L.A. Goes Vertical

Source: LA Curbed

Source: LA Curbed

If this article in Curbed Los Angeles is any indication, there is a lot of height coming to L.A.’s skyline. Of course, some projects will never get off the drawing board or will morph drastically before they do, but if even a fraction of the 26 towers get built, we have a lot of construction cranes and driving detours in our future.

Interestingly, the projects, which range in height from 30 to 70 stories, are largely clustered in the city center, with five towers slated for South Figueroa alone. There are just a few outliers: on the west, the 34-story, 376-unit Landmark Apartments, at Wilshire and Barrington in Brentwood, is advancing through development agreements and slated to open in 2020; to the north, on Vine Street at the 101, the Millennium Hollywood is designed as a pair of mixed-use towers, 35 and 39 stories, but its future is still uncertain; below Downtown, there’s just one project south of the 10 Freeway – The Reef, which has been approved by the L.A. City Council and is expected to have two towers, 32 and 35 stories, and include condos, apartments, retail, restaurants, and a 20-story hotel. (more…)

Celebrating the Departed

Source: Travel Agent Central

Source: Travel Agent Central

Early fall is a wonderful time to travel. The weather is mild, the crowds are reduced, and there’s even a first whiff of holiday merriment in the air. In Mexico, early fall means Día de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead – a holiday that is both serious and festive and an occasion of fantastic imagery, color, food, art, and culture.

If North Americans are a bit twitchy about death and the departed (take, for example, this blog post that lists 101 Ways to Say “Died”), Día de los Muertos celebrates and honors those on the other side with family gatherings and special offerings. Typically celebrated on October 31, November 1, and November 2, the holiday’s importance has been recognized by UNESCO on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. (more…)

Villa Les Cèdres

A living room at Villa Les Cèdres. Photographer: Ambroise Tezenas for Bloomberg Businessweek

Photographer: Ambroise Tezenas for Bloomberg Businessweek

When it comes to an estate such as the 187-year-old Villa Les Cèdres in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera, it’s a challenge to come up with enough superlatives. Somehow, magnificent, sumptuous, and grand don’t seem superlative enough!

Situated between Nice and Monaco, Cap Ferrat is graced with a 560-berth harbor, white sand beaches, seaside pathways, and some 600 mansions whose occupants have included (or currently include) such dignitaries as Charlie Chaplin; Microsoft’s Paul Allen; W. Somerset Maugham; Count Hubert de Givenchy; French playwright, poet, and artist Jean Cocteau; and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. (more…)

The Geffen Gift


The new LACMA design, as it overlooks nearby park space. (Atelier Peter Zumthor)

Thanks to the breathtaking generosity of David Geffen, it seems ever more likely that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will move ahead with its plans for expansion. Geffen’s pledge of $150 million raises the coffers to $450 million of the anticipated $650 million required before the project begins.

With a design by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Peter Zumthor envisioning an amoebic structure that will span Wilshire Boulevard, the new building will be known as the David Geffen Galleries. According to the Los Angeles Times, Geffen’s pledge is “the largest single cash gift from an individual in LACMA’s history” and the finished building, a public facility, “will essentially be owned by the people of Los Angeles County.” (more…)

Friday the 13th Is Back. Here’s Why It Scares Us.


Photograph by Alex Saberi, National Geographic Creative

In a recent article, National Geographic shared with us how the date got its unlucky reputation and how even nonbelievers may be influenced by our collective triskaidekaphobia. The second Friday the 13th of the year falls in October 2017!


Dream Times Two


Villa del Mare

When you ask luxury home buyers what is most important to them, the answers are consistent: privacy and views. There could hardly be two more brilliant examples of both than Villa della Costa and Villa del Mare on Santa Barbara’s Gaviota coast.

Each of these remarkable estates has been sited on a scenic knoll above the Pacific, offering unobstructed views of the surrounding natural beauty: mountains, pastoral countryside, Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands and glorious sunrise-to-sunset panoramas. What’s more, these majestic properties are buffered by a rare and generous amount of private landscape: Villa della Costa sits on 106 acres and Villa del Mare on 287 acres. (more…)

Did You Know?

170429-health-care-featureThere is some encouraging news: The U.S. is #1 for all categories of policy initiatives. Read more on the Berkeley Wellness newsletter.

Also, this is how you can avoid getting a cold this season. As a general rule, adults with a cold will be able to infect others one day before symptoms appear, and up to five days or so after becoming sick. Infants and children are able to transmit these viral infections for seven days or longer. The precise number of days for transmission can vary from person to person. Those in poor health tend to get infected more easily. Children are also more likely to catch (and transmit) colds. (more…)

Palisades Village Makeover


Image courtesy of palisadesvillageca.com

If you live in Pacific Palisades or Palisades Highlands, or if you enjoy the long meander of Sunset Boulevard to the sea, it will come as no surprise that Palisades Village is getting a makeover. However, if you haven’t visited recently or have a sweet spot in your heart for this community hub, you may be interested to know what’s going on there.

It started back in 2014, when Rick Caruso, owner of The Grove, Americana at Brand (Glendale), and the 8500 Burton Way luxury apartments, purchased about three acres of commercial property in the much-loved Palisades Village. Caruso’s vision was to revive the Village by creating a pedestrian-friendly shopping, dining, and entertainment destination with fresh features and the cozy charm of the original. (more…)

Minimizing Pesticide Exposure

iStock-678352108_field_img_hero_988_380Healthy experts agree that Americans should be eating more fruit and vegetables! The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) ranks fruit and vegetables from most to least contaminated to help increase your intake while minimizing pesticide exposure.

The New Address of Luxury Hospitality

Image by Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

Image by Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

It has been 124 years since the Astoria Hotel opened its doors on New York’s Fifth Avenue, and 86 years since the Waldorf Astoria opened at its current location on Park Avenue. All those years of history and accumulated knowledge of luxury hospitality have now converged in Beverly Hills with the opening of The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills at the iconic intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards. (more…)

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