Hello there friendly neighbor, it’s me, and I’m back this Valentine’s Day week with dastardly delights and sweet nothings for all to enjoy, including a Bloody Valentine’s horror movie screening, complete with pre-show French cabaret act at the Million Dollar Theater…or, if a sweeter Disney-rated option is more your speed, make it an evening at the El Capitan instead. You can also order a V-Day meal to-go from the Cat and the Fiddle, or make a last minute reservation to dine in before you head over to the Walt Disney Concert Hall for a John Legend concert – tickets are still available. And if Valentine’s Day is not on your list of priorities or concerns, no sweat, there are still plenty of other non-related happenings and goings-on to get your fire started.
Arts, Culture, Black History, and Valentine’s Day
Start your weekend off right with folks at CAAM this Saturday, February 11 from 3-4 p.m. at the Opening Day event for Helen Cammock: I Will Keep My Soul (the North American debut of the UK-based, Turner Award-winning artist on display thru Aug. 5) at Art + Practice. Attendees will be treated to a live musical performance by Cammock and Roshanak Kheshti – a UC Berkeley Associate Professor of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies – along with being some of the first to experience the exhibit. In this two-channel film, performance piece, poetry, and print series, drawn in part from Cammock’s research in the archives of the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, you’ll hear about the artist’s encounters in the City, along with artist Elizabeth Catlett’s struggle for “agency, creative autonomy, and support” throughout her 1976 commission for the Louis Armstrong sculpture in New Orleans’s Armstrong Park. This event is free; reserve a Spot here.
And if you’re someone who loves learning about things they don’t know enough about, then head on over to your local library branch to catch a quick lecture on LA’s History of Racial Segregation and Discrimination in Housing on Saturday, February 11 from 1-2 p.m. at the Wilshire Branch Library. Urban Planning Historian Rasheed Shabazz will be there to discuss LA’s long history of racial segregation and discrimination in housing. Rasheed is a journalist, photographer, historian, and urban planning and community development researcher. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelors in African American Studies and Political Science, with a minor in City and Regional Planning. For ADA accommodations, call (213) 228-7430 at least 72 hours prior to the event. This event is free to the public.
It’s Black History Month and the annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) is the perfect place to support more than 200 Black films, filmmakers, artists, and unique craftspeople from all over the world. In 1992, PAFF was established as a non-profit organization to become “the international beacon for the Diaspora arts community to showcase “our stories” and preserve the cinematic creativity of Pan-African Culture. Today, the fire of ingenuity is rekindled to serve an emerging generation.” PAFF is the largest Black film and arts festival in the US, featuring informative panels, filmmaker Q&As, workshops (featuring top industry professionals), and rare cinematic gems. All films will be showcased on the big screen at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills Crenshaw & XD in Los Angeles ( 4020 Marlton Ave to be exact). I’m a little late to the game here, as the Festival opened on Feb 9, but there’s still plenty of films and art to catch from now through February 20. Click here for the full schedule. Tickets are around $10 per screening.
If my significant other took me to see John Legend on Valentine’s Day, I would be a very happy camper, to say the least. But who needs an “s.o.” to enjoy this extremely talented artist at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, when friends and family will more than do, and give you all the chance to have a galentine’s or famentine’s day instead. So start the week off right this Monday, February 13 and on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14, by taking or going with loved ones to An Evening with John Legend: a night of songs and stories. Get the goosies IRL at a special solo show by the one and only John Legend, featuring “intimate reimaginings” of his greatest hits as well as selections from his forthcoming album LEGEND (Piano Solo Version), released on February 8 via Republic Records. Tickets range from $99-$299, but are selling out fast. Don’t let this perfect last minute V-Day surprise slip through your fingers! Concerts start at 8 p.m. on both nights.
The Cat and Fiddle Pub and Restaurant has come to the rescue again with another holiday menu for you and yours to remember. This month it’s a Valentine’s Day Prix-Fixe Menu and includes starters like curried carrot soup and organic baby greens, before you get to the main course choices such as organic roasted chicken, stuffed Australian leg of lamb, beef wellington, or nut roast wellington (veggie and gluten free). Wash it all down with sparkling wine or a delicious blackberry-cranberry Moscow mule (or two), and complete the circle of good food with a delectable dessert of the chocolate mousse, sticky toffee pudding, or vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream cake variety. Pre-order online by Mon, Feb 13 for takeout pickup on Tues, Feb 14. Reservations required for dining in. Valentine’s Day dinners range from $33-$45. The restaurant is located at 742 N. Highland in Hollywood, and is open daily from noon – 11 p.m. (Kitchen closes at 10 p.m.).
