The Rundown: This Week in Brief 08/28/20

Alpine Village (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Alpine Village near Torrance may be Designated a Historic Landmark

Anyone who grew up in the South Bay will remember Christmas shopping trips to Alpine Village, the largest, drunkenest Oktoberfest in California, their huge weekend swap meets, and 80s punk rock gigs at “The Barn.” More recently, the little German shopping center off of the 110 +has been home to the fun and festive Krampus Ball. The place had been losing money for years, and the pandemic shuttered the restaurant and bar a month earlier than its planned permanent closure. Although the grocery store with its imports, bakery and deli has remained open, and the swap meets have resumed, there are concerned the entire center will be redeveloped. Gone will be the landmark sign, kitschy Bavarian buildings, fresh stollen, and a meeting place to dozens of community groups. According to The Daily Breeze, a county commission protected the property from demolition last fall, and recommended the board of supervisors grant it historic landmark status in January. “No opposition to the proposed designation has surfaced, including from the property owner. The Board of Supervisors will hold its public hearing on granting Alpine Village historic status on Sept. 29.”  Let’s all show up in dirndls and lederhosen singing Roll out the Barrel!- Elise Thompson

DineLA Restaurant Week Beats the Odds, Returns September 1-18

Despite the devastating toll that the global pandemic has taken on the Los Angeles restaurant industry, dineLA Restaurant Week will return from September 1 to 18. According to Eater LA, approximately 300 restaurants will take part in the twice-a-year showcase, which promotes and supports eateries across the city with special lunch and dinner menus. This year’s iteration will include information on which location offers outdoor or “on-site” dining, as well as establishments that are offering dineLA specials on their takeout and delivery menus. Initially slated for early July, dineLA’s organizers met with chefs and restaurant owners to determine if the event could take place this year. but as Eater LA noted, programs like LA Al Fresco have made the possibility of outdoor dining a reality during the pandemic, and the event was re-scheduled for September, with three days added to the lineup. Eater LA also highlighted the fact that many locations have reduced their price tiers (lunches range from $15 to $35, while dinners vary from $25 to $65, down from previous top ends of $99), including pricier eateries like Melisse and Citrin. We also recommend these restaurants: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Casa Vega, All Day Baby, Faith & Flower, Fishing with Dynamite, Jar, Maple Block Meat Co., Alta Adams, Connie and Ted’s, Bone Kettle, Mi Piace, Gabi James, Georgia’s, Harold and Belles, Dal Rae, The Strand House, Pikunico Fried Chicken, Providence, Sea Level, and Manuela. As always, no tickets or passes required to participate; for a full list of participating restaurants, including links to dine-in, takeout and delivery specials, visit the dineLA HQ.

Digitial Channel KinoNow Gets Up Close and Personal with Artists’ Lives and Legacies, the digital platform for the long-running independent film distributor Kino Lorber, is offering a slew of documentaries on the lives and careers of artists in its current programming slate. Among the titles: “Beyond the Visible – Hilma af Klimt” (2019), about the groundbreaking but sadly long-forgotten abstract artist; a restored version of the intimate doc “A Bigger Splash” (1974), about David Hockney; the recent and very fine “Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable” (2018), about the acclaimed photographer; and “Downtown 81” (2000), writer-producer Glenn O’Brien’s semi-fictionalized look at the music and art scenes in Lower Manhattan and Village circa 1980-81, with acting turns by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Debbie Harry and Fab Five Freddy, performances by James White and the Blacks and Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and a soundtrack featuring Suicide, Lydia Lunch, DNA, Melle Mel (with Blondie) and more. All films are available to rent (for seven days) or buy, with no subscription required.

Fuzztone King Davie Allan Issues New Download-Only Album, “Neon Lights”

Los Angeles native and music icon Davie Allan, who with his band the Arrows generated a Top 40 hit in 1966 with the ferocious fuzztone guitar sound of “Blues’ Theme” and provided the grit and gas for many a ‘60s biker film, has released a new download-only album, “Neon Lights.” The album, a collaboration with vocalist Linda Sarian, embraces a more pop-rock-friendly vibe than Davie’s signature open-throttle roar, though there’s plenty of fire on tracks like “Restless in LA.” You can hear samples of each song here and here, and purchase the album on Apple Music, Amazon and other online retailers.

About Paul Gaita

Paul Gaita lives in Sherman Oaks, California with his lovely wife and daughter. He has written for The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Variety and Merry Jane, among many other publications, and was a home video reviewer for from 1998 to 2014. He has also interviewed countless entertainment figures, but his favorites remain Elmore Leonard, Ray Bradbury, and George Newall, who created both "Schoolhouse Rock" and the Hai Karate aftershave commercials. He once shared a Thanksgiving dinner with celebrity astrologer Joyce Jillson and regrettably, still owes the late character actor Charles Napier a dollar.
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