Tuesday, June 24, 2014

MOCA and Little Tokyo ~ Forget all your worries ... Forget all your Cares ...

Disney Hall on my way Downtown ...

I've been sick. Some weird bug has had me silenced with laryngitis since last week, and some crazy sinus thing ... or something. I had been trying all the natural remedies I could find, for all my various symptoms, and finally gave up and went to the urgent care on Sunday. I left with antibiotics, a steroid shot and some crazy little prescription "pearls" for my cough. 

I am not totally well but at least I can croak out a few sounds, here and there!

These photos were from an exceedingly hot time last month, where I just had to get out of my apartment. I took my little spritzer bottle, my fan from chinatown, and headed downtown, in search of art and air conditioning.

A little music ...

I was already in a strange mood and going to an art exhibition where the retrospective was planned before the artist took his own life, at the age of 57, didn't exactly perk up my mood. 

In a creative way it was very inspiring though, because he expressed himself in ways and means, no one would never think of. Or at least, I wouldn't have.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
March 31-July 28, 2014

Much of the art was about memory, of childhood, and growing up.

While most of the areas the areas of the museum, photography was not aloud, there were two areas where you could take as many photos as you wanted. 

Director of MOCA Philippe Vergne

Below, his high school yearbook photo, alongside portraits of weird little handmade stuffed creatures (like mugshots) and yet, he is still the odd man out.

Ahh ... Youth!, 1991/2008
Eight Cibachrome photographs, printers proof

More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid, 1987
Handmade stuffed animals, afghans on canvas, and dried corn

The Artist talking about his work.

There was a series of mixed media collage pieces (loosely?) based off of some craft done in some area of Canada. I thought they were really beautiful. Especially, this one below.

Animal Self and Friend of the Animals, 1987
Two parts: glued felt

Below, this banner cracked me up. I especially liked the "etc" and the "no acting eperince required." Very funny, to me, remembering many an add in "Backstage West" back in the day, when I first started acting in L.A.

John Glenn Memorial Detroit River Reclamation Project, 2001 
(all the pieces of glass, ceramics etc. for the mosaic were taken from the Detroit River)

When I left the show, I really wanted a cocktail, but I'm not one to go sit at a bar alone. So, I headed across the street into one of the main little areas of little Tokyo. It was nice. Someone was playing some fun music, with Japanese instruments, but it sounded a little more like there was some caribbean mixed in? Anyway, a little live music usually can perk me up!

I went into some of the crazy little shops, with all sorts of weird nicknacks, and got my nephew some funny little bunny chopsticks. (I have no idea where they are now!)

There were loads of people out and about!

And then, having given up on the cocktail, I decided to have hot green tea and spicy salmon, at a very busy little sushi bar. To those of you who don't eat sushi, I know how weir it looks, but it was very fresh and very good! I promise!

It was good to get out, but sometimes it feels even better to be at home. Even without central air. 

Anyway, I'd like to go back and spend a little more time in Little Tokyo, and go to the Japanese American Museum, which somehow after all these years, I've never been! I'll let you know when that happens. ;)

When I get real bored, 
I like to drive downtown and get a great parking spot,
then sit in my car and count how many people
ask me if I'm leaving.
~Stephen Wright

(he cracks me up!)

Blessing and light!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Beautiful Spring in Review ... Southern California

Greetings friends!

I did a fare amount of running around Southern California, over the Spring. These are a few of the "out of town" shots I took, in April and May.

First up, my parents house in Ojai ... everything was blooming in April, especially the fruit trees.

Some music ... (I just saw James Taylor last Saturday!)

Even the cactus was flowering!

Those previous photos were taken the weekend of my cousin Jennifer's Bridal shower.

Yes, I already posted another bridal shower, but that was the family shower. This, was the shower for her friends. I ran to the Los Angeles Flower Mart, before heading up to Ojai. There were several dozen roses involved (9 dozen? 10?) and my mom and I created little bouquets and put them in her silver tea pots, and little silver creamers.

This is one of the tables ...


I found the fans, which we put at each place setting, in a little shop in Chinatown, and my Mom tied pretty chiffon ribbons on them. 

My sisters yummy chocolate, chocolate chip bunt cake ...

I will never understand how some people don't love chocolate. I mean, I know it happens, but how? They must have completely different taste buds. It's just beyond my comprehension.

Anyway, I also love cheese (see below) though I can't say it loves me back. 

The bride enjoying the lilacs, which were also in bloom, in my parents' garden ...

After the shower, the bride sat with her sister and a few friends, relaxing under my favorite sycamore tree.

It was such a beautiful day!

My cousin Alli on the tree swing ...

The Wedding was four weeks later ...


Jen and Phil, are both artist/designers and they made everything by hand. Everything. This included the flower bouquets, and centerpieces on the tables. They used recycled sheet music, which was so lovely, because music plays such a big role in their lives.

My adorable nephew was the ring barer ...

O.K., back to Ojai, to my sister's place ...

Lucy the Labradoodle. Can you even handle this face?

My sister, Penny, finally got her chickens this spring, which she's been wanting since they moved to Ojai 9 years ago!

They got 6 full grown Chickens, that were already laying eggs. No messing around here. They end up with 5 or 6 eggs a day, I think. Perfect for carbonara! yay!

