Shared posts

23 Jan 08:43

乗りたいねこ。(動画)

by mugumogu
Kristen

This video rules

 


箱に乗りたいまる。
実際はもっと長いこともがいていましたが、
撮り始めたら乗れるように。
Maru wants to get on the box!

23 Jan 08:42

419-square-foot Pasadena cottage asks $389K

by Elijah Chiland
Kristen

I found a house we can definitely afford!

It’s a studio with a loft space and its own yard

This oh-so-compact cabin in Pasadena was built in 1922 and is one of five micro-homes lined up alongside one another off of Holliston Avenue, close to Pasadena City College. The 419-square-foot residence is listed as a one-bedroom, but has the layout of a studio apartment with a newly-added loft space.

The living area features bamboo floors, a freshly installed skylight, and multiple glass-paneled doors leading to the small garden area outside. Meanwhile, the kitchen and bathroom have been recently remodeled with new countertops and appliances. So as not to take up valuable territory inside the home, the washer and dryer are both housed in an outdoor closet.

View of living area with loft above
Loft area
Kitchen and dining area
Bathroom

Per the listing, the home is listed as a condo on the title, but is fenced off from the neighboring homes and does not appear to come with any HOA dues. The lot it sits on is complete with a few patches of grassy lawn and gravel areas fit for outdoor seating. Asking price is $389,000.

Side yard
Washer/dryer
House with surrounding yard space
21 Jan 01:13

まるです。

by mugumogu
Kristen

holy shit

 


はな:「顔のおっきいのがまた増えたー。」
Hana:[Two big heads!]

獅子舞が踊りだすと、はなは姿を消す。
When Shishimai dances, Hana disappears.

獅子舞:「新年の舞!」
Shishimai:[This is a dance of the New Year!]


獅子舞:「次は一緒に踊ろう!」
まる:「結構です。」
Shishimai:[Let’s dance together next!]
Maru:[I decline.]

19 Jan 23:05

Foodie Guide to Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park

by Rachel Bshero
Kristen

I don't think we will be able to make it but some of this looks good.

Recently, Erin Glover shared some of the exciting new experiences coming to the Lunar New Year Celebration, Jan. 20 through Feb. 5 at Disney California Adventure park, including expanded food and beverage offerings. Today, I’m excited to share a foodie’s guide to the celebration – with a full listing of all the delicious, authentic eats from Marketplaces inspired by three Asian countries!

Kimchi Bokkeumbap from the Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park

Korea

  • Kimchi Bokkeumbap – Kimchi-vegetable fried rice
  • Yachae Mandu – Steamed vegetable dumplings with sesame-garlic soy sauce
  • Yasik – Sweet rice and dried fruit cake
  • Banana Milk (non-alcoholic)
  • Black Beer Stout
  • Hite Pale Lager

Xiao Long Bao from the Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park

China

  • Xiao Long Bao – Pork soup dumplings with black vinegar and ginger
  • Luo Bo Gao – Turnip cake with sausage and oyster sauce
  • Egg Tart
  • Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea with Lychee Popping Pearls (non-alcoholic)
  • Tsingtao Lager

Macaroon from the Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park

Vietnam

  • Bang Chung – Sticky rice cake with pork
  • Chao Tom Voi Nuoc Cham Chua Ngot – Sugar cane shrimp skewer with sweet and sour sauce
  • Purple Sweet Potato Macaron
  • Ca Phe Da – Vietnamese iced coffee
Mango Pudding from the Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park Banh Khoai Mi Nuong from the Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park

Paradise Garden Grill

  • Japchae – Stir-fried vegetables and noodles with tofu
  • Galbi – Grilled beef short rib with steamed rice and kimchi
  • Cach Chien Ca Gion Ngon – Whole crispy tilapia with chili-lime vinaigrette and steamed rice
  • Pho – Beef Noodle Soup
  • Mango Pudding
  • Banh Khoai Mi Nuong – Cassava-coconut cake
  • Almond Milk Tea with Fruit Jellies (non-alcoholic)
  • Max Beer Lager

Lunar New Year Celebration runs from Jan. 20 through Feb. 5 at Disney California Adventure park.

12 Jan 03:09

Southern California Residents: Enjoy Three Days at Disneyland Resort for Less than $50 per Day with New Ticket Offer

by Erin Glover
Kristen

I feel like this is a good deal.

Attention Southern California residents! Get your New Year started with extra happiness at the Disneyland Resort with a special ticket offer!

The Southern California Resident ticket offer* provides flexible options for three days of magic and adventure at special prices. For a limited time, guests may select from these purchase options:

  • 3-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $149 – less than $50 per day
  • 3-day Park Hopper ticket for $189

The Southern California Resident tickets include one Magic Morning** early entry to Disneyland park, which provides an extra hour of play on select days before the park opens to the general public.

This amazing offer comes just in time to enjoy amazing experiences at the Disneyland Resort! At Disneyland park, we have the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade on January 20 as well as Star Wars Season of the Force in Tomorrowland. At Disney California Adventure park, guests can join the party with the Lunar New Year Celebration, Jan. 20 through Feb. 5, and the popular Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, March 10 through April 16.

Experience all of these attractions and entertainment, along with other beloved experiences at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, with the 3-day Southern California Resident tickets, available for a limited time. Southern California residents must purchase tickets from Jan. 9 through May 22, 2017. Tickets expire after May 25, 2017, and blockout dates apply. Proof of residency is required for purchase and Theme Park admission. For restrictions, visit http://Disneyland.com/SoCal.

Purchase your 3-day Southern California Resident tickets now at Disneyland.com/SoCal and print them at home!

* 3-Day Promotional Ticket:
Valid only for Southern California residents within ZIP codes 90000-93599 and Northern Baja California residents within ZIP codes 21000-22999; proof of residency is required for purchase and admission. 3-Day, 1-Park Per Day ticket is valid for admission to either Disneyland® or Disney California Adventure® park each day of validity, but not to both parks on the same day. 3-Day Disneyland® Resort Park Hopper® ticket is valid for admission three (3) days to both Disneyland® and Disney California Adventure® park on the same day. Each day of use constitutes one full day of use. Tickets expire May 25, 2017. Blockout days of 4/9/17-4/23/17 apply. May purchase up to 5 tickets per person per day with valid ID. Tickets may not be sold or transferred for commercial use. Offer may not be combined with other ticket discounts or promotions. Tickets not valid before 1/9/17. Subject to capacity, restrictions and change without notice.

**Magic Morning:
Magic Morning admission allows admission to selected attractions at Disneyland® Park before the park opens to the general public on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. Each Guest must have valid, eligible theme park admission. To enhance the Magic Morning experiences, it is strongly recommended that Guests arrive at least one hour and 15 minutes prior to regular park opening. Magic Morning admission is based on availability and capacity. Applicable theme park, days and times of operation and all other elements including, but not limited to, operation of attractions, entertainment, stores and restaurants and appearances of characters may vary and are subject to change without notice. Subject to restrictions and cancellation.

10 Jan 18:41

099 Bill Hanstock & Kristen Ray - Twenty Years Ago Today

Kristen

We're marriage experts now

It’s the twentieth wedding anniversary for Jim and Cindy Walsh, so we welcomed back one of our favorite married couples, Kristen Ray and Bill Hanstock. Together, we reflect on Beverly Hills, 90210, how to get rid of an unlicensed firearm in California, and puzzles.

You can listen to Bill on the Weirdos From Another Planet! podcast, and Kristen on The Logline Podcast. Read Bill’s writing about sports on UPROXX, and see him talk about pro wrestling on AfterBuzz TV. Bill’s previous appearance on The Blaze podcast was for the episode “Fire and Ice,” and Kristen’s was for “One on One.”

Download episode 99

image

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram! Like us on Facebook! Listen to us on Stitcher! And rate us on iTunes! Shop through our Amazon link! Listen to our Spotify playlist here!

10 Jan 02:01

Fly High at This Valley Recreation of a Classic Pan Am In-Flight Meal

by Farley Elliott
Kristen

lol what

From plush seats to cart service, this dinner experience has all the nostalgia you could ask for

Do you long for the days of the quality in-flight meal, when attendants would pass through ample airplane cabins serving food fit for kings — but at 10,000 feet? If you’re truly jonesing to relive the golden era of airline travel, all you have to do is head to the Valley for a seat inside the Pan Am Experience.

You may have heard of the Pan Am Experience before — the limited-run dinner event has been happening on and off since 2014 — but you may not have actually driven out to Pacoima to make the meal happen. Now’s your chance, as a handful of limited seatings have just been announced for 2017, with one date in January and two each in March and February.

So what can you expect? A pretty stunning recreation of original Pan Am flights, for one. As the website shows, everything down to the stitching has been reconstructed from scratch, including the uniforms and the utensils. Even the plane itself is a recreation from the era, with meals based on original menus from the time (though they’ve certainly been given a culinary upgrade in the intervening decades).

 Daniel Sliwa

You will definitely pay for the right to fly the tasty skies though, with a pair of tickets running $690 for the upper deck first class experience. Seatings run 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., with only a few dozen diners taking over the small space each available evening.

If you’re interested in ponying up for a meal from the past, better get your tickets soon. They’re on sale now (you can purchase solo experiences as well) by Air Hollywood, the folks behind the Pan Am Experience, and have in the past tended to move pretty quickly.

04 Jan 19:52

New DFB Video: Where to Find the BEST Disney Fried Chicken

by AJ
Kristen

Did you know they have fried chicken at disney parks? crazy.

Who doesn’t love really great Fried Chicken!?!

It’s one of my favorites! And fortunately, there are some fantastic spots to get it at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. And we’re telling you all about some of our favorites in our next DFB YouTube Channel Video!

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

I’ll admit it — Fried Chicken is one of my favorite comfort food guilty pleasures. But it’s also one of those foods that restaurants don’t always do a great job executing. But we’ve found some great spots to share with you!

Whether you enjoy your chicken with a side of nostalgia at 50s Prime Time Cafe, with a big dose of history at the Disneyland’s Plaza Inn, or all you can eat with a show at Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, you have lots of choices!

Are you a Disney Food Lover? Mee toooo! We love taking you along with us as we enjoy classics and discover new favorites throughout the parks and resorts. Subscribe to our DFB YouTube Channel and you’ll never miss out on the fun!

subscribe

So head over, watch the video, and then tell me: What’s your favorite spot to enjoy fried chicken at Disney? Leave a comment and join in on the conversation! 

Disney Food Blog Fans, be sure to check out our DFB Disney World Dining Guide e-Books! Find great deals at DFBStore.com! Also, come on over and:


27 Dec 21:28

まるです。

by mugumogu
Kristen

I contain power more than usual!!!!!

 

まるがトイレに入って大をするために砂を整えていたら、
待ちきれなかったはなが横入り。
(まるはうんち前の砂調整に時間がかかる)
When Maru went to the cat litter, Hana cut it in.

はな:「ちょっとお先に! チー。」
Hana:[Excuse me!]

はなさん、横入りはだめですよ!
Hey Hana, let’s follow your turn.

はな:「だって漏れそうだったんだもん!」
Hana:[I almost wet my pants!]


まる:「まったくもう、、、んっ!」
Maru:[I contain power more than usual!]

はなは、おしっこもうんちも、全く砂をかけないタイプ。
まるは、うんちの時だけは、する前にも後にも砂を掘る。

23 Dec 00:04

‘Remember … Dreams Come True’ Joins the Line-Up at Disneyland Park Beginning Feb. 3

by Shawn Slater
Kristen

this is good news for me

With the classic Main Street Electrical Parade coming home to Disneyland park on Jan. 20, spring 2017 is already shaping up to be a great blast to the past for Disneyland fans. Now there’s even more excitement in the air with the return of the beloved fireworks spectacular “Remember… Dreams Come True.”

Initially presented as the evening highlight of the 50th anniversary of Disneyland Resort in 2005, “Remember… Dreams Come True” features Tinker Bell’s flight, brilliant fireworks, soaring music, dazzling special effects and an amazing journey through the various lands of Disneyland with archival audio tracks, favorite songs and familiar phrases from some of the park’s most popular attractions, past and present. I’m partial to seeing flame effects erupt from Sleeping Beauty Castle during the Indiana Jones Adventure sequence and the feeling of being in a virtual stretching room as fireworks launch straight into the sky to welcome the Haunted Mansion’s “Grim, Grinning Ghosts.”

What’s your favorite part of the show? Let us know in the comments section. Are you a fan of the quieter moments, like when “Shenandoah” plays, representing Rivers of America? Or do you get goosebumps when those five familiar, musical tones from Star Tours suddenly give way to the “Star Wars” theme, complete with lasers?

You’ll have a chance to relive all those moments and more, when “Remember… Dreams Come True” once again begins regular weekend performances on Feb. 3.

21 Dec 21:25

Blind Items Revealed #1

by Enty
Kristen

this show was not great.

bh

November 30, 2016

This B+ list mostly television actress got two of her co-stars to join her in a demand for a raise for their pay cable show. Instead of a raise, the show got canceled. It was on the fence of getting renewed and the actress pushed it over the edge for everyone else, cast and crew.

Lizzy Caplan/Caitlin FitzGerald and Michael Sheen/”Masters of Sex”

21 Dec 01:39

ICYMI: Someone Recreated Every Shot Of 'Blade Runner' Using Microsoft Paint

by Julia Wick
Kristen

My high school english teacher wrote his thesis on blade runner so this is probably him.

ICYMI: Someone Recreated Every Shot Of 'Blade Runner' Using Microsoft Paint Plus, the legacy of 'Jerry Maguire,' how Mozart (sort of) outsold Beyoncé and Drake in 2016, the rise of Los Angeles Fashion Week, and more! [ more › ]
13 Dec 06:30

Awesome Highland Park midcentury listed for $949K is waiting to be restored

by Bianca Barragan
Kristen

I love this house big time

Just lovely

Located along the Arroyo Seco in the Garvanza section of Highland Park, this “mid-century modern gem” mixes steel with walls of glass.

The 2,600-square-foot house, which dates to 1967, is described as “waiting to be restored.” It’s being sold by the original owner, for whom it was built, and contains most of the original features, listing agent Richard Perez tells Curbed.

The towering fireplace and the boxy living room shelving unit in the entry and living room exude the timeless style that has made midcentury design so popular again.

Up the stairs from the tall and airy main room of the house, the master bedroom features hillside views and a master bathroom with double sinks and a sunken tiled tub. In all, the house has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms (including one with a rainbow-creating overhang), all with light and charm.

Behind the house, the rear yard is a “clean canvas” with not much landscaping, so there’s the opportunity to create an urban oasis from scratch.

The house is listed for $949,000.


Watch: The story behind the Wave House

10 Dec 01:13

The ultimate 'La La Land' filming location map

by Jenna Chandler
Kristen

for future reference

La La Land, which won a record seven Golden Globe awards, captures the sweetest version of Los Angeles with its cotton candy sunsets, iconic architecture, neon signs, quiet streets, and towering palm trees.

"You can’t have a better tourism brochure than this movie," Mayor Eric Garcetti told The Wrap at the musical's Los Angeles premiere. "It highlights 60 locations. It shows that L.A. is not just about the stars. It’s about the romance."

With help from Fandango, we've identified more than a dozen of those locations. Enjoy!

