LA LIFE: LA Only, Festivals, Tours, Style, Sonnets & River Cleanup

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“Only in LA,” from LA Photographer Lorraine Devon Wilke, is a tribute to the magnetic and magical spirit of Los Angeles where even the pets have a swagger. Speaking of LA spirit…Stylist Felicia Arlin and LA Poetess Penny Peyser have that in spades. Celebrate the world’s best storytellers at the LA Times “Festival of Books” and “The Jackalope Artisan Fair” celebrates all things handmade.  Fantabulous architecture and art await you with three home tours. It’s spring-cleaning time with FoLAR’s “The Great River Cleanup.” Enjoy our beautiful spring, Tomatoes.

“Only in LA”: The Story Behind the Cover Photo

Los Angeles is a gravitational pull, a magnetic force; a magical place where dreams come true, identities are found, and everything about life, and love, and art, and creativity can be expressed in every way imaginable. Even the pets here have swagger… as this one did. Hanging out the window of a muscle car on Sunset Strip, the tattooed arm of his human holding tight, this fellow wore it well: the bow tie, the sunglasses, the fedora, all making clear he knew his brand and was making the statement for all to see! 

As soon as I got a glimpse of Lorraine’s photo of this adorable pooch, I could not contain my big smile. Be sure to check out Lorraine Devon Wilke’s marvelous photos on her webpage, Gals.

April 22-23. Festival of Books

Since 1996, the “LA Times Festival of Books” gathers thousands of books and hundreds of storytellers at what is now considered the largest event of its kind in the US. So, it is inevitable that inspiration soars at The Festival of Books.  Each spring book lovers flock to this annual 2-day event and I suggest you do too, Tomatoes.

Yep, books are the name of the game with USC hosting more than 500 authors, poets, musicians, artists and chefs, and hundreds of exhibitors including Laura Dern, Jennifer Garner, Diann Ladd, Joan Baez, Judy Greer, Idina Menzel and MANY more. Holy Cow! And our very own Lady Penelope will be there too! (see Sonnets from Suburbia below for details) The variety and quality of talent present is legendary. And we can’t forget the 250 events of lectures, signings and performances as well as art installations and culinary demos. It’s all about celebrating literary culture and the Los Angeles Times’ passion for story. Even the kiddos and grand kiddos will love it, Tomatoes.


Sonnets from Suburbia

Lady Penelope remembers a small but deeply touching moment with her Dad in “Small Moment in the Car”. Lady Penelope will be appearing at the “Los Angeles Times Festival of Books” on Sunday, April 23 from 11 AM – 1 PM at the Black Chateau booth – Table 153 in the Gold Zone. She would love you to stop by to say “Good Day” and pick up her (Penny Peyser) brilliant newly released book, “Sonnets from Suburbia: More Candles Than Cake”WATCH THE VIDEO.

LA Style Stories

Nothing says “Springshine” style like spring, Tomatoes. LA Fashion Stylist, Felicia Arlin, is full of surprises and inspiration in “Springshine Part 1 & 2” when elaborating on how incredibly versatile and, of course, stylish a sequin skirt can be when worn during the day. Remember, I only highlight a snippet of Felicia’s amazing cur8edme posts so be sure to follow her on Instagram. GET THE DETAILS.

April 23-May 21. Pasadena Showcase House of Design

Ladies, welcome to the Stewart House, a 1933 grand colonial estate with spectacular acreage in a storied Pasadena neighborhood. The Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts has made this house the “2023 Pasadena Showcase House of Design”. Holy Moly! What’d I’d give to see inside this luxurious and historic home. Well…I can! And so can You!

“The Pasadena Showcase House of Design” is one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most successful home and garden tours. And it is an important fundraiser to boot! Stewart House takes you back to the days of gracious architecture and quintessential Showcase with over 11,000 square feet of living space on two acres of carefully landscaped and exquisitely manicured grounds. Following just a few months of renovation, 30 interior and landscape designers have reimagined every room and garden of Stewart House, highlighting cutting-edge trends in high-style living. The experience is complemented with the famous Shops at Showcase offering a variety of boutique and craft merchants, as well as several on-site restaurants. Enjoy entertainment and programming throughout the event showcasing local musicians, docent-led garden tours, special brunches, and more. “Pasadena Showcase House of Design” is the fundraiser produced by Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts to fund their music programs and award gifts and grants to other non-profit organizations to support their efforts.