This is Minerva ...

Penny also threw their big BBQ, they put on every 2 years. This year was a Luau theme.

Penny and I, in our vintage dresses. Her dress belonged to her mother-in-law and mine was my Grandma's from the 1950s. Fun, right?

I don't know what kind of voodoo magic goes on with my sister's kangaroo paws, but they go crazy in the spring! 

Now is the time to know 
That all you do is sacred ...
Now is the time for you to deeply 
compute the impossibility 
that there is anything but grace.

Blessings and light!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens ~2014

Every moment and every event 
of every man's life on earth
plants something on his soul.
~Thomas Merton

As some of you may recall, I was on a mission to do the big gardens (Huntington, L.A. Arboretum and Descanso Gardens) before the end of spring. Though much had bloomed early, in Southern California, it wasn't too late to enjoy the Spring gorgeousness of the Huntington, in late April.

The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

The Chinese Garden

Not long after I arrived, I was already hungry and decided that this time I would eat in the Chinese Garden. There are other options, but the fish and noodle soup sounded good, plus ... look at the view! Outside the building above, is where I sat and enjoyed my lunch!

The Japanese Garden

Japanese House
Elements of the Japanese House were shipped to Pasadena around 1904 and acquired by Huntington in 1911.

I found a perfect spot on some steps to sit and sketch my favorite view of the garden ... (can you tell by the Easter Egg on my nail, the time of year?!) Isn't the Japanese Garden breathtaking? The whole place is gorgeous and kind of swanky ... the best version of what it could possibly be. 

The Rose Garden
Originally created in 1908

The Gallery is the former Home of Henry E. Huntington (1850-1927) and second wife Arabella (1850-1924.) It opened as a gallery in 1928.

Of course, I spotted the "History of Rome" on the shelf!

This isn't the famous Huntington Library that has a Gutenburg Bible. That is actually in another whole building, across a rather enormous lawn, from this house that you are looking at now. 

I didn't have time to go into that building ... or the American Collection building, or the amazing cactus garden. Really, the grounds are so huge, and you have to plan and edit your visit, in order to see it all. Maybe if you arrived right when it opened, you could pull off seeing the whole thing. Iffy though, and it wouldn't be relaxing.

The collection of paintings is rather impressive, but the downstairs is full of paintings by old British dudes. Don't get me wrong. They are beautiful and skillful and everything one would want from that genre of painting ... but they are not exactly my cup of tea, so to speak. Not my favorite period in art, but incredible examples of the era and I do appreciate them.

Lady Petre, 1788
Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1833)

... I really love the "costumes" though!

Margaret Cocks, 1787
Richard Cosway (British, 1742-1821)

Lovely, right? Don't we all wish we had rosy cheeks like those?

This next gal, I am a fan of, because of her fabulous get-up. With an influence classical sculpture, she is draped in a fabulously dramatic manner, which I love. Isn't she great? I want that frock.

Sarah Barret Moulton, 1734
Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830)

Probably the most famous paintings at the Huntington are "Pinkie" and "Blue Boy" who reside in a very long room, at opposite ends. I remember them from my first visit, when I was in Junior High. While I thought they were pretty and beautifully painted, even then they were not my favorites.

The Blue Boy, c. 1770
Thomas Gainsborough  ((1727-1788)

Lady Hamilton was my favorite. And, what I didn't know then, was how scandalous she was! Maybe that's why, unknowingly, I was such a huge fan! 

She was close friends with Marie Antoinette's sister, Queen Maria Carolina, and is known for her affair with Lord Nelson. After blowing the cash left by her husband, Sir William Hamilton, she then lost Merton place, the house of her lover, and wound up penniless in debtors prison. And yes, they made a movie.

Lady Hamilton in a Straw Hat
George Romney (1734-1802)

Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) and John Henry Dearle (1860-1932) Stained glass by Morris and Co. Titled Humility, Mercy, Generosity, Charity, Justice, Liberty, Truth, Love Faith, Courage (c. 1898)

From a second story doorway, that leads onto a terrace ...

There are a lot of French works (Boucher, Watteau, Fragonard) as well as pieces from the Arts and Crafts period ... but my favorites (surprise, surprise) are by the Italians. I had only 10 minutes before the place would close so I just had to try to suck in all the "Italian-ness" before they made me leave. And I waited until they asked. 

Here are just 3 of the pieces.

Virgin and Child with Saint John, early 16th century
Atributed to Francesco Granacci (Italian, 1477-1543)

Portrait of a Young Woman, c. 1490
Domenico del Ghirlandaio (Italian, 1449-1494)

Virgin and Child, c. 1490s
Sebastiano Mainardi (Italian, 1466-1513)

After that, they told me it was time to go, so I headed out of the gardens, promising myself I would come back and spend more time with the Italians. 

I just checked and apparently I have done 4 previous posts on the gardens, from a visit a couple of years ago. Especially spectacular, was a visit to the Shakespeare garden in full bloom. 
To see those posts, click here. 

To see my post on their American Collection, click here.

For their official website, click here.

Stuff your eyes with wonder,
live as if you'd drop dead in ten second.
See the world.
It's more fantastic 
than any dream made or paid for in factories.
~Ray Bradbury

Blessing and light!!
Happy June!