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5 Things to Do in L.A. This Week For $5 or Less

B.J. Novak performs at UCB
B.J. Novak performs at UCB

Appetite for Diverted Destruction

Now in its sixth edition, the annual Diverted Destruction group show at the Loft at Liz's has become a highlight of the summer season. The upper floor (i.e., the loft space) of the Liz's Antique Hardware building on La Brea has been converted into a proper art gallery, regularly staging solo and group exhibitions featuring some of L.A.'s most popular artists in an array of thematic shows exploring beauty, pattern, surface and color. The shows are terrific, but given the downstairs business' focus on reclaiming treasures from the dustbins of architectural and design eras past, there's something about the Diverted Destruction series that is especially suited to the space. The shows feature accomplished artists rehabilitating nearly discarded objects into works of art greater than the sum of their dusted-off parts. The exhibition, which this year was co-curated with the California African American Museum, has been up since the end of June, and this weekend it culminates with an afternoon artist-led workshop in which all are welcome to participate using objects of their own and/or those donated by Liz from the antique inventory and rescued by her minions from parts unknown. Even if you just cruise by to catch the show before it closes, you'll never look at random boxes of stuff in the same way again. The Loft at Liz's, 453 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire; Sat., Sept. 14, 2-4 p.m.; free. (323) 939-4403, theloftatlizs.com. --Shana Nys Dambrot

Get Your Yacht On

If you previously thought of Yelp solely as a vehicle for posting harsh reviews of that awful sushi place you just went to, you're missing out on a much better use for the site: party planner! In Marina del Rey this weekend, Yelp is throwing a party on a yacht -- a free party, in fact. Featuring an array of sponsors such as Bombay Sapphire and Hamilton Wines, Rock the Yacht will have all the necessary ingredients for drinking the night away, plus food, music and other attractions. RSVPs are required, and you must have a Yelp account to attend. They're expecting a waitlist -- but with parties on both Monday and Tuesday, there's no need to post a negative review just yet. Leave that for the dozens of other would-be critics on board, why don't you? 13755 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey; Mon.-Tues., Sept. 16-17, 6-9 p.m.; free with required RSVP. Yelp.com/events/marina-del-rey-yelps-rock-the-yacht. --Kevin O'Keeffe

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America's Funniest Office Temp

From Pasadena to Paris, stand-up comedian, actor and writer B.J. Novak tells his Uncollected Stories -- short passages in the vein of the earlier, funnier Woody Allen or possibly a saucier James Thurber -- as a learning process of honing and paring what works from what doesn't. The resulting shtick will be served up next year for Knopf, one of two books of Novak's purportedly dancing down the pipeline to the lyrical tune of seven figures. On topics as diverse as Congolese warlords and Kate Moss (which, in Novak's hands, aren't always as diametrically opposed as you might think), the Harvard grad mixes the dry with the knowing, sporting that sly smile that shows there's more churning around in his mighty mind than he lets on here. At the very least, it's a chance to pay tribute to one of the people who made you so happy with the laughs you got from watching him romance Kelly Kapoor on The Office all those years. UCB Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Tues., Sept. 17, 9:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, losangeles.ucbtheatre.com. --David Cotner

A Fresh Look for Fall

The fancy new Red Building at the Pacific Design Center certainly grabs its share of attention in the shiny West Hollywood skyline. But every two months or so, the PDC's classic Blue Building is the star of the show, as the art galleries occupying the majority of its stately and sometimes quirky second-floor spaces organize a new round of opening receptions. Highlights of the current roster include a solo exhibition of installations and works in various media describing the suspicious complexities of how Pakistani and Muslim identity exists in the West, by Osman Khan at Another Year in L.A. gallery; and a series of colorful, abstract and surreal, midcentury-modern paintings by Elizabeth McCord at See Line Gallery. A pair of solo shows by Brendan Threadgill and Nicolau Vergueiro at Agency Contemporary Art (formerly Wharton + Espinosa) inaugurates the fourth era of that particular space's gallery history, and video-based moving-image art emporium Young Projects Gallery hosts the dynamic group show "Blastomere" in the project space and an anticipated solo show from Marina Zurkow in the main gallery. At least another 10 galleries are in residence in this, the artsiest hallway in town, plus this particular night is also the design industry's Fall Market opening party. 8697 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd.; Wed., Sept. 18, 5-8 p.m.; free. (310) 657-0800, pacificdesign​center.com. --S.N.D.

That Vintage Look

Reading fashion magazines is a dangerous pleasure. It's one thing to dream about wearing new creations from high-end designers. It's quite another to drum up the cash to buy them. Real-life example: An L.A.-based mag recently featured a Hermès bracelet for $276,500, a Balenciaga skirt for $2,950, a Thakoon dress for $1,280. In these hard times, can anyone make such purchases with a clear conscience? Designer fashions and more can be found at bargain prices at the Helms Design District Vintage Boutique hosted by Clever Vintage Clothing. Thoughts of overpriced indulgence will fall away when you eye approximately 20,000 fabulous fashion finds under one roof, including designer dresses and suits, flowery '50s frocks, stoles, eveningwear, costume jewelry, bags and shoes. Want to capture the new black-and-white theme? The chunky jewelry craze? A statement bag? It's all doable here. Best of all, there will be a seamstress on hand for simple alterations. LightSpace Studio, Helms Design District, 8755 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Sat., Sept. 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $5. clevervintage​clothing.com. --Heidi Dvorak


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