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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Opening Night Fan Events For Avengers: Infinity War, No Marathon For LA

Yeah, the big get together for the big movie is taking place Thursday, April 26 at 6pm at different theater chains. Each is offering at least one collectible coin and sometimes a free bucket of popcorn when you see Avengers: Infinity War opening night.

Here's a breakdown of the different chains goodies.

AMC-In addition to seeing the film one hour early, fans attending will be treated to exclusive content, receive a collectible coin, and be given a special event only concession offer.
Cinemark- Free large popcorn and coin
Regal-REGAL CROWN CLUB MEMBERS will receive an exclusive variant gold collectible coin. A studio produced silver collectible coin. Large combo with Collectible 44 oz. cup with soft drink & 105 oz. popcorn.

As for the Avengers: Infinity War Marathon, it's only taking place at two theaters, one inf New York and Florida. As of writing this, no theater in LA is attempting to play all 18 films.

Alien: Descent VR Coming For Alien Day 4/26

A new virtual reality experience has you battling Xenomorphs starting Alien Day, 4/26. You and up to three friends can spend 15 minutes fighting aliens for $22 a head. What's so cool is it's VR gear that's mobile, no strings attached. So for a solid fifteen you and a few friends can live out your sci-fi fantasies unfettered.

The only downside might be that it's in Orange County closer to Disneyland to downtown LA.

You can book it now, but it doesn't start until next week.

Alien: Descent VR 
Starts 4/26
The Outlets at Orange
Suite 806 (across from the movie theater)
20 City Blvd W, Orange, CA 92868

Hours of Operation

MONDAY - THURSDAY (10am - 9pm)
FRIDAY & SATURDAY (10am - 10pm)
SUNDAY (10am - 8pm)

Weekly What To Do: Let's Celebrate Earth & Mini-Golf

EARTH DAY L.A. 2018 Thursday, April 19, 9 AM - 2 PM
Grand Park
200 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, California 90012
Earth Day L.A. offers Downtown L.A.’s residents, workers and visitors ideas and solutions on how to live clean and go green. The annual event features performances, tours, plant giveaways and demonstrations of the latest in green technology, which are all free to the public (and to a select number of school groups).

The People Under The Stairs & The Serpent And The Rainbow
Friday, Apr 20, 7:30 PM - 11 PM
Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, California 90403
In THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, a teenager who tries to keep his family from being evicted but ends up trapped in the home of his psychotic landlords. In THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, anthropologist Bill Pullman is on the track of an elusive toxin used by voodoo priests to simulate death.

Discussion between films with THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS actors Sean Whalen, Brandon Adams, Kelly Jo Minter and Yan Birch.
Opening Reception: Friday, Apr 20, 7 PM - 9 PM
Gallery 1988: LA
7308 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, California 90046
"Objects of Our Affection" a two person exhibit featuring new works by Dave Quiggle and Barry Blankenship.
Friday, Apr 20, 7:00 pm 
The Wiltern
3790 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010 
Come hang out with us on 420 friday night at the Wiltern, enjoy the movie Pineapple Express starring Golden Globe Best Actor James Franco and Seth Rogen, and check out our local 420 friendly vendors.
Earth Day LA Highland Park
Saturday, April 21 from 10am to 2pm
Highland Park Recreation Center
6150 Piedmont Avenue, Los Angeles

There will be City vehicles for kids to explore, games to play, prizes to win, seeds to plant, 50+ exhibitors to visit, and fun for all ages. Free beverages and snacks are available while supplies last. All exhibits will be related to City services and sustainability. Join us for earth-friendly fun in a festival setting! There is no charge for admission, and all are welcome.

Sat+Sun, April 21 + 22, 11 am — 6 pm
Los Angeles State Historic Park
1245 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles CA 90012

"We’re returning to Los Angeles for our 9th year with a celebration of contemporary handmade featuring the country’s foremost voices in craft and design. Shop emerging and established Makers’ goods, discover rarities and remixes from local DJs, get creative while workshopping, eat from exceptional food trucks and end the day with a cocktail."

Dapper Day Expo
Sat+Sun, April 21+22, 10a-7p
Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall

"Shop our nearly 30,000 sq ft. Expo marketplace featuring everything for stylish, sophisticated living. Browse our hand-picked selection of vintage and contemporary clothing and accessories vendors, including local cosmetics and grooming brands, plus barbers, jewelry, eyewear, shoes, and more. Plus new DAPPER DAY merchandise will be available exclusively at the Expo!"
Broke LA 2018
Sat+Sun, April 21+22, Doors: 2:00 PM Show: 3:00 PM 
The Regent Theater
448 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA
$15 - $25 

If you can't make it to Coachella, it's not that bad. Tons of bands for the weekend to rock out to. 
Little Tokyo Open
Apr 21-22, 28-29
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
244 S San Pedro St
Los Angeles, CA 90012 
Free for Kids Ages 12 and under and $3 for Ages 13 and above.
Equipment will be provided.
Visit, learn, explore, and play in Little Tokyo at the inaugural Little Tokyo Mini Open. This is a 9 hole pop-up miniature golf course located in the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Every hole is a vibrant artwork created by a local artist paying tribute to the past, present, and future of our 134-year old Japanese American community!
Record Store Day 2018
Saturday, Apr 21
Multiple Locations
This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store--the staff, the customers, and the artists--to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records, and on and on. 