09 Dec 14:39

Main Street Electrical Parade Returns to Disneyland Park January 20

by Erin Glover
Kristen

I'm pumped for this

Get ready to celebrate the return of a Disney Parks icon! As we told you earlier this year, the Main Street Electrical Parade is coming back to the place it began – Disneyland park – for a limited time, beginning January 20. Whether you’re making new memories or reliving favorite moments, this is a homecoming celebration you’ll want to share with family and friends.

This encore performance at Disneyland park will run nightly until June 18 – that’s 45 years after it first lit up Main Street, U.S.A., in 1972! During this limited-time celebration, guests will also enjoy special merchandise and food offerings inspired by the Main Street Electrical Parade – we’ll have more to share on those very soon.

Want to celebrate the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade in style? Join us on January 19 for a special, after-hours premiere event and be among the first to experience the return of this beloved parade. After the park closes, premiere event ticket holders will enjoy a night of exclusive access to most Disneyland park attractions and select restaurants, featuring a special performance of the Main Street Electrical Parade ahead of its official debut to the public. Tickets go on sale for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders tomorrow, Dec. 6, and to the general public on December 13. Information will be available on Disneyland.com beginning tomorrow.

Join us in January as we welcome the Main Street Electrical Parade home to Disneyland park for a limited time!

06 Dec 07:37

The Abandoned Mall From 'Westworld' And 'Gone Girl' Is Set For Demolition

by Carman Tse
Kristen

This is the project my dad is working on.

The Abandoned Mall From 'Westworld' And 'Gone Girl' Is Set For Demolition It will be replaced with...another mall. [ more › ]
03 Dec 01:04

Video: Two SUVs Slam Into Each Other During Parking Lot Brawl

by Juliet Bennett Rylah
Kristen

This shit is nuts

Video: Two SUVs Slam Into Each Other During Parking Lot Brawl Two SUVs enter. One SUV leaves. [ more › ]
02 Dec 22:11

Blind Items Revealed #11 – Anniversary Month

by Enty
Kristen

Finally this one is revealed.

bh

November 21, 2006

Let me preface this post, by saying that if this story ever comes out, it would blow the music world up and shake it to its core..This would put the Milli Vanilli scandal and Ashlee Simpson SNL situation so far down the ladder it would be crazy..

Towards the end of last year I had a woman come into my office and she began to explain what she had done and had been doing for several years and it was one of the very few times that I just could not believe what I was hearing..I know the music industry inside and out, and I had never heard of something so extensive and pervasive as this..

This woman (S) came into my office because the payments she had been receiving had stopped and she wanted to either get the money that was owed to her, or expose what she had been doing to the light of day..

S is a sessions/studio/backup singer and is very good..Prior to her involvement in what I am going to describe, she made a very good living singing on commercials and being a backup singer for groups and other solo acts, etc..Like I said she is very good, but she does not really have that “look” which would make her a star, so record companies did not put her out front, but just used her talents..

In late 2000, a man came to her one day and said he needed someone to record some demos because he had written a lot of songs, but wanted a demo to shop the songs to singers and record labels..This is not unusual at all and she had done this type of work before and it paid pretty well so she agreed. What was unusual about her recording of the demos was how much work was put into the actual recordings..It was extensive..Generally there is not much time put into the recordings because you never really know if the song will even sell, and the money spent on recording could be put to better uses..These demos she was recording were actually being treated as if they were going to be released on a CD or to radio..They even did some mixing which was REALLY unusual..

After a few weeks she had recorded about over a dozen songs and she went on her way and was really oblivious to anything else pertaining to it, UNTIL several months later she was in her car and heard her voice coming from the radio, only it was another singer being given credit..(We will call this other singer MV for Milli Vanilli) She could not believe what she was hearing and did not know whether to be excited to hear herself on the radio, confused about the credit given to another singer or just pissed off for the same reasons..

What she did do, was to call the man who had originally come to her and had her record the songs..The man agreed to meet her and gave her a substantial sum of money and promised to keep giving her money every month as long as she kept her mouth shut. MV was taking off..(MV has/had several Top 40 songs and CD’s. They could have gone to #1 or languished in the 30’s..I really cannot go into much more detail or else it would be too easy to discover) MV was everywhere..on television, radio, awards shows, commercials..EVERYWHERE..meanwhile, S continued to get money every month and kept her little secret to herself..The guy who picked S was VERY lucky..Most singers would have caused a fuss, but S has always been in the background and was resigned to the fact she always would be, and was very happy just taking the $$, and did not want that to stop..

About 9 months go by and S is called by the guy because MV is going on tour and they want S to record some extra mixes and such for the tour..She agrees and does not really do much, but money is money..

Fast forward another year or so and S stops receiving money and after a few months of missed payments, calls the guy who explains that they need S to do another CD and then the payments can continue, but there is no more money unless she does more recordings..

S agrees and records another CD worth of songs which is released several months later and does even better than the first CD. This same process is repeated (I am not going to tell you the number of CD’s because again you may be able to deduce and so I will just say the process repeated itself several times)

Well everything goes well for the most part for all these years and then no more payments, and no more calls and she cannot even locate our mystery man..S has not received a payment in six months when she came into my office and related this story..She did not even know the guy’s name, but when she described him, I knew who he was and was even more floored than I had been previously..This was just something I had really not heard before..

I had heard of really altering voices in the recording studios and bringing in hired hands for one song or a large portion of a song, but never CD after CD and even doing extra work so a live performance would not sound staged..I told her I needed some time to check into her story and then we could proceed..It took two calls before I got the guy on the phone and he was pissed, scared, angry, threatening, remorseful..everything..It turns out the reason he had stopped making payments was he had been playing some shell games with the money between the record company, MV’s earnings and MV’s investments and just did not have any additional money..In addition, MV was not sure she wanted to continue on with what had been happening and so our mystery guy might be completely out of the picture..

I actually think the record company to this day has no idea what went on as the Guy was very good at what he does/did and knew how to make sure the record company was always happy..He stayed under budget, toured, made MV available, and made the record company money..

So a meeting was arranged in my office and S and MV finally met face to face..they had never done so, even though it was S who made MV a star..MV was rude to say the least when she saw what S looked like and it really upset me although S being her normal classy self could have cared less..

What we agreed to do that day was to provide S with one lump sum rather than a monthly income which was easier for Guy to pull off and S also agreed to never disclose her role in this drama and MV was on her own for future recordings and tours..

This involved literally millions of CD’s and hundreds of concerts all over the world..The one thing I did get out of this beside my fee of course is a Gold Record autographed by S and by MV..I know it is the only one in the world..

Jennifer Lopez

02 Dec 04:29

9 cozy cabins near LA you can rent this winter

by Jenna Chandler
Kristen

should we rent a cabin?

Find some snow

The perfect winter landscape of snow flecked pines and snowcapped rooftops awaits within a two-hour drive of Los Angeles. The first snow of the season fell before Thanksgiving in Big Bear, and a storm dumped more on New Year’s Eve, drawing so many people that traffic on San Bernardino Mountain highways was bumper-to-bumper.

If you’re headed to the mountains and need a charming homebase for skiing or sledding, or if you just want to spend a cozy 48 hours nestled by a warm fireplace, below are nine cabins in Big Bear, Idyllwild, Lake Arrowhead, and Wrightwood all available for rent.


↑ Filled with eclectic vintage decor, this 1940s cabin features “original tongue and groove wood ... giving it a very warm and inviting feel.” It holds two bedrooms and is located “centrally in the heart of Old Town Big Bear Lake” for $195/night on weekends.

↑ This 1870s cabin with two bedrooms in Big Bear rents for $119 a night. The owners claim it’s the oldest wooden building in Southern California. Even if it’s not, it retains the look of a vintage homestead. There’s a typewriter, 1930s oven, clawfoot tub, and “a hand-built stone hearth.”

