As I am nearing my due date and preparing for Bebe Wombat's arrival by attending breastfeeding support groups (at the Pump Station in Hollywood which I highly recommend to any new mama or mama-to-be), I am realising what a great undertaking it is to breastfeed. I sat at the support group and listened to all the new mamas talk about their issues and discuss how hard it is to get it just right. I want so badly to be good at it and to be able to provide for the baby without using formula. How inspiring to see a mainstream publication like the stylish W magazine preview their new issue with a radiant Angelina Jolie on the cover apparently breastfeeding one of her new twins.
When I see breastfeeding presented as something positive and wonderful like this here, it makes me happy. It is a normal activity and not something that should be hidden or seen as lurid. The issue hits stands (with lots more intimate portraits of their family all snapped by Brad Pitt) on Bebe Wombat's arrival-guess date appropriately enough.
So says the just released American Planning Association's Great Places in America's Top Ten List. No other neighborhood in California made the cut!
Echo Lake, originally a man made reservoir became
public city park in 1892. Boathouse dates to 1932. Photo Courtesy of
Carroll Avenue, in Angelino Heights district of Echo
Park, is a quaint and historic block that includes the highest
collection of Victorian houses in Southern California. Photo Courtesy
of Arthi Varma.
Echo Park thrived in the first decades of the 20th
century as a streetcar suburb surrounding Echo Lake. Photo Courtesy of
Residents and tourists look for the freshest produce at Waverly's Farmer's Market. Photo Courtesy of Arthi Varma.
They had this to say about Echo Park:
Echo Park Los Angeles, California
Hilly Terrain Sets Echo Park Apart From Other L.A. Neighborhoods
of Los Angeles's first suburbs, the Echo Park neighborhood is a vibrant
mix of cultures, incomes, architecture, commercial activity, and social
activism that has retained its unique character and charm for more than
Contributing to the neighborhood's eclecticism and
unique sense of place — and reasons for its selection as one of 10 APA
Great Neighborhoods for 2008 — are its varied topography, historic
architecture, and engaged citizens who, over the years, have gone to
great lengths to protect and preserve their historic arts community.
by Temple Street to the south, North Alvarado Street to the west,
Interstate 5 to the north and Park Drive to the east, Echo Park is just
two miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The neighborhood became
the set for many silent film productions made during the 1920s as the
movie industry shifted to California. A number of celebrities have
made the neighborhood their home, including writer Ayn Rand, actors
Steve McQueen and Leonardo DiCaprio, singer Linda Ronstadt, and
director John Huston.
neighborhood's connections to the film industry aside, its first
residents were by and large middle class and white. After World War II,
Latinos began moving to the area and now represent more than half of
the nearly 30,000 residents. Altogether, three-quarters of current Echo
Park residents speak a language other than English at home.
Heights near Echo Lake is the neighborhood's most picturesque area.
More than 50 Victorian homes grace this historic district, which was
established in 1983 as the city's first Historic Preservation Overlay
Zone. One entire block of Angelino Heights, which also includes
Craftsman-style bungalows, brownstones, and Streamline Moderne
architecture, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Angelino Heights Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (AH HPOZ) was
expanded in 2008 and covers 235 parcels bounded by West Sunset
Boulevard to the north and a local shopping destination — Echo Park
Avenue — on the west.
The neighborhood's hilly terrain has not
impeded building. Many houses are designed to complement the steep
slopes and take advantage of views. In some cases, buildings curve in
harmony with the crest of a hill. In others, front doors lead not to a
street but to public stairways that enable pedestrians to traverse the
of the neighborhood's two dozen-plus stairways are modest, while others
are landmarks that reward climbers with spectacular views of the Los
Angeles skyline and Hollywood Hills. The Baxter Steps — all 230 of them
— are the tallest in the city.
Unlike many areas of Los Angeles,
several parks are close by including Echo Lake and Elysian Park, the
city's second largest. The park at Echo Lake, home to the city's annual
Lotus Festival, includes an 1896 boathouse and the 1934 Art Deco
statue, Lady of the Lake.
There's been a long history of citizen
activism in Echo Park. During the 1990s residents drew attention to
safety issues, which has help lower property and personal crime rates
in the neighborhood to approximately 20 percent below the city's
Residents also keep a close eye on affordable housing.
Some of the neighborhood's more affordable homes have been stabilized
with the help of the city-supported historic preservation efforts. In
2005, for example, the city approved a small lot subdivision ordinance
that encourages the creation of several units on one parcel. To some
degree the typical size of an Echo Park home — just three rooms — has
helped keep prices from rising significantly compared with other parts
of the city.
Such activism and meaningful community
participation inspires motivation, commitment, and public debate, which
are vital to keeping Echo Park a great place to live.
generations people have come to Echo Park, raised their families,
started vibrant businesses, and given back to the neighborhood and the
city as a whole," says Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Today
kids, parents, and grandparents representing numerous background and
cultures come together in Echo Park, making this community an
outstanding example of the great neighborhoods found throughout Los
I have to say I agree. I love Echo Park, have lived here for almost 10 years and despite the recent influx of hipsters, no one can deny its history or beauty.
I was so sad to read that Anita Page, the very last of the MGM silent stars, has passed away.
I had the chance to meet her back nearly 15 years ago and loved her charm and energy as well as listening to her stories.
She will be missed.
I wrote about her before HERE. RIP Anita.
Silent screen siren Anita Page dies at 98
2 hours ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anita Page, an MGM actress who appeared in films with Lon Chaney, Joan Crawford and Buster Keaton during the transition from silent movies to talkies, has died. She was 98.
Page died in her sleep early Saturday morning at her home in Los Angeles, said actor Randal Malone, her longtime friend and companion.
