JOAN OF ART: Movements at Union Station, a Powerful and Important Film, a Different Kind of Restaurant and a lot of Beer

Joan Alperin

Writer, Registered Critic

This weekend has some really interesting and fun things going on starting with MOVEMENTS AT UNION STATION put on by METRO ART.

The show will be held for two consecutive Friday nights starting on August 2nd and ending August 9th. Heat-Wave featuring special guest Norio Sato will host this Friday. A Los Angeles based party series founded by DJs Daniel T and Wyatt Potts with a focus on international funk and disco records. Heat-Wave has hosted DJs from all over the world including Japan, Brazil, Korea, Mexico, Armenia, Greece, Germany and India creating a unique mix of music. The evening also serves as Heat-Wave's three year anniversary celebration.

Soto is the owner of the Flare Groove record shop in Osaka and the head of the Members record label. A true connoisseur of music, he also organizes the parties Metro, Norio AZ Music Radio and Positive Affair.

All that music is definitely going to give you an appetite so delicious meals will be served up by local favorite food trucks, The Bollywood Kitchen and Grilled Fraiche.

Admission for the event is free. For more information about events at Union Station, please visit For more info about Metro's art programs, please go to

Last night I saw a very powerful important film entitled LUCE and this is one that I would definitely call a 'must see.' It stars Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Octavia Spencer and newcomer, the excellent Kelvin Harrison, Jr. The acting across the board is A plus.

Luce was a child soldier from war torn Africa who had the good fortune to be adopted by Amy Edgar (Naomi Watts) and her husband Peter (Tim Roth). Luce is an accomplished football player and debate team captain who harbors revolutionary beliefs and violent tendencies.

Everyone loves Luce. His smile can light up a room, but when his teacher, Harriet Wilson (Octavia Spencer) reads an essay he wrote, all hell breaks out.

This simmering drama with complex themes of race, privilege, youth, family and parenting is based on an off Broadway play written by JC Lee and is tightly directed by Julias Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox) and it's definitely one that will have you riveted to the screen. The film opens this Friday, August 2nd at select theatres.

Now I'm sure these events will leave you hungry and what better way to satisfy your need for food then to visit one of my favorite Vegan restaurants, PURA VITA which serves plant based Italian food. The restaurant is located at 8274 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. Pura Vita not only has great food but it has a beautiful atmosphere, great music and excellent service to go with all your delicious bites.

I've been a vegetarian for years but my husband is a major meat eater. I dragged him here kicking and screaming. Needless to say I won't have to do that again. He absolutely loved the food.


Pura Vita is a female owned and family operated restaurant. All their ingredients are sourced from locally grown organic farms and Italian imports for specialty items.

Everything is 100% vegan, non GMO, organic and made from scratch. The chef Tara Punzone, is an Italian American from my hometown of Brooklyn, New York who has been a vegan for over 30 years. She has converted all her family's traditional dishes to vegan versions  without compromise.

Now what would Italian food be without wine. No worries, they have a wine bar with amazing choices. Dining here is a unique dining experience that has the ambiance of a New York City restaurant with a traditional menu that reflects Southern Italy.

For more information go to or call 323 688-2303. They open at ll:30am. You will love it. I promise.

Now if wine isn't your thing then head on over to the zoo for BREW AT THE L.A. ZOO. We're talking about 40 breweries, live music, pop up zoo talks, animal discover stations and pub style grub. This is L.A.'s unique brew fest now in its ninth year. You will be able to sample local craft br

ews as well as ciders, wines and more.

Some of the craft beers will be 101 Cider House, 99 Cents Only, Anna's Cider, Braveheart Brewing, Brewery at Simmzy's Burbank, Brewyard Beer Company, Cladode Beer, Elysian Brewing, just to name a few.

The music lineup includes GEC Dance Party, Boombox Heroes, DJ Johnny Hawkes and Casual Encounters. The animals you will encounter include elephants, alligators, harbor seals, kangaroos, orangutans, birds of prey, jaguars, komodo dragons, and many more.

The event is Friday August 2nd from 7-11 pm with the last pour at 10:30pm. For more information and to purchase tickets go to

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

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.