Union Station, over two warm August nights.

Photo Credit: KCRW]]>
<![CDATA[Recyclables + Clothing: OC Fashion Show]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 22:02:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/1FOA_Runway16_BradElsberry_ModelErikaBaldwin.jpg

Recycling or reusing within the boundaries of our closets?

If it doesn't happen daily, we're participating in this pursuit each week, or, at the very least, every month or so.

And by "recycling or reusing" we simply mean when you reach for a belt that belongs to another outfit, or a jacket that is typically paired with a different skirt, and you easily incorporate the piece into what you're currently wearing. 

Such mix-n-matchery is at the heart of staying on a sensible clothing budget and working with what one owns, inventively.

But the annual August extravaganza in Laguna Beach, the Festival of Arts Fashion Show, takes the concept of recycling or re-imagining far further and in a much more fanciful and funky direction: "(R)eclaimed, reused, or recycled materials" are at the gorgeous and sometimes garish heart of every outfit on the runway.

The light-hearted, style-cool event, which struts on Saturday, Aug. 12, has a funny celebrity host in Kate Flannery, of "The Office," and a trend-knowledgeable celebrity judge in Melissa Biggs, of luxury travel company Indagare.

On the models? You might see strips of film forming a skirt's fringe, candy wrappers lending color, bevies of buttons adding detail, plastic bags providing texture, and twisted wire that gives the whole look extra whimsy.

If you're staying in the area all weekend, note that the Festival of Arts is celebrating its 85th birthday on Sunday, Aug. 13 with free admission and a host of activities. 

Need a peek at the 2016 Fashion Show and what the designers dreamt up? Look back now...

Photo Credit: Brad Elsberry]]>
<![CDATA[Tips for Traveling Safe With Your Pet]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 13:28:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-454008386.jpg

One of the most stressful parts of pet ownership is what to do with your four-legged companion when you travel. While some pet owners opt for boarding, others choose to bring their furry family members along.

If you’re looking to hit the road or fly the skies with your canine companion or feline friend, American Kennel Club the has some tips to make the trip as smooth as possible.

Health Checks: Bring your pet to the veterinarian for a check up before going on a long journey trip. Make sure all vaccinations are up to date and obtain a record showing proof of up-to-date vaccinations. Health certifications are required for airline travel.

Ask the vet about potential health risks at your destination, like Lyme disease, and what the necessary preventive measures your pet needs to take.

Crates: If traveling by car, pets should be confined to a crate or carrier in the back seat. This will prevent distractions as well as protect the animal in the event of a collision. It can also keep your pet from getting into trouble in a hotel or at your host's home. Airlines also require that pets travel in a carrier or crate, whether they are flying in the cargo hold or plane's main cabin. Contact your airline directly for information on their pet policy. 

Crates are available from most pet supply stores. Look for these features when purchasing and check out these crash-tested options:

  • Large enough to allow the pet to stand, turn and lie down.
  • Strong, with handles and grips, and free of interior protrusions.
  • Leakproof bottom covered with absorbent material.
  • Ventilation on opposing sides, with exterior rims or knobs to prevent blocked airflow.

Have Proper ID: In the event that your dog or cat slips away during the trip, you significantly increase the odds of recovery by making sure they can be properly identified.

  • Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog's name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots.
  • Mark your pet's crate with your name, contact number, destination phone number, and photo of your pet. You should also carry a picture of your pet.
  • Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip.

Traveling by car: Bringing your pet along for a road trip requires more than just throwing a crate in the back seat, especially for long distance trips or if you plan on being away for a long period of time. 

  • Get your pet geared up by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.
  • Bring food, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid, and any travel documents. 
  • Be sure to pack plenty of bottled water, and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle. Traveling on a full stomach can also cause pets to become car sick.
  • Keep the car well-ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate.
  • Don't let pets ride cars with their heads outside the window. Dirt and other debris can enter their eyes, ears and nose and cause injury or infection.
  • Make frequent stops to allow your pet to go to the bathroom and get some exercise. Be sure to clean up after your pet. 

Traveling by plane: Most airlines have their own set of rules for canine air travel. Call ahead for information and make arrangements in advance of your trip.

  • All airlines require health certifications and proof of vaccinations.
  • Federal regulations require pets to be at least 8 weeks old and they should be weaned at least 5 days before flying.
  • Try to book a nonstop flight and avoid plane changes when possible. Some airlines will not transport animals when it is extremely hot or cold. 
  • Dogs must be in an airline-approved crate when transported as cargo. Some airlines allow certain breeds and sizes to travel under the seat in a crate or carrier.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Water Skiers to Zoom to Catalina (and Back)]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:15:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/queenmarycatalinaskirace.jpg

When The Four Preps sang about traveling those fabled "26 Miles" to Santa Catalina Island back on their 1950s hit, fans of the popular tune surely imagined that those miles, given all of the ocean water involved, would be covered in a fairly traditional and standard fashion: by boat.

And boats are usually how day-trippers and over-nighters and people who live on the enchanted isle reach it, with air travel, too, sometimes coming into play. (Surely the Airport in the Sky, Catalina's history-laden plane hub, possesses one of the most idyllic airport names ever devised.)

But around July or August each year, a band of hearty souls reach Avalon in a different way, and while a boat is involved, not everyone is actually in the boat. It's the Catalina Ski Race, "The World's Greatest Ski Race," and it involves a host of competitors heading to Catalina Island, and back, via the water skis beneath their feet.

That's a 62-mile trip, there and back, and yes, updated: That's different from the famous song title that puts the trip as 26 miles one way. 

The date is Saturday, Aug. 12, the mainland launch area is near the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and that's where the boats and skiers will return to after completing a truly epic journey.

The Maya Hotel, nearby? That's where a lot of the race action, and fun, will happen over the day. Wait, day? It's really a weekend-long affair with the Catalina Ski Race, a competition that will mark its 70th anniversary in 2018.

Athletes will compete in 20 different classes, so beginners and pros can both totally go for the glory. As for those start times? Smaller boats set out seven minutes ahead of the larger vessels.

The Catalina Ski Race is "...the only open-ocean ski race regularly scheduled anywhere in the world," according to organizers. Which means, unlike a lake, skiers just might whoosh by a whale in the distance, or other residents particular to this slice of the Pacific. 

It's a splashy showdown that draws talented skiers and crews, for sure, but the on-the-shore cheerers also lend the stand-out event its own vibrant character.

Photo Credit: Catalina Ski Race]]>
<![CDATA[Starbucks' Latest Frappuccino 'Inspired' by Horchata Drinks]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 04:24:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*128/starbucksfrap0809.JPG

From unicorns to horchata. 

Starbucks announced Tuesday its new Horchata Almondmilk Frappuccino is now available in participating U.S. and Canada stores, in a move that is getting a mixed reception from horchata fans. 

Starbucks’ beverage features a combination of almond milk, cinnamon dolce syrup, coffee and ice. It also includes whipped cream, cinnamon, sugar sprinkles and a swirl of caramel on top. The company said their drink was inspired “by the popular Horchata beverages, which vary by culture and region.” 

“The creamy and cool texture-ideal for warm August days-is complemented by sweet caramel and warm spice flavors of cinnamon which hint that fall is near,” Starbucks’ release said. 

The drink was first offered in U.S. and Canadian stores on Aug. 8, a Starbucks spokesperson said. While it is the first frappuccino that uses almond milk as a default milk, the drink is not dairy-free because it is topped with whipped cream and other dairy-filled products. 

Eater.com notes that Americans are most familiar with the Mexican version of horchata, a rice-based drink that is also made with cinnamon and vanilla. 

In fact, Starbucks first offered the Horchata Frappuccino in Mexican outposts in the summer of 2013.

But versions of horchata in Spain are made with tigernuts and horchata drinks also vary across Latin America. 

In El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica, jicaro seeds are ground with rice and spices for a drink called semilla de jicaro. 

Horchata de ajonjolí in Puerto Rico is made with ground sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are also used for a version of horchata in parts of Venezuela.  

