Blogs

Kim Cooper and Paul Rogers present at the LAVA Sunday Salon, March 2014

On the last Sunday of each month , LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a loosely structured conversational Salon featuring short presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another.

At the March 2014 Salon, we featured a joint presentation centered around The Kept Girl (Esotouric Ink, 2014)LAVA co-founder Kim Cooper’s novel of 1929 Los Angeles starring the young Raymond Chandler, his devoted secretary and the real-life cop who is a likely model for Philip Marlowe. Kim dug deep into the book’s true crime and literary inspirations and the process of bringing the book to press. Artist Paul Rogers discussed his cover art for The Kept Girl, then offered a freeform discussion of his often historic L.A.-themed creative process, from the germ of an idea, to photos, sketches, all the way to a complete series of prints.

Author

Created date

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 10:08pm

LAVA presents "20 Years After: Charles Bukowski Memorial" - March 9 2014

On the 20th anniversary of Bukowski's death, LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association hosted an evening of poems, toasts and memories at the King Eddy Saloon on East Fifth Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

The evening was hosted by Richard Schave (Esotouric’s Haunts of a Dirty Old Man bus tour & the De Longpre bungalow preservation campaign) and included readings from five notable Los Angeles poets and friends of the late writer: Dan Fante, S.A. Griffin, Suzanne Lummis, Joan Jobe Smith and Fred Voss. The event concluded with a toast from S.A. Griffin.

Author

Created date

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 3:50pm

Joe Oesterle and Count Smokula present at the LAVA Sunday Salon, February 2014

On the last Sunday of each month , LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a loosely structured conversational Salon featuring short presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another.

At the February 2014 Salon, back by popular demand, we welcomed LAVA Visionary Joe Oesterle, author of Weird Hollywood and the classics Weird California and Weird Las Vegas. Joe read some spooky stories from his books and share anecdotes from his weird road travels, and signed copies of Weird Hollywood. The multi-talented Joe Oesterle is a former Senior Editor of National Lampoon, a visual artist, musician, animator and curator of the strange and marvelous. At the Salon, Joe was joined by Count Smokula, a 496-year-old accordion-playing vampire from the vaguely Eastern-European nation of Smokesylvania. A mainstay in the Los Angeles Underground scene, the Count has been described as a cross between Bela Lugosi and Jackie Mason. The Count delighted us with several numbers on his accordion and some gems of home-spun philosophy.

Author

Created date

Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 10:52am

Joan Jobe Smith and Fred Voss present at the LAVA Sunday Salon, February 2014

On the last Sunday of each month , LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a loosely structured conversational Salon featuring short presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another.

At the February 2014 Salon, Poet Fred Voss read from his Bloodaxe (UK) collections Hammers And Hearts Of The Gods and Carnegie Hall With Tin Walls and from Tooth And Fang And Machine Handle, his winning chapbook from Nerve Cowboy's (USA) 2013 Competition. Poems mostly about his working experiences, reflections on those experiences, and his 35-year life as a machinist which will include non-machine shop philosophical poems and a couple domestic-comedy “Frank & Jane” poems which bear a striking resemblance to his marriage to poet Joan Jobe Smith.

A teenager in 1950s’ L.A., go-go girl in swinging 60s-70s, poet, writer, teacher, mentor, founding editor of PEARL, and confidante of Charles Bukowski for nearly a decade, Joan Jobe Smith read selected poems about the movies, lands of a 1,000 dances, and her friendship with Bukowski from her 2012 literary profile Charles Bukowski: Epic Glottis: His Women & His Art (& me), and the 2013 Bukowski Anthology, both published by Silver Birch Press.

Author

Created date

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 7:26pm

Marc Chevalier receives Visionary of the Year award and presents on James Oviatt at the LAVA Sunday Salon, January 2014

On the last Sunday of each month , LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a loosely structured conversational Salon featuring short presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another.

At the January 2014 Salon, Marc Chevalier was presented with the 2014 LAVA Visionary of the Year award and presented on his research into James Oviatt and 1920s Los Angeles fashion merchandizing and architecture.

Marc Chevalier on James Oviatt and the Making of Modern Los Angeles History: Join Marc Chevalier, LAVA's Visionary of the Year for 2014, as he traces the life of the iconic Angeleno, James Oviatt, the man behind the eponymous building and clothing store. The unfolding of this narrative doubles as Marc's personal narrative of research, through false leads, dead ends, misinterpretations and out of the blue miracles, until by uncovering the untold story of James Oviatt, Marc Chevalier discovers his own voice, that of a major historian of lost Los Angeles.

Why look to James Oviatt, seller of upscale fashion, early proponent of the Art Deco, Machiavellian schemer and dreamer? Oviatt’s arc is a microcosm of the upwardly mobile in Jazz Age Los Angeles, and his story touches almost every major aspect of culture and commerce in pre-war Los Angeles. His influence is still felt on the city he left behind, and in the worlds of fashion, design, marketing and architecture. 

