Lifeguard Tower Art in Los Angeles

We just heard about a public art program involving kids called Portraits of Hope, which has been given the go-ahead to transform lifeguard towers with art in Los Angeles this year. 100 towers will be covered in panels and painted along 30 miles of beach May through September of 2010. Sweet!–Stef McDonald

Getty Visit Part 3: Perfume Bottles

The “Herculean Woman” exhibit at the Getty Villa featured a case of ancient and beautiful vessels for cosmetics and perfumed oils (and the painting above showing cherubs making perfume!). I have a collection of a few dozen old perfume bottles and a handful of cosmetic compacts, but mine come from flea markets, thrift stores and eBay. None are from B.C. but I’m fond of them all, especially the old bottle of Evening in Paris—the one that started my collection. The story behind it: My father was invited to my mother’s sixteenth birthday party and asked my grandmother for a ride; when he told her where he was going, she insisted on first bringing him into town to pick up a last-minute gift and she helped him select a bottle of Evening in Paris perfume. (Is it any wonder I am a romantic?) Most of the bottles in my collection are empty or contain perfumes that are no longer wearable (or ones I wouldn’t wear anyway), but I love them for their sizes and shapes and designs. I can only imagine the scents once placed in some of the bottles on display at the Getty and love to think they are timeless and made of scents revered through the ages, like the ones I like to wear today: naturally made (without nasty chemicals) and intoxicating. I’d expect nothing less for a goddess.

Getty Visit Part 2: Winged Shoes

Another impressive statue at the Getty Villa: Roman god Mercury (Greek god Hermes), who is shown wearing wings strapped to his ankles and a flower on his sole (because the messenger could travel so fast his feet didn’t touch the ground). In other words: the coolest sandals ever. As a former track runner, I’m fond of the winged foot as a symbol. I also happen to be a devotee of the sandal, especially the flip-flop. My collection more than tripled when I moved to LA and I’m continually tempted by new styles. Seeing Mercury in the Getty garden definitely got me thinking. I’ve got a few sandals in the gladiator style—but none with wings. I’m not necessarily looking for shoes to give me god-like speed or abilities, but I do like the style and would have loved to find a pair of winged sandals in the gift shop. No such luck, and a quick web search for sandals with wings was also fruitless. Close as I could get: flip-flops with a cute wing print and a pair by K. Jacques St. Tropez with a winged thong design. Although a pair like Mercury’s isn’t at all practical for mere mortals, simply adding a sole would be enough. I’d be sold.