Get beneath the surface of events and attractions in and near NELA.

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February is an eventful month in L.A., from Chinese New Year to the Academy Awards. But what you see on the surface is, well, the surface. Our “Picks” column this month tells you how to get beneath the surface of events and attractions in and near NELA.

Chinese New Year
A hallmark of Chinese New Year in Los Angeles is the annual Golden Dragon parade in Chinatown, which takes place this year on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

But days before that, Chinatown will see in the New Year (the Year of the Boar) in a different way – with a midnight ceremony, open to all, at the Thien Hau Temple, a Taoist temple in the heart of Chinatown.

The ceremony includes incense burning, offerings to deities, blessings, traditional dances and firecrackers to scare away evil spirits. Midnight Ceremony at Thien Hua Temple / 756 Yale St. / Chinatown / Monday, Feb. 4 at 10 p.m. to Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 12:30 a.m. / Free

The Art Around Us

Tzolk’in, a strange and beautiful sculpture inspired by an ancient agricultural calendar, could be seen all last summer along the L.A. River at the Bowtie Parcel. The sculpture can now be seen, through Mar. 25, on the campus of Occidental College at the base of the steps to the Arthur G. Coons Administration building.
Tzolk’in was created by Beatriz Cortez, a Salvadoran-born, L.A. based artist, sculptor and scholar who has exhibited in museums around the world. But how and why was Tzolk’in created? On Thursday, Feb. 7, Ms. Cortez will be at Oxy to talk about Tzolk’in, her art and her inspirations.
Oxy Arts Speaker Series / Thursday, Feb. 7 / 7 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m. / Occidental College / Choi Auditorium / 1600 Campus Rd. / Free / For more information:

The Academy Awards
On Sunday, Feb. 17, KPCC will sponsor a 2019 Oscar preview at the Ace Hotel in downtown L.A. Hosted by Larry Mantle, the host of Air Talk, the event will feature top critics from the L.A. Times,,, The Guardian and other outlets divulging and defending their Oscar picks and shedding insight on who gets chosen, who goes home empty-handed – and why.
Air Talk’s Film Week: 2019 Oscar Preview / Sunday, Feb. 17 / 1 p.m. Doors open at noon. / Ace Hotel Theatre / 929 South Broadway / Downtown L.A. / Tickets are $12 or $14 and are on sale now at

Baseball Forever: Dodger Stadium
So, you’ve been to a game, had a Dodger Dog and cheered on the team – but there is more to Dodger Stadium than even many die-hard fans realize.

A behind-the-scenes tour lets you visit some of the most restricted and non-public areas of Dodger Stadium, and may even include a trip to the field, a visit to the Dodger dugout, a look at the VIP restaurant and lounge located behind home plate and a special exhibit of Dodger memorabilia
Tour dates are based on the stadium’s schedule, but times are set at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children (14 and under), seniors (55+) and military personnel.
If you take the stadium tour on Saturday or Sunday, an additional $5 will gain you admittance to the stadium’s limited time pop-up museum through the last exhibit day on Sunday, Feb. 24. The exhibition celebrates the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson in honor of his 100th birthday. Also honored in the exhibit are Don Newcombe, Steve Garvey and Fernando Valenzuela, who will be inducted this year into the new “Legends of Dodger Baseball.” Purchase tickets at

It’s All Happening at the
L.A. Zoo
Most people know the zoo by the animals they see there. But there’s so much more to see and learn than what animals look like or how the behave.
At the L.A. Zoo in Griffith Park – home to 1,400 animals and 270 species — the “Wild Adventures: Behind the Scenes Tours” let you in on how the zookeepers prepare food, design habitats and provide care for the zoo animals; each tour spends 90-minutes at two different zoo locations.
“Wild Adventures: Behind the Scenes Tours” / Saturdays and Sundays / 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. / Cost: $75 per person, not including general admission to the zoo / To buy tickets, visit:, choose “Buy Tickets” and then “Wild Adventures: Behind the Scenes Tours.”

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