Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Keeping cowboy culture alive in Compton

Posted March 5, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]

Southern California is an industrialized megalopolis, but its agricultural history continues in some unlikely places. One of them is the City of Compton, where a few cowboys still ride their horses — on trails but also through city streets.
For years, the center of cowboy culture was “The Hill,” a stable at Figueroa and 131st streets, until it mysteriously burned down 3 years ago. Since …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Santa Barbara billionaire’s plush empire

Posted March 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Coral Casino  Beanie Baby

Montecito mogul H. Ty Warner made billions selling Beanie Babies but, up til now, there wasn’t a lot known about his personal life. KCRW’s Lisa Osborn talks with Zac Bissonnette, author of “The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute.”  Bissonnette chronicles the rise and fall of the popular plush toys which, at one time,  were selling for hundreds …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Photos: Rock ‘n’ roll billboards of the Sunset Strip

Posted March 26, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
"Rock 'N' Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip"

The Sunset Strip has long been a destination for bands who play LA. Think the Whiskey, the Roxy or the Riot Hyatt.
But the journey down the strip has also been a mecca for those bands – on billboards.
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Donna Summer, Marvin Gaye, and many others.
Usually the billboards come and go with little fanfare. But one photographer decided to capture …

Arts & Culture, Issues, News, Politics »

L.A. heeds pleas to slow spread of McMansions

Posted March 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The city of L.A. is finally getting serious about McMansions – large houses built on small lots that are out of step with the traditional character of neighborhoods.
The City Council has slapped a temporary ban on the construction of McMansions in 20 upscale neighborhoods while it considers a broader response to the problem.
In five of those neighborhoods, the city also temporarily banned the issuance …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

The woman who’s bringing LA to the world’s most influential art fair

Posted March 25, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

More evidence of the influence and importance of Los Angeles as far as the fine art world: Meet the Venice (California)-based Elizabeta Betinski, known affectionately to some artists around town as “Boom Boom.”  She’s the force behind an upcoming show, featuring the work of 20 LA-based artists, that’ll hang adjacent to the Venice (Italy) Biennale. This is just one of three exhibitions that have been chosen as …

Arts & Culture, News, Santa Barbara »

Lotusland: A public garden, with a private reputation

Posted March 25, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

Lotusland is not your typical garden. Ever since it opened in 1993, this eclectic garden in the foothills of Montecito has garnered a reputation of being more private than public.

This property was owned from 1941-1984 by Gana Walska, a polish opera singer, socialite, and funky lady. She married six times and procured quite a wealth. Her dramatic nature ran through both her life and her garden. …

Arts & Culture, News »

Interactive iPhone app debuts at “CicLAvia the Valley”

Posted March 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
CicLAvia offers cyclists and pedestrians a chance to experience a car-free Los Angeles. Photo by Avishay Artsy

CicLAvia – the festival that lets bicyclists and pedestrians take over city streets – will be held in the San Fernando Valley on Sunday, March 22, 2015.
CicLAvia opens up parts of the city for people to experience without cars. Since 2010 it’s been held in downtown LA, South LA, Boyle Heights, along Wilshire Boulevard and other areas, but Sunday will be the first time …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Popular Santa Barbara society columnist Richard Mineards on KCRW

Posted March 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
KCRW Santa Barbara host Lisa Osborn in studio with popular local columnist, Richard Mineards, who pens the weekly "Montecito Miscellany" for the Montecito Journal.

KCRW Santa Barbara’s Morning Edition host Lisa Osborn welcomed popular local columnist Richard Mineards to the show on Friday. Mineards’ weekly “Montecito Miscellany” column, which showcases good causes, society events and local celebrity news is one of the most widely read columns in Santa Barbara.
Mineards dished on Montecito resident Oprah Winfrey (is the television mogul returning to network TV?), and provided details on philanthropist Michael …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment »

How your garden tells the story of immigration in Southern California

Posted March 19, 2015 by | 5 Comments | ]

The buzzing of leaf blowers, weed whackers and lawnmowers are part of Southern California’s sonic landscape. And the people usually holding those machines are Latino immigrant men, who call themselves jardineros, Spanish for gardeners. It’s their labor that gives curb appeal to so many homes, keeping lawns neatly trimmed, hedges pruned and weeds at bay.
The story of the jardineros also reveals the long relationship between immigration and the …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

A living legacy of African-Americans who served in the Civil War

Posted March 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Colonel Franklin J. Henderson and a portrait of a Civil War serviceman

“I always remember the men who came before me. They couldn’t dream of the opportunities,” said retired Colonel Franklin J. Henderson as he stood in the Getty gallery at the Los Angeles Central Library a few Saturdays ago, surrounded by photographs of African-American soldiers from the Civil War. The colonel, who served as a paratrooper in the Korean War and rose through the ranks …

