CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2012 |
Elliott Carter, the great American composer who was born in the horse-and-buggy era but whose music persistently looked ahead by reflecting and unabashedly celebrating the intricacies of modern life, died Monday of natural causes at his home in New York, according to his close friend and assistant, clarinetist Virgil Blackwell. He was 103. Not only did Carter long outlive all of the significant composers of his generation, he astonished the musical world by remaining inventive and prolific up to the end. On Oct. 25, Los Angeles Philharmonic musical director Gustavo Dudamel conducted the world premiere of Carter's most recent piece, "Dialogues II," at La Scala in Milan.
November 3, 2012 |
It is 10 in the evening, West Hollywood has just begun to ramp up into the night and three dozen people are lined up outside Laurel Hardware, the fashionable restaurant of the moment. It is the weekend before Halloween, which means bits of the usual sorts of costumes are on the boulevard: size 13 heels and ragged scraps of lace, kitten ears and satin bow ties. A woman saunters up to the restaurant, bouffant freshly blond, wrapped in what looks like a replica of a Mead three-ring notebook.
October 23, 2012 |
What is the relationship of truth and invention in literary nonfiction? Over at TriQuarterly, an anonymous post called “The Facts of the Matter” frames the issue in a fascinating way. Presented as a personal essay, written by a middle-aged male author who, as an undergraduate at Yale, sexually assaulted “a girl I liked,” it is a meditation on revelation, narrative and construction, raising questions about the interplay of fact and narrative by...
August 26, 2012
Mo Willems' pictures books are notable for their off-beat charm. In one, a pigeon attempts to drive a bus. In another, an elephant discovers the one thing worse than having a bird on your head is having two birds on it. Next month the Massachusetts-based author keeps the laughs coming with "Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs," in which he substitutes chocolate pudding for porridge and imports a dinosaur from Norway. We caught up with the multiple Caldecott Honor winner to chat about his newest project.
August 11, 2012 |
We all think we know what to expect from a great sushi meal in Los Angeles, a progression of fish and rice that runs from the vinegared dish at the beginning to the warm crab hand roll at the end. If we are in a restaurant influenced by Nobu Matsuhisa, there may be some ceviche or spicy tuna along the way; if we are at a modern sushi bar, there may be cooked oysters or a salad. So the last thing I was expecting on my first visit to Shunji Japanese Cuisine, the Westside restaurant that is the newest darling of local raw-fish cognoscenti, was a bowl of vegetables, served at the sushi bar, at the point in the meal where you might be expecting an elaborate sea urchin presentation or a saucer of tuna nuta . Shunji is not an ordinary sushi bar. PHOTOS: The cuisine at Shunji It's not just Shunji's modest location.
July 28, 2012 |
Pate-a-choux is the stuff of magic in the kitchen. Pipe a soft, sticky dough onto a baking sheet and slide it into a hot oven. In mere minutes the dough puffs up - practically exploding to double, even triple, its original size - right before your eyes. Out of the oven, pate-a-choux cools to a golden-brown shell, crisp yet delicate and lighter than air. It's downright mesmerizing. Maybe you've never heard of pate-a-choux, but you've no doubt savored it at one time or another. Also known as cream puff dough, it's the magic behind crisp éclair shells and towering cream puff pastries, savory profiteroles and cheesy gougères.
July 23, 2012 |
Gordon Crovitz of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page reopens the ancient debate over who invented the Internet with a column Monday calling out the notion that it was the government as an "urban legend. " And while I'm gratified in a sense that he cites my book about Xerox PARC, "Dealers of Lightning," to support his case, it's my duty to point out that he's wrong. My book bolsters, not contradicts, the argument that the Internet had its roots in the ARPANet, a government project.
June 24, 2012 |
HHhH A Novel Laurent Binet, translated from the French by Sam Taylor Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 336 pp., $26 -- Laurent Binet tackles the story of a Nazi and the two Czechoslovakian war heroes who set out to assassinate him and writes a marvelous, charming, engaging novel. But he's not quite sure how he feels about that. The awkwardly titled "HHhH" won the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman, the debut-novel version of France's highest literary prize. Binet is a history teacher who had previously published a memoir, and the very project of writing a historical novel sits uneasily with him, a tension that is an essential part of the book.
June 22, 2012 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Everyone is doing it. Symphony orchestras putting on opera, that is. The Los Angeles Philharmonic received the lion's share of national attention for its high-profile Walt Disney Concert Hall production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" last month, but the Cleveland Orchestra also presented a highly regarded concert performance of Strauss' "Salome" in May at home and in New York. On Thursday night, the San Francisco Symphony got into the act with an innovative semi-staged version, replete with immersive video, of Bartók's "Bluebeard's Castle" at Davies Symphony Hall.
June 22, 2012 |
Does depth perception develop in humans as a result of nature or nurture? It's a question scientists have wondered about. And a new study comes to a surprising conclusion: Babies acquire binocular vision as a result of viewing the world around them, not merely thanks to genetic programming. "My guess was that it was going to be something in between nature and nurture," said study leader Ilona Kovacs, a psychologist at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary.