Monday, April 11, 2022

Art in the City

"Floating World" by Ferne Jacobs, Coiled Waxed Linen Thread

"Craft in America" is a wonderful PBS television series showcasing different crafts-people all over our country and the work that they do. I've been watching it for years. There is a Craft in America Center on West Third Street in Los Angeles associated with the show. The storefront holds lectures by artists, hands-on workshops with artists and gallery shows! Last week I attended the exhibition called "Building the Essentials: Ferne Jacobs."  Jacobs is a fiber artist who has been working since the 1960s. Her work involves basketry, weaving, knotting, coiling and twining. Many of her pieces are sculptural and quite large. Her colors are riveting. The show will be on view through June 18th.  Go see it! 

"Flight" by Ferne Jacobs, Coiled Waxed Linen Thread

"Interior Passages" Ferne Jacobs, Coiled and Twined Waxed Linen and Thread

The shapes that Ferne creates out of mere fiber and twine are magnificent. I was also quite interested in her drawings and notebooks that included collage and other elements. 
Ferne Jacobs, Notebook, paint, collage

Just next door to the Craft in America Center is the store Free Hand. The shop is connected to the exhibition space and showcases original work available for purchase. There are jewelry items, paintings, clothing, ceramics and more. Many artists are represented, displaying an array of pleasing items for sale.  Really, the Free Hand shop is almost like a museum display. 
Seeing the artwork of Ferne Jacobs and visiting the Free Hand space was like being in an artist's cocoon for an afternoon. You must visit!

Craft in America
8415 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA  90048
Tues-Sat, 12pm -6pm

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Thursday, March 17, 2022

Irish in Los Angeles

St. Patrick's Day is not really my holiday, but the spirit has reached me. Our Mid-City L.A. neighborhood must have had a strong Irish population during the 1920's and 1930's.There are more than a few Irish establishments nearby, many of the homes are built to look like Irish and English country homes in the Storybook style and there are many Catholic and Protestant congregations in the vicinity.

I found this darling St. Paddy's Day Barbie Doll online. She looks ready to hoist a pint at Tom Bergin's!


Supposedly, EVERYONE is Irish on this day. Have a great ol' time in Irish L.A. today!

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Thursday, January 27, 2022

The Corner Market

 S/E corner of Sunset & Fairfax, Los Angeles, 1933

Once a market, always a market. 
The corner of Sunset and Fairfax in Los Angeles has been a small market since the 1930's. The photo above, the SunFax Market, was taken in 1933. In later years, probably in the late 1950's or early 1960's when the A-Frame architectural style was popular, this building was re-designed and called Chalet Gourmet. In 1999, the Irvine Ranch Market Company and Chalet Gourmet merged. This location then became a branch of Bristol Farms Market
Unless some MAJOR redevelopment happens on this corner, this will, most likely, always be a small neighborhood market, catering to the locals.


Chalet Gourmet Newspaper Advertisement

Chalet Gourmet was innovative for the 1960s and 70s. It was a specialty grocery carrying higher-quality and harder-to-find items than the average supermarket. It catered to the owners of the more expensive homes in the Hollywood Hills, much like the Bristol Farms Market of today.


S/E corner of Sunset & Fairfax, Los Angeles today

I plan on visiting my local grocery store this weekend. Which local market do you like best?

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Monday, January 17, 2022

Words to Live and Knit By

 

Suzanne's sweater honoring the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This has become a tradition on "L.A. Is My Beat."  For the past decade or so I have been featuring Suzanne's MLK sweater on my blog in honor of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I will repeat  again this year because I'm so in love with this idea and in awe of Suzanne's mad skills. 

The sweater pattern is from "Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines."  The name of this sweater is "Margaret," designed for the book by Mary Neal Meador.  The instructions state that the sweater may be embellished after knitting with chain stitched quotations of the knitter’s choice.  The sweater in the book has poetry added to the front and back. 
When I saw Suzanne's ("owlknits") sweater, I was touched by the words she chose.  This is from Suzanne's project page on Ravelry: 

I knit this sweater for a local art exhibition that was organized to honor the ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I used quotes from his “I have a dream…” speech to embroider on the front and back of the sweater: Front: Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. Back: The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the day of justice emerges.

I am still blown away by Suzanne's sweater and her choice of quotations.  One day I will make such a sweater for myself.  Bravo!  Excellent work, Suzanne, honoring an eloquent man and his ideas! 
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Marin Luther King, Jr.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LARRY!


Happy Birthday to Larry! This is a big one! This is also his second birthday during the pandemic.  Ugh! Will things ever go back to normal?

This year, we decided to take a short trip out to the desert to celebrate. We arrived yesterday. Today we will be cruising all the oddities in the tri-city area of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and 29 Palms. On Thursday, we'll dip into Palm Springs to visit with friends and stop by the Palm Springs Art Museum.

