Reader Recommended for Best Local Museum, or The Best Place to Be Transported to a Bygone Soviet Era: The Wende
Contemplate the deliriously fascinating detritus of Cold War art, culture and the unburnished history of the Eastern Bloc at the singular and visually sumptuous Wende Museum in Culver City.
Very much in keeping with its namesake (Wende being a German word denoting “turning points”) so did this lively gallery pivot and perestroika-ly reset its programs and exhibits virtually this year. The winds of change came with COVID and the curators wasted no time adapting and transforming to the harsh realities of a new normalcy. The doors may be closed but the inspiration and enthusiasm go undiminished.
The newly fandangled Online Wende experience conjures a palpable sense of community from afar. Some of their digital offerings include oral history interviews, playlists that capture the Soviet zeitgeist, and an unceasing parade of insightful webinars and lectures. The Wende is a wealth of vivacious vestiges. From Virtual Friday Night Films featuring carefully curated Soviet- era cinematic gems to streaming yoga and other wellness sessions in their perfectly placid sculpture garden, The Wende gifts a merry matryoshka doll of delights within delights within delights. Currently, you can dive into a digital tour of the museum’s exhibitions online: “Transformations: Living Room -> Flea Market -> Museum -> Art” (a whimsical look at the metamorphosis of Eastern Bloc household items into highly prized flea market goods and collectibles) and the photography collection “See Thy Neighbor: Stern Photographers Thomas Hoepker and Harald Schmitt in the GDR.”
Visit wendemuseum.org to learn more. Tarry forth, tovarish!
—Tommy Vinh Bui and Christina Campodonico

Best Live Theater

1st Place
The Braid (formerly known as Jewish Women’s Theatre)
3435 Ocean Park Blvd., #107-85
Santa Monica
jewishwomenstheatre.org

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Kirk Douglas Theatre
9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City
(213) 628-2772, centertheatregroup.org

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Kentwood Players at Westchester Playhouse
8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester
(310) 645-5156, kentwoodplayers.org
*(See page 32 for a full story on how local theater is adapting in the age of COVID)

Best Local Museum

1st Place
LAX Flight Path Museum & Learning Center
6661 W. Imperial Hwy., Westchester
(424) 646-7284, flightpathmuseum.com

READER RECOMMENDED
California Heritage Museum
2612 Main St., Santa Monica
(310) 392-8537, californiaheritagemuseum.org

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Wende Museum
10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City
(310) 216-1600, wendemuseum.org

Best Live Music Event or Series

1st Place
Marina del Rey Summer Concert Series
Burton Chace Park
13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey
(888) 344-3968
visitmarinadelrey.com/events/free-summer-concert-series

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Twilight Concert Series, Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
santamonicapier.org/twilight

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Playa Vista Concerts in the Park
Central Park Bandshell: 12000 Waterfront Drive
Concert Park: 13016 Runway Rd.
playavista.com/events/

Best Hotel

1st Place
The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey
(310) 823-1700, ritzcarlton.com

READER RECOMMENDED
Shutters on the Beach
1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica
(310) 458-0030, shuttersonthebeach.com

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The Culver Hotel
9400 Culver Blvd., Culver City
(310) 558-9400, culverhotel.com
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Hotel Casa del Mar
1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica
(310) 581-7714, hotelcasadelmar.com

Best Team Sports Organization

1st Place
North Venice Little League
northvenice.org

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Santa Monica Little League
smll.com

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Beach Cities Volleyball
(310) 546-9150, beachcitiesvbc.com

Best High School Athletics Program

1st Place
Venice High Gondoliers Football
gondolierathletics.com

READER RECOMMENDED
Santa Monica High Vikings Football
samohi.smmusd.org

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Westchester High Comets Basketball
westchesterhs-lausd-ca.schoolloop.com

Best Outdoor Adventure Activity

1st Place
UCLA Marina Aquatic Center
14001 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey
(310) 823-0048, marinaaquaticcenter.org

READER RECOMMENDED
Marina del Rey Boat Rentals
13717 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey
(310) 306-4444, marinadelreyboatrentals.com

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Marina del Rey Sportfishing
13759 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey
(310) 822-3625, mdrsf.com

Best Yacht Club

1st Place
California Yacht Club
4469 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey
(310) 823-4567, calyachtclub.com

READER RECOMMENDED
Del Rey Yacht Club
13900 Palawan Way, Marina del Rey
(310) 823-4664, dryc.org

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Marina Yacht Club
4333 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey
(310) 600-6912

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