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LA Fashion Week and Elie Madi

160314 Art Hearts-0402My first Fashion Week event was not a disappointment. The Art Hearts Fashion at the Taglyan Complex showcased many designers. Lebanese fashion designer Elie Madi brought out the princess in us with elegant fashions that moved the heart. Other featured designers included Sir Isaac Newton, Kentaro, Kate’s Couture, Jaime Elyse Couture and Willfredo Gerardo. I’ll share some of those photos later this week.

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Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial dedicated on August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Visiting the memorial provides a sense of inspiration and hope.You enter between the Stone of Hope and the Mountain of Despair that represents the victory borne from disappointment. As you enter the national park, you can see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial which reflects the principles of freedom and liberty. Along the wall facing the tidal basin are sixteen quotes from Dr. King that show the power of his words to inspire.

These photos are from a trip in 2014. National Parks offer so much information and understanding, especially when you have a Park Ranger share their knowledge with you. Be curious, make the back story part of YourStory. HisStory is all around us but the interpretation and experience is OurStory, so claim your history.


Summer is Here!

Eiffel Tower TwinklingSummer Solstice marks the official beginning of summer. Today, the longest day of the year, Los Angeles will have 14 hours and 25 minutes of daylight, while Paris will enjoy 16 hours and 10 minutes of daylight. The Eiffel Tower will be twinkling for Fathers everywhere.

In France, the Summer Solstice is a big deal. La Fete de la Musique is a major French cultural event. With free music everywhere you can experience new music trends, traditional music, jazz – whatever type of music you like, you can find it. The area around the Eiffel Tower transforms into a giant concert venue, and big-name talent performs throughout the day. Just about every street corner, restaurant and bar has free music and performances; singers, bands, solo artists, etc., and since the sun doesn’t go down until almost 11:00 pm, the party goes on nearly all night. People arrive from everywhere and spend the day listening to music, enjoying friends, relaxing along the Seine and taking river cruises. You can see people all along the Seine, under bridges, in every building along the river, dancing and dining along the river, and filling the streets of Paris.

  • Summer Solstice 2014 Summer Solstice 2014 Summer Solstice River Cruise 2014
  • Summer Solstice Bridges Summer Solstice Bridges A few of the 22 bridges that cross the Seine. People gather everywhere along the Seine.
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  • Effel Tower at Sunset Effel Tower at Sunset As the sun sets and you cruise by, you can actually see the three shades of brown on the Eiffel Tower.
  • View of the Shore View of the Shore The best way to get an overview of Paris is to take a river cruise about 9:30 pm.
  • Eiffel Tower from the River Cruise Eiffel Tower from the River Cruise
  • Free Entertainment for Summer Solstice Free Entertainment for Summer Solstice




Lummis Day Celebration

At the time I visited the Lummis House, The City of Los Angeles, which owns the property, was looking for a new organization to operate the Lummis site after failing  to reach an agreement with the Southern California Historical Society, which has occupied the building for nearly half a century. The Recreation and Parks Department is seeking an operator who will “provide and implement” a plan to restore, repair and preserve the Lummis Home in addition to other requirements regarding fundraising and public access; and proposals are due March 11, 2015. Click here for the entire story.

  • Map of Lummis House and Gardens Map of Lummis House and Gardens

I haven’t followed up on the story but recently noticed that this weekend is the Lummis Day Festival. Click here for the schedule. This year, for their 10th anniversary, the Lummis Day Festival will expand to three days, in five different locations from June 5 – 7. Lummis Day “celebrates the arts, history and ethnic diversity of Northeast Los Angeles through educational and cultural events and an annual festival that draws the community together for a shared experience while providing a platform for cooperation among people of all ages and backgrounds.”

I strongly recommend that you visit the Lummis House, at 200 East Avenue 43, Los Angeles, CA 90031, built in 1897 by Charles F. Lummis who was the first City Editor for the Los Angeles Times. He was one of the founders and builders of the Southwest Museum.



Discovering Rodin

Burghers of CalaisThe Musée Rodin was founded in 1916 and opened in 1919 at the Hôtel Biron, where Rodin had lived. The museum holds the largest Rodin collection, with more than 6,000 sculptures and 7,000 works on paper. But Rodin had a country estate as well. Stop by “A Day in Paris” to discover more about Rodin and his country estate. You’ll enjoy an art show of some of my favorite pieces and stories of Rodin.

I chose this statute because it represents the focus of Founder’s Forum. As Richard Swedberg of Cornell University said, “Rodin centered The Burghers of Calais around a modern version of heroism that can be termed ‘civic heroism’, which draws on the collective and civic courage of the average person (Zivil-courage), rather than on the physical courage of the single and outstanding individual.”

Sweet or Savory? What is Your Favorite Crepe?


Above is the making of my first crepe in Paris!!!

Crepes are created by pouring the crepe batter onto a heated, thick steel disc.  The batter is smoothed until paper-thin, then cooked golden brown and removed. The cooked crepes are stored nearby, waiting for you to add the finishing touch. You can put whatever you want on it. Fillings can be virtually anything. Crepes can be sweet, for dessert; or savory, for breakfast or dinner.

