Friday, September 27, 2019

Rosh Hashanah

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Sunday at sundown, we celebrate Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year. It is customary during Rosh Hashonah to start fresh and cast your sins into the water.  This is called the tradition of Tashlikh.
Monday, Larry and I will travel to the closest body of water to our house, The Ballona Creek flood channel, and cast our sins off! I hope there's some water in the Creek!
Ballona Creek at La Cienega
One of the many traditions during this holiday is to eat something sweet to make sure that you will have a sweet and happy new year.  We dip apples in honey and have some delicious honey cake. 
Apples, honey cake and honey to symbolize a sweet New Year
The rest of our New Year's dinner will consist of roast chicken, candied carrots in the shape of coins to insure wealth in the New Year, and Great Aunt Luba's Noodle Kugel! I might throw in some steamed asparagus this year.
Kugel, Candied Carrots, Roast Chicken
On Rosh Hashanah it is written… On Yom Kippur it is sealed. May it be written and may it be sealed that you have a New Year that brings fulfillment and happiness, peace, sweetness and prosperity – all of life’s very best things. Have a Happy, Healthy New Year to all of my friends and family!

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Alpine Village

Field Trip Friday! Larry and I drove south to Torrance, to visit the Alpine Village. I had never been there, but had passed it on the freeway for decades. We wanted to visit just before the big Oktoberfest celebration to avoid the crowds. Alpine Village, a German-style compound with specialty shops, a restaurant and market, has been there since 1968. 

All of the compound's buildings are decorated in the quaint Bavarian, Gingerbread style. We walked around the shops. A few were open.

I am assuming that the shops and surrounding grounds would be busier on the weekends. Many of the shops were closed. The buildings could use a bit of paint and sprucing up. There are rumors that Alpine Village is slated for demolition and future development. This is another reason we wanted to visit, before it's all gone.
The German Market and Cafe were bustling. I LOVED the market! It was full of European delicacies that you cannot readily purchase in the standard grocery store. Many of the displays were painted with colorful folk themes. Charming!
Notice the painted flowers at the end of the aisle display

So many different varieties of delicious mustard!
Polish, Ukranian products

We decided to have lunch in the sit-down restaurant instead of the little cafe next to the market. The restaurant is where Oktoberfest is held. There is a huge dance floor and stage, surrounded by tables, booths and a big bar area. This place is set up for concerts. It's a wonderful venue. In addition to European bands for German festivals, the venue has held rock 'n roll, punk and other concerts. It would be perfect for a wedding!

The Stage and Dance Floor
Lunch was good. I had a chef salad with Black Forest ham and more. Larry had a bratwurst sandwich.

We wandered around the grounds a bit more after lunch, noticing the architectural details of the Village buildings.

This is a lovely respite from the big City. Visiting Alpine Village is like a little vacation. To help preserve this bit of Bavaria in the Southland, join the Facebook group, Friends of Alpine Village and sign the petition to save it from being demolished and developed into yet another boring apartment and mini-mall complex.

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Friday, September 20, 2019

The Cinerama Dome, Hollywood

1965.  Cinerama Dome, Hollywood.  Security Pacific National Bank Photo Collection
I always love visiting the Cinerama Dome in front of the ArcLight Theaters.  It's a geodesic dome designed by the architectural firm of Welton Beckett (1963).  The theater was built in  just 16 weeks!  That wacky movie, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" premiered there. I remember seeing this movie when it came out.  More than the movie, I remember sitting inside the theater and looking up toward the honey-comb, domed ceiling.  After the movie my Dad walked us around the outside of the theater to check it out.  Wow!  I'd never seen a round building up-close before, except for the beautiful Capitol Records building (1956) a couple of blocks away.
1963.  "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" opens at the Cinerama Dome. Security Pacific National Bank Photo Collection
Even though the ArcLight complex backs up and almost surrounds the Cinerama Dome, this building is still cool.  It has been preserved and still shows movies...even in cinerama!   The building looks terrific today.  I snapped a few shots.
Click on original advertisement above to see larger version

Have a safe weekend.  Go OUT to the movies.  Movies are your finest entertainment.

1965.  Photo by Howard Kelly.  The Cinerama Dome is just left of center in this aerial photo

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

My Freeway aka The 10

1964. Santa Monica Freeway under construction at La Cienega and Venice Boulevards. Courtesy of the L.A. Times Photo Archive, UCLA Library.

