5 design things to do July 6 - 12

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This week: Drive-ins are back for the summer, but restaurant dining has taken over parking lanes in Santa Monica; catch a podcast about objects in a museum and their hidden stories; follow the artist Zarina's life as told through art of paper; and tour the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Street Food Cinema is one of several Southland companies bringing back drive-in movies. Photo credit: Street Food Cinema

1) Drive-In Movies are Back

A quintessential Southland car culture experience is back: the Drive-In Movie Theater. With indoor theaters closed amid restrictions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, several pop-up drive-ins are appearing around the Southland, and some outdoor theaters that never left are seeing attendance rebound. Among the players are Street Food Cinema, with upcoming events in Glendale, Simi Valley and Ontario, The Paramount Drive-In in Paramount, the Roadium Drive-In in Torrance, the Mission Tiki Drive-In in Montclair and the Tribeca Drive-In at The Rose Bowl (a co-presentation with Walmart, which has announced plans for 320 showings outside stores across the country).  While you won't see new releases, classics like "Ground Hog Day" and "Back to the Future" seem perfectly fitting. Dates are selling out, so you might want to buy tickets ahead for next week and beyond. 

When: Multiple listings around the Southland, Sunday - Thursday, starting around 8:30pm. Some afternoon showtimes as well. 

Where: Street Food CinemaTribeca Drive-In; Paramount Drive-In; Roadium Drive-In; Mission Tiki Drive-In

Cost: From $8 per person / $20 per car. You can order advance tickets using the links above.

Restaurants are taking over the streets in Santa Monica - literally. Photo Credit: Frances Anderton

2) Eat out in the street -- literally -- in Santa Monica

If Drive-Ins (above) are one solution to socially distanced gathering, removing parking altogether is another. To enable social distancing while dining out, restaurants on Santa Monica’s Main Street are putting tables in the parking lane, per new city rules. The result is less cars and an unusual -- and fun -- al fresco eating experience. Urban activists have fought for years to reduce the amount of space in a street given over to parking, through interventions -- known as “tactical urbanism” -- like ParkingDayLA and the creation of parklets. Parklets are public seating areas built into one or two spaces in a parking lane. Now the Covid-19 crisis has enabled a bigger bite into parking's turf. Somehow it feels odd to sit in a parklet when you are surrounded on three sides by cars. When an entire lane goes, it feels very inviting. Restaurants have to maintain safety protocols and get a permit, entitled a Temporary COVID-19 Outdoor Encroachment Agreement, from the City, which says these changes are expected to remain in place at least through Labor Day. 

When: Ongoing at least through Labor Day.

Where: Some eateries on Main Street, Santa Monica, between Pico Boulevard and Pier Avenue.

Cost: The price of a drink or meal at participating restaurants.

3) The Object Podcast

In this production by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, host Tim Gihring explores the strange and wonderful true stories behind museum objects. The series of short, surprising, true stories offers an object’s view of us - our ambitions, our creativity, our humanity. From a Dancing Shiva that creates tumult in the jungles of India at the beginning of Season 1, to a Depression-era sculptor whose success spotlights the art world’s problematic relationship with race at the end of Season 2, the podcast touches on race, class, immigration, gender, and other issues that continue to shape the world today. You can see more details and episode synopses here.

When: Available now.

Where: From the Minneapolis Art Institute. You can find the podcast here.

Cost: Free

Photo credit: Hammer Museum

4) Zarina: Paper Like Skin

Indian-born artist Zarina Hashmi (1937-2020), known simply as Zarina, came to the U.S. in the mid-1970s where she joined the prevailing artistic movements, including minimalism, conceptualism, and process art. At the same time, she began to explore the versatility of paper as an art medium, putting particular focus on its sculptural properties. Featuring approximately 60 works dating from 1961 to the present, Zarina: Paper Like Skin features woodcuts as well as three-dimensional casts in paper pulp. Her interest in architecture and mathematics is reflected in her use of geometry and her emphasis on structural purity. While her work tends towards minimalism, its starkness is tempered by its texture and materiality. Her art chronicles her life and features recurring themes of home, displacement, borders, journey, and memory.

When: Available now

Where: Hammer Museum Online. You can see the archival show here.

Cost: Free

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is full of Hollywood legends from the silver screen, including Cecil B. De Mille - his family tomb pictured. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

5) Tour the Hollywood Forever Cemetery online with historian Karie Bible 

With mausoleums, tombs, headstone and other markers, and acres of landscaped grounds, cemeteries, for some, represent the architecture and design of the eternal world.  Combined with a legendary roster of those interned, film historian Karie Bible's curated tour through the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is fascinating -- and poignant at this time when large gatherings to mourn ones loved ones have been banned. See the final resting places of Hollywood's biggest legends, and some lesser known, but no less impactful personalities. You can decide if their markers fit their famous reputations.

When: Saturdays at 10 am.

Where: Hollywood Forever Cemetery,  6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles 90038

Cost: $20. You can reserve your spot here