Friday, October 31, 2008

Portraits Drawn in Negative

TRANSIENCE: In Anthony Goicolea's "Related III," glass bottles feature portraits drawn in negative. The artist engages historical forces and the slippery process of remembering.

It's been many things to many people

L.A.'s Pershing Square has gone through many renovations over the years. With more people moving downtown, a return to more grass and trees is envisioned.

Pershing Square lit up during the Spectacle of Lights, Christmas 1956.

A northerly view of the city's oldest park, circa 1915. It was officially designated Pershing Square in 1918.

A 1885 file photograph of Pershing Square. The park was then known as Central Park. This view is northwest from 6th and Hill streets, with the old Normal School building in the background at left. At left center is St. Paul's Church, which was torn down to make way for the Biltmore Hotel.

Last flight leaves Berlin's Tempelhof Airport

Reporting from Berlin -- The last flight lifted off from Tempelhof Airport late Thursday, ending an era of aviation that spanned World War II, the Cold War and the rebirth of the German capital.

The future of the 900-acre site is uncertain. Proposals have included turning the airfield and building -- one of the world's biggest and a historic landmark -- into a luxury spa, condos, a museum, a park, a trade center or even the centerpiece of a new Olympic bid.

After World War II, Tempelhof became a major U.S. Air Force base. It was the central point of a massive U.S.-led airlift in 1948 when the Soviets blockaded all land and water traffic to Berlin in an attempt to squeeze Western allies out of the city.

Just before midnight Thursday, a DC-3 "Candy Bomber" and a Junkers Ju-52, both from the 1930s, took off.

Then the runway lights went black.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dia de Los Muertos festivities on Olvera Street

Olvera Street will celebrate the dead with colorful paintings, vivid decorations and flavorful foods during its Día de los Muertos festivities. With two parades, piñatas, strolling mariachis and more, the two-day event will continue a tradition dating to the Aztecs. Olvera Street and Broadway, downtown L.A. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Free.

A New City Arriving in Las Vegas

It began almost 2 years ago as the vision of individuals and a company with the drive to do what it would take to create something never seen or thought possible before. To create its vision, MGM MIRAGE selected the best urban planners and 8 of the worlds best architects to create 1,200 feet of frontage on the Las Vegas Strip. The project has now been named the CityCenter, Las Vegas’ largest development ever planned.

According to Kerzner the project will be in the design and planning phase for the next year and construction is expected to begin in 2009 with an expected completion in 2012. The new resort will take up 40 of the 78 acres of land owned by MGM MIRAGE. The project is located at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. Kirk Kerzner will lead the planning and design of this project. On Aug. 22, 2007 MGM MIRAGE and Dubai World announced their intent to begin a long term relationship where Dubai World will invest approximately $2.7 billion investment in CityCenter and up to $2.4 billion in purchases of MGM MIRAGE common stock. The mega companies will enter into a 50/50 split venture in the Las Vegas CityCenter project in Las Vegas and Dubai World will acquire a significant minority equity position in MGM MIRAGE.

CityCenter will consist of residential, resort, and retail complex’s. It is currently being developed by MGM MIRAGE on the Las Vegas Strip. MGM MIRAGE owns and operates 17 properties located in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan, and has investments in three other properties in Nevada, New Jersey and Illinois.

BAMBI: Standing the Test of Time

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT THE MUCH-LOVED DISNEY FILM: David Thomson, the greatest living film historian said: "this is the forest made of perfumed rain and balmy banks. . ." and author Allen Barra said "[It] may be the most beautiful film Disney has ever made, as well as the toughest ordeal for any of his characters."

A Frank Gehry-designed museum

A Frank Gehry-designed museum can rise in Jerusalem on a site that was once a Muslim cemetery, Israel's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, clearing the way for L.A.'s Simon Wiesenthal Center to build a Holy Land counterpart to its Museum of Tolerance on Pico Boulevard.

The $250-million project had been delayed since early 2006, when builders unearthed bones. Arab leaders in Israel sued to stop the project and were supported, in an unusual alliance, by some ultra-Orthodox Jews with firm beliefs against disturbing graves.

The court found that the cemetery dates back 300 to 400 years but fell into disuse after Israel gained statehood in 1948. The court said that since there had been no objections in 1960, when the city built a parking lot over part of the cemetery, it would not block construction of the museum on the same property.

The Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance will not have the prominent Holocaust remembrance theme of its L.A. counterpoint because that would duplicate Israel's memorial, Yad Vashem. Instead, said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Wiesenthal Center, the goal is to create "a great landmark promoting the principles of mutual respect and social responsibility." The 3-acre campus will include two museums, a library-education center, a conference center and a 500-seat performing arts theater.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Alone in The Dusk"

"The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.”~J.W Goethe

(Photo by Azmi AAM (Buussyy) on Flickr. Click on the link below for more exciting images by Azmi AAM (Buussyy).

"The Beauty of the Autumn Rose..."

"For an impressionist to paint from nature is not to paint the subject, but to realize sensations."

Paul Cezanne

(Photo by Theoro on Flickr. For more spectacular photo images by Theoro click on the link below:

At Marineland of Canada

What a rush! One of the tallest freefall tower rides in the world, Sky Screamer delivers some wild thrills. Perched atop a 150-foot hill, the 320 foot tower provides a thrilling ride and offers some spectacular views of Niagara Falls.

"le flamand rose, Marineland"

Notice the fine detail in this extraordinary image, "le flamand rose, Marineland" by Michel Corboz. To visit his magical website click on the link below:

All Gone . . . almost

Not much remains of the once popular Marineland of the Pacific, shown here at the height of its popularity.

Marineland, which opened in 1954, for many years provided the primary tourist attraction in Rancho Palos Verdes. The attractions of Marineland included the 320-foot Skytower soaring into the blue ocean-side sky at the park\\\'s entrance, the splashy acrobatics of Orky and Corky the killer whales, Bubbles the pilot whale, and snorkeling the curved, faux-rocky recesses of Baja Reef amid rainbows of tropical fish. Marineland was only the second oceanarium in the United States when it opened to the public Aug. 28, 1954. The first was Marine Studios in Florida, which was originally built to photograph animals and simulate the ocean for motion pictures -- but soon became a major tourist attraction. Marineland provided great fun over the years until it closed in 1986.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"An Elegant and Unaltered Survivor"

The Los Angeles Orpheum Theatre opened on February 15, 1926. Built at a then staggering cost of $2 million dollars, it was the most elaborate vaudeville house ever constructed in southern California. It was designed by G. Albert Lansburgh of San Francisco. This elegant theatre has survived 75 years without any damaging alterations or make-overs in structure or style.

The organ is an original installation Wurlitzer, Style 240 with 13 ranks (Opus 1821). This three-manual instrument was installed some two years after the opening of the theatre, and a Post Horn was added in recent years. The instrument is one of only three remaining original theatre organ installations in theatres in Southern California. Today, the organ is managed by William Denton and maintained by an all-volunteer crew headed by Cliff Schwander. Regulation and tuning is handled by Tom DeLay,

The Orpheum stage was built to accommodate the largest vaudeville acts, with the most modern lighting and stage riggings of its era. There are six floors of dressing rooms serviced by the backstage elevator. Facilities were included to house circus animals which over the years included elephants, tigers, and lions.

Unfortunately, vaudeville was already rapidly fading in popularity by the time the Orpheum opened, and the theatre soon replaced live entertainment with first-run films. The effects of the Depression and competition from other nearby theatres forced the closing of the Orpheum at the end of 1932.

Los Angeles showman Sherill Corwin had a vision that vaudeville could live again if combined with motion pictures. That dream became a reality and the Orpheum reopened in 1933, showcasing performers such as Judy Garland, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ann Miller, Donald O'Connor, Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, and others. For the next 20 years, vaudeville survived in Los Angeles.

Vaudeville acts finally ended in the early 50s. By the 60s, the Broadway area had become a major Hispanic marketplace and the Orpheum introduced Spanish language films that proved successful through the 70s and early 80s. But by the 90s, suburban multiplexes had forced the historic Orpheum and many of the major downtown Los Angeles theatres to close.

The Future Appears Bright

The grand old lady at 842 South Broadway was rejuvenated at the age of 75 by Steve Needleman, whose family has owned the property since 1964. The face-lift, begun in January 2001, was unveiled the following October with Swinging at the Orpheum, a gala dance party that benefited the nonprofit Los Angeles Conservancy. The event raised more than $135,000 for the preservation group.

The doors of the refurbished Orpheum Theatre are now open for all types of gatherings and shows that require a large venue. Walk into the refurbished lobby and you can see plenty. You see a 1926 vaudeville house's past, and a bright future. It is a beautiful sight. Needleman spent $3 million bringing the Orpheum back from frumpdom. The renovations included a new orchestra pit, plush auditorium seating, refurbished dressing rooms and restrooms, new air conditioning, lighting, sound systems, and stage rigging. For the first time since World War II, the gigantic 20,000-watt rooftop sign is illuminated.

Compiled by Dale Wood

Dubai has plans for the A C Towers

The AC Towers is a cluster of three supertowers rising above 100 stories and are connected at the base with an atrium, and skybridges. Being a mixed use project, it spreads over an area of 800,000 to 900,000 square meters and comprises residential, commercial, hotel, and entertainment space, with a capacity to accommodate upto 6000 people. A canal and waterway that pass through the AC Towers will create open space for educational and theatrical activities.

These towers will stand out among all the other towers currently being developed in Dubai, due to their eco-friendliness, sustainability, energy efficiency and intelligent building systems.

According to new technology being employed, the buildings will draw air from the top floors that are 10 degree cooler and will spray them to lower levels where the temperature is higher. This unique technique has never been employed in any other supertowers in the world to date.

The new buildings have been so designed that they save energy by 40 to 60 percent and get zero level in energy consumption. Completion ???

“This is a residence that will be the pinnacle of 21st Century living” commented Donald Trump Jr.

The Trump International Hotel and Tower features an observatory viewing gallery and a number of five star restaurants located at the apex of the building, which will offer spectacular views of Dubai and the Persian Gulf. A number of Sky Gardens – landscaped lobby areas – positioned on a number of floors throughout the property will provide further viewing points.

A Sky Lobby, suspended above the shallow, tranquil canal that flows up the centre of the trunk and the state-of-the-art monorail that traverses the length of the island, will create a grand sense of arrival, whilst lower floor retail will provide a natural progression of The Golden Mile, the exclusive residential and retail boulevard which lines the trunk’s west side.

“The design also features a number of boutique offices, available for purchase or rental”, Donald Trump Jr. continued. “These will be arguably the most prestigious business addresses in Dubai.”

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem added, “Like The Palm Jumeirah, the Trump International Hotel & Tower will be a powerful symbol of Dubai’s intent to become a 21st century showcase of daring and breathtaking pieces of architecture. Once complete, it will be an inspirational landmark, an icon of Dubai and a representation of the Middle East: prosperous, dynamic and successful.” Completion is expected in 2009.

West Ocean in Long Beach is open for business

West Ocean in Long Beach is newly completed. (Tower 1 has 29 stories with 132 condos and Tower 2 has 20 stories with 114 condos). The view is spectacular.

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Brilliant chemistry and unforgettable car chases"

Starsky And Hutch - Produced by the late great Aaron Spelling, this classic cop series roared onto the small screen in the US way back in 1975. The cast (including David Soul as Hutch, Paul Michael Glaser as Starsky and Antonio Fargas as Huggy Bear) had brilliant chemistry and the show featured full-throttle car chases, offbeat humour and a hip vibe.

The groom wore a bedsheet

The world's heaviest man tied the knot in Monterrey, Mexico. Manuel Uribe, who hasn't left his bed in six years, married Claudia Solis in front of more than 400 guests.

A flatbed truck towed the bed decorated with a canopy, flowers and gold-trimmed bows to the wedding.

He wore a white silk shirt with a sheet wrapped around his legs. Solis wore a strapless ivory dress and a tiara.

Uribe tipped the scales in 2006 at 1,230 pounds. He has since shed about 550 of them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Ernst Jünger (March 29, 1895 — February 17, 1998) a German writer, was one of the great personalities of the 20th century immortalized in bronze by the sculptor Arno Breker.

A Glympse of World War I

Clockwise from top: Trenches on the Western Front; a British Mark IV tank crossing a trench; Royal Navy battleship HMS Irresistible sinking after striking a mine at the Battle of the Dardanelles; a Vickers machine gun crew with gas masks, and German Albatros D.III biplanes.

Classical Tradition at the Henry Moore Institute in England

The museum exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute includes "The Wounded" by Arno Breker (1900-1991) and "Seated Youth" by Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881-1919), who committed suicide on March 25, 1919 in Berlin.

Heroes of the French Resistance

Young Resistance Fighter Becomes an Icon

A few years after his death, French leftists marched to honor the legacy of Guy Môquet, a 17-year-old Communist and a participant in the French Resistance, who was executed by the Nazis in 1941.

"his life of espionage and intrigue"

Before his 30th birthday, Robert Furman was assigned to two of the most influential projects of World War II: Construction of the Pentagon, and the Manhattan Project. The engineer, who kept his life of espionage and intrigue a secret until several years ago, died Oct. 14 at 93.

The Brainiest Guy in Baseball

Morris “Moe” Berg, a major league baseball player and a spy, could speak nearly a dozen languages. Though educated at Princeton, the Sorbonne, and Columbia and holding a law degree, it was baseball that gave him the most happiness. When the owner of the Washington Senators was told that catcher Berg could speak seven languages, he replied, “Yeah. I know, and he can’t hit in any of them.” Unfortunately, Berg suffered a knee injury and spent the latter part of his career as a bench warmer. After two years as a Red Sox coach, Berg left baseball on the same day his father died. His father always regarded his son’s choice of career as a waste of fine intellect. Berg’s love of the game caused continual contention between the two men. Berg left baseball to pursue diplomacy and espionage during World War II. He was assigned to the Secret Intelligence branch of the Office of Strategic Services, precursor to the CIA. It has come to light in recent years of the extent of Berg’s work in determining Germany’s atomic bomb capability. The mysterious Moe Berg brought fascination to many and lived the original life that most desire but never attain.

For more "History: unwrapped" click on the link below:

If you're looking for excitement this might be a good bet ???

The Cecil Hotel, minutes from Staples Center, was a favorite haunt of "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez in the 1980s as well as Austrian journalist and fellow serial killer Jack Unterweger in the 1990s.
It was also the site of a 1962 suicide in which a woman leaped to her death and killed a pedestrian. Two years later, Pershing Square "pigeon lady" Goldie Osgood was killed in her room at the Cecil; the case is unsolved. Today, the hotel touts itself as "The Premier Choice of Affordable Downtown Los Angeles Hotels" on its website; rates start at $70. 640 S. Main St., Los Angeles; (800) 896-5294.

Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother 40 whacks. And when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41. . . .

Karen Zorn and her boyfriend fled their cozy bed-and-breakfast earlier this year. It wasn't that the place was dirty or the neighbors noisy. Zorn says they grabbed their bags and left for a nearby motel after discovering that, apparently, some of the other guests were ghosts.

The couple had just finished checking in to the B&B in Fall River, Mass., when things started to go awry. "We went up to the room and it was freezing cold. It was the coldest room in the house by far. And that kind of spooked us out," she recalls.

Tales of goblins haunting old houses are nothing new. But the former residents of the home in which Zorn and her boyfriend briefly stayed have more reason than most to be agitated: It's where the 32-year-old Lizzie Borden allegedly hacked her mother and father to death in the late 19th century. The tale of the grisly slayings remains vivid, thanks in part to the macabre rhyme that children still recite:

Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother 40 whacks. And when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41. . . .

The rhyme may be good for skipping rope, but it's not accurate. The historically correct version of events is shared with visitors to the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, a rambling, eight-bedroom manse that doubles as a museum during the daytime, before overnight guests arrive. When it was built in 1845, it was one of the finest homes in Fall River, a then-thriving community known for its textile mills.

During tours, visitors learn that Andrew Borden, a wealthy banker, was struck 10 times. His wife, Sarah, suffered 18 blows. They weren't delivered by an ax, either; the police thought a broken hatchet found in the basement was the murder weapon. Although Lizzie's name is infamous as a result of the shocking murders, a jury found her innocent.

"As the night wore on, other weird things started happening," Zorn explains. "At one point, my boyfriend went into the room and he claimed there was a lamp in there rocking back and forth that had turned itself on."

There was more to come.

"We were sitting in bed talking about the creepy things that had happened. And I said, 'What do you say if anything else really freaky happens we just get up and leave?' And he said, 'OK.' And just as we said that, the bedroom door swung open.

"We began to scream," she continues. "Everybody in the house could hear us." Within minutes, the couple was headed to a nearby Best Western.

Zorn and her boyfriend weren't the first people to leave prematurely, and they probably won't be the last, given the home's reported paranormal activity.

The Crystal Cathedral: Still Impressive and Inspirational

The "Crystal Cathedral" in Garden Grove. California.

Click on the link below for more outstanding photos from the Friedman Archives:

Elderhostel for History, Culture and Traditions

Pack your bags and pursue your passion: Chances are, you'll find like-minded people. Lifelong learners age 55 and older might consider Boston-based Elderhostel, which runs educational tours in the U.S. and abroad. Among them is a five-night "San Antonio [Texas]: History, Culture and Traditions," starting at $729 per person, double, or $979 with single supplement, including lodging, lectures, field trips and most meals but not airfare; many dates.

Soloing? Hop a train – it’s a relaxing way to meet fellow travelers and enjoy the passing scenery.

A Majestic Harbor View

What's a sundae without the nuts and cherry on top? A hotel's appeal and value, too, can lie in little things that add up.

Consider the Inn on Mt. Ada on Catalina Island. This imposing 1921 mansion, former home of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., is perched on a hilltop with breathtaking views of Avalon harbor -- and rates to match, starting at $360 plus taxes per night.

But besides your room, the rate includes 24-hour rental of a golf cart to tool around town; breakfast and lunch for two with wine or beer; and nearly round-the-clock snacks. These extras are easily worth more than $100 ???

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Everything a Haunted House should be . . .


‘GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR’: A 9-foot-tall iron replica Statue of Liberty, believed to be about a century old, stands in a poorly lighted square of a rundown suburb of Rio called Vila Kennedy, after the U.S. president.

Jerry Lewis: He's in no hurry for the last laugh

These days, the King of Comedy is graying at the temples and sometimes a little wobbly on his feet. But don't ask him about retirement.

"A break? No, why? You got something better to do?" Jerry Lewis told a reporter Friday who asked if the 82-year-old entertainer was contemplating leaving the stage after more than 60 years of performing.

Lewis was at a news conference in Sydney, Australia, to promote his latest stage show, a retrospective of his career that includes show tunes with a 24-piece band, excerpts from his movies and television shows, and his trademark slapstick comedy.

"Don't you understand that when you croak, it's for a ve-e-e-e-ry long time," Lewis said when asked about retirement. "So you want to get in as much activity as you can before you go."

Jerry Lewis (right) with his old sidekick the late Dean Martin.

"Monster of a Show"

Every Halloween, Rich Correll, the horror movie buff turns his home into a haunted mansion, with decorations that include his 1,900-plus collection of horror film memorabilia.
Correll’s dining room is chockablock with his horror movie masks and models. At last count, he had more than 1,700 in his collection. Some of the masks will be worn by the director’s Hollywood pals on Halloween.
A large Dracula print on a window is one of several images that can be seen from the exterior, setting the stage for a creepy aura inside and out.
Lifelike models of "The Dark Knight's" Batman and Joker loom out from a window facing the street

Pamper yourself on Singapore Airlines

On Singapore’s A380, first class means enclosed cabins with fully flat beds separate from the seat. Each cabin has a dining area big enough for two, a large 23-inch LCD monitor and a full-sized wardrobe. Passengers can expect high levels of privacy, as each cabin comes with blinds and sliding doors.
(Singapore Airlines)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Broadway and Maine was to be built in Long Beach

Broadway & Maine Tower 1 (55 stories, 700 condominiums) & Tower 2 (45 stories, 600 condominiums). I wonder where things stand with this project??? If anyone knows, please leave me a comment.

A lot of history here

Built in 1924 for use in 1925’s “The Phantom of the Opera” with Lon Chaney, Stage 28 on the Universal lot has had a role in many films, including “Dracula,” “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” “Torn Curtain,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” — and 1943’s “Phantom of the Opera.”