And for a sweeter Valentine’s Day, how about some good old-fashioned, clean Disney fun at the El Capitan Theatre on Tuesday, February 14. A modern twist on a classic tale, The Princess and the Frog features a beautiful girl named Tiana who dreams of owning her own restaurant. When she meets a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, a fateful kiss leads them both on an adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana…with a villainous voodoo magician on their tail! All ages reserved tickets are $16 and include a 54 oz. popcorn, but why not make it a real date by going with the Valentine’s Dinner and a Movie package ($55 pp), which includes 1 movie ticket (7 p.m. show), 1 dinner reservation to Miceli’s Italian Restaurant (Dinner is at 5 p.m. before the movie or at 9 p.m. after select shows), 54 oz. popcorn, and tax and gratuity! Purchase tickets by calling 1-800-DISNEY6. Screenings everyday, now-Feb 14; showtimes are 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m.
Bloody Valentines, anyone? It’s seems to have become quite the tradition to watch slasher films on this day, and on Saturday, February 11 and Tuesday, February 14, Street Food Cinema will present its Bloody Valentines with a showing of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Jennifer’s Body, respectively, at the Million Dollar Theater. There’ll be bloody underground photo opps, audience games, wine, beer and specialty cocktails available in the Lovers Lounge, and more. Valentines Slides are also available for purchase, so you can “spill your guts out on screen before the film” (I’m guessing that means you can send a special message to your Valentine for all to see), plus a special performances by, authentic French Cabaret act, Cabaret Versatile on both nights! Doors: 6 p.m. Movie: 8 p.m. Advanced/Door: $28/$33 – Reserved Section: $31/$36. Seating is first come, first serve for both sections. P.S. Grand Central Market food is welcome in the theater, but outside alcohol is not.
Finally in the Valentine’s vein, the Friends of Residential Treasures (FORT LA) is offering a self-guided Valentine’s Stroll in Venice. Just make a $30 donation to the organization here…and your architectural trail map will be mailed to you for strolling with your love at your leisure.
And on Wednesday, February 15, you’re invited to join the fine folks at the Holocaust Museum LA, in-person from 7-8:30 p.m., for a discussion about Selfies in Auschwitz: The Challenges of Holocaust Memory in a Digital Age – Are selfies at Holocaust memorial sites ever acceptable? Good question. Learn from the highly accomplished Dr. Jackie Feldman, professor of Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, as he explores “the ever-changing dynamics of preserving and honoring memory in the modern age of technology and social media.” Dr. Feldman’s current research project, funded by the Israel Science Foundation and the German Association for Scholarly Research (DAAD), is “Memorial, Museum, Smartphone: Transmitting Holocaust Memory in a Digital Generation,” which examines how structures of authority, place memory, and social solidarities change as a result of widespread digital technologies and social media. Very interesting. Kindly RSVP here.
Larchmont Village darling Chevalier’s Books has two events to bookend the week, and first up is a reading of Cecilia Woloch’s & Kristine Rae Anderson’s latest works, Tsigan and Field of Everlasting on Thursday, February 16. Cecilia Woloch is an LA-based award winning poet, writer, teacher, and performer who has spent the past year as a Fulbright Scholar in southeastern Poland, near the westernmost border of Ukraine. Kristine Rae Anderson is an LA-based educator, poet, and longtime participant in Cecilia Woloch’s writing workshops. This is a freebee and it starts at 6 p.m. Reserve a spot here. Second up, on Friday, February 17, Dr. Shaun Anderson will be in the house discussing his new book, The Black Athlete Revolt: The Sport Justice Movement in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter. Spanning from the civil rights movement to today, this is “the first book to take a historical and contemporary look at how Black athletes have used their influence to move beyond protests and create substantial change for Black Americans – and in the age of social media, athletes have a powerful influence like never before.” Shaun M. Anderson, PhD, is the Founder and President of CSR Global Consulting, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping sport organizations develop strategic plans to effectively communicate their Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. Anderson is also an Associate Professor of Organizational Communication at Loyola Marymount University. Also a freebee, starts at 6 p.m. Reserve a Spot here.
The Mid City West Neighborhood Council has returned to us with a somewhat busy week, starting with a Valentine’s Day Board Meeting at 6:30 p.m. – how romantic! Followed by the Transportation and Sustainability Committee on Wednesday, February 15 and the Outreach and Civic Engagement Committee on Thursday, February 16. Click here to check MCW’s calendar for details.
Meanwhile, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is on hiatus this week, but we’ll be back soon. Check full calendar here. P.S. All Neighborhood Council meetings may go back to IRL starting next month, so stay tuned for more info.