Welcome to SMDP’s weekly column highlighting upcoming goings on in and around Santa Monica.

Your weekend starts here with a “Plastic-Free July” Beach Cleanup, a local production of the Lin-Manuel Miranda “In the Heights” musical, food and drink highlights that include a recent lunch stop for VP Kamala Harris, and much more! 

In The Heights (Friday & Saturday 8p.m. & Sunday 2p.m.): SaMo’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre is staging the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical throughout July. https://www.morgan-wixson.org/intheheights

Plastic-Free July Cleanup Challenge at SaMo Beach Tower 20 (Saturday, July 8, 9a.m.): “LA Waterkeeper’s annual beach and river cleanups raise awareness of our growing plastics problem, motivating people to reduce their plastic use year-round and encouraging them to push decision-makers to address the issue on a society-wide scale.” Register here: https://fundraise.givesmart.com/e/vP74eA 

SaMo Reads Summer Reading Program Presents Andrew & Polly Concert for Kids (Saturday, July 8, 10:30-11:15a.m.): “Andrew & Polly, and their band The Gabes, share some seriously catchy earworms and re-imaginings of classic favorites.” https://smpl.org/srp/

City of Hope’s Annual ‘Ride With Josh’ Fundraising Bike Ride (Saturday, July 8, 8a.m.): “Ride With Josh” was founded by Sterling Simms, after his late brother Joshua, who lost his battle with diabetes at age 19. Inspired by this cause, Rapha and City of Hope’s Music, Film and Entertainment Industry group have come together to raise awareness for diabetes and fundraise for research that may help lead to cures for a condition that affects 1 in 10 Americans. https://ourhope.cityofhope.org/event/ride-with-josh-2023/e479400

Community Garden Open House (Saturday, July 8, 9-11a.m.): Come tour the Community Garden at 2318 Main St. with complimentary refreshments and conversations with Community Gardeners. “Looking to get answers to some gardening questions? Need some summer vegetable seeds to get started? This is the place and time to get these handled.” https://www.santamonica.gov/places/community-gardens/main-street-community-garden 

Jenny Yurshansky: “Rinsing the Bones” Exhibition Opening (Saturday, July 8, 3-6p.m.): The exhibition explores how generational displacement passes the embodied trauma of dislocation onto future generations. The FREE opening celebration includes a curator and artist-led walkthrough, and an ability to participate in Unfolded Narratives, an all-ages drawing workshop and engagement with the artist and The Running Stitch collective. https://18thstreet.org/event/exhibition-opening-jenny-yurshansky-rinsing-the-bones/ 

Family Festival: Medieval Play @ The Getty (Sunday, July 9, 10a.m. – 5p.m.): “Arrive in costume or create your own custom tunic and immerse yourself in a medieval village where you can learn a courtly dance, sing with wandering minstrels, and meet Angel, a medieval-breed pony. Play traditional games, try your hand at sword fighting, or storm the castle with foam swords and shields on the Getty’s expansive garden lawns”. https://www.getty.edu/visit/cal/events/familyfestival_play.html  

What to Eat & Drink? 

Bludso’s BBQ: The legendary spot just opened on the corner of 14th Street and Santa Monica Blvd. Here’s the SMDP article about it: https://smdp.com/2023/05/01/kevin-bludso-bbq-on-santa-monica-blvd/ 

Shirubē Izakaya Opens at 424 Wilshire Blvd: The old Mushi space is reborn with Tokyo transplant’s first US location focusing on “grilled meats and seafood, together with fresh vegetables from Southern California farmers markets.” https://smdp.com/2023/07/01/50-year-old-family-run-izakaya-from-tokyo-opens-first-us-eatery-in-santa-monica/  

Alfalfa on Main St: VP Kamala Harris was spotted there for lunch this week on July 5 and the Infatuation says Alfalfa “nails the salad-wrap-coffee thing” and that “their back patio is a sunny little nook that’s ideal for catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a few months over great coffee and salads or an excellent breakfast burrito with silky eggs and charred shredded potatoes.” https://www.eatalfalfa.com/santa-monica 

Blue Plate Oysterette Is Back: The Lucky Yu popup that had taken over the space since May transitioned back to BPO this past weekend at 1355 Ocean Ave. https://blueplateoysterette.com/ 

If there’s something you think is worth highlighting, you can reach out directly to me at sean@smdp.com.