Prince crashes into the gay marriage debate

Prince performs on ABC's Good Morning America First, Elton John raised questions about the fight for gay marriage. Now, Prince has entered the gay marriage debate. In the New Yorker, Prince is quoted as by writer Claire Hoffman as sounds perhaps less than supportive of gay marriage:

Recently, Prince hosted an executive who works for Philip Anschutz, the Christian businessman whose company owns the Staples Center. “We started talking red and blue,” Prince said. “People with money -- money like that -- are not affected by the stock market, and they’re not freaking out over anything. They’re just watching. So here’s how it is: you’ve got the Republicans, and basically they want to live according to this.” He pointed to a Bible. “But there’s the problem of interpretation, and you’ve got some churches, some people, basically doing things and saying it comes from here, but it doesn’t. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum you’ve got blue, you’ve got the Democrats, and they’re, like, ‘You can do whatever you want.’ Gay marriage, whatever. But neither of them is right.”

So began the damage control. Elizabeth Snead at the Daily Dish reports the aftermath:

According to Perez Hilton, the New Yorker piece is dead wrong. He quotes a source close to Prince as saying that the New Yorker piece is "grossly misquoted" and all wrong. .... But the New Yorker stands by its story. Prince's anti-gay statement is already reverberating around Los Angeles' gay community. At Train, a popular West Hollywood gym, openly gay spin instructor Tevia Celli told her packed Sunday morning class that she had removed all Prince songs from her playlists.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Peter Kramer/Getty Images

Show us your election day photos!

I Voted! On this historic day in Southern California, many of you are documenting the election process in photography and video (like reader Frolab, right, who sent us this photo).  We'd love to see your best shots!

Here's what you do:

  • Go to our reader photo section, Your Scene.
  • Click the "Submit a Photo" link.
  • Choose your photo or video (.jpg format), give it a title and hit "Submit."

Show us the scene where you're voting -- the crazy crowds queuing, the drama, the weather -- and heck, maybe even a civic-minded canine or two!

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: "We voted!" submitted by Frolab

Morning cuteness

Cute Good morning, readers.

We're just sitting here approving photos for Your Scene and suddenly...THIS.

What right does this peacock-clad pup (or baby polar bear) have being so cute, even if he is a little out of focus? He's got a lot of nerve!

(Photo titled "Look at me! Look at me!" from Your Scene by Lorelei, submitted to the album "All Dressed Up.")

--Bettie Rinehart

Vanity Fair + LACMA = Dull*

vanity fair photos

Times art critic Christopher Knight is taking the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to task for its newest exhibit -- a collection of Vanity Fair magazine portraits, including this photo,  above, of Hilary Swank. (*Update: We goofed. An earlier version of this post said the above photo was of Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson.)

Says Knight:

"Vanity Fair Portraits" is a vanity exhibition, plain and simple. And that's precisely what our historic moment needs least right now, especially from a major civic art museum. .... Conceived by the magazine's editor, Graydon Carter, it was co-curated by the publication's editor of creative development -- a masthead title that accrues new meaning in this disappointing context. Contributing editor and columnist Christopher Hitchens, a historian and political polemicist unknown as a photographic scholar before now, wrote the chatty lead essay, mostly a chronicle of his employer's brilliance. The entire undertaking is a sort of sequel to "Vanity Fair's Hollywood," a coffee-table tome published with much the same cast of characters (and many of the same pictures) in 2000. Apparently a decent interval has passed.

Read the rest of Knight's piece here .

Photo: Hilary Swank by Norman Jean Roy

Catch of the day at Lake Balboa


When the weather gets hot, savvy Angelenos head for the water. Here's a happy pair at Lake Balboa on Thursday, the fisherman keeping cool, the great blue heron heading off to enjoy the tasty morsel the angler just handed him. See? We can all get along.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Ricardo DeAratanha

SoCal families welcome home 170 Marines

Hello, Austin, I'm your daddy

They wrote letters, made videos and shared e-mails, but for families of 170 Marines from the 1st Intelligence Battalion who returned home from Iraq yesterday, nothing compared to seeing their spouses, parents and siblings come home again. Our own Tony Perry was there, and tells what the day was like:

While other children nearby were playing and laughing, 4-year-old Jaden Williams was quietly focused on one thought:

"My daddy is coming home today," he said in a calm but resolute voice.

Indeed, Marine Cpl. George Williams, 22, was among more than 170 Marines and sailors from the 1st Intelligence Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force who enjoyed their first day home Sunday after a seven-month deployment to Iraq.

As word spread throughout the sprawling base that the plane bringing the troops had landed Saturday night at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, hundreds of family members anxiously assembled at a parade ground to await the buses bringing the troops home.

Long ago, the Marine Corps had a saying: If a Marine were meant to have a family, the Corps would have issued him one.

"You don't hear anybody say that anymore," said Sgt. Maj. Donald George, a 26-year veteran of the Corps. Now, there are myriad programs to...

You can read the rest of Tony's story about the homecoming here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Getty images

Rose is a rose is a rose


Start the weekend with a lovely pictorial tour of the rose garden belonging to noted Pasadena florist, Jacob Maarse. And for the source of "rose is a rose..."  here's the Wiki.

Photos: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

While Manny's homer was sailing ...


... Chicago Cubs fans were wailing. That's Cubs center fielder, Jim Edmonds, above, choosing not to look as that fifth-inning Manny Ramirez homer flies over the fence.

Gotta gloat? Here's T.J. Simers. And what would a playoff series be without Plaschke?

How's the Cubbies' hometown paper playing it? Better than either of Chicago's ball clubs. So far, anyway.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Wedged in and flat-out flying


A body surfer in the notoriously fierce Newport Beach wave, The Wedge. Check the jump for another photo that shows how The Wedge refracts south swells so the waves rear up, doubled in size. Not for the amateurs, nor for faint-of-heart.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Read on »

Street Scenes: South L.A.


A friendly game of dominoes, a riding stable on the Hill, a boy learning to ride a scooter -- it's all in our series, Street Scenes, this time visiting a small corner of South L.A. (And be sure to check out the right rail of the photo essay for links to previous installments.)

