FINE LIVING IN THE GREATER PASADENA AREA
HOME FOR THE
HOLIDAYS Seasonal decorating tips from
HBO’s Top Event Designer
NASA’s HOTWIRE TO HOLLYWOOD Warren Betts helps bring Science Fact to Science Fiction
STUDIO JEWELRY GETS ITS
FIRST SHOW AT LACMA HOLIDAY GIFT AND EVENT GUIDES
Photo by Meghan Beierle-Oâ€™Brien Lic.653340
Design Art. Build Art. A love for art and people is what started this company. Thirty years later, nothing is as important to us as the incredible friendships that have come from creating beautiful spaces together with our clients. Let us show you how our ďŹ nely tuned design/build process minimizes the stress involved with home remodeling and custom home building.
VOLUME 12 | NUMBER 12 | DECEMBER 2016
ENTERTAINMENT & ENTERTAINING 13 RING-A-DING-BLING! Lois Boardman’s unusual jewelry collection is on view at LACMA. —By SCARLET CHENG
PHOTOS: (Top) Courtesy of Billy Butchkavitz; (bottom left) © Museum Associates / LACMA
19 COLOR MASTER HBO event designer Billy Butchkavitz designs parties that are among Hollywood’s hottest. —By NOELA HUESO
41 NASA’S HOTWIRE TO HOLLYWOOD Publicist Warren Betts says science truth is stranger (and better) than science fiction. —By BETTIJANE LEVINE
47 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE —By DENISE ABBOTT
FESTIVITIES Five Acres celebrates adoption, College Access Plan turns 10.
LÉON BING A Christmas Memory
ARROYO HOME SALES INDEX
KITCHEN CONFESSIONS Cook, Eat, Death Metal
THE LIST A Christmas Carol around town, holiday lights at Descanso and the L.A. Zoo and more
ABOUT THE COVER: Billy Butchkavitz’s design for holidays at home, photo by Gabor Ekecs 12.16 ARROYO | 5
In our December Entertainment & Entertaining issue, we like to bring you stories about your neighbors in The (seemingly ubiquitous) Industry. That has mostly meant profiles of actors, producers, writers and directors, natch, but this year, Arroyo turns its lens on Arroyoland folk whose role in Hollywood is important — but largely invisible. People like Pasadena-based publicist Warren Betts, a self-described science geek who created a fascinating niche for himself — liaising between science-and-tech experts like Stephen Hawking and sci-fi filmmakers hoping to inject as much reality into their projects as possible – and with good reason. As Bettijane Levine learned in reporting Betts’ story, with technology advances zooming ahead, science fact can be infinitely more interesting than science fiction. And, of course, Pasadena is ground zero for bridging the two. Noela Hueso talks to Billy Butchkavitz, the talented Pasadena-based event designer whose spectacular HBO parties are among Hollywood’s hottest. Hueso finds out how he does it and how you can do it too, on a much smaller scale, with his tips on decorating your home for the holidays. Another Arroyoland resident with a sharp eye for design is South Pasadena art lover Lois Boardman, whose collecting habits break new ground, at least as far as museums are concerned. Scarlet Cheng reports on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s current exhibition of her dazzling “studio jewelry” collection — handcrafted pieces that qualify as artworks themselves. —Irene Lacher
EDITOR IN CHIEF Irene Lacher ART DIRECTOR Carla Cortez ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Stephanie Torres PRODUCTION DESIGNERS Rochelle Bassarear, Richard Garcia EDITOR-AT-LARGE Bettijane Levine COPY EDITOR John Seeley CONTRIBUTORS Denise Abbott, Leslie Bilderback, Léon Bing, Martin Booe, James Carbone, Michael Cervin, Scarlet Cheng, Richard Cunningham, Carole Dixon, Kathleen Kelleher, Rebecca Kuzins, Brenda Rees, John Sollenberger ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Dina Stegon ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Lisa Chase, Brenda Clarke, Leslie Lamm ADVERTORIAL CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Bruce Haring HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER Andrea Baker PAYROLL Linda Lam CONTROLLER Kacie Cobian ACCOUNTING Sharon Huie, Teni Keshishian OFFICE MANAGER Ann Turrietta PUBLISHER Jon Guynn 6 | ARROYO | 12.16
arroyo FINE LIVING IN THE GREATER PASADENA AREA
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12.16 | ARROYO | 7
Kim Kenne, CAP honoree Jacqueline Snell and Charles Heaton
Vivian Chan and Rebecca Haussling
Amy Elaine Wakeland and Chanel Boutakidis
Natasha Mahone and Mo Hyman
The Altadena-based child welfare agency Five Acres celebrated National Adoption Awareness Month Oct. 26 by kicking off its third annual Permanency Campaign with a cocktail reception at Noor where adoptive moms — First Lady of Los Angeles Amy Elaine Wakeland and Jillian Lauren — discussed the need for more foster and adoptive families…More than 100 supporters and supportees of College Access Plan toasted its 10th anniversary Nov. 12 at a “Blast from the Past Homecoming Dance,” which raised more than $15,000 for the Pasadena-based college counseling organization… Actors Peter Gallagher, Pasadena’s Sandra Tsing Loh, Jason O’Mara and Pooja Batra turned out for the Nov. 16 opening of the Mark Taper Forum’s revival of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane…Upstage Design Home Staging Services donated its event-design services to the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House’s 2016 “Share in the Magic Gala” at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena. The Nov. 5 event raised funds for the charity’s mission to house families of sick children treated at nearby hospitals.
Melanie Goodyear and Lisa Wilson
Yvonne Martinez, Linda Costa, Ronald McDonald, Stacey Miller and Robyn Navarro
Jason O’Mara 8 | ARROYO | 12.16
Sandra Tsing Loh with Ruby and Frier McCollister
PHOTOS:Tim Johnson (College Access Plan) ; Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging (The Beauty Queen of Leenane)
Christine Davis and Jillian Lauren
A CHRISTMAS MEMORY C
hristmas was quite the big deal at our house when I was a kid. I lived with my mother’s parents — Nonnie and Pampy (as I called them) and Nonnie’s two unmarried siblings, my great-aunt “Hotten,” and my great-uncle Henry. There was always a lap for me to sit on, always a cuddle and a kiss when I reached out for one. Nonnie, Hotten and I went to Temple Sinai synagogue in Oakland for services every Saturday morning and we celebrated all the Jewish holidays, like Rosh Hashana and the very serious Yom Kippur. I attended Sunday school as well, but my mother, who was on her second marriage by the time I was 4, came to temple only on the High Holidays. Pampy was a lapsed Roman Catholic who visited Christian Science reading rooms every month or so. Uncle Henry seemed indiﬀerent wto religion of any stripe. But we all loved Christmas. Our tree didn’t come into the house until the day before Christmas Eve. It was always a fat, perfectly shaped little ﬁr with thick needles that permeated the air with the bracing aroma of balsam. My grandfather’s Steinway took over the space at the bay window in the living room, so the tree was placed in a corner of the dining room atop a shallow container of water. This was covered by a snowy velvet cloth dappled with tiny silver stars. Tree-trimming would begin after dinner and I was so excited I could barely sit through the meal. Uncle Henry and Pampy were in charge of threading the small colored light bulbs through the tree’s branches, and when they were lighted, the dining room glowed like a shattered rainbow. Next came the tinsel, which was placed, strand by strand, along the branches. That was Hotten’s job and she made sure each silvery strip had the appearance of a single icicle. I was her helper, lifting one piece at a time from the box and handing it to her on the tip of one index ﬁnger. Then it was time for the ornaments, none of them new, all of them left to us by my great-grandmother Mary Morris. There were fragile colored balls laced with an overlay of snowﬂake designs, twisted silver icicles, colored birds with a spray of artiﬁcial tail feathers and squat Santa ﬁgures. By the midpoint of the ornament hanging I was trying to swallow my yawns, so Nonnie took me upstairs to bed with the promise that a plate of cookies and a glass of milk would be left out for Santa Claus. I nearly woke up at the sound of clumping reindeer hooves (my grandfather’s shoe banging on the ﬂoor, I would learn later) and a thrill shimmered through me at the sight of the half-ﬁnished glass of milk and the plate of cookies with a large bite taken out of the biggest one. I’d followed a red satin ribbon tied to my bed that led me into the hall and down the stairs to the dining room where a panoply of fancifully wrapped presents lay spread out under the tree. Most of them were for me and I could tell by the big, ﬂat rectangular shapes that many of them were books, the things I treasured most. After all the gifts had been opened and –continued on page 10 12.16 | ARROYO | 9
AND ON THE EVENING OF THE 31ST OF DECEMBER, THE MISTER AND I ALWAYS TOAST EACH OTHER AND THE COMING YEAR WITH A GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE... –continued from page 09
exclaimed over, my grandfather went to the piano and played traditional Christmas carols. My mother would arrive mid-morning, and it always took two trips to her car to carry in the presents she brought for everyone in the family. The details of one particular Christmas afternoon are etched in my memory. My father, whom I saw less and less of because the divorce had been my mother’s idea, appeared carrying two wrapped boxes, one large, one slightly smaller. Like most kids, I tore ﬁrst into the bigger of the two packages. It contained a miniature set of tableware in a blue willow pattern identical to the dishes in our pantry. This small set consisted of six complete settings for a dinner party, including covered vegetable and soup tureens, a teapot, a cream pitcher and a sugar bowl. It was better than any tea set I’d seen in any toy department and I couldn’t imagine that whatever was inside the smaller box could delight me as much. I was wrong. When I pulled oﬀ the colorful wrapping paper I found a surprise that made me take in a breath: at least two dozen tiny, individually wrapped objects tightly packed next to and on top of each other — all of them were toy banquet food for the dish set. There was a turkey on a platter with servings of cranberry sauce and dressing surrounding a well-browned bird. There were little soup bowls ﬁlled with something that looked like oyster stew. A tureen of peas was topped with a miniscule strip of bacon. Another platter held eight or nine biscuits and two serving dishes, one ﬁ lled with mashed potatoes, the other with yams. There were two desserts: a cherry pie with a latticed crust and a fancifully frosted cake. The table was completed with amber-colored goblets and six sets of inchlong silverware. I’d never seen anything like it, and even my grandparents and Hotten leaned in to see the marvel that had taken my breath away. It was a marvel and it is the only present I’ve ever received that I remember in full detail. I kept everything together in their original boxes but pieces were lost as I grew older and was sent to boarding school and then university. I managed to keep one of the tiny amber-colored goblets until a few years ago when it was broken during a move. I love everything about the holidays, from Halloween straight through New Year’s Eve, even though we rarely leave the house on that night or, now that I think of it, any of the others. My daughter, Lisa, usually comes over, carrying small and wonderful presents, on Christmas. And on the evening of December 31st, the Mister and I always toast each other and the coming year with a glass of champagne and we say a small prayer for the months that lie ahead of us, our loved ones and our country. But every year, on the 25th of December, my mind goes back to that Christmas when I was still a single-digit age and my father came to see me with just about the best presents (aside from the glorious and unusual pieces of jewelry given to me by my beloved Mister) I’ve ever received. And then I can very nearly smell those beautifully ornamented little ﬁr trees in my grandparents’ dining room.|||| 10 | ARROYO | 12.16
