Hollywood and Vine for stars and murals in the Red Line Metro Station

Hollywood and Vine is among the most famous intersections in the country.  Those two street names suggest glamour and glitz and movie stars.

Hollywood movie reel
Today movies are digital, but for decades  movies were photographic film on reels like these on the wall of this Metro station.

While the reality on Hollywood Blvd. above the station does not quite match that image to honor the lore the Metro turned this Red Line subway station into a work of art based on the film industry.

Here is what you can see:

Not in Kansas tile Hollywood and Vine
This tile mural tells viewers that they are “Not in Kansas” anymore. All you have to do is go upstairs to the street level to realize how very true that is.
Stars Homes Hollywood and Vine Red Line (
This tile mural reflects upon the bus tours of movie stars homes around Los Angeles. Most of the tours actually begin near the next Red Line Metro stop at Hollywood and Highland.
Palm trees Red Line Hollywood and Vine
Of course there had to be “palm trees” in the subway station.  This is Hollywood after all.


WHotel Hollywood and Vine
In the last decade or so Hollywood has become a very much nicer place to live and visit. The W hotel is just one example of the renewal of Hollywood











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See the Lotus Festival and dragon boat races in Echo Park

Lotus blossom echo park lake
According to a story that has been around for decades the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson planted the lotus in Echo Park lake in the early 20th Century.  The church she founded, the Angelus Temple, is across the street from the park. The lotus had died out a few years ago, so the L.A. Parks Dept. replanted them. 

Changes at the Lotus Festival this year: many more vendor booths in Echo Park and fewer dragon boats racing. dragon racers lotus festival 2018

And it appears that the Los Angeles Parks Dept. has replanted lotus in other parts of the lake than the northern edge.

Here is some of what I saw:

Chinese lanterns lotus festival echo park los angeles
Colorful lanterns represented China, the sponsoring country of the Echo Park Lotus Festival for 2018.
Dragon race sign lotus festival 2018
The sign announcing the location for the dragon boat races.
dragon racers lotus festival 2018
There were only these two dragon boats racing on Saturday. Perhaps others will race on Sunday. Dragon boat races have become a popular event at festivals around Southern California.
Swan paddle boats echo park lake los angeles
I noticed that now all the pedal boats are swan boats. They are available to rent year round.


Chinese dancers lotus festival 2018
Each year a different Asian country becomes the sponsor of this event. This year the sponsoring country was China and these are some of the performers.
red umbrella lotus festival echo park los angeles
The clothing and umbrella of these two women echoed the colors of the flowers on this plant in the lake.
pandas by childrens stage lotus festival
Panda characters with woman at the lotus festival in front of the children’s stage.


umbrella booth lotus festival
The City of L.A. provided tents for vendors. I liked this display of umbrellas, although the booth was primarily selling women’s clothing.
turtles in echo park lake
There were far more turtles visible than ducks. I wonder if there is some sort of turtle control for the lake? Or duck control?




Dogtown food truck lotus festival
I love the colors on this hot dog/sausage food truck parked nearby the Echo Park cafe. “Dogtown”, of course, is the name given to a skateboard culture in So. Cal. back in the 1970s and 1980s. 

The Pacific-Asia Museum appears almost abandoned

Pacific Asia Museum Pasadena California (Wandering through the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, I wondered about the details of the agreement that handed this museum over to University of Southern California. I read that the historic building, the Asian and Pacific island art collections, plus the meager endowment went to USC several years ago, but did the museum Trustees set any requirements for continuing use of the building?

When I visited last evening I saw exhibits that were odd and skimpy–as if the movers had not quite yet finished the job of clearing out everything in the museum.  Perhaps the Trustees asked that the building continue to be used as a museum and now USC is doing it in a very minimalist way.

And then there were the 3 galleries of California paintings.  It’s altogether curious, particularly in light of the fact that Pasadena Museum of California Art next door is closing down. Is the Pacific Asia Museum going to pick up the mantle of a California art exhibition space?  I would hope so. PMCA was one of the best and most interesting art museums in Southern California in my opinion! Anyway…here is some of what I saw:

Pacific Asia Museum doors
I love the colors of the doors and tables in the courtyard. They are near a small fountain in the Chinese style.
Pacific Asia Museum courtyard (
The courtyard on the interior of this building, which was originally constructed as a home in an old Chinese style, is still beautiful.
Indian art Pacific Asia Museum
The card explaining this sculpture declares that it is a symbol of wisdom and compassion. Hmmm…maybe there is another interpretation.
Gerald Rahm paintingA Gerald Rahm painting of Southern California beachfront homes. I guess California faces the Pacific so it qualifies as part of the Pacific Asia art world.
Jim McVicker painting
This painting of Trinidad Bay by Jim McVicker was in one of the three galleries filled with California beach/ocean paintings.

Aliens at the Pasadena Chalk Art Festival

Herbie Chalk art Pasadena
A car as a movie hero–what better image at a chalk art festival in Southern California.

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!

halk Art Festival at Paseo Colorado Pasadena
This year the sky was overcast. Usually the festival happens in blazing hot sunlight. Perhaps the cooler weather is why the crowd was much larger.

