Santa Monica

February 27, 2008

Thelma Todd Cafe - Santa MonicaHere’s a travel piece on Santa Monica from the NY Times. Don’t head to Santa Monica without visiting The Movieland Directory’s Santa Monica page.Thelma Todd Garage

This picture on the left is Thelma Todd’s Cafe, a not unattractive building, though seemingly out-of-place, jammed in a nook at the base of a cliff, on the busy highway, across from the beach, at the entrance to a tight, winding road into a residential neighborhood. A building thousands drive by without a thought. There is a story there, and up the hill behind these garage doors.
And, for that story, here’s Scott!

Will Ferrell, Edward Norton, Skid Row SRO

February 21, 2008

How are those three things related?  By solar panels.

February 20, 2008

Saw this post on Joel on Software and rather than blatantly plagiarizing, I’m doing the Internet 2.0 thing and making my post point to his post.  Thus, taking indirect credit for someone else’s legwork.  I love journalism.

Check out  It comes well-referred…twice!

Ernst Lubitsch – High Nooner

February 13, 2008

So, I sent EJ this story from today’s New York Times on the release of some Ernst Lubitsch movies to DVD. Expecting a positive response, I ask, “Hey. Any good Ernst stories?”

Turns out that the home where this prolific director died was a stop on a tour in EJ’s first book, “Hollywood Death and Scandal Sites“. Hardly a surprise. With all the other commentary about the Paul Bern book, the Wally Reid book and the others, we neglect to mention what a terrific guide is HDASS. Turn-by-turn directions. A story at each stop. Sixteen guided tours.  The book has an amazingly detailed index.  It’s Hollywood history…you drive through.  It formed the basis for what has become The Movieland Directory.

Anyway, back to Ernst. Here’s the entry from the fourth stop on “Tour 10 – Bel Air”, 268 Bel Air Road:

German director Ernst Lubitsch suffered a fatal heart attack at his Bel Air estate at 268 Bel Air Road on November 30, 1947 at the age of 55. He studied acting under European stage legend Max Reinhardt and became a top German stage star. He later began producing films, including Carmen (1918), which became the biggest movie in European history and earned him the reputation as the greatest filmmaker on the continent. He discovered Pola Negri and starred her in his controversial classic Madame du Berry (1918) before Mary Pickford brought him to the U.S. to direct her in Rosita (1922).

Over the next 25 years, Lubitsch worked for several studios and was responsible for some of the most famous movies in history including classics like The Student Prince (1927), The Love Parade (1929), Monte Carlo (1930), Greta Garbo’s Ninotchka (1939), Maurice Chevalier’s The Merry Widow (1934), To Be or Not to Be (1942) and Heaven Can Wait (1943). In 1946 he received a Special Academy Award for his “contributions to filmmaking during twenty-five years of filmmaking.” Lubitsch was known for mixing subtle humor with imaginative situations, giving his movies an implausible Cinderella-like quality that came to be called “The Lubitsch Touch.”

The great director battled heart ailments for most of his life, suffering a fairly severe heart attack in October 1947 at a party at his neighbor Otto Preminger’s house at 333 Bel Air Road. He survived, but a month later suffered a fatal heart attack during an afternoon love-making session on the couch in his den here. Kind of a “High Noon-er.” He died just a week after completing his final film, That Lady in Ermine (1948). The home across the street at 325 belonged to actress Mary Martin, and later writer Dashiel Hammett.

LA Traffic Visualization

February 8, 2008

A visually (and programmatically) clever presentation of Los Angeles traffic data from a designer at Yahoo!


Virtual Globetrotting

February 3, 2008

Though not exclusively about Los Angeles, theVirtual Globetrotting website is a well put together, feature rich website for the online traveler. In fact, celebrity homes are the most popular tagged maps on the site. The site has great social networking features permitting users to collect and share pages they create.

You will notice – using this example of Steve Martin’s house – that Virtual Globetrotting Read the rest of this entry »