This day belongs to you, sweet husband of mine. I'm so glad to have such an amazing person in my life! Thank you for always being there for me. May your special day bring you huge joy and true happiness! I'm thrilled to be celebrating you!

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Sunday, January 02, 2022

New Year's Day 2022


Yes, we're still experiencing the pandemic. Recently, there has been a surge of the virus. Our New Year's Eve was fine, but we didn't meet with neighbors and friends, just to be on the safe side. On New Year's Day, it is our tradition to visit a local park. This year we drove to the L.A. River and went to Lewis McAdams Riverfront Park in Atwater. This is a park planted with native vegetation. The park meanders along this portion of the river. We liked it a lot.



There is outdoor exercise equipment set up in one portion of the park. There is a pavilion, walking paths and access to the L.A. River. Since we've had lots of rain lately, the river was flowing nicely. There were even a few people fishing at the river's edge.

We wandered through various portions of the park. It wasn't busy, but there were families enjoying this fresh day.

Beautiful tiles representing the park, set into concrete benches

Creative park entrances
Larry, down by the river

Happy New Year 2022!
Read about Poet, Lewis McAdams here
The Pavilion 

The Riverfront Park is a wonderful example of how a city park can be sensitive to its surroundings. I really like this park and will definitely visit again!

After our park visit, we drove downtown for New Year's lunch at Philippe's, the French Dip. Delicious!


HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2022!


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Monday, November 08, 2021


Last week Larry and I attended an exhibition at the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA) entitled, "The Obama Portraits Tour." Two portraits, one of President Barack Obama by Keninda Wiley and the other of Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald are on loan from the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.  Both paintings are massive and are displayed together on one large wall.  Both portraits are excellent and totally different in style. Read about them HERE and HERE.  

In addition to the Obama portraits, there are a few large galleries containing many wonderful portraits by black artists throughout the years. This exhibit is called "Black American Portraits, Remembering Two Centuries of Black American Art."  There are so many wonderful paintings included, along with sculpture, etchings, drawings, quilts, tapestries and more. I've wanted to see the Obama portraits, but this secondary exhibit is so worthwhile!

"Forever" by Bisa Butler (2020), Cotton, Silk, Wool, Quilted and Appliquéd Velvet
"Madame C.J. Walker" by Chelle Barbour (2019). Mixed Media Collage on Paper

I was awed by this collection, so I really didn't photograph that many pieces. You must see the show for yourself! Go during the week if you can, when the Museum isn't quite as busy.


Of course, upon our departure from LACMA, we took the obligatory photo in front of Chris Burden's "Urban Light" (2008).

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Friday, September 10, 2021

The Stahl House



Six months ago, Larry asked me what I wanted for my birthday in July. I really didn't want anything. If I need something, I just buy it for myself. At this time in our lives, we're trying to get rid of STUFF!  I did ask Larry to take me on a tour of the Stahl House in the Hollywood Hills.  Larry has been there a few times, but every time he was there with the Modern Committee of the L.A. Conservancy, I could never make it across town in time from my office in Santa Monica to go on the tour. Larry tried to book a tour for my birthday month, but the tour gets booked up rather quickly. The first date available was in September.

The Stahl House, also known as Case Study House #22, is a modernist-styled house designed by architect Pierre Koenig. Koenig's clients were Buck and Carlotta Stahl. Stahl and Koenig collaborated on the design of the home. There is a book coming out in November all about the building of this house called, "The Stahl House, Case Study House #22, The Making of a Modernist Icon."  Two of the Stahl children have contributed considerably to this Chronicle Book.

The Stahl House was made even more famous by a Julius Shulman photograph showing two women leisurely sitting in a corner of the house with a panoramic view of the city through floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
Photo by Julius Shulman, 1960
In 1999 the house was declared a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument.  The Case Study House Program was started in 1945 to serve as a model for post-war living. All of the homes were built with affordability in mind, using easy to obtain materials and simple design.
The Stahl House is an excellent example of this simple design. It is an L-shaped structure, made from steel and glass construction. The new book goes into detail about the grading of the lot, the design and engineering process and other architectural feats.
The home has been used as a location in numerous movies and television shows. Even the Simpsons had a party at the Stahl House!
Scene from "The Simpsons" 2009 at The Stahl House
Larry booked the last tour of the day, beginning at 6:30 pm. This is the perfect time to go. You get to see the house in daylight and then stay for the sunset, into darkness. The City of Los Angeles lights up below the house, making it a magical experience. We stayed 90 minutes. We were allowed to roam throughout the home and take cellphone photos. 
Toward the end of the tour, we all gathered in the living room (furniture designed by Design Within Reach) and listened to the docent talk about the house. Because we were allowed to stay for such a long time, I really felt like I was a guest at a party. I could experience what it may have been like to live here. It was a wonderful time. Thank you, Larry!

