FIDM 13th Television Costume Design Exhibit

FIDM 13th Television Costume Design Exhibit

The 13th Art of Television Costume Design exhibition is back this summer for another year of celebrating the artistry of costume designers and their teams. Television’s perpetual evolution through both network and digital platforms gives today’s designers even more opportunity to create bold, memorable characters for a variety of programming. This year’s exhibition will feature a diverse assortment of shows across several genres–science fiction fantasies, contemporary comedies, and historical dramas, to name a few–and as always will include Emmy® Award-nominated programs from the 2018-2019 television season. Look for fan favorites such as Game of Thrones, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Black-ish, plus discover the latest hits like The Masked Singer and Good Omens,

The exhibition is free to the public and will be held in the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles through Saturday, Oct. 26. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

For information, visit FIDMmuseum.org.

Brunch Never Stops in SoCal’s LA Neighborhoods

Brunch Never Stops in SoCal’s LA Neighborhoods

There is absolutely no shortage of brunch spots in Los Angeles, and why would there be? We’re offered the best setting in the country to be able to enjoy this special weekend meal year-round. In the iconic beach neighborhood that is Venice, CA, we have the eclectic Abbott Kinney district, home to various restaurants, shops, bars and the like all encompassing L.A.’s unique experience. The pleasantly nestled Neighbor LA made sure to hold its own in the brunch offerings of L.A. by introducing a new menu that is sure to please foodies and weekend lush aficionados like myself well into the rest of the summer.

      Neighbor is a cozy garden bistro and cocktail bar nestled on one of LA’s busiest streets, Abbot Kinney Blvd. Fashioned from an old house on Venice Beach’s main drag, Neighbor is a fresh and charming social space, featuring a best in class coffee bar, cocktail program and a market fresh menu by Chef Joshua Luce.

Stepping into the warm and welcoming front lounge from the small brick stoop, guests are invited to choose their own adventure: settle in with a coffee, pull up one of the 20 seats at the marble cocktail bar, lean back in the garden lounge, or sit for a romantic dinner in the open air, backyard bistro. Neighbor’s pastel walls and eclectic furnishings invite guests to enjoy good company in a cozy and cheerful atmosphere.
 
     The new menu includes items like “Uncle J’s Fried Chicken” with cornbread, honey, & jalapeno or the California Avocado with seeded toast, pistachio, lime, radish, & chive blossom. Drink items include the Strawberry Rosemary Margarita made with tequila, lime, & agave, and The Baja made with tequila, stone fruit, basil, lime, & chili.
  
   
Make sure to check out these and all of the other brunch items at Neighbor LA at 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA, now serving Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, and Happy Hour.

NBA Superstar Russell Westbrook Launches Green Tech Program

NBA Superstar Russell Westbrook Launches Green Tech Program

The LA Conservation Corps (the Corps) announces the launch of Westbrook/Brownstein Green Tech Program (WBGT), an initiative steered by a partnership between L.A. native and NBA superstar Russell Westbrook’s Why Not? Foundation and L.A. philanthropist Chad Brownstein.

The program will provide digital job skills to at-risk young adults in the Corps and break down the digital divide by providing skill training for green tech job opportunities to 500 Corpsmembers in Los Angeles.

The Westbrook/Brownstein Green Tech Program will expose Corps members to achievable career paths and provide technology related tools and education. The program will include classes that train students in computer literacy and introduce marketable skills like coding, drone piloting, and computer engineering. The partnership will also fund the second pillar, the Westbrook/Brownstein Green Futures Lab, where new computers and necessary equipment for intro classes will be installed. The third core initiative is the advanced drone piloting career path program. It will be the creation of a quarterly advanced training program designed to position students to enter the game-changing career path of drone maintenance and piloting.

It means a lot to me to partner with Chad and the LA Conversation Corps on this new project. As a kid who grew up here in L.A., I know how important it is to feel supported and empowered by the community. By helping to provide these resources, my hope is that the youth will be able to see how bright their future can be and expand the vision of what they think they’re capable of” said Westbrook.

An initial donation will be facilitated by Russell Westbrook’s Why Not? Foundation and Chad Brownstein; with their robust network and partners, they will continue to fund raise for additional programming.

It’s an honor to work with Russell who has a track record of benefiting at risk youth. This partnership is a wonderful opportunity to positively contribute to a city we love” said Brownstein.