—Veronique de Turenne

Photos and audio: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Thank you, Bob Carey



Lovely_light_41 Bob Carey, L.A. Times photo editor (and photog extraordinaire) was one of the first to help with this little blog when it debuted last February. Even after his duties switched to assembling the photo galleries that are so popular with online readers, Bob kept pitching in.

Today, after 24 years years at The Times, it's Bob's last day. Not quite his choice, but that's how things are around here right now. Bob's too quiet and modest for a big to-do so instead, here are some photos he shot, some choices he did make. One look and you'll see why so many of us are so sad to say goodbye.

For a couple more pix (including one of Bob at his send-off yesterday) click on the jump.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photos: Bob Carey / Los Angeles Times


Read on »

Street Scenes: Temple City


It's Taipei meets Mayberry in Temple City, where the main park plays host to weekly summer concerts and a boba tea shop sits next door to Masors Barber Shop.

Take our photo/audio tour, put together by Gary Friedman.

--Veronique de Turenne

Mirror, mirror on the wall

The image of L.A.'s City Hall, where so many of the laws governing our fair town have been written, reflected in the new headquarters of the LAPD, where those sworn to uphold those laws will work. Interesting.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

A little slice of Orange


Take a pix-plus-audio tour of the city of Orange, a place apart in the O.C.

Photo: Karen Tapia-Andersen

Firefighters doing their best to save Paradise


The Butte County fire takes top priority in California, as the out-of-control fire bears down on the town of Paradise. Here, engineer Dan Barnes (left) talks strategy with fellow firefighter Ryan Hughes, while Anthony LaDuke grabs a quick drink. The Times story is here. Also in the Chico Enterprise-Record, which says the evacuation zone in Paradise has been expanded.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo credit: Bill Husa / Chico Enterprise-Record

Street Scenes: Downtown L.A.'s Broadway


Though Gertrude Stein's famous quip "There's no there there" was actually spoken about the disappearance of her childhood home in Oakland, it's all too often attributed to the whole of downtown L.A. So we're correcting the clueless on two fronts today -- the literary, and the literal.

There is a there here, and this is part of it. Take our photo and audio tour of the Broadway section of downtown L.A., in our weekly feature, Street Scenes.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photography and audio / Michael Robinson Chavez

Street scenes: Newport Harbor


A look at life in the lovely coastal portion of Newport Beach.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben  / Los Angeles Times

Malibu -- it's not all Prada and paparazzi


Head north on PCH, past the the Malibu Pier and Surfrider Beach, past the fancy shops and crowded restaurants, and you'll come to Point Dume, the rugged headland that marks the end of the Santa Monica Bay. While paparazzi brawls raged over the weekend, here at the Point it was all open space, blue sky blending into blue sea, a slight breeze stirring on this still-wild scrap of land.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Man accused of trying to kill his girlfriend at a church carnival arraigned today


Here's Fernando Diaz Jr. during his arraignment this morning in a San Fernando courtroom. He's charged with attempted murder, among other things, for allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend and two other people during a church carnival in Granada Hills last month.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

A Westwood Village landmark's history is recognized


The 68-year-old Crest Theatre has been declared a historic landmark by the City of Los Angeles as its owner struggles to keep the Art Moderne-style movie palace afloat.

During World War II the theater screened only newsreels, and after the war it was one of the first Los Angeles venues to show foreign films. The Times' Martha Groves is working on an update to an earlier story on the theater and the challenge to keep it open. 

-- Jesus Sanchez

Hollywood is burning -- again


Southern California's studio back lots have been the scene of spectacular blazes -- accidental and intentional -- over the decades. Before Sunday's blaze, Universal Studios' back lot was hit by major fires in 1990 and 1967 (pictured), when a 12-acre blaze consumed the "European," Denver" and "Laramie" street sets.

Perhaps the biggest fire to hit a back lot took place in Culver City in December 1938 when portions of what was then the MGM lot (including the "great wall" set from 1933's "King Kong") were burned down for key scenes in "Gone With the Wind." (photo below) The fire was planned. But no one filled in Culver City residents, who flooded the fire department with calls.

Gone_2 -- Jesus Sanchez

Photos: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles  Times

Los Angeles Times Editorial Library

The show must go on


The back lot at Universal Studios may be a soggy, smoking ruin, but the red carpet out front? Spotless.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

A Valley boat ride


James Herman took this shot at a North Hollywood carnival a few weeks ago.

Photo: James Herman / Flickr

The (un)official start of summer


Cool weather didn't keep the Buckley clan (that's Carter and Owen, both 5, and their mom, Kristi) from hitting the sand in their hometown of Manhattan Beach on Monday. Now we just need the solstice -- and this freakish weather -- to catch up with what the rest of us already know: It's summer!

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Families displaced after fire in Anaheim


No injuries in this fire, which burned through a single-story apartment complex in Anaheim this morning. Two apartments and five vehicles were destroyed. Other apartments sustained smoke and water damage. At least 14 adults and four children were left homeless by the blaze.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times

Love me, love my parking meter


Mika Ito was on her way to pick up Mother's Day chocolates for her mom and grandmother when she noticed that someone had personalized the parking meter. The colorful wall made for a great backdrop.

-- Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Mika Ito / Flickr

Moved by the Moving Wall


Cathy Wang of Arcadia shows her daughter, Alice, the Moving Wall at Temple City Park. The half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., honors the more than 58,000 troops killed in that war. The traveling memorial will be on display until 7 p.m. Sunday at the park, 9701 Las Tunas Drive.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times    

Hollywood Ford could use a copy editer editor

Hollywood Ford can't spell

Not sure if Hollywood Ford is trying to persuade potential customers that it'll be easy to get a bargain because the dealership's not exactly bright, but whoever is printing their signs should probably step away from the machine and let a 5th-grader take over.

"When ever"? "Turck"? "Electricfying"? 

Is 0% really the interest rate, or the likelihood that anyone proofread these signs on Hollywood Boulevard?

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Tony Pierce / Los Angeles Times

Where was that dilapidated building, anyway?

