Events

Get Your Pop Culture Fix at Vulture Festival Los Angeles

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Calling all pop culture lovers: Are you feeling a little empty inside after realizing you blew through the new season of Stranger Things this Halloweekend? Did that fresh new trailer for Annihilation leave you chomping at the bit for Natalie Portman’s next performance? Perhaps you’re already missing the cast of Scandal even though there are still three episodes left? Or maybe you’ve been holding out all these years for the chance to ask Damon Lindelof about the ending of Lost…and the meaning of life? If so, the folks at Vulture Festival Los Angeles have you covered.

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Events

The House of Peroni Arrives Stateside

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Debuting in London back in 2013, The House of Peroni is an annual event series that highlights a dynamic mix of forward-thinking artists and craftsmen. The vibrant, immersive pop-up experience hosts both private and public events, from intimate artist Q&A’s to live performances, and features a cafe bar and lounge for guests to relax and socialize.

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Books

Homelands, Handmaids, and HerStories at the 2017 LA Times Festival of Books

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With a captivating lineup, on-point panel topics, and several hundred book lovers willing to brave the rain, last year’s Festival of Books was certainly hard to beat. Though arguably, this year’s iteration may have been even better—and the sunny weather was only the beginning. The two-day event featured a similar format to years past, but some literary all-stars, including Margaret Atwood, Roxane Gay, George Saunders, and Chuck Palahniuk, added some heft to the 2017 offerings. Panels this year discussed a whole slew of topics, ranging from the evolution of feminism, the role of memory in globalized migrations, and, as expected, discussion on who some authors have deemed “he who must not be named.” The DP crew had to make some tough choices regarding who to see, but in the end, we felt pretty great about our selections.

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Movies

La La Land Shines New Light on the “City of Stars”

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Since moving to Los Angeles six months ago, I’ve dreaded the question, “So how are you liking it so far?” My answer always gets convoluted between how much I like the sunshine but miss the seasons or how I love that there’s always something to do but hate how long it takes to get there. The truth is I feel conflicting emotions about this city. Some nights I feel invincible driving past illuminated skyscrapers in DTLA as KCRW fills my car with a new age soundscape. Other times I feel small at a coffee shop drafting my next screenplay, while everyone else around me seems to also be writing and drinking overpriced lattes alone. L.A., as I’m starting to learn, is a paradox. But maybe that’s part of its charm. At least, that’s how Damien Chazelle seems to paint it in his latest film La La Land, of which I happened to catch an advanced screening at Hollywood’s Harmony Gold. With Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Chazelle himself enthusiastically presenting, I was open to giving this city another shot.

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Theatre

Fringe Benefits: A Review of the Hollywood Fringe Festival

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In the month of June, I attended three productions at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Truthfully, I didn’t know if any of them would be worthwhile, considering it was a little difficult navigating the Fringe’s seemingly never-ending schedule online. There were so many shows listed, I didn’t know what to choose or how to even begin to think about choosing. After sleuthing around in some early press releases, I found one that attracted my attention and committed to another that sounded highly artistic. While the third happened completely by chance, I received it just the same as the other two.

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Books

Puddles, Peaches, Parks, and More at the 2016 LA Times Festival of Books

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As sensitive as Angelenos are to rain, attendance at the 2016 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books impressed, well, everyone. On Saturday, the first day of the festival and one of the rainiest days of the year, scores of blue umbrellas dotted the USC campus, with each umbrella representing a new subscriber to the Los Angeles Times. What could best be described as dogged determination permeated the crowd. In my mind, I kept thinking “I love books far more than I fear a commute down the 405 in this weather”—and the rest of the book-lovers at the festival probably felt the same way.

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Ladies We Love

Ladies We Love: Jane Borden

As a small-town-raised, Greek-life-affiliated southern transplant living in the big city, I could certainly relate to Jane Borden’s laugh-out-loud memoir, I Totally Meant to Do That, which her website describes as the musings of “a Cerberus, a griffin or one of those joints near Port Authority that’s both a Pizza Hut and a Taco Bell…a hybrid too horrifying to exist: a hipster-debutante.” From paying too much money for too little apartment to milking sorority connections in the urban jungle, the book hit a little too close to home—in the best way possible. I’ve gotten to know Jane over the past few years, and, if you can believe it, she’s even funnier IRL (her Twitter account comes as a close second though). As weird as it is to interview a friend, I wanted to feature her since a) she’s been writing these delightful TV recaps as of late; b) it was a good way to catch up since we live on opposite coasts now; and c) I really look up to her and wanted to do a piece on a woman in my life that inspires me. And now that I’ve embarrassed myself with this outpouring of sentiment, I’m going to shut up and let the interview do the talking.

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