A Bride and Groom in Union Station while the world walks by

Bride and groom Union
Light from a skylight flooded the area where the bride and groom were being photographed. I hope they live happily ever after.

On my way to an art/music festival at Grand Park I came across this couple having their wedding photos taken in Union Station.  A few of us watched, but many other people simply walked by, each involved with his/her own life.

I love the fact that the bride is wearing an elegant beige gown. Before Queen Victoria got married in a white gown brides did not wear white. I wish more brides would give up that 200 hundred year old custom and start wearing colors again. Another argument against white bridal gowns: in some parts of the world white is the color of mourning.

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Women’s March in Los Angeles, January 2018

 

womens March L A Cheeto bandido
I think there were more anti-Trump posters this year. And quite a few signs about #MeToo and #TimesUp.  There is an auction of celebrity black dresses  from the Golden Globe Awards on ebay for Time’s Up.  

City officials and Metro were expecting a larger crowd at the Women’s March this year and it may have been true. Unlike New York, Boston or Chicago, the weather was beautiful in Los Angeles: temperature in the low 60sF and clear skies and no circling helicopters which there had been last year.

Here are some photos.

Womens March Power to the Polls
Already 390 women are running for seats in Congress in the election this year.  And thousands more are running for state and local offices.  
Womens March 2018 ReSister Pershing Sq
I like the play on words of “ReSister”  on this sign I saw as the Women’s March Los Angeles was getting  started in Pershing Square.
Womens March Native American
Dressed as a Native American, the sign reads “Women’s Justice Juarez.” There were many men at this year’s march.
Womens March Handmaid in Metro
A Handmaid in the Metro station. Things could be far far worse for women in the U.S. as the Handmaid’s Tale reminds us.
3 friends at Womens March l.a.
3 friends. 2 pussy hats. Big smiles.
Womens March 2018 City Hall (
The crowd turned this corner and began to mass in front of the Los Angeles City Hall.  I noticed a sign for Kamala Harris in 2020.  Almost everyone was more concerned with voting in 2018.
womens march 2018 New Day (
I loved the spirit of a “New Day” coming for this group. I sure hope it is!
Womens March street vendor
As always there were a few street vendors selling hot dogs wrapped in bacon. This woman seemed to have a lot of vegetables on her grill.  The sign attached to the fence behind her is apt.

Learn how to Curl, go ice skating, take an “angel” photo at Pershing Square in #DTLA

Angel Wings Pershing Square
Backdrops painted with “Angel Wings” are showing up everywhere. This is at Pershing Square next to the ice rink. There is also a set of “Angel Wings” for photographs a few blocks away in the Central Library downtown.

Perhaps it is too early in December, but there were almost no Christmas decorations, no jolly Santa Claus, and no carolers in Pershing Square — unlike other years.  There weren’t even a lot of children skating on the ice rink.  It really did not feel very festive.

Learn to Curl Pershing Square
The Winter Olympics are in February and, no doubt, the interest in the sport of Curling is rising. Curling classes will be held December 17 and January 14 at the Pershing Square ice rink..

There was an “angel wings” backdrop for people to use for photos, however.  And interesting signs announcing that Ice Curling lessons are coming soon and so is Broom Hockey.  To learn more about this, go here.

Now for some musical trivia.  Singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell once wrote a song about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot.  Well, that parking lot, formerly the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic until the building was demolished decades ago, is now becoming a high rise tower across from Pershing Square.

Okay. Here is what I saw:

Ice skaters with penguins
Children learn to skate using “penguins” to keep their balance. There were few skaters on this Saturday morning, but perhaps it was too early in the holiday season.

 

Joni Mitchell's paved parking lot
Formerly the home of the L.A. Philharmonic, then for decades a parking lot, now  this space is becoming a high rise. I wonder what Joni Mitchell thinks of this.

Beautiful Day of the Dead altars in Grand Park, Los Angeles

Day of Dead 2017 Grand Park skulls
This massive altar was created by Lore Productions. On each level of the altar were hundreds of note written to deceased family and friends.

This year a group called Lore Productions “curated” some of the large altars for Grand Park.  Their altars were large and professional in appearance, like the one at the top of this post.

skull curated by Lore Productions
A close-up of one of the skulls in the altar at the top of this post.

This year I didn’t see an altar by artist Ofelia Esperanza, the most famous altar creator in L.A. but the community altar this year  was built by Self-Help Graphics, one of the old art studios for Chicano artists.

There was also something entirely new: the floating altars with La Calavera Catrina, the Queen on the Dead.  With a little research I discovered that La Calavera Catrina was a figure developed in the early 20th Century that has become very popular for Day of the Dead during the last century.

Today was the last day for the altars in Grand Park.  Here are some photos.

Notes to the dead
Hundreds of notes were left on the altar.
Community Altar by Self-Help Graphics
Self-Help Graphics created this community altar. Many Chicano artists got their start through Self-Help.
Commuity Altar gifts
The bottles of beer and tequila are not unusual on the altars.  On family altars favorite foods of the dead being honored are often placed on the altar. This is a detail from the Community Altar created by Self-Help Graphics.
Altar of Oaxaca Grand Park
Across the street from City Hall was the Altar of Oaxaca by Lore Productions and a group of people on a tour of the altars.
Family altar 2017
A family altar — much more modest in size and personal than the massive ones lower down in the park.
Altar honoring women
A detail of another one of the smaller altars. This one honored Mexican-American women with significant achievements in politics and entertainment.

