All that glitters is Broke L.A.

All that glitters is Broke L.A.

Sad you’re not experiencing gusty winds and near-100-degree weather in Coachella?

Drown your sorrows with a music & arts fest, food on the cheap and a socially aware film series.

Bonus: save a fortune on sunscreen.

BROKE L.A. – The festival formerly known as Brokechella has changed its name and with the mission statement of “The Next Big Thing”, claimed its territory as the premier local showcase for I-saw-them-when bragging rights.  On Saturday only, 50 up-and-coming indie, hip-hop, DJ, and comedy acts will tear it up on five stages.   Also check out Broke Film, a No Budget pop-up film festival, plus  nom nom from food trucks and restos like CoolHaus and Guelgagetza.  Bark L.A. (formerly “Puppychella” — insert happy face here) will provide festival dog-sitting (pre-registration only) in addition to adoption opportunities.  Why:  Musical bragging rights for the price of a snack in a desert dust storm.

Finance-challenged foodie alter!

Finance-challenged foodie alter!

PASADENA RESTAURANT WEEK — Craving a meal out but feeling the financial pinch post-Tax Day?  Already received your tax return and want to celebrate? Head to Rose City for the inaugural (and strategically timed!) Pasadena Restaurant Week.   Starting Sunday and extending through Friday, April 29, Pasadena eateries will offer special prix fixe meals including (usually) two-course lunches from $15 to $25 and (usually) three-course dinners from $27 to $45.  Special occasion diners will want to check out the iconic Parkway Grill, which sources from its on-site garden: dinner offerings include Thai shrimp corn dogs, pan-roasted Scottish salmon and a Butterscotch and Chocolate Brownie Trifle.  Vegans and the veggie-curious will want to venture in to Real Food Daily where plant-based lunch choices include Cardini Salad, a Portobello Mushroom Risotto and beverages such as Iced Lime Matte.  Carnivores can chow down for less at Arroyo Chop House, which offers Oysters on the Half Shell, Petit Filet Mignon and a Grand Marnier Souffle (add $7). Why:  Indulging your food fetish without breaking the bank.

Crocodile GennadiySIMA IMPACT CINEMA: 2016 WINNERS SERIES — Starting Tuesday , make the Skirball Cultural Center your destination for thought-provoking documentaries: all winners of the 2016 Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA) for documentary feature films.   Taking place on the foruth Tuesday of the month through August, watch compelling films like April’s inaugural offering: Crocodile Gennadiy (Almost Holy) about a vigilante Ukrainian pastor who kidnaps young drug addicts off the streets and rehabilitates them;  Terrence Malick is one of the Executive Producers.  Additional films include: The True Cost (about the dark side of the fashion industry); Omo Child: The River and The Bush (about ritual killing of Ethiopian children believed “cursed”); Dreamcatcher (about teenage prostitutes on the streets of Chicago); and Tell Spring Not To Come This Year (about an Afghan National Army unit in their first year of no NATO support). There’s a post-screening discussion after each of the five films with: filmmakers, humanitarian aid workers, government officials, NGO representatives, cultural anthropologists, and development, education, and human rights experts.  Why:  Expanding your cultural horizons and your empathy while supporting storytellers who make a difference.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Be the light.... (Photo of A1 Solar Light courtesy of d.Light and IDEO)

A Path Appears: Actions for a Better World  (Photo of A1 Solar Light courtesy of d.Light and IDEO)

T-giving is on the horizon but this weekend is all about art.

Do it, walk it, eat it, watch it, dance it.

Feels so good….

Be the Light

It’s a good week to be reminded of good things happening in the world.

This Thursday, the Skirball Cultural Center not only highlights the above but helps you contribute to the efforts as well.

Inspired by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Path Appears: Actions for a Better World  is both an exhibit and an immediate opportunity for socially conscious action.

Learn about grassroots campaigns in the fields of health, education, jobs, and civil and human rights in  environments fashioned from found objects: a listening station built of 5000 CDs;  a theater bumpered with used tires;  bubble wrap clouds overhead.

Tamp down the urge to pop the latter.

