Thursday, March 19, 2009

Griffith Observatory

Since I hadn't been since it reopened, I decided I needed to visit the Griffith Park Observatory. The inside is beautiful, and I'm always a fan of Hugo Ballin murals. In the new section, there is a cool timeline from Big Bang to present, stylized by a stream of costume jewelry in celestial shapes. Yes, I visit the Observatory and immediately go to the rhinestones! I picked this picture of James Dean because, as a Hoosier myself, Rebel Without A Cause was my first introduction to the Observatory.

Click here to go to their Web site.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tea at the Biltmore

There's something about having a formal tea to make you feel all spoiled. And you have to wear trousers and never jeans as part of the preparation. Tea at the Biltmore is delish, with the tiered stand of sandwiches, pastries and desserts, along with the all you care to drink hot tea. The location is beautiful; be sure to wander around the Biltmore ground floor when you're finished. This scarf here is from the display case by the gift shop, with other vintage pieces like room keys, Biltmore Bourbon bottles, and shoe horns. I've had tea at several LA locations, but my best tea was at the Willow Tearoom in Glasgow. If I can't get to Scotland, the Biltmore is a very close second.

Click here to go to their Web site.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Monster Park

Officially named Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel, Monster Park is a playground from the way-back machine! This park comes from a time (1965) when kids were allowed to play on concrete and didn't have any fancy-schmancy ground-up rubber tires to soften their falls. Two slides are like this dragon's smoothed concrete surface, while metal slides come out of a whale's mouth and a snail's mouth. Again, no wimpy plastic slides for the Gen X kids! Kids zip down the slide right into the sand. There's also a Loch Ness monster, an octopus, a shipwreck scene, a starfish and some dolphins. I heard about Monster Park on NPR, when the site was being considered for a sports field. Locals petitioned, and the site was saved. For now. Go see it for yourself!

No Web site at this time. Park is located at the corner of Wells and Ramona in San Gabriel. Phone is 626-308-2878.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Anything Charles Phoenix

I first experienced Charles Phoenix at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in May, 2005. He was doing a slide show for the LA Conservancy Historic Theater Committee. After laughter equivalent to 1,000 or more sit-ups, I was hooked. I've since seen multiple versions of his slide shows, most recently at the Moonlight Rollerway (with a full-on roller skating performance), and at the Petersen Automotive Museum (surrounded by vintage camper trailers). In this picture, Charles is Master of Ceremonies at the 2009 Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena. Yes, that is a Pepto Bismal pink metallic suit he's wearing with Mickey Mouse ears! Seek out Charles, as he is always a hoot.

Click here to go to the Web site.

Superheroes at the Skirball

I came across the Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero 1938 - 1950: The Golden Age of Comic Books exhibit while simultaneously reading in the History Detectives book (based on the PBS series where they investigate items for historical significance) about Superman's original gig as a villain. Huh?! The exhibit doesn't "go there," but it was fun to see the original art and learn more about the genre. Highly recommended. Exhibit is up through August 9th.

Click here to go to their Web site.