Charity Preshow and Reception with John Moran Auctioneers March 16

Flyer header for the event, click to embiggen
Flyer header for the event, click to embiggen

If you love the California and American Fine Art movements this is an event not to be missed.  John Moran Auctioneers formerly of Pasadena has moved its showroom and activities to Monrovia.  The draw…lots of them and yes, pun intended, bringing them to my corner of the SGV.

They are previewing several paintings my California and American masters that will be in their formal auction on March 22.  The preview show is a charity event, your admission is tax deductible with the proceeds to be split between the Volunteer Center of the San Gabriel Valley and Monrovia Association of Fine Arts. The divided proceeds will be used by MAFA for its at-risk teen art workshop program and the Volunteer Center for its Make a Difference Day outreach. Included in your price of admission is food, wine and a catalog of the Fine Art offerings.  To purchase your ticket you may do so HERE.

DEETS: March 16, 5-7PM  John Moran Auctioneers, 145 E Walnut Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016  Admission:$50 (tax deductible)

Gold Line extension opens Saturday March 5

Last fall the Foothill Extension signed over the tracks to Metro and testing began.  Testing is nearly over and the grand opening is set for this saturday. Duarte station is the site of the official ribbon cutting and opening at the midway point between Pasadena and the end at Azusa.  With the ribbon cutting trains start rolling at noon to the new stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and finally Azusa.

Monrovia plans on making a day of it.   Bands, food tents, craft tents in the area around the train depot known officially as “Station Square”  Their ceremony is set to start at 11AM Saturday with ribbon cutting at 11:30 and first train rolling in at noon.  To ensure the community can get to the fun down at Station Square they will be running a free shuttle from Old Town Monrovia down to the station activities.

Metro to celebrate the day has made the Gold Line a free ride from noon to midnight on Saturday.  This could be your chance to visit the SGV and cities along the route to see what makes them different and special.  Just remember if traveling here from other lines you will need to have your TAP card filled and loaded as those lines will not be free.  Failing to tap your TAP can be a big fine.

 

 

Bid for Olympic games includes new logo and slogan

Logo for the 2024 Olympics
Logo for the 2024 Olympics

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti revealed yesterday the new logo for the cities bid to be the host city for the 2024 Olympic games.

It features and upward stretched angel soaring to the sun in colors of our often magnificent sunrises and sunsets.  The slogan revealed also yesterday is “L.A.’s Brightest Star”

Full article and press conference clip can be found HERE.

I missed the last games and don’t intend to miss this set of games if we get them.   The investment required may seem daunting, but it means jobs while constructing and venues for after the games that will benefit the city.  I’m jazzed at the prospect of them returning, are you?

Traffic jam from hell this weekend DTLA

Detour route outlined around DTLA starting tonight.
Detour route outlined around DTLA starting tonight.

I know they’re calling it #101slowjam where a section of the 101 on the east side is closed for the demo of the 6th street bridge.  However, last I took the 110 around DTLA, which is their intended detour route, things were at a standstill crawl and it wasn’t even a peak drive time.

My suggestion is if you need to be downtown this weekend during the 40 hour closure you use metro trains and buses as its going to be a hellish drive.  If the intent is catch the 5 or 60 from there find a better spot to grab it and avoid the congestion downtown.  This is going to be a long 40 hour closure.

Helpful Honda guys help my favorite local charity

https://youtu.be/sWs7ROc3uhc

How cool is this.  A charity that helps people here in the SGV and is near and dear to my heart got a big help from the Helpful Honday Guys.  The publicity for the brand aside, its nice to see Torrance based Honda and its local dealers step up and help the entire community they do business in.  This is what a good corporate citizen does.  Thanks Honda.

Foothill Unity Center is always in need of some help…you can visit them here for ways to help them out.

Happy New Year Los Angeles

B2 Bomber buzzes my 'hood

Its that time of year again.  The SGV just KNOWS its the New Year when a B2 bomber flies down over the Rose Parade route and on down the 210 before they turn it to its home base.  The rest of you get to watch it on TV.  Yeah, we’re special.

A lot of cool stuff is happening in Los Angeles this coming year.  Sometime this month the NFL is meeting to talk about moving not one but THREE teams to Los Angeles.  Feetball isn’t my thing except for the odd Packers game and the Superbowl but a ton of Angelenos are terribly excited by the prospect so I am for them.

The iconic 6th street bridge falls this month sometime to be replaced by something new spanning the Los Angeles River.  On the topic of the river…the Corp of Engineers signed off on a plan to turn the river back into a natural stream bed replete with trees and parkways along its course to the sea.

