5 Things To Do This Weekend That You’ll Actually Want To Do

At least one involves bacon, possibly served in mason jars

Smorgasburg’s Saturday Pop Up on the Pier


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The Brooklyn-born food fest known as Smorgasburg will be hosting a pop-up at the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday. Meaning yes, it’s finally an appropriate time to visit the Santa Monica Pier. Newcomers like Chichidango and J/10 Chai Co will join over 60 OG vendors (Goa Taco, Donut Friend, Cheezus) for the day’s festivities, running from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Consider taking the Metro since parking in Santa Monica is the worst, but also because the Expo Line stops right in front of the Pier. If you’re an Eastsider who’s outraged by the idea of driving any further West than the Chick-fil-A on Highland, fear not: Smorgasburg’s ROW DTLA operation will be business as usual on Sunday. More information (March 11, Santa Monica Pier)

Descanso Gardens Cherry Blossom Festival

The La Canada Flintridge wonderland hosts its final weekend of programming focused on cherry blossom season. (It’s one of the garden’s more popular events, and so it requires a reservation—choose your timed tickets here.) Open to members and non-members, the days’ festivities include guided walks through the gardens, traditional taiko drumming, origami workshops, and food offerings like tempura and sushi. If you can’t make it this weekend, take heart: there are a whole bunch of cherry blossom festivals going on in the coming months. More information (March 11-12, Descanso Gardens)

Kerry James Marshall: Mastry

Not to build it up too much, but if you miss Kerry James Marshall’s retrospective at MoCA, you should probably prepare for a life of misery and regret. (Thankfully you have plenty of time—it’s running through July.) The Chicago-based, L.A.-bred artist’s paintings are arresting both in their size and subject matter. Marshall is known for painting black figures in his works, each piece a mural-sized behemoth depicting African American life on a grand scale—something that, if you stop and think about it, is very hard to come by in the Western narrative of painting. The show contains nearly 80 of Marshall’s pieces, some of which you can read up on here before you go see them in person. More information (March 12-July 3, MoCA Grand Avenue)

Free Screening of The Blues Brothers

Everyone can get behind free stuff, especially when that stuff is The Blues Brothers plus popcorn plus refreshments (take that, iPic). The Petersen Automotive museum is screening the Belushi-Aykroyd classic in the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery; cough up $12 bucks to park in the structure, or do as the thrifty do and find street parking to make the whole evening money-free. More information (March 11, Petersen Automotive Museum)

Cochon 555

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This cooking competition takes the phrase “going whole hog” to new heights. Cochon 555 takes over the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica on March 13, where Carlos Salgado (Taco Maria), Bruce Kalman (Union), Jason Neroni (Rose Cafe), Brooke Williamson (The Tripel) and reigning champion Walter Manzke (Republique) will make six dishes each from five locally raised pigs bequeathed to them at the beginning of the day. Judges and attendees will help crown the newest Prince or Princess of Porc, who will go on to compete in the Grand Cochon in Aspen on June 18. Go for the braised pork belly and stay for literally everything else, including a charcuterie station, a cheese bar, a magical sounding “Luxe Butter Bar,” and offerings from local winemakers. More information (March 13, The Viceroy)