Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Preserving the Los Angeles Downtown Women's Center: Cast Your Vote

Help a local historic institution out! The Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) is a haven for thousands of women living without a home across Los Angeles and is the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women.

The DWC is in the running for this year's “Partners in Preservation,” an effort by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to preserve historic places. In the running 20 local historical sites from across the country, all with significant ties to Women’s History. Now those sites are rallying their communities to compete for a slice of $2 million in preservation grant money.

Cast your vote here.

Here's more on what the DWC is up to:
In 1978, DWC founder Jill Halverson used her savings to open Los Angeles’ first drop-in day center for homeless women. In the 1980s, DWC’s services grew to offer the first permanent supportive housing program for women. In 2010, and with a female architect at the lead, DWC completed a $35 million capital campaign to revitalize a historic building constructed by female developer Florence Casler in 1927. 

Funding will cover the re-design of current external signage, as well as support the revitalization of DWC’s external facade. As an advocate for historic preservation and a firm believer in managing rather than preventing change, DWC demonstrates how historic buildings can continue to serve as beacons of hope for the community.

This Saturday, the Downtown Women’s Center will hold a "Partners in Preservation Open House Event" to showcase more of their work, and why preservation is so important. Check it out:

Saturday, October 19, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
442 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Rate-A-Restaurant #387: Fritzi Coop (Fairfax/Beverly/3rd)

Restaurant: Fritzi Coop

Location: Farmers Market (Fairfax/Beverly/3rd)

Type of restaurant: Chicken sandwiches

We stipulated: With my parents in town, we found ourselves at the Farmers Market — and Fritzi Coop was one of the food options to try.

They stipulated: "From culinary mastermind, Neal Fraser, Fritzi Coop is the can’t-miss fried chicken destination at The Original Farmer’s Market & SteelCraft in Bellflower. Our philosophy is a simple one: We use the highest quality ingredients paired with delicious, bold flavors, from our signature plates to our salads and sandwiches. You’ll find no better chicken on the planet!"

What we ordered: Fritzi Hot Chicken ("our classic fried chicken with serious Fritzi heat, spicy slaw and sliced pickles"); bold classic ("buttermilk fried chicken with house-made pimento cheese, lettuce, tomato and sliced pickles"); tots

High point:  Hot chicken sandwich was good, although messy.

Overall impression: I'm ashamed to say we haven't had Howlin' Rays yet, because that line is still too crazy, and I lack the patience. Fritzi's was good... but I'm still looking for the perfect, hot chicken sandwich.

Will we return:  It's fine enough, and if I find myself at the Farmers Market again, I will try it -- and ask for it to be spicier.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Vidiots Moves to Eagle Rock, As Another Local Dark Theater Is Revived

Just months after the Bob Baker Marionette Theater moved to Highland Park and took over the former York Theatre (which had more recently served as a church), another area dark theater-turned-church is also getting a revival.

Eagle Rock's Eagle Theatre, most recently home to a series of churches, will soon return to its original function as a theater — thanks to a revival of famed video store Vidiots.

Now a film nonprofit, Vidiots will relaunch in Fall of 2020 "as an expanded entertainment, social, and community space" at its new home in Eagle Rock. Vidiots closed its Santa Monica location in 2017 after decades there, and various attempts to keep it going. Now it's back, and per Vidiots' press release, the new entity will restore "the 90-year-old, 200-seat Eagle Theatre to its original purpose as an independent theater with state-of-the-art sound and projection (35mm and DCP). Vidiots will offer a full program of repertory titles, new independents, hard-to-find gems, beloved classics and community-driven programs. An expansive adjacent storefront will house Vidiots’ 50,000+ DVD, BluRay, and rare VHS collection for rental. The location will also have a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art second screening room for film programs, educational workshops, and special events. Vidiots will collaborate with the best local food and beverage partners to provide an exciting and ever-changing culinary menu."
More about the new entity:
Vidiots -- reinventing video store culture for the 21st Century. A one-of-kind hub for film lovers, filmmakers, and everyone curious about cinema, Vidiots is dedicated to inspiring human interaction around film through preserving, growing, and providing access to its diverse DVD, BluRay, and rare VHS collection, showcasing the work of emerging and master artists, and producing unique film events and vital education programs.

A Los Angeles brick-and-mortar film space founded and helmed by women, Vidiots was opened as an alternative video store in 1985 by L.A. natives Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber. For 32 years Vidiots served its devoted community via the iconic Santa Monica storefront, which shuttered in 2017 in the wake of rising costs. With the generous and unwavering support of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures (which became a major donor in 2015, along with Vidiots customer Dr. Leonard Lipman), Vidiots was able to store its collection and devise an extensive plan for sustainable relaunch in a new home.

Vidiots’ new home, originally conceived as a vaudeville stage, first opened in May 1929 as The Yosemite Theatre. After a few short days, the Yosemite re-opened as an independent silent movie theater, and a year later it transitioned to sound. In 1940, The Yosemite became The Eagle Theatre. From 1976 to 1979, the theater ran as a Pussycat, part of the infamous adult cinema chain. In 1983, The Eagle once again became a traditional independent cinema, and operated into the 1990s before becoming a series of churches.

With almost-10,000 square feet of entertainment and educational space, Vidiots will operate seven days a week and offer daily screenings and special programs, the full video store with DVD and BluRay rentals, concessions, and a light menu with beer and wine. The main theater (200+ seats, an ample stage, 35mm, DCP, and state-of-the-art sound) will provide flexibility for various screenings and tastemaker events. A second, smaller screening and event space (approximately 50 seats with DCP projection) will be ideal for screenings, workshops, and receptions.

Friday, September 27, 2019

The 14th Annual Great Los Angeles Walk Takes a Detour to Northeast Los Angeles, Pasadena and Arcadia!

For the 14th Annual Great Los Angeles Walk, we're mixing things up! For the first time since our 2014 walk across the San Fernando Valley, the GLAW is taking a detour from its usual downtown-to-ocean route.

This year, we're heading northeast -- to the San Gabriel Valley and northeast Los Angeles, before ending in downtown. In doing so, we'll be focusing most of our walk on two iconic streets: Colorado Blvd. and Figueroa.

The walk will begin at Arcadia County Park's War Memorial Fountain (across the street from a Van de Kamp's windmill that now serves as a Denny's location) and pass by the Santa Anita horse racing track, before swinging north to Colorado Blvd. — and from there we'll enter Pasadena and work our way west, down what was once Route 66. We'll see historic Pasadena buildings and eventually get to the famed Old Town Pasadena, before then walking on the Colorado Bridge.

From there, we'll hit the outskirts of Eagle Rock (and see the actual Eagle Rock), then hang a left on Figueroa and head south, down through Highland Park and its various historic buildings and residences. We'll cross over the river and past the Los Angeles State Historic Park into Chinatown, then near El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument on to our final destination: Grand Park and Los Angeles City Hall.

The start point is near a Metro Gold Line station, and the end point is also transit-friendly. This is a fantastic way to explore a different part of Los Angeles than we normally do, see some fantastic historic sites and end in downtown, which will already be decked out for the holidays. From there, we'll celebrate at a downtown location to be announced later.

Stay tuned for more details! Always check www.greatlawalk.com for updates, and feel free to drop us a line at greatlawalk@mail.com to let us know you're coming!

Most importantly: The date for the walk is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2019 at 9 am. Meet at Arcadia County Park's War Memorial Fountain! (It's always the Saturday before Thanksgiving -- just remember that!) More details to come!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Emmys: Behind the Scenes with This Year's Winners, Including Phoebe Waller-Bridge

So the reviews for the 71st Emmy Awards weren't great. But most of the wins were — including some honest-to-goodness surprises. It was a reminder that no one knows anything, and predicting these things can be tough. Take the night's biggest winner, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (above, with her "Fleabag" cohorts). "Fleabag" was one of the best TV programs of the year, but it was hard to tell whether the Television Academy voters had watched it. But they did, and honored the show with best comedy, as well as Waller-Bridge for best comedy actress and best comedy writing.

That shockingly blocked "Veep" from any wins, despite star Julia Louis-Dreyfus seemingly being a lock. Again, no one knows anything. As usual, I was backstage in the press room during the ceremony, and I snapped these pics as the winners made it backstage.

Best drama actress winner Jodie Comer ("Killing Eve")

Best drama director Jason Bateman ("Ozark")

Best drama actor Billy Porter ("Pose")

Best supporting drama actor Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones")

Best drama "Game of Thrones"

Best limited series actor Jharrel Jerome ("When They See Us")

Best variety/talk show "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"

Best supporting limited series actress Patricia Arquette ("The Act")

Best limited series actress Michelle Williams ("Fosse/Verdon")

Best supporting limited series actor Ben Whishaw ("A Very English Scandal")

Best comedy actor Bill Hader ("Barry")

Best competition series/reality host "RuPaul's Drag Race"

Best supporting comedy actor and actress Tony Shalhoub and Alex Borstein ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel")

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