This week is one of many happy returns. There are some homecomings, including that of the Florida-based crime novelist and former Los Angeles Times crime reporter Michael Connelly, who is in town with his new book, and that of the art of Alexander Calder, who is focus of a new exhibition at LACMA, where one of his iconic sculptures has resided for decades. This week also marks the reappearance of such seasonal staples as "The Nutcracker" ballet and Unique L.A.'s Holiday Show. Read on for details on these and more interesting events.
With the Festival of Lights 2013, The Mission Inn once again becomes Riverside's holiday epicenter when its huge lights display are switched on at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 29. The streets are likely to be packed with people to witness four million little lights and 400 animated angels, elves, and carolers come to life.
The holiday display, now in its 21st year, has become an annual gift to Southern California from property Owners Duane and Kelly Roberts, who saved the historic landmark from destruction in 1992 and keep it as a hotel and spa today.
Festive marching bands (and speeches by civic leaders) lead into the flip switch on Friday. But if you miss it, the lights are staying up until January 4, so there will be plenty of time to get (or stay) in the Holiday mood.
This week's roundup comes with an asterisk, because the top thing to do this week is almost certainly to spend Thanksgiving with your loved ones, eat entirely too much food, fall asleep on the couch and then wake up to make a turkey sandwich. That said, there's plenty more to do, including burning off some calories before the big meal, helping the homeless, touring the tastes of downtown L.A. by bike, catching a movie while chowing on leftovers, and, of course, getting ready for Christmas.
Thanks to a rare calendrical coincidence, Thanksgiving falls on the first day of Hanukkah this year, which should make for some festive holiday fusion. The Skirball Cultural Center, for example, will incorporate Thanksgiving themes and flavors into its annual Hanukkah celebration. But Thanksgivukkah isn't the only interesting combination on the horizon. This week the L.A. Opera presents a fantastical, silent-film-inspired production of "The Magic Flute"; Thomas Dolby performs a high-tech ode to an old English lighthouse; and Ed Fornieles mines the tropes and trash of Hollywood for a pool party like no other. Read on for more.
Downtown Art Walk is Thursday, November 14, and the night offers yarn bombing, a one day only exhibition of visual works from Indonesia, and a long-time Art Walk participant showcasing new paintings. The crafts and trucks are still part of Art Walk, and you can get details at the website. For a preview on how you can make it a full day of downtown art beyond Gallery Row, and want links where to check hours, read on.
Think of this week's top events as a showcase for those who like to mix it up -- whether by combining cuisines, melding musical genres, or blurring the lines between science and storytelling. Read on for details about the latest from chef Roy Choi, musician Toro y Moi, Radiolab hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, and more.
On November 5, 1913, the Los Angeles Aqueduct began bringing water to the city. 100 years later, KCET is looking at what has happened, what it means, and more across its website.
This story has been corrected. See note below.
The waterway where Sierra Nevada snowmelt flows into Los Angeles by way of the Los Angeles Aqueduct will be open to the public Thursday, Friday and Saturday in celebration of the waterway's 100th anniversary.
The Aqueduct Cascades in Sylmar at 17001 Foothill Blvd. will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday. The area will not be open on Sunday.
The system of flumes, power plants and pumps brings water 233 miles from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles, where it flows down a studded, concrete flume to aerate it.
On Tuesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Department of Water and Power officials marked the centennial of the aqueduct's 1913 opening.
Reader question via Twitter: Will they will be letting water flow down the open channels?
Answer from LADWP: Water will periodically be running down the cascade, but there is no schedule.
For the Record: Because information was transmitted incorrectly from City News Service, an earlier version of this story stated that the cascades would be open Sunday and that the centennial took place Wednesday. We regret the errors.
In Los Angeles, it all comes back to water. This week marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the L.A. Aqueduct, a controversial but undeniably successful engineering feat that shaped the Southland forever. The moment when DWP chief William Mulholland first heralded its activation in some ways marked the beginning of Los Angeles as we know it, a city of infinite possibilities. These days, this week, L.A. is a place where one can ice skate blocks from the beach, a place where the dream factory that is the movie business was born and still reigns, a place where art and culture -- homegrown and imported -- thrive in so many corners.
Even without autumnal signifiers like changing leaves and truly cold weather (or perhaps because of their absence), Halloween is a big deal in Los Angeles. West Hollywood's annual Halloween Carnaval, for example, ranks as the second largest event by attendance in the L.A. area, behind only the Rose Parade. Dia de Los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday, is no afterthought either, inspiring traditional celebrations such as those at Hollywood Forever and even a hip dance-music festival downtown. Also this week are a 40th anniversary discussion of Erica Jong's novel "Fear of Flying" and a screening of a new restoration of the James Dean film "Rebel Without a Cause."
With All Hallow's Eve just around the corner, it's no surprise that costume balls and haunted attractions are springing up across the Southland. Angelenos seeking Halloween fun this week can get their fix with a dose of culture at LACMA, with a thumping soundtrack at the Park Plaza Hotel, or with a plunge into the paranormal at the Queen Mary. In addition to the seasonal festivities, this week also features two first-time events: a lively literary crawl and a spice-filled sriracha celebration.