Weekly Fun: Events to Guide Your Free Time

It's rebound week, now that the spectacle of Thanksgiving and all of the post-Thanksgiving shopping madness has largely left the conversation. Decorations have turned from browns and oranges to greens and reds and whites (or blues, if you're happily celebrating Hanukkah). And while we certainly agree that 'giving thanks' is sooo last week, you can at least count your lucky stars that the craziness has come and gone. This week, it's all about great conversations with interesting people, and good eats along the way.

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Bill Maher is helping to kick things off, courtesy of downtown's ALOUD series. The popular conversations at the Mark Taper Auditorium always feature intriguing lineups, but this one might beat them all. Maher, the well-known political comedian, will sit down with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Jon Meacham on Tuesday night to discuss the nature of politics and power, from Jefferson to Obama. Or, if you'd like, you can head west to Largo on La Cienega. While the venue is perhaps more known for its intimate musician drop-ins and raucous stand up sets, they'll be giving the stage over to Henry Rollins for five days to neither sing nor tell jokes. The longtime punk rock frontman is currently touring with his one man show The Long March, a discussion of politics and society as framed through his experiences travelling in Southeast Asia and beyond.

If you can hold out until the weekend, there are even more great events in store. On Friday night, the 2nd Annual Taste of Mexico is taking over the Vibiana Cathedral space downtown. The event will feature some of L.A.'s best Mexican eats from noted spots such as Guelaguetza, Yxta Cocina, Playa and more, with drinks from La Descarga on hand and mariachi long into the night. If cocktails are your style, you can continue the party on Saturday night with Drink Eat Play's latest brainstorm: a Great Gatsby Party. Inspired by the Prohibition era, the costume-appropriate event starts at 9pm and runs late at the Park Plaza Hotel. The Art Deco space will be choc full of music ranging from swing to jazz to popular 1920's dance tunes, while the cash bar plans to lean heavily on the cocktail recipes of old. Come Sunday, you may need to slow down with a beer and a nice dinner, in which case, City Tavern is the place for you. The Culver City craft beer destination is hosting a Figueroa Mountain Brewing beer pairing night, including their tasty Danish Red Lager. Tickets are $48 for the four-course meal, but seats are limited so it's advised that you plan ahead.

If all of that sounds like entirely too much effort after a week of overeating and over-napping, you might want to give Unique L.A. a try. The two-day event, often labeled as the largest independent design show in the U.S., gives shoppers the opportunity to admire (and purchase) locally made products and independent creations. There will also be plenty of demonstrations, workshops and craftiness to go around, which means you'll certainly never get bored. Not that Los Angeles ever lacks for interesting things to spend your time doing - even this time of year.

For more weekly events visit kcet.org/events.

About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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