Following a period of two weeks where there was almost too much to do in Long Beach, specifically of the festival variety, this week’s “The 7” might seem a bit all over the map. Because it is.
In downtown, we’ve got the grand opening of the library named in honor Billie Jean King and in the Zaferia District there’s a soul and funk DJ night with a special performance by R&B legend Brenton Wood.
Down the street at Cal State Long Beach, there’s professional basketball and free entry to the campus’ Kleefeld Museum. East Village beckons with transformative parking spots/art installations; probably best not to drive there.
Oh, and did we mention a magic show? Because there’s a magic show.
1. BILLIE JEAN KING LIBRARY GRAND OPENING (Saturday)
After closing its doors at the beginning of the year, following a doozy of a move schlepping 300,000 books, furniture and other associated media and materials, the Long Beach Main Library, renamed the Billie Jean King Library, hosts its grand opening, Saturday in Downtown.
To celebrate the long-awaited unveiling there will be live entertainment, face painting, arts and crafts for the kiddos, breakfast food trucks from Olive Wood Pizza, GDO Burger and Mangia Food Truck. Not only will Billie Jean speak but there will be a BJK memorabilia exhibit.
After nine months, we’re all dying to see just how the city used their portion of the $520 million budget on the space. Douglas fir-panelling, floor to ceiling glass windows, enhanced facilities for children and teens and a slew of new computers, we hear. Find out for certain on one of the library tours that start at 11:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 1, p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m and 4 p.m.
There will also be story time for the kids at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m and 4 p.m. and music provided by the Long Beach Poly Marching Band.
Aside from a polished, shiny new building sheltered by a roof that doesn’t leak water when it rains, the library will offer a host of community resources like a Family Learning Center, the Center for Adaptive Technology, a Veterans Resource Center, study rooms, meeting rooms, a special collections area, an extensive children’s area with a storytelling space and an art studio. (Cheantay Jensen)
Another great thing: Not only is King getting a giant, shiny, wonderful new library dedicated with her name on it in the morning but, later the same day, she will once again be feted, this time at Dodger Stadium for, wait for it, Billie Jean King Bobblehead Day! King has won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, the Battle of the Sexes and, along with Jackie Robinson is one of the two most significant athletes in American history, and yet, it’s hard to imagine a better day than that. Go ahead, try and imagine it… See?
On 9/21, the first 40,000 fans in attendance get this Billie Jean King Bobblehead presented by Budweiser! Get your tickets now at Dodgers.com/promotions.
Posted by Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, September 16, 2019
Give us a moment’s pause: Is it just us, or does the library’s exterior remind you of a ski lodge?
Billie Jean King Library is located at 200 W. Broadway. Road closures begin at 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event, free and open to the public, will open at 9:30 a.m. with official programming starting at 10:15 a.m. You can RSVP, here.
2. L.A. SPARKS VS. CONNECTICUT SUN, WALTER PYRAMID (Sunday)
The Sparks face the Sun in the third game of their WNBA semifinal playoff series. The Sparks, who finished with a 22-12 regular season record, are slight underdogs to the Sun, who went 23-11. Still, the Sparks won their season series with the Sun 2-1, and boast three of the league’s best players in former MVPs Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, as well as former Defensive Player of the Year, Chelsea Gray.
The first two games of the best-of-five series will be played in Connecticut, on Tuesday and Thursday. The Sparks will host game three on Sunday with game four in Southern California and five in Connecticut, if necessary.
The Sparks have a long history in the Pyramid, having played several preseason and regular season games there before—the opening game of the 2016 WNBA semifinals between the Sparks and Chicago Sky was held there.
Another great thing: Sparks general manager is Penny Toler who just so happens to be one of the greatest players in Long Beach State history. Toler was an All-American at Long Beach and advanced to consecutive Final Fours playing for legendary coach Joan Bonvicini. She also has the distinction of scoring the WNBA’s first points.
Giving us a moment’s pause: Is it just us or are the Sparks the professional team Long Beach should be pursuing?
The Walter Pyramid is located on the campus of Cal State Long Beach at 1250 N. Bellflower Blvd. For more information or tickets, click here.
3. GOOD FOOT 21ST ANNIVERSARY SHOW (Friday)
DJ nights in Long Beach aren’t hard to come by, but local soul and funk DJ night, The Good Foot, is practically an institution to the local music community. Dennis Owen’s, resident DJ and musician also known for having played in Ikey Owens’ band, Free Moral Agents, has put on the soulful event—all in the name of a good time—for the last 20 years. To celebrate another year going strong, at this year’s 21st anniversary show, happening this Friday at Alex’s Bar, Owens’ wrangled legendary soul and R&B singer-songwriter from over the bridge, Brenton Wood, to headline the event.
“I’m very excited to have Brenton Wood perform at the Good Foot Anniversary this year,” Owen’s said. “Not only is he a great singer and composer, who’s written many classic songs, but he’s local—from San Pedro—so that makes it extra special.”
Building up to Wood’s performance will be resident DJ Lili Bird, Orange County’s Scott Weaver and, of course, Owens’ spinning vinyl in the medley of the funk, soul, Motown and Latin beats. (Cheantay Jensen)
Another great thing: Wood’s will perform next at the Greek Theater in October, so catching the classic singer performing at Alex’s without the mandatory hillside trek parking the Greek demands, is just too good… for your foot. Sorry.
