Weekly Fun: Events to Guide Your Free Time

Photo: trash-photography/Flickr/Creative Commons License

After weeks of eating and drinking and laying out in the sun, it's time for a little artistic reflection this week. Relax with some fine art, dig deep into some cinema and dance the night away downtown. Then, on Saturday, get up early to catch a lecture on the finer points of roses, or stroll the beaches looking to clean up trash. It's a week of new beginnings, with lots of events to help you get started.

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First, let's reconnect with the past at downtown's Central Library with the Magic Partnerships speaking series. Publisher Jeannette Seaver discusses the "golden age" of publishing, particularly as it concerns her work with noted writer Samuel Beckett. Some of Beckett's work will also be read at the free event, which will either whisk you away to a brand new place, or take you back to junior high English class. Or you can squeeze in another night of the ongoing UCLA Film Festival, which runs through the 13th. Some of the school's brightest cinematic minds will be showcasing their talent in various mediums at theaters and movie houses across the westside, so check the event page for the full details.

Of course, the Los Angeles Film Festival begins on Thursday as well, with buzz-worthy screenings of films like "Only God Forgives" and the latest Superman installment "Man of Steel". But if you really want to get snotty about it, head for the stage instead with the latest iteration of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, which takes over stages across Hollywood beginning on Wednesday night.

On a more earthy note, it's possible to talk about planned communities on the westside, look at flowers in Arcadia and cheer over water levels in Echo Park. The first is at the Hammer Museum on Tuesday night, where their Living With The Land speaking series, a discussion of planned communities will take place. The free evening talk will look at modern architecture within the confines of city planning, and what it means for the neighbors and residents who call these planned communities home. Then on Saturday you can catch a Huntington Rose Garden talk with head curator Tom Carruth, who will be passing along growing tips for spring and summer bulbs. Or, at the same time, you may choose to find yourself in Echo Park for the ceremonial reopening of Echo Park Lake. The nearly $50 million dollar clean up effort has brought in new landscaping, walkways and safety features designed to make the park an accessible place for families for years to come.

Or spend the weekend in Boyle Heights, working on ways to better yourself and your community. At least that's the idea behind the first annual Primavera Festival, which focuses on civic engagement and healthy living, including farmers' market foods, live music, workshops and garden tours. Then again, the same sort of civic pride could be applied to the Chinatown Summer Nights festival, occurring monthly throughout the summer. This installment kicks off on Saturday night at 5 p.m., with food and cultural festivities taking over the Chinatown Central Plaza. There will be KCRW DJs on hand and plenty of late night shopping options as well. But if you've really just gotta dance, get down to Grand Avenue on Friday night for the ongoing Dance Downtown summer fun series. The latest version of this free public party will focus on line dancing and two stepping, which may not be your bag -- until you get in line for a little fun yourself.

Get out and enjoy your week, but don't forget to take things a little more seriously this time around. Next week, it's back to drinking and eating to excess, so be sure to keep up with our constantly updated events page for all of the latest and best things going on around Los Angeles.

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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