February is coming, people, and it’s time to do something about it by going out or listening in to one of these mindfully selected events below. Stay informed with local community matters at a Neighborhood Council meeting or, perhaps, at a virtual Town Hall, where you may even end up volunteering for something. You can also get your health & wellness journey started for the year at a Mindful Eating workshop, through an engaging Book Talk convo, or simply by looking at some art or eating a healthy burrito. Get out there and be a doer! It’s easier than you think. And while I’m (hopefully) inspiring you, I may need to redirect some of that inspo my way, as I tend to enjoy the comforts of home.
Arts, Culture, and Mindful Eating
First up this week, though not exactly in the mindfulness category, the Petersen Museum is hosting a free family movie night tonight – Friday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m., featuring Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, in which “the age-old clash between Autobots and Decepticons unfolds before your very eyes in a cinematic marvel!” And this being the Petersen, the organizers promise that “This isn’t just a screening; it’s an immersive journey into the heart of the Transformers universe! Stand face-to-face with some of the legendary Transformer movie cars, the iconic heroes you’ve cheered for on-screen, and capture unforgettable moments with them!” While the screening is free for everyone, though, do note that seats are limited, and all children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult or guardian.
As part of its ongoing series on mindful eating, JAPAN HOUSE LA presents Food as Practice | Nurturing a Healthy Mind, Body & Soul. this Sat, Jan 27. For centuries, the Japanese have incorporated Shojin Ryori – a type of cooking that embodies Buddhist principles from the choice of ingredients, to the methods of preparation, to the experience of eating itself – into their culinary practice. All dishes are vegetarian and emphasize simplicity, but also contain layers of philosophical meaning, encouraging humans to step back, examine our relationship to food, and gain a new perspective on our bodies, lives, and the world. Led by esteemed Soto Zen monk, Rev. Taiga Ito, guests will discover the essence of shojin ryori through an intimate lecture and tasting session. “Let the flavors and textures transport you to a realm of introspection!” Two session times available: 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. and 2 – 3:45 p.m. Tickets are $35.
It’s Saturday, January 27th and the Opening Day of the Winter Exhibit at the Craft Contemporary! The museum will commemorate the opening with a reception and good times that include complimentary premium craft cocktails by Melograno, and live music by DJ Arin. Enjoy exclusive gallery access and first looks at the Winter Exhibits, Art Iran: Falling into Language by nine diaspora Iranian artists – using diverse forms of the Persian alphabet, handwriting, text, and fragments, the artists remain connected to their cultural inheritance – and Power in Every Thread by Maria A. Guzmán Capron and Minga Opazo – recycled fabrics get transformed into unique forms of expression; rerouting them from landfills to museums, galleries, and collector’s homes. The cost is $12 and free for members. Reception hours: 6-9 p.m.
Become a part of the afterhours scene, this Sat, Jan 27, when you check out L.A. Intersections at The Broad: Punk Poetry, a two-part festival-style series celebrating organic music and spoken word scenes that have emerged in Los Angeles, including punk, jazz, rap, and noise music led by a new generation of Filipinx artists. This installment of L.A. Intersections will feature live music by Myka 9 and Aceyalone of Freestyle Fellowship, Carlos Niño & Friends, and Pedestrian Deposit and Zulu; readings by Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Off!) and Mike Watt (Minutemen); a slideshow of punk queen Pleasant Gehman’s club flyers and pages from her Lobotomy Fanzine, and a vocal performance by Micaela Tobin AKA White Boy Screamin. Tickets are $30. Event takes place in the East West Bank Plaza, 1st Floor Exhibition Galleries, Oculus Hall at The Broad from 8-11 p.m.
Moving on to Sunday, January 29, if you’re looking for a laugh, consider Whippet Comedy at Hexi LA (the new-ish food and artisan venue at the gorgeous Art Deco Building at 5209 Wilshire Blvd.) The multi-performer stand-up event, billed as “Hancock Park’s only monthly comedy show,” starts at 7:30 p.m., and the lineup includes Aparna Nancherla (Late Night with Seth Meyers, Bojack Horseman, Unreliable Narrator), Chris Grace (Superstore, Broad City, Mr. Mayor, Atypical, Pen15), Lizzy Cooperman (Crashing, Haha Harvest Festival, Lovett or Leave It), Brian Gallivan (Shrinking, Second City), and Kari Assad (Mermaid Comedy Hour). Tickets are only $12, and it’s BYOB.
