This year’s showers have brought many May flowers, with events aplenty to stimulate all five senses. First stop (smell) – Scent Fair LA at the Craft Contemporary. Find your new favorite scent or create one of your own. Second stop, and maybe the third and fourth as well – Dine LA Restaurant Week (smell, touch, taste, hearing, sight), going on now through the end of the week – try a bunch of different restaurants and special menus at a reduced cost. Third stop – AAPI LA @ Smorgasburg (more food) – Asian culinary delights and marketplace. Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth stops – a Tree Walking Tour, Sound Therapy, and a variety of Book Talks to get you feeling something. Happy sensing!
Arts, Culture, and The 5 Senses
Good news! Scent Fair LA 2023 continues at the Craft Contemporary this weekend, with plenty of workshops and good times to be had. Presented by The Institute for Art and Olfaction and Darin Klein & Friends, Scent Fair LA aims to introduce new audiences to “the world of highly conceptual scents,” with a curated selection of contemporary fragrance makers exhibiting and selling their work. The fair is free with the cost of museum admission ($5-$9), and paid workshops ($70-$75) like Candle Making and Perfume Blending are available on both Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7 for your educational enjoyment. Check Craft’s calendar for details and to RSVP. In addition, Art and the Senses: A Conversation with (artist, musician, perfume expert, and Scent Bar manager) Steven Gontarski will also be happening on Saturday and is free of charge.
I definitely missed the gravy boat last week when Dine LA Restaurant Week began, but there’s still a full week of scrumptious, reduced cost eats to be tried. 15 Years of Culture Through Cuisine is back in LA from now through Friday, May 12 with 25 local restaurants on the list, including Marino’s, Osteria Mamma, Fanny’s, Better Than Sex (what a great name for a dessert restaurant), Chill Since ‘93, ALK, Mother Tongue, and Sugarfish. Dine LA Restaurant Week takes place twice a year, to showcase and highlight “the diversity of culinary experiences our great city has to offer.” Enjoy special lunch and dinner menus across the County, offering dine-in only options to get you out of the house and trying new restaurants. There are no tickets or passes required, simply dine out at a participating restaurant and ask for the Dine LA menu. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Please check the Discover Los Angeles website for the complete list.
The Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society presents – drum roll please – A Tree Walking Tour with The Urban Lumberjack this Saturday, May 6 at 10 a.m. Join your fellow tree enthusiasts on a stroll through your neighborhoods with experts from The Urban Lumberjack, a business founded by ISA Certified Arborist Steve Marshall more than 30 years ago. The cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members. Capacity is limited to 30 people, so get your tickets now. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The WSHPHS was founded in 1976 to preserve and collect the rich and illustrious history of the Greater Rancho La Brea area. Today, the Society serves as a source of information about this unique LA neighborhood, supporting its preservation and mining its rich history for special events. All interested parties are welcome to join!
May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, and what better way to learn about other cultures than through food. And it so just happens that Smorgasburg at ROW DTLA is hosting AAPI LA’s biggest event of the year this Sunday, May 7 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., when 30 of the most delicious local AAPI eateries, restaurants, and food/drink brands come together for an annual celebration of food, music, and networking. Get to know the top and trendiest AAPI-owned eateries and brands in Los Angeles. This is a special one-day event, so don’t miss out! Entry is free, so come with the whole family and make a day of it. And stay tuned for more AAPI events to come this month.
Ahhhhh, the sweet, ambient sounds of singing bowls can be heard and felt by you this weekend at Tag Gallery on Sunday, May 7 from 2-3:15 p.m. when Enchanting Song Flower Presents a Sound Therapy Session, giving your mind and soul a thorough cleansing before the new week begins. Using instruments such as crystal singing bowls, the sound therapist will create a relaxing and meditative environment for you to immerse yourself in. Be sure to arrive 15-30 minutes early to check in, and enjoy a healthy drink or snack. After the session, you’ll be free to roam the galleries at your leisure. Tickets are $25. Tag Gallery is located at 5458 Wilshire Blvd. and open for business Wed-Sun from 1-7 p.m.
