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

Weekend Buzz – Events for November 11-12, 2017

The Grove will celebrate its big annual Christmas tree lighting on Sunday night…complete with fireworks.

This is Veterans’ Day weekend, so many families may have a nice leisurely three days, with many kids off school today.

Saturday seems to be the jam-packed day this weekend, and families with kids may be happy to note that it is also National Neighborhood Toy Store Day, and both of our local toy stores will be celebrating. First up, Landis’ Labyrinth Toy Shop, 140-144 N. Larchmont Blvd.,  is actually turning the event into Neighborhood Toy Store Weekend, to kick off the holiday shopping season with three days (Friday-Sunday) of crafts, giveaways, raffles and more.  The fun starts today, Friday, November 10, at 4 p.m., when visitors can enjoy Green Toys Dough modelling and adorable cupcake frosting by Sweetlings. But you can stop in any time this weekend for even more neighborhood toy store goodness.

Speaking of clay and also on Saturday afternoon, from 1-4 p.m., the Craft and Folk Art Museum will host LIT! A Menorah & Candelabra Clay Workshop with Ben Medansky.  Participants will design and hand-build a menorah or candelabra, and create an individual candlestick using Ben’s signature speckled clay.  (Fired and glazed work will be available for pickup at a later date.)  The cost is $100 for the general public or $90 for CAFAM members (which includes materials and kiln firing).  Advanced registration is required at [email protected].

For a fun kids’ matinee on Saturday, head over to the New Beverly Cinema at 2 p.m. Saturday, for 1970’s Pippi in the South Seas, in which the “plucky pigtailed heroine flies off with friends Tommy and Annika for a charmingly chaotic, amusingly eccentric quest to rescue her salty, seafaring father from a band of pirates.”

Also at 2 p.m. on Saturday, for a completely different twist on another kind of childhood classic, the William Grant Still Arts Center, 2520 West View St., 90016, will hold a “Build a Revolutionary Bear” workshop in conjunction with its current “A Woman’s Place…” exhibit on the life, work, stories, and archives of five women educators of color, who were also dedicated to radical social change and grassroots education. One of those women, Yuri Kochiyama, a revolutionary organizer and friend of Malcolm X, loved and collected Teddy Bears. She dressed them up as revolutionaries and gave them pins to free political prisoners. Then she gave gifts of bears to women she loved and respected.  That example started Betita Martinez – one of the other featured educators – collecting bears too. In honor of Yuri and Betita’s love for Teddy Bears, visitors will make and decorate their own revolutionary bears. No RSVPs are necessary, but there is a $15 materials fee to make a bear.

From 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, head over to Miracle Mile for more Neighborhood Toy Store Day festivities as the new Miracle Mile Toy Hall (formerly Miracle Mile Toys and Games) celebrates the grand opening of its new space at 5464 Wilshire Blvd. (formerly Whimsic Alley).  The storefront has been brightened and dressed up for its first Christmas with its new occupants, with lots of new merchandise and more.  There will also be special guests and other surprises for visitors young and old.

If you’re in more of an art (or adult) mood on Saturday night, you could also check out the opening reception for Nano Rubio – Tribe, starting at 6 p.m. at the LaunchLA Gallery, 170 S. La Brea.  Within this new series of paintings, Rubio uses the power and detachment of abstraction to re-examine figural forms as fractured states within different environments, ultimately raising questions about humanity’s present state and future. Rubio received his MFA from Claremont Graduate School in 2011, and was the recipient of a GSU Graduate Fellowship and a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant Nominee. In 2012 he received a Moore Family Foundation Grant for his innovative practice and distinctive visual style. His art has since been shown in prominent galleries from Los Angeles to New York in solo and group shows, as well as appearing well-known art publications like Fabrik magazine.

Finally on Saturday night, to really get into the spirit of Veteran’s Day, the New Beverly Cinema will present a double feature of Dunkirk (7 p.m.) and Battle Command (9:15 p.m.). In the first film, released earlier this year and directed by Christopher Nolan, Allied troops in WWII have been backed into the shores of Dunkirk only to find that the sea and sky have just as many enemies as the mainland…and that 400,000 men must be evacuated. In the second film, released in 1969 and starring Frederick Stafford and Van Johnson, German soldiers infiltrate British troops during the Dunkirk evacuation and seek to take out that country’s new radar system, allowing the Luftwaffe to rain hell from the above on Britain. Opposing them are the brave, determined British soldiers who will give their all to make sure this potentially disastrous enemy mission fails.

After that big Saturday, Sunday is much quieter this week.

For the art minded who also love cars, the Petersen Museum will host a Learn to Draw Cars workshop from 1-3 p.m., in conjunction with the Art Center College of Design.  Learn from talented Art Center Transportation Design students as they show you the basics of drawing cars.  All ages and skill levels are welcome, and the event is free with museum admission.

And back at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, you can also enjoy God’s Eye Yarn Weaving: A CraftLab Family Workshop. Drop in any time from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. to learn how color, yarn, and wood combine to create unique weavings inspired by traditional Mexican craft practices…and create your own Ojo de Dios (God’s Eye) sculptural weaving. Cost is $7 for the general public and $5 for CAFAM members.

Later, Sunday ends with a bang – literally – as The Grove launches “Celebrate the Joy – A California Christmas,” with its annual holiday tree lighting celebration at 7:30 p.m.   There will be special guests, music, and yes, big, boomy fireworks.

Finally, your weekly reminder that Wilshire Blvd., between Western Ave. and Manhattan Pl. will once again be fully closed for Purple Line construction utility work and piling activities from Friday at 8 p.m. through Monday at 6 a.m.  For full details and detour maps, see

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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