August 8, 2010 |
When Paul Brachfeld took over as inspector general of the National Archives, guardian of the country's most beloved treasures, he discovered the American people were being stolen blind. The Wright Brothers 1903 Flying Machine patent application? Gone. A copy of the Dec. 8, 1941 "Day of Infamy" speech autographed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and tied with a purple ribbon? Gone. Target maps of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, war telegrams written by Abraham Lincoln and a scabbard and belt given to Harry S. Truman?
February 5, 2010 |
I believe it was my mother who first admonished me never to presume that "you know what really goes on in another person's marriage." Well, Mom, meet the Sanfords of South Carolina, whose odd and tumultuous union is now an open book, thanks to "Staying True," Jenny Sanford's memoir of a marriage that only can be described as the Contract With America meets Southern gothic. Sanford's husband, Mark -- the governor of South Carolina -- was once a rising star in the national Republican firmament.
March 8, 2009 |
Stocks have crashed, industry is shuddering and banks are failing. The restless unemployed will soon fill the streets. Yet in San Francisco, some crazed optimist in the Pacific Stock Exchange Tower has hired Diego Rivera to decorate a private club for stockbrokers. Could this be the most doomed, stupid idea of all 1930? Here is Rivera, an intermittent communist who'd met with Stalin in Russia only two years before, perched on the scaffolding above the financial titans of Sansome Street.
September 6, 2008 |
In the midday heat of downtown Los Angeles, Chris Johnson squints at the jeans-clad plastic buttocks of mannequins lined up in Fashion District storefronts. He's looking for something special: a horseshoe design stitched in the jeans' back pockets. He passes stores selling counterfeit Coach bags and Prada sunglasses, then heads down an alley to a store where two men are checking their cellphones and looking bored. "Have any True Religion, size 6?" he asks. One of the shopkeepers looks around to make sure no one else is nearby, then disappears into a back room.
September 2, 2008 |
On Sept. 9, the U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter series will premiere a highly ambitious project with a mystery ending for readers and a couple of puzzlers for the industry: How big is the market for a multimedia story -- and can a phenomenon be conceived by a publisher rather than created by the public? "The 39 Clues" is a planned 10-volume set about young Amy and Dan Cahill and their worldwide search for the secret to their family's power. The first book, "The Maze of Bones," is written by Rick Riordan of "The Lightning Thief" fame and has an announced first printing of 500,000.
July 13, 2007 |
The Spanish Civil Guard heightened a battle over a $500-million treasure of gold and silver coins from a shipwreck when it seized a vessel belonging to a Tampa, Fla.-based company. The Ocean Alert was seized three miles off the southeastern coast. The Civil Guard acted on an order of a Spanish judge who in June instructed police to seize two vessels of Odyssey Marine Exploration if they left the British colony of Gibraltar and entered Spanish waters.
HOME & GARDEN
November 2, 2006 |
THE scene at this Santa Monica flea market says it all: Shiny black Lincoln Town Cars and Mercedes-Benz SUVs have packed the preferred parking spaces. Vendors look as if they belong in Nordstrom, not under a tent in an airport parking lot. As shoppers wander the aisles, lattes in hand, actor John Malkovich stops by one booth and eyes a French Moderne-style desk from the 1940s. Too late. It sold hours ago for $1,200.
HOME & GARDEN
November 3, 2005 |
NEAR the south end of Robertson Boulevard, far from the celebrity-magnet Ivy restaurant, is a string of shops with little glitz and no star power. The unpretentious old neighborhood just south of Pico Boulevard offers an eclectic mix of home furnishings that reflects the cultural melting pot of Los Angeles. It can be a treasure hunt of sorts.
August 21, 2005 |
Dutch Schultz's long-lost millions might be buried in this patch of pines, if Hayden Henningsen is reading the sketchy treasure map correctly. Searchers perk up when a metal detector skimming the forest floor starts sounding: "Mwwooooop! Boooooop! Boooooop!" Could it be? Maybe these four guys out on a bachelor party weekend jaunt will succeed where generations of searchers have failed. Maybe they will uncover the gangster booty buried in the Catskill Mountains during the Great Depression.
July 12, 2005 |
WHEN I WAS growing up in the San Gabriel Valley in the late 1960s, people still believed in treasure. My parents took my three siblings and me gold panning on the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, and families all over Southern California stashed sluice boxes in their station wagons for impromptu prospecting jaunts to the Mojave. Rock-hounding and gold-seeking were nearly as popular as stamp collecting in those days.