 

 

La Calavera Catrina Queen of the Dead
Part of the children’s wading pool was closed off to make room for La Calavera Catrina on her boat with blue waves. At the edge of the pool were smaller floating altars, some commemorating well-known people who had died in L.A. in recent years.  This sophisticated display was also produced by Lore Productions.  
Gifts for the dead bananas
An offering of food complete with a sugar skull on one altar. The small bananas are so much sweeter than the ones you can buy in the supermarket.  I know–I used to have banana trees in my back yard. The dead will appreciate them.
Masked mother and son 2017 (
These paper masks were given away as part of the Grand Avenue free entry day which was also happening on Saturday. This mother and son slipped them on for just a minute.

Five Lego men on benches in downtown Los Angeles

Lego brick Park People
These Lego figures are a kind of “selfie”. The artist Nathan Sawaya based the sculptures on his own body.

 

Brookfield Properties sponsors art installations around their investment properties across the U.S.  Nice of them!  And, in this case, fun, too!  They’ve sponsored Nathan Sawaya’s ‘Park People’–figurative sculptures made from Lego® blocks–in the courtyard outside of the Wells Fargo building on Grand near 4th.

Blue Lego Man Park People Los Angeles
Around the corner from Nevelson”s “Night Sails” sculpture was this Blue man made of Lego.

On my way to the Central Library to see the new murals I found five figures: four in the main Wells Fargo courtyard and another, the blue man, tucked away behind Nevelson’s black ‘Night Sails” sculpture.

Meditating lego man Los Angeles
Golden Yellow meditating figure in the ‘Park People’ installation.  Behind him, a green man  faces a family taking pictures. The Red man seemed to be drawing the most attention. 
Yellow lego
Yup! It really is the same Lego you played with as a child!

 

See the extraordinary new murals at the Los Angeles Central Library: Oaxaca/LosAngeles

oaxacalifornia mural Los Angeles Library
Near each section of the murals is a detailed explanation of the imagery. Some symbols are from Los Angeles, some from Oaxaca.

Neither my photos or words can convey the experience of seeing the new murals in the second floor rotunda at the Central Library.  When I was at the library on Saturday, the day before the “official” opening of Pacific Standard Time LA/LA, there were already crowds of people, armed with cameras, viewing these works of art.

Oaxaca LA murals crowd
Wrapping around the rotunda at eye level are the Oaxaca/Los Angeles murals by the artists, Dario Canul and Cosijoesa Cernas, also known collectively as Tlacolulokos. Above are the faded murals done by Dean Cornwell in 1933, depicting the history of California as it was understood then by him. They are severely faded and need restoration!

Higher up are the pastel murals about California history completed back in the early 20th century. These new murals are clearly works of the 21st Century. And are clearly the works of Mexican-Americans in L.A. Both members of the Tlacolulokos collective were born in Oaxaca. Two women standing beside me commented that they hoped the murals would be permanently on display. I hope so too.

Below are more photos of parts of the mural. There is also a video being shown in the rotunda. If you are anywhere near downtown, be sure to take a few minutes to see the entire set of murals in place.  In fact, you should probably make a special trip to see them.

And a few words for Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions – how can you possibly say that immigrants, especially Latino immigrants, do not contribute to our society!

Tattoo mural Los Angeles Central Library
The conquistador-priest and a tattoo artist — past and present.  I hope that the fact that the murals have been custom designed for the space means they will be staying beyond the end of Pacific Standard Time LA/LA which ends in January 2018.
woman with smart phone mural
Again, the past and present , Mexico and the U.S., in this image.
TLAcoluLA mural L.A. Library
Is this how the artist sees himself? The name TLAcoluLA appears as a tattoo on his arm.

So far I have seen these other parts of the Getty-sponsored Pacific Standard Time LA/LA:

Cuban movie posters at PMCA

The Broad crosswalk and MOCA mural

Actor Anthony Quinn reborn on a building in downtown Los Angeles

Old actors don’t always fade away into oblivion. Some get repainted or moved to a new home.

For over 30 years, the Victor Clothing company mural of actor Anthony Quinn portraying Zorba the Greek has faded in the harsh sunlight and peeled away from the wall across from the back entrance of the Bradbury Building.

But now the Quinn/Zorba mural has been repainted and it is a glorious addition to the public art in downtown Los Angeles.

Another movie star has disappeared from this area and reappeared, too. The statue of Charlie Chaplin formerly inside the Bradbury Building has been relocated to the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

Here are the before and after pictures of the mural.

Mural by Bradbury Bldg Los Angeles
After over 30 years the mural of Anthony Quinn had faded.  It would be nice to think the repainted mural will last another 30 years — until 2047.
Victor Clothing Anthony Quinn repainted
Reborn! The mural has been repainted. It is best viewed from the rear entrance to the Bradbury bldg. on Third near Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.