The best of what to do in and around Los Angeles this week
It’s inauguration week, which means many Los Angeles residents and visitors will be gathering for the Los Angeles Women’s March to City Hall. On inauguration day, head to Aero Theater for a special showing of Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. Let illustrator Emily McDowell teach you how to deal with tough situations in her new book, There is No Good Card for This. Then travel back in time at L.A.’s newest (and coolest) speakeasy, Melrose Station, or spend the weekend in a nearby town that’s straight out of the Old West era.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
December 20 | Now open: Speakeasy
There’s something so enticing about a great speakeasy, and Melrose Station delivers on every level. For one, there’s the secret entrance that has you first walking into Glass Hookah Lounge and asking the host to direct you to the hidden bar. Once you find it, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time thanks to the nightclublike dress code, industrial interior design, and strong drinks. The craft cocktails are the reason to stop in, but Melrose Station doesn’t disappoint with food either—its tapas menu features the likes of sashimi, charcuterie, and white chocolate soufflé.
Melrose Station, 7384 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles | website
January 19 | Book talk
Emily McDowell discusses “There Is No Good Card for This”
Emily McDowell is a brilliant artist who specializes in the uncomfortable and awkward. The creator of the viral online Empathy Cards, McDowell knows how to combine advice with humor and beautiful illustrations to help people deal with loss, illness, grief, or other difficult situations. Her new book, There Is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love, cowritten with Dr. Kelsey Crowe, uses workbook-style exercises, sample dialogues, and real-world examples to help readers navigate trying social situations. Both McDowell and Crowe are cancer survivors with gifts for sharing everything they’ve learned along their own journeys.
7:00 PM | 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | Free | website
January 20 | Film
“The Great Dictator”
The Aero Theatre is making a statement on inauguration day with a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. The 1940 movie follows Adenoid Hynkel, leader of the fictionalized country Tomainia, as he prepares to invade the also fictional Osterlich. Chaplin’s first talking picture is just as resonant now as it was then, and his performance as Hynkel will command your attention.
7:30 PM | 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica | $11 | website
January 21 | Political demonstration
Los Angeles Women’s March
While possibly the largest women’s march ever happens on the East Coast, L.A. women and men are rallying to stand up for human rights, civil liberties, diversity, and compassion on this side of the country. The Los Angeles Women’s March will start at Pershing Square and weave through Downtown Los Angeles until it reaches City Hall. The demonstration is open to all ages, and it’s a practical way to show solidarity with those who feel afraid for their freedoms under the new administration.
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM | 532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles | Free | website
January 21 - 22 | Escape the city
Julian is a little-known spot tucked in the Cuyamaca Mountains, just an hour east of San Diego. The town flourished in the 1870s and has remained in roughly the same state since. That means it’s the perfect place to go for a dose of history. Base yourself at the quaint Butterfield Bed-and-Breakfast, and take a historical tour of the town that ends at Julian Pie Company, world-famous for its apple pies and cider donuts. Finally, don’t miss Oasis Camel Dairy and its unique and delicious camel milk chocolate (call ahead to book a private tour and meet the camels that call the dairy farm home).
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.