Must see exhibit: Stanley Kubrick at LACMA

Authentic film buffs and admirers of the “cine de autor” genre have pretty high standards for their movie preferences, and surely Stanley Kubrick must be on top of their list.

He was a genius and a little far out in his ideas, one of those once in a lifetime people who changed the world (and how we see it) through his movies. Lucky for us in Los Angeles, at the moment we have an amazing exhibit that allows us to get to know the mind and the work of Mr. Kubrick.

Ongoing till June 30, 2013 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA) “Stanley Kubrick” is a great collection of the work of Mr. Kubrick, from his early days when he started out as a photographer for Look Magazine all the way to his film masterpieces. There are entire sections dedicated to A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, Paths to Glory, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, and Barry Lyndon. There’s a collection of his film cameras, lenses, scripts and production notes, images and costumes from his movies, as well as personal mementos. It’s a real treat for movie lovers.

I never considered myself a fan of Kubrick’s work, (yo me veo mas como una Woody Allen person) but after this exhibit, this film god has my total admiration. Be sure to catch it if you can before it leaves in the summer.

Here are a few glimpses from Kubrick at LACMA.

The Kubrick exhibit at LACMA runs until June 30th. Go see it!

The Kubrick exhibit at LACMA runs until June 30th. Go see it!

in 1949, a young Stanley Kubrick was a photographer for Look magazine. This is a great picture of Rocky Graziano.

In 1949, a young Stanley Kubrick was a photographer for Look magazine. This is a great picture of Rocky Graziano.


The wing for 2001: A Space Odyssey.


I always found this movie to be very creepy. “A Clockwork Orange” is on full display.


Remember these? Ay ay ay… “The Shining” cuatitas costumes on display.


One of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite cameras, a Arri, for which he had special lenses made. Got goose bumps just to think what this camera has captured.


“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Yes, the typewriter is here.

From Halloween to Dia de los Muertos, “Catrina” Style

En los últimos años, I’ve noticed a trend here in LA: more and more people are having 3 day costume celebrations starting by trick or treating on Halloween, observing All Saints Day on Nov. 1st, and then and dressing up again on Dia de los Muertos, November 2nd.

Hey, why not? If you’re in the spirit, knock yourself out!

One of the more popular costumes is the elegant “Catrina” mexicana, and this year I decided I’m going to try to recreate the effect.

The nice people from the Suave company (the hair products) contacted me to share a few hairdo’s and styling ideas to go with the costume. If you don’t have anything planned yet – pues ya es hora, people! – here are 2 ideas that were created by famous stylist Leonardo Rocco, who’s worked with Juanes, Paulina Rubio, Angelica Vale, Alejandro Fernandez, mi paisana Lupita Jones, among many others. He is based in Miami, pero es argentino, che! So if you want to be styled by him you have to go visit his salon Rocco Donna Hair and Beauty Art in South Beach.

Here are a few ideas by Mr. Rocco himself and maybe these will inspire you a bit for your Día de los Muertos costume. (I’m sure they’ll be very impressed at the annual Self-Help Graphics fiesta happening in East Los Angeles.)

Side Pony Tail, Los Angeles Catrina Style. Photo courtesy of Suave hair products.

Side-swept Ponytail with Flowers

  1.  Spray Suave Professionals® Dry Shampoo over hair washed the day before at a 6 to 7 inch distance (10 cm.), making divisions of about one inch as you go. Apply it mostly around the roots and two inches below, where the greatest concentration of oils is. This product not only absorbs oil and refreshes hair, it also serves to add volume, which is very necessary for this type of look.
  2. Once you apply the dry shampoo to all your hair, use the dryer at high heat from the roots downward. Then incline your head and hair forward and dramatically lift it back. Now you can see what a difference the dry shampoo makes and you’ve created volume.
  3. If your hair is not naturally wavy, curl it now to create more volume and texture.
  4. Gently brush the hair off to one side over your shoulder and pull into a low ponytail. Grab a section of hair from the ponytail and wrap it around over the hair tie to cover it.
  5. Finally, spray some Suave Professionals® Touchable Finish Lightweight Hold Hairspray, which offers brushable weightless hold, and complement your look with colorful flowers, fastened to place with bobby pins.

