Thursday, September 1, 2011

Labor Day Weekend in Los Angeles - The Weekend Feast For September 1st - 5th

There's plenty to do to give you one more taste of summer and it's your last chance for a few exhibits that are closing this weekend. Read on!

 I hope your weekend can begin Thursday night and why not do it at an urban campfire?

The L.A. Urban Rangers invite you to join them at the Trailhead located at the MOCA Grand Avenue Lodge for Critical Campout, a campfire program that explores the full spectrum of habitation options in downtown Los Angeles. Some of the campfire activities include a live demonstration of how to make an alternative temporary shelter, an Ask-a-Ranger station for all of your questions about downtown habitation options—from streets to loft condos— and a discussion about the vast climate of city ordinances shaping the habitat ecology. Also on the campfire program is a screening of footage from the past two Engagement Party events from the L.A. Urban Rangers. Join the campfire at the Trailhead from 7–10 pm. Click here for all information.

Lynda Benglis in action.

 Also at MOCA this weekend it's the monthly First Sunday program. Families are invited to view current exhibits, including a traveling exhibition spanning the career of Lynda Benglis (above)  and participate in hands-on, artist led workshops.   First Sunday programs are designed for kids age 5 and up and museum admission is FREE for all participants. Sunday, September 3rd beginning at 1pm.

 On the other side of town, the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Dance Series presents the winner of its emerging artists competition at a special (early) 6:45 show time. Also in the line-up is Dawes and Sonny and the Sunsets. Give yourself plenty of time for parking, available on the pier or (my preference) in adjacent lots along the PCH. Parking is also available in one of the many lots on 2nd street in Santa Monica. It is a bit of a walk, and an uphill one at that to get back to your car, but do keep these other lots in mind as the pier fills up pretty quickly.  Click here for driving directions.

The Los Angeles Times presents Taste, a 4 day, star-studded celebrity chef extravaganza, the largest food and wine fest in town. Venues include Rodeo Drive, Paramount Studios and 2 wonderful old theaters downtown.   Events feature LA's own Roy Choi  (A-Frame and the Kogi trucks) with a "Taco Tequila Twist" on Saturday at Paramount Studios  from 7-10pm,  and Susan Feniger cooking "Street Eats" on Sunday from 4-8pm, also at the studio. Sexy chef Giada De Laurentiis hosts a "Picnic in the Hills," Beverly that is,  Monday afternoon beginning at noon.  Special ticket deals are going on for several events, including a 40% web promo available here.   For complete information click here.

Last Chance -

If you haven't see Houdini:Art and Magic and its complementary exhibit, Masters of Illusion: Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age at Brentwood's Skirball Center, this weekend is your last chance as they both close Sunday the 4th.  Tours run throughout the weekend but on Sunday you and your kids can also enjoy strolling magicians beginning at noon. For my complete post on the terrific exhibits, click here.

 It's going to be warm again this weekend. Maybe a double feature in a cold movie theater sounds good to you.  The El Capitan Theater in Hollywood begins a 2 week run of 2 of Disney's best movies: Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King - in 3D!  I'm kind of over the 3D thing but I am easily irritated so don't let this stop you if you are still enjoying this ride.  And do note that the El Capitan offers kid-sized glasses.  Click here for the schedule and complete information.

The Freedom Festival Los Angeles,  Free to Be is organized by the Empowering Spirits Foundation, a non-partisan, civil rights organization geared toward LGBT equality.  This event is for everyone so whatever your preferences, whatever your political leanings, if you would like to celebrate your right to simply be, just as you are, and enjoy others being themselves in the same atmosphere of peace and joy, this might be the perfect way for you to spend your Sunday afternoon.  The Festival starts at noon and runs until 10pm at Los Angeles State Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring Street.  It's here for everything you need to know (pay no attention to the date of September 3rd at the top of this link - I checked around and everything else says the 4th)  and check out their Facebook page, too.

Last Chance -

At the Museum of Natural History you get one last chance to see the Butterfly Pavilion before it closes on September 5th.  The museum has extended hours, from 9:30 - 8pm on both Sunday the 4th  and Monday, September 5th. The museum is open regular hours on Saturday but do NOTE - a USC football game is scheduled for Saturday afternoon and parking could be tough.

The monthly Public Star Party takes place up at Griffith Observatory on Saturday the 3rd beginning at 2pm. Here's you chance to look at the skies in the company of knowledgeable amateur astronomers using a variety of telescopes.  The event runs until 9:45 and they are serious about cutting off the lines for telescopes so that everyone has finished viewing by 9:45. If you'd like to take a look, don't wait until the last minute to get up there.  I may have said this before, but if you were taking me on a date and we started up here before going on to something delicious, well, that'd be a pretty great date.

And speaking of something delicious, Rivera chef John Sedlar is revisiting his 80's era Manhattan Beach sensation, Saint Estephe, in honor of that restaurants 30th anniversary.  All month at Rivera, Sedlar will be cooking from the Saint Estephe menu, dishes that became known as Modern Southwestern Cuisine.  The full Rivera menu will also be available.  This event is getting a lot of foodie coverage so if you are interested I'd suggest making reservations ASAP. Click here for the fun and delicious details.

Have a great weekend!


  1. good info! just discovered your blog--btw, is your email @ gamil or gmail?

  2. Jackie I'm so glad you left this comment - I just changed this and I hadn't realized I entered the address incorrectly. Thanks! AGS


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