things to do in LA this weekend
March 30, 2013 7:12 AM   Subscribe

So I find myself alone in Los Angeles this weekend, and didn't have time for much planning prior to the trip. Anyr of things to do & see this Easter weekend?

I'm mostly interested in arts/cultural/historical stuff. To give you some sense of what I've come up with on my own, I'll be checking out the Kubrick exhibit at the LACMA later today. I spent much of yesterday exploring the Getty.

Recommendations for a nicely sited cafe with outdoor seating (where I can nurse a drink and read my Raymond Chandler novels) would be nice.

I do have a car, and patience, so I am willing to travel within the city. Recommendations need not be neighborhood-specific.
posted by .kobayashi. to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (32 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Easter weekend means most places closed. Closed.

What kind of invite access do you have? Do you have any connections in the city? Based on that, you'll know your options. That's how things work in LA, without them, you'll be left out, especially on holiday weekends.
posted by Kruger5 at 7:16 AM on March 30, 2013

Nothing. But surely some things must remain accessible.
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:24 AM on March 30, 2013

You could go see the Space Shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center. Tickets are available online for today and tomorrow.
posted by cecic at 7:36 AM on March 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 7:40 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, you don't really need "connections" to go to museums and the like.

Which Getty did you check out? The Center and the Villa both have nice outdoor cafes, and I believe they're both open this weekend. (You need to book ahead for the Villa, but there are usually tickets available.)

A couple of downtown possibilities:

LA Conservancy has some walking tours

If you're interested in movie/fashion history, FIDM has some fun stuff

I'd also consider going to a show at the Dorothy Chandler/LA Phil/Disney Concert Hall - there's a schedule here:
posted by eponym at 7:43 AM on March 30, 2013

Blessing of the animals:
posted by VikingSword at 7:45 AM on March 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

The Hammer is open this weekend, including Easter.

As is the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

Check out Scenestar to see which bands are in town.

Also see this prior answer of mine for a rundown of local movie theatres and such, if you don't get great or interesting films where you currently live.
posted by mykescipark at 8:00 AM on March 30, 2013

Recommend the Grove at 3rd and Fairfax to nurse your Ray Chandler novel in a retro open air atmosphere at the Farmer's Market. Watch Blade Runner in the evening.
posted by effluvia at 8:01 AM on March 30, 2013

If you take VikingSword up on the blessing of the animals, definitely check out the rest of Old Pasadena . If you go to LACMA today, go next door to the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum . I just happened to be there, but enjoyed it quite a bit.
posted by gudrun at 8:17 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you like Chinese food, go check out restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley (Alhambra, Monterey Park, etc.) I guarantee there will be things open around there.
posted by Diagonalize at 8:33 AM on March 30, 2013

Easter weekend means most places closed. Closed.

Au contraire. One of L.A.'s many charms is that it doesn't roll up the sidewalks on Christian holidays.

If you aren't all arted-out yet, I second the rec for the Hammer. The museum store is particularly great. While you're in the area, you could scoot up to UCLA and walk around in the Murphy Sculpture Gardens. The trees might by in bloom about now. Since we have the remnants of a full moon, you could wander the sculpture garden by's magical. Maybe stop in at Saffron & Rose for Persian ice cream.
posted by nacho fries at 8:35 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend brunch at Salt's Cure.

And the best place to read those Chandler novels would be Musso & Frank, imo. Though no patio.
posted by dobbs at 8:43 AM on March 30, 2013

Musso's is closed Sunday, as are most shops. I think your best bet for a drink will be at a hotel; the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel has outdoor seating.
posted by brujita at 9:04 AM on March 30, 2013

If you want to head to Griffith Park, the Trails Cafe is a great little outdoor place to sit and read your book. And then head up to the Griffith Observatory! (caveat: The Trails is cash only.)
posted by OolooKitty at 9:33 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Blessing of the Animals on Olvera St. I will be there, so if you see the most darling black but turning gray dog, do say hi! It's very fun.
posted by Vaike at 10:22 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Santa Monica Pier (plenty of cafes around there with beautiful views)
Griffith Park and Observatory (the Observatory is open on Easter Sunday).
Olvera Street
LA Conservancy walking tours
Huntington Botanical Gardens and Library are doing an Easter Brunch event, and the grounds and library are wonderful if you're into that sort of thing

One of the things I love about living in Los Angeles is that most things don't close on Sundays or holidays.
posted by erst at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Edendale in Silverlake has a nice patio to hang out on with a book and drink for an afternoon. Pretty chill before the evening crowd arrives.
posted by Conductor71 at 10:56 AM on March 30, 2013

What kind of invite access do you have? Do you have any connections in the city? Based on that, you'll know your options. That's how things work in LA, without them, you'll be left out, especially on holiday weekends.

Buh-whaaaa? I moved to LA five months ago, barely know anyone here, and have never felt like I couldn't go anywhere or do anything because I didn't know the "right" people. Obviously, yes, if you know someone who is hosting some kind of Red Carpet Celebrity VIP Hollywood Hills Easter Egg Hunt, that would be fun, but there's plenty of other stuff to do here.

For the cafe -- the Intelligentsia in Silverlake has a great front patio area, and you'll really get that authentic Los Angeles "I Am Totes Working On My Screenplay" vibe.

Olvera Street is having its annual Blessing Of The Animals today. I was thinking of taking my dog, in fact, but some work stuff came up and so I renewed our commitment to godless heathenhood instead.