    A Catrina with a “romantic updo.” Photo courtesy of Suave hair products.

Romantic Updo with Flowers

  1. Shake the Suave Professionals® Volumizing Mousse well for approximately 3 seconds,vand depending on the length of your hair place an amount on the palm of your hand. It will usually be the size of the palm of your hand. Apply the mousse throughout your hair using a wide-toothed comb to cover all your hair. This product is perfect because it adds up to 4 times more body without weighing hair down.
  2. The second step is drying your hair with a round brush, focusing on the roots where we want to create the most volume.
  3. Then, to begin creating the hairstyle, section off the sides of your hair from the ears forward. Keeping the sides of your hair sectioned off, pull the rest back into a low ponytail. Be sure to leave hair a little bit loose and even a bit disheveled, this is not a polished look.
  4. Begin curling small sections of hair, looping them and pinning them into place near the ponytail with a bobby pin. Pin some sections more loosely than others to create volume and shape.
  5. Now take the two side sections of hair and pull them toward the ponytail, loosely pinning them below the ponytail so they frame the face. Curl and loop the ends, and fasten with bobby pins.
  6. Finally, apply Suave Professionals® Touchable Finish Extra Hold Hairspray to set the hairstyle. The benefit of using this hairspray is that it controls flyaways and provides long-lasting hold, so your look will last all night.
  7. Decorate your hair with one or several colorful flowers around the hairstyle to create the final Día de los Muertos style.


    SUAVE Sample Giveaway:

    Amiguitos, please leave a comment below and I’ll do a random drawing on Friday, November 2nd for one winner to receive a sample of their products.

    Gracias and Happy Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.

“People watching” @Dwell on Design LA Expo

The annual Dwell on Design Expo is going on this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center and it’s worth a trip to see. If you’ve ever read Dwell Magazine or like modern simple architecture, interior design and eco friendly materials and buildings, then this is your cup of tea.

I had a chance to go on their preview day and saw very unique and interesting takes on living spaces and everyday items for your home and lifestyle. But this is material for another post since there was so much to see; I still need to sort it out!

Right now I want to post about the very unique PEOPLE that go to the event. I love architects, designers and design enthusiasts. They obviously have a very cool aesthetic and it shows in the way they present themselves to the world with their personal style. They are not afraid to show their personality with their eclectic and often minimalistic outfits. I guess they know they have to match great design spaces, so they see themselves integrated as part of the “package”…

Here’s a few shots of interesting people my camera caught. Lets just say at some point the people watching took over, since there was a great mix of creative individuals.

Go to Dwell this weekend! Entrance is $30 for Saturday and Sunday. From 10am to 6pm at the Convention Center.

LA creative types gathere at the Dwell on Design Expo in DTLA. Great place for people watching!

Isn’t she the coolest person? Love the Cruella hair with the outfit and the flat T strap shoes.

Citrus colors are a big deal with these design enthusiasts.

Black on black on black ALWAYS works. Look at her sandals!

Cute Guys Alert!

A skirt to match the wall decor. Well, I don’t see why not!

So Chill.

Shopping for lawn chairs with multiple functions.

Updating Social Media Status.

Sundresses and heels, skirts and booties.

Reminds me a little of David Bowie.

Designers meet consumers.

Test driving the lounge chairs in black, white and red.

Cleopatra in Los Angeles

If you’re a history buff, culture nerd, or are interested in the history of the world, may I recommend a visit to “Cleopatra, In Search for the Last Queen of Egypt” exhibit, which has just arrived in Los Angeles.

The Science Center at Exposition Park (USC) is hosting the even until December 31st, 2012, so you have time to plan your visit.

I’ve always been intrigued by the mythical Cleopatra and her rule over Egypt, so this was a cool chance to see authentic artifacts and items of her day that have been around since 300 BC. That’s BEFORE Christ. (Yes, there was a prehistoric time before modern day and facebook.)

It’s almost mind boggling to  imagine her as the most powerful ruler in a world of ruthless men. She was a direct heiress, a  descendant of the Ptolemies, who became Queen of Egypt at 17.  She also spoke Greek, Egyptian, Ethiopian, Aramaic and Hebrew, had a lavish lifestyle, torrid romances and family dramas to spare. You think our telenovelas have wicked storylines, n’ombre no es nada!  Try betrayal, intra-family marriages, and outsmarting the Roman Empire while keeping your beauty intact.