↑ This one-bedroom cabin in Wrightwood boasts a modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances, but with its wood beams and wood paneling and fur throws retains a cozy vibe. It’s a half-mile walk to the shops, bars, and restaurants in Wrightwood Village. The nightly rate is $126.

↑ This bright and spacious four-bedroom in Lake Arrowhead is looking chic with its aztec prints and white paint. The galley kitchen flows into a roomy living room, which features floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to a thicket of pines. On the weekends, it rents for $626 per night.

↑ Renting for $145 nightly on weekends is this little sage-green cabin in Lake Arrowhead with a brick fireplace and a small loft. Built in 1920, it was originally used as housing for Forest Service employees. It looks like it might have original hardwood floors, while the rest of the well-kept space is updated but still a bit rustic.

↑ “This isn't your Aunt Sally's stuffy cabin,” the listing copy says. Agreed. It’s more like your hipster brother Chet-with-a-mustache’s retro-inspired cabin. It’s filled with midcentury modern-inspired furniture, and it looks pretty sweet. The weekend rate for the two-bedroom home with a stone fireplace is $140 nightly.

↑ Floor-to-ceiling windows flood this stylish and spacious remodeled cabin in Idyllwild with light and provide “an intimate connection to the outdoors” for $375 per night on weekends. It features three bedrooms and a hot tub on its wraparound deck.

↑ If you’re looking for a log cabin with kitsch, this is the place for you; the one-bedroom is filled with plaid and moose decor and fur rugs. It’s located in Big Bear, and the listing copy says it’s right across from the National Forest. The nightly rate is $143.

↑ Here’s a three-bedroom post and beam located, once again, in Big Bear. The cabin’s sleek living room—with its towering plaster fire place and red sectional—is unexpected, and its two bathrooms have been fashionably updated. It rents from $400 nightly.


Watch: An Old Cabin Becomes A Family Getaway

01 Dec 20:15

Learning to love the ‘Persian Palaces’ of Beverly Hills

by Shaya Tayefe Mohajer
Kristen

A long read but interesting.

The way Pourandokht Banayan tells it, she and her husband built the very first "Persian Palace" in Beverly Hills.


The boxy yellow house bears the telltale mark of the now-outlawed style: four of those two-story columns out front. It was erected on this plot of land at the top of Coldwater Canyon in the late 1980s, before the rush of other Iranians building or renovating similar homes in the notoriously wealthy enclave. She and her husband Parviz chose every detail of the home.

In 1989, after 10 tough years in America, the Iranian-American family moved into the house at the end of the cul-de-sac (where one of the other houses has lion-head sculptures on its massive gates). She raised four children in this Persian Palace with a mezuzah on the doorframe and rose bushes out front. Elements of the style eventually spread from that hilltop down to the flats of Beverly Hills, south of Sunset, until it was essentially banned in 2004.

"All the other Iranians bought homes here" in the 1980s, "and we didn’t have the money to buy—not enough for a big down payment," Banayan told me one recent afternoon in Farsi. As we sat together, sipping tea and nibbling Persian sweets on an overstuffed leather couch in her living room, she told me about building the home, with its large windows overlooking a sparkling pool in the backyard, more of those columns supporting a portico, and the view of other magnificent homes in the hills.

"With our budget, every house we looked at was broken down, and old, and smelled bad. And my husband was a builder. He had 2,000 workers under him in Iran," where he was an engineer overseeing the construction of Air Force bases and hangars, she said. It took two years, $200,000 borrowed from family to buy the land, and a loan from the bank to build their house, nestled in a gated community just off of Mulholland Drive.

An illustration of a column.

Banayan is named for a Persian empress who briefly ruled in 630 AD, in a dynasty that ultimately fell to the first Arab Islamic invasion of Iran. She chose the columns in honor of the palaces of ancient kings and queens of the Persian Empire. When she talks about those long-gone leaders, she doesn’t praise the golden crowns, jewels, or pageantry—though Persian rulers certainly had all of that.

As a profound lover of her culture and history, she explained: Thousands of years ago, it was a Persian king who decreed that no worker should be a slave and banned work without pay. It was a Persian king who decreed a pregnant woman should stop working at seven months, but continue to receive pay.

She punctuated each historical note with: "And that was 3,000 years ago!"

These are the things that straighten the spine of anyone of Iranian heritage, including me: The high-minded regard for human rights expressed by our ancestors, and often lost in modern politics.

"These columns are very beloved for us Iranians," Banayan told me. "It’s like we have this mission to tell the world: ‘Baba joon [my dear], don’t look at us like that, like we ride camels and horses—we were something else. We were the world’s greatest empire.’"

A serious danger

I first heard the term Persian Palace years ago, while wandering the aisles of a south Orange County antique shop with my mom. As she browsed delicate porcelain pieces, methodically turning them over to see if they were marked Limoges (they weren’t), an old man nearby was airing "there goes the neighborhood"-type complaints to a saleswoman. Wearing a dirty baseball cap and a scowl, he spat the words and let loose with a description of how ugly and gaudy those houses were. I caught his eye. He returned my gaze without softening. I hustled us out of there, turning the phrase "Persian Palace" and his open hostility over in my mind. Though I wasn’t raised in one of those so-called palaces, I knew what he was referring to, and as an Iranian-American (a Persian, in the local parlance) raised in Southern California, I had experienced racism before, thinly veiled and otherwise.

Back then, I didn’t like Persian Palaces much. From what I knew, rich Persians built those swanky homes in Beverly Hills, spending a pretty penny—those columns were said to go for four figures a pop in their heyday. Maybe those Persians longed for centuries-old kingdoms, but the Iran my parents were nostalgic for wasn’t the one of the ancient era, but of the recent past, colored by memories of road trips to the Caspian Sea and the comforts of being raised in large families and always having them close, before the Islamic Revolution and an eight-year war with Iraq scattered the living generations of Iranians all over the world.

Now, I wonder if Persian Palaces should have meant a little more to me then, and to Los Angeles, before they went out of vogue. Younger Iranian-Americans don’t care to build Persian Palaces anymore; perhaps, like me, they are just not into the style, or maybe they were browbeaten out of the sentiment, or the style was outlawed in their communities.

"These columns are very beloved for us Iranians."

The way these homes were seen and spoken of at the height of their popularity hints at something more than a disruption of architectural decorum. All over LA County, city officials banded together to decry the big, boxy homes with those oversized columns out front—nowhere louder than in Beverly Hills. The style was eventually outright outlawed through oddly specific rules that were delivered with a heavy dose of side-eye; in 2004, the civil language of the Beverly Hills code took on what the Los Angeles Times dubbed a "tsk-tsk tone" when city officials wrote,

Emerging trends have led some owners and developers in residential areas to disregard prevailing styles and neighborhood character … [posing] a serious danger that such overbuilding will degrade and depreciate the character, image, beauty and reputation of the City’s residential neighborhoods with adverse consequences for the quality of life of all residents.

Serious danger.

Degrade and depreciate.

Adverse consequences for quality of life.

Like pestilence or plague, the Persian Palace was deemed a threat.

The style was treated as an invader and scourge on upscale neighborhoods all over Southern California, even though the local aesthetic has the consistency of quicksand. Beverly Hills is hardly the place for architectural modesty, and yet locals really had something against Persian Palaces.

Banayan said she can understand why locals responded the way they did, to some extent. Persians had been drawn to Beverly Hills and soon began to make their presence felt.

"I can respect that [established Americans] wanted to keep their own culture, too. We came to the most admired and expensive town in the world and occupied it," she said.

"But there is a richness in our culture that we longed for."

That culture may seem particularly mysterious to outsiders. While countless Iranian-Americans have made inroads in business and academia in the U.S., rising to lead in many fields, the news here about Iran has been dominated by endless enmities and failed diplomacy for more than 35 years. The modern memory is tainted by a loop of mullahs shouting "Death to America" and the saber-rattling of American leaders who have dubbed the country an Axis of Evil.

An illustration of gold gates.

Small moments of diplomatic breakthrough, like the multi-nation nuclear deal struck in 2015, are easily outweighed in the zeitgeist by charmless fictional representations—even when Iranians are not cast as terrorists, we haven’t fared well. We might show up as a punchline on 30 Rock; or a Beverly Hills high school clique that you can only join if you own a BMW, according to Clueless; or the one thing that the manic punk dream coquette played by Patricia Arquette lists as a turnoff in True Romance. Until, perhaps, Saturday Night Live alum and Iranian-American Nasim Pedrad’s Middle Eastern family comedy debuts next year on Fox, the most prominent representation Iranians have on the small screen is, lamentably, the reality show Shahs of Sunset, which offers caricatures and little culture that is any different from the Real Housewives or anyone else on Bravo’s vapid slate. I’ve never met an Iranian-American like the ones on Shahs, but they fit right in on the network’s programming schedule of shameless attention fiends.

So when the Persian population in Beverly Hills surged after the revolution—estimates vary, but up to 25 percent of the population seems to be the prevailing number—there was bound to be some culture clash. And it has persisted after the 2004 rule. In 2007, when Farsi showed up on the city ballot, some locals were appalled, comparing it to a kabob house menu. (Never mind that Iranian-Americans in Beverly Hills were eager to take up voting after centuries of living under thrones and, later, a theocracy.) In 2014, Sinai Akiba Academy, a Beverly Hills K-8 Jewish school, took out an advertisement in the Jewish Journal admonishing parents who might describe the school as "too Persian." That phrase is an insult I have heard myself, most recently from a woman tasting saffron-pistachio ice cream, no less, who wrinkled her nose in distaste as she said it.

Back then, I didn’t like Persian Palaces much. From what I knew, rich Persians built those swanky homes in Beverly Hills, spending a pretty penny—those columns were said to go for four figures a pop.

While more recent anti-mansionization campaigns simply decry homes that creep outward from the original footprints to forgo big yards for more house, the ire Persian Palaces drew in the past was layered with racially coded sentiment. Before the 2004 rules came down, Persian developers gave interviews saying that Persians loved buying the houses, but the articles they were quoted in were derided by other Persians who were embarrassed—of the attention, of the sentiment, of yet again being on the fringe of the American society in which they had worked so hard to succeed. Every letter published in response to that Times story in 2004, some penned by Persians and others by longtime locals, expressed an unhinged disgust for Persian Palaces, calling them "an insult to Persian people and their ancient history" and "monstrosities," and dubbing the style "nouveau mausoleum." One Beverly Hills resident offered "a remedy: bulldozers."

The king of Persian Palaces

Before architect Hamid Omrani became notorious for building the Persian Palaces of Beverly Hills, he was a whiz kid in Tehran who prided himself on being a pioneer. In 1963, still a teenager, he started his own school newspaper, finding an early Xerox machine to make copies of the first issue. The cover image was of John F. Kennedy, because "he seemed like a good, important man," Omrani told me in Farsi.

In his seventies now and still working, Omrani said he has always had the mind of a journalist, which is why he didn’t shy away from critics of any of his projects—and he proudly recalls exchanges he’s had with reporters to defend his Persian Palaces.

Like the time NBC’s Josh Mankiewicz visited for a segment on the Nightly News and asked why Omrani was ruining Beverly Hills history, to which Omrani retorted, "In this city, 25 years [old] building is historical. In my country, 25 century building, we call that historical."

Or the time The Economist interviewed him about more restrictions in 2007, when he chafed openly, "If I wanted to have mullahs telling me what to do, I wouldn't have left Iran."

Omrani left Iran in the early days of the Islamic Revolution, in 1980, at age 37. He had studied architecture at the notoriously competitive University of Tehran, nicknamed Iran’s Harvard, which to this day educates countless intellectuals who later flee west, degrees and research in tow, for professional opportunity and freedom.

An illustration of a corner of a roof with detailing.

When he landed in Beverly Hills, he wasn’t impressed with the builders he saw.

"In terms of quality of work, materials, or architecture, these people in Beverly Hills were zeroes by comparison to our architecture in Iran," Omrani told me on a recent evening, sitting in a café in the shadow of the gold-accented cupola of Beverly Hills City Hall.

By the time Omrani had begun working in Beverly Hills in 1982, he’d already spent more than a decade building homes in the Tehran neighborhood of Jordan. In the decades before the revolution, a development boom changed the face of the area in northern Tehran; as Omrani said, "It was always a rich neighborhood, but only the richest, old money families lived there. But in those 10 or 20 years before the revolution, people went there because it developed."

Sound familiar? In that sense, Omrani has densified more than one of the world’s richest neighborhoods, building homes to accommodate large, new-money families in a metropolis’s most admired zip code.

Though I was born in the U.S. and visited Iran rarely, Jordan is one of the few neighborhoods of Tehran that I know pretty well, having visited my grandmother’s home there. I would peer down at the homes and sparkling pools from the fire escape of her top-floor apartment, where I would sit for hours feeding pigeons and doves stale sangak bread. I remember putting on the hijab to wander the boutiques, bookstores, and cafes, nibbling the most delicious olives I bought at the grocery store on her hill, the sack tucked into the pocket of my oversized overcoat, which was so uncool that it marked me as a U.S. citizen by the fashionable neighborhood’s standards. I would walk along the leafy side streets that are lined with grand old manors built in the traditional Iranian way—prizing privacy. Tall walls mark the property lines, blocking from view most of the homes, save for some of the eaves or the tippy-tops of pomegranate trees where the most unattainable fruits grow. Like Beverly Hills, it’s a neighborhood safe enough to let your twentysomething granddaughter wander around in by herself—save for maybe a few lusty catcalls from pent-up young men cruising the boulevards in nice cars. It’s also terrifically congested; Tehran rivals LA for traffic.

Younger Iranian-Americans don’t care to build Persian Palaces anymore; perhaps, like me, they are just not into the style, or maybe they were browbeaten out of the sentiment, or the style was outlawed in their communities.

A note of longing inflected Omrani’s voice when he recalled the homes he helped build in Jordan and the talented craftsmen he worked with.

"The homes that we built there—such homes don’t exist in places like Beverly Hills. The homes that they build here with wood? We used Iranian plaster and masonry, and we’d build huge domes by hand for the homes, like a mosque," Omrani said, gesturing to the sky. "The work was done by craftsmen who just don’t exist anywhere else, they can’t build like that here."

Yet Omrani tried to make a splash when he began working in the U.S. One of his first major projects in the 1980s was a seven-story hillside mansion in Beverly Hills’s Trousdale Estates neighborhood. Since there were height limitations, Omrani built a glass and steel house into the hill below street-level, creating more than 20,000 square feet with majestic views of Los Angeles.

"Anything I did, it was never for the money, it was never about that," Omrani said. "I wanted to build something that would be unique in the United States."

That building will remain unique. After its construction, the city made rules limiting such hillside construction, though Omrani said it’s an approach that pops up in expensive areas all over.

An illustration of a statue of a woman.

When he began building Persian Palaces, it was simply in response to the demand. Before the 2004 law went into effect in Beverly Hills, Omrani estimates that he built more than 200 of them.

"They criticized me for not following classic styles—I don’t even know what they call classic styles," Omrani said. "I worked with people—what people wanted and needed, I built. I looked at their lifestyles. I paid attention. I listened. And I would create something to match their lifestyles."