I used to travel the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) from Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles to Cloverfield Boulevard in Santa Monica daily when I worked at HBO. HBO moved from Century City (7 minutes from my house) to Santa Monica 15 years ago.  This is an eight mile trip.  On light traffic days it took me 15 minutes.  On heavy traffic days my drive could last more than one hour each way.  Needless to say, I am delighted to be retired and not making that daily drive. 
I vaguely remember when the Santa Monica Freeway was built, at least the portion that ran south of our neighborhood between Overland Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard.  Most east-west drives during my childhood usually took place on one of the major thoroughfares, Pico, Olympic, Wilshire, Santa Monica Boulevard or Sunset.  We usually took Pico to the Beach by car; Wilshire by bus when I was a pre-teen.  Sunset Boulevard was reserved for our trip to my Grandparents' home in Hollywood.  I even remember going to Palm Springs in the late 1950's primarily on City streets (La Brea Avenue became Hawthorne Boulevard....etc.).
It was a BIG deal when the Santa Monica Freeway could take us all the way to Pacific Coast Highway.  It was like flying to the beach.   I also remember my Dad talking about how so many houses were being torn down along the route of the I-10, mostly in neighborhoods east of us (West Adams to University Park).  Neighborhoods were divided and changed when the freeway was built.  This was definitely progress for our City.  In hindsight, the L.A. Metro system should have been coordinated at the same time!
1962.  Dignitaries and spectators at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the Santa Monica Freeway. Herald Examiner Collection, L.A. Public Library
1965.  California Governor, Pat Brown along with other dignitaries (I spot Tom Bradley and Kenny Hahn) and Beauty Queens at Ribbon-cutting ceremony, Santa Monica Freeway. Herald Examiner Collection, L.A. Public Library

Another momentous time in the history of MY Santa Monica Freeway was in 1994 when the portion of the I-10 near La Cienega Boulevard collapsed during the Northridge earthquake.  This collapse forced people back onto our City streets to traverse town just like the old days!  Thankfully, the I-10 was repaired quickly and back to traffic as usual.

1994.  Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, UCLA

1994.  AP Photo/Eric Draper

Have fun, cruising the freeways!

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Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Play Music On The Porch Day

I'd heard about Play Music On The Porch Day a few years ago. An artist acquaintance of mine, Brian Mallman  started this movement in 2013. The idea is, "What if for one day everything stopped...and we all just listened to the music?" Here is more from the website:

Even though this seems like a simple idea, if it worked, it could produce profound results. 
So in 2013 we decided to share this idea with the world and to our surprise the idea spread even faster than we could have eve imagined. In 2018 thousands of musicians from at least 60 countries and over 600 cities participated and the movement continues to grow every day. Musicians from across the globe, regardless of their differences, are finding common ground through music.  Play Music On The Porch Day knows that music is powerful and universal. It doesn't matter if you play an Oud, a Guitarrón, a Nyckelharpa, or a Guitar. When you pick up your instrument and start to play the world disappears and you get lost in the sounds. Music goes beyond words. It can transcend the most difficult barriers. It ties us together like a thread through our hearts. Our skin is many colors but music is in our blood, our bones and our soul."
All you have to do is upload a video of playing music outside on the last Saturday in August  and tag it #playmusicontheporchday.
I participated last year with a short little solo ditty. This year, I thought it would be wonderful to involve my Ukulele Workshop in this online event! Cali Rose is our teacher and she was all for the idea. We'd been practicing a short version of "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris. A while back, when we were practicing these riffs in class, I noticed that the song, "Hanky Panky" by  Tommy James and the Shondells shared the same chord progression as "Wipe Out." I started playing and singing it in class. We ended up sandwiching "Hanky Panky" between our version of "Wipe Out" and a hit was made! This is the medley that we performed for Play Music On The Porch Day.
My wonderful husband, Larry, set up chairs for us in the back parking lot at Boulevard Music in Culver City after our regular Workshop meeting and he shot the video. It's not a perfect rendition, but it's HONEST! We had fun and that's what is important! Thank you to Ellie, Cali, Carol, Jim, Marissa, Joe, Deb, Debbie and Ron for joining me in Play Music On The Porch Day! Larry has named us THE HANKY PRANKSTERS!
You can see more videos of people around the world playing music on their porches by searching the hashtag: #playmusicontheporchday. There are many uploads to Instagram and Facebook. Thank you, Brian Mallman for inventing this international tradition!

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Monday, September 02, 2019

Labor Day

Female workers in Labor Day Parade, NYC, 1936. NY Daily News, Getty Images
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 over 45 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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