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Ring-aDing-Bling! Lois Boardman’s unusual jewelry collection forms an unusual show at LACMA. BY SCARLET CHENG
IT’S VERY UNUSUAL FOR THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART TO FEATURE A JEWELRY COLLECTION, BUT THIS IS NO USUAL COLLECTION. AS THE EXHIBITION TITLE SUGGESTS, BEYOND BLING: JEWELRY FROM THE LOIS BOARDMAN COLLECTION (THROUGH FEB. 5, 2017) TAKES US INTO ANOTHER DIMENSION OF JEWELRY: IT’S STILL WEARABLE BODY DECORATION — YOU CAN PUT IT ON YOUR FINGER OR AROUND YOUR NECK — BUT THE 50 PIECES HERE VEER INTO THE REALMS OF SCULPTURE AND CONCEPTUAL ART, AND ARE TESTAMENT TO THE CONTINUING INGENUITY
PHOTO: © Wayne Shimabukuro
OF ARTISTS. THEY ARE PART OF A GIFT OF 300 PIECES OF STUDIO JEWELRY TO THE MUSEUM BY LOIS BOARDMAN, A LONGTIME RESIDENT OF SOUTH Lois Boardman sporting Nancy Worden’s Gilding the Past
PASADENA AND A DEDICATED PATRON OF THE ARTS IN SOCAL. 12.16 | ARROYO | 13
–continued from page 13
Th ree years ago Boardman contacted LACMA’s Decorative Arts and Design Department, saying she was interested in donating her collection. Rosie Chambers Mills and Bobbye Tigerman, associate curators in the department, came to visit her. “We were sitting in her kitchen, and she brought out 20 or 30 pieces,” Tigerman recalls. “We were blown away. These were large and bold and not what you think about when you think about jewelry. They often have a personal or political message through the use of the material.” Boardman and her husband, Bob, have lived in an old Spanish-style house in a quiet residential neighborhood for over half a century. It’s a house full of art — much of it colorful and whimsical. There are pieces of American folk art and contemporary ceramics by such well-known artists as Ralph Bacerra, Peter Shire and John Mason. During night classes at Chouinard Art Institute (long since merged into CalArts), Boardman studied ceramics under the charismatic Bacerra and even had her own studio behind the house. She also served as a member of LACMA’s Decorative Arts Council (now the Decorative Arts and Design Council). Boardman says her jewelry habit was sparked by her friendship with gallerist Helen Drutt. In the early 1980s, they were both part of the National Task Force in the Crafts, a project initiated by the late Eudorah Moore (a longtime curator of the Pasadena Arts Museum — now the Norton Simon) on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts. Boardman and Drutt, owner of an eponymous crafts and jewelry gallery in Philadelphia, traveled together on fact-ﬁnding trips for the task force. “She kept wearing all this stuﬀ, all this jewelry,” Boardman recalls, sitting at the kitchen table. Her pieces were one-of-a-kind, and Boardman became so intrigued she began buying pieces from the Helen Drutt Gallery (since closed) and meeting the artists who made them. “I just thought it was
Nancy Worden, Armed and Dangerous necklace, 1998
Nancy Worden, The Leash necklace, 2003
–continued on page 16
Craft and Folk Art Museum 5814 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Visit cafamshop.org. Freehand 8413 W. 3rd St., L.A. Call (323) 655-2607 or visit freehand.com. Philip Sajet, Cactus Quadruple ring, 2003 14 | ARROYO | 12.16
Mirjam Hiller, Loperenias brooch, 2012
Gold Bug 22 E. Union St., Pasadena Call (626) 744-9963 or visit goldbugpasadena.com. LACMA Gift Shop 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Visit thelacmastore.org.
PHOTOS: © Museum Associates / LACMA
WHERE TO BUY STUDIO JEWELRY
12.16 | ARROYO | 15
emiko oye, Maharajah’s 6th necklace, 2008
fun,” says Boardman oﬀ handedly. “I got into it, this was studio jewelry. Helen guided me for a long period of time.” “Studio jewelry” is the term coined to describe original jewelry handcrafted by an artist in his/her workshop. According to Mills and Tigerman, writing in the exhibition catalog, contemporary studio jewelry emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, in several locations — mainly the U. S., the Netherlands, Germany and Britain, all represented in the show. The exhibition title uses the catchy term “bling,” which the Oxford English Dictionary deﬁnes as “ostentatious jewellery.” The selection is certainly eye-catching. Beyond Bling, in a gallery oﬀ the upper entrance to the Ahmanson Building, has proved unexpectedly popular with audiences of all ages. The rings and brooches are, of course, on the small side and must be examined at close range. Other pieces are large and bold and in your face — the very deﬁnition of “bling.” Many seem to carry a larger message than decoration — social, cultural and political transgression being one of the hallmarks of contemporary art. Take Nancy Worden’s Gilding the Past: it’s a necklace made up of gilded bone shapes (based on a chicken bone, says Tigerman) and looks rather like a necklace for a witch doctor. Closer examination, however, reveals medallions of the peace sign and the smiley face — carved from Kennedy half-dollar coins — interspersed between the bones. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Worden was active in antiwar protests during the Vietnam era. The piece questions wars (the bones being a stark reminder of death) and the “gilded” sheen we put on them. Other unexpected materials in these display cases include plastics, textiles and feathers. One highlight is a necklace made with Lego pieces — emiko oye’s Maharajah’s 6th is white, black and acid green — a series of white Lego bricks with black end pieces and a large multicolored medallion that drapes in the front. “When people look at it, it reminds them of outer space, the future,” says Tigerman, “but in reality, she was trying to replicate this 1928 piece made by Boucheron for a maharaja.” Quite a few children come into this exhibition and hover around this piece, probably wondering what they could do with their own Lego sets — if they are lucky enough to have one. A tour de force of craftsmanship is Gesine Hackenberg’s Delft Blue ‘Plooischotel’, made from a blue-and-white Royal Delft platter. (Fear not, it’s not antique — it was made in 1943.) Round pieces of varying sizes have been meticulously cut out of the rim and the base, and then strung together to make a necklace. The necklace is shown with the platter, illustrating how the pieces could ﬁt back in. Boardman admits she didn’t set out with an agenda or checklist when she started collecting, but rather relied on her own taste. “The idea of it was terriﬁc,” she replies, as to why she bought the Hackenberg piece. One piece breaks the rules on the body part it adorns: Die Goldene Nase Nosepiece by Gerd Rothmann was commissioned by Boardman in 1988. It is taken from a mold of her own nose and is worn atop the nose, like a prosthesis. The piece is also a bit of a visual pun, a play on the German phrase “to earn a golden nose,” which means “to make a fortune.” Did she ever actually wear it in public? “I did, a few times,” says Boardman with a chuckle. “Though it’s interesting, a lot of people would avert their eyes when they saw me. You know, they thought I might be missing a real nose or something.”|||| Beyond Bling: The Lois Boardman Collection runs through Feb. 4, 2017 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Museum admission costs
Gerd Rothmann, Die Goldene Nase nosepiece, 1988
$15, $10 for seniors and students; free for members and youth 17 and under. Visit lacma.org.
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PHOTOS: © Museum Associates / LACMA
–continued from page 14
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HBO’s 2016 Emmy party
COLOR MASTER Event designer Billy Butchkavitz creates extraordinary environments for HBO’s biggest celebrations. BY NOELA HUESO
BOLD. VIBRANT. EXOTIC. The lavish, elegant and over-the-top creations that event designer Billy Butchkavitz creates for HBO’s annual Emmy Awards and Golden Globes celebrations are legendary in Hollywood, making them the hottest party tickets in town. His rich and opulent style — often inspired by strong Asian, North African and Spanish cultures he encounters in extensive travels around the world in search of treasures to fulﬁll his vision — ﬁrst caught the eye of HBO executives in Hawaii in 1994. Since that time the Pasadena resident has been the cable giant’s exclusive party planner, creating not only awards season bashes but every grand event HBO decides to throw, from series-premiere celebrations to high-end executive retreats. The Emmy extravaganza is Butchkavitz’s biggest annual soirée. Held in a massive custombuilt tent on the fountain plaza of West Hollywood’s Paciﬁc Design Center for the 14th consecutive year, the 2016 gala used water as the design inspiration. He started choosing patterns and developing a color palette for the September gala in February — seven shades of blue, from the palest aqua to the darkest navy. By May, large-scale décor elements were ﬁnalized, original furniture designs were being made into prototypes for approval and the design of the custom-made, rippling water–patterned carpeting (all 59,000 square feet of it) was ﬁne-tuned. Butchkavitz says the eight days leading up to the Emmy bash are always intense: That’s when the tent goes up and the venue is built. “I have to do everything from meeting with electrical inspectors and the ﬁre marshal for the permits to dealing with the fact that HBO has added more people to the guest list at the last minute, which means you have to build a bigger kitchen and order more restroom trailers,” he says. Then there are those things that are beyond anyone’s control. Last year, a torrential down-
pour delayed the delivery of the Emmy party’s carpeting. “The trucks were coming in from Georgia,” he recalls. “It was like a river on San Vicente, so we had to cancel everything for a day and ﬁnd someplace for the trucks to park.” Over time, he has learned to roll with the punches — and anticipate disaster, even if it never comes. “If the party is on the 10th, I tell my vendors it’s on the ﬁrst,” he says, “because a lot of my material coming from overseas can sometimes get caught up in Customs. I overorder a lot, too, because I always have a backup plan if something doesn’t get here in time.” On the night of September’s fete, which celebrated HBO’s six Emmy wins including Best Drama Series (Game of Thrones) and Best Comedy Series (Veep), a water-themed collage — created by Butchkavitz’s longtime event photographer, Gabor Ekecs, based on Butchkavitz’s designs — served as a backdrop for the 150-foot press line. Revelers then walked through (or relaxed in) a 105-footlong lounge, built around a huge rectangular fountain, which stretched from the entrance to the VIP dining pavilion. Twenty-ﬁve-foot-high decorative perimeter walls constructed to enclose and enhance the space were covered with two-tone metallic jacquard punctuated with 25-foot-high blue metallic columns. Guests feasted on Wolfgang Puck’s cuisine at tables topped by hand-blown aqua pedestal bowls with ﬂoating “dinnerplate” dahlias, creating the eﬀect of tabletop water gardens. A 24-foot-tall cascading fountain sculpture held court in the multicolored dining pavilion, while the lighting, a crucial element in all of Butchkavitz’s dramatic designs, created the impression of being underwater. “Lighting is everything,” he says. “It helps to set the mood, enhances the environment and deﬁnes the energy of the event. Since 90 percent of my events take place at night, I depend on the lighting to convey my design message and to showcase my work.” 12.16 | ARROYO | 19
Workers assemble HBO’s 2016 Emmy party décor.
