Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Weekend Buzz – Events for August 18-19, 2018

As summer begins its long slide toward fall (school’s back in session for many families, but the heat blazes on), the local event schedule is filling up again, very quickly.

On Saturday, there’s a great, free financial planning workshop for 16-to-24-year-olds.  From 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. the “L. A. budget Challenge to Improve Youth Financial Literacy,” will be sponsored by L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin and 30 other organizations, including Junior Achievement, a nonprofit group that prepares young people to succeed in a global economy.  The event, held at Junior Achievement’s facility at 6250 Forest Lawn Dr., will feature an interactive simulation to test how the participants would handle present day financial scenarios. Checking accounts provided by Controller Galperin will be given to all students and prizes will be awarded throughout the day for those who complete budgeting challenges.

A second interesting city-sponsored event is for anyone who has ever “had a cool idea about how city services could work better but didn’t know who to tell.”  Design Your LA is an arts and crafts workshop, with MIT’s Gabriel Kahan, that will help you model your ideas for city improvements and services, and share them with city leaders and other community members.  It’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Exposition Park Library, 3900 S. Western Ave.  It’s free, and refreshments will be provided…but please RSVP at as space is limited.  The event is co-sponsored by the LA Public Library, City of LA Information Technology Agency, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, and FUSE Corps

Another event featuring modeling and prototyping, but this time studying things designed by others, opens this weekend at the Japan House at Hollywood and Highland.  “Prototyping in Tokyo: A visual Story of Design-Led Innovation” opens today (Friday) and runs through October 10, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily ( 7 p.m. on Sundays).  The exhibit is for design, robotics, or science fiction fans – or anyone who has a future inventor who loves the Makerspace movement…and the goal is to both inspire and ask what a future society with technology will look like someday.  Among other items, you’ll see clocks with arms that “hug” you when you walk by, r obots “born” fully formed with spin-like vertebrae seamlessly crawling towards the future, and wooden archer dolls, engineered to pluck arrows out of a quiver and shoot.  And it’s all free, no RSVP needed.

Of course, if you’re just looking for some silly fun, we’ve got that too this week.  For example, anyone who loves big trucks and big noise can thrill to the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series at Staples Center, at both 1 and 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The event, according to the organizers (and probably confirmed by your nearest 6-year-old boy)  “brings adrenaline-charged family entertainment to fans across the country” with “more trucks, more racing, more freestyle, more donuts, more wheelies, more action!”  The show features drivers going head-to-head in seven different competitions, with each driving three different vehicles — Monster Jam trucks, Monster Jam Speedsters and Monster Jam ATVs, with the winner advancing to future competition events.  See the above link for tickets and further details.

If you’re looking for great food on Saturday, try the 8th Annual LA Taco Festival, from 12 to 8 p.m. at Grand Park in downtown LA.  The event features tacos and other great food from nearly 20 of the city’s top taco providers, as well as music and more…all benefiting housing solutions for homeless youth.  More information at the link above.

And as long as you’re downtown on Saturday afternoon, you could also head over to Little Tokyo for the second and final weekend of the big Nisei Week cultural festival – featuring a big Taiko Drumming Gathering at 12 p.m. and a Gyoza Eating Championship at 2 p.m., both at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, 244 S San Pedro St.

Finally on Saturday, for your vintage film fix, the American Cinematheque is showing two Dennis Hopper classics, “Blue Velvet” and “River’s Edge,” starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd.  In the first movie, “squeaky-clean suburbanite Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan) gets a crash course in the dark side of life when he stumbles upon a severed ear in a field near his home. Before his amateur investigation is over, he encounters kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, Isabella Rossellini as a tormented torch singer and Dennis Hopper as one of the scariest villains in film history.”  And the second is “Director Tim Hunter and writer Neal Jimenez’s tale of disaffected teens, who are tainted by either knowledge or complicity in a young girl’s murder…A smart, literate, fearless movie chock-full of amazing performances, from conscience-stricken Keanu Reeves, to visibly damaged psychotic adult Dennis Hopper, to crazed and mesmerizing Crispin Glover, to the heart of the picture, a dull-eyed, empty-headed “Samson” of a man played by Daniel Roebuck.”

On Sunday, it’s back to food, with a Jonathan Gold Memorial Food Tour, starting at 11 a.m. in downtown LA.  The Avital Tours company is sponsoring this visit to several restaurants favored by the late, beloved LA Times food critic. The tour will visit four restaurants Gold loved and wrote about “with a sprinkling of culinary history and stories in between.” Profits from the tour will be donated to The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, to support to pancreatic cancer patients and their families. (Gold succumbed to the disease last month.) See the link above for tickets and further details.

For those looking for art this weekend, it would be a great time to check out “Yayoi Kusama, With All My Love for the Tulips, I Pray Forever, 2011,” which recently opened at the Marciano Art Foundation, 4357 Wilshire Blvd.  Kusama, whose “Infinity Rooms” were recently a huge hit at the Broad Museum, is a pioneering multimedia artist whose “work has transcended some of the most important art movements of the second half of the 20th century, including pop art and minimalism.”  This “exuberant sculptural installation” at the MAF consists of an immersive space featuring oversized flower-potted tulips made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic and painted with the same red polka dots as the floor, ceiling, and walls.  Tickets are free, but timed entrance reservations are required.

For the younger set, Sunday afternoon features a 3 p.m. screening of the Walt Disney classic, “Lady and the Tramp” at the Wiltern Theater, 3790 Wilshire Blvd.  Doors open at 2:30 p.m., and there will be themed photo ops, face painting, and coloring stations. Kids under three admitted free.  Food, soft drinks and adult beverages will be available for purchase.  See for ticket details.

On Sunday evening, you could attempt to win back your weekend’s expenses at the Ebell of Los Angeles’ Bingo at the Ebell event, starting at 5 p.m. at the Ebell clubhouse, 741 S. Lucerne Ave.  Tickets are $25 for members and $20 for non-members, and include a BYOB dinner, an evening of game fun, and cash prizes. Free parking is available in the large lot on Lucerne, across the street from the Ebell.

And finally on Sunday, you could also opt for the higher energy of Swingin’ Summer Returns to the Wiltern, back at that classic auditorium starting at 6:30 p.m.  The event is a a 1920s-style night of swing dancing, tap-dancing, multiple dance floors, a vintage marketplace, “dreamy photo ops,” and music from the 10-piece jazz band Lizzy and the Triggermen. There will also be dance lessons available before the main events begin.  See the above link for ticket details…

…and have a great weekend!

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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