Historic Michael White Adobe under threat of demolition in San Marino

>>THINK

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An L.A. Times piece yesterday examined the undetermined but almost certainly gloomy fate of the Michael White Adobe in San Marino. The structure is unusually situated on the San Marino High School campus, which sprung up around the adobe.

The intro to the Times’ piece gives you an idea what the high-schoolers think — or think not — of the adobe. (Although, if you read through the whole thing, you’ll see that at least a handful do care about preserving its history.)

“Which way to the Michael White Adobe?
‘The what?’
‘Is that, like, a classroom or something?’
‘I have no idea.’”

The 164-year-old adobe has gone without much care or attention by the school and school district. Last year, school officials proposed removing the adobe so that they might expand the swimming pool that, literally, butts up against it.

“It would cost more than $1 million to move the house and roughly the
same to make it fit for campus use, environmental documents show.

“Knocking down the adobe, the only option covered by the school
district’s insurance, comes with a much lower price tag: $176,000. The
school board is expected to decide the house’s fate Oct. 27 and is
taking public comments through (today).”

You can see from the photos taken early this year how the adobe is enmeshed with the campus in a rather awkward way. (Photos by Walt Mancini / Staff)

RELATED: There will be a story by Janette Williams in tomorrow’s Pasadena Star-News about another historic adobe — this one in Arcadia — that has been crumbling while preservation plans were bogged down for years. The future looks brighter for that structure, the Hugo Reid Adobe, and the push is on to get a restoration underway.

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America’s Next Topless Model: Photo shoot at Santa Anita more tame than scandalous

>>INSIDER

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Pete Siberell, Santa Anita Park’s director of community service, gave an interview to the Star-News about the recent airing of an “America’s Next Top Model” episode that featured the model-contestants posing “topless” with a racing horse and jockey.

“I was hoping no one in America was watching — I’ve had a rough day today,” Siberell said of the calls that flooded in after the latest episode of supermodel/talkshow host Tyra Banks’ campy reality show aired. “It’s something I regret. It was awful.”

Poor Pete. While you can feel the heat of his blushing over the head-desk moment just by reading his comments, we really don’t think the photo shoot is worth the hubbub.

The models’ relevant anatomy is all decently covered in the photos, a la a long-locked Lady Godiva. After all, this was a professional fashion shoot suitable for 8 o’clock, prime time television — not Skinemax.

It’s much less of a travesty than, say, this dreadful ANTM shoot.

Judge for yourself. You can see more of the photos, all courtesy of The CW, at the ANTM Web site.

(As a side note: We think the gal in the photo below is a dead ringer for some dark fiend we’ve seen on Goths in Hot Weather. Eh? Eh?)

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Rose Magazine fall 2009 issue hits stands tomorrow around Pasadena

>>INSIDER

Hello, world! Meet Rose Magazine’s fall 2009 issue — just in time for the changing seasons, and ripe for the picking tomorrow, Sept. 23. The magazine goes out with regular delivery to Pasadena Star-News subscribers, and is also available for free on many stands around town, including:

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  • Most hotels and motels

Copies will also be available for a nominal fee at the Pasadena Star-News office, 911 E. Colorado Blvd. (Soon, our future issues will be available in bookstores and at traditional magazine stands.)

For queries, send us a message.

Pasadena area real-estate roundup

>>LIVE

Related: The Smith brothers, Bob and Gregg, opened up about the economic realities of the restaurant biz in Rose Magazine’s summer issue. (PDF)

  • Construction is ongoing on the Atlantic Times Square project in Monterey Park. There’s no predicting when the 210-unit condo and mixed-use project off the I-10 will be complete. (via CurbedLA)
  • Cue The Bangles theme music, and live in your very own pyramid in the hills of Sierra Madre. You can lease for $3,500 a month, or buy for a cool $1.098 million. Photo gallery worth a peek. (via CurbedLA)

Residential real-estate highlights via BlockShopper Los Angeles:

  • President of Lucky Strike Entertainment LLC and his wife have listed a five-bedroom, three-bath home at 577 Woodland Road in Pasadena for $1.75 million.

  • Outdoor music festival producer and San Marino realtor have listed a four-bedroom, four-bath home at 920 S. Oak Knoll Ave. in Pasadena for $2.15 million.

  • Land developer has listed a five-bedroom, seven-bath home built in 1913 at 585 Bellefontaine St. in Pasadena for $3.99 million.

Top fashion critics heap praise on Pasadena-born Rodarte following New York Fashion Week showing

>>SHOP
The New York Times Style Magazine-run blog The Moment is keeping an unofficial-official Scorecard for New York Fashion Week, and like we said in our previous post on Pasadena’s (most ever?) dynamic fashion duo, Rodarte is sweeping up accolades for its Tuesday showing.
Alison S. Cohn of The Moment puts it this way:

“Tuesday’s shows provided an object lesson in how to play the Scorecard rankings game. Here’s a tip: avoid showing on the same day as wool cobweb-cheesecloth-macram creating, CFDA Women’s Wear Designer of the Year award-winning duos. If you don’t, even the finest djellaba draping can come across as, well, a little merchy.”


Check out the round-up of praise collected for Pasadena-native sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy — the heavy hitters behind Rodarte.

And if you think Cohn’s kidding about the “cobweb-cheesecloth-macram,” see below.


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(Getty Images)

Haute couture: Pasadena designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy showcase Rodarte spring line at New York Fashion Week


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>>SHOP

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Locals Kate and Laura Mulleavy are the dynamic powerhouses behind Rodarte, the high-fashion line founded right here in Pasadena. Los Angeles Magazine calls Rodarte “the most conceptual and couture-level label out of Southern California right now.”

The evolution of Rodarte has been a fascinating one. A Style.com interview with the Mulleavys from Dec. 2008 gives a glimpse into their skyrocket ride into the couture stratosphere:

“… Rodarte is sui generis. Of course, they still live in their parents’ house in Pasadena. It may be a long way, both geographically and psychologically, from New York, but on a good day it’s a 20-minute drive from downtown L.A., a place where much of the brass-tacks work of fashion gets done …”


At right is Kate Mulleavy (right) and Laura Mulleavy with Kirsten Dunst at the 2009 Council of Fashion Designers of America fashion awards at Lincoln Center on June 15.

And Tuesday marked the debut of the sisters’ spring 2010 line at Fashion Week in New York.


“The Rodarte show was one of many hopeful auguries this week, signs that New York fashion has already started to regenerate itself through improvisation, experiment, collaboration and the locally prized habit of taking risks.”


Deconstructed, tribal, shredded, patchwork, Gothic — observe for yourself:


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(Getty Images)

Reaction shots: Ground-level perspective on Bruce Nauman’s skywriting art piece

>>THINK

Even more than the other photos we’ve seen so far of Saturday’s skywriting work over the Arroyo, we love this action shot by Keith Birmingham of people in a Rose Bowl parking lot experiencing the overhead display from the ground. Looks like a message written in the heavens is still out-of-the-ordinary enough to stop people in their tracks.

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If you missed it, the image below is of what they were looking at. The skywriting piece was part of the Armory Center for the Arts‘ ongoing 20th anniversary celebration.

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And in case the message has left you scratching your head, it helps to read up on the context behind the larger-than-life installation. (Artist Bruce Nauman first proposed the work in 1969.) Petrea Burchard over at Pasadena Daily Photo has a good explainer for that a-ha! moment.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming

We’re back! This blog and our Twitter feed fell dormant these last few weeks, because — well — we were making a magazine (the real, print edition you can actually hold in your hands).

Now that the fall issue of Rose Mag has been sent to press, we’re excited to be back in action here. We’ll be posting bits and pieces from the upcoming issue (it hits the streets Sept. 23) and all our regular online goodies.

Scenes from the Angeles National Forest: What remains of Hidden Springs Cafe

>>THINK

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The Station Fire has claimed the historic Hidden Springs Cafe, a treasured stopping point and java spot for anyone passing through the Angeles National Forest. Owner Jim Lewis ran the business for 32 years.

From the L.A. Times’ L.A. Now:

“Lewis … said a number of his
customers and friends had called him to say they saw the cafe site on a
television broadcast Tuesday morning. People recognized the lone,
old-fashioned phone booth standing amid ashes because it is the only
one in the Angeles National Forest, he said.”

In memoriam, Los Angeles Magazine has resurrected its 2001 review, which dubbed Hidden Springs “the ultimate rest stop”:

“On a dry day the drive from La Canada takes about 15 minutes, but by
the time the cafe comes into view, a couple of curves north of the Big
Tujunga tunnel, civilization seems to have been left behind. But then,
commercial establishments of any sort are rarer than rattlesnake bites
within national forest boundaries.”

These photos from our sister publication, the Los Angeles Daily News, show all that remains of the cafe that was obliterated by flames Tuesday. (Photos by Gene Blevins / Staff)

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