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.

Punk at Alien Con
This guy was racing through the Chalk Fest on his way to Alien Con. He asked for beer money after I took the photo.
Guy Fawkes Masked chalk artist
One chalk artist came in his Guy Fawkes mask. Did he go to the Alien Convention afterwards?
Chalk art painting Pasadena 2018
Equal opportunity art at the Pasadena Chalk Festival. There seemed to be as many women artists participating as men artists..


JPL chalk art pasadena
Who says scientists can’t be creative? This art was being created by 3 people from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The design looked a bit hap-hazard to me but it was still in process.
Pasadena Chalk Art Festival 2018
For some people creating the art was a group effort made up of family and friends. Is the design an abstract landscape?  Or something else?
Starting design Chalk Festival Pasadena 2018
What appeared to be a father and son duo beginning their work.
Chalk Art by Jacqui Somo
The artist, Jacqui Somo, seemed to be further along than most other artists at the event.


Two womens heads Chalk Festival
By noon this artist had completed these 2 heads of women in the Art Nouveau style. There was a lot more to go.
The festival overflowed Paseo Colorado and these 20 artists were working in the forecourt of the Pasadena Convention Center where Alien Con was happening.

Lummis Days celebrates that party animal with a critter puppet parade

Cunao official band Lummis Days 2018
The official band to lead the parade for Lummis Days was Cunao.  Here  they are wearing their critter masks in keeping with the parade theme.  Coyote tricksters?

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.

Charles Lummis treking across America
A photograph of Charles Lummis during his tramp across America to start his job as L.A. Times editor.

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.

3 marchers Lummis Days 2018
Three marchers waiting for the parade to begin outside the Southwest Museum entrance.
Lummis days marcher snake puppet
This colorful marcher created a long snake puppet to wear on her arms.
Marcher with puppets Lummis Days 2018
This masked marcher wore frog puppets on her hands.
man in tree Lummis Days
As I was hanging around waiting for the parade to begin I noticed this man in a tree and suddenly was reminded of the old hippy days around San Francisco in the 1960s when people did things like that. There was a bit of that spirit in all of this event.
Lummis days parade 2018
As you can see the parade was definitely a neighborhood event. Probably not many more than a 100 people took part. But fun!  Oh, the big green and  blue puppet carried by 4 men is a blue-bellied lizard.  
Native American dancers Lummis Days
I’ve seen these Native American dancers perform at the plaza at Olvera Street, downtown. Here they were part of the parade. Very suitable!



Guardian angel at Southwest Museum station
The parade crossed through the Southwest Museum Gold Line station and continued downhill to Sycamore Grove Park. I love the “guardian angels” that surround this Metro station. Art and architecture critics go off on the art and seating at this station, but  they miss the whimsy and fun of it all.   Metro stations don’t have to be boring!


Flying men and tile baseball players in the Civic Center Metro Station L.A.

Civic Center station flying man
This is just one of a half a dozen sculptures of young flying men hanging from the ceiling in the Red Line Civic Center station in downtown L.A. The sculptures  entitled “I dreamed I could Fly”were created by Jonathan Borofsky and each resembles him.  Well, that’s one way to become an immortal among artists!

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.

Was this mural inspired by Muhammad Ali?
Baseball player 6 Metro Station
I suspect this tile mural of a baseball player is supposed to represent the Dodgers with the blue cap.
Is this tile figure supposed to be a Yankee in the pinstripe uniform?
Surfer tile mural civic center
Obviously, you can’t have sports in L.A. without a surfer!



Soccer player 15 Civic Center Metro
I am not sure whether these days we have one or two soccer teams–or as the rest of the world calls it “football” teams.
Dancers tile mural civic center station
I love these dancers!

The Animation Expo in Burbank is a place for women illustrators, animators

Ruby Roth animation expo burbank fair 2018
Ruby Roth both writes and illustrates books for children, espousing the vegan diet.

The city of Burbank welcomed the Animation Expo four or five years ago. It is a free event to showcase the work of young animators and illustrators.

Mascot animation expo
This colorful character is the “mascot” for the Animation Expo.

It began as an open air fair adjacent to the long-running Burbank Art Fair and has grown every year.  In fact, it attracts more foot traffic than the Art Fair these days.

This year young women illustrators, designers, authors, animators and all-around artists were a significant presence.  Here are a few of them.

Aiysha Sinclair annimation expo burbank fair
Aiysha Sinclair wrote and illustrated her book, Brown Sugar Fairies.
Tara Wittaker animation
The people around Tara Whitaker’s booth seemed to be a study in teal, including the hair of one visitor.
Isabelle Gedigk annimation expo
Illustrator and storyboard artist Isabelle Gedigk standing beside a poster of a book she illustrated.
red skirt woman at animation expo (
The Animation Expo brings out people in colorful clothing.
blue haired woman animation expo
Not an animator. Not an illustrator, but I loved the way her blue hair matched her blouse.  Surprisingly, there were no leaves at all on the jacaranda trees that line San Fernando Blvd. where the expo was held.  No purple jacaranda blooms yet, either.