Not surprisingly, Butchkavitz says the secret to pulling oﬀ celebrations of this magnitude is to be organized. Knowing how, where and when to spend money is crucial, too. Though his parties look like a million bucks, during his international travels with his brother, Brian, Butchkavitz is always on the lookout for skilled artisans and quality materials at the lowest prices. (Butchkavitz runs day-to-day company operations with a team of four: Brian; their sister, Peggy, who does the bookkeeping from her New Jersey home; and Butchkavitz’s best friend, JR.) “We just go on our adventures and ﬁnd weavers and textile factories,” he says. “When I go to Chiang Mai [in northern Thailand], China or Rajasthan, India, I can draw a picture of what I want — whether it be a vase, a chandelier, furniture, textiles or costumes — and they will make a prototype for me to approve before it goes into mass production. I don’t go to the wholesaler. I go to the place where the wholesalers buy. I get more bang for the buck that way and HBO appreciates that.” They also appreciate his distinctive designs. “Billy’s creativity and ingenuity are limitless,” says HBO Vice President Lauren McMahon. “Each event is an amazing realization of so many ideas, all ﬂawlessly executed. There’s no mistaking a Billy premiere — it’s always visually and experientially unique and seriously great fun.” Butchkavitz has carte blanche in selecting awards season celebration themes, but when planning premiere parties, he works with HBO executives to develop a game plan, generating ideas by watching advance screenings and picking out elements unique to the show. For the September premiere of one of the cable network’s most recent hits, the futuristic Old West–themed Westworld, held at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre and the nearby Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Butchkavitz recreated the show’s homage to Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic Vitruvian Man, devising a 13-foot-tall Styrofoam replica of a white skeleton-like ﬁgure standing inside a giant circle with arms and legs outstretched. In the series, the circle serves as a device that creates very human-like robots, known as “hosts,” which help “guests” play out their darkest desires at an Old Western fantasy playground. Butchkavitz also created a “laboratory” in the hotel lobby, with metal sculptures representing the initial stages of the manufactured “hosts” and a second Vitruvian Man holding court in the center of the room. In the hotel’s ballroom, partygoers dined against a Westworld town backdrop, while other venues in the hotel became show-inspired settings: a brothel, a casino and an underground storage facility for discarded “hosts.” Outside, yet another, larger Vitruvian Man rotated on the hotel’s facade — a convincing projection, created by master projection designer Bart Kresa, with whom Butchkavitz routinely works to create an otherworldly, immersive experience. 20 | ARROYO | 12.16
By his own admission, Butchkavitz was a colorful kid. (“In school, I was the one who decorated the classroom [for the holidays],” he recalls, “and at home would tell my mom which drapery we should get.”) So it comes as no surprise that he ended up in the line of work he did. Even so, he didn’t set out to be a designer. In fact, he was on track to pursue a career in broadcast journalism before a bit of serendipity changed all that. The Philadelphia native’s serendipitous moment came after he graduated from Temple University in 1985 and moved to Hawaii to intern at a local TV station. Butchkavitz also began working for a catering company as a waiter/decorating assistant, and as a lifeguard for an exclusive, privately owned home that was featured on the TV series Magnum P.I. and often rented out for special aﬀairs. “The two women who owned the catering company were also into ﬂowers and they taught me all about their treatment, care and design,” he says. “After working for them for about a year, they asked me if I wanted to do the décor for a party they couldn’t take on because they were going out of town.” It turned out to be a high-end aﬀair at Honolulu’s Bishop Museum for the National Audubon Society and Britain’s Prince Philip, for which Butchkavitz created a vibrant luau-themed event. That celebration’s success sparked a stream of calls from other aspiring clients. For the next eight years, Butchkavitz designed private parties for wealthy Japanese families in Hawaii and produced celebrations for a number of hotel openings. He met HBO executives at the opening of Oahu’s Ihilani Resort & Spa in 1994 (now the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina), and they liked what they saw. Once Butchkavitz started working with them, HBO’s party strategy evolved from hotel dinners to spectacular events in enormous tents — sometimes requiring street closures in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills — including a memorable Moroccan-themed Golden Globe bash in 2005. “I have never been to Morocco, actually, but I buy so much stuﬀ from there through my importers,” he says. “A lot of the design, particularly the inlay, is very similar to that found in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.” It’s one of the few countries he hasn’t visited yet. He’s also had textiles made in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and Europe. When shopping overseas, Butchkavitz has learned to ask a lot of questions — and with good reason. “I once saw these really beautiful urns when I was preparing for one of my ﬁrst parties in Thailand, at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. Some were done in metalwork and some were painted porcelain,” Butchkavitz recalls. “I decided to use a number of pagoda-shaped ones as vases. I found out after the fact that the little pagodas were actually funeral urns.” –continued on page 22
PHOTO: (Top left) Gabor Ekecs
–continued from page 19
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–continued from page 20
When he started working with HBO in 1994, Butchkavitz left Hawaii and moved to downtown Los Angeles, where still he has a 10,000-square-foot warehouse. That’s where he stores exotic props and treasures he can’t bear to give up, plus all the shipments for upcoming celebrations. You won’t ﬁnd a lot of furniture from past parties there, however, since Butchkavitz isn’t in the habit of reusing things. Instead, he gives many reusable furniture items to one of his vendors, Town & Country Event Rentals. “You’ll very rarely see me reuse something,” he says. “If I do, it might be a very generic urn — like the ones I had made in the ’90s for a Sopranos premiere in New York; they look very Tuscan but they’re just very neutral and really tall. I still use those.” Three-and-a-half years ago, he moved to Pasadena. “I love Pasadena. When I lived in downtown L.A., there was nothing down there; there were homeless people everywhere, hardly any restaurants…so I would come to Pasadena to go to Trader Joe’s or the movies,” he says.
He walks around town as much as possible and, more than once, he’s been inspired by strolls through the majestic botanical gardens of The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. “I was totally inspired by the Huntington’s water lilies for a party I recently did for Bizbash,” he says, adding that the silhouette of water lilies adorned the carpet, tabletops and walls. Since the Emmy celebration wrapped, Butchkavitz has been hard at work preparing for January’s Golden Globes, the details of which, at press time, were still top secret. Inspired by the late legendary Hollywood designer Tony Duquette, who worked on movie sets, in jewelry and in interior design until he passed away at the age of 85, Butchkavitz is thinking about branching out into other areas. He says he’s been approached about doing reality shows but has turned down the oﬀers because he’s afraid the overexposure would cheapen his product. “I’ve also been approached to do a line of vases and china but I’m not ready to do that yet. I’d deﬁnitely like to do a movie set, though,” he adds. “I’m in it for the long haul. I want to keep doing this until I’m in my 80s.”||||
BILLY’S HOLIDAY DECORATING TIPS
1. KEEP IT BASIC Make sure that whatever decoration you’re putting up isn’t too diﬃcult to install and is equally easy to take down. “Once the holiday season is over, I don’t want to waste a lot of time packing and storing holiday décor,” Butchkavitz says. “That’s why I tend to use a lot of live holiday greens and ﬂowers that can be thrown away once they are past their glory.” 2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE Butchkavitz likes to use containers he already owns to display things. “I’m not a big fan of tree stands,” he says. “I much prefer placing trees in decorative urns or planters.” 3. MIX IT UP Butchkavitz suggests incorporating layers, assorted textures and mixed patterns in his holiday presentations. If you’ve got some ﬁgurines or other small decorative pieces, blend them into your display of presents under the tree to add some depth, whimsy and texture. “If you choose wrapping paper, boxes and ribbons that work with your design palette, that’s an extra bonus,” he says. 4. CHOOSE COLOR WISELY “Since my place is already overloaded with color, I tend to stick with white lights, white candles, Christmas greens, red ornaments and red and gold ribbons,” he says. For darker interiors, he suggests using lots of silver and/or gold. Got a neutral colored space? “Use assorted festive holiday colors and go to town!” 5. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on holiday décor, “a few wreaths and holiday greens, decorative ribbons, some bowls and vases ﬁlled with colorful ornaments and lots of white or ivory candles” will go a long way toward capturing the holiday spirit, he says. 6. KEEP IT CLEAN “The cleaner, neater and tidier an environment is, the better the holiday decor will look.” — NH
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PHOTO: Gabor Ekecs
While Billy Butchkavitz has decorated many hotels, resorts and private residences with gorgeous over-the-top designs for the holidays, when it comes to decorating his own home, he prefers to keep things a little simpler. Here are six of his decorating tips for a more personal touch.
