07/15/2011 01:07 pm ET Updated Sep 13, 2011

Carmageddon: Fun Things To Do In Any LA Neighborhood

The signs, you’ve seen them. “405 Closing July 16 - 17. Expect Big Delay.” Well, we’ve been expecting it for months now, and this weekend, it’s actually happening. The Carmageddon. To be honest, we’re actually excited that the freeway closure is focusing us to keep it local this weekend. Here are the best activities going down in your hood.

Bastille Day Festival:
France, world capital of the workers' strike, understands transportation inconveniences. Fitting then that Carmageddon falls on the weekend of the Bastille Day Festival, which honors the cultural contributions of the French -- croissants, the 32-hour work week -– with très magnifique food, drinks, dance and music.
July 17, 12pm-9pm, $5
Monticello Old Lodge, Corner of Stadium Way and Scott Avenue, (323-656-6083 or

The Swing Riots: Jazz-gypsy-balkan-klezmer-folk (did you get that?) ensemble The Swing Riots will play at the Tropico de Nopal Gallery as part of the Ashgrove Music Series. Dancing will likely ensure.
July 17, 2pm, $15
1665 Beverly Boulevard, at South Union Avenue, (310-391-5794 or

“Top Hat” and “Shall We Dance”:
Celebrate the birthday of screen legend Ginger Rogers, (she’d be 100 on July 16) with a double feature of her classic dance films, which also star Rogers’ longtime onscreen partner, Fred Astaire.
July 16, 7:30pm, $11
Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Avenue, at Euclid Street, (310-260-1528 or

The Dead Kenny Gs: The jazz punk trio with the clever name take over Del Monte’s Speakeasy, (that’s the basement of the Townhouse, y’all) for a display of a sound best described as “eclectic.”
Del Monte Speakeasy, 52 Winward Avenue, at the Venice Boardwalk, (310-392-4040 or

Kraddy, Stephen Jacobs, R/D:
See sub-bass electro-master Kraddy blow up the El Rey (not literally) with his sonic vibrations. “We’re going to get wild,” the producer says of the DoLab sponsored show, which is also serving as his birthday party.
July 16, 9pm doors, $20
The El Rey, 5515 Wilshire Boulevard, at South Dunsmuir Avenue, (323-936-6400 or

100 Saints You Should Know: Kate Fodor’s play has gotten a month-and-a-half run because of its humor, poignancy and fine performances. Of the 100 other reasons you should see the show, the fact that this is the final performance might be the most compelling.
July 16, 8pm, $20
Elephant Space Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Boulevard, at Vine Street (877-369-9112 or

Andy Warhol’s Soup Cans:
If you missed last weekend’s opening, get thyself to MOCA and see the art iconoclast’s iconic Campbell’s cans.
Through September 19, $10 (general admission)
MOCA, 250 South Grand Avenue, at West 3rd Street, (213-626-6222 or

“Office Space” at Outdoor Cinema Food Fest: Remember that scene in “Office Space when the guys destroy the copy machine? That’s what sitting in gridlock makes you want to do the car in front you. Post up for an outdoor screening of this cult classic and nosh on snacks from the on-site vendors.
Saturday, July 16, 5:30pm, $10
Grand Hope Park, West 9th Street, at Hope
Street, (

"Richard III" at Theatricum Botanicum:
See Theatricum Botanicum’s outdoor production of Richard III and let Shakespeare remind you that there are worse problems humans can face than a temporary freeway closure.
July 16, 8pm, $32
Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 North Topanga Canyon Boulevard, (310-455-2322 or

Community Art Day with David Gallup: Painter David Gallup will give a talk on his current exhibition of 67 gorgeous paintings of SoCal natural wonder, the Channel Islands.
Saturday, July 16, 2pm - 4pm
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

Pasadena Street Food Festival:
65 food vendors will be selling good eats from every corner of the globe at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. The $60 ticket includes unlimited food and drink, including booze, AND parking. Unprecedented.
July 16, 2pm-5pm or 6pm-9pm, $60
The Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, (

Road trip to Vegas: Avoid the ruckus entirely by booking it to Sin City. (The valley is a convenient starting point). Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel is even offering a "Carmageddon Package" with two nights in the hotel's casino tower, complimentary cabana rental and VIP access to Vanity Nightclub for a $405 discount, totaling $525 plus tax and resort fee. Use the code HCARMA to get the discount.
July 15-17
Hard Rock Hotel, 4455 Paradise Road, at East Harmon Avenue, (1-800-693-7625 or

There are even more options in neighborhoods around Los Angeles. Tour museums and rock out to music on the West Side, drink cheap in Chatsworth and Echo Park. Find your neighborhood here.