Go Go to Museums of the Arroyo Day on May 16th! (Photo of Arroyo Seco Parkway circa 1940 courtesy of MOTA Day.)

 

Love to looky-loo at historical homes?  Interested in LAPD gangster-gumshoe struggles? Wish you could travel back in time?    

Check out the 21st anniversary of the Museums of the Arroyo Day (MOTA) on Sunday, May 16th for all of the above (well, maybe not ACTUAL time travel…) plus suffragettes, a helicopter, and an Edwardian-era fashionista. You can park once, (or take the Metro Gold Line), pay nothing, and spend the day meandering around the museums  that line this leafy tributary of the Los Angeles River.    

Ms. Go Go recommends absolutely every museum but if you can’t dedicate the day, here are highlights of events at the participating museums:  Heritage Square Museum, Lummis Home and Garden, Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum, Pasadena Museum of History, and the Gamble House.     

In addition to the preserved, historic structures, the Heritage Square Museum can be an all day destination in itself for families; myriad, kid-friendly activities include historical storytellers, period crafts, and Victorian games.   Be prepared to explain “women’s rights” to any kids in tow; suffragettes will  be in attendance in keeping with MOTA Day 2010’s theme: “Women of Early Los Angeles”.    Maybe the ladies will wear bloomers, which would further entertain the small fry….    

Started in 1898 and finished in 1910 by Renaissance Man Charles Lummis (founder of the Southwest Museum, among many other accomplishments), the Lummis House, with its use  of stone, wood and decorative detailing, is considered one of the earliest examples of the Arts and Craft aesthetic.  If you only have time for a couple of museums on MOTA Day, check out the Lummis House and Garden (lots of native plants and a nursery/ shop to help you plan your new low-water garden!) then grab a shuttle from Highland Park to Pasadena to see the gorgeous Gamble House, which was built in the Arts and Crafts style in 1910 and is considered one of the finest examples of Greene & Greene architecture.  The other big draw?  Cookies and lemonade on the Gamble House lawn.  (You need sustenance for your stroll through history, right, Go Go’ers?)    

Linger longer on Pasadena’s former Millionaire Row….  Just down the street from the Gamble House is the Pasadena Museum of History, which is honoring Eva Scott Fenyes: Pasadena art patron, adobe archivist/watercolorist, and Edwardian fashion plate. The Fenyes mansion (the museum’s main building) will be closed but Ian Whitcomb and his Bungalow Boys will play music on the elegant grounds at 1:00PM and 3:00PM; period clothes are encouraged so you can tap your twinkle toes in button up shoes if that’s your fancy.   Historians-in-Residence Walter and Sheila Nelson will share  early 1900’s etiquette tips.   Hmmm…maybe you’d better stop here first before you gobble up Gamble House cookies.    

The  1925  Renaissance Revival style Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum is the perfect place to take big and little wannabe crime fighters who can climb into a police helicopter, sit on a police cruiser, try on police gear, and pose for a “booking photo”.  (Bring your own camera to immortalize the faux felon.)   Fans of nonfiction crime can meet John Buntin, author of the well-reviewed L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, which details Police Chief William Parker’s decades-long attempt to thwart gangster Mickey Cohen’s efforts to become the biggest crime lord in the City of Angels.    ‘Cause every boy needs  a dream….    

MOTA DAY ends at 4:00, which is basically cocktail hour. Relax and imbibe at one of the Eight Great Bars of the Arroyo Seco, reviewed in Ms. Go Go’s three-part guide  (links after the jump) to Northeast Los Angeles watering holes.     

Go Go’ers,  history doesn’t have to be dry….    

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….    

(more…)

Author John Buntin brings his book to life in his guest-hosted tour from Esotouric.

 

The weather forecast may call for sunshine and blue skies this weekend but it’s always shady in the land of Noir.  This weekend, check out gangsters and gun molls plus real-life cops and robbers.  Snap-brimmed fedoras optional….  

The second* weekend of American Cinematheque’s Film Noir Festival at the Egyptian Theater features some interesting curiosities. The script for  Bodyguard, the second film in Friday night’s double feature (playing with The Locket) was written by a young Robert Altman.  Sunday night’s Drive a Crooked Road features the double delight of cast-against-type Mickey Rooney as a car mechanic whose penchant for pretty dames has him on the skids in a script by Blake Edwards.  (Walk a Crooked Mile follows.)  Saturday night’s fare has no stunt casting/screenplays but offers a double dose of Broderick Crawford in New York Confidential and Human Desire.  

Go Go’ers in the know dine on dry martinis and other Rat Pack staples across the street at Musso & Frank Grill, Hollywood’s oldest restaurant (opened 1919) and a favorite haunt of Hollywood royalty and writers on a budget  or a binge; John Fante and Charles Bukowski both ate/drank here as did F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway when they wrote for “the studios”.  (NOTE: The bar at Musso & Frank Grill is now open until 2:00AM; a limited but beyond-bar-food menu, such as  steak filet, is also available.)  

Check out L.A.’s real back alleys, brazen gangsters, and beat-cops-with-a-mission in Esotouric’s L.A. Noir Crime Tour.   Author John Buntin brings to life his  highly praised book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City about the decades-long power struggle between cold-blooded-killer/Hollywood scenester Mickey Cohen and controversial Police Chief William Parker.   Buntin guest-hosts the tour  with Esotouric’s Crime Tour creator Kim Cooper.  The tour leaves from the classic Clifton’s Cafeteria; get there early to jolt yourself into consciousness with a cup of joe and a sugary dessert.  

Bad boys and b-girls, this one’s for you.  

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….  

(more…)

Drink rum and help Haiti's kids at the opening of the Doheny's Cana Rum Bar

 

Eat your Wheaties, Go Go’ers, because it’s gonna be a marathon of downtown fun Thursday night. 

The usually exclusive/private Doheny kicks off the evening with an inclusive/public  opening party for the Cana Rum Bar: a benefit for the United States Foundation for the Children of Haiti.   A one-time $20 fee confers a one-year membership in the Cana Rum Society;  think great, handcrafted rum cocktails, Tiki rum punch and spirits (rum yum yum, in other words)  plus evites to rum tastings, spirit education (presumably, the drinkable kind, not the ectoplasmic kind), and special events.   The evening includes a complimentary taste of Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum Punch (while supplies last), plus music by Domingosiete at 7PM and DJ Ruin at 11PM.   Go Go’ers, let the Conga line begin…..
If you’ve got a glint in your eye as well as a shimmy in your step, head over to the Los Angeles Athletic Club for the free lecture by John Buntin, author of the rave-reviewed L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, which explores LAPD Chief William Parker’s war on gangster Mickey Cohen and the L.A. underbelly.  Buntin’s lecture should get you in just the right frame of mind for the final weekend of American Cinematheque’s Film Noir Festival at the Egyptian Theater; augment your  underworld weekend with Esotouric’s John Buntin L.A. Noir crime tour on Saturday.  (Details in upcoming U Want 2 Go Go post!)
Post-lecture, wend your way to the Downtown L.A. Art Walk.  Highlights include: Pedals and Prints, a multi-artist show curated by Two Rabbits Studio at Crewest;  the de LaB sale at Ball-Nogues Studios, where you can find products for sale by architects, designers, illustrators and artists working east of La Brea, and the Plasticgod post-Art Walk exhibit and party with large- scale art works, dj and dancing and (rumored) red velvet cupcakes.
 
Go Go’ers, start your engines….
 
Ready?  U KNow U Want 2 Go Go….