Give us a moment’s pause: Is it lame to say you’ll want to boogie oogie oggie all night long? It is? Sorry.
4. PAUSE AT THE ART PARK(LET) (Friday)
Parking spaces rarely inform, engage or inspire. If anything, and especially in Alamitos Beach, they tend to bring out the anger in even the calmest of drivers. But imagine a world where parking spaces are not for cars, but for people. Where most interactions are not born out of frustration from circling the block 12 times and shouting, still in your metal box/prison on four wheels, at the inconsiderate person who took up two spots too many, also with their metal box/prison on four wheels.
Anyway, National Park(ing) Day, the once-a-year, day-long event where parking spots are reimagined and temporarily transformed into say, a garden or a tiny park, is on Friday, and the Downtown Long Beach Alliance with Long Beach Public Works and Intertrend, will create an Art of Bloom-themed parklet right outside the Edison Theater where Intertrend’s immersive installation, Art of Bloom, is open through Sept. 29 (it’s $24 to get in, but the parklet is free!).
In parking spaces #97 and #99, expect, not cars, but Augmented Reality installations, a fragrance bar by master of smells Yosh Han (who created “Symbiosis,” the scent wafting through Art of Bloom) a flower installation by contemporary floral artist Lisbeth Molina of Rawfinery and recent POW! WOW! Long Beach muralist Cynthia Lujan painting live; all activities are geared toward encouraging “pedestrians to pause and reconsider how we interact with open spaces, specifically in the urban context,” said DLBA placemaking manager Mariah Hoffman. (Asia Morris)
Another great thing: Nearby businesses, including Long Beach Creamery, Recreational Coffee, Foundation Sandwich Shop and Pedal Movement, will be offering day-of specials to parklet visitors.
Giving us a moment’s pause: If you drive down to see it, you might have a tough time finding parking.
Experience the parklet on Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in front of the Edison Theatre; 217 E. Broadway. For updates and more info, visit the website here.
5. SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM DAY AT THE KLEEFELD (Saturday)
At the Kleefeld Contemporary on Saturday, see the lithographs, relief prints and monoprints of 37 women artists produced over three decades at Downtown Los Angeles-based fine art publishing house, El Nopal Press. Founded in 1990 by artist and master printer Francesco Siqueiros, El Nopal is known for its focus on artworks exploring border issues.
Curated by Siqueiros and artist and photography professor Anita Bunn, “B.A.T. State III: Women Artists in Conversation with El Nopal Press” will be on view through November, but why not go on Smithsonian Magazine’s 15th Annual Museum Day, when participating museums, zoos and cultural centers throughout the U.S. open their doors to the public for free?
“Although Kleefeld Contemporary is always free and open to all visitors, nationwide events like these encourage people of all ages to integrate museums into their daily lives and, this year, at our museum, foster personal experiences with contemporary art and printmaking,” said Paul Baker Prindle, the Kleefeld’s recently hired director.
In printmaking, the French term Bon à Tirer or “good to go” marks the final trial proof. The artist initials it with “B.A.T.,” signs it, then passes it to the master printer for production. “B.A.T. State III” at the Kleefeld is an expanded, third iteration of “B.A.T.,” the first of which was shown at the now-closed Offramp Gallery in Pasadena six years ago and described as a “feminist tour de force” by Artillary magazine, according to the Kleefeld. (Asia Morris)
Another great thing: There will be art making, guided tours and other activities inspired by the exhibition. Also, the Kleefeld isn’t the only Long Beach museum participating in Smithsonian Museum Day; Museum of Latin American Art is on the list, too! Check out this link to find all participating museums near you.
Giving us a moment’s pause: Is there a limit to how many times you can write “museum” in a paragraph? No? Okay, good.
The Kleefeld Contemporary is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; 1250 Bellflower Blvd. Make sure to download a ticket to museum day here.
6. ILLUSIONS OF THE PASSED: LEGENDS OF THE QUEEN MARY (THURSDAY – SUNDAY)
Some might remember Aiden Sinclair for his judge charming card tricks during his short-lived run on America’s Got Talent in 2015. This year the ex-con man-turned-reformed-magician returns for a second year to the Queen Mary for his show Illusions of the Passed, Legends of the Queen Mary. Details of Sinclair’s show are, as magicians prefer, kept under lock and key but the show promises to be more than just card tricks with ghost stories sprinkled in (in fact, don’t expect any card tricks). Drawing from the wealth of stories of hauntings on the famed ship, the performance cocoons a weave of history, ghost stories and illusions. Or does it? Yes. It does.
“I wanted to do a style of magic that had kind of been forgotten, to do something with magic that was a little more meaningful than trying to fool somebody,” Sinclair said in a 2018 interview with Youtuber Chloe Noelle. “Ghosts aren’t necessarily scary, there are more happy memories on this ship than bad memories. The show is about being open to going down that rabbit hole.” (Cheantay Jensen)
Another great thing: The show runs every weekend until December 1st, so plenty of opportunities to catch the spectacle.
Give us a moment’s pause: You’ll never look at a porcelain doll the same again.
The theatrical seance premiers this Friday and will run every Thursday through Sunday until December 1 at the Queen Mary; 1126 Queens Highway. You can purchase tickets, here.
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