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A Z to
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ARROYO HOME & DESIGN
PHOTO: Courtesyy of Fortress Seating
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
HOME THEATRE IS A TRENDY BUSINESS
Better, cheaper and more functional are the watchwords in home theatre/game room design… BY BRUCE HARING
TRENDS COME AND TRENDS GO. REMEMBER THE PET ROCK? HOW ABOUT THE BETAMAX? OR THE SONY MINIDISC? Keep all of those bygone trends in mind when planning your new home theatre and/or dedicated game room. That’s because technology trends come and go, passing in and out of fancy in short order and winding up in that mysterious room where outdated styles goes to die, sometimes before you finish paying off your investment. That’s why the latest gizmo or trend should not be your focus when planning a home theatre/game room operation. Instead, focus on the classic comforts – good seating, great sound, sharp pictures and connectivity. You won’t go wrong by using that measuring stick to determine what you should invest in when planning your ultimate entertainment space. Here are a few of the current trends in home theatre and game room design that you should parse when making your investment. Most are timeless in nature. –continued on page 30
12 16 | ARROYO | 27 12.16
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–continued from page 27
MULTIPLE SCREENS – This a hot, hot trend that’s emerged in the last year. They range from a set-up where several screens are in use at the same time, to versatile layouts where there are different sized screens used for movies and sports, and smaller ones for things like daytime viewing. You can also split your screen so that you can keep one side on for watching and the other available for scouring the web for information. The range of options available is appealing to the multi-tasker in us all, but it’s not inexpensive. Depending on what you choose, you can spend up to $20,000 or more on screens alone. There’s also the issue of navigation. It sounds good to be able to coordinate multiple screens, but it’s not something the easily confused will immediately embrace. But the ability to split your viewing options may be priceless for families that want to spend time together, but have different interests. HIDDEN FEATURES – Most home theatre rooms are used with the lights off. So having a backlit LCD or other blinking lights can be a distraction. That’s why many are opting for equipment that can be hidden, such as in-wall speakers and drop-down projection screens. Some screens can be hidden behind wall panels when not in use. It makes the room more aesthetically pleasing when the equipment is not in use. SEATING: It’s the most dominant presence in the home theatre and should be considered early in your planning. Gabi Wolper, the Vice President of Fortress Seating in La Verne, California, reminds planners that people are going to be seated for several hours at a time, so they need to be comfortable at the end of the movie as they are at the beginning. Also a factor: the number of seats could affect the screen size, projection equipment and room layout. “Waiting to the end of –continued on page 33 30 | ARROYO | 12.16
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–continued from page 30
the project to decide upon the seating often leads to compromises,” says Wolper. “Platforms often are not deep enough or aisles start to shrink.” Seating is not just about comfort, either. There are tray tables, reading lights, adjustable controls that govern height and recline, and sectionals and loungers. “Seating for multi-purpose rooms has become almost as popular as theatre seating is for dedicated theatres,” says Wolper. “Comfort and easy viewing are still the critical issues.” MULTIPLE USES, DIFFERENT STYLES – Many pool tables now come with hidden storage features that allow both form and function. Nine out of ten buyers have opted for a storage drawer to serve as the place where they can put their pool table equipment when not in use, taking the place of the traditional wall racks. In a world where clutter kills the vibe, it’s a must-have feature. Table style changes are also part of the new wave. Black lacquer pool tables have overtaken natural wood finishes as the preferred style in contemporary homes. Their natural clean lines come in blacks and greys, fitting in with the clean aesthetics of your up-to-date home. EVERYTHING IS WIRED – In today’s home, everything is connected to the Internet, and that goes for your home theatre operation as well. There are many online-only shows that you can only get with a Net connection, and there is an endless library of movies, TV shows and other content available online. The Internet enabled universe includes –continued on page 35
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–continued from page 33
televisions, receivers and gaming consoles, Blu-ray disc players, and the Wii, PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Don’t have a gaming console? Get a media extender, a box that will stream Internet content to your entertainment devices. You can also hook up a hard drive that will help you save and store your personal files in music, video and more. CONTROL YOUR ENVIRONMENT – Thanks to the innovations of wireless technology, you can manage just about any device in your home while you are away from home. Use your mobile apps to communicate with your home automation control system. This will allow you to check your security system; lower the thermostat to save energy and lower your bills when no one is at home, bumping it up shortly before your return; and record a favorite movie for watching when you get home from work. You can also turn off the lights in your home without leaving your cozy seats in your home theatre. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? – The trend in sound is toward compact and wireless systems that have dropped significantly in price over the last few years. Sound bars are a hot new trend. This replaces the seven speakers that are scattered around your room by projecting sound through tiny speakers. You can get a surround-sound like experience without the clutter that multi-speakers systems generate and won’t create a bulky presence like the traditional speakers. The good news is that they serve multiple functions, including converting video from lo-res to HD, charging iPods and other devices, and hooking up to satellite devices to bring the full range of services into your theatre or gaming room. The best news about all the new, new, new features is their price. A good-quality projector is now half the price it was two years ago, and other components have experienced similar price drops. The trend is smaller, cheaper, better. Which means that if you buy something and then technology comes along with the better solution shortly after your purchase, you won’t be stuck in the sunk costs dilemma and can upgrade without a hefty new investment. So, sit back, relax and enjoy your home theatre or gaming room. The way things are trending, you may not want to ever leave your house. |||| 12.16 | ARROYO | 35
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~HOM E SALES I N D EX~
10.37% ALHAMBRA Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. ALTADENA Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. ARCADIA Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. EAGLE ROCK Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. GLENDALE Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. LA CAÑADA Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. PASADENA Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. SAN MARINO Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. SIERRA MADRE Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. SOUTH PASADENA Homes Sold Median Price Median Sq. Ft. TOTAL Homes Sold Avg Price/Sq. Ft.
OCT. ’15 21 $520,000 1342 OCT. ’15 32 $689,500 1497 OCT. ’15 30 $894,000 2161 OCT. ’15 14 $675,000 1665 OCT. ’15 117 $623,000 1516 OCT. ’15 20 $1,428,250 2074 OCT. ’15 137 $635,000 1450 OCT. ’15 9 $2,300,000 2898 OCT. ’15 6 $745,000 1592 OCT. ’15 14 $715,000 1581 OCT. ’15 400 $492
OCT.’16 38 $605,000 1558 OCT. ’16 30 $705,000 1452 OCT. ’16 37 $999,000 1815 OCT. ’16 13 $811,000 1431 OCT. ’16 90 $712,500 1509 OCT. ’16 15 $1,505,000 2328 OCT. ’16 132 $696,000 1504 OCT. ’16 11 $2,000,000 2187 OCT. ’16 8 $908,250 1487 OCT. ’16 11 $840,000 1692 OCT. ’16 385 $543
AVG. PRICE/SQ. FT.
HOMESALESABOVE RECENT HOME CLOSINGS IN THE PASADENA WEEKLY FOOTPRINT ADDRESS ALHAMBRA 321 North Monterey Street #A 1518 South Garfield Ave. 429 North Palm Ave. 411 South Monterey Street #A 817 North Garfield Ave. 224 Palmetto Drive 206 North Granada Ave. 201 South Bushnell Ave. 514 North Vega Street 421 South 5th Street ALTADENA 1810 East Mendocino Street 2120 Pinecrest Drive 2017 East Altadena Drive 1701 Coolidge Ave. 222 Highlawn Place 2805 Highview Ave. ARCADIA 931 Hampton Road 1421 North Baldwin Ave. 164 Elkins Place 1408 South 3rd Ave. 2032 South 7th Ave. 53 East Orange Grove Ave. 318 East Haven Ave. 1626 Rodeo Road 336 Genoa Street 1631 Oakwood Ave. 1038 Oakdale Ave. 1312 South 4th Ave. 568 South 2nd Ave. 2415 El Capitan Ave. 2219 South 5th Ave. 1427 South 5th Ave. 1217 Mayflower Ave. 2514 El Capitan Ave. 1018 English Oaks Drive 1033 South 9th Ave. 119 Eldorado Street #B EAGLE ROCK 1857 Campus Road 1380 Hill Drive 5169 North Maywood Ave. 1558 North Ave. #46 1217 Linda Rosa Ave. 4651 Castle Crest Drive GLENDALE 720 West Kenneth Road 1545 Virginia Ave. 1202 Rossmoyne Ave. 855 Moorside Drive 330 Brockmont Drive 1684 Cielito Drive 928 Highline Road 3514 Emerald Isle Drive 918 Hillcroft Road 1628 Thurber Place 1844 West Kenneth Road 2338 Florencita Ave. 1626 Idlewood Road 3525 El Lado Drive 775 Luton Drive 415 South Adams Street #A/C 1444 El Miradero Ave. 1045 Camann Street 1221 North Isabel Street
source: CalREsource YR. BUILT PREV. PRICE
10/31/16 10/07/16 10/14/16 10/13/16 10/28/16 10/07/16 10/26/16 10/11/16 10/31/16 10/20/16
$1,235,000 $1,200,000 $1,150,000 $1,018,000 $1,000,000 $960,000 $950,000 $944,500 $930,000 $905,000
5 8 8 4 6 6 4 6 3 4
3818 3633 4126 2840 3019 2612 2562 3125 1979 1952
1968 1978 1947 1985 2006 1924 1999 1951 1941 1923
$270,000 $133,000 $377,000 $187,000
04/23/1997 06/19/1997 09/19/1989 04/09/1997
10/31/16 10/12/16 10/03/16 10/31/16 10/13/16 10/27/16
$2,290,000 $1,400,000 $1,225,000 $925,000 $867,000 $856,000
3 5 2 3 3 3
1961 3003 1799 1798 1745 1344
1948 1953 1922 1939 1962 1947
$800,000 $1,320,000 $1,118,000 $710,000 $675,000 $515,000
08/14/2014 09/19/2014 03/05/2010 05/30/2008 03/17/2016 12/29/2010
10/31/16 10/12/16 10/03/16 10/25/16 10/27/16 10/27/16 10/31/16 10/18/16 10/27/16 10/14/16 10/25/16 10/18/16 10/27/16 10/31/16 10/06/16 10/18/16 10/25/16 10/14/16 10/11/16 10/14/16 10/14/16
$8,300,000 $4,200,000 $3,050,000 $2,900,000 $1,820,000 $1,810,000 $1,618,000 $1,400,000 $1,385,000 $1,350,000 $1,233,000 $1,200,000 $1,190,000 $1,140,000 $1,130,000 $1,070,000 $1,050,000 $1,040,000 $999,000 $908,000 $852,000
8 4 4 5 2 4 4 2 5 3 6 4 3 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3
12436 2820 4483 5854 840 3611 3578 1756 2740 2486 3700 1700 2120 1646 1850 1815 988 1132 2385 1819 2285
1991 1954 2015 2015 1950 1966 2007 1948
$2,380,000 $1,850,000 $1,400,000 $1,298,000 $760,000 $715,000 $1,338,000
04/30/2003 08/14/2015 01/15/2014 11/15/2013 06/19/2013 09/30/1998 01/15/2008
$700,000 $915,000 $800,000 $705,000 $355,000
04/23/2014 04/15/2015 02/12/2013 09/26/2008 01/21/2000
10/25/16 10/14/16 10/25/16 10/19/16 10/20/16 10/28/16
$1,550,000 $1,259,000 $1,113,000 $900,000 $865,000 $850,000
3 2 3 4 4 2
3355 1146 1786 2814 2800 1429
1937 1925 1922 1927 1938 1949
$837,000 $400,000 $260,000 $695,000
01/19/2006 06/13/2008 04/30/1998 05/20/2015
10/20/16 10/20/16 10/21/16 10/20/16 10/24/16 10/25/16 10/04/16 10/28/16 10/11/16 10/21/16 10/07/16 10/03/16 10/19/16 10/20/16 10/11/16 10/25/16 10/31/16 10/26/16 10/03/16
$2,350,000 $2,320,000 $1,829,000 $1,420,000 $1,399,000 $1,350,000 $1,260,000 $1,155,000 $1,075,000 $1,060,000 $1,055,000 $1,025,000 $1,020,000 $1,000,000 $994,000 $990,000 $980,000 $970,000 $963,000
4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 5 2 4 3 4 3
3041 4353 3781 3126 3904 2639 3517 2386 2217 2180 1803 1526 1942 2219 1449 2211 1896 2168 1682
1937 1930 1926 1979 1987 1959 2008 1970 1948 1932 1926 1930 1925 1954 1954 1921 1927 1954 1927
$695,000 $480,000 $850,000
08/20/1999 01/18/1996 02/03/2004
$370,000 $465,000 $540,000 $562,000 $629,500
02/13/1987 11/25/1998 04/16/2010 12/15/2014 10/24/2012
$670,000 $561,000 $810,000 $825,000 $710,000
01/15/2015 01/09/2014 08/10/2006 05/10/2005 10/29/2004
1951 1966 1918 2015 1951 1950 1955 1923 1950 1980 1959 1999
–continued on page 38
The Arroyo Home Sales Index is calculated from residential home sales in Pasadena and the surrounding communities of South Pasadena, San Marino, La Canada Flintridge, Eagle Rock, Glendale (including Montrose), Altadena, Sierra Madre, Arcadia and Alhambra. Individual home sales data provided by CalREsource. Arroyo Home Sales Index © Arroyo 2016. Complete home sales listings appear each week in Pasadena Weekly.
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–continued from page 37 ADDRESS CLOSE DATE GLENDALE 252 West Kenneth Road 10/13/16 663 Corwin Ave. 10/28/16 3906 Oakgrove Court 10/26/16 10/26/16 2257 Waltonia Drive 3205 Linda Vista Road 10/12/16 812 East Glenoaks Blvd. 10/17/16 910 Glenvista Drive 10/25/16 655 Corwin Ave. 10/21/16 3852 Vista Court 10/31/16 452 Caruso Ave. 10/24/16 1112 North Columbus Ave. 10/31/16 1000 Ethel Street 10/07/16 1001 North Isabel Street 10/19/16 LA CAÑADA 742 Greenridge Drive 10/20/16 5364 Alta Canyada Road 10/14/16 4229 Oakwood Ave. 10/28/16 4612 Vineta Ave. 10/31/16 975 Regent Park Drive 10/04/16 2001 Tondolea Lane 10/18/16 841 Milmada Drive 10/04/16 1025 Olive Lane 10/24/16 5145 Redwillow Lane 10/19/16 5000 Palm Drive 10/05/16 4621 Indiana Ave. 10/26/16 4848 Commonwealth Ave. 10/14/16 2134 Tondolea Lane 10/18/16 2077 Ahlin Drive 10/19/16 4434 Rockland Place 10/27/16 PASADENA 1178 Arden Road 10/14/16 10/07/16 1585 Lombardy Road 990 South San Rafael Ave. 10/04/16 588 East Glenarm Street 10/26/16 1145 Linda Glen Drive 10/14/16 1994 San Pasqual Street 10/25/16 587 Prospect Blvd. 10/21/16 487 West California Blvd. 10/31/16 3400 Yorkshire Road 10/04/16 1473 Rutherford Drive 10/17/16 112 South Orange Grove Blvd. #210 10/28/16 381 California Terrace 10/20/16 1266 South Los Robles Ave. 10/18/16 3844 East California Blvd. 10/05/16 1440 Chamberlain Road 10/12/16 85 Glen Summer Road 10/03/16 1770 San Pasqual Street 10/13/16 3785 Greenhill Road 10/19/16 130 Kenworthy Drive 10/04/16 1632 North Arroyo Blvd. 10/26/16 23 South Grand Ave. 10/21/16 3263 Orlando Road 10/28/16 1597 La Loma Road 10/07/16 3785 Fairmeade Road 10/21/16 482 South Arroyo Parkway #503 10/18/16 2709 San Marcos Drive 10/07/16 1590 La Loma Road 10/03/16 1954 Windover Road 10/06/16 236 Arroyo Terrace 10/14/16 1550 North Lake Ave. 10/24/16 355 Sequoia Drive 10/20/16 700 South Euclid Ave. 10/28/16 464 Northcliff Road 10/27/16 1211 Armada Drive 10/24/16 3275 New York Drive 10/27/16 1058 Linda Vista Ave. 10/18/16 2295 East Woodlyn Road 10/07/16 1008 North Marengo Ave. 10/18/16 110 Linda Vista Ave. 10/28/16 141 South Hudson Ave. #104 10/26/16 305 Arlington Drive 10/25/16 159 West Green Street #203A 10/28/16 1125 Riviera Drive 10/24/16 SAN MARINO 1541 Charlton Road 10/17/16 615 South Allen Ave. 10/24/16 1705 Banning Way 10/25/16 792 Winston Ave. 10/26/16 2735 Canterbury Road 10/12/16 2240 Lorain Road 10/11/16 1460 Rubio Drive 10/13/16 1519 Wilson Ave. 10/13/16 2600 East California Blvd. 10/19/16 1325 Winston Ave. 10/12/16 2998 Somerset Place 10/31/16 SIERRA MADRE 209 Ramona Ave. 10/27/16 400 West Montecito Ave. 10/18/16 360 Ramona Ave. 10/13/16 333 North Sunnyside Ave. 10/31/16 118 West Bonita Ave. 10/24/16 SOUTH PASADENA 1619 Camden Parkway 10/18/16 1116 Hope Street 10/18/16 820 Mission Street #301 10/28/16 533 Floral Park Terrace 10/12/16 1300 Indiana Ave. 10/20/16
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YR. BUILT PREV. PRICE
$950,000 $950,000 $945,000 $925,000 $925,000 $900,000 $899,000 $890,000 $885,000 $884,000 $880,000 $858,000 $855,000
4 5 3 3 4 3 2 3 3 2 3 4 3
2195 3225 2236 2181 2670 1921 2001 2675 1786 1381 1893 2137 2007
1961 1925 1981 1980 1952 1925 1949 1966 1937 2008 1941 1924 1925
$3,700,000 $3,225,000 $2,735,000 $2,350,000 $2,255,000 $2,149,000 $1,621,000 $1,505,000 $1,456,500 $1,250,000 $1,200,000 $1,158,000 $1,095,000 $968,500 $940,000
4 5 6 4 5 4 4 3 3 3 2 3 3 2 3
7475 5279 5130 3066 4698 2614 2905 2202 2058 1452 2328 1613 2176 1578 2146
$4,000,000 $3,650,000 $3,455,000 $2,550,000 $2,500,000 $2,465,000 $2,400,000 $2,286,000 $2,211,000 $2,175,000 $1,800,000 $1,700,000 $1,699,000 $1,568,000 $1,560,000 $1,512,000 $1,500,000 $1,500,000 $1,340,000 $1,330,000 $1,325,000 $1,280,000 $1,265,500 $1,250,000 $1,240,000 $1,189,000 $1,180,000 $1,150,000 $1,130,000 $1,100,000 $1,050,000 $1,030,000 $990,000 $979,000 $960,000 $950,000 $950,000 $935,000 $910,000 $903,000 $889,500 $889,000 $870,000
4 5 2 5 4 5 4 4 2 4 0 3 3 3 2 4 3 4 2 4 1 3 3 3 0 4 2 2 3 3 2 4 4 3 4 3 3 5 2 2 2 3 3
5060 3242 1025 4673 4332 3399 3296 3664 2007 3226 0 2314 2280 2385 2652 2301 2056 3079 2287 2442 2090 2319 2471 2131 0 3045 1862 2547 2182 3022 1450 1592 2512 1710 2501 2016 1365 2238 1260 2005 1647 1470 2046
1999 1932 1957 1979 1924 1956 1923 1957 2016 1962 1965 1948 1905 1947 2006 1969 2006 1954
$4,090,000 $3,989,000 $2,498,000 $2,320,000 $2,150,000 $2,000,000 $1,800,000 $1,795,000 $1,720,000 $1,520,000 $1,338,000
5 4 6 2 3 2 3 3 2 3 3
3152 4857 3087 2522 1992 1981 2026 1856 2163 2187 2821
$1,225,000 $1,188,000 $1,075,000 $926,500 $890,000
3 3 3 5 2
$2,165,000 $1,650,000 $1,625,000 $1,297,500 $1,200,000
4 8 0 4 3
$621,000 $680,000 $593,500 $689,000
12/05/2012 05/23/2008 06/03/2013 07/11/2014
1996 2000 1941 1949 1955 1931 1950 1937 1956 1930 1936 1961 1962 1961 2012
$675,000 $2,390,000 $1,999,000 $450,000
02/11/1992 08/18/2004 05/19/2015 12/18/2002
1989 1923 1933 1920 1999 1929 1922 1910 1940 1987
$3,200,000 $1,100,000 $720,000 $285,000 $1,880,000
07/07/2014 04/23/1999 06/11/1997 03/04/1985 05/10/2011
$677,000 $1,175,000 $1,395,000 $191,500 $655,000
08/24/2001 09/28/2015 01/22/2016 09/10/1986 09/14/2000
$730,000 $250,000 $680,000
08/13/2008 01/05/2012 08/21/2015
$790,000 $875,000 $699,000 $500,000
04/11/2013 04/30/2008 10/06/2006 12/24/2014
1951 1926 1926 1941 1948 1938 1925 1931 1955 1931 1952
$3,750,000 $2,875,000 $1,275,000
03/02/2015 11/15/2007 01/15/2004
$1,450,000 $560,000 $1,490,000
09/20/2012 08/04/1999 08/18/2014
3337 1971 2236 2690 984
1978 1946 1949 1951 1909
$482,500 $693,000 $455,000
01/21/1992 11/10/2011 12/21/2001
2698 3290 0 2570 1754
1926 1954 1948 1947 1947 1951 1951 1978 1964 1920 1946 1947 1954
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40 | ARROYO | 12.16
Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in
NASA’S HOTWIRE TO HOLLYWOOD ARROYOLAND HAS KEPT ITSELF GLORIOUSLY FREE OF HOLLYWOOD HIJINKS INVOLVING PAPPARAZZI WHO SWARM THE STREETS FOR A GLIMPSE OF A-LIST STARS AND MAITRE D’S WHO DOLE OUT TABLES ACCORDING TO THE DINER’S BOX OFFICE RANKING. YET RIGHT HERE, ON FAIR OAKS AVENUE IN PASADENA, WE HAVE ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST UNUSUAL AND SOUGHT-AFTER HOLLYWOOD PUBLICITY AND MARKETING PHOTO: © 2016 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
FIRMS. IT’S HEADED BY WARREN BETTS, A GUY WITH A PHYSICS DEGREE, A PASSION FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND A CLIENT LIST THAT INCLUDES SONY AND TRISTAR, WARNER BROS., UNIVERSAL, COLUMBIA, UNITED ARTISTS, WALT DISNEY AND VIRGIN RECORDS, AMONG OTHERS. His ﬁrm, Warren Betts Communications (WBC), connects Hollywood’s top studios and high-concept ﬁlmmakers with the world’s scientiﬁc geniuses and innovators (think Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk), whom Betts recruits to advise on technical issues.