The drink’s debut hasn’t gone unnoticed among horchata aficionados, with some contrasting the drink to the Unicorn Frappuccino. 

“Starbucks has a new Frappuccino. If you like horchata, it might make you angry,” blared one headline on Miami.com

“The horchata is not some mystical, purple-haired unicorn,” the post's writer Chloe Herring said. “It’s a real ass drink. It wasn’t broken and it didn’t need Starbucks’ sugary adaptation or ‘fixing.‘” 

Latin culture site Remezla.com featured a handful of tweets that ranged from curiosity over Starbucks’ offering to predictions of being underwhelmed by the product. 

“We imagine Starbucks is riffing off of Mexican horchata and that this new drink will appeal to many taste buds, but we also believe many will stick to the horchata they already know because it’s already perfect,” the site’s writer concluded.

--Daniel Macht contributed to this story

Photo Credit: Starbucks ]]>
<![CDATA[Meow Factor: The Felines of CatCon]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:28:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/a+pile+of+BUBS-thumbnail.jpg CatCon 2017, a two-day festival of all things feline, returned to Southern California on August 12-13.

Photo Credit: CatCon]]>
<![CDATA[Big Screen 'Tron' x 2: One Night Only]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 09:17:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tron820328323.jpg

The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood is over 90 years old, so you can bet it has seen a few things over the decades.

Splashy premieres? That's a big ol' check. Movies that incorporated the '20s-era glamour of the venue into the plot? Yep, that's happened. And thousands of kids giggling along to a raft of Disney films, both vintage and brand-new? Absolutely.

But the El Cap is about to have a "first-ever," at least in terms of its modern run, and it involves a glow-big, game-thrilling story that takes up two sides of the same coin. And "coin" is the operative word here, since the tale started way back when 35 years ago, at a little arcade called Flynn's.

"Tron" from 1982, and "Tron: Legacy," released in 2010, will show back-to-back at the El Capitan on Thursday, Aug. 10, starting at 7 o'clock, as part of the landmark's Throwback Thursdays series. As for the "first-ever" designation? It's the first-ever double feature at the theater, which has been owned by the Walt Disney Company for nearly 30 years.

And the original "Tron"? It's marking its 35th anniversary this summer, too, and if you haven't revved up your 5th generation Light Cycle and made for a theater showing it on the big screen, here's a great opportunity to see the film's distinctive look played large.

A Special Double Feature VIP Preferred Ticket is $15, and that includes early "Tron" and the 2010 film, too, with a reserved VIP seat. A 64-ounce souvenir popcorn bucket, full of popped kernels, is involved, too, which feels just right for the night. Plus a bottle of soda, 20 ounces, twist top, there you go.

Want to see one film? It's ten bucks, with a reserved seat, smaller popcorn, and 12-ounce soda bottle.

Want your own Light Cycle? You'll likely have to find your way into The Grid, we'll guess, if that's your ultimate dream ride.

Photo Credit: Disney]]>
<![CDATA[NKLA Kitten Shower: Give a Meow]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:50:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/KittenNurseryLA1.jpg

Before social media, we may have not realized that Aug. 8 is International Cat Day, if a cat-loving friend didn't phone us and we didn't see it in the paper.

Wait. One second, now. That's not true at all. For if you call a cat a companion, somehow, deep inside, you definitely are aware that the calendar is rife with feline festivities, and that most days of the year likely have some sort of celebratory cat-related occasion involved.

But after the eighth of August ends, don't stow your wearable cat ears and Velcro tail just yet, for the meow-sweet party continues on Sunday, Aug. 13. Nope, it isn't an International Cat Day sort of deal at the NKLA Pet Adoption Center, but it is a coo-able, too-cute, let's-help-out kitten shower.

That's right, a kitten shower, though you don't have to fret about not winning any of the traditional games or not liking the cake at this particular shower.

Rather, the NKLA event is all about collecting much-needed donated goods on behalf of a whole host of regional animal rescue groups, organizations that are a part of the NKLA Coalition.

