Why, hello there, you’re looking so svelte I almost didn’t see you. We’re only two weeks in and that new year smell hasn’t worn off quite yet (and there’s another big holiday this coming week), so just keep your chin up and your eye on the prize – and the rest of the year should run smoothly. And to keep things running as smooth as a baby’s bottom, I’m here to help keep your life-work balance in check with fun, thought-provoking, charitable, and sometimes out-of-the-box activities and events on the weekly. You’re welcome.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events
It’s only been 11 days since our last federal holiday, but on Monday we get another lovely three-day weekend to honor iconic civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also, as you may know, Los Angeles does MLK Day in a big way, with the annual Kingdom Day Parade and celebration. This year’s parade, said to be the “World’s Largest & Longest Running Life Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King,” will be the 39th annual star-studded event, taking place on Monday, January 15, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. It runs west along Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. from Leimert Blvd. to Crenshaw Blvd., then south on Crenshaw to Leimert Park Plaza, where a huge community festival follows the procession.
Also, did you know that MLK Day is also the only federal holiday that is also an official federal day of service? It is, and there will be several MLK Day of Service events in our general part of town, with plenty of opportunities to volunteer. You can choose from the LAWORKS.COM/MLK event at the LA Memorial Coliseum, another one at the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Mall, and yet another in West Hollywood. (See the individual links for times, details, and registration links.)And finally, of course, even closer to home, there’s Big Sunday’s 12th Annual MLK Day Clothing Drive & Community Breakfast, also on Monday, Jan. 15. Like always, it will be a big, wonderful block party with lots of ways for people of all ages to help, with the goal of putting together 2,024 winter clothing kits for all kinds of nice folks who are struggling. The day will also include lots of fun arts & craft projects to benefit local nonprofits, a Civil Rights Exhibit, and live music from the Blue Breeze Band. And if you can’t be there in-person, there are several other ways to become involved, so be sure to check the website for details. Sign-up to volunteer here.
Arts, Culture, and Psychedelics
Kicking off other events this week are a few Sunday and Monday Funday happenings (because why should Sunday have all the fun), starting with LACMA’s Kids Art Class: Let’s Paint! series of workshops that take place across five Sundays: January 14, 21, 28, February 11, and 18. Participants will view artworks from LACMA’s collections to inspire your own art-making and explore the effects different materials can have on your painting. All skill levels are welcome in this fun and lively class taught by artist Rosanne Kleinerman. This is the perfect opportunity to nurture your kids’ creative curiosity, like my parents did for me many many (dare I add a third “many”) moons ago! The cost for NexGenLA Members is $225; General public is $260 and includes all 5 dates. Pre-registration is required for all classes. This series is for kids ages 6-12. from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
And for the moodier-attitudier age group, LACMA also has a Teen Art Class: It Begins with a Sketchbook series offering on the table that kicks off on the same day as the Kids version, but takes place across 3 Sundays instead of five: January 14, 21, and 28. Sketchbooks are an important tool for artists, aiding them in planning and developing their ideas. Learn basic drawing skills and use your sketchbook as a jumping-off point for future projects. The cost for the series is $225 for NexGenLA Members and $260 General public. Pre-registration is required for all classes. For teens ages 13-15. Classes will be taught by artist Elly Dallas, and will take place indoors at the Boone Bungalow from 2-5 p.m.
And Sunday-Monday-Funday (Jan 14-15) continues with an Eclectic Old World Hollywood Estate Sale, offering a trove of treasures just waiting to be found – by you! Shoppers can expect a house packed with gems for every type of treasure hunt, including a mix of mid-century modern and modern furniture, music equipment and instruments from top brands, unique gems such as a McIntosh Amp and a 1920s Billiard Table, TONS of gorgeous authentic Moroccan, Turkish, and Persian rugs, clothing and accessories, a full kitchen, along with a vast collection of vintage books, coffee table books, vinyls, CDs, and more. Check the webpage for pics and a full list of items. This is a once-in-a-lifetime estate sale you simply don’t want to miss! The address for this sale, located in the Hollywood Hills, will be available after 7 a.m. on Sun, Jan 14.
