It's about that time of year again--not just Christmas, but also Pub Crawl time.
Taking place on December 14th, for the fifth year in a row, the Santa Monica Pub Crawl will attract the likes of carolers, Santas and elves to the streets of SM to raise a glass and toast the holiday season at some of the West Side's top bars and pubs.
Participants, whether in teams or individually, will be asked to dress in festive holiday gear and hit the bar and pub routes along Wilshire, the Pier, 4th Street, Third Street Promenade and Main Street. Pub crawlers should also bring a minimum of three non-perishable food items.
A portion of the multi-venue event's proceeds will go to Westside Food Bank.
To sign up visit the Santa Monica Pub Crawl website, where you can select your route.
Related: Top Irish Pubs in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery's (LAMAG) curator/director Scott Canty found inspiration in everything from David Alfaro Siqueiros' 'América Tropical' mural on Olvera Street to the epic Watts Towers, when he put together the show 'Size Really Does Matter.'
The exhibition--up through January 5, 2014--shines the spotlight on public art as perhaps no other art locale can, with its 10,000 square feet of space.
The LA-centric group show features large-scale pieces like sculptures, paintings and video installations by burgeoning artists, in the spirit of the aforementioned local works and others.
LAMAG is located in the magical Barnsdall Art Park on Hollywood Blvd. between Los Feliz and Little Armenia.
Photo of Watts Towers: Hulton Archive/Staff/Getty Images
In the wake of the accidental death of The Fast and the Furious actor Paul Walker in a car accident in Southern California over the weekend, celebrities have taken to social media to express their grieving and condolences.
Here's what some of them are saying:
Vin Diesel: "If my brother were here today. And if he saw all the love you were bringing here. If he could see for himself that [you have] shown my brother love."
Goldie Hawn: "Our family mourns the loss of Paul. A very special Human being. Our prayers go his beloved family."
James Franco: "Much love to Paul Walker. So sad. He gave a lot of joy."
James van der Beek: "Thoughts and prayers tonight are with Paul Walker's friends and family, especially his little girl. So sad. Very heavy heart tonight."
Ryan Phillippe: "Paul was a good dude. Conscientious and not caught up in Hollywood. He knew there was more to life and lived like it. Nice to know you brotha."
Reese Witherspoon: "So sad to hear about Paul Walker. He was a pleasure to work with, a true gentleman and a humble soul. Prayers and love to his family."
Alyssa Milano: "No. No. No. Rest with the angels. You. Sweet boy."
Neil Patrick Harris: "Such sad news about Paul Walker! It's so tragic and crazy how things can just end so suddenly. My condolences to his family."
Carson Daley: "Sick about the tragic loss of Paul Walker. I enjoyed our time together very much. Such a really nice guy"
Related: Celebrity Culture in Los Angeles
Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Andre Luis
How does LA's fringe art community stay connected? Not by something as mainstream as Facebook (well, maybe for some). The resounding answer: by attending Billy's Saturday Night Community Social.
Taking place at LA's East Side alternative art Mecca, La Luz de Jesus gallery, this sporadic event is happening again next Saturday, December 7th from 8 to 11 p.m. The free-styling salon night will feature a mixed bag of tricks: from spoken word and musical variety shows to truly strange and wonderful performances.
The evening is all ages and the best part--for all of you struggling artists out there--is that there's no entrance charge. Musical talent on the bill include: The Groovy Rednecks and Best Western (who will perform The Hangmen's songs).
And what fringe community salon would be complete without a fire dancer, a juggling comedian and a burlesque dancer? This one will pull out all the stops. So if you haven't been to La Luz or are looking for an excuse to revisit the funky creative space, this is it, folks.
Flyer Image Courtesy of La Luz de Jesus
When all the turkey and stuffing have been consumed, the family debates have gone silent and the food comas have worn off, what will you be doing post-Thanksgiving to get off your butt and move into action?
On Sunday, the Turkey Dash is on. It's a 5k, 10k, 15k, or half marathon, taking place in Van Nuys.
Starting Saturday, the LA Market Restaurant by Kerry Simon at JW Marriott at L.A. Live will be offering Angelenos the best of both worlds with a 'Supper and Skate' promotion through January which includes a three-course prix fixe menu and tickets to the nearby L.A. Kings Holiday Ice at Nokia Plaza.
On the dietary side of life, consider a new daily menu for the new year. I personally have gone pescetarian for a few months. You can also go raw, and learn more about raw foods by booking your ticket early for the Raw Living Expo, which takes place in Thousand Oaks from January 31, 2014 to February 2nd.
