CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 25, 1990 |
Just off the Pasadena Freeway north of downtown, in sharp contrast to the tidy, historic village around it, an eight-sided house sits on wood and steel supports, four years after it was moved there to be refurbished and displayed. Time has not been kind to the Octagon House at Heritage Square Museum. Its paint is peeling. A window has cracked. A sash hangs open. Family disputes surely transpired under the home's cupola in the 93 years that it housed descendants of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
August 6, 1989 |
Of the 48,000 structures built during the glory years of Victorian architecture (1850-1915) in this city, about 8,000 survive with their historic facades intact--"painted ladies" rejuvenated into classy homes, hotels, restaurants, offices and shops. It has been estimated that an equal number await discovery and restoration, their antique charms hidden by face lifts performed in the 1940s and '50s.
December 29, 2000 |
To watch Michael Winterbottom's audacious "The Claim" is to wish Cecil B. DeMille had the idea first of transposing Thomas Hardy's "The Mayor of Casterbridge" to Northern California two decades after the discovery of gold in 1848. The material would have been perfect for DeMille, for at heart it's a quintessential Victorian morality tale as well as an epic frontier saga.
September 25, 1986 |
M any homes built during the last years of the 19th Century are viewed with affection today because of their intricate and ornate style. They stand as evidence of an era of minute detail and a sometimes mannerly society. Yet it was not always so. The typically Victorian, turn-of-the-century homes fell into disfavor in the 1920s and '30s as the cleaner, more modern look of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne took over.
September 17, 1989 |
The featured attraction of most retail-and-restaurant mall dedications tends to be an entertainment industry celebrity or two, riding a horse, sitting in an open customized auto or cutting a ribbon. Surrounded by the obligatory local politicians, and competing with a booming band in the background, they stoically shake hands, sign autographs and smile, then leave as quickly as possible.
December 26, 1999 |
Choosing the best wine ever is a fairly common game, but to tell you the truth, I never know what to say. I might be able to name my 50 favorites, but choosing just one is far too difficult. So when some of my Internet wine buddies started a thread called "Ten Best of the Millennium" the other day, I answered with 13 wines. Then I went back and added 10 more the next day. Wine is like that. The best wine is often the last great wine you tasted, or maybe the first.