This week Los Angelenos are in a sharing mood -- everyone from writers to reverends to the mayor Eric Garcetti has a story to tell. The city is featuring a wide array of media launches and discussions to sharpen the mind and feed the soul (or stomach), all at a reasonable price. Get inspired by Faith Meets 8, an LGBT-friendly talk that explores sexual and religious identity, or deconstruct the meaning of family with Far From the Tree author Andrew Solomon. Or for a more hedonistic shot of culture, celebrate German tradition with Link N Hop's twist on Oktoberfest. With advanced tickets at $20, this value festival is the most expensive item on our list.
Oktoberfest at Link N Hops
Oktoberfest, that age-old German agricultural festival-turned-beer guzzling jubilee, is celebrated with relish at the beginning of the fall season. For local brewers and sausage purveyors, it's the Super Bowl. To the rest of us? Only one of the best traditions to sprout from Bavaria outside of pastry cream. Atwater Village taproom and wurst-slinger Link N Hops, which opened in August 2012, is getting into the biergarten game, hosting a two-day Oktoberfest party. Breweries Golden Road, Bootleggers, Hangar 24 and New Belgium will feature three beers apiece, which have been fine-tuned to conjure images of warm fireplaces and changing leaves, all ready to wash down Link N Hops' glorious selection of sausages, including shockingly good veggie and vegan options. Pair a pumpkin beer with a duck, fig and brandy sausage. Or add some bite: Go for the rattlesnake. It's like the Wurstküche of Atwater, but with a really convenient parking lot. And if you go to Link N Hops on Saturday, you can partake in another treat -- said parking lot will be home to Atwater Village's Classic Car Show from 2 to 6 p.m. Lowriders will cover the asphalt, with live music onstage. It probably won't be authentically German music, but hey, you're going for the beer, not an oompah band. Link N Hops, 3111 N. Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village; Sat., Oct. 19-Sun., Oct. 20, 1-5 p.m.; $20 advance ticket ($30 at the door) includes six 6-ounce beer tasters. (323) 426-9049, linknhops.com. --Rena Kosnett
FOUND Editor Davy Rothbart Tells His Own Story
If a random stranger started picking through your trash, what do you think he'd learn about you? Discarded objects can tell you a lot about a person: It's amazing what you can discern from an old shopping list, a scrap of homework or a greeting card. For years now, FOUND magazine editor/memoirist Davy Rothbart has been spilling other people's secrets, publishing found items submitted by readers from all over the globe. Now he's sharing his own stories in My Heart Is an Idiot, a collection of deeply personal essays, which The New York Times has described as "achingly funny." We wouldn't expect less from a writer who frequently contributes to GQ, The New Yorker and NPR's This American Life. On his Unfinished Business tour, he will be joined by L.A.-based sword swallower Brett Loudermilk. Rothbart will read from his book and, of course, delight audiences with his latest collection of FOUND treasures. Home of Joshua Wolf Shenk, 2306 Kenilworth Ave., Silver Lake; Thurs., Oct. 24, 8 p.m.; $10 at the door (free copy of the book included). myheartisanidiotbook.com. --Sarah Diamond
LGBT Discussions From Religious Perspective
Long is the list of organizations that supported Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment passed by California voters in November 2008 stipulating that only a marriage between a man and a woman was valid. Many religious groups were among them. But not all -- in fact, some Judeo-Christian communities were staunchly opposed. And now that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Proposition 8, the faith-based organizations on the side of gay rights continue the debate, making sense of how God's teachings and their religious traditions translate to contemporary life. As part of the eclectic programming for the Autry Museum's "Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic" exhibition, ongoing until Jan. 5, Los Angeles Times and NPR reporter David Lazarus will host Faith Meets 8, with panelists speaking about their religious activism in dialogue with the LGBT community and their involvement in issues surrounding Proposition 8. Speakers include Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, the world's first gay and lesbian Christian church; Paul Lichterman, professor of sociology and religion at USC; Joanna Brooks, scholar and author of The Book of Mormon Girl; and Rabbi Lisa Edwards of Beth Chayim Chadashim, the world's first lesbian and gay synagogue. The Autry, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Feliz; Sun., Oct. 20, 2-4 p.m.; included with museum admission, free for Autry members. (323) 667-2000, theautry.org. --R.K.
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Conversation with Mayor Garcetti
The city hasn't been engulfed by flames, the Emmys weren't canceled and the 405 hasn't crumbled to dust (or gotten any slower, as best we can tell), thus Mayor Eric Garcetti has received mostly positive reviews for his first 100 days in office. That's certainly justification for the 222,300 people who voted for him in this city of 3.8 million. The 42-year-old mayor will be making the drive up to Pasadena to take part in a conversation with reporter Frank Stoltze before a live audience to discuss his first few months and the remaining 40-plus months of this term in a conversation titled Mayor Eric Garcetti: Los Angeles Moves Forward. If a second term doesn't pan out, he can always fall back on his newfound side gig with Moby's touring band. The Crawford Family Forum, 474 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Mon., Oct. 21, 8 p.m.; free, RSVP required. (626) 583-5100, scpr.org. --Sean J. O'Connell
Talk With Far From the Tree Author Andrew Solomon
"But for an accident of birth, you might be as they are," went the line from the film Freaks -- a passage of compassion that was rare back in 1932 but a bit more prevalent these days as we better understand the role genetics play in our every undertaking -- and the limits of can-do spirit. Andrew Solomon, author of the New York Times best-seller Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, appears in conversation with L.A. Times staff writer Thomas Curwen to discuss slightly more modern examples in courage. His book reveals the lives of various families whose members -- the prodigies and the autistics, the schizophrenics and the transgendered -- are profoundly different from their parents and yet prosper because those families truly love them in all their exceptionalism. Love is a powerful emotion, Solomon demonstrates, which not only defines the family as a whole but also gives children the impetus to find the strength to become as whole individual adults as they possibly can. Part of the Library Foundation's ALOUD series, this one is sure to make you think, and rethink, everything you thought you knew. Mark Taper Auditorium at the Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Tues., Oct. 22, 7:15 p.m.; free. (213) 228-7500, lfla.org. --David Cotner