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra - “Beethoven!”
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 8 pm
Glendale’s Alex Theatre
216 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale CA 91203
Sunday, April 22, 2018, 7 pm
Royce Hall
340 Royce Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Tickets start at $27

Guest conductor Karina Canellakis, winner of the 2016 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, makes her second Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra appearance to lead the US premiere of Dai Fujikura’s Secret Forest, Beethoven’s energetic and uplifting Symphony No. 2 in D Major and Mozart’s dramatic Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, performed by David Fray, a “gifted pianist” (Chicago Tribune), on Saturday, April 21, 8 pm, Glendale’s Alex Theatre, and Sunday, April 22, 2018, 7 pm, Royce Hall. 

The Cat Returns
Sunday April 22nd 12:55PM - Dubbed in English
Monday April 23rd 7:00PM - in Japanese with English Subtitles
Playhouse 7 
Claremont 5 
Ahrya Fine Arts
From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of My Neighbor Totoro and the Academy Award®-winning Spirited Away, comes a charming and magical adventure that will delight the entire family.

Haru is walking home after a dreary day of school when she spies a cat, a small gift box in its mouth, crossing a busy street. She jumps in front of traffic to save the cat from an oncoming truck. To her amazement, the cat gets up on its hind legs, brushes itself off, and thanks her very politely. But things take an even stranger turn when, later than night, the King of Cats shows up at her doorstep in a feline motorcade. He showers Haru with gifts, and decrees that she shall marry the Prince and come live in the Kingdom of Cats!
CicLAvia’s 25th Car-Free StreetsEvent “Heart of the Foothills”
Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day)
8:30 am Kick Off and Press Conference
Streets car-free from 9 am4 pm
“Heart of the Foothills” winds through four inland cities new to CicLAvia: San Dimas,
La Verne, Pomona and Claremont. Participants may enter and exit the 6.5 miles of car-
free streets anywhere along the route.
This is a family-friendly, multi-generational event, open to all ages. Any and all forms of people-powered transportation welcome including cyclists, scooters, rollerbladers, strollers and walkers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Feces Make-Up and Space Port

Authorities found $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics laced with bacteria and human waste during a bust at the Los Angeles Fashion District on Thursday.According to officials, the Major Task Force hit 21 locations in the Santee Alley shopping area.

via Kron 4

The Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) will be built at the Port of Los Angeles by SpaceX. SpaceX's has a 30-year lease at an 18-acre site called Berth 240 in the port. So, we sort have a space port or really a rocket yard at the port.

via ARS

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life Review: Never Change You Silly Japanese Mob Sim

Last time on As Japan Turns... Even More Silly, our favorite Yakuza, Kazuma Kiryu had to serve time in jail for whatever shenanigans happened in the last game. He left his orphanage alone and his "daughter" Haruka dropped out of becoming an idol. We now continue in Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, the crazy soap opera that only the Japanese think makes sense. Like walking into a surreal version of Japan made out of their TV shows cobbled together by some sort of oni comes the latest entry in the Yakuza series and it's worth your time and money checking out.

Yakuza 6 has you recently paroled and looking for Haruko in your old turf. Haruko somewhere down the line had a kid, Haruto. Babies having babies. And things have gotten really bad since you took time off to go to jail. You see the Triads (Chinese mob) are trying to take over the city your in with the Yakuza (Japanese mob) being taken out, the streets aren't safe, they're are roving gangs. Lucky, you have moves like a dragon.

A brawler, RPG and eventually a strategy game with gangsters, this game is so crammed with content it's hard to figure out what to do. I didn't know if I wanted to try collecting cats first for the cat lounge or figure out why my smart phone was gaining sentience. Yakuza 6 doesn't want you to stop playing it, it wants you playing it all the time. With mini games in it like karaoke, darts or trying to win over a hostess at a girly club, it's like the game is saying, "Sure, you could finish my main story, player-san. Or you could go the real gym we put in the game and make you character even stronger." Because, for some reason that put a real gym from Japan in the game and a bunch of real products, which blurs the line of reality until you glow blue, grab a bike and throw it at someone.

