5 design things to do this week

Written by

Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights

Explore the Jewish history of Boyle Heights, see dance in a long-dormant Chinatown theater, ogle vintage Bugattis at the Petersen, tour the Silver Lake Reservoir and try your hand at letterpress art.

1) Type Slam, Letterpress Wood Type

Handset type and letterpress printing has been enjoying a revival. How about trying it yourself? A select number of students can get the chance to learn the art form with veteran graphic artists Lorna Turner and Janet Kupchick at their upcoming Type Slam. Using BookArtsLA’s collection of vintage wood type, each “slammer” will assemble a short text.

Note: the class is limited to maximum of 6 students; if you don’t reserve a spot in October’s slam, your next opportunity will be Friday, November 18.

When: Friday, October 21 from 6 pm to 10 pm

Where: 11720 Washington Place, Los Angeles, CA 90066.

Tickets: $75; all materials and refreshments. More details here.

Looking for Halloween costume inspiration? Check out these Nichiren Buddhist Temple youth modeling their costumes in a 1968 Halloween contest in Boyle Heights (courtesy Japanese American National Museum)
Nichiren Buddhist Temple youth model their costumes in a 1968 Halloween contest in Boyle Heights (courtesy Japanese American National Museum)

2) Wandering Jewish LA: A Walking Tour of Boyle Heights

For those interested in the history of Jewish Boyle Heights, check out the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies’ upcoming exhibition “From Brooklyn Avenue to Cesar Chavez: Jewish Histories in Multiethnic Boyle Heights” from Nov. 6-9. More information here.

The Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights has been in the headlines recently because of fights over displacement and gentrification. But it has an inspiring history of inclusion dating back a century. Jews lived alongside Latinos, African-Americans, Japanese, Russians and many other first- and second-generation immigrant communities, and found common purpose in shared struggles.

DnA producer Avishay Artsy will lead a walking tour that introduces you to the buildings and people that make up the rich tapestry of Boyle Heights.  Other participants will include Steve Sass (president of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California), Irv Weiser (former board member of the Boyle Heights Historical Society) and Shmuel Gonzales (community organizer and historian with Pico Union Project).

This event is sponsored by the Jewish Journal, KCRW, California Humanities, and the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California.

When: Sunday, Oct 23, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

Where: Breed Street Shul, 247 N. Breed St, Los Angeles, CA  90033. Parking available on Breed Street just north of Cesar Chavez (behind the Bank of America at 2305 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033).

Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Includes kosher vegetarian brunch.

Artist’s rendering of Silver Lake Forward’s vision for a future Silver Lake public space.

3) Making LA: Embrace the Lake Tour

At capacity, the Silver Lake Reservoir, owned and maintained by LADWP, holds 795 million gallons and can provide water to 600,000 homes.  However, for years, only a small portion of the reservoir has been actively supplying water, and by 2017, it will be shut down altogether and be replaced by the Headworks Reservoir, an underground reservoir north of Griffith Park. (Listen to DnA’s segment from July about the future of the reservoir)

So what will become of Silver Lake?  Many locals simply want it refilled and left alone. But a group of designers and activists called Silver Lake Forward envision it as a revitalized public space. Join de LaB and members of Silver Lake Forward for a picnic and series of walks around the reservoir to celebrate this important community resource. The first 20 families to arrive will receive a free t-shirt; pizza provided by Tomato Pie (until it runs out!).

When: Sunday, Oct 23, 10 am – 2 pm (10 am tour focuses on a future vision for the space, 1 pm tour focuses on the reservoir’s history, picnic and pizza in between)

Where: Silver Lake Recreation Center, 1850 W Silver Lake Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Tickets: Free.  RSVP and schedule of events here.

1936 Type 57SC Bugatti Atlantic. Photo courtesy Petersen Museum.
1936 Type 57SC Bugatti Atlantic. Photo courtesy Petersen Museum.

4) The Art of Bugatti

The French car company Bugatti, founded by Italian-born Ettore Bugatti in 1909, was known both for its high-caliber engineering and the artistry of its design (a legacy of Ettore’s father, Carlo Bugatti, designer of Art Nouveau furniture and jewelry). Now you can see the cars, as well as fine art and furniture, in The Art of Bugatti, opening Sunday at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

When: Beginning Sunday, Oct 23

Where: Petersen Automotive Museum, Mullin Grand Salon, 6060 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tickets: Click here for pricing information.

Heidi Duckler Dance Theater inside the King Hing Theater, Chinatown. Photo credit Sean Deckert.

5) Heidi Duckler Dance Theater: When I am King

Site-specific performance and installation are much in vogue right now. One of the long-established artists in the field is Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, known for using dance to reinterpret space, from a laundromat and a gas station to the empty penthouse of a corporate tower and even an architect’s office. Her latest work is being staged in Chinatown’s long-dormant King Hing Theater. When I am King explores what it means to be a public figure in today’s social media world, and audiences will move through the theater, following the dancers as each examines a different identity and aspect of the cult of public personality.

When: Saturday, Oct 22, 8pm. Also Friday, Oct 28 (12pm) and Saturday, Oct 29 (8pm).  The show is based on a timed ticket system. You will have the opportunity to purchase a ticket for 8pm, 8:10pm, 8:20pm & 8:30pm. Please make sure to purchase tickets for your entire group in the same time block. Total run time: 90 minutes.

Where: Chinatown’s King Hing Theater, 647 N Spring St., Los Angeles, 90012

Tickets: $50 and up.  Get tickets here.