Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Yesterday, we had a wonderful family gathering in Marina del Rey with the family.  24 of us sat down to a sumptuous feast!  It's especially fun to see how much all of the little kids have grown.  Pretty soon, there will be NO kids table at Thanksgiving!  Cousins drove in from up and down the coast of California.  Thanks, everyone for making the effort.  It was truly fabulous to see everyone.
The Matriarchs of the Katz Clan, Roz and Mae
Del Rey Yacht Club had a magnificent buffet
We celebrated Thanksgiving AND Chanukah!
To see more pictures, click HERE.  Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Day of Thanks

All of my life, we've observed Thanksgiving with my Mother's side of the family.  Auntie Mae and Uncle Marvin have always hosted the feast.   First, in their duplex on Spalding Drive in Beverly Hills, then in their faboo mid-20th century home in Bel-Air and finally in their  glamorous high-rise on the Wilshire Corridor in Westwood.  For the past 10 years or so, we've been celebrating off-site, either at a local restaurant or at the Del Rey Yacht Club.  This family tradition continues later today.  24 of us will convene in Marina del Rey for our family Thanksgiving feast.  Many members of our family are gone, but we have new ones to replace the departed.  It will be a wonderful celebration of life and gratefulness.  I love my family!
Here are a few photos that my Dad took during the early 1960s at our Bel-Air celebrations.

Starting in the front, clockwise:  Ponytail girl is Janet, Ken Bloom, barely visible Ken Ronney, Phil, Marilyn, Ellen, not sure whose hand that is, probably Carolyn, Uncle Bob1961, Bel Air
L-R:  Grandma's hands, Grandpa, Marvin, Marvin's mother, Fannie, Roz's red head!  1961, Bel Air
L-R, buffet line:  The edge of Phil's head, Marilyn, Grandpa, Grandma, Ellen, Laurie, Auntie Celia, Janet.  Aunt Celia must be warning us about something!  1963, Bel Air
Mrs. Goodson, Janet, Grandpa and Ellen, after dinner.  1963, Bel-Air

I do not look thrilled in any of these photos.  Must be pre and post-turkey grogginess!  Happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends.  Celebrate the good times and the bad times too.  It's all about enjoying every single moment!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Yarny Thanksgiving

Knitted Cotton Thanksgiving Placemat

Yes, I'm lucky.  I do NOT have to cook a Thanksgiving feast for 24 people.  My family eats out on this day.  We'll be convening tomorrow at 5pm in Marina del Rey for our party.  I do look forward to seeing everyone.
So.......since I won't be slicing, dicing, roasting, baking, etc. tomorrow, I plan to knit and crochet!  Here are a few things on my plate, so to speak!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  I'm thankful for each and every one of my blog-followers, in addition to my family and friends.   I hope you have FANTASTIC leftovers.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sci-Fi in Santa Monica

On Sunday, Larry and I went to a screening of "The Ackermonster Chronicles" at the Aero Theater (Cinenmatheque) in Santa Monica.  I haven't been to the Aero since I lived in Santa Monica, 1979-1982.   It's a lovely little theater, originally built in 1939 by Donald Douglas of Douglas Aircraft as a 24-hour entertainment hub for aircraft personnel who worked shifts around the clock at the nearby plant.  Eventually, American Cinematheque took over the theater, updated the mechanics and it's now their West side venue (main location is The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood).
The Aero is a sweet little theater with a terrific swirled terrazzo design in the outer foyer!
Terrazzo Foyer

Many participants in this documentary were in the audience for the screening.  There was a panel discussion after the film about Forrest J Ackerman, the subject of the docu.  Here's a bit of info from Wikipedia:  Also called "Forry," "The Ackermonster," "4e" and "4SJ," Ackerman was central to the formation, organization, and spread of science fiction fandom, and a key figure in the wider cultural perception of science fiction as a literary, art and film genre. Famous for his word play, he coined the genre nickname "sci-fi."
Larry had visited Forry's last two homes in Los Feliz.  I visited his larger Los Feliz home, dubbed The Ackermansion, twice.  Every Saturday, Forry would hold court in his living room and tell stories about his years in the business.  His house was chock full of memorabilia.  He was a non-stop collector of movie props, scripts, photo stills, costumes and more.  His science-fiction oriented memorabilia is legendary among sci-fi buffs and other collectors.  It was mind-blowing to visit his home and take the tour!  It's a field trip I'll never forget.  Here's a short video shot at Forry's home.
The documentary, "The Ackermonster Chronicles" is a bit campy (so was Forry), but contains tons of information about Forry's life, his friends, his business and his hobbies. The film is quite a tribute to a most interesting man. 