Next up, on everybody’s second favorite work day of the week, Wednesday, Jan 17, the Ebell of Los Angeles presents 3-2-1 Done: Three Simple Strategies To Get Your To-Do List Done! And what a perfect way to start the new year, and celebrate the fact that you’re halfway through the week, than with an “organize your life” event. If your To-Do list is overwhelming, you’re probably making one of three very common mistakes. But don’t fret my pet, mom – entrepreneur – educators Alegre Ramos and Natascha Corrigan will teach you three easy, actionable, brain-science backed strategies that will have you checking off your To-Do list in no time, helping you feel calmer, save time, and accomplish your goals. Watch your productivity and time management skyrocket! Tickets are only $10 for Members and $15 for Non-Members, so don’t miss out! Workshop takes place from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Everyone’s favorite local bookstore, and one of Larchmont Village’s few remaining mom and pop shops, Chevalier’s Books is back in book talk action with author Ben Breen’s latest, Tripping on Utopia on Wed, Jan 17 at 6 p.m. Starting in the ’40s and ’50s, transformative drugs rapidly entered mainstream culture, where they were not only legal, but openly celebrated; American physician John C. Lilly infamously dosed dolphins (and himself) with LSD in a NASA-funded effort to teach dolphins to talk, and a tripping Cary Grant mumbled into a Dictaphone about Hegel as astronaut John Glenn returned to Earth (what?! – that’s awesome). You’ll also learn about the pioneering anthropologists, and star-crossed lovers, who were at the center of this revolution – Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. Described as a bold and brilliant revisionist take on the history of psychedelics in the twentieth century, this book illuminates how a culture of experimental drugs shaped the Cold War and the birth of Silicon Valley. This event is free; kindly RSVP here.
Then, a couple days later, on Fri, Jan 19, Chevalier’s will host author Amy Chua, as she discusses her journey from the daughter of immigrants to Yale Law Professor to author of numerous bestselling conversation-starting books, and now – novelist. Chua, best known for her memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a runaway international bestseller that has been translated into 30 languages, has most recently added novelist to her repertoire with her new book, The Golden Gate. Along with her many accolades, that include graduating magna cum laude from Harvard College and cum laude from Harvard Law School, being Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and practicing on Wall Street, she was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, one of the Atlantic Monthly’s Brave Thinkers, and one of Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers. Wowza! Quite the underachiever – wouldn’t you say? Kindly RSVP here.
Lastly, for Arts & Culture and whatnot, I leave you with the GRAMMY Museum’s latest and greatest, Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the genre’s birth in NYC. Considering hip-hop was a major component to the soundtrack of my high school days, this one is close to my heart, and still evokes some major nostalgic feels when I hear a specific beat. Opened back in Oct 2023 (I missed the boat on that somehow), the exhibit takes visitors through the origins and evolution of hip-hop with 5,000 sf of expansive displays that include dance, graffiti, fashion, business, activism, history, and one-of-a-kind “Sonic Playground”, providing an immersive experience that explores the profound impact and influence of hip-hop culture. The exhibit closes in Sept 2024, so there’s still plenty of time, but why not check it now? The Museum is open every day of the week from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., except for Tues, and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sat.
Community and Local Government
Next, in community government this week, the Mid City West Neighborhood Council peeps are back at work this week, starting with an in-person Public Safety & Well-Being Committee meeting on Tues, Jan 16 at 7 p.m. Followed by a virtual Transportation Committee meeting on Wed, Jan 17 at 7 p.m. and virtual Homeless Count Planning meeting on Thurs, Jan 18 at 6:30 p.m. Check Mid City’s website for Zoom links, meeting locations, agendas, and full calendar.
Next up is my personal favorite neighborhood governing body, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, which has an in-person Outreach Committee meeting on Tues, Jan 16 at the Fremont Branch Library (6121 Melrose Ave.) at 6:30 p.m., and virtual Transportation Committee meeting on Thurs, Jan 18 at 6:30 p.m. Check the GWNC website for Zoom links, agendas, supporting documents, and full calendar.
And finally, I’ll close things out with yet another reminder about the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count and its need for volunteers like you! Help end homelessness in LA by helping the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) on January 23, 24, and 25. The data collected is an essential component in understanding the scope and nature of homelessness in LA County and helps LAHSA and its partners deliver services where they are needed most. This year, the agency needs 8,000 volunteers to cover the entire Continuum of Care, and will mark the second year that Esri’s Homeless Point in Time App will be used, helping to make The Count as accurate as possible. Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis that truly takes the support of an entire community to end. Register to Volunteer here: TheyCountWillYou.org.