The Weekender: No, I Don’t Want a Ride

Five things to do in Los Angeles this weekend

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Here in L.A., people love to meet up ahead of time and go together. If there’s a birthday dinner and you know someone else who is going, even if you don’t know them well, chances are this person will say: “Why don’t you pick me up and we’ll go in one car.” 

Why do we have to go in one car when I can go on my own?

“Better for parking,” they say.

I have a small car which is easy to park so I’m fine.

“It will save money,” they say. Not really.

“We’ll get there faster because we can go in the carpool lane.”

Faster than what? The carpool lane makes sense when there are four people and you’re racing to get to the airport. Using the carpool lane with one extra passenger in order to get to a restaurant on time?  It feels wrong. Also, Uber can use this lane just as easily to speed to the dinner I’m ambivalent about going to.

Also, when someone wants to meet up to go to a dinner together – it means I’ll use up all of my conversation. What will we talk about at dinner?

I have a limited amount of small talk in me and if I use it all up in the car ahead of time, I’ll have nothing to say. I like to arrive at the dinner and start fresh. And often, the first thing I talk about when I arrive is something that happened on the way over.

The New York version of this is “Let’s take the subway together” and I’m no fan of that either. Unless you live in the same building, you end up trying to meet on the platform to coordinate …and if the dinner is way out in Brooklyn (which is now every dinner) it means you’re together for at least 45 minutes in advance which means I’m exhausted and talked out when I arrive.

I have a friend here in L.A. who doesn’t drive (New Yorker) and we have a policy that he takes an Uber to get to the dinner, and I’ll drive him home. Dropping someone off at the end of the meal is way more appealing than going together because you have someone to complain to about the meal and/or the other people who were at the dinner.

Here are 5 things to do this weekend where you can go on your own…

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Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody

This is the first-ever museum exhibition in Los Angeles of Keith Haring’s work and it features over 120 works of art and archival footage. It’s ambitious and joyful. According to the New York Times, “Certain images have become so embedded in our culture we forget that they were initially groundbreaking. Keith Haring’s work falls into that category.”

What people love about his work is that it’s universal. (Thus the title of the show) It started out as graffiti and Haring himself said: “You don’t have to know anything about art to appreciate it. There aren’t any hidden secrets or things that you’re supposed to understand.”

This exhibit explores his life and includes source material from his journals. Haring’s work fills nine gallery rooms. There’s video, sculpture, drawings, framed posters that illustrate his activism during the AIDS crisis.

I remember going to his Pop Shop in Soho in 1986. The cartoonish images were everywhere in the city and this show is like a time capsule back to the 1980’s. Also, it’s just across the street from the Basquiat exhibit which I already wrote about. Both artists died young, both were groundbreaking, and now they live on just across the street from each other in downtown L.A.

Keith Haring, Untitled, 1982 © Keith Haring Foundation, courtesy of Rubell Museum

When: Until October 8th


The Broad

221 S. Grand Avenue,

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Directions and Parking Info Here



Cerritos Library

The one time I’ve been to Cerritos was to go to a car dealership. Not exactly a riveting event. But parents of small children have been talking about how there is something indeed something impressive in Cerritos and it’s the library! With a $6.6 million modern makeover, the library is updated and visually appealing. For instance, oversized book designs mark the entrance to the children’s section which means the requisite photo of your small child posing in front of a massive book binding. The Children’s Section is a like a museum. There’s a huge aquarium inside and a walk-through lighthouse.  There is also a dinosaur reconstruction reminiscent of the Museum of Natural History in New York.

And…not to be diminished, it’s a library! Your kids might be inspired to read. You can’t check out books if you don’t live in Cerritos but it has plenty of spaces to sit and read. So have a family day at the library. Next door there’s a serene sculpture garden – a great place to have lunch and let the kids run around without screaming. Can kids do that?

Photo by Shutterstock


Monday – Friday: 10am – 9pm

Saturday: 9am – 5pm; Sunday: 1pm – 5pm


Cerritos Library

18025 Bloomfield Ave

Cerritos, CA 90703

Cost: Free

Parking: Free


Go See

Alonso King LINES Ballet

This ballet Deep River features a live performance by Grammy award winning vocalist Lisa Fischer and is set to a score by the jazz pianist, composer and MacArthur fellow Jason Moran.

If you haven’t heard of the Alonzo King LINES ballet it’s probably because this contemporary dance company is based in the Bay area. Founded in 1982, the LINES ballet often collaborates with composers and musicians. Alonzo King is a choreographer and the company’s founder who has worked with Fischer before and, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “elegantly fuses spirituality and dance.”

Fischer is a longtime background singer for Luther Vandross, the Rolling Stones, Chaka Khan and Tina Turner. You know she’s going to be soulful. Maybe that’s the spirituality element. A contemporary ballet with a stirring vocalist…it might be a spiritual experience. Two nights only.

Photo by RJ Muna

When: 7:30 PM June 9th and June 10th 

Where: The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Arts
Bram Goldsmith Theater
9390 North Sana Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills 90210

Parking Details Here


Go To

Burlington Arcade

Having recently walked through the original 19th century “mall” (seems like the wrong word for what’s essentially a long passageway with fancy shops on either side) in London, it seemed fitting to mention that there is another Burlington Arcade in Pasadena! Built in 1980, it’s an exact replica of the original.

The famous ban on whistling in the London arcade is from when the 19th Century prostitutes were occupying the upper levels. They would whistle a warning to the pickpockets below. Very Dickensian.

For someone who has never been to England or who can’t afford to go, this is the next best thing. There is faux European architecture, a glass skylight, and a fire engine red telephone booth. There are several shops including Contessa Chocolate and a coffee shop called Float which comes highly recommended for its sandwiches.

Also, no one will arrest you for whistling.

Photo by Shutterstock

Hours: 8am to 9pm

Where: 380 S Lake Ave Pasadena, CA 91101

Cost: Free

Parking: Ample free parking directly behind the Arcade.

Get Out

The Annual Prince Skate Night

This roller rink has been around since the 1950s and according to the website’s history: “The skating floor is the original 2¼ inch maple flooring, with no nails all tongue and groove.”

That sounds a bit lewd. But then again, so was Boogie Nights. I grew up on roller rinks like The Roxy in Manhattan and I think that was probably the last time I was on roller skates…but it was fun.  Bring your skates if you have them, or rent them there. This annual event will feature only Prince’s music. Four hours of it. Chances are, there will be people wearing some funky purple outfits.

Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Mayhem Entertainment Public Relations

When: Saturday, June 10th 8pm – 11pm

Where: Moonlight Rollerway | 5110 San Fernando Rd, Glendale, CA 91204


Phone: 818-241-3630