On that note, there is no true image found- yet- of this famously beautiful woman. Los romanos se encargaron de acabar con todas las imagenes cuando pasó a la historia, they got rid of everything, so it’s up to us to try to build an image of her through the coins and artifacts recently found with her profile. Or we could just stick to la Liz Taylor circa 1963 in the film.

So go see it if you have a chance, and I recommend you get your tickets online and save yourself the waiting time at the ticket counter. Take the entire family. Lots of kids were really digging the history stuff.

Two giant granite statues resembling Cleopatra’s ancestors, the Ptolemies are shown at the exhibit.

“Head of Serapis” is a marble sculpture from 2c BC, which is a combination of Egyptian and Greek gods. “By combining Greek and religious figures, the Ptolemies gained people’s trust.”

Canopus is the city where Cleopatra and Marc Anthony went to have fun.  It was the Las Vegas/ “Sin City” of their day.

Recovered gold jewelry from Cleopatra’s time, which was found in recent expeditions under the sea in the area that used to be Alexandria, then capital of Egypt.

A magnifying glass lets you see the outline of Cleopatra’s profile from a gold coin.

It can’t be an Egyptian themed exhibit without a Sphinx in the mix. Here’s one found intact from 1st c BC. “With its human head signifying intelligence and its body of a lion, the sphinx illustrated the intellectual capacity and physical power of the pharaohs. Romans, obsessed with the exoticism of Egypt, imported the tradition to Rome.”

This cool hands on gadget illustrated how a desert sandstorm forms.

What did Cleopatra look like? We all want to know.

The love of Cleopatra’s life was Anthony, and he was also the father to 3 of his 4 children. Anthony also recognized her eldest son, born from her affair with Caesar.

The line of the Ptolemies, Cleopatra’s family tree.

Cleopatra’s image through the arts and film.

What to do this weekend in LA:

Spring is in bloom and here we are already in the second weekend of May. Ayer festejamos a las Mamás mexicanas y el domingo May 13 we do it again para las Mamás in the US. Did you already get you Mom a nice gift? I hope you did!

But there are other things to include into your weekend festivities if you live in LA.

The Lea-LA Book Fair (La Feria del Libro en Español)  opens today at the Convention Center in DTLA, organized by la Universidad de Guadalajara. It’s a 3 day event that promises interesting book selections and purchases, and a number of author presentations and conferences. Click here for the complete program and go support la lectura en español. It is a free event for the entire family, lleven a los niños y compren libros en español, para que se vayan acostumbrando.  Goes on from Friday May 11 to Sunday May 13, 10 am to 6 pm.

Lea LA starts Friday May 11 and goes on til Sunday May 13, from 10 am to 6 pm. Don’t miss it.

Another big event this Saturday is the annual Revlon Run-Walk at the USC Campus in LA. It’s a major fundraising event for the fight against breast cancer. I’ll be participating in this walk with Team Macy’s, which is a major sponsor of the event and always supports the cause with a big team of volunteers and walkers. If you know anyone who is going through cancer, and you want to support them, you may want to check out this link and see how you can get involved.

Revlon Run Walk is happening Saturday May 12 at the USC Campus. Join the fight against Breast Cancer at

Going to the Hollywood Bowl this summer

It’s that time of year again! The truly “Angeleno” summer experience that is going to a concert at The Hollywood Bowl is here.

Tickets go on sale to the general public this Saturday. If you’ve never been, and you plan on visiting LA during the summer, this should be included in your to-do list.  Click here for a handy guide in English and en Español.

This is the way we do it in LA:

  • Get a group of friends confirmed, and somebody volunteers to go buy your tickets in advance. I love the cheap seats, but if you score a 4 seat box at the Bowl, kudos amiguitos.
  • On the day of the event you carpool or take the Shuttle. Parking at the Bowl es un don de Dios. It can get a bit jammed, but with a little patience you can get in and out fairly smoothly.
  • Get there early in the afternoon and have a picnic at the benches or the communal area. Seating can also get crowded, but people are friendly and accommodating. Set up your table with manteles, cubiertos, cheese and wine, and bring your favorite picnic stuff. Enjoy a classic California bon vivant evening pre-concert time.