Old_time_huntington_beachjpg_2 After we ran ran this photo of a gently crumbling building in Huntington Beach, we got a bunch of e-mails asking about its whereabouts. And the answer, according to the photog, is:

"Not sure what the cross street was, but it was off of 6th street and PCH. There is an antique store right next to it. Hope this helps."

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Khalid Muhammad (Streetsilence) / Flickr

It's almost jacaranda season -- let the purple reign


Yes, there are those who look at these lovely and amazing trees and see nothing but dropped petals and long weeks of sweeping and scraping. And then there's the rest of us, willing to drive miles out of our way to cruise the purple jacaranda canopy.

Where are great jacaranda streets in your neighborhood? (The trees in the photo, about a week short of full, glorious bloom, are on Myrtle Street in Santa Ana.) And does anyone know of a (don't laugh) jacaranda tour?

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Don  Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Walls come tumbling down in the O.C. jail


Work gets started in the Theo Lacy Jail in the O.C., where some walls are coming down to give jailers a better view of inmates. It's part of a push by the Sheriff's Department to address problems at the troubled jail, where inmates beat and killed John Derek Chamberlain in 2006.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

Huntington Beach antique


Most Orange Counties photos we run across feature beaches, Disneyland and more beaches. So, this moody photo by Khalid Muhammad of a boarded up building in Huntington Beach stands out.  Nearby new construction and demolitions may mean this structure's days are numbered, said Muhammad, who took the photo earlier this month. "I wouldn't be surprised if it's not there anymore."

-- Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Khalid Muhammad (Streetsilence) / Flickr

A classic car parked in the past


This 1970s (or is it 1980s) muscle car seemed to be hiding in its lair when Jen Montgomery snapped this shot in Montrose while waiting for a gate to open.

-- Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Jen Montgomery / Flickr 

Live dressed girls! Exotic Dancers Union takes to the streets


Members of the Exotic Dancers Union No. 1021 march through the streets of San Francisco, joining thousands of union supporters taking part in the May Day rally.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Associated Press

American idle: Workers wait as ports are shut down


Truck drivers and other workers at the Port of San Francisco spend a day waiting as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union shuts down most activity at the usually busy facility.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times

You want April showers? Get in line


It's everyone into the pool -- or onto the hose or the water toys -- in San Pedro, as Michael Caro, 7, (those are his feet), sister Ashley, 3, and 4-year-old brother Mitchell (far left, with the tummy) play with their grandmother, Jenny Montoya. Temps in SoCal broke five records on Sunday, with LAX topping out at 95 degrees, and three cities in the OC hitting triple digits. We should see some cooling Tuesday, thank goodness.

As for the Caro kids, in deference to the neighbors, they're not allowed to play with their water toys until 10 a.m., their grandmother said. They hit the H20 on Sunday at 10:05.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

An ocean of moods


A shot of the pier in La Jolla from reader David Wollum. Here's what he has to say: "The ocean always has a mood... sometimes bright and sunny, sometimes not... but if you look for it, you will find the mood the ocean has on any given day."

Share your pix with us at "Your Scene." We love to see California through your eyes.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: David Wollum / Your Scene

Incoming! Bird and breakfast!


Talk about a breakfast dive - a bird at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach hunts for breakfast as the rising sun today sets a bank of morning clouds aglow.

—Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Look - up in the sky! It's a...lenticular cloud?


Yep, that UFO-shaped swirl is, in fact, a cloud. Reader Richard Kaufman, an elementary science teacher in Irvine, shot the photo while on a weekend trip to Palm Springs with his wife. (She spotted the cloud, he snapped the pix.)

Occasionally mistaken for space ships, lenticular clouds actually have a fascinating bit of science behind them, having to do with mountains, moisture content and air flow.  They've also got a very cool name: altocumulus standing lenticularis. More great pix of lenticular clouds here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Richard Kaufman / Your Scene

Sk8tr takes to the air (and street) on Earth Day


The event in the distance was Earth Day, but for boarder Osmaan Shamsiddeen, it was all about the fakie kickflip. (Which he landed with great grace.) That's Wilshire Boulevard you're seeing, shut down for the festivities.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Another side of the story


Reader Geoff Moore shares a photo he shot of rockers Story of the Year at (where else) Venice Beach. "Angsty young men," one reviewer calls them. "

"Needless to say they are full of energy and that was actually a quite spontaneous moment," Geoff says.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Geoff Moore

A surfer and the sunrise at Huntington Beach


A 6:15 sunrise this morning (5:15 actually, since it's Daylight Saving Time and we've all agreed to pretend it's an hour later than it really is) and there's Dane McCrystal, 14 years old, zipping up his wetsuit before slipping into the waves near the Huntington Beach pier. And for anyone wondering, our photog shot directly into the sun, thus that halo effect, light refracting in the glass of the lens.  (Pop quiz later.)

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Top of the morning, top of the world


A reader sends a shot of the view from the hills in San Pedro on a warm and sunny morning.

Photo: hinducow / Your Scene

Living the high life


The rufous hummingbird (aka Selasphorus rufus) has the northernmost range of any of its species, its breeding ground stretching clear on up to Alaska. This one's sipping nectar at the arboretum at Cal State Fullerton.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

A little night music


A reader shares a photo of Disney Hall at night, the silvery skin turned gold, car lights strung out like sheet music, bass and treble clefs, all counterpoint and jazzy harmony.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: oasis / Your Scene

Beverly Hills Passover circa 1965


The Times photographed Mr. & Mrs. Milton Bennett and their sons, Bruce and Eric, around the Seder table for an April 1965 story on Passover meals. While Mrs. Bennett is interviewed at length about her family's holiday traditions and recipes, her first name is never given. Anyone know?

Photo: Los Angeles Times

Ok. You've got our attention.


One of the more colorful and crazed murals found in Hollywood.