If you've got the shoes for it*, hike up to the Observatory through Griffith Park. Great people watching, easy trail, beautiful views of the Hollywood sign and down across the whole city, and an iconic destination. There is a science museum inside the Observatory, or at least that's my understanding.

The Grove is a fucking shitshow. I may only be saying this because I often have to run tedious work-related errands there, while everyone else is a tourist standing around gawking at the idea of A MALL THAT IS TOTES OUTSIDE AND SHIT. I don't know, you might like it. But it is basically a mall that is totes outside and shit. (Maybe the farmer's market part is better? I haven't been to the farmer's market part.)

The weather is gorgeous today -- you could always just head to the beach.

*Any sneakers or comfy walking shoes will do. It's a "hike" in name only, for the most part. Though it is dusty, and I wouldn't do it in heels.
posted by Sara C. at 11:10 AM on March 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

Per OolooKitty's suggestion of The Trails Cafe (which I'm also a huge fan of):

Yes, they do take credit cards. I believe there's a $5 minimum, and they look at you like you have ninety-seven heads (because of course all hikers and dog-walkers and family-adventure-havers always have cash on them in the middle of a huge wilderness-ey park).

But they will accept credit cards.
posted by Sara C. at 11:14 AM on March 30, 2013

How about you go to The Last Bookstore, pick up a nice used anthology of Chandler stories, and then head on over to the Golden Gopher (about a mile's stroll through downtown) to sit and read?
posted by Temeraria at 11:24 AM on March 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

Ya, it's nice out so I'd probably head to the beach and rent a bike and ride along the Santa Monica bike path down to Venice. Or if you like a nice walk, the Venice canals are fun to walk around and also Abbot Kinney in Venice. Or here's a list of cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating. Of those on the list I like the Alcove and Cat and Fiddle. And I've been meaning to check out The Churchill. Also, LA's outdoor rooftop bars. But if you're going for that Raymond Chandler feeling, Temeraria has it right--the Last Bookstore and the Golden Gopher. Also, the place I like to go with people is Grand Central Market in downtown for some tacos (LA's oldest open air market--they're going to make it "upscale" and I don't know if that has already started), the Bradbury Building is right across the street (where Blade Runner was filmed), take Angel's Flight (LA's oldest funicular) and walk to the LA Central library.
posted by biscuits at 11:49 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you are in the mood for a little sunshine with your noir, drive on up PCH to Malibu. The Malibu Country Mart has these posh outdoor recliners you can lounge on. There's also a really pretty wetland park adjoining the Mart, with benches and birdies.

You could continue to drive north on PCH, hang a right on Malibu Creek Road, and take a very scenic drive through the canyon. Spring has sprung, the flowers are in bloom, the meadows are still green. Hang a left at Mulholland, wind along to Paramount Ranch, take in the ersatz Old West movie sets, sit under a live oak with a picnic and your book.

Hell, I just talked myself into that plan for Easter.

Or cruise down to Santa Monica. It's stoopidly pretty out today.
posted by nacho fries at 11:53 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

OP mentioned arts, cultural, Kubrick - which is why I suggested utilizing connections because the very fresh *current art, cultural and party scene is really thorough invites.

However since the OP is really looking for casual and everyday stuff to do, there are a lot more options as many have suggested, though a number of things will be closed tomorrow regardless of LA's heathen proclivities.

OP, make such connections while you are in LA (to use on your next visit).
posted by Kruger5 at 4:06 PM on March 30, 2013

Kubrick is at LACMA, which is a public museum that is open on Easter. And you can usually just waltz into art openings if that's your thing.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 4:26 PM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

One more: KCRW's Pop-Up Party and Gallery at Greenbar Distillery (Downtown)
posted by biscuits at 4:46 PM on March 30, 2013

oh man! If you are willing to drive up to Malibu this is the last weekend for the "Illustrating Modern Life: Golden Age of American Illustration" Show at Pepperdine. It's probably one of the best collections I've seen---Leyendecker, Rockwell, Pyle, Wyeth, Gibson, etc! It's absolutely worth the trip, if that's your thing :) I'm not sure if the hours are affected by Easter, but it should be open.
posted by sprezzy at 4:55 PM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Kruger5, I think you misread the question. I'm sorry if I misled you, but I'm glad others got it right.

The Kubrick exhibition at the LACMA was fabulous, as was the Last Bookstore, and that whole area. More exploring tomorrow! Yay!
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:16 PM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Owing to your username, might I recommend the Kobayashi Restaurant in Hollywood, for some terrific views of this part of the city.

And as an Angelino, thanks to all the contributors for some ideas I can use, too!
posted by ShutterBun at 9:03 PM on March 30, 2013

Gallery 1988 just opened their new "west" location, which is just a couple blocks from the "east" location now. Their opening was on Friday so if you wanna see some fresh pop culture art, it's worth a stop (especially if you're into SNL, which the new exhibit is centered around). Generally open on Sundays, should be open despite Easter.
posted by dogwalker at 9:43 PM on March 30, 2013

Today will definitely include Griffith Park. Then probably the War Photography exhibit at the Annenberg. Has anyone seen that yet? Worth a see? And what's good for restaurants/ in that area?
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:14 AM on March 31, 2013

Near the Annenberg I like Clementine--cafe with great sandwiches, sides and desserts. It's Easter though so check to see if they're open.
posted by biscuits at 12:12 PM on March 31, 2013

Holy cow, you guys, you absolutely need to go see the WAR/Photography exhibition at the Annenberg. Wow. Just... wow.
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:01 PM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

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