9/11 Memorial

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9/11 Memorial

“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.” David Levithan

Maybe it was from a sense of obligation, to pay tribute to the lives lost; or a need to see the site of the World Trade Center tragedy to try to comprehend something that 17 years later is still hard to grasp. Maybe it was because I had just come from seeing Auschwitz in Poland. Maybe it was because I worked in Lower Manhattan when the World Trade Center was being built. But while planning a visit to New York, there was never a moment I considered not going to the 9/11 memorial and museum.

Inside this immense expanse of the museum, you’ll find various artifacts on display such as pieces from the planes that struck the Twin Towers, one of many fire trucks which assisted in rescue efforts, a three-story metal beam covered with missing posters, photographs, and messages of resilience named the ‘Last Column’, as well as a retaining wall that survived the destruction of the original World Trade Center.

There are the smaller but just as significant artifacts like damaged fireman’s helmets, World Trade Center ID’s, faded subway cards, police uniforms, and dust-covered shoes.

The museum is thoughtfully divided into several exhibits, with the main two being the Historical Exhibition in the North Tower and the Memorial Exhibition in the South Tower.

The Historical Exhibition is filled with artifacts, photographs, first-person accounts, and archival audio and video recordings. This exhibit is made up of three sequential parts: the Events of the Day, Before 9/11, and After 9/11.

The Memorial Exhibition is situated within the original footprint of the South Tower, and contains portrait photographs of the almost 3000 people who lost their lives in result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and the bombing of the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993.

The Memorial is located where the Twin Towers once stood. There are now two large grey chasms in the ground from which water cascades down all four sides before gathering in a pool and finally plunging into a dark void in the middle.

On the brass rims around these twin pools you’ll find stencil-cut names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.

you are encouraged to touch them.

I did not know anyone personally who died that day. My son had just been dropped off for his freshman year in college in Boston. His father had taken that flight back to LA on American Airlines the week before. My mother who lived nearby had gone to a concert at the World Trade Center that Sunday. On September 11 at six am Los Angeles time, I was in the airport at American Airlines (three hours earlier than New York) waiting to get on a seven AM flight from LA to Boston because I had gotten a call a few hours before that my son was in the hospital about to have his appendix out.

“There but for fortune go you or I” Phil Oaks.

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Street Art Around The World

Street Art Around The World

“I laugh at the way some people think graffiti is all selfish tagging and vandalism. Thoughtful street art is like good fiction – it speaks out on behalf of everyone, for us all to see.” Carla Krueger

Since cave painting, human beings cannot resist the urge to draw and write on walls. It is my favorite art. I am drawn to the bright colors, the fact that it is available to everyone and especially, the mystery. Who did this? Why? What does it mean? Sometimes I see the same artist in different countries. Here are some favorites from around the world. 

Lisbon, Portugal

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Capetown. South Africa

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Tel Aviv, Israel

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bogota,Colombia

Los Angeles, USA

Melbourne, Australia

Rio, Brazil

Fly safe,

JAZ

Eraser Art In Los Angeles

Eraser Art In Los Angeles

“A pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.” 
J. A. Meyer

The number two pencil is kind of the middle of the road when it comes to pencils. It is not too hard and not too soft. It is not too dark and not too light. In other countries who do not use numbers it might be called the HB pencil. Architects like higher number pencils because the points are harder. Sometimes artists use lower number pencils because they like the softer tone.  American schools have always preferred the number two pencil. It is said that the SAT scanner will only pick up a number two pencil. It is definitely easier to erase than a number three.

I volunteer at an after school writing program in Los Angeles called 826 LA. It is the only time these days that I see pencils. I do all my writing on the computer.

These hand-held pencils have had staying power amid the rise of the typewriter, the ballpoint pen, the computer and all the modern hand-held messaging devices over its century-and-a-half existence. In fact, the U.S. is the single largest market for wood-encased pencils today, most of which now come from China.

Pencils are dependable. The first mark you make with a pencil will be the same as the last. A pen might leak or run out of ink. There are no batteries, crashing, psycho auto-correct or waiting involved.

There is a lot of erasing at 826 LA. A pencil’s eraser tends to dry out and get dirty long before its lead runs down. Europeans tend to buy erasers separately and are more sensitive to this issue. This year we got some new erasers that were not attached to the pencils to deal with the high volume of erasing. We found some other things to do with these brand new very pink erasers. This is our first showing of eraser art.

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I’m not sure why they still spend so much time with pencils and erasers in school. I’m very close to telling a group of seven to ten-year olds that they will never use them again once they get out of school. Especially the ones that have trouble with the physical act of writing but have so many great  ideas.

Write safe,

JAZ

 

Ten Things That Separate New Yorkers From Los Angelenos

Ten Things That Separate New Yorkers and Los Angelenos

“When its 100 degrees in New York, it’s 72 in Los Angeles. When its 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it’s still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York, and only 72 in Los Angeles.” Neil Simon

Comparing people in NY and LA is like comparing apples (big) to oranges (they grow them).

