The Weekender: How to Talk to Celebrities

Five things to do in L.A. this weekend that don’t involve bothering famous people

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Here in L.A., celebrity sightings are a frequent occurrence. Spotting someone you recognize can be fun (for an instant) but actually approaching them requires some finesse. The other day, I was waiting to pay for a coffee and overheard two women debating whether or not to approach the famous actress who had just entered the shop.

The blond whispered to her friend: “Should we go over to her and say something?”

The friend replied, “I don’t know. Should we?”

The clock was ticking.

“Let’s do it!” Said the friend, biting her lip. Clearly the more courageous of the two.

The blond grabbed her T-shirt. “Wait! What do we say?”

Good question.

Here’s something you can say. Nothing.

Managing expectations is something we all have to learn in life. And when it comes to celebrities, hoping they’ll be so flattered by your adoration that they’ll ask you to sit down or out to dinner — or both — is a recipe for disappointment.

I used to know someone who would send photos of interesting, well-known, people and say, “I want to be their best friend!” (The over-50 version of thinking you’re going to marry Harry Styles) I’d think: what makes you think they’d want to be your best friend?

Obviously, celebrities love to be complimented. And even if they pretend they don’t care, they care. (Unless they’re Sean Penn in which case, they really don’t care). But expecting more than a “Thank you” even if it’s heartfelt, is unrealistic and slightly delusional. You’re a fan, not a friend.

One of my favorite Do-I-Or-Don’t-I moments happened with my friend Ed, the New Yorker who doesn’t drive. We were having lunch and he spotted Spike Lee sitting alone across the room. The entire meal was devoted to his obsessing over whether or not to compliment him about his work and what to say. At the end of the meal, he finally got up the gumption, walked over to Spike’s table, made a fist in solidarity and said: “Go Knicks!” 

Spike Lee grimaced, and said: “Yep.”

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Go Hear

John Williams With L.A. Phil at the Hollywood Bowl

Photo by Greg Grudt/Matthew Imaging

I was lucky enough to get invited to hear John Williams perform with the LA Philharmonic earlier this year at the Disney Concert Hall. Or was it last year? I can’t remember when it was, but what I can remember is that my friend had tickets in the front rowI could lean forward and touch the stage. I was basically sitting on the violinists’ lap.

I don’t know what the program is at the Hollywood Bowl but since Maestro of the Movies is in the title, chances are you’re going to hear favorites whether it’s excerpts from Close Encounters or the theme for Jaws or Schindler’s List or Raiders of the Lost Ark or my personal favorite: Princess Leia’s theme. Such a moving piece of music!

Also, the composer who has written among the most stirring and memorable and beloved film scores of all time is 91. So not to be morbid, but if you can see him – go now.

When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday July 7th-9th


Hollywood Bowl

2301 N Highland Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90068


Parking: Click here for parking details!


Go To


I heard about this because a friend of mine who writes graphic novels follows Revenge Of on Instagram and when she sent me a photo of the poster for this event, I thought it was for a horror movie. Turns out, that’s the point. Revenge Of is a new pinball arcade and comic shop in Glassell Park, founded by production designers, that opened in 2022 and operates as a local social hub for fans of everything pop culture. They have a striking red-and-black storefront on Eagle Rock Boulevard. It sells curated comics and it’s more than a retail store; it’s a community-based destination for fanatics, newbies and neighborhood residents.

So what’s “Lotzilla”? They call it a parking lot party which means it’s an outdoor event that takes place in the parking lot — sort of like a cooler, nerdier version of a tailgate. With pop-up vendors. 

LotZilla (parking lot + Godzilla) will feature a life-sized Godzilla and there will be a variety of food, artists, and vendors that include Psychic readings, rugs, candles, and of course, comics.You can take photos destined for Instagram, and explore a group of personally selected merchandise. There will also be a brand new issue of Crap Hound which is a ‘zine that mixes of social commentary and phenomenal graphic design and favorite of John Waters. So that should give you an idea of the sensibility. Could be very cool. This is also an LGBTQ+ owned store so given it’s pride month, expect a flag to be flying.

Photo by Revenge Of

When: June 17th

Hours: 12pm-6pm

Where: Revenge Of | 3420 Eagle Rock Blvd Unit #1 | Los Angeles, CA 90065


Go See

Danie Cansino Exhibit

The Charlie James Gallery was opened in 2008 in Chinatown, and has established a reputation for platforming and historicizing (their words) numerous young artists from Los Angeles. It’s also had success in placing works by their artists in museum collections ranging from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the LA County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, and MoCA LA.

This show was recommended to me by a friend and it’s a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by Los Angeles-based artist Danie Cansino titled This is My Blood. In the painting of the same name, she paints a photo taken of herself with her closest childhood friend on the porch of her Montebello home, As a tattoo artist, Cansino’s work often references the street culture of Chicanx communities in East LA. This show is part Mexican spirituality and magical realism. With source material that originates from her own life, it’s worth checking out.

Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, Photo Credit: Yubo Dong, of studio


Tuesday – Saturday

11:00am – 5:00 and by appointment


Charlie James Gallery

969 Chung King Road

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Parking: The closest free parking is located at 917 Yale Street.


Check Out

Dinos Alive

I’ve been around a couple of life-sized animated dinosaurs before, but it wasn’t at an exhibition.

This extremely popular and innovative immersive exhibition has just been extended. It’s a recreation of the Jurassic era with moving replicas of dinosaurs and virtual ones. You see them in their natural habitat and come face to face with over 80 specimens including T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Velociraptors and others that I can’t pronounce. There’s also a virtual aquarium where you can hang with Jurassic sea giants. Even if your kid isn’t an aspiring paleontologist, it’s still a fun experience.

Courtesy of Fever & Exhibition Hub


1345 N Montebello Blvd,

Montebello, CA 90640


Monday: 10 am – 5:30 pm (only on selected dates)

Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Thursday: 10 am – 4 pm

Friday: 10 am – 5 pm

Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm

Sunday: 10 am – 5:30 pm

Age Requirement: All Ages. Children Under 3 Do Not Need A Ticket To Attend.

Parking: Free

More Info: Here


Go Hear

Neil Young

Advance notice for this hot ticket which just went on sale this week. The legendary Neil Young will perform for four nights only at The Ford and according to the press release he’ll be “performing songs he’s rarely played live across his career.”

If you’re a Neil Young fan, you might recognize some of these songs which will be the more obscure ones in his catalog . “I’d rather be doing these other songs I haven’t done, “ he said, “So I won’t have to compare how I’m doing ‘Heart of Gold’ to (how I played it) in 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020…” If you’re 50 or over, that song has been the soundtrack for your life.

Hopefully, he’ll play that too.

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Friday June 30th

Saturday July 1st

Monday July 3rd

Wednesday July 5th


The Ford

2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East,

Los Angeles, CA 90068

Directions and Parking: Here


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