Women Against Gun Violence was founded during a national seminar on guns and gun violence, which brought together women's organizations in recognition of their historic leadership roles on community issues. Today, WAGV aims to prevent gun violence across the country by educating communities about the consequences of violence and advocating for legislation that promotes public health. WAGV's outreach programs aim to engage all citizens, from school children to adult members of the community and politicians. Its programming includes the Keepin' Them Safe program, which teaches parents how to implement safety precautions for guns in homes through role-playing activities, and the GunsSuck initiative, which combats ads that depict and glamorize gun violence, particularly those that are close to schools.
Comedy is often used as one way of speaking truth to power; the work of Public Citizen is another. The nonprofit lobbies Washington on behalf of everyday citizens on economic, healthcare, and environmental issues. Stand Up for Main Street adds a panoply of familiar and funny voices to the chorus behind their good works in a comedy benefit show. Ray Romano headlines with the charisma and humor that made Everybody Loves Raymond as popular as I Love Lucy, Love Boat, and all but one of history's top puppy-cam feeds. In an ingratiatingly mopey, Queens-accented voice, Romano goes beyond sitcom surfaces in his live act to draw up takes on family life and longtime marriage that remain self-deprecating and slightly offbeat even after decades of fame.
The Tea Lovers Festival returns for its celebration of all things steeped on May 5 at the Armory Center for the Arts in Old Town Pasadena. At the event, the Tea Lovers marketplace showcases unique products from exhibitors such as Art of Tea, Numi, and Bird Pick Tea & Herb. As visitors stop by merchant booths, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, and green teas steep, filling the air with their subtle flavors while festivalgoers seek out new favorite brews. On the interactive side, tea studies target both novices and connoisseurs, and tea labs teach brewers the finer scientific points of brewing, such as how tea ware affects taste. A popular series from the 2011 festival called Everything You Wanted to Know About Tea, But Were Afraid to Ask also returns with new topics, covering teas from across the globe and how to read messages in tea leaves, such as “This water was too hot.”
Grilled or chilled, layered or wrapped, the chefs at The Original Sandbag's Gourmet Sandwiches uphold the age-old art of bread bundling as they craft a mélange of classic sandwiches alongside a complement of classic soups, sides, and desserts. Staffers load up the shop’s fluffy rolls or toasty bread slices with spiced cuts of turkey, saucy meatballs, and veggies before pairing each creation with a homemade chocolate-chip cookie, imbuing senses with nostalgia for days at mom’s house or late-night shindigs at Cookie Monster's mansion. Diners can take their bounty to go or linger at the restaurant, which features a lineup of indoor seating and a collection of patio tables soaking in the warm rays of the noonday sun.
Steingarten LA’s dining room, awash with muted golden tones and dominated by a kaleidoscopic art piece, doesn’t immediately scream German biergarten. Its menu, however, astutely outlines the restaurant’s integral blend of hearty Old-World fare and contemporary California cuisine. More than 20 varieties of sausage—including traditional bratwursts and spicy lamb links as well as game offerings of wild boar and berry—sit beneath toppings of pickles or house mustard. Each of the 8-ounce burger patties is made from grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef, and can be custom-built with toppings such as smoked mozzarella and applewood bacon. True to form as a German-inspired eatery, Steingarten accents their food with exhaustive drink lists, including a beer list with German, Belgian, and American craft brews on tap. Creative cocktails include a white manhattan, made from clear American whiskey, and a cocktail of the month that has been aged in a used whiskey barrel.
With a drink in hand, patrons can stroll over to Steingarten’s intimate outdoor patio flanked with high stone walls and trellis-climbing ivies. In one corner, rosy cushioned benches surround a slender fire pit that flickers subliminal messages from behind a glass enclosure. The ivy motif also manifests in wrought-metal curlicues on each door and over the beverage fridge that takes up an entire wall at the bar.
Consistently praised by the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, and numerous other publications, BottleRock enlightens palates with a wine inventory of more than 600 labels and a selection of carefully crafted small plates. Oenophiles can unleash their imaginations sans the risk of being punched by Dionysis with a wine flight—a dramatic sequence of three 2-ounce pours. After a trio of samplings, connoisseurs can nibble on mild and nutty manchego cheese from Spain or indulge in tender pork rillette, slow-cooked in-house and served as a pâté. Cheese plates contain guests’ choice of five or seven out of 14 available moon fruits, and elegant charcuterie platters highlight one of six meat treats. Consult the dinner menu for a full list of available options. Wine tastings featuring the happy tears of grapes from Robert Hall Winery let patrons sample an assortment of adult juices, each paired with elegant snacks such as tuna tartar and grilled truffle cheese.
Professional artists harness their illustrious career experience and rigorous training to instill creativity and skill in students of all ages via art classes covering myriad artistic techniques. Adults sharpen their skills as they hone detailed, long-term projects in drawing, painting, sculpture, and mixed media, or while sketching and painting live models in sundry enriching classes. Miniature Monets can hone their stippling skills in Art Start classes, in which preschool-age children explore a full range of expression with drawing, painting, sculpture, and mixed-media projects in an easy-to-digest 45 minutes. Older children merge technique training with lessons about art history in a range of themed classes, mocking-up colorful strips and storyboards in the Cartoon & Anime class or composing fearsome mutants to battle a sibling's puny stick figures in the Monsters & Dragons course. Check the schedules in Hollywood and Culver City for more details.