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Saturday, September 04, 2021

Happy Labor Day

 


Happy Labor Day! Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century became a federal holiday in 1894.

I am thankful to all the workers who came before me, standing up for equal rights on the job.

I spent 47 years in the work force. Some of that time was spent as a union member, working at various movie studios throughout Los Angeles. Today, I am reaping the benefits of full-time, corporate employment thanks to the labor movement's accomplishments over the years for equal rights, better working conditions and equal pay. Thank you.

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Friday, August 13, 2021

Beverly Hills Monument

Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library Archives

The caption for the photo above that appeared in the L.A. Herald Examiner in 1960 reads, "Commemorating the work of eight film pioneers who led the fight against Beverly Hills' annexation by Los Angeles in 1922, a 30-foot marble monument was dedicated at Beverly Dr. and Olympic Blvd. on March 9, 1960. A spiraling bronze replica of a strip of motion picture film is topped by a 14-karat gold star. Among filmland personalities taking part in the fete are, left to right, Conrad NagelCorinne GriffithMary Pickford and Harold Lloyd."
I was at this dedication. Sooky Goldman, photographer and reporter for the Beverly Hills Courier, recruited our Brownie Troop from Beverly Vista Elementary School to participate in the dedication ceremony for the statue. There was a photo of our troop, saluting in front of the statue in the BH Courier. My copy of the BH Courier photo is long gone, but I still remember the day.
Beverly Vista Brown Troop, 1960 - L-R: Jeri, Denise, Alison, Erica, Jody, Ellen, Nancy, Leslie, Sharon, Eva, Ria, Mandy, Dana, Sandy, Karin, Gayle - Back row: Troop Leaders, Mrs. Milner, Mrs. Martin

Our neighbor, Sooky Goldman, later became active in the preservation of Franklin Canyon Park

The statue is still on Olympic Blvd. at Beverly Drive, right near Von's Pavillions Market. It's in the middle of this traffic triangle. I must go over there again and photograph the statue! I feel proud to have participated in this small piece of Beverly Hills history.
BH Sculpture in 2021. Photo by James Kraus

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Birthday 2021

Greeting me when I woke up on my b-day, from Larry!
Birthday Cards!

My 2021 birthday was decidedly more festive than my 2020 birthday. This year I could celebrate with friends and family IN PERSON. I like to start celebrating in mid-July. My cousin Amie's birthday is at the end of June, so we always take ourselves out to lunch sometime in-between our birthdays. This year we met at The Santa Monica Seafood Cafe for lunch. We each had the most divine Crab Louie Salad!

On the Saturday just before my birthday Joan, Larry and I went to a gallery opening IN PERSON at the new Thinkspace Projects space in Mid-City L.A.  After viewing the art we went to Brunello's Trattoria in Culver City for a delightful al fresco dinner! Thanks, Joan!



On the actual DAY of my birthday, Tuesday, July 20th I met up with my band, The Ladies of the Uke. Tuesday is usually our rehearsal day, but this time we met at the ever-favorite, Jackson Cafe on Jefferson Blvd. for lunch and some strumming. I was having so much fun, that I forgot to take photos of everyone! Thank you Mollie, Vicki, Ellie, Sherry, Cali and Nomi (in absentia...Nomi sent her son, Isaac with a greeting). Also, thanks to Sherry and Vicki for a few photos!
Mollie and Ellie
Vicki made us Minnie Mouse Facemasks!
Ellen, Isaac and Mollie
I rushed home from our lunch/rehearsal so that Larry and I could zoom over to the Landmark Theater to see "Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain." This wasn't exactly an uplifting film to see on my birthday, but we both wanted to see it because we were huge Tony fans. In a way, it was nice to see all the clips from Tony's show, put together in a meaningful way.  After the movie we raced across town to Taylor's Steakhouse for martinis and dinner! The food is always delicious and the atmosphere is divine. This is one of those classic red-leather booth restaurants. My favorite!


Petite Filet, smothered in grilled onions with baked potato. Caesar Salad to start.
The next day I met my cousin Carolyn in Sherman Oaks for lunch. We always meet at Carnival Lebanese Restaurant on Woodman Ave. The food is really excellent. Sometimes, we talk about changing restaurants, but in the end we go to Carnival!
Felafel Appetizer plate, cabbage salad, Kafta Rolls, Pita!

Birthdays seem to revolve around meals. I met up with my besties, the Knit Grrlz for early dinner on at La Puglia, a new Italian restaurant in Santa Monica. Natalie, who has visited Puglia, Italy, said that the food was very authentic. It was excellent and we had such a fun time! Thank you Natalie, Darcy and Mary Jo. We missed you, Brit!
Movie stars, Natalie and Darcy
Darcy and Mary Jo

Thank you, all for such wonderful celebrations! I look forward to YOUR birthdays!
The BEST crocheted birthday cake photo from Yipsy!

Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery