October 7, 2012 |
It's often said that good writers have to find their voice. If that's so, Samuel Clemens found his in Virginia City, Nev. While working for its local paper in the 1860s, he assumed the name by which he's best known: Mark Twain. Were he alive, Twain would still recognize this town 25 miles southeast of Reno; it hasn't changed much in the last 150 years. The bed Immerse yourself in local lore at the B Street Bed & Breakfast (58 N. B St.;  847-7231) Innkeeper Carolyn Eichin, a former professor of Nevada history, is a walking textbook of information on all things Virginia City and beyond.
September 26, 2012 |
A museum in Wales said it has authenticated three paintings by the English landscape painter J.M.W. Turner that had been considered fakes. The works are being featured in a new display at the National Museum Cardiff that opened to the public this week. The works in question were bequeathed to the museum starting in 1951 by the collectors Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. The sisters donated the paintings as part of a group of seven works, all of which were believed to be authentic at the time.
September 13, 2012 |
The largely engaging class-reunion dramedy "10 Years" allows audiences to pretend they went to high school with the likes of Channing Tatum, Justin Long, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie and Kate Mara. But at some point, they are also going to have to pretend the film, written and directed by Jamie Linden (the screenwriter of "Dear John" and the fine "We Are Marshall"), is deeper and more essential than it actually is; there's a lot of been-there, done-that going on. That said, this very distant, slightly more youthful cousin to "The Big Chill" presents a convincing version of a 10-year high school reunion, one that eschews excess and melodrama for a wistful visit with a clutch of decent guys and gals who've chugged forward over the last decade, some more happily - and expectedly - than others.
August 12, 2012 |
Adelaide, Australia - Here's what everybody kept telling us, "For great food in Australia, go to Adelaide. " "Not Sydney?" "Adelaide. " "Not Melbourne?" "Adelaide. " Admittedly, all of these people are from South Australia, Adelaide's home state. Still, a lot of people are raving about the food. Deciding that we should check this out for ourselves, my boyfriend, Chris, and I ask our Adelaide hotel concierge where to go for dinner. Because it's only 5 p.m., and we stand a chance of getting in - one of the advantages of a travel-addled internal clock - our concierge suggests Ying Chow.
August 3, 2012 |
Watching"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry"is like experiencing a thrilling unfinished symphony: The story is enthralling, but it's not over, and there's no telling where it's going. Which makes what we see on screen all the more involving. Though he was named the most powerful artist in the world by ArtReview, Chinese provocateur/human rights activist Ai is simply a boldface name to most people, someone whose life and significance we are only vaguely aware of. Alison Klayman's documentary, a Sundance award winner, definitively changes that.
July 26, 2012 |
Resolute craft drives the cautionary content of “Incident at Vichy” at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Arthur Miller's 1964 study of detainees in Nazi-occupied France isn't exactly top tier, but when executed as intensely as this gripping revival, it might as well be. The setting, well designed by director Barbara Schofield and Don Bergmann, recalls Sartre's “No Exit” by way of many a B-movie. In a stark anteroom, located somewhere in the officially free zone, a group of archetypes await questioning.
July 14, 2012 |
Until very recently, I'd never actually eaten Yotam Ottolenghi's food. I'd certainly cooked a lot of it, but I had never been to one of his London restaurants. I knew the Israeli-born chef strictly from his two cookbooks, but that was enough for me to admire how he could take seemingly ordinary ingredients and make them add up to something more vivid than you'd ever imagine from reading through a recipe. His cooking has a clarity and authenticity unusual in a world where chefs work harder and harder to amaze with daring technique and surprising ingredients.
June 17, 2012 |
The average American teenager spends two hours watching TV each day and just seven minutes reading, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That's brutally apparent in the eighth grade, where two-thirds of students read below the expected level. In California, that statistic is even worse. Seventy-seven percent of eighth-graders read below grade, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The negative effects only compound as school progresses, making it more difficult for students to keep up in class, more likely that they'll give up and drop out, and less likely that they'll ever make up lost ground as their bodies and interests mature and their reading levels remain stuck in elementary school.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2012 |
For years, you could set your watch by the courthouse clock in Santa Barbara. But the bells - well, you could barely count on them at all. From a tower atop one of the city's most visited sites, peals rang out every 15 minutes - or 14 minutes, or 17, or not at all. Sometimes they struck on the hour, sometimes not. It was as if Victor Hugo's famous hunchback had quit flinging himself from rope to rope, propped his feet on a gargoyle and started...
May 19, 2012
If you are traveling in Texas, a great dining stop is in the small town of Shenandoah, just west of Houston. Aldo el Sharif, who for years had a famous restaurant in Houston, semiretired here and opened Aldo's Cucina Italiana. He still has the magic touch and turns out authentic meals at moderate prices. With all the marvelous historic sites in the area, a great way to top off a day is with dinner at Aldo's. Pastas from $13, main dishes from $18. Aldo's Cucina Italiana, 18450 I-45 South, Shenandoah; (936)