Who bemoans the loss of ancient Alexandria’s Department of Public Works? No one I can think of. But all of civilization bemoans the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria with its lost treasures of knowledge from the first millennia of human history.
(O. Von Corven)
The old library was inscribed "The place of the cure of the soul." And that is what libraries have been to civilization ever since.
Where were the libraries in your life? Mine stretch across the nation—the little one in Flint, the big one in Detroit, the glorious old Beaux-Arts library in St Louis with the towering stacks and glass catwalks, accessible even to 14-year-olds like me. Then there was perhaps the greatest of them all: the lion-fronted Public Library of New York.
Courtesy of Breaking Bad
It's not easy to be a "Breaking Bad" fan in Los Angeles. Lovers of the TV phenomenon were exhilarated when — thanks to Cinespia — they found out they could watch "Breaking Bad"'s final episode inside the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in the company of the show's cast and crew. Then the tickets went on sale, and in the blink of an eye sold out. Fade to black.
And now, with less than 72 hours before the world at last learns what Walt plans to do with the M60 in his trunk, Craigslist resellers have thrown their black pork pie hats into the ring.
Some go for as much as $700 — more than 15 times the original $45 selling price. Some go for a little less, but even if you have a Heisenberg-size barrel of cash to burn, good luck getting in. Tickets to Sunday's event are non-transferable and Cinespia is watching out for resellers.
At 99 years old, Khatoun Khoykani is one of the newest U.S. citizens.
When Khatoun Khoykani was born, Charlie Chaplin was making his first movies, no one had ever heard of a world war, and Iran, her home, was still called Persia.
99 years later, and half the world away, she has become an American citizen.
Khoykani moved here 15 years ago to join the rest of her family, and this summer, she became one of only a few dozen people of so great an age to be sworn in as a naturalized citizen. She spoke in Armenian, her family’s language, in the Glendale office of her lawyer, Peter Hosharian.
Among the biggest changes she saw in her lifetime were for women, and not for the better. As someone who made clothes for a living, that became her political tape measure.
“When the Shah was in power, things were good,” she remembered. But when the Islamists took over in the 1979 revolution, “they don’t let women be free, they have to put on headgear and close their face.” It was, she remembered, an age of “many hardships.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Tad Motoyama
"If your photos aren't good enough, you're not close enough." -- Henri Cartier-Bresson
On Nov. 3, Photo Day (now in its 24th year) comes back to the LA Zoo. Admission price for Photo Day includes workshops from wildlife photography experts, the loan of equipment, and a catered lunch.
Most importantly though, Photo Day allows for close-ups -- that way your photos come out more National Geographic glossy and less Instagrammy.
If you register before Oct. 1, the ticket price for photographers is $125. Registration ends October 15. More info at the LA Zoo’s website.
Robert Greshoff Photography
Stained-Glass, Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, UK, England, Window Panels from SXXViii
Off-Ramp contributor Marc Haefele reviews Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister, which is at the Getty Center from Sep 30 - Feb 2.
900 years ago, if you were a European peasant or serf, you were almost certainly unable to read. But you were expected to be a good Christian anyway—which meant knowing the basic stories and scriptures and characters of the bible.
How did you manage? Well, it has a lot to do with the art of the European Middle Ages—in fact, that was what most of the art of that time and place was for. As one early churchman put it, “The pictures are the poor man’s bible.” The stories that were preached every Sunday were draped across your vision in the hues of stained-glass portrayals in the windows that surrounded you in church. It was said that “Each picture is a lesson to the viewer.’