The Gold Line extension opens all the way to Azusa March 5.  The Expo line this spring makes it all the way to SaMo.  Progress in spite of ourselves.  Personally I can’t wait as it will be possible to make a quick jaunt to SaMo from the SGV to lunch with a dear friend instead of spending hours on the 10 trying to get there.

Of course this is a big city and room for lots of voices telling what they saw or did.  Care to join me in sharing your L.A stories?

 

Merry Luna-See: Rare Christmas Day Full Moon Sets On LA

When word hit that Christmas morning would bring with it a rare full moon (last one to happen on December 25: 1977), of course I got up in time so you wouldn’t have to and snapped it (click the pics below to enlargify) setting over the ridge to the west of our humble Silver Lake abode.

The first shot is plain sight from the porch, the latter two at about 40x magnification through a scope, with the last one getting photobombed by a palm tree. So LA! Happy Holidays!
moon1

moon2

moon3

School v. Tool Revisited

Screengrab from LATimes.comThis story in today’s Los Angeles Times (link) explores the incident from which I derived a foundation-level disdain for Donald Trump, and I, like much of 1989 Los Angeles, was only all too relieved when his proposed tower plan was killed.

It’s understandable given Trump’s recent and meteoric rise as a politician that the article’s tone is chest-thumpy about how he “got schooled,” but still it’s interesting (and disappointing) given the ultimate loss of the Ambassador Hotel. The irony, of course, is that at the time of the clash the subtext of the LAUSD’s efforts to build public opinion against the project wasn’t just how distasteful it was for Trump to erect a quarter-mile phallic monument to himself, but that the Ambassador deserved the far better fate of being preserved and repurposed as a school, rather than razed in vein for so vain an endeavor.

Here’s a surprise: Turned out school and civic officials were rather disingenuous in their commitment to preserving the historic landmark. And while one could well argue that the new school there now is better than a giant tool and how, what we’ve learned a quarter-century after Donald’s failed deal is that  the Ambassador was doomed to be collateral damage either way.

Sneak peak blogathon at “A Christmas Memory”

Buddy (Jeff Scott Carey) and Anna Stabler (Theresa Ford) reunite at play opening. click to embiggen
Buddy (Jeff Scott Carey) and Anna Stabler (Theresa Ford) reunite at play opening. click to embiggen

Last night was the sneak preview blogathon at the Sierra Madre Playhouse for “A Christmas Memory” based on a short story by Truman Capote.  This is a musical with live musicians, not canned sound tracks.

I was captured from the get go with this play.  The performances by the cast were engaging and brought the story to life.  To avoid spoilers I’ll not give away too much of the plot or story line. The setting is a man’s boyhood home and sequences between the now and his boyhood spent in rural Alabama raised by cousins in the depression.  The story is about a man returning “home” after being gone a long time for the funeral of a cousin who raised him.  Its an interesting story of familial love and bonding, with adventures and making fruitcake.

The latter is central to the story and the song “Fruitcake Weather” is lively and just adds to the story line. Young Buddy (Ian Branch) and Sook (Diane Kelber) have a bond that is magical and plays out well on stage.

The music gets a big round of applause, but one of the best sequences in the production is when the cast breaks out the ukelele’s and busts out into song.  Fun, well done and did I mention fun?

To read more about the cast and production team visit their website HERE. The Sierra Madre Playhouse has another hit on its hands here.  The play has already sold out for Friday and Saturday night its opening weekend.  You can still get tickets for Sunday and the remaining dates (the play closes December 27) via the Playhouse HERE.

Deets Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre CA

More pics from the blogathon in the a flickr album

What you missed at L.A Auto Show Press Days

One the things you get in Press Days of the Los Angeles Auto Show that you don’t get in the public days is the grand reveals and Green Car Drives. It is physically impossible as a party of one to hit every press conference so I have to pick and choose which to attend so I can get in and see all the cars on display and photograph them.  Trust me its a lot of work and not all party and booze and great food.  There is some of that, but the thrust of the 2 day event is press conferences and not all are wowsers.

Audi was a real surprise.  Instead of the ususal hype and bluster, they started with an apology for the current diesel kerfuffle with fudged testing vs operation parameters.  They promised to earn their customers respect back.  Then they went into the discussion on the future of Audi relying on electric cars, first to come is the A3 E-tron and soon to follow an all electric SUV the E-tron Quattro in a few years.  By 2025 Audi expects 25% of all cars they sell to be electric. Continue reading “What you missed at L.A Auto Show Press Days”

2015 L.A. Auto Show Highlights

First up…Chevy’s Volt took the green car of the year award in a ceremony held Thursday Morning.  Later I got to drive it and was impressed.  Smoother ride, smoother transition back and forth between EV and gas mode, with much more time in pure EV mode than the prior version.  Add in a much more refined, high end materials and fit in finish inside this car is nothing like its hard edged predecessor.  I can see easily why it won “Green Car of the Year” for its technilogical and creature comfort advancements.  Nice job Chevy.

Continue reading “2015 L.A. Auto Show Highlights”

Elio P5 best kept secret to be revealed at L.A Auto Show

We know little of this car other than an entry on the schedule of premieres during Press Days of the L.A. Auto Show coming up in 2 short weeks.  Elio is a new car company the P5 is their debut car.  Little is known.  Rumors abound.  Its a 3 wheel car, .9liter 3 cylnder, 80+mpg, 0-60 in under 10 seconds, top speed over 100. This is either going to be the greatest thing since the Tesla to make us change how we think about cars or will will be another blip on the radar that we snicker over like the Dale.  I fear the latter as with “cheap” gas again and a resurgance of guzzing SUV sales and falling hybrid sales, but we’ll see.  It may just wow us.

The L. A. Auto Show is open to the public 11/20-29 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Buy your tickets now and avoid the lines at the ticket booths.  While there judge for yourself if the Elio Motors P5 is the future or a blip.

Operation Save a Vet launches this Friday – start your Holiday Giving early

Sergeant Major Acosta of Operation Save a Vet. Photo by D'Andra Jay
Sergeant Major Acosta of Operation Save a Vet. Photo by D’Andra Jay

I met Gayle Montgomery quite a while back and impressed with the depth of concern she has for her fellow human beings.  Through her job she met Sergeant Major Acosta.  A disabled Vet who lost his eyesight during a batle in the Middle East.  Gayle also works on a local committee trying to find solutions to our homeless problem and became aware that a large percentage of our homeless are Vets with no resources to help themselves.  Sergeant Major and Gayle got to talking about the problems the expected El Nino will bring for them.  Here are a few of the things they discussed.

  • Homelessness in Vets was reduced from 4 years ago. Now 1 in 10 who sleep on the streets is a veteran.
  • There has been a 6% spike in the last year of homeless veterans, probably attributable to the spiraling cost of housing in combination with the draw down.
  • The largest concentration of homeless Vets anywhere in our nation is in LA County where there are over 4,000 Vets who sleep on the street.
  • It is the position of the group that has who have joined hands in lockstep across a wide geographical area, that no person who honorably served our nation should have to sleep on the streets.
  • No person who served our nation should have to suffer such adverse weather conditions without supplies and without knowing that, Gayle’s employer is Glad to Be of Service to those who faithfully served us.
  • This project very closely parallels the Soldiers Angels Program which serves those on the battlefield. This project serves those who were on the battlefield, came home, and have had difficulty reintegrating into society.

From that conversation came the idea to create Thank a Vet Inc and their first mission  “Operation Save a Vet”.  It will consist of a multipronged approach to help the homeless vets trying to survive on the streets during the coming rainy season.  First is getting in kind materials donated to them for distribution.  Second is to raise funds for care and shelter for these vets, men and women trying to cope with life outside the military. Continue reading “Operation Save a Vet launches this Friday – start your Holiday Giving early”

Always…Patsy Cline comes to a close at Sierra Madre Playhouse

Sometimes magic happens on stage.  This time around it hit home at Sierra Madre Playhouse with the production of “Always…Patsy Cline”.   The cast was magical and I was tickeled beyond belief to been on the sidelines watching the cast grow into their characters and bring this production to life.  Some 4000 people from all over the L.A Metro and OC saw the play.  You can scroll through for my review from the soft opening.

Actors Cori Cable Kidder (Patsy Cline) and Nikki D’Amico (Louise Seger) gave heartfelt thanks at the end of the show.  Artistic Director Christian Lebano and Managing Director, Estelle Campbell also chimed in with their thoughts on the play.  Enjoy their closing comments and consider visiting the Sierra Madre Playhouse for their next production opening later this month, A Christmas Memory.

Recap of this past weekends Celebrate the Arts and ChalkFest

This weekend was a terrifc weekend, if you forget the blazing heat and attended the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts 52nd Annual Celebrate the Arts and first ever ChalkFest.

Celebrate the Arts incorporated several first as I outlined the other day.  What makes these events fun isn’t so much the terrific art, but the ability to see artists working on their art, demonstrating their technique.  There year there were several artists doing just that.  Glass blower Joshua Smilth wowed folks with his tecnhique.  Metal sculpturist Bill Hyatt continued working on his horse head sculpture a painstaking process of welding dot by dot to build up the face and texture of the horse.

Glass artist Joshua Smith bending glass. click to embiggen
Glass artist Joshua Smith bending glass. click to embiggen

To learn more about ChalkFest and see those artists in their creative zone you need to make the jump.  Continue reading “Recap of this past weekends Celebrate the Arts and ChalkFest”