Browsing through “Via” (AAA) magazine while waiting for my flat tire to be repaired this morning, I came across an article with photo about the new $470 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas.
I couldn’t help noticing the resemblance to our beloved Senator Theater in downtown Chico!
I’ve always had a thing for all things Art Deco, and these two structures are fine examples of Art Deco architecture.
The Senator Theater opened in 1927 as a 1,400-seat vaudeville and movie house. In 1978, the theatre was purchased by United Artists.
Restored in 2001, the theater later reopened as a performing arts center and now mostly functions as a concert venue. The lobby of the historic theatre is still intact and contains the original murals and chandelier.
The building’s tower was partially removed in the 1990s due to deteriorated condition but was restored to its original grandeur a few years later, thank goodness!
Q: What is 1,000 years old, weighs two tons and hangs out in a monastery/winery? (No, the answer is NOT “ChicoLaura”!) A: One of the “sacred stones” being used to construct the “Chapter House” at the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, CA (just 20 miles north of Chico).
Our Soroptimist of Chico club was treated today to a fascinating presentation by Jerry Olenyn and Karla Johnston, representing the Sacred Stones Project at the Abbey of New Clairvaux. Who knew stones could be so interesting?
Moved in 1931 from a Cistercian monastery in Ovila, Spain to San Francisco by millionaire publisher William Randolph Hearst at a cost of $85,000, the stones were intended to be used at Wyntoon (his estate near the McCloud River). He even had a structure designed by famed architect Julia Morgan (who designed his San Simeon estate). But then came the Great Depression, and the stones sat languishing for decades in Golden Gate Park, where some of them were used as borders in the Japanese Tea Garden.
Then In the 1990s, the stones were given to the New Clairvaux monks, who started using them to reinforce their monastery buildings with concrete and steel to meet modern earthquake codes. A few years ago the monks embarked on a huge undertaking: reconstructing the Chapter House on their spacious grounds.
Read more about the reconstruction here: http://www.kcra.com/news/18779644/detail.html#ixzz1nA4uph7z
In 2010, Chico’s legendary Sierra Nevada Brewing Company announced its joint venture with the Abbey of New Clairvaux to begin production of Belgian-style abbey ales. Named “Ovila” after the 12th century Cistercian monastery, Santa Maria de Ovila, the ales have proved wildly popular. Part of the profits go to help with the Chapter House reconstruction.
It’s been years since I visited the monastery, but I definitely plan to go in the near future. Click here for info about day visits; you can also schedule a weekend retreat if you are really wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in our techno world!
What is Pinterest you ask?
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. This site lets you organize and share things you find on the web. Many use pinboards to plan a wedding, find their new favorite recipe, and hints to help decorate their homes. You can browse pinboards created by other people. This is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
Ever heard the term “Guerrilla Gardening“?
This morning I experienced one of those “synchronicity” moments. I was admiring the photos of a most talented young man, Mathieu Young (from Chico originally but now of L.A. and the world) and came across a “Guerrilla Gardening” video he shot.
Interestingly, I had a related discussion over the weekend with a CSUC student who came to help with our W. Lindo GRUB Community Garden (we built compost bins).
So just what is it? According to Wikipedia, “Guerrilla gardening” is gardening on another person’s land without permission.” It’s not a brand new concept; witness Johnny Appleseed way back in 1800. The earliest recorded use of the term guerrilla gardening was by Liz Christy and her Green Guerrilla group in 1973 in the Bowery Houston area of New York, who transformed a derelict private lot into a garden.
There are plenty of vacant lots in Chico that could stand a little beautifying (as there are in any town). I happen to think edible plants and fruit-bearing trees are as lovely as ornamental, with the added benefit of being, well, edible!
“Guerrilla Gardening” in L.A.-Mathieu Young
A short video on Guerrilla Gardening, Directed by Mathieu Youngon
John Ross is a funny guy who is serious about bringing live comedy to our little town of Chico. Talk about following your dream! John and his lovely family packed up their belongings and moved here from Sacramento last year in
After many long months of beating the bushes for the right location and dealing with all of the red tape that accompanies such an undertaking, John will be greeting customers at The Last Stand Comedy Venue this weekend! (February 3 and 4) with shows at 7:00 and 8:30.
Located at 167 E. 3rd Street in one of those cozy old brick downtown “Chico-chic” buildings, the intimate setting is sure to be crackling with excitement as the featured comedians prepare to share their shtick.
In addition to live comedy, John will be offering standup classes for all you aspiring comedians out there.
Tickets for opening weekend can be purchased by clicking here and are just $10 each…such a deal for LIVE entertainment. Help welcome John and his talented troupe to Chico!
Check out (and “like”)
Watch a one minute video with John Ross