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July 30, 2012 | By Alexandria Abramian Mott
It may be the biggest home store you've never heard of, but Urban Home is getting harder not to notice. The company, whose first five stores are in the San Fernando Valley and points north, has opened its sixth location in the 30,000-square-foot Westside Pavilion space at the prime corner of Westwood and Pico boulevards. It's a big expansion for the Oxnard-based company, and yet the West L.A. store is not even the company's largest. That title would go to the 35,000-square-foot Urban Home at the Sherman Oaks Galleria.
May 3, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Greyhound Express , a new premium bus service, rolled out Wednesday for routes that link Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and other California cities. The brand that turns 100 next year has tricked out Express buses with free Wi-Fi, power outlets, leather seats, three-point seat belts and extra legroom. Express customers get one more nice perk too: reserved seats. The service was launched 15 months ago in Chicago, expanded to the Northeast and now has begun in California.
April 29, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
Rita Ryack spent several weeks tangling with Tom Cruise's leather pants. The costume designer for the upcoming 1980s musical "Rock of Ages" (opening June 15) was instrumental in Cruise's conversion into the fictional rock icon Stacee Jaxx, a self-involved guitar-playing idol in the vein of Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose. The coyote-fur jacket, the jewel-encrusted codpiece and the custom-made cowboy hat did wonders in transforming the normally strait-laced Cruise into a drug-addled performer with more in common with Mick Jagger than Ethan Hunt.
February 10, 2012 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Travelers interested in participating in the TSA's expanded pre-check screening , which pre-approves some passengers to pass through checkpoints without removing shoes and belts - should click here  for information. The expanded program was announced Wednesday . . . . Hawaii hotel revenue rose 12.7% last year , according to a report by Hospitality Advisors LLC and Smith Travel Research. Occupancy was 73.4%, up from 70.7% in 2010. The average daily rate was about $189.62, up from $174.84 the previous year . . . . Nationwide, only New York City has higher room rates than Hawaii , Smith Travel Research says . . . . The 20th annual Zinfandel Festival takes place in Paso Robles March 16-18 , featuring wine from more than 50 vintners. For info or tickets, go to . . . . Northern California's Mendocino County hosts three Whale Festivals this March : Mendocino Village (March 3-4)
November 5, 2011 | Chris Dufresne
The "game of the century" might not have been the best game Saturday night. Louisiana State and Alabama lived up to the billing to the extent the volume was high and the scoring was low. It was a brutally battled contest pulled out by LSU, 9-6, on Drew Alleman's 25-yard field goal in overtime. The sold-out crowd of 101,821 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, stunned in the end, could not have been more vocally prepared. "I don't think anybody could watch that game and say Alabama doesn't have a really good team," Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban said.
November 4, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Newer isn't necessarily always better, even when it comes to football helmets. A study published online Friday in the Journal of Neurosurgery finds those vintage "leatherhead" helmets may protect as well as or better than modern ones when it comes to some typical helmet-on-helmet collisions that can lead to concussions. Let's pause for a disclaimer: The study authors don't advocate giving up today's polycarbonate helmets for those old leather-covered ones--the newer ones have resulted in a decrease in severe head and neck injuries.
August 21, 2011 | Geraldine Baum, Los Angeles Times
The brown-leather journal is my passport to Sept. 11, 2001. When I hold it in my hands, images and memories are no further away than yesterday. I had no notebook with me when my husband and I dropped our children, 8 and 4, at school that morning. Then came news of the attacks at the World Trade Center, and my husband pulled the journal from his briefcase. He pressed it into my hand so I would have something to write on. Rereading it, I wonder why I wrote in blue ink for several pages and switched to black.
August 13, 2011 | Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Jani Lane, the lead singer for Warrant, a popular 1980s metal band that often had hits with songs he penned, including "Cherry Pie" and "Heaven," has died. He was 47. Lane was found dead Thursday evening in a Woodland Hills hotel, said Sara Faden, a Los Angeles police officer. The cause of death was not known and an autopsy was scheduled. With his long blond hair and tight leather outfits, Lane embodied the excess of 1980s "hair metal" rock bands. After he joined Warrant in 1984, the band rose on the Sunset Strip circuit alongside kindred spirit Guns N' Roses and eventually signed with Columbia Records.
July 17, 2011 | By Emili Vesilind, Special to the Los Angeles Times
L.A.-based designer John Eshaya is in a rockin' mood. The former vice president of women's wear for Ron Herman launched his swanky-jeans-and-tees collection, Jet by John Eshaya, in 2008 and has added leather and glazed denim (which resembles leather) to his stable of slim-cut jeans for fall. Popular among trend-loving celebs including Nicole Richie, Heidi Klum and Kim Kardashian, the collection is already one of the sexiest denim lines in the stratosphere, specializing in skinny looks with just the right amount of rips, tears and vintage-inspired distressing.
July 10, 2011 | Emili Vesilind
French luxury brand Longchamp will premiere its first West Coast boutique on Monday at Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza, bringing its Le Pliage leather-trimmed nylon tote -- among other "it" handbags -- to Orange County shoppers. The 1,722-square-foot shop is an elegant study in wood, lacquer, glass and leather, and features a feminine enclave for the brand's growing ready-to-wear collection that "doesn't exist in any other U.S. store," said Stephanie Disegni, chief executive for Longchamp North America.
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