It’s a three-day holiday weekend (four days for LAUSD families, who also have today off school), but it’s going to be horribly hot, so take it easy and don’t overdo. For those who would like to be out and about, however, here are some great options.
One of the biggest foodie events of the year – the L.A. Times’ The Taste festival – will play out in our very own neighborhood back yard at Paramount Studios this weekend. It starts tonight (Friday) with an opening-night party where you can mingle with hosts from the Times, along with participating chefs and bartenders, and sample “a focused collection of tastings, distinctive cocktail and wine offerings.” On Saturday afternoon, the theme is “Field to Fork – Fresh Tastes from L.A.’s Best Chefs.” The session features “fresh-focused dishes using locally sourced ingredients” and “the brilliant flavors of seasonal cooking.” Saturday evening’s session is “Dinner with a Twist,” a cocktail party on Paramount’s backlot, with “innovative tastes from the city’s best restaurants, plus fine wines, beers and, of course, handcrafted cocktails.” On Sunday afternoon, enjoy an old fashioned “Block Party,” in which L.A.’s “top chefs and mixologists” will serve food, cocktails, wine and cold brews. And finally, on Sunday night, enjoy “Flavors of L.A.,” hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold and chef Gilberto Cetina Jr. of Holbox and Chichen Itza. The session will explore “an ecclectic collection of the city’s best restaurants,” and “many of its most talked-about chefs.” Tickets are available by event or for the whole festival. See the above link for details.
At noon on Saturday, you could also head over to LACMA, which will be celebrating the exhibit “Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage” with a big “Dapper Day” event. It’s “a day and night full of art, fashion, film, music, and dancing,” with docent-led tours, and a 35mm screening of “The Red Shoes” (followed by a conversation about costume design for dance with Stephen Galloway, Bobi Garland, and Stacia Lang). You can also enjoy a LACMA picnic on the lawn with your own food or goodies from the LACMA restaurants or concession stands, and enjoy the free Latin Sounds concert at 5 pm., featuring Fabian Otero & West Coast Salsa Orchestra. (Dance floor available!). The Chagall galleries will also be open for an additional two hours, until 9 p.m…and there will be more dancing, from 7-10 p.m. in front of Urban Light, with DJ Professor Watson. See the link above for more information and ticket details.
For hot families on both Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., there’s the air-conditioned kiddie matinee at the New Beverly Cinema, this week featuring “Muppets from Space.” And for those who just can’t bear going back out into the heat for too long after the show, you could also come back for a double feature of “War of the Gargantuas” and “Frankenstein Conquers the World,” starting at 7:30 p.m.
If you’re looking for some great music, though, the place to be is definitely the West Adams area, which is hosting two big music events this weekend.
First is the annual West Adams Avenues Jazz & Musical Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to midnight at 7th Avenue and W. Adams Blvd. (north of Adams, south of 25th St.). The event is a culturally diverse gathering of neighbors with picnic baskets and lawn chairs, enjoying local musicians from the community. The festival grows every year, though, and last year drew more than 1,300 attendees. There will be dancing in the street, activities for kids, a dance contest, arts, crafts and jewelry from local artisans, and great food from local restaurants. Admission is free – so bring the whole family…and don’t forget your lawn chairs.
On Sunday, for even more great West Adams music, there’s the West Adams Block Party, celebrating music, art and cultural diversity in the city. It’s a joint project of the City of Los Angeles Human Rights Commission’s EmbRACE LA initiative, and Delicious Vinyl, held at Delicious Pizza HQ, 5419 W. Adams Blvd., from 2-10 p.m. on Sunday. The free all-ages event will feature jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop artists and DJs, with sounds provided by Soulection DJs, Boomyard LA, Delicious Vinyl and SoulPeople Sound System, plus surprise performances from local up-and-coming and international acts. There will also be games, face painting and the “West Adams” castle jumper for kids…as well as a Dilla’s Donuts Pop-Up shop inside the Delicious Pizza gallery Infinity Room, with donuts by Dilla’s Delights. Volunteers from Los Angeles based non-profits including Dreamhaus LA, Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center and Lets.Give will help raise awareness for art, music and charity programs in the community.
For those in the mood to travel and who don’t mind getting a bit warm under the sun, it’s worth mentioning that this is also the opening weekend for the LA County Fair, which runs today through September 24 at the Fairplex in Pomona. Fried food, farm animals and all sorts of other timeless fun are, of course, guaranteed.
Finally on Sunday night, closer to home, there’s another fun (though more adult) double feature back in the air-conditioned comfort of the New Beverly – a 20th anniversary screening of Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” at 6:30 p.m., and Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight,” starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, at 9:35.
Have a great long weekend, everyone…and stay cool!