Want to contribute? You can swing by from noon to 2 p.m. on Aug. 13 and drop off your item at the center, which is located in West LA at 1845 Pontius Avenue.

Need gift ideas? There's a whole kitten-cute caboodle of 'em listed on the NKLA Kitten Shower Amazon wishlist.

Kitten nurser bottles, kitten beds, and kitten powder to make sure the wee furry is getting the right vitamins and minerals are all on the roster, as are throw blankets, heating pads, and both dry and canned food, in addition to other necessities.

Perhaps your own puss lives like royalty — we'll guess this is so, and send appreciation for all you do for animals — but if you long to go a bit further for those felines who need a leg up, and some care and coddling, the Aug. 13 Kitten Shower is a kind-hearted start.

Photo Credit: NKLA]]>
<![CDATA[Eclipse Fun: Make a Pinhole Camera at LAPL]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:13:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/223*120/eclipseGettyImages-467009246.jpg

If there was a solar eclipse on the horizon, back when you were a schoolkid, you could pretty much count on one thing: You and your classmates would spend some time fashioning nifty, and important, pinhole cameras.

Because we want to witness the marvel of an eclipse without that whole staring-directly-at-our-nearest-star part.

And pinhole cameras and projectors, those ingenious, quick-to-construct devices, allow us to experience an eclipse, safely, without too much prep time or expense.

So how to prepare for the Monday, Aug. 21 eclipse if you currently do not have a teacher handing you the necessary supplies to create your very own pinhole camera?

The Los Angeles Public Library can help. And while the solar eclipse as seen from Southern California won't be full — you'll need to head into the eclipse's pathway, further north, into Oregon or points elsewhere — we can still get into the cosmic swing of things down here.

Not only are there are couple of pinhole camera/projector-related workshops on the library system's upcoming calendar, but a number of other eclipse-oriented happenings are just ahead at various branches, including a Pre-Solar Eclipse Party for teenagers and Celebrate the Solar Eclipse and Send a Message for Science gathering that's an all-ages event.

And, of course, there will be multiple viewing parties on Monday, Aug. 21.

The best course of action right now? Check to see what eclipse-related get-together appeals to you, what branch it is at, and if the event is tailored to kids, seniors, adults, or teens or everyone who'd like to attend.

If you want to create a pinhole camera, you'll want to check out the Tuesday, Aug. 15 event at the Hyde Park Miriam Matthews Branch Library. The Wednesday, Aug. 16 to-do is at the Venice Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library is about creating a pinhole projector.

On the day of the eclipse, other spots around our region'll get into the astronomical action, including, notably, Griffith Observatory.

But if you just can't wait, and you and your youngsters want to have some eclipse-fun craft enjoyment, and learn a few nifty facts, the Los Angeles Public Library system is glad to help out.

Eye the whole calendar, eclipse lovers, well ahead of Aug. 21.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Penguin Chick Joins Aquarium Habitat]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:00:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/robinriggscr20170726_AOPpenguin_chickA_4225.jpg

You packed about a thousand boxes. You ran to the donation center, like, eight times. And you gave away the clothes that no longer fit.

Then, on the day of the big move to your new home? Well, you moved, over several busy hours, and, to your mild dismay, no one stood on the sidewalk, lending you support and cheering you on.

That, dear humans, is not how a penguin moves at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. There are devoted supporters standing by, the keepers and staffers of the aquarium, wishing the little mover well, and there are no boxes involved, nor record albums or weird lamps that don't really work to transport.

One only need gaze upon the aquatic institution to see the sweetness that went down, before opening hours, on Tuesday, Aug. 8. The newest Magellanic penguin chick, a baby bird born in May, made its public debut on that date, and the move from the behind-the-scenes nursery to the June Keyes Penguin Habitat was a smooth one.

After all, all the young penguin needed to do was waddle out, in an easy, no-rush fashion, with no moving trucks or boxes required.

The baby's parents? Roxy and Floyd. The baby's webcam debut? The exciting moment happened near the end of June 2017. Has the youngster now fledged? It has, meaning that those softer-than-soft downy feathers have been replaced, in recent weeks, by juvenile feathers, which can easily withstand repeated plunges into the H2O.

