EARTH DAY: News this week that there may be other earth-like planets full of water couldn't be more intriguing or timely. It's our own planet's big holiday, and the national parks will be marking the occasion by waiving all admission fees from April 22 through 26 (National Park Week officially kicks off on April 20). LACMA turns its attentions to nature and its airy campus on Sunday, April 21. And the people in pajamas will clean up the sandy shores of Long Beach on Saturday, April 20. Oh, and if you happen to head for the sequoias, here's an interesting way to lend support.
CicLAvia: The ever-popular, everyone-on-their-bikes mega event has new roads to cover and a lot of 'em: Over 15 miles have been added to the route. This is a route, we'll add, that is closed to car traffic but open to bicycles, scooters, roller skates, and people on foot. You'll be headed for the ocean from downtown, and Venice Boulevard is a major thoroughfare, so best avoid that area if you're in a car on Sunday, April 21. Better yet, park the car, get on your bike, and ride.
TOYOTA GRAND PRIX: On the other end of the wheel spectrum is this street-racing spectacular, one of the most well-known around (around=the entire planet). Really speedy cars top 90 mph, legally, on the streets of Long Beach. A whole other bunch of a heck of a lot of sporty stuff goes down, and there are concerts, family activities, food, and an expo, too. Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21.
POPPY FESTIVAL: The poppy output at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is lighter this year, due to weather (you probably guessed weather played a part). But the Poppy Festival is one of Lancaster's major annual parties, and it is most definitely on. Taste of Lancaster, food, kidly stuff, and other sweet family outdoorsy springtime stuff is afoot. Oh poppies. Hope to see you next year, doing that blanketing-the-ground thing we love so much? It's a date.
ECLECTIC VENICE: While other ocean-close towns have a very clapboardy feel, our own Venice goes its own way with modern, concrete-fronted buildings that are both futuristic and deeply whimsical. LA Conservancy leads a walking tour of some of the most interesting modern buildings in the burg, including Dennis Hopper's house. Saturday, April 20