Before The Great Gatsby, and after This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Beautiful and the Damned. It’s the story of a romantic couple in 1920s Manhattan. “Here’s to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and the Damned.
Amazon is offering a free Kindle copy of The Beautiful and the Damned. Click the image above or the link below to get yours. The Beautiful and Damned
Before The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote This Side of Paradise. Without money, and despondent over Zelda breaking up with him, he moved back in with his parents. He pulled out a manuscript from his Princeton years, finished it, and sent it to Hemingway’s editor: Maxwell Perkins. Of course it was published and Zelda changed her mind. The first printing reportedly sold out in a few days.
This Side of Paradise is free on Kindle. You can download it by clicking on the image above or the link below: This Side of Paradise
And you can always read Kindle books on your computer, phone or iPad. Just click on the link below for a free reading app:
Sowden House, 1926, Lloyd Wright, HOLLYWOOD TOUR, photo courtesy of Architecture Tours L.A.
Awhile ago, a friend from London and I were meeting in L.A. and we discovered fabulous Architecture Tours L.A. We loved owner/operator Laura Massino’s tours so much we took two! With a Master’s degree in Architectural History, Laura had the innovative idea of offering historic architectural tours in Los Angeles. I was delighted to catch up with Laura again and ask her about two of my favorite topics: 20s and Architecture.
Mary: It seems like Art Deco’s experimentation with geometric style fits 20s ingenuity perfectly. I know the term Art Deco comes from the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Were L.A.’s 20s architects inspired by the 1925 Paris Exposition?
Laura: Yes, the architects/designers in Los Angeles were inspired by the exposition in Paris. This was considered an international design style and some of the architects of the day might have traveled to Europe in the 20s and they may also have seen publications, magazines, books, etc. on the subject. Moreover, there was a general fascination with machinery, mechanization, movement, modernity and speed and this was also an influence.
Mary: When we were on your downtown L.A. tour, we saw beautiful Art Deco buildings. I remember Cicada, the restaurant featured in two movies: The Artist and Pretty Woman. Does downtown have the most Art Deco style architecture in L.A.?
Laura: I would say it may be a “toss-up” between the Miracle Mile and Downtown, although I’ve never done an actual count of buildings. There are also other Art Deco style buildings in other places-The Pantages Theater on Hollywood Blvd., just east of Vine Street, The Sunset Tower Hotel (www.sunsettowerhotel.com) on Sunset Blvd. on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood is one of the best in the area and of course, the Bullock’s Wilshire Department Store on Wilshire Blvd. in Koreatown is also in the Top 5 in the area.
Mary: Do you have a favorite amidst the 20s Art Deco theaters built for the emerging motion picture industry in L.A.?
Laura: Yes, the Tower Theater (www.towertheaterla.com) on Broadway from 1927 is my favorite and the first one that could accommodate “talkies”! I especially LOVE the vertical “pre-neon” sign that is made of individual lightbulbs and the recessed panels near the top on the side of the structure that would have had painted-on advertisements.
Mary: Looking at 20s L.A. Architecture, what would be your choice for best illuminating Art Deco Style? And feel free to make more than one choice!
Laura: OK, here’s my Top 5 in no particular order:
-The Oviatt Building on Olive Street
-The Coca-Cola Building on Central Avenue
-The Eastern Columbia Building on Broadway
-The Sunset Tower Building on Broadway
-Bullock’s Wilshire Department Store (now Southwestern Law School) on Wilshire Blvd.
Mary: If you could live in the 20s, where would you live and why?
Laura: If I could live in the 20s I would definitely live in Hollywood. It would have been VERY glamourous with the film industry in full swing, fashionable people living there and lots of open spaces in the Hollywood Hills, in particular.
For someone especially interested in 20s L.A., do you recommend any of your tours in particular?
Laura: Yes, the DOWNTOWN tour and the HANCOCK PARK/MIRACLE MILE tour are the best for seeing excellent examples of architecture from the 1920s.
Mary: I know that you’re also a prodigious author! Among your books, do you recommend one in particular for showcasing 20s L.A. Art Deco style?
Laura: Also, the same books that go with the tours mentioned above,ARCHITECTURE TOURS L.A. GUIDEBOOK – DOWNTOWN, but in particular the ARCHITECTURE TOURS L.A.GUIDEBOOK – HANCOCK PARK/MIRACLE MILE would be best for the Art Deco style.
Click on the image above to see Architecture Tours L.A.’s Miracle Mile book on Amazon.
Thank you Laura! I hope to be enjoying one of your tours again soon:)
“There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
On Long Island’s Gold Coast, through the 1920s, OHEKA Castle stood in majestic splendor. Otto Hermann Kahn hosted summer parties that could have caught F. Scott Fitzgerald’s eye. In the early 1900s, Kahn, a financier and philanthropist, built OHEKA Castle as a summer home on Long Island’s highest point — in keeping with the rich inclination to live on a hill above everyone else.
OHEKA Castle served as a Merchant Marine training school and a private military academy before developer Gary Melius purchased it in 1984. With Melius’ restoration, OHEKA Castle became Great Gatsby worthy again.
And the best part is you can even reserve a special Gatsby Package at OHEKA Castle— it includes luxurious two night accommodation in a Chateau room, strawberries dipped in Belgian chocolate, entry tickets to 2 Gold Coast Mansions, an OHEKA mansion tour, champagne cocktails, a picnic lunch, an OHEKA lunch, continental breakfast, and a copy of OHEKA Castle’s book. Oh! And if you dress in 1920s Gatsy style, you can get a complimentary drink from the Prohibition Drinks Menu at the bar! I so want to be there! You can find out more about OHEKA Castle at www.oheka.com
“And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have hald his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.” The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzegerald.
I noticed Dewey’s Readathon on Twitter last week and signed up for it. Thank you hosts/organizers, Heather and Andy, and hosts Sheila, Deb, Courtney and Kate, for a 24 hour readathon event. While I didn’t read for 24 hours, and I read only one book, I loved the idea and I look forward to participating in it again. Here’s the End of the Event Meme:
1.Which hour was most daunting for you?
Any hour that interefered with reading felt daunting to me!
2.Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
What a great question! It might be good to include a scary thriller like Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris or Kiss the Girls by James Patterson to stay awake.
3.Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
It’s a fabulous idea and I can’t think of a way to improve it.
4.What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
All seemed to work well to me.
5.How many books did you read?
I read only one.
6.What were the names of the books you read?
White Fang by Jack London
7.Which book did you enjoy most?
I loved reading White Fang again and admire Jack London’s ability to write from a part wolf/part dog point of view. There’s a beauty to reading classics again when you have more life experience. The story resonates in completely new ways.
8.Which did you enjoy least?
Since I read only White Fang, I don’t have a pick for enjoyed least.
9.If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I wasn’t a Cheerleader. Kudos to the Cheerleaders!
10.How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I’d love to participate again. I’m most likely to participate as a reader but perhaps I could add another role next year:)
It’s Like This, Cat is a charming story of a young boy coming of age in New York in the early 1960s. Dave’s grappling with a father who barks at him to get a dog and an asthmatic mother when he visits a cat lady and leaves with a tomcat. The power of caring for a pet transforms him and leads to a new friend, a love interest, and a surprise ending.
It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville won The Newberry for excellence in children’s literature in 1964. It’s free on Kindle and paperback copies start at 61 cents. If you’d like to read it, you can either click on the Kindle Book Image at the top, or the Paperback image beneath it. If you’d like to read the free Kindle edition, and don’t have a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle reading app for your computer, phone or tablet. Please click on the free Kindle Apps Link below: