Staying local for Labor Day weekend? There are plenty of free and low-cost ways to “staycation” in style in West Hollywood, where you can immerse yourself in the arts and culture scene. There are ways to experience literature, art and film over the weekend that range from from high-brow to artsy to campy. Hidden gem Mystery Pier Books, 8826 W. Sunset Blvd. at Holloway, is a must-see for zealous readers. Browse first editions (often signed) written by celebrated authors such as Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Jane Austen and Noel Coward. The shop’s usual hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon-5 p.m. on Sunday, but calling ahead is recommended. (The store is a celebrity favorite, so you’ll be out of luck if you turn up at the same time Michael Caine has a private appointment.) Call 310-657-5557 to schedule a visit. At the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Village location, 1125 N. McCadden Place at Lexington, you can see art by West Hollywood resident and longtime activist Ivy Bottini and her daughter, Lisa Santasiero. Gallery hours are 6-10 p.m. weeknights and 9-5 p.m. Saturdays. (The Village is closed on Sundays and will be closed on Monday in observance of the holiday.) On Friday night, head to Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. between Gower and Van Ness, for an outdoor screening of Mommie Dearest, hosted by the Center’s Young Professionals Council (YPC). The event, of which WEHOville.com is a media sponsor, includes a pre-screening reception and live music. If you have time to go by the West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. at El Tovar on Friday or Saturday (it’s always closed Sunday and will shutter Monday for the holiday), you might check out books by authors who will be a part of the WeHo Reads: Noir programming in September. While you’re in the neighborhood, take a look at the public art installation in the adjacent West Hollywood Park. Whether you find it cute or weird, the “bears and kids playing tag” sculptures are certainly unconventional.Want more art? Head to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) at the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave. between Santa Monica and Melrose. Now on exhibit: a collection by British artist and Oscar-winning director (“12 Years a Slave”) Steve McQueen. “The exhibition takes as its centerpiece the artist’s 1998 video installation “Drumroll,” a 2004 partial and promised gift from MOCA life trustee Blake Byrne to MOCA’s permanent collection,” according to the MOCA website. “The exhibition also includes a selection of works from “Barrage” (1998), McQueen’s series of 56 photographs of gutter barriers or ‘dams’ found along the streets of Paris.” Admission is free, and MOCA at PDC is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.
Less than a mile away from MOCA at PDC, you’ll find an important architectural landmark: Schindler House at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, 835 N. Kings Road at Willoughby. Built in 1922, the house was designed by Austrian architect Rudolph Schindler. The MAK Center is open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. each Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $7, or $17 with a docent-guided tour of the Schindler House. (Students and seniors get $1 off.)