For more about the January Salon, click here

Author

Created date

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 5:32pm

Darrell Rooney presents Harlow in Hollywood at the LAVA Sunday Salon, January 2014

On the last Sunday of each month , LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a loosely structured conversational Salon featuring short presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another.

At the January 2014 Salon, Darrell Rooney presented on Harlow In Hollywood.

Harlow. The name resonates. Blonde Bombshell. Platinum Blonde. The labels applied by press agents during Jean Harlow's seven-year career still carry a charge seventy years later. Harlow created the mold: the first blonde sex symbol who captured the attention of a nation, then touched their hearts with her genuine warmth and candor. At a time when Harlow's star shone its brightest, Los Angeles and the movies gave birth to a district that exists as much in the mind as on the map. Harlow historian Darrell Rooney, co-author of Harlow In Hollywood (Angel City Press), discusses and presents images on the behind the scenes life of Jean Harlow and the city that helped mold her.

For more about the January Salon, click here.

 

Author

Created date

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 9:53pm

LAVA Broadway on My Mind walking tour #5: Poem Noir (November 2013)

In July 2013, LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association launched a series of free walking tours along Broadway meant to raise consciousness about the Broadway Theater and Commercial District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the pending implementation of Strategy One, Phase One of the City of Los Angeles' Broadway Streetscape Master Plan. Each walking tour follows and departs from the free LAVA Sunday Salon.

This month's special Poem Noir tour, hosted by Richard Schave (Esotouric/LAVA), made its base at Third Street and Broadway. The tour migrated between Grand Central Market, Angels Flight and the Bradbury Building, with topics including the market’s opening in 1917, a remarkable WWI-era festival in the Boston Dry Goods Store, how the Bradbury Building was saved from burning, the history of Angels Flight, the murders of Stephen Nash, the rise and fall of Bunker Hill and the neighborhood’s starring role in the film noir genre, to developer Ira Yellin’s pioneering work of the 1980s.

Historical contributions from Kim Cooper and Gordon Pattison were interspersed with Poem Noir performances by Carl Weintraub, Brendan Constantine and Suzanne Lummis. Special treats: a sneak preview of Gordon's fictional memoir of his father's boyhood encounter with John Fante on old Bunker Hill and a poem written on the spot to honor Minnie Epp, the woman who saved the Bradbury Building from a fiery death. 

 Read about this tour here, and watch video of the walk here.

 

 

Author

Created date

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 10:07am

Broadway on My Mind LAVA Walking Tour #4 - October 2013

In July 2013, LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association launched a series of six monthly walking tours along Broadway meant to raise consciousness about the Broadway Theater and Commercial District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the pending implementation of Strategy One, Phase One of the City of Los Angeles' Broadway Streetscape Master Plan. Each walking tour follows and departs from the free LAVA Sunday Salon.

Tour guides are Richard Schave (Esotouric/LAVA) and Stephen Gee (author of Iconic Vision: John Parkinson, Architect of Los Angeles). 

This month's tour focused entirely on the history of the development of Bullocks department store starting at 7th & Broadway, up west along 7th to Hill and then half a block north on Hill.  The expansion takes place over the course of about 20 years, consumes eight buildings, and is a fascinating window into downtown's retail history. 

Read about this tour here, and watch video of the walk below.

 

Author

Created date

Sunday, December 29, 2013 - 6:41pm

Pepper Aarvold presents Backstage at the Follies at the LAVA Sunday Salon, November 2013

On the last Sunday of each month , LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a loosely structured conversational Salon featuring short presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another.

At the November 2013 Salon, Pepper Aarvold presented "Backstage at the Follies." Pepper Aarvold says: "I grew up backstage of a burlesque theater from the tender age of four through my teens. I’ll tell you what it was like being the grand daughter of burlesque veterans Lillian Hunt and Leon DeVoe. Gramps was a straight man and Granny went from chorus line choreographer to a successful agent for strippers having 'discovered' Tempest Storm among others who were 'graduates' of her famous school for strippers which was conducted in the rehearsal hall at the Follies. From the orchestra pit to the wings where I often caught strippers' costumes as they were 'shed,' I’ll provide a perspective most little girls never have the good fortune to experience. And if asked, I can teach you a few classic moves…"

For more about the November Salon, click here

Author

Created date

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 10:10am

Christina Rice on Ann Dvorak at the LAVA Sunday Salon, November 2013

On the last Sunday of each month , LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a loosely structured conversational Salon featuring short presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another.

At the November 2013 Salon, author and librarian Christina Rice discussed her 15-year quest to uncover the life and career of Ann Dvorak, an actress who was positioned to be one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, but instead countered the powerful studio system -– and suffered the consequences. When Christina Rice checked out a VHS copy of Three on a Match from her local library in 1995, she just expected to enjoy Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart in a snappy 1932 pre-Code film. Instead, she was blindsided by the raw performance of the little-known Ann Dvorak. This encounter would ultimately shape the course of Rice’s adult life, culminating in the publication of the biography Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel from University Press of Kentucky (2013).

For more about the November Salon, click here

Author

Created date

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 9:45pm