Other than missions and side quests you'll be leveling up your convoluted strength and skills by constantly getting into fights with whatever idiot crosses your path. The streets of the open sandbox city your in, which looks great, btw, has you knocking out foes all the time. Just really walk anywhere and you"ll be breaking heads. Trying to master moves and unlock them... and some are ridiculous like knocking someone into boobs or stopping someone with chop sticks, will make you try and earn enough points to power-up so you can pull those moves off.

You won't even question knocking someone out as a superhuman as you'll need all those powers for the main story about caring for a little baby boy as Yakuza's pure brand of overly done story starts to take shape. And that's only part of a story that just drops in Japanese celebs as characters and other weird stuff that shapes the world.

Yakuza 6 is a very detailed, strange place, that fans of Japanese culture will drown in. It makes fun of popular culture in it's side quests and has you starring as a Japanese soap opera protagonists who kicks butt, but still has time to find out about on-line dating for the first time.

It's a mad world and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is the Napoleon of your psych ward. Don't miss out on this jam packed game.

Yakuza 6 is out now on PS4.

Game provided by publisher for review purposes.

Get On The Millennium Falcon In Your Pool

It looks like it's going to the Dark side
We're about a month before perfect temperature to enter our pools in SoCal, but I braved my pool on a fairly hot day and got on SwimWays Star Wars Millennium Falcon Ride-On Float. I've seen it retail between $24.99 at $29.99. I was given one for review and who doesn't want a Millennium Falcon in their pool. If a fan of Star Wars, it's perfect to put in your pool and start calling out references.
I'm a pretty big guy and I was still able to get on it and bark out orders to an imaginary Chewie.

It's gonna be Star Wars Day soon, May the 4th, so you might want to get in the spirit by getting something fun for a Star Wars celebration. I got this and possibly the jealousy of my friends, because I don't know if I'll be sharing it during pool parties.

It's made by SwimWays which makes more Star Wars and Avengers pool toys you might want to check out as we head into Spring/Summer .

Product provided for review purposes.

TCM Classic Film Festival Schedule Up

The TCM Classic Film Festival is coming up at the end of the month, April 26-29 and it finally released it's schedule for classic films. Check it out here. There's going to some great screenings with specials guest presenters. So check a film you might want to see presented by someone like Edgar Wright.

Free Rides on Metro on Earth Day, April 22

Metro is trying to cut down car congestion by offering free rides this Sunday, April 22 for Earth Day. So head out some where without your car.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Donut County Revisted @ Glitch City Fundraiser

We got a chance to play Ben Esposito's Donut County, supposedly coming out this year. The game plays like Katamari Damacy and you can see a big influence from the look and even a Trashopedia on what you collect. Instead of a ball, you collect everything via a hole that gets larger as more stuff goes into it. It's simple and fun and there's even a story about a mischievous racoon who caused it all while working as part of a donut shop.

We're still waiting for a real release date, but it was nice to play a new level.

It was one of about half a dozen games being shown off at a fundraiser for Glitch City, a game maker collective out of Culver City.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Eataly L.A. Is All Look & No Taste

Last weekend, a friend and I finally made it to Eataly L.A.. It astounded us with it's beauty, so many different shops, so many choices. Gelato and coffee on it's first floor. A restaurant, bakery, butcher, fish market, market, winery, pizza, restaurant and more. It smelled so good, it looked like what you would want from a Ghibli movie.

But, then we tried to grab a table to eat...

After a long line to get a place to sit, the signs are confusing about what to do. The signs said just grab a table, but it didn't seem that was the right way to get served. So, we waited in line to be called 35 minutes later, which did not happen. Other patrons had wine glasses in their hands, maybe that was a clue. So, after waiting outside, we then came back in, found out their service didn't work calling my cell and were then seated.

Then we waited and waited and were given room temperature water. Oh, how delicious it wasn't. Then we waited and waited and waited and were given bread and oil, which was so bitter it was terrible. Eventually we got our food that sounded so good: a Neapolitan pizza and  a brisket pasta. And boy, they were bland. They were costly and bland.

We wanted to just leave. But somehow are waiter was so busy and so bad he didn't come back. In that time after no one offered to refill our water I got up and poured it myself. The service was inexcusable. Eventually, someone else working there took our cards and lets us pay the bill, but even he didn't seem to know how to do it. Also, I'm unsure of his position as he wasn't dressed like a waiter and he never introduced himself.

All in all they also screwed up the bill and charged my card all the sales tax after I told them not to. They also can't split checks it seems.

Eataly L.A. is only worth a look, not a purchase. It's just a flashy looking tourist trap. I don't even recommend the gelato or coffee. Forget Eataly for the next time you want to eat friends unless you just want to share stories of a bad experience.

Eataly L.A.
Westfield Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067
CAFFÈ LAVAZZADaily, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. 
Daily, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

​CatCafe Lounge Is Purr-fect, Oh, We Went With A Cat Pun

by Jonathan Bilski

Up the stairs following the cat paw prints we soon found ourselves surrounded by the most fearsome of foes...sleeping kitty cats. My god, [takes off glasses] they were all around us, sleeping, hidden and sleeping, perhaps waking up only to slightly open their eyes and immedialety go back to sleep. The horror, the horror!

It was so darn relaxed in the ​CatCafe Lounge, by the cats, my thought upon leaving was coming back and chilling with my Nintendo Switch. That, and how wonderful they're that leave lint rollers for you to get all the cat hair off before you go.

Nestled just off the 405 and Santa Monica Blvd is a wonderful place to sip some tea or coffee and chill with some kitties. It is exactly as it sounds, just like one of those videos on YouTube from Japan, it's a real cat cafe filled with cats. These mouse eaters will come up to you, let them pet you, one even came into our laps. Cappie, we love you.

Any sort of bias about fussy cats was not apparent as every cat was letting us pet them even while they slept. You'll feel a tinge of excitement upon entry just seeing all the cats. You'll just want to start playing with them or petting them. It's some sort of biological need that are primitive lizard part of brain needs to pet the kitties.

If their active, which took a while, guess why? They're cats. Then you'll just want to sit down and starting petting cats.

Some of these cats our out of reach as there is a faux tree they love climb and sleep on in the center lounge. So grab a chair or bean bag or seat on the couch and have some cats come up to you or just be hidden out of sight underneath you.

There's about 30-35 cats on the floor if not going through the holes in the wall to rest away from people or use the litter box. If you're wondering if it smelled with so many cats, it did not, something that surprised us, but shows how well the CatCafe was made and run all while being a non-profit.

It's only about two months old, but it's already becoming a destination for cat lovers or anyone who can't have any cats at their place. Kristi Labrenz Galvan, founder and executive director, met with us as she ran the cafe with her staff and husband. "Everyone is adoptable," she told us. And on that day it seemed like two got adopted when we went. There's no pressure, and I mean they don't bother you with it, but if you start falling for a cat there, you can give it a permanent home.

Kristi wanted to remind readers that they should always reserve as only 15 people are allowed in at a time and sessions last for an hour. So, why go through all the trouble of coming offthe 405 and be stuck waiting on cats. You aren't that far from Sawtelle, so you could grab some food, but why not plan on that after visiting the cats.

You also get coffee or tea with your reservation at $25. Kristi told me, as she is vegan and we have quite a big community of vegans, that almost the entire menu is vegan, except maybe one item. There's no preparing of food there, you can bring something inside to eat, but remember cats might want some if it's made of meat.

Cats and Comedy recently happened there, a comedy show where comedians told some jokes just surrounded by cats. They didn't do any jokes on cats, just regular routines, so don't go hoping for some comedic jokes about cats complaining about the price of tuna.

There is also Paws yoga, which happens on Mondays, where you just do yoga around cats. In the future, Kristi was hoping for a poker night and perhaps some painting sessions.

When I asked Krisit what she most wanted to tell me about the CatCafe Lounge, it wasn't about the space or how long it took to make with hard laws about animals being around food and drink in place, it was that it's non-profit just looking to make homes for cats and make the world a better place for our feline friends. And once again, this is not overly brought up to you like The Gentle Barn, which we hated as a place of animal hanging out.

What we saw when we visited wasn't a preachy staff, we saw a staff that both helped those visiting the cafe and the cats, taking them back if they were being fussy or maybe needed a nap away from people or to be cleaned or taken care of. The latter part was still about cats, no people are put away to take naps. You might fall asleep though surrounded by so many balls of fur.

As groups of visitors moved in and out as we stayed with the cats we saw them sleep through one session and come to life in another as they jumped above us on all the provided ledges, burst out of underneath where were seating or had fun with some string jumping high into the air.

Photos are very much allowed and you can take a lot of photos without realizing it. When there's so many cats around you, it's hard not to. Check out CatCafe's Instagram for just a little idea of what photos you can take.

We really found it to be a very fun evening on the weekend when we visited of just relaxing with some cats. The other TTDILA staff present is a dog person and even he was blown away by how nice it was. Truly, it is a place where you'll be forced to go to by your daughter or girlfriend and still enjoy it.

CatCafe Lounge
1736 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025
(Last reserved seating is at 7pm)
Monday 11am - 8pm
Tuesday - CLOSED
Wednesday - 11am - 8pm
Thursday - 11am - 8pm
Friday - 11am - 8pm
Saturday - 11am - 8pm
Sunday - 11am - 8pm
60 mins Lounge Session$25 
"Access to our upstairs Catopia is via the metal gate in the center of the building (facing Sepulveda).
Our building does not have an elevator. We will do our best to accommodate everyone."