What to Do This Week in LA, Miami, and NYC

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So Halloween fell on a weekday, and we had done our face paint the week before. This week, let the spirits go back down under. In L.A., take the time warp to the Autry Museum for a look at cool toys and inventions from the past. Down Miami way, there’s a thread of new and old at the Dimensions Variable gallery. And in NYC, there’s more throwbacks worth a look and listen at MoMa PS1, which has organized a video-and-concert tour of downtown’s performance art scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s.


This Wednesday, get on your Swiss-Army-knife-and-box-of-firecrackers mentality and go to the Autry Museum of the American West‘s latest exhibit, Play! It’s a nostalgic look back to the pre-social media era of classic and modern toys and games from the American West. Most on display roll back to the 19th century. You’ll see all those fun things from a childhood that are no more, from brands such as Mattel, Milton Bradley, and Disney, too. There’s also folk-craft geegaws of African-American and Native American descent. Two hundred items on exhibit in all, the show is broken into themes. There are bicycles, skateboards, kites, tea sets, air rifles, tin soldiers, and vintage and modern video games. Yes, there will be circa-1950s Barbie dolls, too.


This Wednesday, check out a A Thread of Execution, a new show at Dimensions Variable gallery, featuring computer code and programming mixing it up with fiber arts. Old and new practices, the work was created by nine artists, and illuminates how ancient traditions and cutting-edge technology are connected in multi-media works. Admission is free.


This Thursday, go to MoMA PS1s VW Dome to check out how downtown nightclub culture was done in the ‘70s and ‘80s in a sound-and-vision event entitled Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village. Focusing upon the fabled Club 57 performance space and other influential counterculture East Village spots like the St Mark’s Poetry Project (dating from 1978 to 1983), the program and installation acts as a fun time bubble of those super-charged times when downtown was both bohemian and sleazy. They’ll also be a live performance from Adele Bertei and a rare appearance by the iconic club band Strange Party. Indeed it was. Good times!

Photo by Mahir Uysal

Steve Garbarino

Steve Garbarino

Steve Garbarino is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a culture reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of "A Fitzgerald Companion."