Check out ingenious designs such as solar lights (see above) and clean cook stoves that are helping to transform lives in developing countries as well as empowering programs that provide preschools for children in Haiti and life/training skills to women and girls in India, Africa and elsewhere.

The exhibition ends with the ActionLab where visitors can turn inspiration into life-changing action.

This holiday, be the change you want to see….

A PATH APPEARS: ACTIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD — Opens Thurs, Nov 19 & runs through Sun, Feb 21; Tues–Fri noon–5pm, Sat–Sun, 10am–5pm. Closed Mon & holidays.  $5-$10; FREE on ThursSkirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, LA 90049; FREE on site parking.  Tix & more info HERE.

Stack 'em up....

Stack ’em up….

Feeding Frenzy

Talk about your genius concept….

Tom Kirlin’s Pancakes & Booze Art Show delivers the perfect, all-in-one night out:


Carbs to soak up the liquor.

A DJ-driven dance party to work off the carbs.

And art.  Because Culture.

A VIP option allows you to go to the head of the entry line although you have to stand in line for pancakes with everyone else.

Not a problem….

You’ll be busy checking out the work of the 150 emerging artists represented on both nights of the flapjack-a-thon.  Become one with the art with live body painting, then document the glory that is you at the FREE photo booth.

You always suspected you had kaleidoscope eyes.

Peep live shimmy-and-shake from Dishrag Burlesque then shake your own self all night long at two stages of live music and DJs in the 10,000 square foot Lot 613 warehouse in the DTLA Arts District.

That’s in addition to the pancakes and beer.

Which would have been reason enough to attend.

PANCAKES & BOOZE ART SHOW — Fri Nov 20 & Sat Nov 21; 8pm – 2am both nights.  $5 GA – $10 VIP pre-sale/21+ LOT 613, LOT 613 (, 613 Imperial Street, DTLA 90021.  Pre-sale VIP tix & more info HERE.

So many much time.

So many artists…so much time.

Walk This Way…for Art

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhoods….

This Sunday, stroll, drive or cycle the hills and dales, country roads and city streets of Mt. Washington, Highland Park, Eagle Rock and their Northeast L.A. environs  to discover emerging and established artists in their natural habitats.

In other words, it’s where the magic happens.

The theme of the 23rd Annual Arroyo Arts Discovery Tour is “All Together Now!”  It’s an apt description of the self-guided Discovery Tour’s wide range of artistic disciplines including painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, wood working, fiber art, and more to peruse and purchase.

Check out Michael Arata’s compelling modern sculpture, Connie Rohman’s rich fiber art, ribboned jewelry by Pat Winters, metal sculpture by Heather McLarty and Arroyo Seco-inspired paintings by plein air artists Roderick Smith, Kevin Spitze and Richard Willson.

Discover your new favorite artist. Whittle down your holiday list.

In addition to gorgeous art, the Discovery Tour is an opportunity to visit beautiful, unusual and historic homes, studios and  buildings in one of L.A.’s original artistic communities.  The tour starts at the iconic Southwest Museum where day-of tickets can be purchased and tour maps acquired.  Pre-sale tickets are also available online and at Galco’s Old World Grocery.

Expect this to become your new favorite start to the holidays.

23rd ANNUAL ARROYO ARTS DISCOVERY TOUR — Sun, Nov 22; 9:30am – 5pm. $10 in advance; $15 day of the tour/all agesSouthwest Museum (start of tour/tix pick-up), 234 Museum Dr, LA 90065.  Tix & more info HERE.

Teeny films! Giant impact!

Teeny films! Giant impact! Maybe a pink car!

More Weekend Go Go Fun!

Sit ‘n Spin! — Drew Droege, Betty Goldstein, Bryan Kett, The Starr Sisters, Ron Zimmerman “tell the truth, but funny.”  Music by Marty Axelrod: “the Younger Randy Newman.” FREE!!! Thurs 11/19

DesignerCon 2015 – Art & design convention!  Collectible toys and designer apparel! Urban, underground and pop art!  Sat 11/21 & Sun 11/22

TinyTeeny3 —  Expect a spray of hot molten creativity!  Films under four minutes long!  Made by comedy and film people extraordinaire!  Sun 11/22

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….


