I got to feel very grown up this past weekend. Not only did I get to enjoy dinner out with my beau and drinks with my pals, but I actually purchased art. In a gallery. Like, real art photography. I’m so mature.
I didn’t start out with the intent to buy anything. Hubby Dearest and I went to a lecture sponsored by the Long Beach Historical Society called A New Deal for Long Beach Architecture, Art Deco and Streamline Moderne – The Influence of the Modern Design Movement 1925-40, given by our friend John Thomas. I grew up in Long Beach and went to a high school that benefited from the art projects of the Works Progress Administration. Of course, when I lived in Long Beach and went to said high school, I never appreciated it because I was in to cheerleading and boys and studying. How boring!
Throughout the lecture, John referenced photos of the architecture and art that came about in Long Beach in the oil boom of the time and after the earthquake in 1933 that brought to the area the funding to rebuild in the architecture style du jour. In addition to his slide show, he referenced some artwork photography mounted throughout the LBHS facility and said the exhibit, Rebuilding for the Future: A New Deal for Long Beach 1933-1942, included pieces that were for sale as a fundraiser for the LBHS. I was immediately drawn to a large 30x80 piece mounted right in front of me showing a jungle scene with children in the center. Called A Visit to the Jungle, the beautiful and imaginative original mural is at the Jane Addams Elementary School. The piece in the exhibit was a canvas photograph by the talented Chris Launi. Not only was I drawn to the scale, but to the colors. Why? They are the colors of my bedroom and I was looking for a piece to go in my room – even if it is more appropriate for a child’s deco room. I thought it elegant and whimsical. I feared it would be horribly expensive, given its scale, but when I snuck up to it after the lecture to see the asking price, I was shocked at how reasonable it was – less than half what I was looking at spending for other art I was considering. As there was a couple who were also discussing the piece, I scurried up to Chris and said I wanted to buy it and got my dibs in just before the other couple said they would buy it. SCORE!
After my artwork coup, we visited the Sky Room at the top of the Breakers Hotel building in Long Beach. With a beautiful view of the Long Beach skyline, we ate an absolutely decadent dinner in this 1926 landmark that was the eighth Hilton hotel in the chain. The eighteen-story Spanish Baroque building was a popular destination on the coast and the Sky Room was a favorite among politicians and Hollywood celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Charles Lindbergh and Cary Grant alike. It would have been perfect if my rival couple at the exhibit didn’t follow us there. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
After dinner our friends Lily and Brian joined us for drinks in the Sky Room bar. We also ventured upstairs to the UP Lounge, a little treasure on the top of the Sky Room with 360 views of Long Beach. If only the music in the UP Lounge was as inspiring as the view, but it was a DJ playing techno – WAH-wah. Never mind, though, it was a swank little place to visit before going back to the quieter, Sky Room bar. If only I could have gotten up to the machine gun platform at the top!
The Sky Room and Up Lounge
40 S. Locust Avenue
Long Beach, CA
Can’t wait till I can pick up my piece in December. I did a happy dance all night long!