Or you can happily ignore all of the above until New Year's Eve when you make your LA-style New Year's Resolutions.
One of LA's favorite culture bloggers, Souris Hong-Porretta (also known as Hustler of Culture) chatted with me about her recently released book, Outside the Lines: An Artists Coloring Book For Giant Imaginations.
Inspired by her young daughter Lulu's creatively sophisticated preference for coloring Warhols and Harings, the book features work from some edgy (but also whimsical) local and international artists like Keith Haring, Exene Cervenka, Shepard Fairey, Keita Takahashi, Jen Corace, Ryan McGinness and AIKO, among others.
It's no wonder Lulu's taste is so cool as Hong-Porretta takes her to openings at Giant Robot and similarly funky art spaces. Now she's got a book with her favorites (including her dad Silvio Porretta)... and hip LA kids, as well as adult art aficionados, have a supremely creative gift idea for the holidays.
Read the interview with Souris Hong-Porretta here.
Photo Courtesy of MOCA/Souris Hong-Porretta
In the not too distant past, Sunday suppers (the weekly tradition of enjoying a roast with one's family) were all the rage. And, as Angelenos search for a chill way to honor the day of rest, Sunday suppers are once again buzzing.
Celebrated chef Tal Ronnen can clearly appreciate this. His Crossroads restaurant is launching a special Sunday Suppers series on December 8th. It will feature, among other things, guest chefs from around the nation as well as local faves.
Some of the names that will grace the Sunday bill: Theo Schoenegger (of Sinatra in the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas), LA's own Ricardo Zaraté (Paichẽ, Picca, Mo-Chic), and Art Smith (of Iron Chef America). Crossroads' own executive chef Scot Jones will launch the series with an Italian menu.
The unique dinner events cost $80 per person (plus $30 with wine pairings) and take place on Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m.
Photo Courtesy of Crossroads/Via Wagstaff Worldwide
Color and sound blend to create an interactive space in PLAY, an installation by Brooklyn technology artist Aramique and New York creative boutique Fake Love, which is currently up at Sonos Studio (145 N. La Brea).
The traveling visual music experience made its way to LA via New York about a week ago when it first opened. It will remain up through January 12th.
Combining color, art, tech and music to fashion an interior architectural space, PLAY couldn't be better placed than in the 4,000 square foot Sonos Studio, which is essentially an acoustically-conscious gallery that showcases music listening through the Sonos Wireless HiFi System.
Destined to appeal to LA's music geeks and sound freaks, the Sonos space is sonically tuned and contains pyramidal sound-absorbing foam tiles, a listening room and hidden rotating bar and secret DJ booth.
Photo by Ralf Strathmann Courtesy of Rogers & Cowan
Thanksgiving is just under two weeks away. For many, it will be a time for travel--or at least short distance getaways.
If you can't get out of town for the holiday or if your family and/or friends are in LA, it's time to start making plans. Although home-cooked meals are where the heart is, some venues around town are creating a homey hub and family-like atmosphere in which to give thanks and give back.
The Laugh Factory in West Hollywood, for instance, is hosting yet another of its annual Thanksgiving Feasts--a night of comedy featuring celebrities and a turkey dinner.
The event is open to: those far from home, the homeless, and people "in need of a warm meal, a hug or a laugh free of charge." Comics will perform live shows after each serving at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m.
In addition, restaurants all over Los Angeles will be hosting their own T-Day dinners (at a cost). See the article on Thanksgiving dinner at LA's restaurants for more info.
Photo: Lisa Cohen
In the wake of Google, YouTube and other Silicon Valley giants opening up LA offices, it's looking like our city is poised to take its place in the global digital ranks. The organizers of an upcoming business event seem to think so.
The 6th annual Digital Family Reunion, a So.Cal event featuring technology and digital media industry leaders, will return to the Skirball Cultural Center (2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.) on December 11th from 6 to 10 p.m.
It will pull together over 40 networking organizations and professional associations from a variety of technology and business sectors to celebrate shared interests and to network.
The DFR is also collaborating with socalTECH.com to publish the first socalTECH 50, a list of the newest influential trailblazers and entrepreneurs throughout the region most likely to launch the next Snapfish or Facebook or simply to inspire the industry in a big way.
If you register before December 11th the cost is $50.Visit the Digital Family Reunion website for details.
Related: Career Events in Los Angeles