-- Jesus Sanchez

Photo: G@BR!3L / LA TACO

Beauty takes flight


A garden on the grounds of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels attracts a swallowtail butterfly. Open from dawn to dusk, the public space is full of young oaks and sycamores and is free to visitors.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

Hot dog cools off


Just a bit of California dreamin' by Julian Smith, 27, of El Monte and his 6-year-old dog, Pup, at Santa Monica Beach. Temps today could break into the low 80s, then cool off as we hit the weekend.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

Taking a stand, horizontally, against gun violence


Here's the scene in Sacramento today, where scores of people took part in a demonstration to mark the one-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech killings. Maria Watt of Berkeley and her 2-year-old grandson, Dylan, joined the local chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The group wants to reduce Bay Area gun violence and supports a proposed California state bill to require all new guns to be personalized.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times

Airline pilots feel your pain


Pilots from American Airlines let their feelings be known about their employer's truly awful on-time record (26,000 canceled or delayed flights in 2007). Pickets happened nationwide. This one's at John Wayne Airport in the O.C.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Feeding time for cliff swallows


A cliff swallows brings food to hatchlings hidden in a mud nest beneath a bridge on North River Road. A drainage canal provided mud for the nest and now helps breed bugs to feed the babies. The best-known story about the swallows, in this part of the world, anyway, is about their inevitable return each year to the mission at San Juan Capistrano.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

A jolt of color from Gwen Moore Lake


Faye Jackson of Inglewood got in a bit of relaxing (and a bit of angling for catfish) this weekend at the lake, in Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

If you were here, you'd be cool by now


Not as hot today as it was over the weekend, the weather experts are saying, and more cooling to come.  For a look at how the rest of the country is faring, a useful map here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

A cool view for a hot day


A reader shares a photo of Convict Lake in the Sierra Nevada which, after the sub-baked weekend we just endured, looks deliciously cool. It takes its name from a group of 19th century prison escapees whose murderous escapades soon caused the original name, Mt. Diablo Lake, to be all but forgotten.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: EB / Your Scene

A tour of bridges that spans Los Angeles history


The Sixth Street Bridge east of downtown Los Angeles will be one of the spans featured in today's tour of Los Angeles River bridges. If you can't take the tour, browse a gallery of bridge photos and read up on efforts to recognize these historic structures.

-- Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

A stairway to Riverside history


The Mission Inn in Riverside is among the Inland Empire's most prominent historic landmarks. This spiral stairway, pictured here by Bill Lindsay,  is among its more fanciful features.

-- Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Bill Lindsay / Flickr

Andy Warhol - wedding photographer?

Vintage_pix_of_schwarzenegger_and_s Turns out the Nelson Gallery at UC Davis was one of the 183 academic art museums to get a box of 150  photos from the estate of late artist, Andy Warhol. In a public ceremony yesterday, curators opened the box and found among its contents photos Warhol shot of of body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1977, as well as several pix from Schwarzenegger's wedding to the Kennedy clan's Maria Shriver.

Evan Halper was at UC Davis:

Opening the box, said gallery director Renny Pritikin, "was kind of like a time machine, going back to days of Warhol's glory and seeing the life he lead among these artists and celebrities of society."

Schwarzenegger was just becoming a celebrity when he met Warhol. That was after the release of "Pumping Iron," the documentary that made Schwarzenegger a star. At Schwarzenegger's request, the film's publicity agent arranged a luncheon with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Warhol was there.

We've got a photo gallery here.

--Veronoque de Turenne

Photo: Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times

This month in God


A sampling of books sent to the religion editor so far this April. (Next time: religious swag.)

--Veronique de Turenne

Olympic torch run makes a different kind of history


It's been a rough-and-tumble run for the Olympic torch, and yesterday's swing through San Francisco just added to the mayhem, as Maria La Ganga and Tim Reiterman report. And boy, do we ever have photos to help tell the tale.

Here's the torch relay, here's a pro-Tibet rally, and here are protesters trying to extinguish the Olympic flame.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Getty Images

Centaur muscles in on gargoyles' Venice Beach pad


Even in that often weird and sometimes wonderful public fantasy known as Venice Beach, the retro-baroque, neo-rococo (making it up as we go along) El Bordello Alexandra is a head-turner.

Purple paint, gold leaf, sparkly jewels, ho-hum. It's those rooftop sentinels, an uneasy mix of mythic monsters, that set the place apart. Newest addition is a centaur, half man, half horse and with those six-pack (eight-pack?) abs, all kitsch.

Great series of posts on the place at Losanjealous:

... they are all so much noise, for the life-sized*, heavily-armed, Son-of-God-faced and abs-of-bronze inclusive Centaur is the clearcut breadwinner, and at this point it is evident the owner is now merely trying to one-up himself, having laid to waste all external competition long ago.

Can't wait to see the place lit up for Christmas.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Courtesy of Ryan at Losanjealous

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe ...

Cecil_b_demilles_mansion_for_sale_3 The rich are getting richer (though a tad more slowly than before), so presumably there'll be plenty of takers for director Cecil B. DeMille's former estate, now for sale. Almost 10,000 square feet and a Hollywood pedigree to boot. Just $26 million.

DeMille bought the Beaux Arts-style estate home in 1916, three years after it was constructed. In 1920, he bought the house to the west so he could have a more private office, a screening room and guest quarters. That home was widely known as the Chaplin House because it was leased for six months in 1918 by actor Charlie Chaplin and his first wife, Mildred Harris.

Lots of polite stuff about DeMille on his official website. And for another look at the man who once said "You are here to please me. Nothing else on earth matters," check here.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Michael McCreary

Mountains in the mist


A reader shares a shot of fog in Triunfo Canyon near Malibu, drifting in, filling in the rough and rocky landscape.

Photo: David M / Your Scene

Posted by Veronique de Turenne 

A Hollywood show stopper


Bradley Martin was exploring the Metro rail system for the first time when he hopped on a Red Line subway car he thought would take him to downtown's Union Station as he headed home. Wrong. He ended up in Hollywood by mistake. ("I was paying more attention to photo opportunities than signs.") No matter, he ended up wandering around the neighborhood and took this image of the interior of the Hollywood & Highland station.

"The trip was well worth the travel time and far less stressful than driving.  Had I been in my car, I would not have seen as much as I did."

--Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Bradley Martin / Flickr

They don't build supermarkets like they used to


Susan Vanost Silberman's grandparents were visiting Los Angeles from New Jersey in 1949 when they took this photo of a Ralphs supermarket. Silberman's parents were living in Culver City at the time of this visit but she is not sure where this market was located or whether it is still standing in some form. Any idea where this is?

--Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Susan Vanost Silberman / Flickr

When in doubt, cue the ferris wheel!


A reader sends a photo of the Santa Monica Pier after a cold, spring rain. Seems wherever you go at dusk, that ferris wheel stands out. I love to see it twirling in the distance, background to some rooftop drama in a film or on TV, with downtown L.A. standing in for Chicago or Detroit or New York. All the while, in the distance, that bit of flash and whirl says SoCal.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: derfy / Your Scene

How green was The Valley


A reader shares a photo of the rolling hills in the West Valley, turned soft and green by recent rains. "Not for long," the caption reads, and that's exactly right. A few more weeks and a bit more sun and the grasses will go gold, then crispy brown. Right now, though, in this lovely moment, it's green and green, California spring.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: t / Your Scene

Praying for peace

Curtis Richardson, a 13-year-old boy, was standing on this street corner last week when he was shot to death. Today,  activist Eddie Jones, center, led a group in prayer at the same spot. The group also walked through the neighborhood and handed out leaflets urging people to take part in a 40-hour moratorium on violence in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The 40-year anniversary of King's assassination is tomorrow.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

It's against the lawn


One of my all-time favorite signs warned "Beware of mentally ill cat." This missive, sent in by a reader, makes a pretty good runner-up. Love the energy of it, and the fearlessness. Neither spelling nor grammar get in the way of the message. Authority with evidence - great name for a band.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Geraldine / Your Scene

It's a flip trick, right?


Anthony Gonzalez of Upland burns off some of his 17-year-old energy practicing moves on his skateboard at Red Hill Park in Rancho Cucamonga.

—Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Watch for a tall white sail


The training ship Juan Sebastian de Elcano, a topsail schooner, docks in San Diego Harbor. Named for the famed Basque navigator, this Spanish ship is scheduled to set sail today for Acapulco, Mexico.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

Just a walk in the park


A chilly day, an arch of cypress and thou - a couple strolls through the Lab Anti-Mall in Costa Mesa.

Photo: Mark Bolster / Los Angeles Times

Legends pitch in for Dodgers' opener but trash dims thrill


Dodger greats Carl Erskine, left, Sandy Koufax, center, and Don Newcombe throw out the first pitch in the season opener against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium in the season opening game. Good news -- the Dodgers won. Bad news -- after the game, Dodger fans seem to have trashed Elysian Park, the Daily News reports.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Cougar in a Cougar


A reader sends a photo of Tanka, an orphaned cougar seated in a vintage Cougar. Shown as a kitten here, the Tanka is now a year old, living in an animal sanctuary. No word on how the Mercury is doing.

Photo - Coast Guy / Your Scene

Closing the book on Dutton's

A_sad_goodbye_at_duttons_books_in_2 Food, drink, music and, of course, Doug Dutton greeted hundreds of well-wishers who crowded the courtyard of the beloved bookstore last night. Dutton and his wife, Penny, reminisced about 20 years in the book trade.

Customers can still get a deal at the inventory sale that starts tomorrow, Dutton's notes on its website:

Be sure to visit the store often in April as we continue to uncover and offer for sale our stash of fine books that we have hoarded over the years. There should be many treasures, in addition to the regular stock -- which certainly contains many gems ... browse away while you still can ... and thanks to Los Angeles and to the great extended bookstore family.

And those "nutsy prices" are no April Fool's joke, just the sad reality of another indie bookstore unable to survive.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Squeeze play


Where's a referee when you need one? Mr. Huck, an American bulldog, uses a bit of body English on Rocky Boy, a boxer, at a popular doggie watering spot in Runyon Canyon Park.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

A San Pedro alley makes for a colorful composition


Most people would have kept driving. But the unexpected bold colors and shapes at the back entrance to a San Pedro pizza parlor made Chris Hayes circle back and take this shot.

Photo: April Hayes (a.k.a. Elizabeth Stevens) / Flickr   

Up, up and away


A reader shares this photo from Napa of a wrangler going mano a mano with her brilliantly colored hot air balloon.

Photo: jamesg / Your Scene

Posted by Veronique de Turenne

The many squares of Pershing Square


Bright colors and boxy forms fill the spaces of Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles.

Photo: Dan Simpson / Your Scene

This was no accident...


The who, what, where, and why of this bygone crime scene are, well, gone, but the fascination factor remains. (The "when" is on the photo: 12-4-50.)

Check out the suit and that hat, the sledge hammer and the venetian blinds. A moment of L.A.'s past, caught by an LAPD photog and soon to be archived, perhaps for fledgling Raymond Chandlers and Patricia Highsmiths to draw inspiration. (Scenarios in Chandler-ese welcome in the comments section.)

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo used by permission of LAPD

It's good to be queen

The Queen Mary in springtime

Spring in Long Beach (aka Iowa by the Sea), where the Queen Mary sits regally at anchor. You can view from afar, or get up close for an ever-changing slate of stuff to do.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo -- Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

A barrel of high-flying laughs


Father-and-son pilots put on a show over Riverside as they practice a few barrel rolls. Sean Tucker, 56, is in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. He and his son, Eric (he's 26), will fly in the Riverside Airport Airshow tomorrow.

For airplane buffs, Sean's flying a fully customized Oracle Challenger biplane, at bottom, and Eric's in an Oracle Extra 300L.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Tales of the city


There are a million stories in the naked city and the LAPD has them on film. Dating from the 1920s through the '60s, a trove of historical negatives shot by police photographers through the years will be cataloged and preserved, according to the LAPD's blog.

Because of the project’s magnitude, the city has opted to outsource the task of establishing a database for digital scans of each negative. The work will involve sorting, identifying and electronically scanning every image. The newly digitized files will then populate a database capable of accommodating queries based on any number of search criteria.