1. If a person in NY says they hate you, they hate you. If a person in LA says they like you, they hate you.

2. Women in LA like to be “healthy”. They are tan ,(usually fake) do juice cleanses, eat kale and hike in the canyon. Women in NY like to look pale, very skinny and on the verge of death.

3. In LA, you are judged by the car that you drive. In NY you are judged by your address. No one actually has to see your apartment, but where you have chosen or can afford to live is who you are.

4. People In NY eat dinner late. People in LA eat dinner early because they have to go to the gym in the morning before work.

5. LA could be burned to the ground at any time or destroyed in an earthquake. New York could be under water or snowed in. So be correctly prepared.

6. People in LA seem tired and move slowly (unless they are jogging or power walking). People in NY always act like they had an extra cup of coffee that they didn’t need.

7. People in NY hang out with interesting, motivated people. In LA they hang out with the people they grew up with.

8. The car is still king in LA though they are trying very hard to improve the public transit system. So don’t text or pick your nose while you are driving. In NY most people cannot afford to park their cars so public transportation is the norm. Keep your head down, avoid eye contact and grab that seat before someone else does.

9. In Los Angeles, they know how to make a good salad. In NY, they know how to make a good bagel, pizza, egg roll with duck sauce and cannoli.

10. People in LA are always between projects. People in NY better be doing something with their lives.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Weird Things I Have Learned In Los Angeles

Weird Things I’ve Learned In LA

“You’re not going to see people like this again for a long time, he said and I said I always saw people like this & he looked at me for a moment and said, You’re not from around here, are you?” Brian Andreas, Story People

You can drive one block in Los Angeles. In fact most people do.

Parking meters in Venice can only be used for their allotted time. If you try to put more money in, you have to move your car and come back. Is this something new?

The bus system in Los Angeles is a lot like a third world country.  The bus is on a major street and for no reason makes a turn to go down a quiet residential block and then come back. I picture the driver saying “Hm that looks like a nice street. I think I will go there.”

The subway system goes no where that I need to be.

Every few blocks in LA  is a different city or named something different. Ex Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills Adjacent, Beverly Hills Post Office. Beverly Hills Flats.

Los Angeles is the most populated city in  California and the second most populated in the United States, after New York City.

It is illegal to manufacture pickles in the industrial zone of downtown Los Angeles.

When Los Angeles was founded in 1781, 44 people (14 families) lived in El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de la Porciuncula (Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angeles of the Small Portion). The population grew, but the name shrank to simply “Los Angeles.”

Animals are banned from mating publicly in LA within 1500 feet of a tavern, school or place of worship. It is a big problem for my dog.

The citizens of Los Angeles are called ‘Angelenos’, which  rhymes with casinos.

The Shirley Temple, a non-alcoholic cocktail, was invented in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is home to over 1.2 million college graduates. Many of them are actor waiters and their parents are not happy.

There are lots of beautiful people in Los Angeles – highly concentrated in upscale nightclubs and expensive shopping areas . There are also lots of ordinary people who make the effort to look their best. Sometimes too much effort leads to scary.

It is not a great place to grow old. I picture plastic surgeons who look at these women who try so hard and say after the anesthesia” Ok, let’s have some fun.”

Los Angeles is considered to be the world’s entertainment center. Here, on an everyday basis, there are over 100 movie and television production crews shooting for their respective soaps/films on location.

Los Angeles is not filed with beautiful blondes. It is 70 per cent non white with Hispanic being the largest percentage. Orange County is filled with beautiful blondes.

There are sixty-five people in Los Angeles who have the legal name Jesus Christ.

The Summer Olympics have been hosted twice by the city of Los Angeles, first in 1932, and then again in 1984.

Jeans and flip-flops go just about everywhere in LA.

The most important industry in LA is manufacturing.

Most of your waiter and waitresses are actors, models, dancers and comedians.

It is illegal for human beings to marry rocks in the City of Los Angeles. But it is not illegal to marry rock stars.

The Rams came to L.A. from Cleveland in 1946. The Dodgers arrived from Brooklyn in 1958, the Lakers from Minneapolis in 1960, and the Kings were an NHL expansion team in 1967. Prior to the Rams’ arrival, the L.A. sports scene centered on UCLA, USC, and two minor league baseball teams

You rarely get a straight answer when asking people in LA what they do for a living. They are between projects or a life coach or a pet psychic etc. 

Every year, about 100,000 women in Los Angeles County have their breasts enhanced.

Someone in LA will always tell you when mercury is in retrograde. Someone from NY will never know this.

In LA, they know how to make a great salad but not bagels, chinese food or cannoli.

In LA most people do not come to a complete stop at a stop sign. It is called the California slide or roll.  I learned that it is illegal. Long day at traffic school for trying to fit in.

There are four times more hamburgers eaten in Los Angeles County than in the rest of California. Is that because we have more In and Out Burgers?