Page's career, which spanned 84 years, began in 1924 when she started as an extra.
Her big break came in 1928 when she won a major role — as the doomed bad girl — in "Our Dancing Daughters," a film that featured a wild Charleston by Crawford and propelled them both to stardom. It spawned two sequels, "Our Modern Maidens" and "Our Blushing Brides." Page and Crawford were in all three films.
Page's daughter Linda Sterne said her mother had been good friends with Marion Davies and Jean Harlow, and for about six months in the 1930s lived as a guest in William Hearst's massive castle on the Southern California coast.
"She was the best mother I could have," Sterne said. "She was wonderful. " In 1928, the New York-born Page starred opposite Chaney in "While the City Sleeps. "
The following year, she was co-star of "The Broadway Melody," the 1929 backstage tale of two sisters who love the same man. The film made history as the first talkie to win the best-picture Oscar and was arguably the first true film musical.
In his 1995 book "A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film," author Richard Barrios reserved much of his praise for Bessie Love, the veteran actress who played the other sister. But he called Page "intensely likable — sincere, well-meaning, endearing, in much the same fashion as Ruby Keeler several years later — and, of course, quite beautiful. "
Variety wrote in 1929 that Page "is also apt to bowl the trade over with a contribution that's natural all the way, plus her percentage on appearance. ... She can't dance, (but) the remainder of her performance is easily sufficient to make this impediment distinctly negligible. "
Among Page's other films were two of Keaton's sound films, "Free and Easy" in 1930, and "Sidewalks of New York" in 1931; "Night Court," with Walter Huston in 1932; and "The Easiest Way" in 1931, in which Clark Gable had a small role.
For a short time Page was married to composer Nacio Herb Brown, who wrote songs for "The Broadway Melody," but the marriage was annulled within a year, Sterne said.
Page stopped acting in 1936 when she fell in love with Herschel House, a Navy aviator. The couple married six weeks later and Page happily adapted to life as an officer's wife, hosting many parties at their home in Coronado, a city peninsula in the San Diego Bay, Sterne said.
The couple had two daughters, Linda and Sandra.
After House died in 1991, Page went on to return to films. In 1994, she appeared in the suspense thriller "Sunset After Dark. " Most recently, she had a cameo in the horror film "Frankenstein Rising," due out later this year.
Imagine how excited I was after going to Cinecon last week and having just relayed to my pals Victor and Judson my disappointment over there being no Kay Francis vehicles being shown this year to find out she is TCM's Star of the Month for September!
If you like glamourous 30's films and especially pre-codes, you have to acquaint yourself with Kay. I recommend not missing the campy lurid Mandalay.
Yay! They started this past Thursday night ( and I tivo-ed them all) and will be showing on every Thursday evening over 40 of her films. *sigh* Here is an article on her legacy in case you are unfamiliar... Kay Francis Profile
What?! You’ve never seen a Kay Francis film? That
means you have some terrific treats in store this
month on TCM -- 42, in fact., and that’s more samples
of the work of a single performer than we’ve
ever shown before during one of our “star of the
month” salutes. Kay was, like Garbo, Crawford,
Dietrich, Stanwyck, Carmen Miranda and a very few
others, one of a kind.
For several years (1933-37)
she was also the undisputed queen of Warner Bros.
studio, the one name among the company’s female
contingent which was a guaranteed draw at the boxoffice,
a position she enjoyed until that Massachusetts
girl named Davis began sitting on the throne at that studio in 1938. But unlike Bette D. who fought for
strong dramatic roles and recognition as an actress, Kay was famous for looking gorgeous and elegant while
riddled with angst. There seemed to be an unwritten law that any bonafide Kay Francis movie had to include
four basics: Kay wearing stunning gowns, Kay in love and suffering for it, Kay being gallant and true, Kay doing
the right thing at the film’s wrap, even if it meant her giving up a great love, be it a handsome swain, an adorable
child or a devoted hubby.
The public loved the Kay Francis formula so much, ironically, it also doomed her.
The more her fans crowded into the local Bijous to see the latest Francis film, the fatter her paycheck became
until she was making far more moola than the Brothers themselves. They didn’t like that idea and decided to
give Kay the heave-ho and, instead, put their muscle behind a newer actress who’d cost them much less, such
as hat new girl named Davis. They did not, however, fire Kay as that would have required them to pay her a
fortune in compensation fees - so they plotted instead to embarrass her into quitting. Thus, the studio started
casting her in third rate movies, lowering her billing even on those films in which she played the lead and, the
unkindest cut of all, riddling her scripts with words such as “ridiculous,” “really,” “resounding” and “Roger,”
because she had trouble pronouncing her “Rs.” But it didn’t work. Kay stayed and stayed and stayed. She kept
pocketing those weekly checks until the contract expired, winning the battle but, unfortunately, losing her
standing in the movie industry, and ultimately also diluting her legacy. But knowing what was going on in her
career during those latter days at Warner Bros. does make even the weaker Kay Francis films great fun to watch
Meanwhile, looking at the four-star Kay movies she made which we’ll be showing this month, such
as Lubitsch’s Trouble in Paradise, Tay Garnett’s One Way Passage and King Vidor’s Cynara, give a chance
to see Kay at her finest. Never fear, there are also myriad examples of the kind of
Kay Francis films that moviegoers loved best, one of them Mandalay, in which she
is miraculously able to jump on a steamer in Burma carrying only a purse, yet for
days after she’s on board the small boat wearing a succession of lavish gowns,
complete with headdresses, which have appeared from out of nowhere and would
seem to require a closet the size of Versailles to hold them. That was the magic of
movies. It was also the kind of magic moviegoers always
expected, and got, from Kay Francis. Welcome to her
unique world every Thursday this month.
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