JOAN OF ART: Flowers, Flowers Everywhere, Stars in the Sky, St. Patrick's Day Fun and A Thrilling Cinematic Ride

Joan Alperin

Joan Alperin

Writer, Registered Critic

Spring, my favorite time of year has arrived and because of the heavy rains, Mother Nature has graced us with some of her best work. I'm talking about the WILDFLOWERS and they are out in full force.

This weekend I'm headed for Lake Elsinore where the Poppy super blooms are ready for their close-up.

The bright orange, yellow, pink and purple California poppies are concentrated in the hills around Walker Canyon, an ecological reserve and are already in bloom attracting tons of visitors and yes, major traffic but the trip is definitely worth it.

The super bloom is a rare phenomenon in which an area's number of wildflowers exceed typical spring blooms - in this case, millions of tiny blooms popping up in typically barren deserts and canyons.

In order for a super bloom to occur there must be a perfect combination of rain and favorable temperatures, hence the rarity of the phenomenon and one you do not want to miss.

One of the reasons I travel to Lake Elsinore to see the flowers is the distance. It's only an hour away from Los Angeles. The super blooms won't be around long so you better hurry up and hop on the freeway to see this incredible sight.

Now after I've experienced the phenomena on the ground I'll be ready to see the phenomena in the sky. I'm talking about Griffith Park's monthly Public Star Party which is taking place this Saturday.

It's here you can see the moon and constellations up close and you don't even have to bring your own telescope. Head out to the Observatory's expansive lawn and check out the views through a wide variety of telescopes with savvy amateur astronomers on hand to discuss what you see through their equipment.

The views of celestial objects above and the lights of Los Angeles below makes this an incredible experience and a great family event.

To find out more about their monthly Star Parties including parking go to or call 213-473-0800. The event starts at 2:00 pm and runs until 9:45pm.

The Griffith Park Observatory is located at 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles CA 90027.

So after visiting the skies you might be ready for some down to earth fun and what better way to do that then to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day and that's exactly what pubs and clubs all over the town are ready to help you do, especially downtown L.A.

This event takes place Sunday March 17th from 1:00pm until 7:00pm. It starts at the Los Angeles Biergarten located at 750 South Broadway L.A. and continues onto 10 different downtown venues.

You'll get to experience 100 beers on tap and enjoy a free welcome shot. DJ's, live music and St. Patrick Day photo booth.

When you check in at LA Biergarten you will be given a wristband, St. Patrick's Day kit with a map of locations and a list of drink specials for each of the participating venues.

To find out more about this event go to LA's St Partick's Day Party and Pub Crawl.

To find out how to access this Pub Crawl and others all over LA via Metro, visit

After all this celebrating you might be in the mood for some edge of your seat thrills and for that I highly recommend the film HOTEL MUMBAI which opens in theatres this weekend.

I went to a press screening of this film the other day and I spent the whole time sitting on the edge of my seat. This real life atrocity involved three days of multiple attacks across the city that left over 170 dead but in director Anthony Maras's chilling feature the street level shooting sprees soon segue into the carnage at the exclusive Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, a Victorian gothic building overlooking the city's bay.

The film written by John Collee is not only about the terrorists aimless killing but about the heroic efforts made by the hotel staff to save the hotel guests.

The film's characters based on real people are extremely well drawn and you come to care about them greatly. This is a very thoughtful thriller that I highly recommend. It's playing at select theatres around town.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, make it a fun one.

Joan Alperin
Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death.