This year I am particularly excited about the “America and Americans” Festival, where “The Dude” himself, the amazing LA Phil Conductor Gustavo Dudamel will hold court over a week long series, including one night with Juan Luis Guerra and culminating with a not to be missed concert with Mr. Plácido Domingo.

También viene Juanes, with a very interesting collaboration with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, for two nights in a row. I may just have to camp out at the Bowl all throughout that week in August. Aren’t we just spoiled in Los Angeles?

Here’s a few noteworthy concerts:

Liza Minelli. Saturday August 11, 2012, 8 pm.

Gustavo Dudamel conducts Verdi’s Rigoletto. Sunday August 12, 7:30 pm.

Gustavo Dudamel and Juan Luis Guerra. Tuesday August 14, 8 pm.

Ruben Blades and Eddie Palmieri. Wednesday August 15, 8pm.

Dudamel conducts Copland. Thursday August 16, 8pm

Juanes with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Plus Fireworks! Friday August 17 and Saturday August 18, both nights at 8pm.

Dudamel and Domingo! Sunday August 19, 7:30 pm

Dudamel and Domingo. Detail from

Visiting the LA Times Festival of Books this weekend

(A little note/disclaimer: It’s been about two weeks since my last post. Ademas de sentir que ando neglecting a mi blog un poquito, me siento a little under the weather. I have a really bad cold that won’t go away. So they sent me home from work today because I really didn’t sound/look/feel well… and here I am trying to get back into the writing mood. I guess I needed the time out. Hasta una mujer no quiso ride the elevator conmigo this morning. Oh the horror! I think she thought I was a walking virus and let me go first…

Anyhooooo, entre mi last post and this one, we had a family visit con los sobrinitos, Semana Santa and Easter came and went, now it’s tax day and I’m thinking que vamos muy rápido con este 2012.)

To get back into the blogging spirit, may I make a recommendation? If you are a book lover, a voracious reader or just generally enjoy talking to likeminded people who READ: The annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books takes place this weekend at the USC  Campus and it is not to be missed.

The advertising supplement from the Sunday Los Angeles Times was very useful for planning a trip to the book fair. Photo by yours truly with the iPhone.

I’ve been hearing about it on the radio (KCRW) and yesterday’s LA Sunday Times included the newspaper insert with the program. There’s all sorts of useful information.

You can click HERE for the link to go to the website and browse to see if there’s anything that suits your fancy. The event is free, but some of the lectures or presentations require admission.

There will be something for everybody, book signings, celebrities, books for kids, books on any subject/theme you can imagine, generous sponsors and finally some nice California weather for a change.

I am particularly excited about three  lovely and amazing ladies I practically grew up with (aunque no las conozca en persona, they influenced me and are part of my life in Spanglish) who will be at the event:

Julie Andrews: Our dearest, most favorite actress from The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins will be presenting “The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes The Flower Girl” on Sunday at 12:55 pm, Target Children’s Stage.

Judy Blume: YES! THE one and only Judy Blume, the writer that made me love reading in the first place. My friends and I practically devoured her entire collection: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Are You There God It’s Me Margaret, Superfudge, Blubber, etc etc.I think she set me on a lifelong love of books, and I don’t say this lightly.

“Judy Blume in Conversation With Mary McNamara” on Saturday 2:30pm, Bovard Auditorium. ($13 admission)

Betty White: Our beloved national treasure and ultimate Golden Girl will also be in person at the fair. “Betty and Friends: My Life at the Zoo,” Interviewed by Karen Grisby Bates. On Sunday at 1:20 pm, Los Angeles Times Stage.

Also, not to be outdone, latinos RE-PRE-SENT! con el super wacky and cool author and editor of the OC Weekly, Gustavo Arellano (Ask a Mexican!) who also just happens to have recently written a book with a very clever title: “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America” which I’m planning to get a copy of at the fair.

Looking forward to reading Gustavo's new book "Taco USA" since I've been hearing good reviews.

So take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and also, get ready, because in May, we have another Book Fair coming, pero en español!

Yes, pretty soon we must visit the LEA-LA Feria del Libro en Español, el 11, 12 y 13 de Mayo en el Convention Center. More on that later.