Behold: five great things you should do in Southern California this week, from art to food to music to an adventure we’ll call the Wild Card from the makers of the 5 Every Day app. Get this as a new podcast in iTunes. If you want five hand-picked things to do in Los Angeles every day, download the free 5 Every Day from the App Store.
Last Spring, the conceptual artist William Pope.L rigged a 54-foot American flag to fly grandly across the Geffen Contemporary — with the help of some industrial fans. Now, he’s keeping up the pace with a pair of solo shows across Los Angeles.
One half is in Culver City, at Susanne Vielmetter Projects. It’s called "Forest," and it features works from the ’90s to now. The other, “Desert,” is at Steve Turner Gallery in Hollywood, and it features new sculptures, photographs, and a new film about the longest boxing match in history.
Pope.L even recorded GPS-style driving directions, explicitly tailored to get you from one gallery to the other, which you can download from the show’s website.
He truly thinks of everything.
CITY: Natura day spa
How often is too often to go to the Korean spa? Once a month? A week? Just asking for a friend.
We've wasted whole days inside the warm, receiving walls of Koreatown's various jjimjilbang, rationalizing our decadence with the assumption that we're saving water by bathing communally.
Wi Spa is our first and favorite for all-around pleasure, but Natura on Wilshire's a solid number two—particularly if you find yourself going it alone, or get creeped out by all the little kids running around.
It's smaller, cheaper, and wholly divided on the binary — no unisex cross-over room — plus they've got a green tea pool.
And one more major difference: unlike lots of 24-hour K-Town spas, Natura closes.
So, assuming you're not nocturnal, it's a fine place to take off all your clothes, sit in various bodies of hot and cold water with dozens of indifferent naked strangers, and marvel at the diversity of the human body.
FOOD: Bay Cities Italian Deli
Just get the Godmother.
Bay Cities Italian Deli, in Santa Monica, has an extensive menu of delicious-sounding sandwich options—the fresh caprese, a hot chicken parm, a black forest ham—but those in the know will tell you they're all just window-dressing for the deli’s signature.
Mortadella, Genoa Salami, Ham, Prosciutto, Provolone, and some kind of magical hoodoo on fresh, crisp-crusted bread. The Godmother of all Italian sandwiches.
It's a take-a-number kind of joint, and lines can get long here, so word to the wise: there are readymade Godmothers with the works ripe for the plucking right at the counter.
Get in, get out, mangiare.
The First Congregational Church in Westlake has two claims to fame:
- It’s the city's oldest Protestant church.
- Perhaps more surprising, is that it’s home to a massive pipe organ.
In fact, First Congregational’s organ is allegedly the largest musical instrument in any church in the world. It has more than 20,000 pipes, and it totally consumes the grand gothic interior of the church.
Music on this thing is more felt than heard.
Feel it for yourself on any given Sunday, when heretics and believers alike are welcome to come hear the "Great Organs" boom across the pews during the weekly prelude to Sunday service.
WILDCARD: Float Lab
A disclaimer: this is not for everyone.
For some, the idea of spending two uninterrupted hours just floating in tepid salt water alone in the dark is a kind of nightmare thought-prison.
For others — and we're looking at you, psychic explorers — this is actual transcendence.
Float Lab is a cash-only isolation chamber spa in Venice, where the more metaphysically inclined can book a two-hour block in a silent, dark, oceanic womb for $40. Small tab for diving between liminal states and deep into your subconscious until you're not sure where the water ends and you begin.
Remember: It's only as boring as you are.