Welcome To L.A. Arts District: An Insider’s View By The One & Only Anna Broome

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

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Anna Broome Of The Broome Room At L.A. Art Share–With Princess Frank

 

 

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 The Anna Broome Room Tawny Ellis, Marissa Gomez, Terry Ellsworth, George Joquim, Richard McDowell, Jim Marquez, Lee Boek, Colette Von, Anna Broome, Cato Stevens.

 

 

It is 7 AM and the world is dark in the Art District. There is no one awake who may account for the happenings from the night previous. I lived here many moons ago, but still today, everyday is the day before and the night after. The local coffee house is alive with the hereafter represented inside a kind of world no one but the artist may explore: A simple continuing idea abounds from what is the mindset of love and art inside a love and art mind.  I came here for the sake of art and kindness of home but like Dylan said, “A home I had never known.”

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The ties Tatiana Von Der Schulenburg toes on the telephone post symbolizing gentrification

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Bloomfest, an annual cultural festival honoring founder of the Arts District Joel Bloom

 

 

Meet the talent.

 

The morning I moved into the American Hotel was after the death of my boyfriend. I had no where to go. I had been given the cover of Citizen Magazine for a collection of paintings I created on drywall and thus introducing me to the Arts District by way of the art show to follow at The Continental Gallery at Fourth and Main. Long time Arts District member Rick Robinson, who later heads the Art Share board, came to the gallery while I was still working on paintings for my show to open there, Feminine Dissection. He brought me paints and stayed with me as I worked feverishly to finish the work for the show. I can still see him coming into the gallery at midday with a bag full of oil paints and a smile. I didn’t know where this guy came from or who or what sent him, only that he must belong to something wonderful, supportive, where an artists collect extends themselves to other artists, all just trying to survive and get the work done. Through Rick I met many fellow artists and just like I imagined there was a brilliant collective of artists not unsimilar to vampires who formed a kind of coven located in Little Tokyo. Read more

The Persistent Dreams Of The Tunnel Builders

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

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It all began with the parkway to Pasadena in 1939. American Freeways were inspired by Hitler’s Autobahn

BY LIONEL ROLFE

 

Some of the people seated around the long table in the elegant dark wooded South Pasadena home have been fighting the idea of a five-mile long tunnel nearly 200 feet beneath their feet for decades. To them, that tunnel is the hydra-headed monster that they beat down, but only for a while, and then it pops up again. It’s like a cancerous tumor that can never be removed.

About the time Caltrans and Metro recently released a new Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement which once again advanced the notion of building the tunnel, this group of veteran tunnel fighters were meeting to take stock. The report also suggested alternatives to the tunnel, ranging from realignment of existing streets, or putting in a lot of light rail or doing nothing.

As far back as the ‘70s and some say even back to 1939, Caltrans’ intention to complete the Long Beach (710) Freeway’s from Long Beach to Pasadena was always part of the plan. But for years, the plan has been foiled in court by the No 710 Action Committee, acting in alliance with cities like South Pasadena and the Sierra Club. In other words, the people here in the room. Read more

Memories Of Dean Channing Briggs

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

By DOUG WEISKOPF

 

I recently received an announcement of a new academic dean at my alma mater, Portland State University. It instantly brought back memories of one of my favorite people during my student days at the university during the late 1960′s, Dean of Students, Channing Briggs. As a member of a group of anti-Vietnam War protesters I was a part of constantly challenging his authority and railing against him for trying to keep a calming atmosphere on campus, when we felt that red hot rage was the only morally appropriate response possible to the war.

Once when Dean Briggs tried to put myself and four other students on disciplinary probation for disrupting on-campus military recruiting we were brought before a student/faculty hearing committee, which we not only attended but packed the room with several dozen sympathizers who booed when Dean Briggs sat down to make his case against us (it was like that comical scene in the movie, “Animal House, made a few years later). During the middle of his testimony as to why we should, in effect, have our hands slapped by the school, he began to fight back against his own impulse (unsuccessfully) to start giggling at the absurdity of the comic opera he found himself involved in. Read more

CHAPTER 12 “RING AROUND THE ROSEY” FROM UMBERTO TOSI’S NOVEL, “OUR OWN KIND”

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Our Own Kind - Umberto Tosi · Comment 

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(Umberto Tosi, author of Ophelia Rising, was an editor and staff writer for the Los Angeles Times from 1959-1971.)

 

 Benny’s been flat as a warm soda since he lost the custody case. Better if he’d kick in a wall, or go on a toot, howl at the moon. At least talk about it. He’s no good to anybody this way – especially himself.

I feel bad for him, but I’m not taking it on. I got enough on my back. I told him he’s got to get hold of himself. He looked hurt. “Get hold of yourself, Benny, then maybe I’ll hold your hand, and you mine again.”

He looked up, pained. “What did I do wrong?” That’s his tune now.

“You want me to tell you everything is okay, when it isn’t? You know most everything is fucked – that’s life as usual – and you already know you’re okay – most of the time, anyway, Ben. So, what else is there?”

