July 3, 2011
Missouri State Penitentiary, 115 Lafayette Street, Jefferson City, Mo.;  998-6998, http://www.missouripentours.com . Open March through November. The basic two-hour history tour is $12; ghost and overnight tours also offered for $25 and $100, respectively. Children 10 and younger not admitted. Children 14 and younger not allowed on ghost tours. Texas Prison Museum, 491 State Highway 75 N., Huntsville, Texas;  295-2155, http://www.txprisonmuseum.org . Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mondays-Saturdays; noon-5 p.m., Sundays.
June 26, 2011
ROAD TRIP Based on Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (27.5 mpg) and using AAA's survey-based average price of $3.90 a gallon for gas last week in California, this trip will cost you about $44.24 to drive the 312 miles from Los Angeles to Modesto. Antique Farm Equipment Museum , 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare; (559) 688-1030. Fully restored tractors, plows and steam engines dating to the 1880s. Suggested donation $5 for adults, $3 for children. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
April 23, 2011 |
In the gift shops of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, miniature statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln sit next to toy U.S. soldiers beckoning tourists to take them home. But despite their uniquely American character, those items and many others are made in China, rankling two lawmakers who have been fighting to get the publically financed Smithsonian museums to sell more American-made products. It started in January, when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
March 12, 2011 |
When we debate the endlessly tricky subjects of cultural patrimony and looted art, the pieces that usually come to mind are marble statues from classical antiquity or paintings stolen and stashed away during wartime. Not street art. And certainly not manhole covers. But thanks to Banksy, the elusive London-based artist, as well as fresh questions about the fate of Chandigarh, the Indian city designed in the 1950s by Modernist architect Le Corbusier, preparatory notes for a new chapter in this long story have shown up in the press in recent days.
March 10, 2011 |
The Las Vegas Hilton has a sweet special good through the end of the year: Rooms start at $49.95 for a midweek stay and come with such extras as drinks, breakfast and a discount on gift shop purchases. The deal: The Escape to Vegas package includes a room, two free cocktails at the hotel's Tempo Lounge, two free breakfast buffets, two free passes to the fitness center and a 15% discount in the hotel's gift shop. It's good for midweek stays; a two-night minimum is required.
February 22, 2011 |
Heading into Sunday's Academy Awards, "Exit Through the Gift Shop" is undoubtedly the most buzzed-about film in the documentary feature category. But the uncomfortable question persists: Is it real? The movie is anchored by two of the least reliable narrators in memory: Banksy, the anonymous British street artist; and Thierry Guetta, an eccentric French émigré to Los Angeles whose obsessive filming happens to capture the world of high-concept graffiti. In alternating interviews, the two recount the rise of anti-establishment vandals into the upper echelons of the art world, where their work quickly became commodified.
February 20, 2011
THE BEST WAY TO CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. From LAX , connecting service (change of plane) to Charlottesville is offered on United, US Airways and Delta. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $348. Monticello, 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, Va., (434) 984-9822, http://www.monticello.org , is open daily, except Christmas. House tour and tickets: adults, $22 (March-October) and $17 (November-February); children 6 to 11, $8. "Saving Monticello: The Levy Family's Epic Quest to Rescue the House That Jefferson Built" by Marc Leepson is for sale in the gift shop.
February 17, 2011 |
Is Banksy in town, doing some unique publicity stunts for his Oscar-nominated documentary, "Exit Through the Gift Shop"? Street-art buffs and bloggers have been abuzz this week with sightings of new paintings that appear to be the work of the mysterious British graffiti master. There's the one in Westwood that's been dubbed "Crayola Shooter," on the back of an Urban Outfitters in the UCLA neighborhood. Then there's one known as "The Charlie Brown Firestarter," spotted on Sunset Boulevard, that features the Charles M. Schulz-created character with a cigarette in his mouth and a can of gasoline in his hand.
February 12, 2011 |
Whenever someone asks me if I want to do lunch, they always wonder if I have a favorite spot, and I always lie. I tell them about a funky steakhouse in Glendale, a bustling Chinese joint on Broadway, a bright Mexican diner in Pasadena. I never tell them the truth, because they couldn't handle the truth. I never tell them about my real favorite place, because it's my place, my secret, my unvarnished connection with this city's sporting soul, my midday siesta among this city's sports dreams, the darn near perfect spot for a sportswriter and his peanut butter sandwich.