Fly Safe,

JAZ

How to Avoid The Paparazzi Or How To See Celebrities In Los Angeles

How To Avoid the Paparazzi   or How To See Celebrities In Los Angeles

“Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.”  ~Will Rogers

Since many  of you who read this blog don’t live in Los Angeles, you may be planning a trip.   Most people in LA do not use their feet as a method of transportation. We  jog or walk our dogs.  Streets are never crowded. Paparazzi in LA are very noticeable. They don’t blend in like they do on the crowded streets of New York or Rome.

It is one thing for paparazzi  to stand outside a trendy restaurant  or club. We anticipate that. We expect to see them on Robertson Blvd looking for Kim or Paris ( Do we still care about Paris?). On a Saturday afternoon, we know that they will be outside Barneys, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and Rodeo Drive.    But it is another thing to encounter them all day long.  So I thought I would tell you how to avoid the paparazzi  or places to see celebrities in LA,  which ever you prefer.

1. I was  eating my lunch ( tuna salad and green juice – it is LA after all) in a beauty salon.   The door was open. I looked out and saw three paparazzi aiming their cameras at the open front door.  I was about to be the background shot for whoever walked out that door. I was going to be unknown woman with a mouthful of tuna. Luckily it was my turn. (Anastasia, BH)

2.Lately,  they hang  out  at the parks.  You can see them hiding behind trees like pedophiles with cameras.  They need to get that photo of a child on a swing who happens to  have a famous parent. My dog peed on their camera  cases.  To distract them, I said “Doesn’t that look like  JLo and the kids?.” They ran.  (Santa Monica Park)

3.There is always the market.    Am I the only person who doesn’t care that Jennifer Garner’s daughter can push the shopping cart? Is there something I am missing?  Is she a grocery cart pushing prodigy?  Is it really necessary for me to be woman who ran into the market to get ice cream because she was depressed, in the background of this shot?  (Vicente Foods, Brentwood)

4. The traffic is stalled on Ventura Blvd.  I am in the right lane.  I edge up and notice that  at least eight cars in front of me have no one in them. As I slowly maneuver into the left lane, I see all the paparazzi at the newsstand –  It must be for the Stars Are Like Us section – yes, some stars still buy  their own magazines. It probably isn’t  someone as famous as Beyonce or anyone who thinks they are like Bravo’s Real Housewives. It might be someone who grew up in the valley and knows this newsstand – like the Kardashians or the Jacksons. Unlike us, they don’t have to explain why they are late for work because the paparazzi stalled traffic. (Newsstand on Van Nuys and Ventura, Sherman Oaks)

5. Paparazzi Heaven is Malibu – so many celebrities in such a small area. .  Malibu shopping center  used to be charming. It felt like a small town.  It has been redone with  many expensive stores and trendy restaurants.  I was having breakfast with a friend  at an outside table when she said ,”Turn around”. I did and faced the camera lenses of twenty paparazzi, aimed for the door  right behind our table.  “How can you eat like this?,” I asked.   She replied, “No problem, I used to be a model.“  (Malibu Kitchen, Malibu)

6. There were two homeless people sleeping on Carbon Beach. .  This is a  stretch of beach with multimillion dollar beach houses.  I had never seen that before. When I got closer, I could see the cameras under the layers of clothing. Really guys? Did you think they wouldn’t notice? You are the only  people sleeping on an empty beach in winter clothes.   (Carbon Beach, Malibu)

7. I had a  bad cold and ran out to the pharmacy wearing pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt.  The paparazzi is standing at the front door. “Don’t shoot,“ I yell as I run through  the door. I do not want to be mystery woman in pajamas behind reality TV star in sweats running to the pharmacy. (Longs Drugs, now a CVS – and you can tell the difference, Brentwood.)

8. The woman who walks my dog when I can’t  get home during the day,  told me that my dog has a girlfriend.  It is the dyed pink poodle of a famous celebrity and she cannot tell me who it is. She said that my dog  ended up in paparazzi shots the other day. If you want to see a celebrity that owns a dyed pink poodle, follow them home from Barrington Dog Park in Brentwood. They go on Wednesdays.

9. The famous ex-governor/ movie star/ cheater and father of housekeeper’s child lives in a gated community on my street. I live in a canyon. It is a small road that you can’t park a car on.  During all the commotion , you would drive down the quiet  road to a circus of paparazzi and tv vans everywhere. I’m glad no one cares about him anymore.

10. One day, I walked out of a frozen yogurt store and there were thirty paparazzi  across the street. Their cameras were aimed at the entrance to the spray tanning store next door. It’s true. Your favorite celebrity has a fake tan. A bus load of Japanese tourists pulled up. They all jumped  out and stood next to the paparazzi with their cameras poised ready to have their LA paparazzi moment . Now that was funny. (Portofino, BH)

Im sure  the LA people have  more stories.

Say cheese and fly safe,

JAZ