8 Great Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week

David Duchovny wrote a book that includes a pig who wants to go to Israel and a turkey who wants to go to Turkey.EXPAND
David Duchovny wrote a book that includes a pig who wants to go to Israel and a turkey who wants to go to Turkey.

Dapper Cadaver is a horror prop house with a brand-new collection dubbed Creatures & Cultures. The morbid boutique's recent expansion and thematic reorganization includes smaller rooms such as a cultural artifacts room, a butcher room and a coffins and tombstone hall. To celebrate, the store is throwing a Friday the 13th Cabinet of Curiosities Art Show — a ghoulish, Valentine's Day eve antidote to the saccharine sweetness of Feb. 14. Expect tasty food and libations, as well as tunes by Jack Strauss of MYTH Masque. Though not required, Victorian dress is a plus, and a photo booth will capture your own macabre moments, too. Dapper Cadaver, 7648 San Fernando Road, Sun Valley; Fri., Feb. 13, 8 p.m.-11 p.m.; free, RSVP encouraged. (818) 771-0818, bit.ly/laweeklydapper, dappercadaver.com. —Tanja M. Laden

Fans of the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery and sweeping city vistas atop Barnsdall Hill often gaze quixotically at the strange, early-modern structure on the park's southern edge. But few have ventured inside. The Frank Lloyd Wright confection known as the Hollyhock House (named for the botanical motif of its unique interior and exterior design) has, despite its popularity, undergone a series of troubled renovations over the decades. But the city swears this is it now. After three years in lockdown, the house is again ready for its close-up. Following a mayoral ribbon-cutting in the afternoon, architecture aficionados are invited to climb inside for 24 hours of self-guided tours and the temporary lifting of the strict photography ban. Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., Feb. 13, 4 p.m.-Sat., Feb. 14, 4 p.m.; free. (323) 644-6275, barnsdall.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Cold sweets and DIY treats will be had at the Valentine's edition of the Silver Lake Flea Market, and you don't even have to leave your babe's bed too early, since the flea has new, later hours (noon to 5 p.m.). Handmade arts, crafts and vintage wares will be on hand, as always, but they're also curating it this week toward Valentine-y vendors and providing a sassy soundtrack to the shopping, with live music by the Love-Inns (teen-girl rockers from the neighborhood) at 2 p.m. And if all that doesn't make the day lust-worthy enough, free gourmet ice cream cones are promised, too. (Full disclosure: The author has DJed at the event in the past.) Micheltorena Elementary School playground, 1511 Micheltorena St., Silver Lake; Sat., Feb. 14, noon-5 p.m.; free. silverlakeshop.com. —Lina Lecaro

If you can put your phone away for a day and not get the shakes, you'll discover that, even in an increasingly paperless world, putting your thoughts on paper is just as important as putting them on the screen. The fourth annual L.A. Zine Fest returns with workshops, discussions and 200 national zine makers and small-press publishers with names such as Awkward Ladies Club, Homeschoolers Like Us, Murder Can Be Fun and I Was a Teenage Filipino Skinhead selling their stories, comics and art. This year's featured speakers are co-authors Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, who'll be discussing their 1996 must-read, punk-rock tome, Please Kill Me, as well as their new book, Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose. Homenetmen Glendale "Ararat" Chapter, 3347 N. San Fernando Road, Glassell Park; Sun., Feb. 15, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. lazinefest.com. —Siran Babayan

Upcoming Events

If the concept of skeleton or luge racing is just too frightening, come see the strides that are being made in modern bobsleighing in the lecture BMW U.S. Olympic Bobsled: Speeding Muscles. Michael V. Scully, director of creative consulting at BMW DesignworksUSA, appears at this latest installment of UCLA's Ideas Lectures on how advances in sleek, carbon-fiber designs helped the U.S. team win multiple medals last year at Sochi. At speeds of 90 mph, working up 5Gs of force on the corners, these new sleds are the perfect marriage of man and machine. UCLA Architecture & Urban Design, Hercules Campus, 5865 S. Campus Center Drive, Playa Vista; Tue., Feb. 17, 6:45 p.m. reception, 7:30 p.m. lecture; free. (310) 409-1604, aud.ucla.edu. —David Cotner

The truth is in there — in The X-Files star David Duchovny's new satirical novel Holy Cow, that is. He'll sign his modern fable about courageous cow Elsie Bovary, liberated from her ignorance upon learning from TV about what really goes on in those industrial meat farms. Capitalizing on this soul-searing meta moment, the heroic heifer plots to break her friends — a pig who wants to go to Israel and a turkey who wants to go to Turkey — out of their barnyard borstal with her and escape to greener pastures. Barnes & Noble at the Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Mid-Wilshire; Wed., Feb. 18, 7 p.m.; free (wristbanded event), book is $24. (323) 525-0270, store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/86299. —David Cotner

How's this for a timely story? In 1978, before becoming a dictator, Kim Jong-Il was an obsessive film buff who orchestrated the kidnapping of South Korean director Shin Sang-Ok and his movie star ex-wife Choi Eun-Hee, considered a power couple in Seoul. They were forced to remarry and make several propaganda films, including a Communist knockoff of Godzilla, meant to boost the image and morale of North Korea. The two eventually escaped to the U.S. Embassy in Vienna and even relocated to L.A. for a time. Paul Fischer, a Saudi Arabia–born independent film producer based in London, recounts these events in his new book, A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power, which, for anyone who was caught up in the controversy of The Interview, is likely to be a page-turner. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Wed., Feb. 18, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

Paul D. Miller is known to most as DJ Spooky, an innovative, tech-savvy music producer. He's also an author, pioneer of audio/visual remix artistry, app developer and voracious cultural historian. His mind, like his art, is intensely cross-platform and multimedia-obsessed, as he refines his unique system of incorporating found and original imagery, archival footage, live onstage mixing, cultural and political deconstruction, and even a little science fiction into his vision of Afrofuturism. ALOUD's presentation of Miller's The Hidden Code combines performance and interview elements in an evening of enlightening ideas and deep tracks. Or is that enlightening tracks and deep ideas? Los Angeles Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Thu., Feb. 19, 7:15 p.m.; free. (213) 228-7000, lfla.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot


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