January 25, 1998 |
My wife, Liet, has a built-in compass. Blindfold her, twirl her, drive her in circles and she always knows where north, south, east and west are. Our daughters and I--who are directionless--tell her it's in her genes, as well it might be.
November 22, 2009 |
This year when you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, think about tulips, windmills and wooden shoes. Think about a town in Holland where, for a brief golden moment in the early 17th century, people of disparate faiths could worship as they saw fit -- French Huguenots, Roman Catholics, Jews, Quakers, Lutherans, Dutch Mennonites and a small group of religious dissenters from England, later known as the Pilgrims. Think about Leiden, 25 miles southwest of Amsterdam. It gave the Pilgrims refuge from 1609 to 1620 before they crossed the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Mayflower, landed on Plymouth Rock, suffered through a brutal winter and then plucked the first Thanksgiving turkey to celebrate their survival.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 1998 |
As we get ready for President Clinton's testimony before Kenneth Starr's grand jury today, perhaps the classic American novel of adultery, Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter," can teach us a little about compassion about sexual matters. Like any traditional Victorian, Hawthorne took adultery seriously. He was no liberal who thought the bedroom was purely private. Never in the course of his novel does he endorse Hester Prynne's belief that her love affair with the Rev.
March 13, 2001 |
Uplifting in every sense, the local debut of My Lord Chamberlain's Consort produced a delightful, provocative afternoon of 16th and 17th century British music Sunday in the handsome and elegant Church of Our Saviour in San Gabriel, on the Chamber Music in Historic Sites series presented by the Da Camera Society of Mount St. Mary's College. This septet of musicians put together a tight, engrossing program and performed it compellingly.
September 6, 2003
DIRECTOR Bernardo Bertolucci's angry reaction to 20th Century Fox's insistence on cutting sex and nudity scenes in his film "The Dreamers" is a vivid reminder of the differences between American sexual mores and those of other countries ("Bertolucci Lashes Out at Studio Over Film Cuts," by David Gritten, Sept. 2). Most people believe puritanism is the same everywhere when, in fact, the American variety is the most extreme in the Western world. The English dissidents who migrated to North America in the 17th century came from a radical fringe that objected to the moderate policies of mainline Puritans.
September 8, 1985 |
Two questions often asked about old furniture are: How much is it worth and what style is it, says Joseph T. Butler. Butler, who oversees Washington Irving's Sunnyside and several other historic restorations, is director of Sleepy Hollow Restorations in Tarrytown, N.Y. Recently, he wrote a book to help those who want to find out what style a piece is. As to what it is worth, that's a question whose answer fluctuates, depending on which styles are "in" at the moment.
April 6, 2003 |
"Writing a play is hard," Richard N. Goodwin reflects. "I found it the most difficult thing I'd ever undertaken. It's much easier to write a national speech for a U.S. president than to write a play." Goodwin is one of the few men in the world who could offer such an opinion based on personal experience. In the 1960s, he was a speechwriter for two Democratic presidents, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Now at age 71, he has finally made his debut as a dramatist.
May 6, 1999 |
In June when Sotheby's auctions off the Chateau de Groussay and its contents for an anticipated total of $15 million, it won't be just a mansion on 67 acres outside of Paris that's being sold. A legend will be on the block, for this was the home of Charles de Beistegui (1894-1970), an enigmatic interior decorator whose passport was Spanish and whose wealth came from his family's Mexican silver mines.
December 7, 1986 |
Imagine a town so high in the mountains that its inhabitants live with their heads in the clouds, a town where Indians clad in reddish pink and bright blue stroll the streets. Imagine a town whose 16th- and 17th-Century architecture makes it a Spanish colonial gem, a place that has the feeling of a Spanish outpost. Such is the dreamy realm of San Cristobal de las Casas, in Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas.
May 25, 2000 |
Oh, if we had it all to do over again. What if 20th century sensibilities could be applied to the exploration of the New World? Would it happen differently? A game like "1602 AD" for the PC ought to let the curious find out. But sadly, "1602" forces players to play under the same belief structure as the earliest explorers. Land exists to be exploited. Nature is mankind's servant, there to be subjugated. Indigenous people offer valuable raw materials, until they get in the way.