The Corps family is so grateful for and energized by Russell and Chad’s commitment to our Corps members” shared Wendy Butts, CEO of the L.A. Conservation Corps.  “For over 30 years, the Corps has championed the belief that building a young person’s confidence in themselves and opening their eyes to their educational and career possibilities can change their world. By investing in the technical skills needed to pursue careers in the growing green sector, Russell and Chad are helping Corpsmembers change everyone’s world.

Wendy Butts CEO LACC, Russell, and Chad

Russell Westbrook, a UCLA alumnus and Los Angeles native has always been passionate about empowering children in under-served communities. The mission of the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation is to inspire the lives of children, empower them to ask, “Why Not?” and teach them to never give up. The foundation works to help children that are facing hardships of any kind, and when faced with that adversity, fight to succeed and to never give up. Russell Westbrook and his brother were taught to ask, “Why Not?” every time they were told they could not do something.  It is this encouragement and strength that Russell and his family want to spread to children across the country. Founded in 2012, the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation is dedicated to supporting community-based education and family service programs while encouraging youth to believe in themselves.

Chad Brownstein has been a leader in LA philanthropic endeavors for two decades, including being an initial member of the 2028 LA Olympic Committee. Brownstein has an established relationship with the Corps, as he previously served on its board as finance committee chair. He has also been involved in positively affecting the lives of over 1,000,000 at-risk youth in under-served areas of Los Angeles.

The launch of the Westbrook/Brownstein Green Tech Program took place Monday, August 19, 2019 at 9:30 AM at the LA Conservation Corps’ John Van de Kamp Center, with both Westbrook and Brownstein participating in a tour of the facilities. 

(Photo Credit: LA Conservation Corps)

Journey Up the Nile River

Journey Up the Nile River

TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE

July 2019

There are many kinds of vacations—the relaxing, island vacation, the adventuruous trip up the mountains of Peru, the majestic splendor of old churches throughout Europe, and then there is the Middle East. A term coined in 1850s by a British India official, it is composed of 18 countries, 60+ languages and nearly four million people. It is the birthplace of most of the world’s religions and “has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area.”

So, let’s just say, it’s not Hawaii.

There are over 200 Nile cruise ships. Many originate in the small town of Aswan, which is down the Nile. This is where our journey begins—after we leave the hustle of Cairo. To get to Aswan you travel by plane or train—driving is not recommended.

An overnight trip to Aswan by an overnight train is a unique experience. The train station in Cairo grows smaller in the distance as we head south on a 549 mile journey. Waking early morning, a rattling train is now alongside the Nile River; a country with a long history that hasn’t seen, in these parts, enormous change: Men still pull carts with cattle, horses carry cane sugar. In one brief moment a dead cow carcass can be seen in a small pond by the side of the road. Time has stood still in these parts.

Aswan is a smaller version of Cairo. To be sure, there is a McDonalds, a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and likely anyday, a Starbucks, but for now, it is a popular city that sits on the Nile, with a substantial amount of river boats.

Aswan is the “Jewel of the Nile”. Pink and grey granite thrusts upward through the Nubian sandstone, forming mountains, cliffs and jagged outcrops. While there countless mosques, there is also Archangel Michael’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral—a towering catherdral  in the Coptic architecture — the architecture of the Copts, who form the majority of Christians in Egypt. 

Security is a way of life in Egypt. In Cairo and in places like the Coptic Church, security runs high. Armed guards and blockades can be found at many hotels and indeed at this Coptic Church. But retail and restaurants flourish in the city of Aswan—it is only until late one after noon on a Friday that the azan, the call to prayer can be heard by countless speakers throughout the city—these callers, called muezzinine, are a cacophony of  sounds—it becomes a surreal moment in a backstreet hotel as the soundtrack shifts, the sun sets, we are surely not in the West anymore.

The river Nile. The view of the river as seen in Aswan.

Photograph by Zuke Oshiro

“What you can expect from a Nile River cruise is the adventure of a lifetime.”

DAY ONE we board the Santuary IV. The Sanctuary Sun Boat IV is a contemporary chic, sleek boat with heavy art deco influences. There are 36 standard cabins, two presidential suites and two royal suites. We are greeted as enter the plank by the entire staff offering refreshments and introductions. We are divided  into groups and assigned an English-speaking tour guide, who will accompany us to the various temples along the way. Afternoon tea will be served. Everynight an activity is planned—tonight, after a gourmet dinner is served, we watch as traditional fokloric music and a “whirling dervish” perform.

