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FINE LIVING IN THE GREATER PASADENA AREA

December 2016

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-O’Brien Lic.653340

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arroyo

VOLUME 12 | NUMBER 12 | DECEMBER 2016

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13

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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

DEPARTMENTS 08

FESTIVITIES Five Acres celebrates adoption, College Access Plan turns 10.

09

LÉON BING A Christmas Memory

37

ARROYO HOME SALES INDEX

50

KITCHEN CONFESSIONS Cook, Eat, Death Metal

52

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


EDITOR’S NOTE

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

SOUTHLAND PUBLISHING V.P. OF OPERATIONS David Comden PRESIDENT Bruce Bolkin CONTACT US ADVERTISING dinas@pasadenaweekly.com EDITORIAL editor@arroyomonthly.com PHONE (626) 584-1500 FAX (626) 795-0149 MAILING ADDRESS 50 S. De Lacey Ave., Ste. 200, Pasadena, CA 91105 ArroyoMonthly.com

©2016 Southland Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.


12.16 | ARROYO | 7


FESTIVITIES

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

Peter Gallagher

Jason O’Mara 8 | ARROYO | 12.16

Pooja Batra

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


LÉON BING

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


LÉON BING

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.

16 | ARROYO | 12.16

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


Billy Butchkavitz

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

22 | ARROYO | 12.16

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.


12.16 | ARROYO | 23


Holiday

giving

24 | ARROYO | 12.16


from

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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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


12.16 | ARROYO | 31


32 | ARROYO | 12.16


—ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT—

–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

12.16 | ARROYO | 33


34 | ARROYO | 12.16


—ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT—

–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


36 | ARROYO | 12.16


arroyo

~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

HOMES SOLD

2016

385

AVG. PRICE/SQ. FT.

2015

oct.

HOMES SOLD

-3.75%

oct.

400

HOME SALES

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

CLOSE DATE

PRICE

BDRMS.

SQ. FT.

source: CalREsource YR. BUILT PREV. PRICE

PREV. SOLD

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

$475,000 $430,000

03/01/2002 08/12/1988

$270,000 $133,000 $377,000 $187,000

04/23/1997 06/19/1997 09/19/1989 04/09/1997

$750,000 $500,000

07/15/2014 05/06/2016

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

$1,400,000 $430,000

06/08/2016 02/03/2000

$1,150,000

07/20/2015

$385,000 $718,000

05/15/2001 10/18/2005

$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

$1,149,000

04/26/2005

$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

$2,224,545

05/15/2015

$695,000 $480,000 $850,000

08/20/1999 01/18/1996 02/03/2004

$1,200,000

08/28/2013

$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.

12.16 ARROYO | 37


–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

38 | ARROYO | 12.16

PRICE

BDRMS.

SQ. FT.

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

PREV. SOLD

$550,000 $215,000

12/30/2002 06/17/1983

$672,000 $625,000

07/15/2013 07/22/2014

$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

$3,650,000 $635,000

11/13/2015 10/30/1998

$675,000 $2,390,000 $1,999,000 $450,000

02/11/1992 08/18/2004 05/19/2015 12/18/2002

$267,000 $960,000

09/02/1983 06/16/2015

$726,000 $675,500

02/03/2004 03/18/2004

1989 1923 1933 1920 1999 1929 1922 1910 1940 1987

$550,000 $2,375,000

07/29/1988 08/13/2013

$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

$1,512,500

06/10/2011

$700,000

09/21/1992

$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

$1,250,000

04/19/2007

$875,000 $950,000

01/23/2014 06/27/2006

$795,000 $728,500

06/03/2005 02/22/2008

$845,000

03/05/2004

$890,000

04/07/2006

$730,000 $250,000 $680,000

08/13/2008 01/05/2012 08/21/2015

$540,000 $609,000

07/02/2003 10/03/2013

$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

$705,000 $538,000

10/11/2001 08/23/1999

$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

$590,000

08/17/2012

2698 3290 0 2570 1754

1936 1923

$1,650,000 $1,055,000

08/03/2007 05/10/2012

1930 1947

$850,000

02/23/2006

1926 1954 1948 1947 1947 1951 1951 1978 1964 1920 1946 1947 1954


12.16 | ARROYO | 39


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


HOLIDAY

GIFT GUIDE BY DENISE ABBOTT

FOR

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


FOR

FOR

MEN

KIDS

DUFFEL OFF TO BUFFALO

HOME RUN

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

DINO-MITE

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.


FOR

GIVING

PETS

BACK

HIBERNATE HERE

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


KITCHEN CONFESSIONS

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

I

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


THE LIST

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

at $39.

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

Center’s educational

tortured but brilliant artist.

touring ensemble,

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

Planet documentary

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.

lachildrenschorus.org.

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

reservations required.

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

Ongoing through

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

and younger).

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

for reservations.

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

registration.

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-

insaneinflatable5k.com.

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.

holidaycelebration.org.

at the library.

–continued on page 54 12.16 | ARROYO | 53


THE LIST

–continued from page 53

Rose Parade Float Decoration Viewing

Seating, cost $15 or $40 for reserved

Dec. 29 through

free.

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

Ongoing through

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,

admitted free.

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

lazoo.org. ||||


12.16 | ARROYO | 55


Am december 2016  

Arroyo Pasadena Holidays Entertainment Entertaining

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