5 Great Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week
For all you early adopters out there, Engadget Live is your chance to step beyond the gripes and the hype and try out the latest consumer electronics that everyone you know covets. In addition, the tech site assembles editors, readers and brands for an evening of conversation about the latest state of gadget consciousness. Exchange L.A., 618 S. Spring St., downtown; Fri., Aug. 21, 7-10 p.m.; free. (213) 627-8070, engadget.com. —David Cotner
Nisei Week, the annual celebration of L.A.'s Japanese-American community, comes to a close this weekend. In the final days of a 75th-anniversary celebration that started Aug. 15, Little Tokyo will be abuzz with food, music and other cultural events. The free festivities will feature taiko drummers, martial arts and, on Saturday at 0x000A1 p.m., the Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship. This is for serious eaters willing to cram as many dumplings down their throats as it takes to win the grand prize. Make sure to also check out the art exhibitions and demos taking place on Saturday and Sunday, when you can explore everything from calligraphy to needlework. Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., Little Tokyo (plus other locations); Sat.-Sun., Aug. 22-23; free. (213) 687-7193, niseiweek.org. —Liz Ohanesian
It seems like there's always something cool (and free!) happening at downtown's Grand Park, and today, on the penultimate Saturday of summer, you can hit two great events at the same giant venue. The L.A. Taco Festival features tortilla-wrapped goodness from vendors including Kogi, Tacos El Gallito, Homeboy Industries, Danny's Tacos, Los Ruizeñores and Zingo, plus music by California-based, Afro-Latin–influenced Quita Penas. Take your tacos to the PROUD Picnic (or bring your own grub), which will feature even more food trucks, music and games. The picnic is part of a series at Grand Park celebrating our LGBTQ community, which will include a storytelling session in October and a Valentine's Day bash on Feb. 13. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Aug. 22, noon-7 p.m. (L.A. Taco Festival), 1-5 p.m. (PROUD Picnic); free. (213) 972-8080, grandparkla.org, latacofestival.com. —Sascha Bos
Let's face it: No matter how much CGI you use to try to dress up comic books, the vast majority boils down to stories about cops fighting robbers. There are rare exceptions — one of which is showcased in the exhibition "Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby." Kirby, who died in 1994 in Thousand Oaks, illustrated everything from the X-Men to the New Gods, and his transcendent work from 1965 onward appears here in one of the most comprehensive retrospectives ever of his art. Main Gallery, California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Mon., Aug. 24-Sat., Oct. 10; opening reception Sat., Aug. 29, 4-7 p.m.; free. (818) 677-2226, www.csun.edu/mike-curb-arts-media-communication/art-galleries. —David Cotner
If you're a '90s kid, you probably have Friday memorized. The Ice Cube/Chris Tucker vehicle was a cable staple, a perennially quotable entry in the pantheon of stoner misadventures. But is there more to Friday than what you see on the screen? Artist Mark Bradford, whose "Scorched Earth" exhibition is on view at the Hammer through late September, selected this film for screening. According to the museum's website, the event's goal is to explore about how "the 'hood" is sold in cultural works. Ernest Hardy (who writes for L.A. Weekly) and author-professor Tisa Bryant (Unexplained Presence) will speak on the subject after the film. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Wed., Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. —Liz Ohanesian
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