Woody Allen famously quipped that Los Angeles' "only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light." The reality, of course, is that L.A.'s cultural virtues are not only abundant but, like the city itself, occasionally overwhelming in their vastness. Luckily, we're here to help you navigate. This week's bounty includes an exploration of the city's alternate architectural history, a showcase of up-and-coming cinematic talent, a freewheeling talk about the intersection of style and sustenance, and some alfresco entertainment to make the most of balmy summer evenings. All this, and yes, you can even make a right turn on a red light.
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Hammer Conversations: Scott Sternberg and Kevin West
Tuesday, Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m. at the Hammer Museum
You never know quite what to expect at the Hammer's unique one-on-one conversations, which bring together two individuals, usually from different fields, for a free-flowing, open-ended chat. This installment pairs fashion designer Scott Sternberg, founder of the uber-hip menswear line Band of Outsiders, and Kevin West, a former W Magazine editor-turned canning and pickling expert. (He is the author of the blog and book "Saving the Season.") If all goes according to plan, Sternberg and West will "discuss the surprising overlap between fashion and food."
An Evening at "Never Built: Los Angeles"
Thursday, Aug. 8, 6 p.m. at the A+D Museum
Many museum exhibitions explore what has come and gone -- "Never Built: Los Angeles," on the other hand, considers what could have been but never was. Through renderings, blueprints, models and drawings, "Never Built" examines visionary civic projects that might have reshaped Los Angeles had they ever gotten off the ground. This companion event features a panel discussion with Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne, of Morphosis Architects; Gail Goldberg, of the Urban Land Institute L.A.; and Michael Woo, of the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona. Co-curator Sam Lubell with moderate.
Next Weekend Film Festival
Thursday, Aug. 8-Sun., Aug. 11 at the Sundance Sunset Cinema
Cinephiles who missed out on the Sundance Film Festival in frosty Park City, Utah, in January can get a taste of the fest this weekend without leaving the Southland. Next Weekend is an extension of the main festival's 4-year-old Next section, which showcases low-budget, "stylistically adventurous films that take a bold approach to storytelling." The Sundance Sunset Cinema will serve as the central hub, with screenings, panels and a workshop. Next Weekend also includes a kickoff event at Cinespia and citywide events on Sunday.
Summer Wine Tastings
Friday, Aug. 9, 5:30 p.m. at Barnsdall Art Park
Whether you're looking to unwind after a grueling work week or to ease into the weekend (or both), Barnsdall Art Park and Silverlake Wine have you covered. At these outdoor wine tastings held every Friday through the summer, attendees can sample four vintages from around the world while watching the sun set over the historic Hollyhock House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. If you get hungry, food trucks will be on hand, and picnics are encouraged (but no outside booze).
Long Beach Jazz Festival
Friday, Aug. 9-Sunday, Aug. 11 at Rainbow Lagoon Park
Now in its 26th year, this seaside music festival offers three days of jazz, soul and R&B. In keeping with this year's theme, "And the Beat Goes On," the lineup features headliners the Whispers on Friday, as well as the O'Jays on Saturday and the Empress of Soul herself, Gladys Knight, on Sunday. Also performing are gospel singer Howard Hewett, saxophonist Everette Harp, multi-instrumentalist Elle Varner, conga player Poncho Sanchez and many more.
For more events coverage, to to kcet.org/events.