The project will be funded in part by fees paid to the LAPD by film and TV companies. The images, which are divided among several film vaults, range from crime scenes and accidents to cityscapes and life within the LAPD. A peek at some of the pix the LAPD has already digitzed here.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo - Courtesy of LAPD

Firefighters on the scene


Firefighters race to treat Brent A. Lovrien, 35, left, and Engineer Anthony J. Guzman, moments after an explosion rocked a Westchester business district Wednesday.

The firefighters were among those investigating reports of earlier blasts and smoke pouring from buildings about 2:30 p.m. Lovrien was killed, and Guzman was in critical condition this  morning.

Photo: Jon Palos / For The Los Angeles Times

Mist connections

Fountain_jyczshncA brisk breeze turns water into mist in a fountain at Cal State Long Beach. That's  Paula Torres, a student at the school, checking her cell as she walks by.

Though temps have hit highs in recent days, look for cooler weather later this week and, perhaps, rain.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times

And may we see your photo ID?


John McCain does the security two-step on his campaign swing through Southern California. More about what he said (subtext: vote for me) from Maeve Reston.

Also weighing in: AP, Fox, NYT, BBC and Bloomberg.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Sink or swim? Balboa ferry closed through Friday

Ferry_jyb8f1ncIt's no-go at the Balboa Island Ferry, which is closed through Friday for repairs.  It’s the first time in over half a century that the fleet of flat little boats, which carries cars across Newport Harbor, has been idled for more than a day.

The ferry system, which opened in 1919, helps more than 1.5 million passengers make the quarter-mile crossing to the island each year. It last closed for repairs for one week in the 1950s. This week's hiatus is devoted to the repair of wooden walkways used to get cars and passengers on board.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times


All creatures, great and small


And they did mean all creatures at the annual Blessing of the Animals on Saturday on Olvera Street, including this really big snake.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo - Richard Vogel / Associated Press

Waiting (and still waiting) for lotus blossoms


Honking geese? Check. Laughing kids? Check. The bells and calls of ice cream vendors? Check. So where are the lotus blossoms, one of Echo Park Lake's signature signs of spring?

It's a mystery as, for the second year in a row, the iconic lake's signature flowers struggle to bloom. Full story from Deborah Schoch.

Echo Park resident and blogger Jenny Burman has a theory, as well.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

Flying footwear

Shoes Do shoes dangling from a power line mark the spot where drugs are sold (as many people believe) or do they just make for a great photo, like this one shot in the backyard of an abandoned house in San Gabriel.

-- Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Mel Stoutsenberg / Flickr

Showdown in Pershing Square

In case you missed it, Saturday marked International Pillow Fight Day. Here's how it looked in LA:


Even more great pix from Dr. Tran here.

Photo - Dr. Tran / Flickr, via Creative Commons

Lilies of the field

Calla lilies, a traditional Easter flower, growing in a Sherman Oaks garden. 


Posted by Veronique de Turenne

Photo - Los Angeles Times

Push here

The sticker caught Arnold Fulmer's eye when he took this shot at the corner of Ocean and Broadway in Santa Monica.


Photo: Arnold Fulmer on Flickr

This is now: Capitol Milling Co.

Shot by a reader on N. Spring Street, it's the Capitol Milling Co. As the (modern) lettering says, parts of the building date back to the 1880s.


Photo - Dan Simpson / Your Scene

Posted by Veronique de Turenne

A fight. With pillows. Be there.

International_pillow_fight_day_2 Another reader photo, this one from Paynie, mid-pillow fight with Tootz, in honor of International Pillow Fight Day, which takes place tomorrow.

It all looks a bit more, well, serious than I had envisioned when I first got wind of the global fluff fest. But when there's a week dedicated to root canal awareness coming up (again, I wish I was making this up), getting whacked by a pillow seems mild by comparison.   

Intrigued? Here's info for Los Angeles. (And a how-to guide, in case you've somehow left your childhood far, far behind.)

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Paynie / Your Scene

A match made in med school

James Gray gets a huge hug from fellow UC Irvine medical school student Monica Wattana on Match Day,  when students learn where they will do their residencies. (She will be at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar. He is headed to Yale University.)

Either Monica is squeezing pretty hard or James has just realized all the "Gray's Anatomy" jokes he's facing as he finishes his medical education.


—Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

It's the first day of spring!

So we've survived the sucker punch that is daylight saving time, that little yearly lie that makes us wake up earlier and pretend it's actually later. Now comes spring, the vernal equinox, the moment day and night split our 24-hour cycle into equal parts.

You could celebrate with a tour of the gardens at the Huntington, visit the Solar Fire Festival in Ojai, listen to music at Safari Sam's, see the International Small Teapot Competition (I wish I were clever enough to be making this up) or simply head for the hills.

And if you need visual proof that spring has sprung, here it is, in a hummingbird nest tucked into the boughs of a jacaranda.


-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: David Lauter / Los Angeles Times

A prancing picket line in the O.C.


A few dozen horses (and their riders) formed an equine picket line in front of Yorba Linda's City Hall building yesterday in an effort to jump-start plans for a city-owned equestrian center. Talk of a new facility (the city already has two) has been kicked around since 1989, and horse owners say they're tired of waiting.

Libby Magargee, 13 and Chazlyn Moore, 9, joined in the peaceful protest. Their hometown is the second-largest horse community in Orange County the O.C.

-- Veronique de Turenne

As far as the eye can see


A thick stand of Oxalis pes-caprae rims the bike path along Will Rogers State beach.

Photo - Jonathan Alcorn

Posted by Veronique de Turenne

A sunset, delivered

Can't get to a sunset? Then let us bring a sunset to you. A reader shares this photo of Yosemite near dusk, all rose and gold and misty fading light.


Photo by Fritz / Your Scene

Posted by Veronique de Turenne

Saving the (Palos Verdes) blues

Blues_jxqng8ncThe sight of a Palos Verdes blue butterfly in 1994 was considered a miracle. No one had laid eyes on the tiny azure lepidoptera in over a decade. Now, under the direction of biologist Jana Johnson, students are breeding one of the rarest butterflies in the United States, Deborah Schoch reports.