Publicist Warren Betts says science truth is stranger (and better) than science fiction. BY BETTIJANE LEVINE
Let’s say you’re about to view this month’s potential blockbuster, Passengers, to be released December 21. It’s about a luxury spaceship with 5,000 souls on board, all traveling in suspended animation to eventually arrive and live on a distant planet. They’re still asleep in pods when the ship malfunctions, and two voyagers (Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt) awaken to ﬁnd that they and the rest of the travelers are in dire peril. Science ﬁction? Yes — but not totally. In fact, there’s as much science as ﬁction in the current genre, Betts says, and it’s often the real stuﬀ that’s more fascinating than the imaginary. In the case of Passengers, Betts called in experts from NASA (and others he can’t name, due to a nondisclosure agreement) to help director Morten Tyldum and the rest of the crew make the ship, the characters and the storyline as realistic as possible. And if the plot doesn’t strike you as realistic, consider this: Elon Musk (founder of Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX) is already testing equipment designed to come and go from Mars, which Musk — age 45 and worth $11.2 billion — hopes to colonize and where he has repeatedly said he plans to be buried. Betts, 57, lives in Sierra Madre and travels the world to consult with ﬁlmmakers before, during and after production (when he helps promote the ﬁlms), and with experts he recruits to help those ﬁlmmakers get details right in the increasingly nonﬁctional aspects of sci-ﬁ. Betts has relationships with NASA, the CIA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and research institutions such as MIT, Caltech, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland. He calls on these agencies and institutions to ﬁnd the right advisors for all kinds of ﬁlms, from animation (Angry Birds) to Imax (A Beautiful Planet) and a wide range of dramas, comedies and sci-ﬁ epics that require expertise otherwise unavailable. Betts says he has worked with Hawking on a few ﬁlms, including Star Trek and the theoretical physicist’s biopic, The Theory of Everything. For the National Geographic Channel’s Mars series, which debuted last month, “we brought in experts from NASA. Also featured are [science celebrities] Elon Musk and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson,” director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. 12.16 | ARROYO | 41
NASA International Space Station astronaut Cady Coleman and Warren Betts at the junket of (Warner Bros.)
For Inferno, Ron Howard’s Da Vinci Code sequel released last month, Betts recruited Caltech bioterrorism and biology Professor Alexei Aravin to advise ﬁlmmakers and media on viruses that could actually be released by lunatic despots trying to control the world. For spy movies, such as the James Bond series, Betts says he has worked with the Department of Defense to recruit KGB defectors as expert advisors in the high-tech worlds of annihilation and espionage. Another project, the Angelina Jolie ﬁlm Salt, utilized the expertise of Tom Ridge, the nation’s ﬁrst director of Homeland Security, thanks to Betts. Although most expert advisors are paid for their work, Betts says, “I don’t think Ridge asked for a fee. He only asked for a favor. He wanted to meet Angelina Jolie.” He adds that highly placed government types and world-famous academics are eager participants in entertainment. “Oh, they love Hollywood,” he says. “And they’re just excited that ﬁlmmakers are seeking their technical and scientiﬁc expertise.” Money isn’t an issue for most of them, he says, “but of course the Hollywood people don’t like to take their time and expertise without compensating them, so we always want to do that.” Betts isn’t your typical voluble publicist. He is soft-spoken, charming and understated. In fact, getting him to talk about his connections with the high and mighty in Hollywood, government and academia is like prying the sweet ﬂesh from an extremely unmanageable crab leg. He’s been doing this work for about 30 years, has been involved with many (if not most) of the blockbuster ﬁlms involving science, has recruited so many dozens of experts world-renowned in their ﬁelds and traveled so extensively that he seems at a loss when asked to select high points in his exotic career. After a few moments of thoughtful silence, he says, “Well, I’ve been up on the ‘Vomit Comet.’ We took director James Cameron on it when we were working on the ﬁrst Avatar ﬁlm.” What’s the “Vomit Comet”? “It’s that airplane they take the astronauts in to train them for zero gravity. It’s at the Van Nuys airport and a lot of people get sick on it. It was fun, but I was nervous at ﬁrst. It goes up very high very fast and then does a nose dive. That’s when you lose gravity.” Some of Betts’ tech contacts do double duty as his publicity and marketing clients, including NASA, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Lockheed Martin and SpaceX. What does he do for them? “Many diﬀerent things. A good example might be the ‘NASA 101’ confer-
ences we hold, where we bring NASA experts from all over the place and have them interface with ﬁlmmakers, writers, producers, even actors. It’s so they can exchange information and learn how NASA might be useful to ﬁlmmakers” and vice versa, he says. “For Apple and Microsoft we work on themes that might have to do with technology for computers, or airlines or for prolonging life. We also do product placement for them in ﬁlms,” he says. Betts was born in Houston, Texas. His father, a NASA engineer during the Apollo and space-shuttle eras, was transferred to a space-ﬂight center in Alabama, where Betts grew up. He attended two Alabama schools — the University of Alabama and the University –continued on page 44
42 | ARROYO | 12.16
PHOTOS: (Top) © 2016 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.; (bottom) courtesy of NASA
–continued from page 41
12.16 | ARROYO | 43
Director Paul W.S. Anderson and Warren Betts at the Beverly Hills junket of the movie (TriStar Pictures)
of Montevallo, where he received a masters degree in physics, he says. “I never thought I’d work in Hollywood. I wanted to be an astronomer, but it all just happened right out of the blue. An older fraternity brother took a job at 20th Century Fox, and George Lucas asked him if he knew of a young scientiﬁc person who’d be good at marketing and publicity. My friend knew what a geek I was and said, ‘Warren Betts. He’ll be graduating soon.’” So right out of college Betts had a summer internship with George Lucas; the ﬁlmmaker liked Betts’ work and wanted to inject science into publicity for his ﬁlms. He hired Betts for a year, and then extended it for two more years. “By that time I was hooked,” Betts says. “And by then George had an oﬃce on the Fox lot in Century City because all his movies were produced through Fox. George thought the Fox people should hire me to do all their science movies, which they did. Fox and Lucas decided to hire me indeﬁnitely and share my talents.” Then, Betts says, “I was working on Apollo 13 with Ron Howard, who encouraged me to start my own company. He thought Hollywood ﬁlmmakers needed an agency with my expertise.” So in 1993 he took Howard’s advice and started Warren Betts Communications on Lake Avenue. Why did you locate your business in Pasadena, since it’s not a Hollywood-oriented town? “Yes, but it’s Hollywood’s brain trust, isn’t it?” Betts says. “You’ve got the California Institute of Technology and you’ve got JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory], you’ve got such a lot of people here working in the business of science and technology. So it’s a great place to be. In fact, it’s the place to be.” So is science and technology, for a growing number of ﬁlmmakers. Betts says the number of ﬁlms that deal with both has climbed prodigiously through the years. “Back when I worked with Ron Howard on Apollo 13, NASA was reluctant to work with any of the studios because they thought all they did was make up the science and it wasn’t anything they could endorse. But I’ve seen not only a growing amount of movies themed to science and technology, I’ve seen ﬁlmmakers coming to me with a larger interest in acquiring the scientiﬁc knowledge to make the movies more authentic and make the science and technology more believable to the public. Of course, all the scientiﬁc institutions we work with have come to really appreciate that,” says Betts. And their science expertise can be very entertaining. “The truth is that real science is much more interesting than science ﬁction,” he adds. “It’s often weirder and stranger than science ﬁction. And a lot of ﬁlmmakers are starting to agree with that philosophy.”|||| 44 | ARROYO | 12.16
PHOTO: Courtesy of NASA
–continued from page 42
12.16 | ARROYO | 45
46 | ARROYO | 12.16
GIFT GUIDE BY DENISE ABBOTT
WOMEN GLOBAL GLAMOR Artisans from Portugal to Rhode Island and New York lent their talents to this mouthblown swirled-glass bowl on an intricate metal base adorned with enamel and 1,400 Swarovski crystals and amethyst crystal stones. Jay Strongwater Charlotte peacock feather glass bowl, $4,500, davidorgell.com, (310) 273-6660
IN THE BAG She won’t see herself coming and going in this timeless Dries Van Noten calf-hair shoulder bag with a leopard and snakeskin motif. $1,230, barneys.com
IN THE RED PRIMARY COLORS Farrow & Ball, a go-to British paint and wallpaper company for designers, celebrates its 70th anniversary with a lavishly illustrated coﬀeetable book for do-it-yourselfers: How to Decorate by color experts Joa Studholme and Charlotte Cosby (Mitchell Beazley). $25.46, amazon.com
Make a statement with David Yurman’s thick red-resin sculpted cable cuﬀ bracelet accented by 18-karat yellowgold vermeil. Also in turquoise, black and white. $850, Davidyurman.com, (888) 398-7626
12.16 | ARROYO | 47
DUFFEL OFF TO BUFFALO
Real men carry bags when they’re as sleek as Serapian’s burgundy leather duﬀel, with polished goldtone hardware, a leather luggage tag and leather-bound padlock. $2,000, barneys.com, (888) 222-7639
Treat your budding Realtor to a furnished dollhouse with such up-to-the-minute amenities as a solar-paneled roof, moveable stairs and a reversible winter/summer theme. Even better, imaginary role-playing with friends will teach your child collaboration and cooperation, while sharpening her language development and communication skills. All-Season House – Furnished, $179.99, Playopolis Toys, 667 W. California Blvd., Pasadena, playopolistoys.com, (626) 792-2380
BOYS’ LIFE This might be a good time to remind the nostalgic men in your life of their feisty youth with this rare ﬁrst edition of J.D. Salinger’s 1951 adolescent-angst classic, The Catcher in the Rye. $39,500, baumanrarebooks. com, (212) 751-0011
A ZOOM OF ONE’S OWN He’ll never have to fork out $500 for Hamilton orchestra seats with these 100X Ultrazoom Binoculars that are military grade yet lightweight and boast a 68mm objective lens for visual clarity. $169.99, sharperimage.com, (877) 206-7862
48 | ARROYO | 12.16
Gently nudge your child away from his iPad Mini and introduce him to the joys of play in the 3D (not virtual) world with Lego’s Jurassic World T. Rex Tracker. The 520-piece set, including mini troopers, a motorbike and a “ﬂaming” torch, will enable your ﬂedgling dinosaur hunter to catch his prey and store it in a special dino cage. $82.99, Toys “R” Us, 2500 W. Commonwealth Ave., Alhambra, toysrus.com, (626) 284-8909
TOP SECRET If we ever needed a secret spy, it’s now. Equip yours with a black trench and fedora, rear-view sunglasses, a secret coded message card and more. $29.99, San Marino Toy and Book, 2424 Huntington Dr., San Marino, toysandbooks.com, (626) 309-0222.
