CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2014 |
Morrie Markoff is not now and has never been a man of half measures. When he saw Depression-era evictions in his New York tenement, he became a fiery political activist. When he trained as a machinist, he was top of his class. When he argued with his wife, he left nothing in the tank. There's much to be learned from people like Markoff, who died briefly in 2012, but, true to his nature, clawed his way back to life. "His heart stopped, his eyes shut, his mouth fell open and his tongue dropped out," Morrie's daughter Judy said to me in an email, adding that the grieving family retreated to Good Samaritan Hospital's meditation room.
February 21, 2014 |
BODVALENKE, Hungary - I'm not sure what I expected to bring back from an eight-day luxury tour of Budapest, Hungary, and environs. Memories, photos of Art Nouveau architecture, a few extra pastry-induced pounds and a lifetime supply of sweet paprika, maybe. I never thought I'd find myself, just a month later, Skyping at 7 a.m. about a storm that had recently hit the village of Bodvalenke, about 150 miles northeast of Budapest, not far from the Slovakian border. Hailstones the size of walnuts had caused flooding and decimated the natural vegetation and local crops, one of the village's few sources of income.
February 16, 2014 |
Heavy metals and beauty as armor were big themes at the fall 2014 collections shown during New York Fashion Week. We don't just mean the metaphorical power of a strong red lip, but literally using pigments like war paint and metallic shimmer like chain mail. The concept was most apparent at Alexander Wang , whose whole collection had a survivalist vibe. The message certainly carried through to the models' hair and makeup, with faces contoured and highlighted to create amplified light and shadow and hair shellacked to the side to look almost like a helmet.
February 14, 2014 |
SAN DIEGO - A fascinating experiment is underway at San Diego's flagship theater, the Old Globe. Now under the leadership of Barry Edelstein, the theater is seeking a return to the form of its Tony-winning heyday under Jack O'Brien. Can the Globe's outdoor Summer Shakespeare Festival be reshaped into a national center for the very best in American Shakespeare? That might seem like an overreaching quest, but in appointing Edelstein artistic director, the board of directors has chosen a bona fide Shakespeare expert to lead the charge.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 |
With a strong push from MTV, spoken-word poetry went mainstream in the mid-1990s, and Maggie Estep was its leading lady. Dressed in black, often backed by a rock band, Estep was a sassy, slightly twisted New Yorker who wrote and performed humorous, biting pieces that merged poetry with stand-up comedy. A regular at Manhattan's Nuyorican Poets Café, the center of the poetry slam movement, she was a crowd favorite for pieces with titles like "Hey Baby" and "The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With.
February 12, 2014 |
Laugh all you want at those old public-access television clips of the late Dr. Gene Scott, the eccentric televangelist who sometimes wore two pairs of glasses at once and shouted at viewers to "Get on the telephone!" whenever his fundraising totals ebbed. He and his Los Angeles Universal Cathedral, operating from the 1927 United Artists Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, turned out to be surprisingly good friends to historic preservation. And say what you will about the quixotic plan hatched in 2000 by Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood to turn the Forum, once home to Magic Johnson's "Showtime" Lakers and Wayne Gretzky's Kings, into a thriving combination of mega-church and high-end arena.