Here are a pair of the insects, newly emerged and perched on deerweed in their breeding cage at the Butterfly Project, located at Moorpark College.

Full story here.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

All traffic and no parade?


That's how it seemed to the thousands of commuters trapped in traffic during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown L.A. this afternoon. Proof that there was marching: this photo of Gary McAulay of the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society, holding an Irish flag just before the start of the annual celebration of beer all things Irish.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

Kids hit the skids on a snowy day


Sled + snow = big air for Trever Zack, 10, who went sledding with friends in Lake Arrowhead this weekend following a recent snowfall. That's 10-year-old Brett Kennedy in the background, ready with the play-by-play when Trever returns to earth.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

Bubbles - or are they spheres?


A reader sends a photo of bubbles at an exhibit at the California Science Center in Exhibition Park.

Photo - LateTrain / Your Scene

Posted by Veronique de Turenne

Signs of Pasadena


Vintage store signage on Colorado Boulevard.

Photo: Cbro via LA Taco

Too bad L.A. Fashion Week is over


You are never too young to express your style on Venice Beach.

Photo: BinaryLA via Flickr

The long and undulating road


A reader sends this photo of Long View Road, tucked into the mountains north of Wrightwood.

Photo - Maria / Your Scene

Posted by Veronique de Turenne

Oh, my aching hamstring...

Body_jxouk5ncHere's "The Hurdler," part of an exhibit of actual human bodies preserved by a process called “Plastination,”  which involves infusing the body’s tissues with -- yes -- plastic.

Open to all tomorrow at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

Silver Lake goes dry

Silverlake2_jxho7nnc_2It took a few weeks, but all that's left of the 600 million gallons in the Silver Lake Reservoir are a few paltry puddles.

Named for Herman Silver, a member of Los Angeles’ first water commission, the lake is was the scenic centerpiece of the hilly community northwest of downtown L.A.

 Water officials ordered the water removed after testing revealed the presence of bromate, a carcinogen,  there and in nearby Elysian reservoir. They say they'll have the reservoir clean and full by June.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Karen Tapia-Anderson / Los Angeles Times

Cash and carry


The hills are alive with sound of hoofbeats as Joanne Josephson and her horse, Cash, ride through Reche Canyon in Colton.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Fire hits Anaheim school under construction


A three-alarm fire at Palm Lane Elementary School, which was under construction in Anaheim, tore through 10 classrooms and caused the roof to collapse. Officials peg damage at $2.5 million. Here's an Anaheim Fire Department captain, fighting the blaze, which started at 4 a.m.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times


Sometimes all it takes to tell the tale of rising gas prices is a missing letter, as seen in this station in Woodland Hills.


Photo - Arthur Goulet / Your Scene

New moon


The new moon sets behind the hills near Alpine, where drivers heading west  get a perfect view.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

2008 models

Fashionweek_jxixxkncModels prepare for the Whitley Kros show backstage at the Los Angeles Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles. This year's fall season showcases over twenty designers.
Photo: Sean Masterson / EPA

They are the champions!


Fans react with joy as Moorpark High School's team wins the state Academic Decathlon today. The 29th annual gathering of the brainiacs, which took place in Sacramento over a four-day period, focused on the Civil War.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times

Sibling revelry

Tumbling tots at the Tar PitsSo there's more to the La Brea Tar Pits (literal translation: the the tar tar pits) than bubbling essence de mastodon?

Proof positive: Joshua Fernandez, 6, and his sister Alyssa, 8, rolling down a grassy hill on a clear and sunny day over the weekend.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

The light of learning

Globe_3  The Globe Chandelier shines brightly under the pyramid at the Los Angeles Central Library.

--Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Alex / MyScene

You can't miss Chico's


Just look for the red pepper wearing the sombrero.

--Jesus Sanchez

Photo : Eyecue / Your Scene







Mist opportunity

Half Dome at Yosemite National Park, just as a rainstorm clears.


--Veronique de Turenne

--Photo -- Jesse L. / Your Scene

The way we wore

A fashion show from Cal State L.A., circa 1961


--Veronique de Turenne

Photo -- Cal State L.A. / Your Scene

Diamond in the rough

That's Diamond Bar in the distance, seen from the hills of Sycamore Canyon Park.


--Veronique de Turenne

--Photo - thearchbaron / My Scene

Time for a snack

An Anna's hummingbird, the most common species in Southern California, heads for a sweet treat in the Santa Monica Mountains. Though the tiny (and fierce) birds are most visible near flowers and feeders, they eat insects as well.


Photo: Veronique de Turenne / Los Angeles Times

No parking...



--Veronique de Turenne

--Photo by pockets / Your Scene

Sunset under a sea of clouds

In case you can't get out to see the sunset tonight, we're bringing a sunset to you.

Joshua Tree, where the Mojave and Sonoran deserts meet. Enjoy.


--Veronique de Turenne

--Photo - Mayita / Your Scene

Under the sea


Well, not that far under the sea. A surfing seal, shot near the Santa Monica pier.

Photo - YR / Your Scene

--Veronique de Turenne

Beauty in our backyard

I used to post a video each morning, a little something to ease us onto the computer screen, help us into the day. It's daunting, really, like a very public Rorschach, to dive into the depths of YouTube and share what catches your eye.

And then I discovered Your Scene, which is all about what catches your eye. Lovely photos, amazing places, specific points of view.

So it's adios to YouTube (well, except for the lunchtime video) and bonjour to all of you. Send pix of your California, what you see and what you love. I'll post them every morning and we'll all get a good look at what's out there.


Photo - Johann / Your Scene

--Veronique de Turenne

Court hears arguments in same-sex marriage cases


The California State Supreme Court is hearing arguments this morning  on the constitutionality of a voter-approved law banning same sex marriage. The Times' Maura Dolan is in the courtroom in San Francisco. and will have a complete report. Meanwhile, the San Jose Mercury News is providing updates of the scene outside the California State Supreme Court building.

Earlier today, Molly McKay, left, and Davina Kotulski wait to enter the California State Supreme Court building. The pair was married Feb. 14, 2004, in San Francisco, but the marriage was voided by the court.

Photo: Bob Durell / Los Angeles Times

Riding the waves

The winds are gone, the power's (mostly) back on, and the roads that were closed are open again. What remains are some lovely images of the California coast, like surfers yesterday at Huntington Beach. Elemental -- wind and sun and water.


--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Viewing the present from the past


A view of the beach from inside the bombardier's seat of the Liberty Belle, a newly restored WWII B-17 bomber as it flew over Long Beach today.

Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Million Dollar Theater reopens

Theatre_jwz974ncIt cost Sid Grauman more than a million dollars to build in 1918 and took another million to refurbish. Now fans -- like Marco Lopez, above -- and preservationists think the Million Dollar Theater looks like a million bucks.

The single-screen movie palace, built in the Spanish Baroque style, seats more than 2,000. It became a Spanish-language playhouse and then a church before shutting its doors.

The re-do is part of the city's $36.5 million "Bringing Back Broadway" plan to revitalize the theater district.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

And life goes on


Marlen Anenas, 3, holds her aunt's hand as they wait for a bus at the corner of Vernon and Central Avenues in South Los Angeles.

Wednesday, a gunman in that area fired repeatedly into a crowd filled with children just released from a nearby school. Three adults and five children were injured. Police say they have "very promising leads" in the incident.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Tears for her son over deportation ordeal

Deport_jwx401nc_2The family of an American citizen who was mistakenly deported to Tijuana while in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has filed suit against the county and the federal government.

Pedro Guzman, 29, a former Lancaster construction worker, is developmentally disabled and was missing for more than three months before he was finally found and released to his family. His mother, Maria Carbajal, broke down emotionally during a press conference to announce the lawsuit.

Photo: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

A Grande upheaval

Starbucks_jwvmkcncRose Lee Zanzibar was disappointed when she learns she couldn't re-enter a Starbucks at Sunset Blvd and St. Andrews Place because every one of the chain's stores closed down down for 3 1/2 hours of coffee re-training last night.

Presumably, your latte will taste a whole lot better this morning.

Photo: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

The face of a new runway trend?

Highfashion_jwugohnc_5 Sometimes we get a photo so odd and so perplexing, we just need to share. We're generous that way.

Here's how fashion designer Junya Watanabe sent his models down the Paris runway today.

Think it'll catch on?

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Christophe Ena / Associated Press

About that heavy surf ...

Sometimes the only way you can prove something is really, really big is to stick a human into the frame.

Need more proof? Amazing photo gallery here.


--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

No ifs, ands -- and one butt -- Oscars are over

Oscar_jwrmedncNo telling how many billions of pixels went into last night's (low-rated) Oscar coverage. This photo, though, tells the most updated story: Oscars over.

The end.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

Surf's up -- and two piers are closed

Surf_jwswicnc_3A surfer goes flying in Seal Beach, where big waves have forced the closure of that city's pier.

The Manhattan Beach Pier was also closed, and search-and-rescue teams continue to look for a person swept off the rocks in Rancho Palos Verdes on Sunday evening.

PHOTO: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

George Clooney hits the red carpet


He'll probably look more familiar in a tux.

Photo: Jonathan Alcorn.

Looks like rain's on the way...


Dark clouds move over San Bernardino this afternoon. Check back in a few minutes. We have a beautiful fog photo on the way.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

El Porto has good surf, too...

Surfer_jwm0yencA surfer launches his board off a wave at one of the better surf spots in Los Angeles County, called El Porto, in Manhattan Beach. Surfers love it for its unique offshore canyon, which channels larger, better shaped waves to the area. 

The community of El Porto is in the northern tip of Manhattan Beach. City leaders there recently decided to name the only commercial strip North Manhattan Beach instead of El Porto, angering old-timers and traditionalists who felt the city was turning its back on its heritage. City leaders say they are only trying to distance the area from its history of biker bars and the like.

Photo: Al Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Watching the traffic flow


Four-year-old Angel Olmos gazes at the Glendale Freeway, part of which was shut down following a shootout between the LAPD and two gunmen. Nearby Fletcher Elementary School was locked down and a neighborhood in the area cordoned off as police searched for suspects.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Rain, what rain?


Impending rain doesn't slow down golfers determined to practice their swings at the driving range at the Fairmont Golf Course in Riverside.

What we want to know is, why are the folks on the bench not at the mall?

Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Officials get their feet wet downtown


Photographers take shelter as Gov. Schwarzenegger stands on the future site of the New Carver Apartments, homes for low-income residents, in downtown L.A.

All those officials and no one thought to bring an umbrella?

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

Weather or not ...

Clouds_jwk7bjnc Couldn't resist another weather shot. A California Conservation Corps crew chops weeds as the rain comes and goes in Rancho Cucamonga this afternoon.
Photo: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Oscars pre-production: Chandelier in a bag

Chandelier_jwjxwdncTo tweak a famous quote (Otto Von Bismarck, btw), the Oscars are like sausages -- it's better not to see them being made.

Here's a chandelier in a bag, ready for hoisting aloft (there'll be plenty of that both before and during the actual telecast) by workman Robert Napoli.

Production crews are working almost 'round the clock at the Kodak Theatre, getting ready for the little gold man.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Just ducky


Families feed the ducks at Lake Balboa Park in Encino.

Photo by Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Truckers and Teamsters protest


Omar Roman, 8, joins a rally of Teamsters and independent truckers Tuesday at the Port of Long Beach headquarters. The group gathered to protest expected approval by harbor commissioners of a controversial clean air program that seeks to do away with diesel-powered trucks that haul cargo.

Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Turning up his nose at the homeless?

Homeless_jwgg38nc_3Nice bit of irony here with the yupscale guy on the billboard looking away from the homeless activists gathered downtown.

The Los Angeles Mission on Monday held its 8th annual March for Human Dignity, from the Riordan Central Library to the mission's skid row facilities.

Photo: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

-- Veronique de Turenne