YOU GO, GIRL!
The ultimate in creature comfort, this shaggy dog bed has a memory-spring polyﬁberﬁll insert that maintains its loft over time. Comes in a variety of colors, cover zips oﬀ for machine washing. “Bear Hug” plush dog bed by Animal Matters, $129–$239, inthecompanyofdogs.com, (800) 544-4595
Honor friends and family by donating $75 to Save the Children for educating girls in poor countries around the world. FLOTUSapproved. Johnson & Johnson is doubling the impact this year by matching donations up to $450,000. Gift.savethechildren.org
FLY THE FURRY SKIES You can’t keep a good cat down, especially when she boards her nifty cardboard airplane, which gives her a place to hide and a chance to let her imagination soar. Plane Cat Playhouse by Suck U.K., $26.99, petflow.com, (888) 316-PAWS WEARING HER HEART ON HER SLEEVE Saks Fifth Avenue has a long and lovely tradition of commissioning top designers each year to produce a limited-edition T-shirt to beneﬁt Stand Up to Cancer. This year it’s Christian Laboutin, who came up with a tee adorned with a drawing of a pink stiletto (natch) and a necklace of keys — Keys to the Cure, that is. $35, Saks Fifth Ave Beverly Hills, 9600 Beverly Blvd., (310) 275-4211
GIMME SHELTER You love her like family, so house her like family in Hammacher Schlemmer’s outdoor cat shelter, which boasts an integrated heater that keeps felines up to 25 pounds warm and comfy in cool temperatures. (Even better, share your shelter with her and keep her indoors.) $129.95, hammacher.com, (800) 321-1484
TRUE BLUE B ORIGINAL Interested in immortalizing your fur baby in an acrylic painting as unique as your beloved? SoCal artist B, who lives in Malibu with his dogs, Howard and Steve, specializes in puppy and kitty portrait paintings, working from photos he shoots himself. $700–$1,000, artbyb.net
Alex & Ani donates a portion of proceeds from sales of its elegant Living Water Charm Bangle sales to Living Water International, which brings clean water projects to poor communities around the world. Handmade in Rhode Island with recycled materials, the bright blue, pear-shaped drop — a symbol of compassion and healing — was created for daily reﬂection. $28, alexandani.com
12.16 | ARROYO | 49
COOK, EAT, DEATH METAL EVEN WHEN TIMES ARE TOUGH, LOVE (AND FOOD) WILL FIND A WAY. BY LESLIE BILDERBACK
50 | ARROYO | 12.16
PHOTO: Teri Lyn Fisher
f there is one thing I love more than cooking, it’s music. And I don’t discriminate. I like it all. In fact, I have been known to pick up an instrument or two myself. (Practicing was never my thing, though, which explains why I am a chef and not a rock star.) But the only music I routinely battle the ticketbots for is rock ’n’ roll. I love going to live shows. At concerts, I am the one down on the ﬂoor shoving my way to the railing. I’m the one dancing when no one else in my section is. I’m the one with 50 concert T-shirts, and on the way home, that’s my stereo you hear three cars back at the stoplight. My love of live music started early. In high school my best friend, Mike, had his ﬁnger on the pulse of modern music, and he would drive us to shows all over the Bay Area in his parents’ ’69 Ford Country Squire (with hidden headlamps). I can’t believe our parents allowed all those trips to the city, and to so many clubs up and down the bay. That was in the early ’80s, when we didn’t need fake IDs to get into bars (although we had ’em). We saw so many bands — the Knack, the B-52’s, The Tazmanian Devils, Greg Kihn, Dead Kennedys, Tommy Tutone, The Tubes, Rubber City Rebels — we even caught an early tour of Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five with the Sugar Hill Gang and Kool Moe Dee (I remember we were not 100 percent welcomed by the other fans and kinda hid in the back of the venue — but it was awesome). In college I continued my concertgoing and was attracted to my future husband by, among other virtues, his volunteer usher gig for Bill Graham Presents — which meant free shows every week! I’m telling you all this to explain the importance of my attendance at a concert last September. It was the Eagles of Death Metal. (Their name is ironic — the sound is more bouncy rock ’n’ roll/rockabilly than any kind of metal.) They played at the Teragram Ballroom in downtown L.A. It’s a small venue, and everyone there was a real fan, including me. I think it was my ﬁ fth or sixth time seeing this band. The mood was electric, and I danced so hard and got so sweaty that by the end I looked like I had been through a car wash. It was a great night. Fast forward a few weeks. As I drove into work a news bulletin broke through with reports of a mass shooting by terrorists at an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan in Paris. I was stunned. Those were my people. When I got home I jumped on the Facebook fan sites. Everyone was freaking out in the worst possible way. I was glued to the news for a couple of days, like everyone else. I don’t typically get emotionally wrapped up in world events, and I didn’t personally know anyone aﬀected by the incident. But in a way, I knew them all. They were just like me — dancing so hard and having so much fun. I can’t remember ever being so depressed by something that hap-
pened to strangers a world away. To bring myself out of that state, I decided to try and cheer up other fans the only way I knew how. I wrote a goofy recipe based on one of the band’s song titles and posted it on the Facebook fan page. It was super-corny and a little bit dirty. The response was huge. Hundreds of Facebook “likes” and comments. “Thanks for cheering me up!” “Th is is just what I needed!” “So Funny! It’s nice to laugh again!” I started posting one recipe each day based on the songs. It was very cathartic. Then, after about a week of this, I was contacted by a record company. Would I do a cookbook like this for charity? Damn straight I would! And that’s where I am today. The book is called Cook, Eat, Death Metal (Dog Ear Publishing), and it was released November 13, the one-year anniversary of the incident. All the proceeds go directly to aid survivors of the Bataclan, and the families of those who were lost. You can get it on Amazon, at dissentionrecords.com and at several places around L.A., including Wacko on Sunset Boulevard. The book is not sad at all. In fact, it is hilarious (if I do say so myself). The recipes are real and delicious. I hope you will buy one for yourself, or for the rock ’n’ roller in your life. It’s the kind of gift that gives back, and it will make you seem way cooler than you really are. ||||
Wasabi in L.A. (“Wannabe in L.A.,” from the album Heart On, 2008) Wasabe Guacamole with Wonton Chips is a particularly eyeball-rolling example of stereotypical Southern Californian cuisine. The rest of the world assumes we Angelenos eat avocados every day. They’re right! In fact, the state constitution mandates that California citizens each consume 12 kilos of avocados annually. It’s a burden, but this recipe makes it bearable.
INGREDIENTS ½ purple onion, diced 1 to 2 teaspoons wasabi powder, paste or freshly grated root 1 teaspoon water (if using wasabi powder) 3 ripe avocados
Grated zest and juice of 2 limes 1 tablespoon pickled ginger, minced 1 teaspoon sea salt ¼ cup cilantro leaves, minced 1 package square wonton wrapper Frying oil
Cover Art: Shannon O'Sullivan
METHOD 1. Cover the diced onion in cold water and set aside.This removes offending oils that cause your breath to stink. (The world appreciates this.) Stir together wasabi powder and water, and set aside for 15 minutes. 2. Halve and pit the avocados, scoop their meat into a large bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in lime zest, juice and pickled ginger. Add the salt and wasabi and mix. Fold in onions and cilantro. Adjust seasoning, then cover with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface, which will prevent discoloration. Set aside at room temperature while you fry the chips. 3. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy skillet to 375°. When it reaches that temperature, drop in 4 or 5 wonton skins (don’t crowd them) and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Remove to a paper towel–lined tray, then sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers. Serve guac with wontons and rice crackers. Now you are very hip.
Leslie Bilderback is a certified master baker, chef and cookbook author. She lives in South Pasadena and teaches her techniques online at culinarymasterclass.com. 12.16 | ARROYO | 51
A SELECTIVE PREVIEW OF UPCOMING EVENTS COMPILED BY JOHN SOLLENBERGER A Christmas Classic at A Noise Within
and gift bags.
Dec. 2 through 23 —
356-7529 or visit pasadenaplayhouse.org.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Call (626)
A Noise Within stages the Christmas classic A Christmas Carol, adapted by Geoff Elliott, at 8 p.m. Dec.
Bedroom Door Opened at Simon
2, continuing through Dec. 23. The play
Dec. 9 through March
captures Charles Dickens’ tale of Eben-
6 — Van Gogh’s Bedroom comes
ezer Scrooge, greed and redemption, and how the power of love can change
to the Norton Simon Museum, on loan
even the bitterest soul. Ticket prices start
from the Art Institute of Chicago, through
March 6. The famous painting serves as a
A Noise Within is located at 3352 E. Foot-
meditation on friendship, hope and crush-
hill Blvd., Pasadena. Call (626) 356-3100
ing disappointment, a sort of self-portrait,
or visit anoisewithin.org.
symbolic of Van Gogh’s wandering existence and elusive search for a sense
Space, Songs, Stones at Huntington
of purpose. The artist, afflicted with mental
Dec. 2 — The Music
beside the museum’s other works by the
tortured but brilliant artist.
Norton Simon Museum is located at 411
maladies, painted the work in 1889 while at an asylum in France. The painting will hang
Will & Company, performs its interactive
W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Call (626)
production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
449-6840 or visit nortonsimon.org.
huntington.org/calendar for tickets.
CHRISTMAS CASTLE TOURS
Dec. 13 — A panel discusses “Aerospace
Dec. 4 — Pasadena’s 1898-vintage Castle Green once again opens its doors
Dec. 10 — The Blue
in Southern California” at 7:30 p.m., trac-
to the public for self-guided tours of the historic hotel, including 25 private
ing the history of the local aerospace
apartments not typically open to the public, music and treats from 1 to 5 p.m.