April 29-30. Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair

At this outdoor spring marketplace, in Central Park Pasadena, celebrate all things handmade. This is a shopper’s paradise and Tomatoes can expect to find trendsetting indie goods from over 200 makers. Wow! It’s free to attend, open for all ages, handicap accessible and leashed pets are welcome. Shopping get better than that!

It includes original fashion and jewelry design, paper goods, innovative home decor and housewares, art, photography, body care, food, activities for the whole family and much more. The Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair was co-founded by two fab ladies, Melissa Kohout and Sara Diederich, who shared the passion to create a “community meets artisan event” focused on the experience of meeting the maker and bringing the local community together.   With that vision, they launched the Jackalope: Indie Artisan Fair. The Fair is presented in partnership with Pasadena Unified School District.

April 22. Earth With Us/The Great River Cleanup

Tomorrow, you can exercise and do a world of good for our City of Angels by picking up some trash or embarking on a nature walk during FoLAR’s “Earth with Us / The Great Los Angeles River Cleanup” event.  This is the largest river cleanup in America and a super way to celebrate Earth Month, Tomatoes!

Pick a location out of the 4 available locations and be a friend to our river.  Locations tomorrow for the “Earth with Us” event include: the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve in the San Fernando Valley, Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park in Elysian Valley , Elysian Valley Gateway Park in Glendale and Goldenshore Marine Reserve in Long Beach. In 2022, FoLAR Cleanups removed over 50,000 pounds of trash from the LA River and their monthly Habitat Restoration Days helped restore and remove invasive species from 95 acres of land. These clean-ups are vital to the overall health of the river and the ocean. “The Great LA River Cleanup” not only benefits the river but it also provides a chance for LA tomatoes to get to know the river.  Whether you clean up or take the nature walk you’ll feel good after and, of course, the river will too.

April 30. Bungalow Heaven Home Tour

The “Bungalow Heaven Tour” is just that…Heavenly…Historic and…Pasadena’s first landmark district.  This dreamy neighborhood has one of the largest collections of historic Craftsman homes built anywhere in the country and you will be able to tour the interiors of 7 magnificent examples of the Arts and Crafts period in the US. Enjoying this piece of paradise is a lovely way to spend a Sunday, Tomatoes.

This year’s theme, History in Bloom, highlights locally gathered flowers arranged throughout the tour homes. Consistent with the Arts and Crafts movement, you can also observe period floral patterns on rugs, vases, tiles and textiles. Volunteer docents will be on hand to explain the history and architectural highlights of each home. The tour will feature an exterior collection of six Minimum Traditional houses from the 1940s and highlight their architectural significance. Throughout the day, McDonald Park will be hopping with music, lemonade, cookies and a silent auction featuring unique items. Plus, local food trucks will be on hand to provide lunch. Well, doesn’t that just make the event complete.

Through May 27. Hollyhock House On View

It’s always a good time to visit the unequivocal Frank Lloyd Wright gem, “Hollyhock House.” This national Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site is an iconic architectural masterpiece surrounded by the beautiful Barnsdall Art Park. And art masterpieces are also on view adorning this humble abode, so it is the perfect time to tour the Hollyhock House, Ladies.

Entanglements: Louise Bonnet and Adam Silverman at Hollyhock House is the first artist intervention at the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the first formal collaboration for the Los Angeles-based couple. In dialogue with the site, Bonnet’s paintings and drawing and Silverman’s ceramics engage the house’s 100-year history as a platform for artists and experimentation. The new works are installed in Hollyhock House’s public rooms where Aline Barnsdall’s celebrated art collection was once on display. What a treat!



  • Debbie Zipp

    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. Buy her book: The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.