America, Countries

Reid all about LA

No, me neither, but you’ll recognise her inspiration for her latest novel about tennis… and what’s best you get to Reid all about LA.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is rolling out Carrie Soto Is Back at just the right time with Serena Williams winding down her career.

With Carrie Soto the bad-ass GOAT of women’s tennis and creation of a driven LA dad.

TJR has cornered the market for sparky novels about LA.

With Carrie Soto coming hard on the heels on August 30, of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones & the Six and Malibu Rising.

And because we’re a broad church here, and our friends at Discover Los Angeles alerted us to the big book news in La-La Land…

A trip around Carrie Soto’s LA.

Drink in Malibu

Swell: Aqua Surf

Avid readers of TJR already know Carrie from the Rivas’ Malibu house party in Malibu Rising.

And so Discover Los Angeles advises we take an open-top car and try to spot which luxury beachfront home is the Rivas.

Then dive into the lives of the Riva siblings with Aqua Surf promising to have you up on the swell in under two hours.

Spray it again: In the Pacific

And it’ll scratch an itch I’ve had since my last trip out there (steady!) and didn’t get to learn to surf because of a double booking.

Before refuelling at Neptune’s Net which has a similar family vibe as the restaurant June’s parents run in Malibu Rising.

You might know it too from The Fast & the Furious, Gilmour Girls and Point Break.

The Golden Age

Walk of Fame: With Donald Duck

Evelyn Hugo is your archetypal Golden Age diva, just like what you’d find at Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood’s Classics Tour.

And you’ll get to explore the iconic backlot from the early days of the Studio through the 1970s.

Readers can also channel their inner Evelyn from when she wins her first Oscar at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

And exploring the museum’s collection of Old Hollywood costumes, props, memorabilia and more, head over to the Oscars Experience.

Where you’ll hear your name called on the Dolby Theatre stage and receive a video of your winning moment.

Write on: Jackie Collins’ burial spot

Landmarks of the golden age of film that are must-dos include a martini at the century-old celebrity hot spot restaurant Musso & Frank.

Or visit former Oscars host, the Pantages Theatre.

You can even stay in the classic hotel that once housed Marilyn Monroe and hosted her first professional magazine shoot, the Hollywood Roosevelt.

Make mine’s a Mac

Angelic: Bandanaman

Daisy Jones & The Six, of course chronicles the rise of a rock group and their beautiful lead singer in 1970s Los Angeles.

Actually Fleetwood Mac and the making of Rumours.

And you can live the high life like they did in celebrity venues, like The Troubadour or The Viper Room.

And see for yourself how music is made at United Recording Studios and Capital Studios.

Lastly, don’t forget to swing by Amoeba Music, the world’s largest independent music store, to pick up a few albums.

Well, maybe not lastly because you’ll want to get back to tour Carrie Soto book and Reid all about LA.

 

America, Countries, Ireland, Music, UK

Tapestry 50 years

My life has been a tapestry

Of rich and royal hue

An everlasting vision

Of the ever-changing view

Carole King (Tapestry for 50 years) 

The richest of rich tapestries and officially the best-selling by a female artist, Tapestry, was cut 50 years ago.

Rainy Days and Songdays, our weekly music feature that transports us in our minds to exotic places, today celebrates Tapestry.

Brooklyn’s finest

Brooklyn Bridge

Proud New Yorker Carole had gone west in 1971, following the break-up of her marriage to Gerry Goffin.

Her pal James Taylor had urged her to put her own voice to her tracks after pumping out classics for others through the Sixties.

Gerry Days: With Gerry Goffin

The push and pull of home and away informs Tapestry as Carole takes us on a journey we all can share.

And Californian too

The Angel of LA

Making a new home for herself in Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills, Carole pines for home in the early tracks.

In Far Away a clearly homesick Carole asks:

‘Doesn’t anybody live in one place any more/It would be so nice to see your face at my door?’

Further down the line back playing in NY she elicits home support with a nod to Brooklyn.

A Real Homebody

Early days: Making songs for others

But showing how timeless Home Again is Carole updates it here for our Covid times.

