This week in Los Angeles, get into the Halloween spirit with a talk by Mel Brooks about his new book, which takes readers behind the scenes of his comedy Young Frankenstein. Then head to Pasadena for a free night of all the art you can imagine (including work by Pablo Picasso). Eat some of the city’s best foods at the Brand Boulevard Block Party, and catch an up-and-coming band before they blow up.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
October 20 | Literature
Young Frankenstein: A Mel Brooks Book: The Story of the Making of the Film
If you prefer your Halloween with a little more comedy than fright, then head to the Grove for a spin on a creepy classic by comedian, actor, and director Mel Brooks. The story of the monster created by Dr. Frankenstein had a huge influence on Brooks when he was growing up in Brooklyn, and he later wrote and directed Young Frankenstein, a parody. Brooks’ new book, Young Frankenstein: A Mel Brooks Book: The Story of the Making of the Film delves into the genesis of the movie, as well as the cast and crew, which included the late, great Gene Wilder.
7:00 PM | Barnes and Noble at the Grove, 189 The Grove Dr., Suite K-30, Los Angeles | $26 (event entrance included with purchase of book) | website
October 21 | Art
Pasadena’s museums, cultural institutions, and art centers of every genre are opening their doors for a free night of art, music, and entertainment. A free shuttle service will move you between each ArtNight Pasadena location, so you’ll easily be able to see as many of the 18 participating venues as you’d like. We’re eyeing the Picassos at Norton Simon and the live music and snacks at City Hall. Check out ArtNight’s website for more information about exhibitions, performances, and times.
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM | Locations vary | Free | website
October 22 | Food festival
Brand Boulevard Block Party
Glendale’s Brand Boulevard is quickly becoming L.A.’s newest food hotspot, with restaurants serving everything from poke to veggie fajitas. The annual block party, presented in conjunction with L.A. Weekly and the charity Careers through Culinary Arts Program, is a chance to sample it all. We’re talking Shake Shack, Mainland Poke, Coolhaus, and at least a dozen more. One thing to note: This is event is 21+, because wine tastings are included.
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM | Brand Blvd. btw. Colorado St. and Caruso Ave., Glendale | From $50 | website
October 22 - 23 | Escape the city
Part of L.A. County’s South Bay, Redondo Beach is just 30 minutes from the city, and it’s an idyllic spot for an endless summer. Bring your beach gear and enjoy waves that are perfect for surfing and soft sand that just cries out for beach volleyball. If you need a change of pace, try kayaking, paddle boarding, or whale watching. Stay at The Portofino, which sits on its own private peninsula that offers spaces for viewing sea lions and swimming in a pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
October 23 | Music
In Oyster Kids, you’ll find a quintessentially cool L.A. band. The duo mixes mysterious beats with sublime hooks to set a chill vibe in the vein of Sylvan Esso and Glass Animals. But their cool factor comes from them as individuals, too—or rather, from our lack of knowing them. The Oyster Kids have been secretive about who they are, preferring to put out music without marketing themselves. The band currently has residency at The Echo, and this show is a chance to see them up close and personal before they inevitably hit the festival circuit and start playing for much larger crowds.
The Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles | Free | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.