It is a Double-header this weekend in Pasadena: the Alien Con is at the Convention Center and across the street dozens and dozens of chalk artists are creating works on the Plaza at Paseo Colorado. And it was very crowded on Saturday!
I went at noon on Saturday and most of the artists were just beginning. First they drew an outline of the picture they planned to create, then painstakingly started to fill in with removable paint and chalk. It all gets power-washed off the plaza on Tuesday. Here is some of what I saw in 2018.
Charles Lummis was quite a guy! Adventurer, author, editor of the L.A. Times, cross-country hiker, archeologist, photographer, and founder of the Southwest Museum.
He was also somewhat infamous for the parties he held at his home, El Alisal, in Highland Park. You can see my post about Lummis ‘s home here.
Now, almost a hundred years after his death, he has become the namesake of a celebration of life, fun, music and art in the Arroyo in northeast Los Angeles. Here is a link to the Lummis Days organization. I understand that the Arroyo Arts Collective also helps with this event.
On Sunday I came across the official parade for Lummis Days after visiting the Southwest West Museum‘s pottery exhibition. Parade participants gathered in front of the museum entrance, then marched to Sycamore Grove Park where a concert and puppet show were held.
I only stayed for the parade and here is some of what I saw.
Back in the late 1980s and 1990s when the Metro system was being built in Los Angeles, the city went all out for art. In the stations built since then there is still art–usually modest tile panels–but nothing quite as extravagant and amazing as the artwork in the Red and Gold lines. The artists back then were given almost total freedom to do what they wanted with very generous budgets.
The Civic Center Station in downtown L.A. is probably most famous for its “flying men” sculptures suspended from the ceiling. There are also dozens of tile mosaic murals lining the walls upstairs in the station, but I suspect many people walk right by them as they rush to the trains or to the street upstairs. They were designed by Faith Ringgold and produced by artisans at Mosaika Art and Design in Montreal.
So here are a few of these many glass tile mosaics. Because L.A. is such a sports town–8 professional sports teams here–I picked a few sports murals to show you. But there are others–especially musicians and dancers–in the Civic Center Station.
The Fiesta Perpetua on and around Echo Park lake was the brainchild of Carmina Escobar as her contribution to the huge Pacific Standard Time LA/LA.
The way it worked was this: a woman went out to a raft in the lake and using three wooden megaphones sang to an audience of paddleboaters and people lining the walkway and lounging on the lawn around the lake.
Actually, before she began to sing, a band, the Maqueos Music Filharmonica began to play and march around the lake slowly. In my opinion, the band was the star of the performance. .
Because I love Echo Park and the lake and the surrounding area are among my favorite places in Los Angeles, I’m also including photos of the area on a sunny, 85F degree Saturday afternoon in January.
In the melting pot that is Los Angeles two local holiday food traditions stand out. One is eating tamales during the Christmas season which obviously is inspired by Mexico and the many Mexican restaurants around the city. Even one of the local fast-food hot dog chains offers tamales during the holidays.
The second tradition is going to Chinatown to have dim sum (Chinese bite-size noodle/pastries) for mid-day dinner on Christmas Day which seems to have originated in the Jewish community.
Other people, including my non-Jewish family, have begun doing Christmas-in-Chinatown, too. No long hours in the kitchen and no leftover turkey for us!
So if you decide to visit Chinatown for dim sum (or any other reason) and haven’t been there recently, you will see color gone wild on buildings around the area. I think that the new Blossom Apartments next to the Metro station instigated the painting craze.