Catch the premiere of a documentary devoted to the current darling of the new media scene, podcasting, and then check out a slick new cocktail joint in Mar Vista. Spend the weekend in Pasadena: Designer Con is a toy fair that will enthrall both kids and the young at heart, and Flower Pepper Gallery is kicking off an innovative exhibition devoted to miniature art in various forms—including works made with Scrabble tiles.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
November 17 | Film
EAR BUDS: The Podcasting Documentary Premiere!
Podcasting continues to grow in strength and numbers due to its often rough-and-ready, seemingly personal and authentic nature. This documentary introduces the uninitiated and the curious to major success stories such as Doug Benson, Marc Maron, and Aisha Taylor. When President Obama went to Marc Maron’s garage for an interview, the game was elevated to an entirely new level. Produced by comedians/filmmakers Chris Mancini and Graham Elwood, this film tells the story behind those who tell the stories.
7:30 PM | Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles | Free: first-come, first-served | website
November 19 - December 8 | Art
Artists working on very miniature scales and with miniscule canvases are highlighted in this inventive opening, Mini Tale. Using a variety of media, from oil to sculpture and even Scrabble tiles, these artists bring whimsy, technical prowess, and sophistication far bigger than the pieces on view. Dina Brodsky, Mab Graves, Sean Chao, and Sugar Fueled are among the artists. Flower Pepper Gallery is the perfect place to see the works up close in an unpretentious and fun space with passionate gallery owner, Huan. Many of the artists will be in attendance at the November 19 opening.
6:30 PM | Flower Pepper Gallery, 121 East Union St., Pasadena | Free | website
November 19 - 20 | Fair
Designer Con was first started as the Vinyl Toy Network in 2006 as a place for fans and artists to meet and trade collectibles and vinyl toys. What once occupied some 1,000 square feet has grown into a space of roughly 90,000. Including more than 350 vendors, art, custom shows, and live demonstrations, the convention has grown big while still retaining its homegrown charm. Fans can rub shoulders with their favorite artists, cop exclusive toys only available at DCon, or simply walk around and get inspired by all of the eye candy. Artists man their own booths, so it really is magical. We’re looking forward to Giant Robot’s stellar booth, Hyperactive Monkey, and Mab Graves from Indianapolis. (Hours on Sunday are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena | From $10 | website
November 17 | New Opening: Bar
Mar Vista’s accomplice
Mar Vista is having a culinary transformation rivaling nearby Culver City’s. Newly opened accomplice is a much-needed neighborhood watering hole, with cocktails that elevate the game: The Mother We Share (bourbon, fernet branca, ginger, lemon, and pineapple) and Child’s Play (Galliano, espresso, and crème cacao), for example. The bar is also serious about its whiskey and is planning a flight that will knock your socks off. Food is by Little Fatty (owned and run by chef David Kuo), which will deliver tableside until the full accompanying restaurant opens next door at a later date. The Chinese and Taiwanese eats include the likes of fatty noodles and zha jiang mian, plus more fusion-style dishes like duck pizza.
3811 Grand View Blvd., Los Angeles | website
November 19 - 20 | Escape the city
Take advantage of all the activities in Pasadena this weekend (including Designer Con and Flower Pepper Gallery’s opening) to enjoy a short break there. Stay at the Langham Huntington: 23 acres of tranquility in a quiet Pasadena neighborhood just minutes from the Huntington Library and its art collections and botanical gardens. Have afternoon tea with Wedgwood. The crème brulee tart pairs beautifully with English Flower Blend tea (chamomile, rose petals, elderflowers, and lavender).
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.