Seas of Life: Coral Seas, exploring life on
industry and its intersections with
Tickets cost $30 in advance on the website, $35 at the gate.
and around coral reefs which are ecosys-
contemporary culture. Panelists include
Castle Green is located at 99 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Visit castlegreen.com/tour.
tems built by millions of individual animals,
from 7 to 8 p.m. A preshow singalong of holiday songs is included. Tickets cost $15 ($10 for Huntington members). Visit
Peter Westwick, aerospace historian; Wil-
Coral Reefs, Celtic Christmas at Caltech
screens at 4 p.m. Graduate student
liam Deverell, director of the Huntington-
for youth 4 to 11; children under 4 and
Pasadena. Call (626) 793-4231 or visit
Annelise Thompson leads a discussion after
USC Institute on California and the West;
members are admitted free.
the film. Admission costs $10.
and Daniel Lewis, Dibner Senior Curator
The Huntington Library, Art Collections
of the History of Science and Technology
and Botanical Gardens is located at
at the Huntington. Admission is free; visit
1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino. Call (626)
huntington.org/calendar for reservations.
405-2100 or visit huntington.org.
Dec. 17 — An Irish Christmas at 8 p.m.
Cinderella Christmas With Dance, Magic
celebrates Celtic Christmas traditions with
Dec. 19 — The women’s vocal ensemble
Dec. 8 through Jan.
featuring principal dancer Kevin Horton,
Vox Feminae, dressed in elaborate
8 — Lythgoe Fam-
formerly of Riverdance and Lord of the
storytelling, traditional Irish musicians and dancers from the Kerry Dance Troupe
ily Productions’ annual Panto at the
Dance. Tickets cost $10 to $40.
holiday music from the medieval and
Children’s Chorus Offers Bach, Bel Canto, Berlin
Playhouse returns to Pasadena with A
Both events take place in Caltech’s Beck-
Renaissance eras on period instruments
Dec. 4 and 11 — The
Cinderella Christmas, opening Dec. 8
man Auditorium, Michigan Avenue south
at 1 p.m. Admission is free; no tickets or
Los Angeles Children’s
and continuing through Jan. 8 (dark
of Del Mar Boulevard, Pasadena. Call (626) 395-4652 or visit events.caltech.edu.
costumes, performs sacred and secular
Chorus, known for its angelic bel canto
Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). The
Dec. 26 through 30 — The Huntington’s
work, presents its annual winter concert
holiday spectacular offers an interactive
annual post-Christmas Viewing Stones
on two nights at the Pasadena Presby-
spectacle of magic, comedy, danc-
Show spotlights outstanding examples
terian Church. The program includes
ers from Fox TV’s So You Think You Can
of the ancient Japanese art of suiseki
holiday and classical music by Bach,
Dance and pop music, from Taylor Swift
Dine with Santa at Light-Enchanted Descanso
— natural rocks transformed by water,
Irving Berlin, Ko Matsushito and Holst. Both
to the Bee Gees. The show stars Lauren
wind and time into shapes resembling
concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets range
Taylor, Alex Newell, Matthew Patrick
landscapes, animals or other forms. View-
from $26 to $44 (half-price for students 17
Davis, Josh Adamson and Ben Giroux.
Enchanted Forest of Light, designed
ing hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Free
Tickets cost $25 to $125, plus $75 for
by theatrical lighting artists, illuminates
with regular Huntington admission of
The Pasadena Presbyterian Church
Golden Ticket add-ons for guests 12 and
a one-mile route through the gardens.
$23, $19 for seniors and students and $10
is located at 585 E. Colorado Blvd.,
younger, providing an onstage singalong
Some displays are interactive, inviting
52 | ARROYO | 12.16
Jan. 8 — Descanso’s
guests to manipulate the sights and
The Pasadena Public Library’s Central
sounds. Showtimes are 5 to 10 p.m. daily,
Branch is located at 285 E. Walnut St.,
except Christmas Eve and Christmas
Pasadena. Visit unboundproductions.org
Day. Timed tickets must be purchased
in advance and cost $28, $24 for seniors and children 3 to 17; children 2 and younger are admitted free and members receive a 15 percent discount. Dec. 10 and 11 — Learn to make a holiday wreath using natural materials with
Pasadena Symphony Candlelight Concert Dec. 17 — The Pasa-
expert help from Descanso staff at 10 a.m.
dena Symphony lights up Pasadena’s
Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $40.
All Saints Church with its annual Holiday
Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18 — Patina serves a
Candlelight concert — a feast of sea-
Dinner with Santa buffet at 7 p.m. each
sonal classics. The orchestra is joined by
day. The reservation deadline is Dec. 6.
Tony-nominated vocalist Valarie Pettiford,
Call for pricing.
along with the Donald Brinegar Singers,
Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Des-
the L.A. Children’s Chorus and the L.A.
canso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge. Call (818)
Bronze Handbell Ensemble. Grant Coo-
949-4200 or visit descansogardens.org.
per conducts. Concerts start at 4 and 7 p.m. Ticket prices start at $20.
Insane Fun at Brookside Golf Course
All Saints Church is located at 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena. Call (626) 793-7172 or visit pasadenasymphony-pops.org.
Dec. 10 — The Insane
obstacles, accessible to everyone
A Multiculti County Christmas Gala
from track stars to armchair athletes.
Dec. 24 — Celebrate
Inflatable 5K fun run features a 3.1-mile course of 11 inflatable
A portion of the proceeds goes to the
Christmas Eve at
American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
downtown L.A.’s Dorothy Chandler Pa-
The midway area also includes games,
vilion where the 57th annual L.A. County
food and beverages, merchandise and
Holiday Celebration gathers music
swag. Children must be at least 42 inches
ensembles, choirs and dance compa-
tall to participate. The first wave starts
nies from numerous neighborhoods and
at 8:30 a.m., and additional waves run
cultures. Returning favorites include the
until approximately 1 p.m. Registration
Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Com-
costs $49 in advance, $75 for same-day
pany, the Harmonic Bronze Handbell
Ensemble, the Palmdale High School
The Brookside Golf Course is located
Choral Union and Sunday Night Singers,
at 1133 Rosemont Ave., Pasadena. Visit
and the Southern California Brass Con-
sortium. Newcomers include Dixielandblues and early-swing band California
Library Halls Are Decked With Dickens
Feetwarmers, Cuba L.A. performing Latin
Dec. 15 — The Pasa-
Lahi. Entertainment begins at 12:30 p.m.
dena Public Library’s
outside on the Music Center Plaza; doors
jazz renditions of holiday standards and Filipino dance company Kayamanan Ng
Central Branch is the scene of Unbound
open at 2:30 p.m.and the main show
Productions’ free staged reading at
runs from 3 to 6 p.m. The free show will be
7 p.m. of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,
broadcast live by PBS SoCal KOCE and
adapted by Paul Millet.
rebroadcast at 9 p.m. and noon Christmas
Dec. 22 — Unbound Productions pre-
Day, 3 and 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Christmas
sents free staged readings of three rarely
Day and 11 a.m. Dec. 26 on PBS SoCal Plus.
performed Dickens holiday-themed
It is also streamed live on pbssocal.org.
works — "A Christmas Tree," "Prince Bull"
The Music Center is located at 135 N.
and "The Child’s Story," adapted by
Grand Ave., L.A. Call (213) 972-3099 or visit
Jonathan Josephson, starting at 7 p.m.
at the library.
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Rose Parade Float Decoration Viewing
Seating, cost $15 or $40 for reserved
Dec. 29 through
31 — See Rose
The L.A. Equestrian Center is located
Parade floats being
at 480 Riverside Dr., Burbank. Call Sharp
decorated from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Seating at (626) 795-4171 or visit sharp-
Tickets cost $10, available at the door or
seating.com. Visit tournamentofroses.
through Sharp Seating; children 5 and
com/events for information.
seating and a souvenir seat cushion; children 5 and younger are admitted
younger are admitted free. Locations
Rosemont Pavilion is located at 700
Ring in the New Year in Grand Style
Seco St., Pasadena. Brookside Pavilion is
Dec. 31 — Revelers
are Rosemont Pavilion, Brookside Pavilion and the Rose Palace.
located at Lot I, south side of Rose Bowl
converge on Grand
Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena.
Park to celebrate New Year’s Eve as
The Rose Palace is located at 835 S.
N.Y.E.L.A. rocks downtown L.A. The free
Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Call Sharp
event features live music, dancing,
Seating at (626) 795-4171 or visit sharp-
large-scale art installations and a New
seating.com. Visit tournamentofroses.
Year’s countdown with a light show and
com/events for information.
3D digital mapping on the side of the historic City Hall. The party runs from
Early Peeks at Parade Marching Bands
8 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday.
Dec. 30 and 31 —
and L.A. City Hall on Spring Street to the
Get an early look at
east. Visit grandparkla.org.
Grand Park is located between the Music Center on Grand Avenue to the west
the bands slated to march in the parade
1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Bandfest II starts at
Dazzling Zoo Lights Plus Rudolph’s Relatives
9:30 a.m. Thursday and Bandfest III starts
during Bandfest at Robinson Stadium, Pasadena City College. Bandfest I starts at
Jan. 8 — The annual
at 2 p.m. Thursday. Tickets to each session are $15, free for children 5 and younger,
L.A. Zoo Lights display is a dazzling, illumi-
available through Sharp Seating.
nated spectacle with thousands of LED
Pasadena City College is located at
lights, flurries of illuminated snowflakes,
1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Call
3D animated projections, a musical
Sharp Seating at (626) 795-4171 or visit
light-and-water show and glittering light
sharpseating.com. Visit tournament
tunnels from 6 to 10 p.m. nightly, except
ofroses.com/events for information.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Ticket prices at lazoolights.org start at $9. Pho-
54 | ARROYO | 12.16
Equestfest Previews FourLegged Paraders
tos with Santa are available on select
Dec. 30 — Equestfest
annual Reindeer Romp, from 10 a.m. to
offers a preview of
4 p.m. daily, except Christmas Day. Week-
dates for an added fee. During the day, guests can visit a reindeer family at the
Rose Parade equestrian units as they
ends also offer holiday crafts for kids and
perform drills and dances, trick riding and
other fun. The Reindeer Romp is included
roping at the L.A. Equestrian Center. Tour
in regular admission of $20 for visitors 13
the stables, meet the riders and learn
to 61, $17 for those 62 and older and $15
about the riding equipment and horse
for children 2 to 12; children under 2 are
breeds involved. Live music is included,
and food and beverages are available
The L.A. Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Dr.,
for purchase. Gates open at 10 a.m. Tick-
Griffith Park. Call (323) 644-6001 or visit
ets, sold at the venue or through Sharp
12.16 | ARROYO | 55