Friday, July 21, 2017

Marciano Art Foundation

Scottish Rite Temple aka Marciano Art Foundation

Today we visited the Marciano Art Foundation in the former Scottish Rite Temple on Wilshire Boulevard in Windsor Park...just east of the Miracle Mile. I've admired this building for decades, being an admirer of its designer, Millard Sheets. We been on extensive Sheets building and art tours over the years, so I was super interested in seeing the inside of this building. There are very few windows in the Temple, alluding to its air of mystery. The Masons are a "secret" society...more mystery!

3rd Floor Gallery

Yes! The art inside is fabulous! There were duplicate pieces and modern artists that we saw yesterday at The Broad Museum. The building is rather large. The main auditorium seated over 2,000 people at one time! Everything, the seats, stage, etc. has been removed to provide space for the art collection. 
There were paintings done on the various stage backdrops. These were mammoth installations!
Painting on existing stage back-drop by Jim Shaw

My new fave, Wonder Woman!

Artist, Jim Shaw, re-imagined the "Wig Museum." Read about it HERE
Jim Shaw's re-imagined wigs

Now THAT'S a Bee-Hive Hair-Do!
Emma Diamond is a Visitor Services Associate at The Marciano! I know her folks.

After checking out more of the first floor, we zoomed up to the mezzanine to see the actual collections left there by the Masons. The Relic Room was fascinating. There were wigs, costumes, notebooks and records of the Free Masons in Los Angeles, as well as photographs. 
The Relic Room of the Free Masons

I spied one particular photo of the Masons of 1960. I thought I might recognize a name or two and I did! Over on the left side is the comedian and band-leader, Mickey Katz! (No relation to my Katz family), HOWEVER, I knew Mickey's wife, Grace. She was the aunt of my former boss at 20th Century Fox, Lee Zuckerman. I used to talk to Grace on the phone all the time. I even visited her once at her apartment in Westwood. Mickey Katz was the father of actor, Joel Grey. It's a small world!
Actor, Comedian, Band-Leader, Mickey Katz was a Member!
We proceeded to the third floor of the Museum to view the rest of the collection. WOW! This is quite an interesting place to visit. 
Painting by Takashi Murakami

Once again, we were most interested in the actual building and asked about a mosaic that designer, Millard Sheets had created. We found the mosaic of woodland creatures BEHIND a huge wall. I was sad that we could not get a great view of this work of art. Really, come on, Marciano Brothers, I know you have a big collection, but this permanent piece deserves some love!
Mosaic by Millard Sheets, 1961

After seeing a beautiful mural in the bookstore, also by Millard Sheets, we were ready to leave. 
Bookstore Mural by Millard Sheets

I definitely recommend viewing this museum!
Free Mason Mosaic by Millard Sheets on the east exterior of the building

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

The B*E*S*T Day!

The Broad Museum

Today, for my actual birthday, Larry and I had big plans! We drove downtown to The Broad Museum this morning. The Broad has been there for over a year, but we still hadn't visited. We've seen much of Broad's art collection over the years at various museums, but we really wanted to see the actual building. 
The Broad building is a nice compliment to Disney Hall across the street. I love the honey-bee exterior.

There was a very interesting installation by Yayoi Kusama called, "Infinity Mirrored Room--The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away."
It was rather disorienting being inside. Luckily, we were only allowed to be inside for 45 seconds!
Larry and Ellen in the Infinity Mirrored Room
We rode up the longest escalator ever to the second floor to see the artwork that screams, BROAD COLLECTION!
The Infinite Elevator
The Basquiat
The obligatory big table shot
Our favorite Ed Ruscha painting
I really like The Broad. The collection is magnificent and the museum is manageable. After about 2 hours, we weren't tired out. Perfect.
Time for lunch!
Thursday is chicken pie day at Taix, so that's where we had a delicious, serene lunch! Everything was divine.
Caesar Salad
Chicken Pie, Country French Style
After resting a bit at home, we hopped on the Expo Metro Line to downtown Santa Monica. We topped off the day by seeing "Wonder Woman."  WOW! She really is wonderful!

Wonder Woman!
We picked up a couple of delicious tacos after the movie and hopped on the Metro toward home.
Yes! It was a perfect L.A. day! Thanks, Larry AND thanks to everyone who wished me a happy day on Facebook and Instagram! I so appreciate your good wishes.


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The New Proud Bird

The Old Proud Bird, 1967, Hacienda Style Architecture

Today as part of my Stay-Cation activities, my good friend, Rhoda and I visited the new Proud Bird right near the L.A. Airport. The Proud Bird was built as a restaurant with LOTS of aerospace memorabilia, including real airplanes on the grounds. We used to go there for drinks and to watch the planes taking off and landing at the airport. It was a Spanish Hacienda style building, circa 1967. 
Rhoda at the new Proud Bird, hangar style, high-tech architecture

It was always fun sitting on the elegant tiled patio overlooking a grassy area with vintage small planes while having a drink. The constant roar of the landing planes at nearby LAX was part of the atmosphere.
The former patio and grassy area with vintage airplanes
The former, elegant dining area

Today, the Spanish Hacienda style building has been changed to resemble a rather large hangar and silo. Instead of a serene restaurant and bar, there is a noisy food court and clattering bar area. The food choices are good. We had delicious barbecued brisket from Bludsoe's. The comfy, wood paneled bar is gone and so is the vintage vibe.
The new food court area
Delicious Brisket and Cole Slaw from Bludsoe's BBQ

Entrance to the new Proud Bird

The aerospace memorabilia is still there, now displayed in upgraded areas. The old planes are still there, but they don't water the lawn, so the little ol' planes are sitting in the dust. They don't feel as approachable.
New display area

Airplane Memorabilia

Proud Bird History Display

On the whole, I'd go back to the Proud Bird for a quick lunch, but I wouldn't plan my retirement party or wedding there. The glamour is gone.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

The B-Day Celebrations Begin!

The former Beverly Carlton Hotel, now The Avalon

Yesterday, Larry hosted a small pre-birthday brunch for me at Viviane, The Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills.  It was SO lovely! Just a few of my besties were there: Joan, Darcy, Natalie, Brit, Mary Jo, Rhoda and Roz. 
I love this hotel so much! I used to walk by it every day on my way to and from elementary school. During those years it was called the Beverly Carlton Hotel. I remember a few scenes from Lucy's and Desi's trip to Hollywood on the "I Love Lucy" show filmed at this hotel too. To me, this place is the perfect combination of 1950s Palm Springs swanky and current hipster-chic. I'm so happy that the Avalon group turned this place into what it should have been all along, including Kelly Wearstler's fab interior decor!
L-R: Joan, Darcy, Natalie, Brit, Mary Jo, Ellen, Rhoda, Roz
Eggs Benedict

Breakfast Sandwich

Egg White Fritatta

Steak Salad
Yummy Chocolate Cake from Normandie Bakery

Look at that POOL!

Ellen, Mary Jo. Darcy, Natalie and Brit
Thank you, Larry Darling, for a wonderful celebration!

The Beverly Carlton Hotel, 1953

To see MORE PICTURES of my fab party, click on this LINK

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