As part of our Day in Paris, I wanted to make sure that you have a chance to enjoy a couple of sweet, and a couple of savory crepes, while you browse photos from Paris.


Get Your Kicks on Route 66

IMG_7295The Autry Museum sponsored a presentation by Jerry McClanahan and Jim Ross that made me want to start packing. They shared helpful tips and recommendations for anyone planning a trip along Route 66. They had recommendations for restaurants, hotels and other tips for the road. I’ve included links to their books under my bookstore tab and you can click on the picture for more information about the exhibit at The Autry that closes on January 5, 2015. There are more than 250 artifacts in the exhibit and the guides are very knowledgeable and able to provide a lot of the history of the route and its impact on American popular culture.

Route 66 was established in 1926 connecting Chicago to Los Angeles along a 2,400 mile road. At the exhibit you can see the oldest existing Route 66 shield, an early Jackson Pollock landscape painting, a ten-foot twin visible gas pump, the handwritten page from The Grapes of Wrath manuscript that introduces the “Mother Road,” renowned Dust Bowl–era photographs, Woody Guthrie’s guitar, the original typewritten scroll of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, a classic 1960 Corvette, and countless objects adorned with the Route 66 moniker or acquired along the route.

I’m looking forward to exploring this route in small bits and since the end of the route is at the Santa Monica Pier, I think I’ll start there and work my way East.


Bike Sharing in Santa Monica

After reading about Santa Monica’s Bike Share plan, I remembered how well the bike share programs worked in Paris, Brussels and Washington, D.C. What a great way to reduce traffic and make it easy to get in more exercise.

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Revisiting Marina del Rey

I’ve been to Marina del Rey before . . . biking, enjoying the restaurants, training for a marathon and enjoying the Holiday Boat Parade . . . but I recently joined a meet-up group to see the Sea Lions, Pelicans, Boats and Tourists.

When you explore your neighborhood like a tourist you discover so much more, or maybe I don’t get out much. I had never really noticed the fishing boats or pelicans before. I knew you could rent sail boats and hop on a party boat, but I never paid attention to much else. Now I know the difference between a sea lion and a seal, I’ve seen the pelicans, I know where the birds hangout while they wait for the fishing boats to return and understand why this is one of the first places that tourists visit when they come to Los Angeles.

I hope you enjoy the photos of my brief trip to Marina del Rey. I’m looking forward to returning here for sunrise and sunset photos, as well as more tourist photos. Hope you’ll visit Marina del Rey as a tourist and add it to “YourStory”.


The first residents of the area were the Shoshone and Gabrieleno/Tongva Indians that lived along the bluffs above the ocean; followed by the Spanish and eventually the first Angelenos.

In 1949, a $23 million plan for a marina proceeded slowly until 1954 when President Dwight Eisenhower signed Public Law 780, making the Marina harbor an authorized federal project. The Army Corps of Engineers’ project funded and planned by the Federal government, Los Angeles County and private developers. The channel leading into the harbor was vulnerable to strong wave action so baffles, lying perpendicular to the channel, were quickly installed, and then later replaced with a bouldered jetty that protects the channel.

The marina was originally called “The Playa del Rey Inlet and Harbor of Venice, CA.”, but Burton Chace worked to change the name to Marina del Rey which translates from the Spanish as “Harbor of the King.” On January 25th, 1962 Burton Chace received a telegram that read:

“Happy To Advise Senate Passed H.R. 157 Today To Change Name To Marina Del Rey. President’s Signature Expected in Due Course. – James Roosevelt” (a Democratic California congressman, and son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.). Marina del Rey was officially born when President John F. Kennedy signed H.R. 157 into law. The Marina harbor was dedicated on July 10, 1965.

Marina del Rey, an unincorporated district of Los Angeles County, is the largest man-made marina in the United States, with over 5,300 small-boat slips and a population just over 8,000. Click here more information on Marina del Rey.

“A Hollowed Out Column of Sheet Metal”

Red Eiffel Tower

Red Eiffel Tower

In 1887, many considered the Eiffel Tower ugly. It was a mass of steel that stood 1,063 feet tall.

Gustave Eiffel, built the tower as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair and the Tower was initially painted Venetian Red.

This mini Eiffel Tower was set up in the Champ de Mars in honor of the 125th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower and of the Fermob Bistro Chair. This tower is only 43 meters high and constructed with 324 poppy red bistro chairs. This tower was taken down July 7, 2014.

The Eiffel Tower was to be torn down in 1909 but Gustave Eiffel worked hard to prove its scientific importance, and it remains one of the most popular and iconic sites in the world.

The Eiffel Tower, constructed from puddle iron, can be damaged by rust, bird droppings and the pollution of the city. In order to conserve the metal, the tower has been repainted every seven years since 1899. It takes eighteen months, 25 painters and 60 tons of paint to complete the tower.

Since 1968, the tower has been painted Eiffel Tower Brown in three shades of brown with the darkest shade on the bottom.