This week in Los Angeles, celebrate literature, art, and beating the traffic. First, check out the next generation of poets and writers at Emerging Voices: A Reading. Then see the work of two mega-talented French artists, or enjoy a different flavor of art at Uglycon. Finally, spend your weekend getting the most out of L.A.’s newest obsession: the DTLA to beach Expo Line.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
July 7 | Literature celebration
PEN Center Emerging Voices: A Reading
The culmination of PEN Center USA’s 2016 Emerging Voices Fellowship, Emerging Voices: A Reading, will feature live readings from the fellows’ poems, short stories, and nonfiction works. Each of the five women in the program this year is working toward creating a larger body of work, and they’ve benefitted from PEN’s mentorship throughout their time in the program. Attend for a night of quality literature with some up-and-coming talent.
7:15 p.m. | Los Angeles Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles | Free with RSVP | website
July 7 | Art opening
Duet with Jean Jullien and Jean André
French artists Jean Jullien and Jean André are teaming up for a duo show at HVW8 Gallery, where you’ll have the chance to see their works in an intimate setting. Jullien’s pieces tend to be tongue-in-cheek; he has a way of making art about everyday life that is simultaneously hilarious and poignant. André drifts towards a more erotic style, with the female form taking center stage. At the opening, the two will be selling exclusive pieces, such as limited-edition skateboard decks.
6–10 p.m. | HVW8, 661 N. Spaulding Ave., Los Angeles | Free with RSVP | website
July 9 | Toys
David and Su-Min Horvath are the minds behind the Uglydoll sensation that’s taken the world by storm since its inception at the turn of the millennium. You’ve likely seen them even if you think you haven’t: The plush toys are an obsession of both kids and adults, and their likenesses—far-out eyes, long straight-lined mouths—also show up on bags, watches, and T-shirts. Uglydolls are lovable in their own weird way, and each character was dreamed up in L.A.’s Japantown on Sawtelle. Uglycon will take place there, too, and offers a chance for fans to celebrate the Ugly world with cosplay and fan art. Established artists will also attend, paying tribute to Uglydoll with their own art.
12 p.m. | GR 2 Gallery, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles | Free | website
Angelenos are abuzz because of the new Expo Line, which bypasses the usual L.A. traffic and makes getting from downtown to the beach in Santa Monica easier than ever. Make the most of it and spend the weekend treating yourself to a beautiful staycation. Rest your head at The Georgian Hotel for a little taste of history and some seriously cool art deco, then eat lunch at Wexler’s Deli (which just opened its Santa Monica outpost). Finally, hop on the train (it really is that easy) and head east to see The Natural History Museum’s new dinosaur exhibit. Or check our guide to the best new way to spend a day in L.A. now that you can leave your car—and your road rage—at home.
New menu | Food
When a restaurant has been in business for over 25 years, a changing of the guard must both honor the culture of the space and its patrons and bring new energy to the storied walls. La Bohème has done just that with the addition of chef Leonardo Daniele, who was born and raised in Sicily. He cooks such authentic Italian dishes as homemade cavatelli and made-to-order lasagna, both of which pair perfectly with the restaurant’s new cocktail program. We recommend the Mule De-Notre Dame, a blend of vodka, fresh blackberries, hibiscus-infused agave, Chambord, and ginger beer.
La Bohème, 8400 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.