Pictured: Dickens Village holiday festival lights up Sierra Madre

 
48298-11-27-10-2 SMCHRISTMAS02.jpg
39794-RBLOG-SEEN-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
Sierra Madre held its annual Dickens Village holiday festival on Saturday in the city’s charming downtown shopping district.
In Kersting Court, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony was followed by the arrival of the Jolly Old Elf himself.
Is there a town better suited to the glow of holiday cheer? Unlikely, we say.
For unique holiday gifting in Sierra Madre, visit the boutiques we featured in our February Shop the Block spread: Attitude! and La Bella Rouge, for women’s clothing and accessories; B.la, for stationery and stocking stuffers; and Savor the Flavor, for gourmet goodies.
More photos after the jump:

Continue reading

Cocktail culture comes east: 1886 bar opens at The Raymond in Pasadena




47985-11-17-10-13 R-RAYMOND02.jpg

39798-RBLOG-EAT-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
Calling all cocktailians: Contemporary bar culture made a late but entirely fashionable entrance this week in Pasadena with the opening of 1886, the new watering hole at The Raymond Restaurant.

The Raymond’s management and owners partnered with mixology masters Marcos Tello and Aidan Demarest of Tello Demarest Liquid Assets to curate the much-anticipated, artisan cocktail bar. Tello’s lengthy CV includes crafting the cocktail selection at The Varnish and The Edison in downtown Los Angeles. Demarest, too, is an Edison alum and also noted for his libations at First & Hope.

Appealing to Pasadenans’ sense of tradition, the drink menu at 1886 incorporates sly nods to local history and lore.

Continue reading

Pictured: Muralist paints colorful dreamscape in Old Pasadena alley

 
47946-RBLOG-IDEALAB-MURAL4.jpg
39794-RBLOG-SEEN-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
47952-RBLOG-IDEALAB-MURAL1-thumb-300x200-47943.jpg
Graffiti-style artist Guy Ellis recently put the finishing touches on a 250-foot-long, 20-foot-high mural that’s bringing more than a spot of color to the back of Idealab’s building in Christensen Alley.
The “Dream to Reality” mural, which took about a month to complete, is a collaboration between ArtStorm, tech incubator Idealab and the Pasadena Arts Council’s Emerge program for up-and-coming artists. ArtStorm is an organization that encourages youth to create aerosol art in a legal, non-destructive way.
Star-News reporter Janette Williams will have a story on the mural in Saturday’s paper.
More photos after the jump:

Continue reading

Make a day of it: 3 visit-worthy exhibitions at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

 
47856-RBLOG-MUSEUMS-Bischoff, Franz-Afternoon Idyll, Cambria, c.1922-19x26-Ba.jpg
39797-RBLOG-GO-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
47859-RBLOG-MUSEUMS-Bischoff, Franz-A Tapestry of Roses-30x24-thumb-200x247-47855.jpg
Gardens and Grandeur: Porcelains and Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff
In the Main Gallery; Runs through March 20, 2011

For his masterful rendering of dynamic flowers, Austria-born painter and porcelain decorator Franz A. Bischoff earned the nickname “King of the Rose Painters.” The Pasadena Museum of California Art will present the most inclusive retrospective of Bischoff’s work to date, with highlights from his early ceramic work and his later practice on canvas. Bischoff immigrated to New York in 1885 and lived in different U.S. cities before settling in Pasadena in 1906. It was in California that the artist turned to landscape paintings and the plein-air style, painting the state’s signature sun-kissed shore and mountain vistas.
[Photos: At top, Bischoff's "Afternoon Idyll, Cambria" c. 1922. At left, Bischoff's "A Tapestry of Roses."]

Continue reading

The Royce restaurant at The Langham debuts tonight




47769-11-11-10-7 ROYCE03.jpg

39798-RBLOG-EAT-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
After an extensive renovation, The Langham Huntington’s former Dining Room opens tonight as The Royce, with celebrated chef David Fau heading up the kitchen.


47784-RBLOG-Royce Menu-thumb-250x314-47783.jpg

True to his roots, Fau’s inaugural menu (click to view, at left) is full of classically inspired dishes prepared in refined French technique and built using fresh, locally grown produce and sustainable products. He even includes on the printed menu a thoughtful dedication to the farmers and fishermen who cultivate his ingredients.

Fau’s rise to culinary prominence began after he worked under the guidance of famed chef Guy Savoy in Paris. He served as executive chef at several Parisian restaurants, before making his way to Manhattan to run the kitchen at Lutce. Fau joined the Patina Group in 2006, stepping first into the role of executive chef for Caf Pinot in downtown L.A. and then moving up as head of Patina Restaurant Group’s West Coast culinary operation.

The new look of the Langham restaurant space is the work of Atlanta-based architecture and design firm, The Johnson Studio. The firm’s principal Bill Johnson told Rose Magazine in June that he wanted to bring the design of the restaurant forward, while respecting the tradition of the historic building.