Omrani believes his work as an architect is a dance of art and math, and is also about following rules and working with the city, but this element of serving family structure and a family’s needs are core to why the Persian Palace came to exist.

He noted that despite the vast size of many of the old homes in Beverly Hills, they often house few residents, and those residents tend to be much older than the Iranian-American families.

"We’d go to these homes in Beverly Hills with the best land, the best views, the richest residents—a billionaire!—and they’d only have two people living there. What can I even do to meet those people’s needs?" Omrani recalled, of being called in to give renovation estimates.

"Our culture of families is what guides our architecture," Omrani said. "You pay an architect to use a space."

Controversy hid in every aspect of what Persians love in a home, according to Omrani. Conflicts arose around height, light, spacious entertainment rooms, window sizes, and grand staircases.

When it came to height, American standards seemed somewhat primitive to him: "All the homes in this city are eight feet tall. They don’t understand height or the feeling it can create and how that can be used," Omrani said.

When it came to light, "Iranians are really attracted to brightness, we really like having light in our homes—but Americans lived in these dark, squat homes, with the curtains drawn," Omrani said.

Before the open floorplan became popular, American homes were broken up into so many little rooms, like a collection of isolation booths: "It’s part of the traditional lifestyle of Iran to have open spaces, so if you have a house and you want to all sit and have a meal with a few generations, and you want kids to play and for there to be conversation, you need an open room."

And considering that one traditional style in Iran is a home with a large internal courtyard, indoor/outdoor living was prized, which should only put Persians in step with Southern Californian tastes.

As for those luxe stairways, Omrani noted it is often simply a matter of geometry; placing a stairwell centrally can reduce the amount of square footage one wastes on hallways. And a lovely staircase can be pleasing, but the grandeur would raise eyebrows, Omrani said, adding "Americans would look at that and say, who do you think you are, Louis XIII?"

To Omrani, letting every man be the king of his castle—a saying he credits to Iran—is the work of an architect.

"Whether you live in a palace or a one-bedroom, why shouldn’t you have that feeling and the pleasure that Louis XIII had, why shouldn’t you have that every morning when you get up in your home?" Omrani asked.

Why the columns?

Architects may fuss over the proper shape and make of the columns installed in Los Angeles, arguing that the local palaces usurped Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian columns, which were styles of the Greeks, not Persians.

The ancient Persians topped their columns with more ornate sculptures than the Greeks, like the double bulls at Persepolis, or the wooden carvings at Chehel Sotoun, the glorious old palace in Isfahan. (The palace’s name means "40 Columns" though only 20 stand on the broad front portico—the other 20 can be counted in the long reflecting pool in front of the palace.) It would have been tough to truly recreate the craftsmanship of palaces marked as world treasures by global organizations like UNESCO, architecture that took lifetimes to build in ancient days. Even the kings who commissioned those palaces did not live to see them completed.

An illustration of a column.

But on appearance and sentiment, it’s not entirely incorrect to link those columns and the big boxy shape of these American palaces to ancient palaces of the Persian Empire. Dating back to at least 5,000 BC, Persian architecture has had one characteristic: "simple and noble forms, richly embellished," according to Arthur Upham Pope’s 1965 book Persian Architecture.

Educated at Brown University, Pope was the first American expert on Persian architecture, and his passion for Iran’s early feats inspired the Pahlavi royal family to start preservation efforts in the 1920s. Pope notes that those columns are an architectural element that persisted for longer than 3,000 years and represented "a rather amazing consistency for decorative preferences, the high portal set within a recess, columns with bracket capitals, and recurrent types of plan and elevation."

These forms cropped up across an empire that grew vast—Persian kings ruled a region from the Nile to the western reaches of China, leading a deeply diverse, multiethnic kingdom. But the old kings, especially Cyrus, were known for a style of empire expansion that had a reputation for tolerance. Cyrus is believed to have made the first declaration of human rights with his Cyrus Cylinder, an artifact that decrees equality. (A monument to the cylinder is due to be unveiled on Santa Monica Boulevard next year, a stone's throw from the Beverly Hilton.)

Cyrus the Great was also credited with ending the exile of Jews in Babylon. His name was invoked to protect Jews once more during World War II by a consulate worker in Paris, dubbed the Iranian Schindler, who issued hundreds of Iranian passports to non-Iranian Jews to save their lives. He found a loophole: Though Nazis co-opted the term to describe themselves, Iranians are the original Aryans.

And yes, the palaces commissioned by Cyrus were built with columns.

Centuries later and on the other side of the globe, it was mainly Persian Jews like the Banayan family who built the homes that were seen as offensive in Beverly Hills.

Why the big boxes?

It wasn’t just the columns that ticked off longtime residents of Beverly Hills. Among the cardinal sins of the Persian Palace was the expansion of the house’s footprint, adding rooms and square footage and disposing of an American suburban vanity that remains prevalent in this oddball city: the front yard. You won’t find wide swaths of grass in front of homes in Tehran or Isfahan—or any of the other grand old cities, from New York to Paris to Rome. And so, here in Los Angeles, as the palaces were built, the lawns were lost, to more home and more parking.

For many Iranian-Americans (and anyone vaguely astute about real estate; a four-bedroom in a fancy zip code will fetch more than a three-bedroom), a better use of the front yard was a more spacious living room for entertaining, and spare bedrooms, to live multi-generationally, as so many Persians do.

And the seeming lack of reverence for scale is something that shows up in early Persian architecture, too.

"Scale was consistently understood and skillfully exploited even though the Persians, unlike the Greeks, seem to have made no general study of harmonious proportions. The result is that there are no trivial buildings; even garden pavilions have nobility and dignity, and the humblest caravanserais generally have charm," Pope wrote.

Dating back to at least 5,000 BC, Persian architecture has had one characteristic: "simple and noble forms, richly embellished."

To say that these places had charm is a delicious understatement of Pope’s—some of them were utterly breathtaking. In ancient times, it took many nights for merchants to traverse the Silk Road from Europe to Asia, and all along the way there were these caravanserais, or inns where caravans hauling goods could stop. Iran, with its bazaars and reputation for hospitality, marked the middle of the path. One old caravanserai that still stands in Isfahan has been converted to a hotel, once named for a king, Shah Abbas, though it has been renamed the Abbasi Hotel under the Islamic regime, which has methodically changed names of streets and institutions to delete references to Iran’s monarchies and Western words. What remains unchanged is a grand courtyard entirely surrounded by a square building, so that rooms look out onto lush gardens and fountains below. It’s where I’ve had the good fortune to stay every time I’ve visited Isfahan, and the spirit of noble hospitality, with its worldly amenities, is what I think of when I think of how a guest should be treated.

In a sense, Iranians built their own little caravanserais in Los Angeles, surely the most distant outpost of the Silk Road. The journey from Iran is very expensive, and America is difficult to navigate—when family and friends came from overseas, their suitcases invariably full of Iranian sweets, saffron, and gifts, we always had spare rooms for them to stay in after the long trip west.

We would always make a pilgrimage to Los Angeles from the cookie-cutter tract house where I was raised in the suburbs, a box of stucco and Spanish tile, identical to the houses two of my best friends lived in on the same hill. In the 1980s and 1990s, we would pile into my mom’s Volvo to fly up the 405 until we got to the Wilshire exit, where we’d roll the windows down and cruise the streets of Beverly Hills and Bel Air, not to see the Persian Palaces, but to gawk at big houses where movie stars might live. We’d walk Rodeo Drive to pause in front of the Bijan store, with its yellow and white striped awnings—where the sign read "by appointment only"—and I imagined the Iranian-American perfume impresario was just inside, peering back at us through plate glass. We’d stop at Westwood Village Memorial Park to visit the graves of two greats beloved by every Iranian: Marilyn Monroe and the operatic pop singer Hayedeh. We might duck into Sherkat e Ketab, a Persian bookstore, for my mom to pick up the latest issues of Javanan or Raygan, LA-based Farsi-language newspapers.

