“Growing up in the Valley, I always knew L.A. was bitchin’. Read this book and you’ll know it too.”
– Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
The Who’s There Group and Knock Knock are thrilled to announce a very special evening at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, celebrating the launch of This Is (Not) L.A.: An Insider’s Take on the Real Los Angeles: Debunking the Clichés, Crushing the Haters, and Generally Making You Wish You Lived Here (or Happier That You Already Do), which hits stores today (9/6). Endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the book tackles the plentiful misconceptions that surround the City of Angels, countering with expert facts on L.A. and its rich history.
On September 20, co-author Jen Bilik–Knock Knock‘s founder and the CEO of the Who’s There Group-will lead a rollicking discussion of why we love L.A. and why it’s so misunderstood, hosted by one of the city’s most beloved institutions, the Natural History Museum. The evening will feature a panel of Los Angeles luminaries, including GRAMMYâ award-winning journalist and essayist Lynell George (KCET’s Artbound; author of After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame); veteran magazine writer and PEN USA journalism award recipient Ed Leibowitz (Los Angeles Magazine, The Atlantic); producer, entrepreneur, and author Patty Rodriguez (On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Lil’ Libros); and journalist Alissa Walker (Curbed; cofounder of Design East of La Brea). Special guest Evan Kleiman (KCRW’s Good Food) will read the book’s foreword, written by the late Jonathan Gold. Additionally, the evening will feature an introduction by the Natural History Museum‘s President and Director, Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga.
The program will be paired with the museum’s newly relaunched, permanent exhibit Becoming Los Angeles, which commemorates over 500 years of Los Angeles transformation, from tiny pueblo into sprawling metropolis. Event guests will have the opportunity to tour the exhibit as well as enjoy specially curated artifacts and photographs revolving around themes from This Is (Not) L.A..
Thanks to decades of surfer movies, over-the-top reality shows, and judgy reporting by our eastern and northern counterparts (we’re looking at you, NYC and San Francisco!), Los Angeles is perhaps the most misunderstood-and projected upon-city in the world. L.A. transplant of twenty years Bilik worked with native Angeleno Kate Sullivan to change all of that with This Is (Not) L.A.. In the full-color, 168-page book, these L.A. experts and defenders tackle 18 common myths about Los Angeles, proving that their city is neither a desert nor full of airheads, smog, or crappy food. Eight spotlight sections offer both a deeper look into L.A.’s innovative history and culture, served up with a side of humorous civic introspection. In his foreword, the late Pulitzer prize-winning Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold writes, “When you live in Los Angeles, you are used to having your city explained to you by others, often by people who parachute in from out of town . . . The Los Angeles that most of us live in is a different beast entirely, a city of almost unimaginable diversity.”
The event is free to the public. Doors will open at 6:00pm. The program will run from 7:00pm to 8:00pm. Cash bar and The Lobos Truck will be available for refreshments.
To reserve tickets for the This Is (Not) L.A. book launch, visit nhm.org/lectures.
To order the book, visit ThisIsNotLA.com.
About Knock Knock:
Knock Knock is an independent maker of clever gifts, books, and whatever else we can think up. Our mission is to bring humor, creativity, and smarts to everyday life-in other words, to say something more. For more info, visit KnockKnockStuff.com.
About the Who’s There Group:
Founded in January 2018, the Who’s There Group is a family of three Los Angeles brands: Knock Knock, Emily McDowell Studio, and People, Places & Things (formerly known as Sisters of Los Angeles). United by a deep affinity for creating and a liberal dash of wit and irreverence, we three bring tangible experience, design, and meaning to the stuff of our lives. For more info, visit WhosThere.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County:
The Natural History Family of Museums includes the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA), the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum (Hancock Park/Mid-Wilshire), and the William S. Hart Museum (Newhall, California). The Family of Museums serves more than 1.2 million visitors annually, and it is a national leader in research, exhibitions, and education. NHMLA was the first dedicated museum building in Los Angeles, opening its doors in 1913, and has since amassed one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history-more than 35 million objects. NHMLA is the only natural history museum in the world today that incorporates on- and offsite nature exploration, local wildlife inventories, a slate of community science programs, and active research into a museum paradigm that once focused on the past, but increasingly addresses the present and the future. For more info, please contact: 213.763.3499.