Spring is (almost) officially here! The vernal equinox will begin in Earth’s northern hemisphere on Saturday, March 20 at 8:33 a.m. Celebrate the moment when the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north by enjoying one or some of the activities below. And if my ‘change of the season’ teachings weren’t enough, you can tune-in to a live broadcast from Griffith Observatory to learn more.
Arts, Culture, and Entertainment (and tomatoes)
Tomato fanatics, where you at?! Come shop heirloom seedlings and more at the Tomatomania Launch Event at Tapia Brothers Farm Stand happening now through Sunday, March 20. This long standing event will include more than 260 varieties of unique and exciting seedlings, plus peppers, herbs and veggies (when in stock), and all the extras you’ll need including quality soil. You’ll have to make the trek out to Encino, but I think you’ll find it’s worth it. And if you can’t make it out this weekend don’t fret, you’ll still be able to purchase all the offerings through April 16. Bonus: wear your favorite Tomatomania t-shirt from years past and get 10% off your tomato purchases.
Spring is here and so is the magical, seasonal Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Everyone’s favorite insect (and lower back tattoo) will be on display starting Sunday, March 20 (members get a special sneak preview on Saturday) through September 5. Featuring hundreds of butterflies, colorful native plants, and plenty of natural light, visitors will get to see all stages in the butterfly life cycle, including eggs, caterpillars feeding on leaves, and chrysalises. California natives like the giant swallowtail and buckeye will also be strutting their stuff. Bonus: museum educators and live animals keepers will be on hand to answer questions and expand our minds! The cost is $8 per person and free for members.
Next up, catch eclectic quartet DeVotchKa at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Monday, March 21 at 8 p.m. Described as a cross-pollination of numerous influences, including cabaret, spaghetti Westerns, norteño, punk, and the immigrant dance music of Eastern Europe, Colorado-based quartet DeVotchKa, formed in Denver by multi-instrumentalists Nick Urata, Tom Hagerman, Jeanie Schroder, and percussionist Shawn King. Please note, the show will be held in a beautiful, yet 95-yr old Masonic Lodge that requires ascending stairs to enter. Tickets are $39.50 a pop.
Chevalier’s Books is at it again this week with two events starting with a free virtual book talk on Wednesday, March 23. Tune-in at 6 p.m. as Puja Guha discusses her book, 2021 Crime Fiction Pick Of The Year, Sirens Of Memory. When your past comes back to haunt you, you are forced to see who you really are. Purchase a copy of the book here. Then on Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m., gather ‘round LA’s oldest independent bookstore as native Brit Jim Piddock discusses his book, Caught with my Pants Down and Other Tales from a Life in Hollywood with Diedrich Bader.
More I Am.. Film Series screenings continue at LACMA this week on Wednesday, March 23 with several short film selections followed by a moderated conversation with the filmmakers. This is a free online event, but an RSVP is required. And, hot diggity, there’s yet another collage class going on this week, but this time it’s with the folks at LACMA on Friday, March 25 from 6-8 p.m. Inspired by David C. Driskell’s Jazz Singer (Lady of Leisure, Fox) (1974), participants will create a portrait of someone they admire using collage and paint with artist Billie Rae Vinson. The cost is $45 for members and $50 for non-mems. Art materials are included. Pre-registration is required.
Lastly for Arts and Culture, Grammy Museum program The Drop is happening on Wednesday, March 23 and it looks like something worth checking out. To celebrate the release of her new album, Forever, the museum welcomes Grammy nominated saxophonist/vocalist Mindi Abair for an intimate moderated conversation followed by a performance. Tickets are only $30 and still available! The evening will also include a special wine tasting reception before the program hosted by the artist, featuring her wineandjazz.com wines, held exclusively for Grammy Museum Members (separate tickets required).
History and Community
While you may not be running the LA Marathon this Sunday, March 20, it could affect how easily you get around the city for a few hours, so we wanted to be nice and give you a heads up. To find out which areas to avoid, click here to view the route map. General info: https://lamarathon.com/
Next, help a deserving charity while you learn how to protect yourself at a Women’s Self Defense Workshop this Sunday, March 20 at Knowles Karate Academy. Participants will learn and practice some simple but effective standing and ground techniques. All proceeds will benefit Alexandria House, a charity providing safe and supportive housing for women and children. Please email [email protected] to reserve your spot. Space is limited! The class is from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. and the cost is $30 per person (open to ages 8 and up).
Then, on Wednesday, March 23, get ready to donate your life-saving blood at a Children’s Hospital Blood Drive happening at 5900 Wilshire from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, so anytime is a good time to donate, but the folks at 5900 Wilshire in partnership with IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management) are bringing the opportunity to you! Schedule your appointment today.
Your local NC, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council will have just one virtual gathering this week for the Land Use Committee on Tuesday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. Click here for details and supporting documents.
And the Mid City West Neighborhood Council will wrap up this week’s events with four meetings starting on Monday, March 21 with the Outreach Committee, followed by the Social and Racial Equity Committee on Tuesday, March 22. Weekly Wednesday Walks continue on Wednesday, March 23, along with the Economic Development Committee who will meet via Zoom that same evening. And the Executive Council will finish things off with a meeting on Thursday, March 24. Click here to check Mid City’s calendar for details.
Finally, it’s definitely election season, and local candidate forums are coming fast and furious these days. (Note: ballots for the June 7 primary will be mailed out starting on May 8.) This week, the ongoing Hang Out Do Good organization’s “Looking Local” one-on-one conversation series with various local candidates features CD 5 candidate Katy Young Yaroslavsky on Sunday, March 20 at 4 p.m...and CD 5 candidate Scott Epstein at 5 p.m. The event is free, via Zoom. Sign up here if you’d like to attend.
And then, on Monday, March 21, at 7 p.m., also via Zoom, the Hancock Park Homeowners Association will host its own CD 5 candidate forum, featuring three of the six registered candidates, Jimmy Biblarz, Katy Young Yaroslavsky, and Sam Yebri. Sign up here for this one.
About Julia Christiansen
Julia is a native Angeleno and jack of all trades, having worked in television, visual effects, professional sports, health and wellness, and custom design. She currently resides in El Segundo.