An illustration of an entrance to the home with two big staircases.

Other weekends, we might go to UCLA for leftist Iranian student meetings or concerts or protests in front of the Federal Building on Wilshire, to end the Iran-Iraq War, or to free a political prisoner, or to call for justice on some other political issue, protests that surely fell on deaf ears from Los Angeles to Tehran. Afterwards, my family would stop at Shamshiri, where I remember slipping into the big booths that looked like they belonged in a red sauce Italian place, tables covered in linen, topped with little jars of sumac, raw onion and individually wrapped butter, kabobs and steaming platters of rice wafting past our table. The bread was fresh and hot, and to our delight, the servers spoke Farsi, allowing for the typical exchanges of pleasantries that Persians engage in. "Khasteh nabashi," my father would have greeted the service. "May you not be tired." Back then you ordered your saffron-dappled rice with a raw egg yolk sitting atop it, or without—a tradition that must have disappeared in response to a health code. Despite the restaurant’s fast-casual makeover in recent years, and the addition of the Chili’s-esque "Grill" to the name, the servers still speak Farsi in public.

Back then, Orange County didn’t have the Iranian population or presence that LA did, though now there are countless Persians living in the OC. Back then, it was a novelty that Los Angeles had signs in Farsi, there were strangers in the street speaking the language we only spoke at home. LA Persians were flashy and smart and rich, from what I could tell.

We repeated these trips with some frequency because, like many Persian families, our home was the caravanserai for a constellation of friends and relatives. Some guests would stay for years, trying to figure out if they could make it in the U.S.

That’s true for Banayan, too, who said that to this day, when she visits Iran, she visits her old neighbors, and when they come to the United States, they come to her home.

"Our very closest friends, even now, are the friends from our lives in Iran, our friends from childhood, our old neighbors, our classmates," she said.

Coming to Tehrangeles

The very first night that Banayan came to America, a decade before her Persian Palace was built, she stood in her brother-in-law’s beautiful home, at a window overlooking Los Angeles. It was 1979 and the Shah was barely holding onto his throne in Iran—there was violence in the streets. She had convinced her husband to spend the kids’ school break with family in America. Maybe everything would blow over by the time they’d return.

But the moment she laid eyes on the vista of Los Angeles, Banayan remembers turning to her sister-in-law and saying, "I will die in this city."

Why?

"I think the sorrow of Iran will kill me."

For all her affection for the ancient civilizations, it wasn’t hard to see the corruption and problems plaguing Iran in 1979, as the last king was set to be toppled. After he fell, it became clear to the Banayans that they would need to start over in the West, as many Iranians decided to do. Los Angeles is home to the world’s highest concentration of Iranians and Iranian-Americans outside Iran.

But life in the city nicknamed Tehrangeles wouldn’t be easy, either.

They moved into a two-bedroom condominium in Encino, enrolling their three kids—ages nine, six, and three—in school at a time that marked the nadir of Iran-U.S. relations: the hostage crisis. For every one of the 444 days that passed with Americans held captive at the embassy in Tehran, Iranian immigrants and Iranian-Americans, including Banayan’s family, faced rebuke and resentment in the United States, which sometimes boiled over into violence.

"We’d send the kids to school and they would get beat up—a lot," Banayan remembered. "I was forced to put them into karate lessons so they could defend themselves."

An illustration of a statue of a woman.

Teachers tried to intervene, but the problems extended beyond schools. Neighbors lobbed cruelties and insults. And they had left so much behind.

During the hostage crisis, Banayan’s husband returned to Iran to sell their home, in hopes of returning with a nest egg. That was a dodgy time for many Iranian-Americans, who began going by less ethnic names and calling themselves Persians, harkening back to those ancient empires instead of identifying with modern Iran, where the Ayatollah had begun calling the U.S. "the great Satan." While her husband was overseas, President Jimmy Carter invalidated the visas of Iranian citizens seeking entry into the United States and implemented sanctions.

While Banayan’s husband was in transit from Tehran to London, an American rescue mission to free the hostages ended in disaster: A U.S. military helicopter crashed on Iranian soil, killing eight American servicemen.

Her husband managed to talk officials in London into honoring his visa, but when he landed in Los Angeles, tensions were exceptionally high. He was sent to Los Angeles County Jail, where his rough treatment led to a warning from a man sharing his cell.

"Swear to god, just like this, he says to my husband, ‘Tonight, these officers want to kill you. Whatever they do, whatever they say, you just say ‘yes, sir.’"

Dressed in a silk suit and impossibly polite, he survived cheap shots and intimidations—rough searches and ripping his chest hair—but when he was released three days later, Banayan said an apologetic judge ordered the green cards they had applied for be issued immediately.

Over the years, with their nest egg from Iran, they built up a tiny business that helped them build their Persian Palace, selling personalized gold charm necklaces. It wasn’t easy, but the business took off in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Still, for all the ties she has built with America, and all the bonds she feels with her heritage, she longs for the friendly neighbors she had in Iran.

Gesturing to the house alongside hers on the cul-de-sac, she said, "This neighbor I’ve lived next to for almost 30 years. I don’t know this neighbor’s face. Truly, I don’t. Today if someone came to me and said ‘I am your neighbor,’ I’d have to ask ‘Which one? Where do you live?’"

How we lived

In the Iranian tradition of deed o bazdid, which translates to "to see, and to see again," the social rigor dictates that when you are invited into someone’s home, you owe them an invitation—and it can carry on through decades. As Iranian immigrant populations grew in Southern California, circles of friendship and chosen families grew; my parents’ best friends were addressed as aunts and uncles, I comfortably called children I share no blood with "my cousins." (What else do you call a child you’ve known since their umbilical cord was clamped in the Persian tradition?)

So, we didn’t just need spare bedrooms—we needed big living rooms so everyone could keep an eye on each other’s kids. Before open floorplans took hold in the U.S., Persians couldn’t fathom how to entertain in houses broken up into little rooms. It’s less so now, as a new generation spreads out and seeks employment and adventures of their own, but in decades past in Southern California, we would almost inevitably have a party to attend most weekends. A herd of families would stay up late and feast on elaborate dinners that took days to prepare and were rarely served before midnight. We’d wear our nicest clothes to dance, laugh, and drink with each other.

Persian parties (a hashtag worth exploring on Instagram or Twitter) have grown fairly epic, but in those days, sometimes parties were subdued affairs of storytelling—especially when elders would visit. There would be affectionate remembrances of how life was in Iran, or tales of their early missteps in America.

Most of all, I remember listening to Iranian immigrants try to explain Americans to each other. How you could go to an American’s house and never be offered so much as a glass of water—horrifying. They couldn’t understand the changes that were happening in their homeland, darkened by years of war with Saddam Hussein and news of crackdowns and fatwas, but America seemed off-kilter in its own way: they would relate their shock at how Americans could be brutish and violent, recounting gruesome murders in the news or this country’s affection for football—mystifying. (Alternatively, many of us took up NBA basketball with great affection; I credit Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a mesmerizing star of the Showtime era who had a name like he might be related to me.)

Inside those big homes, we exchanged endless bits of advice on how to navigate the workplaces and schools and public places of America, beyond our homes, where Iranians were often looked at with suspicion or open dislike.

And other times they would relate stories of honest, reliable Americans they’d worked with, good businesses they’d discovered, affectionately remarking how fair and firm Americans could be in dealings. Kind Americans were given the high praise of bashakhsiat, a person of character, and whether they were agnostic or Zoroastrian or Muslim, they would offer up a prayer for God to give those Americans long lives.

