The Weekender: I Can’t Hear You

What to do in Los Angeles this weekend

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Here in L.A., the noise level in restaurants is out of control. If the music playing is louder than the conversation, I refuse to eat there. I shouldn’t need ear plugs and an Ativan before my appetizer.

“I can’t eat here!” I shouted to my friends the other night as we stood waiting for our table. 

I was already exhausted and out of breath and we hadn’t even been seated.

“Let’s sit outside,” they said. My friend and his husband loved the restaurant and didn’t want to go elsewhere. Not wanting to be the difficult one – or the even more difficult one – I agreed.

We were seated at an outside table. 

Directly under the speaker. 

“Would you mind moving us to another table,” I politely asked the hostess. “One that’s not near the music?”

She pointed to a lone table on a section of the pavement no one was sitting at.

“How about that one?” she said.

“Is that part of this restaurant?” I asked. 

“Yes,” she said. “It’s for people like you.”

And yet, no one was sitting there. Are there no other people like me? 

My friends suggested we sit at the table under the speaker and I had no energy left to object. Just as I was explaining to them that I’m noise sensitive, the man at the table behind us turned the volume up on his iPhone. He was watching a video (without headphones) and we all heard, at full volume: Nasty Nail Fungus.

That was enough for my friend to jump up out of his seat, lean over and say firmly with a hint of aggression, “Can you please not listen to that on full volume? We’re having a conversation.”

Were we?  I couldn’t hear anything they were saying. But the man watching the video heeded my friend’s request and it led to me to ponder if he’d have been as obedient and accommodating if it had been a woman asking. For instance, a woman like me.

When the waitress arrived, I asked if she wouldn’t mind lowering the music.  

“I can ask,” she replied. “But the manager likes it.”

Obviously, the manager is 25. And yes, I know I’m in the minority and I will always ask for the volume to be turned down on the music and I have no shame about it.  

I have my people. The only problem is, all of us stay home.

Get Out

Malibu Creek State Park

It’s summer which means…time for camping. Not for me! But maybe for you?

One of the best places for Camping is Malibu Creek State Park which is 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The park has hiking, fishing, bird watching, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding and spectacular views of the Las Virgenes Valley and Malibu Canyon. 

Prior to becoming a public park in 1976, the park was used for filming movies and TV shows like Planet of the Apes and MAS*H. 

I went camping once (forty years ago) and I don’t have enough space here to properly write about what happened. Suffice to say that it involved an airlift our of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming after I accidentally ate the poisonous berries I was instructed to avoid.  

That’s not to say I wouldn’t be open to trying again. I’ve had enough time to recover.

Photo by Getty

Location: 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, 91302

The park is located four miles south of Highway 101 on Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road.

Phone: (310) 457-8144

Trailers: Up to 30 Feet; Camper/Motorhome: Up to 30 Feet

Hours: The gates are open from 8am-10pm.

Parking: All day: $12.00 per car, per day


Check Out

Beautiful Peace On Earth Exhibit

A friend of mine, an artist himself, enthusiastically told me about this exhibition. It opened on July 15th and includes nearly 80 sculptures, paintings, video, and drawings – all work created in The Creative Growth Center’s studio in Oakland, CA. 

Founded in 1974 in the East Bay home of Elias Katz and Florence Ludins-Katz, the Creative Growth Center’s vision was clear: Art would be the path forward for people with disabilities to express themselves and a professional gallery would exhibit their work. 

It’s a non-profit studio space and gallery guided by the principle that art is fundamental to human expression, and that all people are entitled to its tools of communication. There are few absolutes in life, but I’m pretty sure that is one of them.

To understand more of what they do, it’s worth checking out their website HERE

As for the work in the exhibition at the Diane Rosenstein gallery, you really have to see for yourself. I don’t say this often but this show is not to be missed. 

