Monday, March 6, 2017

A sampling of the newly remodeled Peterson Auto Museum, Los Angeles

The flowing, organic new skin covers what was once Orbach's Department Store, directly across the street from the old May Company Department Store at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, which is undergoing a transition to the Motion Picture Academy Museum.  At the same time, the new Fairfax/Wilshire subway station is being constructed. 

Here's just a small selection of the automotive wonders displayed in the new, sleek galleries. There's many more on display in the basement which are on a separate tour.  Some of the following I haven't identified -- if you can help me out I'll augment the captions.
 1957 Cadillac Eldorado

 The 1958 Plymouth from the Stephen King movie, "Christine."
 Fatty Arbuckle's 1914 Renault.
 The "Back to the Future" deLorean.

 There are a some amazing 1950s prototype cars on display.

This Chevrolet Biscayne concept was brought back from the dead after it was hidden in a junkyard for decades.


1954 Plymouth Explorer

 Here's a concept drawing of the Buick LeSabre, which was produced and still exists.

1953 Nash-Healy roadster

 1956 Continental Mark II

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The 89th Academy Awards

This year I was on the viewing committee for the animated and live action shorts submitted to the Academy. I saw over two hundred short films, plus every film that had nominations in any category.  After all that, I decided I owed it to myself to finally attend the Academy Award ceremonies.  I invited my friend Neal, whom I've known since the eighth grade.  It was around that time that I began faithfully watching the Oscars on television.  It was a surreal experience from start to finish -- especially the latter!
Our ride to the Oscars: my friend Richard Stanley's 1954 Chrysler New Yorker.  It was his grandfather's car which he's kept in immaculate, showroom condition. It was by far the most interesting car in the procession and got a lot of compliments -- especially from the LAPD.
Here they are searching for explosives under the limos in front of us.
Crowds watching the limo parade on Highland Avenue just before Hollywood Boulevard.
The crowds who won the lottery to sit in the stands just inside of the entrance cheered for their favorite celebrities.

There was a divided red carpet with celebrities greeting the press on the left.
 All along the red carpet were employees urging people to move forward towards the theater.
Looking back towards the entry point onto the red carpet.  The celebrities are gathered on the right to speak to the multitudes of press.

 Here's the little boy from the movie Lion.
 There's John Legend on the left being interviewed at the end of the divided red carpet.
 Most everyone paused for a picture at some point. Here's mine.
Everyone proceeded along the grand foyer that leads to the Dolby Theatre.
 Looking back down the stairs. We were more than an hour early at this point.
 The atrium just before the entrance to the Dolby Theatre. This is just one of the many large Oscar statues throughout the building.
Each level of the Dolby Theater has a spacious lobby (with an open bar).  Every commercial break, lots of people dashed out here to meet with friends and have another drink. The breaks were quite brief and no one was allowed to return until the next one.

The view from our seats.  I was impressed how quickly the sets were changed (and they were beautiful in person).  Everything seemed to be flawlessly organized.  Until the very end!

The long procession to the exit. It was a long evening with quite a surprising finish. Afterwards we went to Spago in Beverly Hills for a late dinner.