There was also marveling at all the ways to succeed—or avoid failure—in America. Long conversations about the new pizza place owned by an Iranian, some real estate debacle that sunk a once great military general, or someone who was a nobody in the old country who bought a gas station to become rich overnight.

Sometimes, after dinner, we’d sing to each other—old love songs, folk music, or leftist anthems, helping each other remember the words. Or someone would begin to recite a poem and others would chime in with the familiar refrain. At some point, there would be dancing. At some point, some kid would make another kid cry.

To the sound of rolling backgammon dice or the cracking of seeds, we spent long nights together until the kids fell asleep, curled up like kittens. On the longest nights, the grownups would clasp each other’s shoulders to do old village line dances, singing old Kurdish songs until they were tired and it was time to thank the hosts again and again at the door, and eventually go home tired, overfed, and happy.

Those big houses may have seemed like cold mausoleums to the neighbors. Inside, we exchanged endless bits of advice on how to navigate the workplaces and schools and public places of America beyond our homes, where Iranians were often looked at with suspicion or open dislike. Our homes were where we massed together in search of an understanding of America, and to preserve what was noble about the culture we had drifted west from.

For Persians, it was worth losing a front yard if it meant gaining the space to host more guests, to let your best friend’s cousins join the party, because inside, we lived so very close to one another.

Editor: Adrian Glick Kudler

19 Nov 01:50

captainamericaisbisexual: magicalflower: secret-blog-of-secrets...

Kristen

Our cats do the same thing.





















captainamericaisbisexual:

magicalflower:

secret-blog-of-secrets:

sheisraging:

This is devastating

Oh good. A longer, better captioned version!

I will reblog this and i will love it and smile at it!!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

THIS MAN. I’M SO GLAD HE EXISTS.

19 Nov 01:27

Photo











19 Nov 01:06

America's Test Kitchen Sues Christopher Kimball — Food News

by Ariel Knutson
Kristen

america's test kitchen gossip!

Last year when America's Test Kitchen's superstar Christopher Kimball decided to step away due to a contract dispute, fans were upset. With his bow tie in hand, Kimball moved on to start his own venture, Milk Street, which is a website, print magazine, TV and radio show, and cooking school (to name just a few things). This didn't go over too well with America's Test Kitchen.

The Boston Globe reports that America's Test Kitchen is now suing Kimball, saying that Kimball "literally and conceptually ripped off America's Test Kitchen."

<p><a href='http://www.thekitchn.com/americas-test-kitchen-sues-christopher-kimball-238289'><strong>READ MORE »</strong></a></p>
18 Nov 23:45

7 disturbing questions we have about these bear officiant photos (that we love anyway)

by Catherine Clark
Kristen

:(

8 disturbing questions we have about these bear officiant photos (that we love anyway)
Photos by Olga Barantseva
After finding this set of Russian wedding photos where a bear officiant presided over the ceremony (presumably a trained and well-monitored bear?), we couldn't stop thinking about it. Dwelling on it. Grin and bearing it? Blerg. Either way, you can't NOT have questions about this bear officiant in an otherwise gorgeous styled shoot. Here are the seven questions we have about this bearly legal ceremony.

1. Is everyone about to die?
2. Do pink pants go with a persimmon dress?
3. Is this bear holding them hostage and forcing them to get married?
4. Is the bear her dad?
5. Did Putin have something to do with this?
6. If someone kisses the bear, will he turn into a human officiant?
7. Was this an elaborate ceremony, or just the bear necessities?

We may as well lay it all out. If you know any of these bearly answered questions (or just want the bear puns to stop), let us know in the comments. Let's all bear the burden of seeing these (admittedly cute, but potentially life-threatening) shots…

8 disturbing questions we have about these bear officiant photos (that we love anyway)

Dearly bear-loved…

8 disturbing questions we have about these bear officiant photos (that we love anyway)

8 disturbing questions we have about these bear officiant photos (that we love anyway)

8 disturbing questions we have about these bear officiant photos (that we love anyway)

8 disturbing questions we have about these bear officiant photos (that we love anyway)

Well that's one question answered. Still a bear.

8 disturbing questions we have about these bear officiant photos (that we love anyway)

Good job, Smokey. Time to head back to your cave. Only you can prevent forest fires from camping weddings.

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Photography: Olga Barantseva • Models: Denis Kalashnikov and Nelly Ilyasova • Via: Daily Mail

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17 Nov 21:38

Hear Vin Scully Get The News He Just Won The Presidential Medal Of Freedom

by Carman Tse
Kristen

This is the best

Hear Vin Scully Get The News He Just Won The Presidential Medal Of Freedom "Are you sure? I'm just an old baseball announcer." [ more › ]
17 Nov 04:06

Would You Have a Threesome With Billy Eichner And Jon Hamm?

by Enty
Kristen

I like how all the guys are all in on any threesome.

05 Nov 00:27

まるです。

by mugumogu
Kristen

I wish our cats would let us dress them

 

もうすぐハロウィンなので、流行りの仮装をしてみました!
が、まる&はなの『これじゃない感』が半端ない。
Maru&Hana did disguise of the fashion as it was Halloween soon.
How about?

まる:「これじゃない。」
はな:「絶対これじゃない。」
Maru:[I lost my motivation.]
Hana:[Me too.]


まる:「そっちのカボチャの方がいいじゃないか。貸したまえ。」
Maru:[Your pumpkin is cooler. Lend it to me.]
しょうがないですねぇ、まるさんは。はいどうぞ。
It’s ok. Here you are.

まる:「そんなこと、ひとっことも言ってませんよ!」
Maru:[I never say such a thing!]

05 Nov 00:06

ICYMI: Mountain Lion Suspected Of Killing Marco Polo The Miniature Horse

by Carman Tse
Kristen

lil sebastion!

ICYMI: Mountain Lion Suspected Of Killing Marco Polo The Miniature Horse ABBA's back, so is 'Will & Grace', what Raven-Symoné is up to next, and more! [ more › ]
04 Nov 23:50

KTLA News Anchor Arrested For Stealing Headphones From Off-Duty Detective At LAX

by Julia Wick
Kristen

this is the news anchor who was the ex-mayor's mistress!

KTLA News Anchor Arrested For Stealing Headphones From Off-Duty Detective At LAX The alleged incident occurred in the TSA screening line. [ more › ]
02 Nov 22:28

Adorable Hyde Park Craftsman with a big yard asks $479K

by Bianca Barragan
Kristen

this is a nice house but it would still be a far drive for me :(

Sweet built-ins, too

There's a boom in interest right now in beautiful Craftsman homes around USC, in such neighborhoods as Jefferson Park. But if you're looking to live in a centrally located house south of the 10 Freeway, Jefferson Park isn't the only place to find sweet older homes.

Take for example this newly touched-up Craftsman with four bedrooms and a spacious yard. The 1,454-square-foot house has new laminate wood floors throughout, and new windows throughout most of the house. The exception are those on the front, facing the street, enhancing the house’s strong period look from that angle.

Beyond the house’s wide porch, there’s a dining area with a few built-ins that the sellers believe to be original, says listing agent Christian Ortiz. The kitchen has new granite counters and an easy flow into the dining area.

The bedrooms have new flooring and ceiling fans. In one of the house’s two full bathrooms, there is a clawfoot bathtub.

The bonus with the house is the large lot, which in addition to plenty of grass, comfortably fits a detached two-car garage.

It's located in what the listing copy calls Park Hills Heights (though, by the Los Angeles Times’ neighborhoods map, it would be in Hyde Park, which is bordered to the north and west by Leimert Park and View Park-Windsor Hills).

It’s listed for $479,000.