Arts & Culture »

Photos: Adam Carolla shows Elvis Mitchell his impressive vintage race car collection

Posted March 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
BRE-Datsun-Roadster (Photo: Jenny Radelet)

You’ve probably heard of comedian Adam Carolla from his chart-topping podcast The Adam Carolla Show or his stint co-hosting MTV’s Loveline. His latest project, and directorial debut, is the film “Road Hard,” based on a tough time in his life when he was forced to go back out on the road to support his family. It was 2009, and he had just lost his job …

Arts & Culture, Issues, News »

Disney decides to snuff out depictions of smoking

Posted March 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The Walt Disney Co. generated headlines yesterday when it announced a sequel to the blockbuster hit “Frozen.”
But the entertainment giant also made another announcement that didn’t get as much attention.
CEO Bob Iger says Disney will no longer show people smoking in any of its films with a PG-13 rating or below. The one exception, Iger said, will be depictions of historical characters who smoked.
Disney …

Arts & Culture, Food, Interviews, News »

New cookbook skewers pretentious eateries

Posted March 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
fuds 3

It’s not your typical book publishing story.
About three years ago in New York at Brooklyn’s Great GoogaMooga food festival, three comedians handed out a joke menu for a made-up restaurant called Fuds to thousands of swarming foodies. It became a viral hit – delighting many but fooling others. Arthur Myer, one of the authors and a writer for The Tonight Show, put his actual …

Arts & Culture, News »

Oh, the hair! Archives of defunct newspaper revives 80s SoCal music scene from “pop to the pit”

Posted March 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Motley Crue by Gary Leonard, courtesy LAPL

Some people move to LA for love. Wendy Horowitz did, too–except that the object of her affection was a band.
On assignment for High Times magazine in Boston back in the ’80s, she found herself interviewing, and falling for, the musical group from Hawthorne that calls itself Redd Kross. It changed her life: “They made me laugh. They were approachable. They really were like sunshine, shining into …

Arts & Culture, Leaving LA, News »

Tom Carroll: Things I’d miss about L.A.

Posted March 10, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

For the past two years, Tom Carroll has been following in Huell Howser’s footsteps to create his YouTube series, Tom Explores. An explorer at heart, he has gone everywhere from an abandoned mall in Hawthorne to the nooks and crannies of Griffith Park on his journey to tell the hidden, colorful stories of the Southland.
We wanted to know what he would miss if he left L.A. He emailed us his …

Arts & Culture, News, Santa Barbara »

Remembering Lutah: Santa Barbara’s first female architect

Posted March 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Lutah Maria Riggs was Santa Barbara’s first female licensed architect. Her personal touches can be seen in some of Santa Barbara’s most well known (and well loved) buildings, like the Lobero Theater and the Vedanta Temple. But, it wasn’t easy for a female to make it in a man’s world at that time. Even George Washington Smith, who later became Lutah’s boss and mentor, at …

Arts & Culture, News »

Do you remember ‘We Are the World’?

Posted March 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

On March 7, 1985, singers and songwriters heeded a certain call, and released a monumental song.
‘We Are the World’ – written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian – was recorded for an organization called USA for Africa (USA standing for United Support of Artists).
The studio tracks were laid down over the course of several days 30 years ago at two …

Arts & Culture, News »

At last! Virtual reality becomes virtually real

Posted March 4, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]

The futuristic-minded among us have been fantasizing about and prototyping virtual reality for decades now. Back in 1965, the pioneering professor Ivan Sutherland wrote a seminal essay on the subject called “The Ultimate Display” and went on to co-create what’s believed to be the first VR headset, which he called The Sword of Damocles. The street artist who calls herself Zenka has been captivated by …

Arts & Culture »

What I learned from taking my 11-year-old to Magic Mountain

Posted March 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Unfictional Producer, Bob Carlson and his daughter Tess

One day just after my daughter Tess had finished 5th grade, she mentioned how often kids at school would return after a weekend at Six Flags Magic Mountain with stories about extreme rides full of high speed, big drops, and loops. Tess mentioned that she felt immature when she heard these stories, because she felt that she was nowhere near brave enough to ride …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Climate trumps traffic, crowds for California residents

Posted March 2, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]

Yes, we have traffic, a high-costing living and a historic drought. But more than seven in 10 Californian voters say the Golden State is still the best place to live.
A new USC Dornsife-L.A. Times poll finds that state residents remain smitten with California’s weather, its beaches and its cultural offerings. But especially the weather. Sixty-nine percent of people said the state’s mild climate was …

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