Photo by Robert Wedemeyer (Courtesy the artist and Diane Rosenstein Gallery)

When: July 15th – August 26th

Where: Diane Rosenstein Gallery | 831 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, 90038

Phone: 323.462.2790

Hours: 10am – 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday

Parking: Street parking available on Highland or neighboring streets


Go To

Uncorked: L.A. Summer Wine Fest

People who love wine and crowds and walking through museums with after-hours access – this is your event! At the California Science Center there will be over 100 wines from all over the world plus full access to the museum. Plus a DJ, food trucks and dancing.

VIP Admission is at 7pm and includes four full hours of tasting (get a designated driver) plus exclusive access to the third floor VIP level with higher end wineries and entrance to see “Maya the Exhibition” all night.

Early admission is also at 7pm and includes the 4 hours of tasting with shorter lines during the first hour. And General admission at 8pm. No perks. But all tickets include wine tasting and museum.

Also! This is the last weekend the Endeavour shuttle will be in this exhibit space (I wrote about it HERE) so it’s your last chance to see it tipsy.

Photo by Uncorked Wine Festivals

When: Saturday July 22nd 7-11 PM

Where: California Science Center | 700 Exposition Park Dr, Los Angeles, 90037

Parking: Here


Check It Out

A Foraging Workshop

Want to go on a leisurely walk to find edible flowers, herbs, fungi, vegetables and fruit? Join the queer community for foraging in LA. Beginners are welcome. 

No, I haven’t done it. But apparently foraging for food doesn’t only have to happen in the aisles at Trader Joe’s.

According to the L.A. Times, “For Jessica Tsae-Ni Lin, 29, there’s something exciting and liberating about taking a group photo during the monthly queer foraging workshop she leads around Los Angeles. “It’s saying, ‘Hey, these are the people who forage — we look like this.’ I like to show people we’re fat, short, tall, skinny, we’re disabled, we’re able-bodied, we’re colorful, we’re monochrome, we’re all these things,” Lin says.

The foraging meetups will explore plants used in traditional Chinese medicine as well spotting edible plants and fruits and it’s a peaceful and relaxing activity that won’t tax your nervous system. If you’re vegan…it’s also handy. This Saturday! 

Photo by Phoenix Eleazar

When: Saturday July 22nd  3-5pm

Tickets: $45

Where: Exact location will show up in the confirmation message when you buy your ticket. Los Angeles, CA 90012


Go To

Summer Block Party

Sometimes people ask how I choose the listings. It varies every week. This listing, for instance, came about because I was having lunch with a friend and her daughter is in the show.

It’s a combination of a stand-up comedy event with a pop-up food event and it’s all rolled into a night of drinks and storytelling.

The organizers — Abigail Lowenthal and Hannah Ciesler — met in college in the comedy world. Both live in L.A. now and put this idea together in the past few months. There were stand-up events and food events and they thought marrying the two and showcasing comedians and restaurants at the same time would be a good fit. Frankly, I’m surprised no one thought of it sooner. Okay, maybe somebody did — but not with Little Fish.

Little Fish is the darling of the pop up food community and Chainsaw will be doing the desserts. They’re known for ice box pies which sounds very retro and summery.

Maria Bamford is probably the most well-known of the comedians performing but there will be other exciting non-traditional comedians and multimedia storytelling. Delicious food, great comedians – what’s not to like? The food pop ups start at 5:30 and open to anyone, first come first serve and you can buy any of the food separate from the comedy ticket. 

Note: this event is next Thursday because Thursday is close enough to Friday so.. relax.

Courtesy of Morgan DeFiore

When: Thursday July 27th  7:30-9 PM

Info: Food Starts @ 5:30 Until Sold Out!

Doors for the Show: 7:10 pm // Show: 7:30 PM

Ticket Pre-Sale: $17 // Day Of: $20 

Where: Lyric Hyperion | 2106 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles, 90027

Phone: (323) 796 – 2299

Parking: Street