And penguins do so love water-fun plunging, again and again, which is the tried-and-true penguin way.

To help this young'un, you can contribute to the aquarium's Adopt an Animal program. Contribute $100 and nab "... a chance to go behind the scenes for a feeding and training session with the penguins." Fun and educational, both, which, really, are the same thing.

Need a look at the video of the penguin's move? Yes, you probably do.

Need to see this toddling tot in person? You can, starting on Aug. 8, at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Bouncing Baby Penguin is no longer all that wee, and it can't be cuddled in a human's hand, but finding a coo or two, as you watch the growing bird before your admiring eyes, will be an easy act.

Photo Credit: Robin Riggs
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<![CDATA[Free: Aqualillies Summer Watershow]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 18:03:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GrayMalinWatermarked.006.jpg

If you know your Tinseltown icons, then you probably know that cinematic swimming sensation Esther Williams was born on Aug. 8, 1921.

Prior to her auspicious arrival, people had enjoyed taking a refreshing dip, of course, and frolicking in the H2O, and somersaulting beneath the water's surface, and all the pursuits that pool lovers still adore today.

But Ms. Williams heightened the aquatic arts, and brought, via her astounding abilities and beloved films, a spirit of elegant movement, and dance, and gracefulness to a space where many of us simply glug-glug our way through laps.

The Aqualillies, those SoCal-based synchronized specialists of waterborne ballet, keep the memory of Ms. Williams dear to their hearts as they perform in fancy pools here and far from here.

And to honor their idol, on the very day of her birth, the Aqualillies perform a free summer show each year, a come-one-come-all affair built on old Hollywood glamour, athletic prowess, and warm-season'd sweetness.

The date? It's always Aug. 8, which is a Tuesday in 2017, and the location is The Hollywood Roosevelt, a starry spot befitting the movie-famous legacy of the honoree.

The Aqualillies Summer Watershow is free to see, there's a cash bar near the pool, and The Aquawillies — they're the "all-male team" associated with the 'Lillies — will put in a special performance, too.

Speaking of the cash bar, check it out: USA Synchro is the night's beneficiary, so 10% of that cocktail you buy? It'll help support "...the training of our national synchronized swimming athletes."

There's an afterparty, too, at the hotel's new hangout, The Rosy Oyster.

So buy a beverage and raise it to Esther Williams, her start as a competitive swimmer, and her singular legacy in splash-worthy cinema. She passed away in 2013, but her ability to weave swim skills into a Technicolor Hollywood tale remains forever legendary.

To show that legend some love, and the Aqualillies, and the Aquawillies, too, make sure you're poolside at The Hollywood Roosevelt by 7 p.m. on Aug. 8, the birthday of a shining, swimming star.

And while you're in Hollywood, consider visiting the Esther Williams Walk of Fame star. It's located on the east side of Vine Street, just a bit south of Selma Avenue.

Photo Credit: Gray Malin]]>
<![CDATA[For Sale: House That Inspired Stephen King's 'Pet Sematary']]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 16:35:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/stephen-king.jpg

In the market for a haunted house? The Orrington, Maine, home that inspired Stephen King's "Pet Sematary" is currently on sale for $255,000, 'Today' reported.

King came up with the idea for the novel in 1979 while renting the two-story house, which features wood floors, two fireplaces and new paint.

The book and subsequent movie adaptation were inspired by real events: when King's daughter's cat was run over by a truck, he buried the animal in the woods, where local kids had created a makeshift cemetery for other slain pets.

The house sits on a three-acre plot, and many rooms have a wall of windows that let in plenty of light.

Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Moscow Mules in Copper Mugs Won't Kill You: Officials]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 16:31:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/moscow-mule-copper-mug.jpg

Don't worry, Moscow Mule fans: Those solid copper mugs often used to serve the popular alcoholic drink probably aren't going to kill you.

Contrary to reports last week that Iowa was banning copper mugs entirely, a state official said that restrictions apply only to restaurants and bars, who may not serve acidic liquids -- like the lime juice in Moscow Mules -- in unlined copper vessels.

