Be sublime! says ballet mistress Susan Jones, who coached ABT’s ‘Bayadere’

Architecture & Design · Dance
It was nice to hear from Susan Jones, the impassioned ballet mistress of American Ballet Theatre who lately admits to a special job indeed. “For weeks we have worked on every detail of La Bayadère Act 2 Shades,” she shares on Facebook, referring to the famous sequence that opens the second act of “Bayadère,” originally ...

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre buried in chazzerai at TCM Fest

Architecture & Design · Film
It’s still going, more or less. The quaint tradition begun by showman Sid Grauman at his Chinese Theatre (which by some miracle, still stands): hands, feet, and autographs plonked into a square of still-wet cement. The photo above was taken from across Hollywood Boulevard looking toward the footprint ceremony for Cicely Tyson at TCM Fest ...

Dance-dwellers at the Villa Carlotta

Architecture & Design · Dance
When the call came from Hollywood in January 1941, the choreographer Jack Cole, leading his three-member troupe, repaired to Los Angeles tout de suite. So quickly did Cole dispatch his dancers Anna Austin and Florence Lessing to Calilfornia, that Austin wrote in her memoir, “We did not have time to take makeup off.” We had ...

Floating craps game at Vegas’s Sands Hotel reimagined

Architecture & Design · Music
According to author Lynn Zook, who has written two cultural histories of the Las Vegas Strip, the Sands Hotel came to symbolize the Las Vegas of our collective memory. It was here that the color line was broken; here that Sinatra, Martin, Davis and the rest of the Rat Pack held court in the Copa ...

Bullock’s Wilshire former retail glory @ Art Deco Society talk & screening 1

Architecture & Design · Film
A beacon of Art Deco wonderment, the iconic Bullock’s Wilshire Department Store still stands on Wilshire Boulevard. Designed by Parkinson and Parkinson in 1928, the legendary building is considered a preservation success story; it is now repurposed as the Southwestern School of Law’s law library. Eh. Okay. They dare not tear it down because among ...

Chuey House: artful home built for artists by an artist, Richard Neutra

Architecture & Design
Chuey House, at 2460 Sunset Drive in the Hollywood Hills, is on the market. At the same time the Los Angeles Conservancy has nominated the iconic house for designation as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). Neutra designed the glass-and-steel home in 1956 for Josephine Ain Chuey, a poet who’d been married to poet Gregory ...

Go postal gorgeously – Oscar de la Renta stamps

Architecture & Design · Fashion
Yay! The Federal government finally did something! And they did something good. Last February the U.S. Postal Service issued Forever stamps honoring Oscar de la Renta, a native of the Dominican Republic and one of the world’s leading fashion designers. The Oscar de la Renta stamp pane includes 11 images — an evocative black-and-white portrait ...

LACMA ‘Found in Translation’ documents Mexi-Cali design dialogue 1

Architecture & Design · Reviews · Visual arts
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From Sacramento to San Diego, California’s Mexican and Spanish underpinnings are as historic as they are pervasive. We often take those connections for granted, but LACMA’s exhibition “Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915-1985” offers a fascinating view of the influence and confluence between the two cultures in the 20th Century. It’s part ...

Ticket to ride: ‘L.A. Documentaries at Union Station’

Architecture & Design · Film
A wonderful idea: a film screening series in the noble and ghostly ticketing hall at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Where the teaming masses purchased train tickets, over decades, to all destinations north, south, and east. Lately the historic hall has emerged as a creative space. There, in 2013, photographer Dana Ross captured Yuval ...

Ethel Martin water-dances in Billy Rose’s ‘Aquacade’ 1

Architecture & Design · Dance
From an interview with Jack Cole dancers George and Ethel Martin available on sound recording at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Ethel Martin shares memories of working in impresario Billy Rose‘s famed Aquacade revue at the 1939 World’s Fair. Martin found a way to double her income by performing both as ...