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial

Dapper Larry at the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial, DTLA
On Saturday we drove downtown to the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial.  I've seen this relief mural all my life.  It was constructed during the 1950's on Hill Street.  This is a stretch of Hill Street near the freeway.  It's very easy to zoom past this and never even notice the mural.  It's quite beautiful.   Here is Wikipedia's description: 
The Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial is a large stone memorial wall built in 1957 on part of the original location of Fort Moore facing North Hill Street in Downtown Los Angeles.
As the largest bas-relief military monument in the United States, it honors the Mormon Battalion,  the U.S. 1st Dragoons, and the New YorkVolunteers who raised the American flag over the fort on July 4, 1847, at the first Independence Day in Los Angeles.
Funded by the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Board of Education and the Department of Water and Power, the memorial was designed by Kazumi Adachi and Dike Nagano and dedicated on July 3, 1957. Featuring four different panels, a 78 feet (24 m) by 45 feet (14 m) terra cotta panel designed by  Henry Kreis is the most prominent feature and portrays the July 4 event.
Other panels represent the agricultural and spiritual foundation of the region; transportation that shaped the city at the end of the 19th century; and the crucial role that water and electricity play in a large modern city.

Our friend Regina invited us to her birthday party on this historic site!  Regina's husband, Hardy, arranged everything.  He even wore an identical Mexican-American War uniform like  the soldiers in this mural!  
"Major" Hardy and the Birthday Girl, Regina

There was music, passed hot hor d'oeuvres, drinks, massive amounts of tables and chairs, heaters, a huge birthday cake and fabulous lighting!  We saw many friends and had a wonderful time!

Steven and Jeffrey
Loren, Pete, John and Linda

We were warned to dress in WARM cocktail attire.  It is November and quite chilly at night in Los Angeles.
Party Attire
 It was a clear and beautiful night in Downtown Los Angeles!  Happy Birthday, Regina!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Vintage Photo Friday

JFK walking through the lobby of the L.A. Biltmore Hotel, 1960

Just in case you've been under a rock, have NOT watched TV, listened to the radio or been on the internet this week, today is the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Texas.
The 1960 Democratic National Convention was held in Los Angeles.  Kennedy was youthful, handsome, smart and charming.  Below are a few photos from the Los Angeles Times photo archive detailing JFK's visit to Los Angeles during the convention.

JFK at the L.A. Biltmore Hotel, 1960

L.A. Sports Arena, 1960

JFK shaking hands with City Councilman, Tom Bradley, L.A.
More photos from the L.A. Times archives here.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

License to Snap

I spotted a few good vanity license plates this week, but my reporters in the field definitely came through with some great ones!
Vodka Snob
It took me a few miles to figure out this plate:  ENLIGHTEN ME
LA OUT.  Not sure of the intention
Star Reporter, Brenda spotted this plate in Beverly Hills of Course!
Beverly Hills is loaded with vanity plates.  This one submitted by Stephanie.  We figured it out...TTTTTT is Six Ts...60!  Yes, buy a Lexus when you turn 60.  Excellent Idea!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Throwback Sunday

WAHA Residents Open Mic

On Sunday afternoon I joined my crochet buddies at the Blu Elefant Cafe in West Adams for a couple of hours of yarny pursuits.   We were sitting on the couches near the windows for about an hour, when more people than usual starting entering the Cafe.  Turns out, the West Adams Heritage Association was having an open-mic mixer on Sunday from 2-4.  Yes, it was a throwback Sunday that reminded me of my days sitting around various coffee houses of my youth while knitting, sipping and listening to folk musicians sing their original tunes.

This group of residents from WAHA are a particularly preservation-minded group.  A few people looked familiar to me from recent L.A. Conservancy gatherings.  Everyone came over and asked about our knit group.  People were talking about renovations to their historic homes in the area.  A few WAHA residents got up and entertained the group.  It was a delightful afternoon with community-minded folks!
Crocheters, Dommy and Diane

Join us on the third Sunday of every month from 1-3 pm at the Blu Elefant Cafe, 2024 West Washington Blvd., L.A.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Maple Eggs with Crispy Bacon

On Saturday, we celebrated Julie's birthday with lunch at Littlefork.  The restaurant is located in a very non-descript, gray bunker on Wilcox and Selma in the heart of Hollywood.  We sat on the patio.  Even though there was a chill in the air, the patio is protected and was quite comfortable.
Many food photos follow!  Lunch was excellent.  We had drinks, appetizers, lunch and lots of laughs!
Maple Onion Rings
Housemade Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips
Lobster Roll, Parker House Bun, Montrealer Style
Hasty Pudding, Braised Greens, Poached Egg, Housemade Hot Sauce
Lobster Fritatta, spinach, mushrooms, crispy onions
Kale Salad, Avocado, Egg, Red Onion, Orange 
Breakfast Poutine, Cheddar, Two Sunny Side up Eggs, Maple Syrup
View of the Patio
Carol, Natalie, Beth
Lori, Julie, Ellen

I wanted to get a quick shot of the gray exterior of Littlefork.  I managed to shoot Natalie and Beth stomping out the door.  Beth looks breezy and happy.  Natalie does not!  Hahahahahha!
Paparazzi catches Angry Asian Girl in Hollywood

After lunch we floated back to our house for presents, cake, yarn and more laughs.
Julie received LOTS of divine presents!
I baked a modified Harvey Wallbanger cake (my recent specialty) with hot Galiano sauce and strawberries on the side!
Harvey Wallbanger Cake
It was a lovely afternoon!
Carol, Lori, Julie, Ellen, Natalie, Beth

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