As one look about it becomes clear that this journey invites all kinds of people—local Egytians, A London-based Sufi businessman with his family, and elderly couple from Scotland, a couple from Cape Cod, a Brazilan opera singer and her daughter, and Egyptian family with their California-based son-in-law. The staff is attentive, ocassionaly too attentive, but the dinner, which is buffet-style, is a nice start to the this ride up the Nile.

A felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of Egypt. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails.

Photographed by Zuke Oshiro

DAY TWO a large buffet breakfast is served each morning. Groups gather on the first deck and we head out for adventure.  We journey to the majestic Philae Temple on the Island of Agilika. We begin to make friends with some Egytian locals and their California-based relatives. The temples are surreal. Over three thousand years old, the preservation is impressive. We are to dress like and Egyptians for a post-dinner party. We bargain with the locals to buy a “galabeyya”, the traditional Egyptian outfit. Each night, at dinner you are seated in the same place. We are seated next to a Brazilian opera singer and her daughter. The after-dinner party is a chance for everyone to mingle and dance into the wee Egyptian hours. This is the requisite fun of travelling by boat—it’s a small party, you get to know everyone, and their stories.

DAY THREE we set off the visit the Temple of Horus. We begin to understand some aspects of the Egyptian pharoah culture. The mythology is deeply complex. For example Horus, is the sky god and there are two, Horus the Younger and Horus Elder. There is a surprising lack of sexuality in these temples, and everyone is quite fit. The drawings are impeccable and rarely vary in form.

We head to The Temple of Esna. The Temple of Esna, which was buried beneath its own debris for many centuries, is located in the center of the town, close to the River Nile and only a short walk from your boat through the local market. We are given passage by way of carriage. The remains of the Temple contain a hall of columns with 24 pillars beautifully decorated with lotus and palm capitals. Also notable is that while looking up, astrological symbols can be seen, 12 of them.

To suggest that it is overwhelming is an understatement. One has to pinch themselves to remind themselves of the reality—you are in Egypt, in the MIddle East and these are the temples that Hollywood has been in love with for so long.

So that evening, as entertainment, they have set up a projector to show the 1978 film, “Death on the Nile”. This version features Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian sleuth. Actually filmed along the same route we are on, this two hour and twenty minute film runs late into the Egyptian night—we all retire early for our last day.

 

DAY FOUR The east and west banks of Luxor. This is the big one, the grandaddy of temples. We’re suddenly seeing more people at these temples.  First stop, Temple of Luxor, dedicated to the god Amun. We have had a change in our tour guide! The people in our group requested a new guide. Welcome Medhat, looking like something out of a central casting for Indiana Jones, he is informative and affable. We move onto the Temple of Karnak.
After lunch, visit the Valley of the Kings or The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes, as it was once known. We will have the chance to visit at least one tomb in the Valley of the Queens, and visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. On the way back to the river Nile, you will pass by the famed Colossi of Memnon, known in Ancient Greek times for their haunting voices at dawn.

 

It’s over. We arrive at our final moments on board the Santuary IV — saying goodby the ship is abuzz with activity. Rooms are quickly seen to. We head to the Luxor airport to head back to Cairo. We have made friends. We travel over vast stretches of desert, broken by the sudden appearance of a great lake, which seems to run for miles. We are back in Cairo for 12 hours.

There was something about this trip, that for the well-worn traveler speaks to that ocassional need for danger—not physical danger, but to be somewhere where your native language is foreign, the landscape, the people, the culture is vastly different than anything previously experienced. Bali was one of those places, The Maldives certainly. Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, all spoke to a distance of things known, flavors never tasted, history seen in terms of thousands instead of hundreds. Dangerous? Sure—you’re in the Middle East—you cannot get to Israel easily from Egypt though it is under 500 miles away. But it’s Egypt, it’s Cairo. It’s the Pyramids! It’s everything you ever imagined and more. To be sure, there was a moment, leaving the hustle of Cairo in a taxi and the Pyramids suddenlhy appear in the distance—it’s a moment. Crusing up the Nile via a five star luxury boat, that too, was many moments.

https://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/egypt-holidays

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