"It's not that if you drink a Moscow Mule from a copper cup, you're going to die," said David Werning, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

Most commercially available copper mugs are lined with tin or stainless steel, making them safe to serve any beverage, including the popular cocktail's mix of vodka, ginger beer and lime.

The controversy began after a routine inspection of the Hy-Vee Bar and Grille in Ankeny, Iowa, when restaurant inspectors found unlined copper mugs behind the bar, according to an inspection report provided to NBC.

Because the mugs were tarnished and pitted, Werning said, the Iowa Alocholic Beverages Division issued an advisory July 28 to restaurants in the state, eventually drawing national attention.

While the advisory tells business owners that that a state code "prohibits copper from coming into direct contact with foods that have a pH below 6.0," such as fruit juice, it lacks any kind of restriction on individual consumption at home.

"The food code only governs licensed food establishments. I know for a fact in my own family there are some copper cups," Werning said. "What you want to do in your home kitchen or home bar is up to you."

Iowa's state code follows a model code prepared by the Food & Drug Administration -- one that has generally been adopted in every other state, Werning said. An FDA spokesperson referred NBC to this code and declined to comment further. 

Werning added that he does not recommend that people consume Moscow Mules out of unlined copper mugs, given "the science behind the food code" and the beverage's 3.5 pH.

For every kilogram of their body mass, someone would need at least 0.01 milligrams of copper in order to face a potential health risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 220-pound person, for example, would need to consume one milligram of copper to experience health effects.

It's unclear how many many Moscow Mules it would take to ingest a significant amount of copper, or how long the drink would need to sit inside an unlined mug to actually leach the metal.

Ingesting high levels of copper can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, while very high doses can lead to death, according to the CDC.

Photo Credit: Portland Press Herald via Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Sold: Someone Bought Obama's One-Time Brooklyn Brownstone]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 14:03:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/obama+house+bhs.jpg It looks like President Barack Obama's one-time Park Slope brownstone has a buyer. The home on Second Street in Park Slope hit the market in late April for a shade over $4 million. It was listed by Brown Harris Stevens.

Photo Credit: Brown Harris Stevens]]>
<![CDATA[Halloween Horror Nights: New Titans of Terror Tram]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 12:32:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TitansofTerrorTramHostedbyChuckyHHN.jpg

Cruising around the Universal Studios Hollywood back lot, after dark, while on a vehicle dubbed the "Terror Tram"? 

It's a shiver-inducing pursuit many visitors to Halloween Horror Nights, the screamy seasonal extravaganza, enthusiastically opt for each September and October.

But the Terror Tram, which employs the theme park's daytime tours tram, is moving up to the next macabre level in 2017 thanks to a quartet of cinematic baddies, the kind of creepy monsters you generally want to drive away from, not toward.

The creative ghouls behind the maze-filled spectacular revealed the latest eerie attraction on Sunday, Aug. 6 at the ScareLA Halloween convention. But the sunshine of early August can't dispel the chills you may get at reading the following names of the Titans of Terror headliners: Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, and Chucky.

So prepare for the brand-new Titans of Terror Tram Hosted by Chucky, regulars of Halloween Horror Nights and new fans, too. 

As with past nighttime tram rides, you'll head out to the shadowy backlot, where iconic villains will await your arrival, possibly (probably) gleefully chuckling at the thought.

In addition to the scares of the tram, the Crystal Lake motel (Jason's haunt), the suburban charms of Springwood (eek, Freddy), and Leatherface's stomping grounds can also be visited, if you dare, at a new Titans of Terror maze.

Squaring off with just one of those wicked figures is dramatic enough, and the "Child's Play" doll, too, but all four? Best start building up your bravery muscle, and working out some of your deepest fears, well ahead of the 2017 opening of Halloween Horror Nights, which is on Friday, Sept. 15.

As for other back lot features? Fans of the Terror Tram will remember the "War of the Worlds" plane and the actual "Psycho" house as two spooky sights of a night spent wending through natural chaparral, vintage movie sets, and by some of the skin-crawl-iest scenes of the whole Halloween Horror Nights line-up.

Photo Credit: Halloween Horror Nights]]>
<![CDATA[Tony Winner: 'Curious Incident' at the Ahmanson]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:43:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/7_CuriousTour0602r.jpg

Mysteries, as presented in fiction, often assume an overly expansive scale, with multiple players involved, and various possible outcomes, and thorny twists, and stakes that are almost outlandishly high.

But those seemingly unsolvable dramas of our day-to-day lives, the stories surrounding our family, and duties, and love, are the sorts of mysteries that touch us all, even if we have a propensity for getting a little lost in the weeds as we try to make sense of the larger picture.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," the Tony-winning sensation, delves into the enigmas of our domestic spheres as it follows Christopher, a 15-year-old boy who sets out on an initial and highly heartbreaking quest: To discover who killed a neighbor's dog.

The moving play is on now at The Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. 

Our 15-year-old hero "...has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life." Christopher is at first accused of being behind the vicious deed, but his determination to prove his innocence and find the culprit leads the tenacious teenager to unraveling a number of other sticky wickets, some that exist very close to home and the heart.

Based on the bestselling book by Mark Haddon, the Simon Stephens-penned play is in turns tender, and a tad terrifying, but an ultimately joyful exploration of those complicated parent-child ties, how we approach an often unforgiving world, muddling through when everything seems unclear, big bravery, trying the new, the marvels of math, and forging your own path.

Marianne Elliott, who directed the acclaimed "War Horse," is behind the science-spectacular, numbers-rich, grid-cool staging, and Adam Langdon stars as Christopher, bringing a sensitive, funny, physically astounding, and layers-deep interpretation to the role. The rest of the cast is superb, too.

It's a story that created a splash in bookstores and won thousands of intrigued and engaged readers before heading for the English, then American, stage. Catch the emotional piece of stagecraft through Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Ahmanson.

Photo Credit: ©2016 Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[OC Fair: Ways to Keep Cool]]> Sun, 06 Aug 2017 09:32:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ocfairnightride1234.jpg

Even if you aren't sure what sort of fried doughnut-topped ice cream corn-coated treat you'll eat, and even if you don't know if you'll pet a goat, a pig, or both, you can count on one for-sure thing when it comes to the OC Fair: You can leave your scarf and mittens at home.

No doubt, on the coolest of semi-foggy nights, skin-gladdening, cool-down breezes blows over the concerts rocking the Pacific Amphitheatre.

But if you're wandering the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa by day, and it is noon, or 2 p.m., and the sun's dial has been cranked up to full blast, you'll wish you had a fast way to find a frosty sweet and/or spot.

The fair, having been around since the late 1800s, and having seen well over one hundred Augusts, knows the eighth month can deliver hot heat on a platter to Southern California.

Sure, you can always swing by after the sun goes night-night. But there are other ways to find cool-a-tude, too. The people behind the spectacular, which runs through Sunday, Aug. 13, have shared their tips. Here are a few solid suggestions:

1. There's the Main Mall Water Fountain, where tots love to romp and slosh about on sunshiny days.

2. Head inside to Baja Blues Bar & Restaurant for an icy beverage or The Hangar for "free-to-play games."

3. The floral exhibits? Always refreshing to the eye, and Gallery 15, which houses the petals, has air-conditioning.

4. The water rides, like Wild Rivers or Pelican Splash in Kid Land? A little soaking can ward off the swelter, at least for a few minutes.

5. The chill-down-inside desserts are plentiful, from shaved ice at Carmelot's to churro gelato sandwiches at Fabe's Churros & Gelatos.

Hydration is key, as is pacing yourself. There are a lot of rings to throw around glass bottles, and rabbits to coo over, and concerts to dance to, and quilts to admire, and the fair has over a week to go.

But with these recent high temperatures, taking some needed breaks in the shade, or indoors, with something to nosh upon from the gelato or shaved ice food group, seems like a sensible, sweet, beat-the-heat thing to do.

Photo Credit: OC Fair]]>