Of course Carole occupies a place for her listeners which is universal.

Which is where You’ve Got A Friend resides and that friend is ours too, James Taylor.

Still rockin’ it: Carole now

Oh heck here they are again in another place we all know and all go in Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

We’ll Love You Tomorrow

Carole and James: Legends

And, of course, she famously wrote it when she was 17, gave to The Shirelles, took back, slowed down, and dropped the ‘Still’.

Carole professes that she ‘always wanted a real home with flowers on the window sill but if you want to live in New York City, honey you know I will’.

Amusingly Carole confesses she went cold on the song as she grew and considered Where You Lead belittling.

Momma and daughter

Me and my girl: Carole and Louise

Until she reinvented it as a duet with her daughter Louise Goffin.

For her Hyde Park concert which was the same year as me and my Natural Woman, my Sadie, rocked up for her musical Beautiful in London’s Theatreland.

It’s as is she was shouting out to us with her ‘If you wanna live in London, England, honey you know ai will.’

The Richest Tapestry

Our Carole started early

Yes, 50 years on Carole King, where you lead I will follow.

And I’d urge you if you haven’t got Tapestry your collection go out and buy it.

And you’ll have a friend. For me it’s Tapestry for 50 years.

 

Africa, America, Australasia, Countries, Culture, Europe, UK

Route 66 in an electric car

It’s the world’s favourite road trip… but get your kicks on Route 66 in an electric car.

In the style of this site, of course, I’m working backwards!

I’ve forgotten something

At the end of Route 66, Santa Monica Pier, Southern California, on a scorching summer day.

Or a motorbike

Rev up: For Route 66

Your motorbike, the cooler choice, will have to pull up before the pedestrianised pier, and landmark.

We were first introduced to Route 66 from the classic song where we were encouraged to get our kicks.

As an introduction we are told it’s 2000 miles from Chicago to LA.

Smalltown America

There are bridges too

And in time-honoured American songs fashion a list of smalltown US follows and states.

We get Saint Looey, Joplin Missouri, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico, Flagstaff Arizona, Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino…

You get the picture.

And yes, I still have to get those stickers for my luggage.

Although I have a clunking keyring to fool people into thinking I‘ve done the hipsters’ highway.

Why am I flagging up Route 66 today? Well, why not?

But it also tops a survey commissioned by Continental Tyres for the new Extreme-E.

The Great Road Trips

Drive your ass off: On Route 66

Route 66 holds off Pacific Coast Highway and the Great Ocean Road in Australia for the top spot.

Wild Atlantic Way

While a cursory glance of the top ten also highlights Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and South Africa’s Garden Way.

Now like all of those with adventure in out blood I have relished getting out on the road though perhaps not the iconic ones.

Snow in Mississippi

Rocket man: In Mississippi

And so I drove/was driven through the flatlands of the Blues Trail in Mississippi on my Deep South odyssey.

Where I fell asleep through the repetition and woke up with the fields covered white.

And, no, I wasn’t dreaming. Mississippians call cotton Snow.

Driven around the bend

Magical mystery tour: In Baviaanskloof

Or our own circuitous route around Monaghan’s townlands trying to find the Patrick Kavanagh Centre.

And being driven aimlessly around a South African park in the Eastern Cape late at night.

And that’s why the Lord gave zebras white stripes

Continental Tyres runs down the top 10 UK road trips and Scotland takes the plaudits with its North Coast 500.

While it’s good to see the Coastal Circuit in Northern Ireland getting a namecheck too.

The vital spark

Now electric cars are to be commended but I’m not sure how popular they would be with the Route 66 set.

I mean how many charging points would you need over that 2,000 mile expanse.

Never mind keeping up the cool quotient.

But the highway’s going nowhere and you’ll get longer to enjoy it.

So Get your kicks on Route 66 in an electric car.

 

 

 

America, Countries, Culture

A flight of fancy on Superman’s Day

And doesn’t he still look good for 87… it’s a flight of fancy on Superman’s Day.

This day in 1934 The Man of Steel burst into public consciousness in DC Comics’ Action Comics Series issue #1.

