Tag Archives: Los Angeles

City of angles

My friend Suzanne takes beautiful photos of the architecture in Boston, often framing the buildings at interesting angles.

I’m visiting Los Angeles for a few days and thought I would give her method a try.

palm trees LA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huh…looks way different here.

Super Sonic

Turns out teeny tiny songstress Kristin Chenoweth and I have something in common.

It’s not our singing ability — which I’m sure was your first thought — and it’s certainly not our size.  (I have shoes bigger than her.)  And while it’s true we both love musical theatre, I’m talking more ‘guilty pleasures’ here.

Kristin and I are both fans of chain restaurants.

She waxed poetic for her love of ‘em on Conan last night — Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Applebees.  He called her a ‘cheap date.’  I call her a comrade in arms.

One of her favorites and mine?

Sonic Drive-In

Grilled cheese on Texas toast, tater tots, and a grape slush is my favorite meal at Sonic.  But we don’t have Sonics in Manhattan.  Apparently LA doesn’t have them, either.  So Kristin and I both suffer their national ads.  And dream.

See?  Celebrities are just like us.

Favorite places

While re-watching 500 Days of Summer recently, I found myself wondering…

What are my favorite buildings in Manhattan?

The lovesick architect Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was able to find inspiration in Los Angeles.  I live in New York City, home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world.  What speaks to me?

The Lucerne Hotel

When I was looking for my first apartment in the city back in 2006, this Upper West Side building immediately caught my eye.  The realtor had made an appointment for me at a nondescript high-rise across the street; I just wanted to talk about this beautifully ornate structure.

I soon learned it was a boutique hotel with a decidedly European influence — a French restaurant occupies the entire ground floor — and that had it just undergone a major renovation.

But at the turn-of-the-century, The Lucerne was a residence hotel.  Eugene O’Neill is one of its more storied occupants.  I’m sure it was less grand back then, but the man knew his architecture.

I wish the darn thing would go co-op now!

A robot’s tale

I met a robot in my neighborhood.

image He’s a nightlight for sale at my friend Stephanie’s shop, Stoopher & Boots.

Every time I have seen him, I couldn’t look away. (We don’t get a lot of his kind on the Upper West Side.)

Then I started hearing a sound when I was near him…a soft chant. “Milo. Milo.” (He’s a friend of mine — the baby boy variety – who has a particular interest in the ‘bots.)

He needed that robot nightlight.  So after a quick consultation with his parental units, it was soon on its way to Milo’s robot-themed bedroom in sunny Los Angeles.

image

Look at it — sitting in his room, like it was made for the place.

It’s almost an exact match to the robot in the print on the wall!

How a’bot that?

Spirit stick

Do you remember the very first DVD you ever owned?

I do.

I had just bought a combo VHS/DVD player — back when they were still pretty pricey — and a friend gave me the campy cheerleader cult classic Bring it On.  (It wasn’t a classic back then; just campy.)

It also wasn’t a musical, but it is now, and not on Broadway. My west coast friends have the bragging rights to this one.

Bring it On: The Musical may be playing at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles through December 10th, but they have recruited a bunch of Broadway award-winners to their team:

  • Tony Award-winning writer Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q)
  • Tony Award-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (In The Heights)
  • Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal)
  • Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (In The Heights)

It’s gotta be good, right?

Tweets from audience members, both celebrity and ‘regular folk,’ have been very enthusiastic. The critics appear to have their doubts.

But it’s early yet.  There’s lots of time to polish.  Bring it On: The Musical is on a national tour, although no Broadway dates appear to be scheduled.

Yet.

I’m sexy, I’m cute,
I’m popular to boot.
I’m wanted, I’m hot,
I’m everything you’re not,
I’m pretty, I’m cool,
I dominate this school,
Who am I? Just guess,
Guys wanna touch my chest,
We cheer and we lead,
We act like we’re on speed,
Hate us ’cause we’re beautiful,
Well we don’t like you either,
We’re cheerleaders,
We are cheerleaders.

Bacon benies

Ask any business traveler — the success of any off-site conference, meeting or training session hinges upon one essential element:

BACON

It’s that simple.

Any time you gather together individuals for two or more days away from home — away from their families, their routines, their creature comforts — you must provide bacon at breakfast to insure their stamina and good health.

(I mean mental health, of course.)

Even if these businessmen and women don’t regularly eat bacon at home, offering them bacon each morning during your meeting will automatically adjust their attitude towards the positive, making them more tolerant for whatever amazing agenda your company has planned.

I know of what I speak.  It’s Saturday.  I’m working all day at a meeting in Los Angeles.  My head won’t hit the pillow until the wee hours of the morning.

How will I motor through?

Bacon.  It’s what’s for breakfast.

Oscar unworthy

I’m headed to Los Angeles this weekend — for work,  of course.  But my hotel is located right next door to the Grammy Awards venue.

I know, right?

Another red carpet, another round of celebrity self-congratulations.  And as the Academy Awards draw ever nearer, I have to say — this year’s awards season seems even more shallow than usual.  The nominees, the producers, the directors, and even the Oscar voters, I dare say, have abandoned even the appearance of giving out the statutes based on quality.

You just gotta be popular.

Producers always run elaborate pre-Oscar marketing campaigns for movies and their stars, but this year, even the actors are purchasing full-page ads in industry publications ‘for your consideration.’

Case in point: Melissa Leo, Best Supporting Actress nominee for her gritty performance in  “The Fighter,” (which has already garnered her three other trophies).

Chillax, Melissa.  You’ve been considered.  And shee-shee pics like these may swing opinion in the other direction.

The popularity of  the leading actors in The King’s Speech is also one of the main reasons it has of late pulled ahead of The Social Network in the awards race — not because Speech is a better film.  (It’s not.)  This became especially clear during the SAG Awards telecast.

When the casts of both movies appeared on stage during the show, the good feelings that washed over the cast of The King’s Speech were palpable…. whereas the young entourage from The Social Network was prickly, awkward and off-putting.

Heck, I wanted TSN to win, and I didn’t like their attitude that night much either.  But I would hope — if I had the opportunity to vote for any of the awards — that I could separate my personal feelings about any of the nominees from their work in the films.

If the Oscars are going to mean anything now and in the future, the voting community has to man up, act like adults and vote based on the quality of the filmmaking…not just ‘who’s their buddy.’

But then again, maybe none of them are that good of actors.