It felt mean, talking that way, but he’s pushing me out, and probably doesn’t even know it.

“Not the end of the world,” I tried to tell him. “You just go back to being a weekend daddy.”

“It’s a sop. It won’t work. I’m sick about those kids living in crazy town with their mother and her whole boozing, back-biting clan, and not being able to do a damn thing about it” he rambled. I’ve heard it all before.

“You’re still around for them, Benny, and you do more than most.” I made one more try at consolation.

“What’s the good in it?” he says.

“Now you’re crying in your beer. It’s not becoming, Benny.” I’m exasperated. This is tearing me up, and I’ve got Keesha to consider. I told him it was best we put some distance between us for a while. I never moved in completely, anyway, and thank the Lord and my good sense for that.

“I’ll just go back to my own place, Benny.”

“Ah, jeez,” he says, and I can see he’s breaking up.

“Our thing here was always temporary,” I said. “We agreed to that.”

Then started negotiating. He offered to get a bigger place that we could share. “I’ll pay for it,” he offered.

Wrong. “I don’t want you to pay my way, Benny.” Read more

Chapter 22 Of Mary Reinholz’s Amazing Novel “Exit From Eden”

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Exit From Eden -Mary Reinholz · Comment 

 

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Wild Woman Of Yore 

  A few snow flakes were falling at noon when I found Sean Collins in Tompkins Square Park, letting his dog Mistake run loose as he threw bread crumbs to the pigeons. I sidled up next to him and asked if he’d help me ice Sargeant Battaglia. I was only half-joking.

He shrugged, looking like he had heard similar requests once too often. Finally, he asked, “Are you one of these off-the-pigs radicals?”

Collins sat down on a park bench, lit up a cigarette and stretched out his long legs on the pavement. I suddenly wanted them wrapped around me.

“I’m not a total cop hater,” I said. “But I think this undercover cop I’ve run into wants to kill me. He thinks I might write about his dope habit and how he blackmails girls to have sex with him by saying he’ll bust them for buying drugs. He’s an ex-narc, a pretty boy drunk with power. I think he’s a psychopath.”

I must have sounded hysterical because Collins took my hand and pulled me down on the bench next to him. He spoke soothingly. “He’d have to be a very stupid cop to go after a reporter in this town. I read your story on the mafia killings yesterday and it mentions a plainclothes cop with an Italian name. Is that the one you’re talking about?”

I nodded. Read more

Here’s the real Oliver, featured in a few of Lionel Rolfe’s articles; photos by Rose Hugh

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Miscellany · Comment 

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The Author As A Young Fisherman At The Santa Monica Pier, Taken No Doubt In The Early ’50s

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March 1, 2015 · Posted in Miscellany · Comment 

Lionel goes fishing

& Many Years Later, Lionel Is Hanging Out With The Likes Of James Ellroy

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March 1, 2015 · Posted in Miscellany · Comment 

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MEMORABLE SUMMER NIGHT RENDEZVOUS’ AT LA CARAFE

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March 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

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La Carafe Building (circa 1860)– Houston, Texas

By Bob Vickrey

 I sometimes sit in a little French café across the street from my house in Southern California enjoying my breakfast while listening to the piped-in music of Edith Piaf, and become quickly transported back to my college years where I first heard the haunting La vie en rose.

The rundown musty old bar in Houston was called La Carafe, and for several summers in the heyday of the 1960s, it provided the perfect meeting place for many of my former high school pals.

I remember the first night I entered the dark, mysterious La Carafe and promptly spotted several friends who were being regaled with stories by the bartender. I was immediately struck by the number of beautiful women in the room who all seemed to be speaking French. The international flavor of the place was quite a novelty for those of us that had barely crossed state borders. Read more

MY KINDLE, MY BIRDS & ME

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March 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

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By LIONEL ROLFE

After several years of deliberation, I finally purchased a Kindle. I now own my very own digital reading device which has all the books I can read on it. There’s lot that’s unsettling about the device, but that’s not entirely bad—just caused a bit soul searching. Getting the Kindle turned out to be a really big deal for me, and a revelation. For one thing, I realized how much I was an old man living through revolutionary times.

I am preparing for exiting this vail of tears, not right away, I hope, but soon enough. I’m stumbling down the last league. As a result, I no longer feel a compulsion to be on the cutting edge. I’ve lived long enough to see too many cutting edges come and go. One of the things that my friends know about me is that I’m quaint in my appreciation of music. I grew up turning pages for my concert pianist mother, especially when she played the Kreutzer. I played classical guitar until I was 13 or so and haven’t touched an instrument since.

But music never lost its magic. I just felt that there were others who could give it that magic better than I. When I got into my late teens, Jazz proved intriguing. Folk, blues, and the very greatest voices like Paul Robeson and Edith Piaf turned me on. Rock never made the cut. I rarely heard that much genuine genius in it, and mostly I saw it as an essentially corporate product. When Bob Dylan electrified his guitar, I lost interest. Read more

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