Next, and also super close to home, you and your younger kiddos can have some fun at the John C. Fremont Branch Library, 6121 Melrose Ave., on Monday, January 29, from 3-5 p.m. Longtime neighborhood favorite Cheri Moon, of Snooknuk, and Ebot, the singing robot, will perform (inside a colorful LED rocketship puppet theater) SnookNuk & the Robot Puppet Show, which will “take you on an adventure of robot nursery rhymes, stories, dance, fun, games and prizes.” Best of all, like all library events, it’s free and open to everyone.
Later on Monday, Jan 29, it’s time for some more peaceful grownup time again, with LACMA‘s Sculpting Dreams: How Stone Shapes the Imagination panel talk. Explore the possibilities and challenges of one of the world’s most enduring and inspiring artistic materials at a conversation between artist Analia Saban, architect Claus Benjamin Freyinger, and Museum curator Rosie Mills, who will discuss their experiences working with stone in conjunction with the exhibition Eternal Medium: Seeing the World in Stone. Argentinian born, Saban works across mediums, exploring how art objects are conceived, constructed and understood. Freyinger is co-principal of The LADG, an award-winning architectural practice based in LA, and a lecturer at UCLA, and Mills is the Associate Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at LACMA. Event runs from 7-8:30 p.m. Program includes access to the exhibit starting at 6:30 p.m., and for 30 minutes after. FREE; RSVP required.
Chevalier’s Books! – it gets an exclamation point because I said so, and because it’s Book Talk time with New Yorker Writer Nick Romeo in Conversation with Rick Wartzman on Wed, Jan 31 at 6 p.m. Join the two authors for a wide-ranging discussion on his new book, The Alternative: How to Build a Just Economy, and how a growing number of economists, business leaders and advocates are reshaping economies to reflect ethical and social values. Nick Romeo is a journalist, critic and essayist. He has spent years covering policy and ideas for The New Yorker, where he has reported on the world’s largest worker-owned cooperative in Spain, and examined a job guarantee experiment in Austria. Rick Wartzman is the author of five books, including Still Broke: Walmart’s Remarkable Transformation and the Limits of Socially Conscious Capitalism. FREE; RSVP here.
And, finally, following one Book Talk at Chevalier’s is another Book Talk, but this time it’s Mark Daley in conversation with Lawrence Zarian about his new memoir, Safe, on Thurs, Feb 1. What does it take to keep a child safe? As a long-time strategist and activist fighting for better outcomes for foster children, Daley thought he had the answer. But when two babies came into his life, Mark and his husband quickly realized they were not at all prepared for the uncertainty and complication of foster parenting. Every day, 700 children enter into America’s broken foster care system and thousands more live on the brink. Safe shines a much-needed spotlight on how this country treats the most vulnerable among us. Mark Daley is a social activist, entrepreneur, and foster-turned-adoptive father, who has decades of experience in message development, communication strategy, and public policy. Talk starts at 6 p.m. FREE; Kindly RSVP here.
Community and Local Government
First up in community events this week, the Miracle Mile Residential Association will hold its Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 27 from 10-11:30 a.m., at the Korean Cultural Center, 5505 Wilshire Blvd. Association members will provide neighborhood updates, plans, and more, and guest speakers will include LAPD Wilshire Division Captain Sonia Monico, and City Councilmembers Katy Yaroslavsky and Heather Hutt. All area residents are welcome and encouraged to attend!
Next, the Mid City West Neighborhood Council will be closing out January with an all-important Planning and Land Use meeting on Mon, Jan 29, so be sure to check it out via Zoom. Start time is 6:30 p.m. Check Mid City’s website for Zoom links, meeting locations, agendas, and full calendar. And, FYI, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is taking a breather this week, but it’s members will be back in the “boardroom” with Resilience Committee and Sustainability Committee meetings on Feb 5 and 6. Check the GWNC website for more info.
Finally, join LADOT, the Office of Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, and Office of Councilmember Nithya Raman for a Hollywood Safety and Mobility Project Virtual Community Town Hall to learn about safety improvements coming to Hollywood Blvd (between Gower and Hillhurst) and Sunset Blvd (between Hillhurst and Fountain). City staff will be sharing details about a new street design concept that will: Help slow down excessive speeding, Reduce pedestrian exposure to traffic, Allow for safer turns, and Create dedicated space for people on bikes and scooters. Share your questions and feedback on how to make Hollywood Blvd safer! (Virtual) Town Hall takes place on Thurs, Feb 1 at 6 p.m. Zoom link will be provided upon registration.