This week in Los Angeles, laugh along with comedian Phoebe Robinson as she discusses her new book, You Can’t Touch My Hair. Then head to Pasadena for a food festival you won’t want to miss, and take in some spooky interactive art at the Think Tank Gallery. Drop by Verve Coffee Roasters for free coffee and a latte art competition.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
October 7 | Books
Phoebe Robinson discusses You Can’t Touch My Hair
Fans of the hilarious podcast 2 Dope Queens know Robinson as a comedian who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She covers a myriad of topics, from her trips to the gynecologist to coveting Hamilton tickets, all in her own authentic style. Her new book, You Can’t Touch My Hair, promises to be an insightful and fun ride on what it means to be an African American woman, and you don’t want to miss your chance to hear her discussion.
7:30 p.m. | Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles | Free | website
October 8 | Food festival
Taste of South Lake
Pasadena is putting itself on the Southern California food map with this all-day celebration. There will be cooking demonstrations by such award-winning chefs as Luisa Fabbri (Contessa) and Yvonne Ardestani (My Eclectic Kitchen). There will also be live performances by Australian rock band Atlas Genius and James Supercave, a psych-pop artist out of Los Angeles. KCRW DJ Raul Campos will be spinning between sets, so both the grooves and eats will last all day.
11 a.m.–5 p.m. | 251 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena | Free | website
October 8–31 | Art
Think Tank Gallery is known for outside-the-box exhibitions, and this show is no exception. Trap House is a combination of an art show and an “escape room,” where participants are locked in a room together and must solve puzzles to get out. Both the art show and the escape room have horror themes that include human trafficking and organ harvesting, so this is definitely not an activity for anyone with a weak stomach. While the art show is free to view (and you’re free to come and go), the escape room will cost you $25. Once inside, you and your trapped peers will have 30 minutes to figure out a way out of the bloody mess.
Times vary | Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., Los Angeles | From $25 | website
October 9 | Coffee
Verve Coffee Roasters Jubilee
Verve Coffee is known for fair-trade business practices and delectable coffee drinks that will make you appreciate the nuances of beans from Guatemala to Kenya. If you’ve never tried Verve, this anniversary event at the coffee shop’s Third Street location will entice you with free brewed coffee all day long. Verve’s java is so tasty that it doesn’t need any sweetener or cream. Each bag of beans also comes with a cheat sheet containing tasting notes and information on the farmers. This is true farm-to-table stuff. Come back for a latte art competition at 9 p.m.
8 a.m.–11 p.m. | Verve Coffee Roasters, 8051 W. Third St., Los Angeles | Free | website
October 8–9 | Escape the city
Santa Monica is our favorite place for a staycation—especially now that you can completely avoid the traffic on the 10 in favor of the Expo Line, which will drop you steps from the beach. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel and let yourself savor the ocean breeze from up above. Eat at True Food Kitchen (known for its vegan-friendly fare), or rent a bike and ride to Venice. Being car-less will give you an opportunity to slow down and appreciate this quirky town in all of its glory. Stay at the Shore Hotel to complete the beach town experience.
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.