LA LIFE: Hawk, Tastes, Style, Sonnets, Holiday Happenings & More
Hello, December! Lorraine Devon Wilke, our LA Life Photographer, brilliantly captures the regal beauty of a “Hawk in Flight”. LA Life Stylist, Felicia Arlin, has you covered with looks for both coasts. LA Poetess, Lady Penelope, loves her cat. Molly Cheek, our Tasting Tomato, has the skinny on the Beverly Hills Cheese Store. And I’m here with handy-helpful guides for enjoying holiday magic in LA. I hope you all have the most fabulous holiday season ever and a very Happy New Year. I’m back January 19, 2024, to celebrate my tenth year as your guide to everything LA, Tomatoes.
“Hawk in Flight” Cover Photo and Story
Spying a hawk in flight over the clear LA winter sky during the holidays is a sight to behold and reminds us of the bountiful wonders of the season. Thanks to LA Life Photographer Lorraine Devon Wilke we have this magnificent image to inspire us. Be sure to check out Lorraine Devon Wilke’s marvelous photos on her webpage and browse her entire website as it reveals the vast tapestry of Lorraine’s amazing talents.
Every once in a while, you look up and your eye happens to catch something beautiful doing whatever it is it does and if you’re lucky enough to have a camera in hand, and you turn fast enough and your lens does what you want it to do, you can memorably capture that beautiful thing. In this case, I was down in San Pedro on a photo shoot with a fellow-photographer (who happens to be my son); we had just shot the amazing Korean Friendship Bell perched high above the Point Fermin Lighthouse where we were now standing, when we saw this stunning Red Tailed Hawk holding court atop a lamp post, looking around as if it owned the place. As I gazed at it appreciatively, it turned and, as I had gotten fairly close, decided it was time to alight. As it did, I pulled up my camera and snapped, delighted to capture it in sharp, beautiful focus against the incredibly brilliant blue sky. “Hawk in Flight”…
LA Style Stories
Focus Tomatoes! Or so says LA Life Fashion Stylist Felicia Arlin in LA Style Story“Focus”. LA’s fashion style is more sportswear and item driven so when styling seperates it pays to focus on one piece that draws the eye in. In “Classic Casual” clear mid-tones on simple straight forward garments feel traditionally sophisticated, preppy and very east coast Americana. So, this week, Felicia has you covered with fab looks for both coasts. Remember I only highlight a snippet of Felicia’s amazing cur8edme posts so be sure to follow her on Instagram. And she is the most amazingly insightful guide for helping you to find the right and most flattering style for you. Just sayin’, Tomatoes. Read on.
Tastes of LA: Beverly Hills Cheese Store
I’ve never met a cheese I did not like, Tomatoes. And that goes double for anything made with or combined with cheese. Molly Cheek, LA Life Tasting Tomato, has quite the find for you cheese lovin’ Tomatoes like moi’. According to Molly, the Beverly Hills Cheese Store takes the tuna sandwich paired with cheese to a whole new level of yumminess. Read more.
Sonnets from Suburbia
LA Life Poetess, Lady Penelope , doth confesses her cat obsession in, “Cat’s in the Bag”. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Don’t forget to order a copy of Penny Peyser’s (Lady Penelope) brilliant book, “Sonnets from Suburbia: More Candles Than Cake”. And, Lady Tomatoes, you can always find out more about Lady Penelope on her website. Watch the video.
December 2. Cocktails in Historic Places
It’s all about location, location, location Ladies. So, I highly recommend sipping cocktails that sparkle in the light of the Biltmore’s lavish Holiday décor! Cocktails in Historic Places at the bar of the iconic & historic and incredibly gorgeous Biltmore Hotel, in the heart of DTLA, is a wonderful and magical holiday tradition. Book it today, ASAP, Tomatoes.
It’s presented by The Art Deco Society, and they know it doesn’t get more historic or classy than The Biltmore. The Christmas Tree in The Biltmore Hotel Lobby is a must see. So, relax and imbibe Tomatoes with Holiday Cocktails at…you know where…The Biltmore. And you gotta love The Art Deco Society that helps to celebrate and preserve the architecture, arts, music, dance, fashion, and elegance of the Art Deco Era.
December Holiday Events and More
All across the LA area there is indeed a ton of exciting and fun holiday events, theatre, exhibits, etc. (all are listed in chronological order) to fill you with joy throughout the season. I’ve compiled a list that I hope covers a good variety of the best of the best to keep you busy and happy Tomatoes. And a heads up…there are a few this weekend you might not want to miss.
