Observing the Observatory

Griffith Observatory is famous for being the backdrop of intense scenes in Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean and Natalie Wood. In fact, there's a memorial bust of Dean on the grounds. I've been inside to look through one of the great telescopes, but between the light pollution and the marine layer, the heavens resembled a dirty chalkboard. I love Griffith Park for the breathtaking hiking trails, the spooky secret garden of Dante's View and the resident coyote who always scans the view from the summit at sundown, searching for its dinner and oblivious to daily hikers.
stars above, stars belo

It had been a while since I'd been to the observatory. It underwent a renovation and has recently unveiled its new face. The changes can be seen from the flatlands of Los Angeles. The steeper barrier walls and spotlights make it loom larger on the horizon. We checked out the new displays and architecture. Aside from annoying zombie hipsters desperate for attention  with their Halloween make-up and bumping into walls (no one cares), it was pretty cool. Enjoy the photos!
the view

like a vintage bakery box

inside display


Living Loaded Book Party

I blame Woody Allen. I blame Candace Bushnell. Both have given me grandiose expectations for book parties.  Woody Allen features cerebral neurotics in gorgeous library-type rooms; fireplaces, oak, leather ottomans and the standard European. Intellectual conversations abound over Beluga and scotch. Carrie Bradshaw's book party on Sex and the City was modern; everything crisp and white. Dance music, servers with canapes, splashy cocktails and the standard homosexual. Both depictions were enviable. Both were quite different than my first book party.

There were hush puppies. There were hot wings. They call him The Imbiber. He officially drinks for Playboy magazine. This dream job for every male is occupied by Dan Dunn, who can now call himself an author because he just released his book Living Loaded. The party wasn't what I had expected. The Playboy angle ensured there would be no Woody Allen-esque oak library, but surprisingly, there wasn't much plastic either. Where were the Ompa Loompa-skinned blondes with the big boobies

It was mostly dudes and biker types; an older crowd in general. As mentioned, there were hot wings and hush puppies. There were also meatballs and hot sauces galore. Dan Dunn is co-owner of Baby Blues Barbecue in West Hollywood, which explains the venue and menu. Hey that rhymed. And I'm not complaining - hot wings are heaven. The free drinks also did not disappoint - nor could they afford to; him being "The Imbiber" and all. And I am talking top shelf liquor; Grey Goose, Maker's Mark, etc.

I was hoping some of the literary success would rub off on me by simply my being there, but the only after-effects appeared to be a hangover. Sigh.



I cannot even begin to describe the ways in which this photo is inappropriate. And I'm pretty sure he's breaking the law in a few states. He may be a sloppy burger-eating, baywatching Angeleno now, but please remember he's from Germany people. GERMANY!!!