As we all know Kryptonite Kal-El exploded into the Mid-American wheat fields if Smallsville.

Only it wasn’t Kansas in the Oo Es of Eh but Beynon, near Calgary in Alberta in Canada.

A man can fly

Top man: Superman

The Beynon Canyon is pivotal in the Clark Kent story.

It is here that Martha and Clark bury his adopted father Jonathan and the young Kent decides to leave for Metropolis.

Another better-known canyon, the Grand Canyon, hoves into view when Superman saves the day.

And Daily Planet photographer Jimmie Olsen from the crumbling Hoover Dam. And trust me a good Press photographer is hard to find.

On the right track

The Rail Thing http://www.imdb.com

We all know too that Superman flew through the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

While Metropolis we all automatically associate with New York.

How could we not when Clark and Lois go for a night-time spin around the Statue of Liberty?

And we would be right to see NY as Supes’ town… in parts.

Dam impressive

The Hoover Dan set up. http://www.superman1978.com

The Daily Planet where Clark works can be found at the art deco News Building, 220 East 42nd Street.

Moved, though, from the Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street. Yes, La La Land.

Lex Luthor’s lair we are led to believe is below the Grand Central Station although whisper it it is Pinewood Studios, Berkshire in England.

Superman’s origins may lie somewhere entirely different, the Eiger in Switzerland and Friedrich Neitzsche’s imagination.

Man of Letters

Is it a Bird? No, it’s Bandanaman in Orlando

Of course we have all channeled our own Superman on the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Universal Orlando.

Before back to work as the pictures show.

And as then as now… of course Superman is a man of letters too, a journalist.

So I’ll continue to be inspired by The Man of Steel and enjoy a flight of fancy on Superman’s Day.

America, Asia, Countries, Culture, Music

Give us this Day – Happy Iranian Millennium

Aidé shomā mobarakto Iranians everywhere, and this year is a very special one with it being the dawn of a new Millennium.

The Iranian New Year, celebrated at the Spring Equinox. is the type we all like, lasting for a good fortnight.

This year is marked in the Iranian calendar as the Year 1400 which is the number of years since Mohammed.

And it is celebrated by 300 million people around the world and has been designated International Nowruz Day by the UN.

Hamam bam: Istanbul

Of course everything stops in the motherland but also in Afghanistan, Albania, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, areas of India. And Turkey.

And among the Iranian diaspora around the world.

Who knew, of course, that one of the largest populations outside Iran is in Los Angeles.

Where we all know they love a party but where this year they will be celebrating online.

No, it’s not me

Like all festivities in the Middle East the festivities revolve around the table.

You’d expect candles and wouldn’t be disappointed and you’ll also see touches that are familiar in Eastern worship such as decorated eggs.

The Haft Sin table includes seven symbolic items starting with the Farsi letter ‘S’.

Typically Persian

‘Sir’ is the Persian word for garlic and gives protection from illness and evil and ‘Serkeh’, or vinegar, represents longevity and patience.

Of course these are mere flavours for the much bigger dishes of sumptuous Middle Eastern stews,

You’ll eat fish, meats, rice, noodles and beans with a cornucopia of spices.

Hot, hot, hot

There are a choice of dinners, my favourite sounding Fesenjan, a duck, or chicken, stew in walnut and pomegranate sauce.

There are few better-read people than the Iranians and poetry books and the Quran are centrepiece.

Persian rituals

Though why there is a goldfish…. well, does it matter.

Or why they spend these days throwing wheat grass into flowing waters… something about absorbing negative energy.

So how could us non- Iranians join in?

Don’t try this at home

Well we can send children into the streets to bang their pots and jump over fires… a typical weekend in Glasgow!

Just like Western civilisation there is a gift-giving figure, Amoo Nowruz (Uncle Nowruz).

Ancient stories

So here’s some Iranian New Year party music to get into the spirit.

Of course all of this I should have seen first hand, only for my much-anticipated trip to Iran being cancelled.

I prefer to think of it as only delayed.

Aidé shomā mobarak.