Now through January 7. Bob Baker’s Nutcracker is their marionette adaption of a ballet classic with 100-plus handmade colorful puppets where fantasy and artistry create a masterful wizardry of strings, will delight and spark the imagination of audiences of all ages.
Now through January 8. Christmas Around the World: Christmas Around the World includes 26 exquisitely decorated trees representing the 26 countries that President Reagan visited while in office, as well as a White House Tree. Simply spectacular!
Dec. 1t & 2. “La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin”: Latino Theatre Company’s epic holiday pageant, featuring over 100 actors, singers and indigenous Aztec dancers, will take place at L.A.’s beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in DTLA.
December 1 –24. “A Christmas Carol”: A Noise Within’s theatre production is a uniquely faithful adaptation of Dickens’ novel featuring innovative staging, whimsical costumes and original music.
December 2 through January. The Holidays in Downtown Santa Monica: The 3rd Street Promenade has transformed into a holiday immersive experience for the whole family with tens of thousands of colorful lights, decor and garland illuminating convenient shopping and a variety activities throughout the holidays.
Dec 2 – 23. Aquarium Holidays : The holiday season at the Aquarium of the Pacific features holiday décor, snowfall in the Great Hall, shopping, and appearances by Santa Diver.
December 2. .Holiday Arts & Music Festival: Presented by The Valley Cultural Foundation, you can support local businesses and shop for gifts at Warner Center Park. There’ll be free arts & crafts for the kids, free photos with Santa, food trucks and a fun snow area.
December 2 & 3. Craft Contemporary Holiday Marketplace.: Attendees will enjoy music and complimentary refreshments while they shop and mingle among vibrantly crafted and designed goods by the museums’ curated vendors.
December 3. Rockin-Around-The-Christmas-Tree A Holiday Kickoff: The Original Farmer’s Market welcomes you to celebrate the start of the holidays and enjoy their fab Yuletide décor, live music and more.
December 6 –20. Holiday Tours of Historic LA: The LA Conservancy celebrates the festive sights and sounds of the season with 3 special tours: The Holidays at Union Station on December 5th , 12th & 19th and The Holiday Highlights Tour on December 14th & December 21st. They also have a tour for those who don’t want to venture downtown with the Vintage LA Virtual Tour on December 20th. The LA Conservancy has something for everyone this holiday season.
Dec 8 – 23. Santa’s Circus: For the first time in Los Angeles, Santa’s Circus, at the Montalban Theatre, will give you an enchanting holiday fantasy and mesmerizing theatrical experience with a unique blend of theatre and cirque-style acrobatics.
December 9. Holiday Family Faire: Theatricum Botanicum not only celebrates Hannukah but Christmas and Kwanza as well. The beautiful grounds are transformed into an outdoor winter wonderland with a marketplace, photos with Santa, festive food & drinks, caroling & singing madrigals.
December 9 & 10. Gamble House Holiday Tours: The Gamble House is all decked out for the tours where you can also enjoy festive decorations, live seasonal music and shopping at the Gamble House Bookstore where the staff will help you check gifts off your shopping list.
December 9 & 10. Holiday Music on Vromen’s Paseo: On December 9th Vromen’s Bookstore in Pasadena will present holiday music featuring the “Coras” and on December 10th they will present holiday music featuring Youth Handbells, the Dulcet Singers and the Rosound Ringers.
December 10. Free Arts and Crafts DIY Day: Join the fun at the Pasadena Museum of History for an afternoon of creative Do-It-Yourself activities that both children and adults alike will enjoy. Like fashioning a sparkling ornament for yourself or creating your own masterpieces that will inspire your holiday spirit.
December 14 – 23. Yuletide Cinemaland: The Heritage Square Museum is screening Holiday movies along with Victorian Home Tours, Sing-Alongs, Holiday treats and drinks, shopping and more. A unique and entertaining way to celebrate the season.
December 16. Deck the Halls Holiday Concert Sing-A-Long: Walt Disney Concert Hall’s massive pipe organ, a choir, and a jazz combo lead a cheerful selection of seasonal favorites in this favorite Los Angeles holiday tradition.
December 20-22. Yuletide Caroling at The Market: Yuletide Carolers will be back at the Original Farmer’s Market to add joy to your shopping and dining experience. You’ll definitely have festive time.
December 21 & December 22. “BOTH: A Hard Day’s Night Silent Night”: It’s the Beatles and it’s Christmas! Open Fist Theatre Company’s annual holiday charity concert spectacular. A rockin’ choir and a swinging live band spread peace and joy, telling the Christmas story through effervescent Gospel arrangements of Beatles songs. Proceeds benefit Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA).