The Ebell of Los Angeles presents two Writers Bloc events this week, starting on Tuesday, May 9 with a book I’m personally very intrigued by, Shakespeare Was A Woman And Other Heresies. Considered the greatest writer in English literature, Shakespeare wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets, and over the past 400 years, contradiction after contradiction about who he/she really was has been thrown into the ether. In her book, Elizabeth Winkler cites poets, Supreme Court Justices, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Freud, and others, in probing the mystery of the author’s true identity with “humor, fun, and hell-bent detection. And no matter what side you’re on, Shakespeare Was A Woman And Other Heresies is “a fascinating and truly entertaining analysis of literary and cultural history”. Tickets are $25. The evening begins at 7:30 p.m. Please note that masks will be required.
Next up for Writers Bloc is Aurora James: Wildflower, A Memoir going down at The Ebell, Thursday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. Join the author, along with award-winning actress and social activist, Kerry Washington as they discuss the book. Toronto-native and NYC-transplant, Aurora James is a creative director, activist, and fashion designer who founded the fashion label Brother Vellies in 2013, with the goal of promoting traditional African design practices and techniques. And as founder of the nonprofit advocacy group, 15% Pledge, she is working with large scale retailers to have them commit 15% of their inventory to Black-owned businesses. Tickets are $25 or $45 that includes a copy of the book. And just a heads up for the Ebell Mother’s Day Brunch happening next Sunday, May 14. Tickets usually sell out, so get ‘em while they’re hot!
Hollywood Heritage Museum + Archive + Preservation Society is at it again with The Man Behind the Monsters: A Special Evening @ the Barn on Thursday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m., honoring the legacy of one of Hollywood’s most influential, yet forgotten, film producers: Carl Laemmle, Jr., who at the tender age of 21 was put in charge of Universal Studios! From 1929-1936, Junior transformed Universal and was personally responsible for launching “one of the most recognizable and enduring cycles of films” – Monsters! Julian David Stone, author of the new novel, It’s Alive!, which tells the story of Junior’s quest to get the original 1931 film classic “Frankenstein” made, along with a presentation on his life and career that includes rare photos, documents, film footage, and more. In addition, there will be a panel discussion with Laemmle family members, along with a special exhibit of monster memorabilia. Bonus: the museum shop will also have copies of It’s Alive! for sale, which the author will happily sign. Tickets are $10 for members and $20 for non-members.
Neighborhood favorite Chevalier’s Books has another solid week of Book Talks aplenty, including an interesting one on Friday, May 12 that seems appropriate to highlight so close to Mother’s Day. Join author Maressa Brown and Heather Brooker as they discuss Raising Baby by the Stars: A New Parent’s Guide to Astrology, a comprehensive and approachable guide to raising infants and toddlers with help from the stars. Beginning with your baby’s sun sign, then diving into their whole birth chart, here’s how to use astrology to decode your little one’s personality, character traits, communication style, likes and dislikes, inspiration for happiness, and triggers for fussiness, even the best-suited books, toys, and activities, all based on the timeless wisdom of the zodiac! Brown is an LA based journalist and resident astrologer for InStyle and Shape magazines, and senior editor for Care.com. Talk starts at 6 p.m. View Chevalier’s full calendar here.
The Mid City West Neighborhood Council has a short week this time around, beginning and ending on Tuesday, May 9 with a General Board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Check Mid City’s calendar for a full schedule of this month’s meetings. Please Note: all MCW meetings will now be held at the Pan Pacific Park Senior Center (lunch room) located at 141 S. Gardner St., Los Angeles.
And your local NC, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council has just one meeting this week as well, and it’s also a General Board meeting, taking place on Wednesday, May 10 at The Ebell of Los Angeles (Dining Room) located at 743 S. Lucerne Blvd. Check the GWNC’s website for agendas and full calendar.