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Things to Do

6 Free Things to Do in L.A. This Week

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Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 6:00 AM
click to enlarge Watch Lou Ferrigno (top, in the movie I Love You, Man) get inducted into the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame
  • Watch Lou Ferrigno (top, in the movie I Love You, Man) get inducted into the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame

South Bay Bliss

Twice a year, Hermosa Beach gives adults and their kids a chance to escape work, routine and, if they play their cards right, even one another, for three days of art, live music and street food, all in the downtown blocks of this laid-back, party-loving suburb. During its 40 years of history, Fiesta Hermosa has expanded to showcase more than 300 California artists, two stages dedicated to live bands (no shortage of tribute groups here) and a beer and wine garden. Alongside staples like shaved ice, funnel cakes and corn on the cob, this year's food court makes room for 18 ethnic options including Greek and Thai. For audiences too young for wine coolers and gyros, the fiesta features a petting zoo, pony rides and a climbing wall, among other distractions. Main Stage at Pier Plaza and Beach Drive, Hermosa Beach; Sat., Aug. 31-Mon., Sept. 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. fiestahermosa.net. --Kelsey Whipple

All That Jazz

This year's Central Avenue Jazz Festival has passed, but luckily Labor Day weekend offers another chance to celebrate our city's rich musical history in the streets where our trumpets first sounded. If it's been a while since you familiarized yourself with one of the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods in the city, get thee to West Adams for the Jazz Under the Stars festival. The annual party, founded by Bob Jones, considered the "Godfather of Black Hollywood," has expanded this year to two days of soul-satisfying music. There will be a "warm-up" concert on Saturday evening with salsa, blues and jazz beats, but the main event takes place Sunday evening, adding in R&B and gospel singers. Bring chairs, a blanket, some cash for food, open ears and your tapping feet. 2500 block of Seventh Avenue, north of West Adams Boulevard; Sat., Aug. 31-Sun., Sept. 1, 6:45-11 p.m.; free. (323) 603-1520, leimertparkbeat.com/events/jazz-in-the-avenues-2. --Rena Kosnett

The Hulk Does Muscle Beach

What better way to spend Labor Day than with Hercules? See Lou Ferrigno inducted into the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame! Witness feats of lifelong strength including, but not limited to, conquering the challenges of childhood deafness! Brooklyn native Ferrigno transformed himself into one of the finest bodybuilders ever to grace the competitive stage, and as a performer, his Hercules (and Hulk) were the apex of an art form stretching back to the heroism depicted by silent film stars. That mighty saga, of one of the world's mightiest men, is the grand backdrop against which plays today's Muscle Beach Championship, open to all amateurs: The curious can watch competitors in bodybuilding, figure and men's and women's physiques, all vying to become this year's supreme sultan of the sands. Venice Recreation Center, 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice; Mon., Sept. 2, 1 p.m.; free. (818) 922-4626, musclebeach​venice.com. --David Cotner

Community Chest Popping

Rather than listen to politicians drone on about the plight of the underserved, check out how smart street kids cope with stress: street dancing. Witness the latest moves with L.A.-based Underground Street Company's premiere production of The Underground: Street Chronicles. Accompanied by a rapper, krump founders Lil "C" and Miss Prissy take center stage with seven other dancers to "tell" their stories of struggles, mainly through krumping. Originating in South Central L.A., this thrilling, energetic dance style fuses breakdancing, hip-hop, Jamaican dancehall and traditional African dance. Moves such as chest pops, arm swings and foot stomps express emotional release. This is a provocative performance that speaks volumes about the state of our community. Following the performance, Annenberg professor Sasha Anawalt moderates a conversation with the dancers. Bovard Auditorium, USC, 3551 Trousdale Pkwy., University Park; Tues., Sept. 3, 8 p.m.; free, resv. required. (213) 740-0483, usc.edu/dept/pubrel/visionsandvoices. --Heidi Dvorak

Building L.A.

Architecture in Los Angeles has long been a point of fascination, as well as a target of derision. Historians such as Mike Davis and Norman Klein have written about the city's bizarre relationship with its buildings and urbanism in books like City of Quartz and The History of Forgetting, while movies such as Blade Runner have depicted our downtown monoliths in ominous ways. The Armory Center for the Arts wants to continue the debate. The think tank behind Big City Forum, an interdisciplinary project that brings together artists, designers, writers and architects to discuss L.A.'s cultural environment, has put together a new panel discussion for its "Transforming the Social" lecture series: Architecture/Complexity/Generosity. How does Los Angeles architecture adapt to community-based needs? How can architecture in L.A. evolve to reimagine the daily life of the city in a more generous and complex way? Find out in a talk moderated by Will Wright, director for the government and public affairs department of the L.A. chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Panelists are illustrious architect Michael Maltzan, community-driven designer Theresa Hwang and influential building and interior designer Peter Zellner. Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Wed., Sept. 4, 7-9 p.m.; free. (626) 792-5101, armoryarts.org. --R.K.

The Jelly Beans Have It

Cosimo Cavallaro's Love Your Bean is the latest, and tastiest, addition to the city of West Hollywood's Art on the Outside program. Among the most popular examples are the monumental exterior murals by RETNA, Kenny Scharf and Shepard Fairey adorning the exterior of the public library across from the Pacific Design Center. But if there's one thing people love more than bright, buoyant, beautiful art, it's got to be giant candy -- and that's where Cavallaro comes in. The city celebrates the official unveiling of his outdoor sculptural installation in lovely West Hollywood Park -- a trio of absurdly large, impossibly smooth, mesmerizingly reflective and weirdly sexy jelly beans. Cavallaro worked for a year with Jack Brogan, the iconic fabricator behind some of the most compelling moments from the Finish Fetish and Light and Space art movements, so while the idea is pretty funny, the craftsmanship is dead serious. Cavallaro's previous food-based sculptures include the portrait Twiggy in Cheese and his infamous Chocolate Jesus, but these lovable beans promise to steer clear of controversy and head straight for Instagram heaven. West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Thurs., Sept. 5, 5:30-7 p.m.; free. (323) 848-6883, weho.org/art. --Shana Nys Dambrot


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