Will you be my neighbor?

Go Go’ers, whether you’re yearning for a cozy cottage or aspire to build a sleek spire, here’s your chance to be part of the most charmingly interactive art installation ever to hit Los Angeles.

From September 24 through October 3rd, Skirball Cultural Center will host the gallery-based performance installation home sweet home from British theater company Subject to_change.   Make a date with a home sweet home real estate agent (actors…just like real life), choose a plot of land, plunk down $15, and get your key and your “building materials”:  a flat-packed cardboard unit just waiting for the nascent architect/contractor/interior designer/entrepreneur/social activist/environmentalist/city planner/gardener/urban farmer within you to burst forth.  Upgrades are available for extra moolah.  (Because even in Fantasyland, dream fulfillment ain’t cheap.)

The Skirball supplies supplies but home sweet home-ers are welcome to bring their own   (Hurray!  You knew those Seventies, smoky mirrored, mini-tiles would come in handy!) and to come as often as they want to work on their project over the course of the installation.  Community members can make requests to the local radio station (So you can whistle while you work!), file planning permits with the Town Council (Given the time constraints, here’s hoping the red tape won’t be too bad.), and “note community concerns”.  (Huge potential here to be a jerk, Go Go’ers, so tread lightly.  You don’t want to be known as the home sweet home NIMBYist.)  Sadly, you cannot set up camp next to your sweet, new home sweet home and must go back to your probably-less-adorable abode when the cultural center closes.  Yes, reality is a bitch.

There will be a mid-installation Town Hall meeting for “key holders” (where you can yak with Subject to_change creators Abigail Conway and Lucy Hayhoe as well as your fellow merry miniaturists) and you can take your home sweet home home after the end-of-installation Block Party, which will feature light refreshments and a live DJ.

Here’s hoping the playlist won’t include “Burning Down the House”.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….


Parno Graszt stir things up at the Skirball. (Photo courtesy of Yonas Media)

The moon may not be full until Sunday but that doesn’t mean your blood isn’t already stirring with the heat and the anticipation….

What better way to work off that agita than with Parno Graszt‘s high energy brew of soulful and oh-so-danceable Hungarian/Romani music.  Described as “THE SOURCE of Gypsy music” by Songlines Magazine, the eight-piece, twenty-year folk veterans (whose name in Romani means “White Horse”, the symbol of purity and freedom)  make their Los Angeles debut at the Skirball Cultural Center on Thursday to kick-off the institution’s oh-so-brief Summer Concert season.   Expect to hear instruments ranging from guitars, double bass, tambura and accordions to spoons, water cans, milk churns and ‘oral bass’ (a “continuous vocal improvisation made by the percussionist”).   And really, when was your last oral bass experience in public?

Party in the Pushkar. (Film still from "Ramblers, Roamers, Vagabonds - Parno Graszt" courtesy of podium productions)

In 2008, the Paszabi gypsies were invited to India (the purported motherland of the Roma people) where they searched for musical roots,  familiar customs, and source melodies while playing with local musicians in the Pushkar Desert and elsewhere. On Wednesday, the day before the concert, the Skirball screens Ramblers, Roamers, Vagabonds – Parno Graszt, Sandor Sillo’s color-drenched documentary of the journey.  (Free but reservations recommended so don’t delay, Go Go’ers!)

Eastsiders/downtown wage slaves can also check out the group  on Friday at the noon Grand Performances at the Water Court at California Plaza but those lucky enough to be able to plan an extended stay at the Skirball can dine before dancing (but sadly, not before film viewing) at the reservation only dinner buffet at Zeidler’s Cafe.   Post-dinner/pre-concert,  check out “Jews on Vinyl”; album highlights of the Roger Bennett/Josh Kun guest-curated exhibit include  “Batman and Rubin” and “Bagels and Bongos”.  (The latter may be the only instrument not utilized by Parno Graszt.)   Feel your Inner Don Draper relax in the retro Fifties living room where listening stations await.

The choice of whether to fill your hip flask with Mad Men scotch or Mad Hungarians is, of course, up to you….

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….