December 24. “LA County Holiday Celebration”: The LA County Holiday Celebration, at the Music Center, is LA’s largest multicultural holiday celebration while being LA’s longest running Holiday Tradition. It’s back with live performances for the public to attend as well as streaming virtually for those who prefer the comfort of their home.
When researching Hanukkah celebrations around town, I found the most incredible Hanukkah Celebrations list on Moms LA. It’s an impressive, informative and super helpful guide to 21 celebrations all across the LA region for all those who celebrate Hanukkah, Tomatoes. Thanks for your help Moms LA. Check it out, Tomatoes. And Happy Hanukkah!
Holiday Lights and More
From the valley, to DTLA, to Midtown and on to the coastal communities, Los Angeles glows particularly bright this time of year because of the plethora of magically inspired twinkling light displays. No matter where the lights are displayed the super creative use of lights in LA to celebrate the season is always masterful, Tomatoes. And let’s not forget there is always an amazing array of lights on the boats in our local boat parades.
- December 9: Venice Holiday Tree Lighting, Although there’s no formal lighting event, the Monty Andrews Arboretum will be adorned and aglow.
- Starting December 9: For 100 years along Santa Rosa Street, the Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony and Festival and the stunning lights along the lane have ignited the holiday spirit. It’s a SoCal tradition.
- Through December 27, Holiday Road transforms King Gillette Ranch into a winter wonderland complete with everything from the North Pole, Elf Village, Gingerbread Lane, light tunnels, and Christmas tree forests.
- Through December 31: Sparkle DTLA Light Show at the BLOC gives you a magical holiday show nightly with 18 million hues of lights in the night synchronized to festive tunes.
- Through December 31: Astra Lumina returns to Los Angeles for an enchanted night walk at South Coast Botanic Garden that invites visitors to discover the wonder of visiting stars.
- Now through New Years Day, Lights on Display returns to Sherman Oaks with a whole new show! Once again, they’ll be collecting donations on behalf of The American Lung Association.
- Through January 2, Lightscape Reimagined transforms the LA Arboretum into a night of wonder and light for an unforgettable holiday experience.
- Through Jan 7, Enchanted at Descanso Gardens is an amazingly de-light-ful holiday wonder. Prepare to be enchanted.
- Through January 22: LA Zoo Lights Animals Aglow at …you guessed it…the LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens. It’s a dazzling, enchanting, eye-popping wild wonderland of light under the stars.
- December 2: Venice Annual Christmas Boat Bash
- December 9h: Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
- Dec 9th & 10h: 61st Huntington Holiday Boat Parade
- December 16h: Naples Island Long Beach Boat Parade
Holiday Ice Skating
A skating rink is a festive way to ring…in the season Tomatoes and burn a few calories while you are at it. Skating in a t-shirt and sunglasses when it’s in the 80’s is a quintessential SoCal experience but I’m personally hoping for the chilly weather to continue through December. No matter what, ice-skating at an outdoor rink during the holidays is bound to bring on the smiles.
Ice at Santa Monica , open through January 15th, combines the magic of the holiday season with the beauty of California’s coastline in Downtown Santa Monica. Through January 7th, the Pershing Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink in the heart of DTLA is a fairy tale like setting and a very popular holiday tradition. Through December 31st, LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live is just that…alive with holiday magic. And Skating in the Park in Palos Verdes is open on the select dates: December 1, 2 ,3 and December 26th through December 31st. If you are worried about the possible breakage of a hip, like moi, there is usually a ton of holiday fun happening all around the rinks, Tomatoes 😊.
Dec 10. Snowy Plover Beach Walk
Calling all Tomatoes who love nature, birds and the beach. The Snowy Plover Beach Walk is a free guided walk where you’ll explore the restored dune habitat and life cycle of the small, while snowy plovers. Did you know, Tomatoes, that the precious Snowy Plovers make the area around the Annenberg Beach House their winter home? That just tickles me pink.
The “Snowy Plover Beach Walk” is hosted by the Annenberg Community Beach House and the LA Audubon Societies. It requires reservations so register now.
The Three Tomatoes LA Life editor, Debbie Zipp is your friendly guide to the best of everything in LA with a tomato style perspective. Debbie is an actor, producer, and writer. She is best known for her recurring role as Donna on the CBS series "Murder She Wrote" starring Angela Lansbury. She has had many other TV and stage roles and has starred in over 300 national TV commercials. As head of In The Trenches Productions, Debbie produced, directed, acted in many short films for her company. Her book, The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known was recently published.