Continue reading

Pictured: Happy Veterans Day from Memorial Park in Pasadena

 
47751-RBLOG-VETERANSDAY1.jpg
39794-RBLOG-SEEN-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
Veterans Day ceremonies today at Memorial Park included a flyover of vintage military aircraft.
Members of the Pasadena Unified School District’s combined Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps color guard participated, along with veterans, dignitaries and guests from City Hall, the Pasadena Navy League, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 466, American Legion Post 280, the Tuskegee Airmen and the Pasadena Senior Center.
(Photo by Walt Mancini / Staff)

Pasadena-based Sleepypod lets the fur fly in comfortable style

 
47645-RBLOG-ai-ord-pair.jpg
39792-RBLOG-SHOP-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
Just in time for the holiday travel season, today’s Star-News business section features a story on a Pasadena company’s recent innovation for flying the pet-friendly skies.
47651-RBLOG-ai-ord-rawl-rawl-thumb-250x167-47637.jpg
Sleepypod’s Air carrier, which has been racking up honors from various pet-lifestyle publications, adapts easily to the under-seat storage requirements that vary from airline to airline. Erick Galindo reports:
“A patent-pending, folding-base design allows it to fit in the space below a range of airline seats during the restricted times of takeoff and landing. Once you are free to recline your seat, you can simply slide Sleepypod Air from under the seat and expand the carrier so your pet is allowed the largest space possible.”
Like the simplehuman of pet products, Sleepypod was founded by a trio of Art Center graduates who take a sleek and functional approach to designing for pets and their owners.
47650-RBLOG-mmsp-arctic_on_white-boston-thumb-200x200-47640.jpg
“After having met in school, keeping in touch, and then establishing Sleepypod, they were drawn back to Pasadena, as the area is a great source of inspiration to them as designers,” Sleepypod spokeswoman Jane Skuta says.
The company also produces its namesake product, Sleepypod, a mobile pet lounge with plush bedding that transitions from everyday bed to traveling carrier with a mesh dome and shoulder strap.
Also, the Crater Dot is a simple, colorful, comfy spot for pets that, like all of Sleepypod’s products, can be made even cozier with an insertable warming pad.
More Cute Overload candidates photos after the jump:

Continue reading

‘Beauty and Power’: Rare bronze statuettes on display at Huntington Library

 
47395-RBLOG-BEAUTYPOWER5.jpg
39797-RBLOG-GO-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
47426-RBLOG-BEAUTYPOWER2-thumb-300x400-47392.jpg
Bronze sculpture is one figurative art form that lends itself most naturally to raw renderings of human emotion. The deep, lustrous metal alloy has a range of surface qualities that, in the hands of a capable sculptor, can be used to express vivid pathos.
Just take a look at these powerful photos of some of the 28 bronze statuettes that comprise “Beauty and Power,” a new exhibition at the Huntington Library.
Visitors to the exhibit are getting a rare look at Renaissance and Baroque bronzes from the private collection of New York architect Peter Marino.
Originating from Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands, the bronzes date back to between 1500 and the mid-18th century.
The exhibition opened at the Wallace Collection in London in April. Before that, most of the works never had been on public view.
The Huntington is the first venue in the exhibit’s U.S. tour.
On display through Jan. 24, 2011. MaryLou and George Boone Gallery at The Huntington, 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino. (626) 405-2100, huntington.org
More photos after the jump:

Continue reading

2011 Rose Queen wears a new Swarovski crystal-bedecked crown

 
47249-RBLOG-ROSECROWN-2011.jpg
39794-RBLOG-SEEN-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
When 2011 Rose Queen Evanne Elizabeth Friedmann was officially crowned yesterday in a ceremony at the Pasadena Convention Center, there was something extra sparkly about her, and it wasn’t just that dazzling set of chompers.
The Rose Queen this year is sporting a brand-new crown, designed by Pasadena’s own Jairo and Karen Lizarazu.
David Gordon, spokesman for the Tournament of Roses, provides some details on the royal headwear:
  • The crystal elements are Swarovski round-brilliant and baguette cuts, and the crown is finished with rhodium.
  • The six princess tiaras were designed to complement the Rose Queen’s crown.
  • It was crafted by Dina, Inc., a pageant tiara and crown manufacturer based in Cranston, R.I.
47262-2010-RoseQueen-Crown-Box-thumb-325x247-47261.jpg
The new crown replaces one, seen at right, that was first introduced for the 2005 parade. That crown, designed by Mikimoto, was set in silver and featured 10 white South Sea pearls, 632 Akoya cultured pearls and 6.09 carats in diamonds. (It was the first Rose Queen crown to be made of truly precious materials, and it was estimated to be worth more than $100,000.)
Last year, we posted a retrospective on Rose Queen crowns through history, which you can read here.
(Photos by Walt Mancini / Staff)

Now open: The Tap Room bar at The Langham does vintage, straight-up, with a modern twist

 
47134-10-22-10-10 R-TAPROOM02.jpg
39798-RBLOG-EAT-SECTIONHEADER.jpg
The cocktail bar at The Langham, Pasadena reopened last week as The Tap Room after an extensive redesign by Atlanta-based architecture and design firm The Johnson Studio.
47218-10-22-10-10 R-TAPROOM12-thumb-200x387-47143.jpg
The name is a nod to the original hotel bar, which opened in the 1930s — just following the repeal of Prohibition.
The focus is on classic libations and artisan cocktails, but the new bar is fortified by a well-curated wine list and craft beer menu, with Unibroue Blanche de Chambly, Chimay Tripel (White), Spaten Oktoberfest, Franziskaner Hefeweizen, Morland Old Speckled Hen, Birra Moretti, Green Flash West Coast IPA and North Coast Old Rasputin on tap.
At the grand-opening fete, The Langham’s new chef de cuisine David Fau prepared some amuse-bouches: a foie gras marshmallow croque-en-bouche, and a yellowtail tuna and green apple mille-feuille with argan oil.
It was a taste of things to come when the hotel’s former Dining Room also reopens, in November, as The Royce with Fau at its helm.
Another food station presented the new menu of upscale bar fare that Tap Room visitors can expect to enjoy, including a lobster corn dog with mango curry ketchup; smoked-salmon tartar; cochinita pibil en crostini with citrus onion and habanero salsa; and a black truffle, onion and German sausage tartelette.
Open Mon.-Thur., 2 p.m.-1 a.m.; Fri. and Sat., noon-2 a.m.; Sun., noon-midnight. The Tap Room at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena. (626) 568 3900, pasadena.langhamhotels.com

More photos after the jump:

Continue reading