Some brides look for the hottest new places for their wedding ceremonies and receptions. Others are interested in staging their nuptials at L.A. mainstays. There are places, however, that offer the best of both worlds — locations that are definitively part of the local DNA, yet have undergone renovations or added new spaces that make them modern and more relevant than ever for today’s brides.
A calming shade of purple punctuates the Manhattan Beach office of the woman who founded the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). In one corner, two teddy bears with purple ribbons add a comforting touch to the “living room” setting where Pamela Acosta Marquardt meets with visitors, staff and supporters.
Encino lawyer Jeremy Karpel’s home has an art gallery feel to it, with an eclectically decorated living room spilling out into an elegantly landscaped yard. During one recent weekend, it was the perfect backdrop for a party commemorating his grandparents’ anniversary, filled with the sounds of big band-era greats, as spun by a 9-year-old DJ.
Santa Fe has a lot more than great cuisine and an art scene to intrigue travelers — this New Mexico town is more than 400 years old and the oldest state capital in America. And for Jewish travelers, it contains surprises that cross all of these areas.
Weddings are unquestionably high-pressure situations, with budgets, guest lists and locations being hot-button issues. However, as real life and reality television attests (Exhibit A: “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC network), there is nothing that can bring out a bridezilla quite like the quest for the perfect dress.
Iceland is a small place that is big on surprises.
Given that many high-profile celebrities expound on the virtues of their environmental involvements (among them, Natalie Portman and Alicia Silverstone), it is inevitable that eco-friendly activities, foods and fashion — along with a side of social justice — will appeal to a wide range of teens … and that this will get some of them seeing green for their bar or bat mitzvah.
For many teens, a bar or bat mitzvah is not just a rite of passage and an embrace of a community’s Jewish values; it also is an opportunity to make a mark socially by inviting BFFs and other classmates.
When the Beresheet hotel opened for business two years ago in the Negev Desert, Israeli President Shimon Peres was reported to say at the grand opening gala, “For me, this is a dream come true. As I travel a lot in the world, I can tell you this is the Taj Mahal of Israel.”
"Hava Nagila” is one of those songs, like “Celebration” and “Auld Lang Syne,” that brings back memories and gets stuck in one’s head. In fact, “Hava Nagila” is so ingrained in American pop culture that many non-Jews can readily identify it, and high-profile non-Jewish recording artists, including Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis and Glen Campbell, count their renditions as a career highlight.
Women over 50 who are determined to settle down without settling can think of Marcy Miller’s memoir, “Rebooting in Beverly Hills: A Wise and Wild Path for Navigating the Dating World” (Bancroft Press, $22.95) as a sort of boot camp.
Tying the knot doesn’t have to be synonymous with fastening a financial anchor around newlywed couples. It just requires great care, sufficient research and attention to detail.
As California’s real estate market continues its recovery and spring remodeling season is poised to start, many homeowners are once again looking for enduring ways to rejuvenate their living spaces and add value to their homes.
Artists and designers in the United States and Israel are broadening and updating the ways in which we pay tribute to Judah Maccabee through the emblematic menorah, commemorating the miraculous endurance of the fabled lighting oil and the resilience that keeps Judaism’s fire lit, so to speak.
Islands and honeymoons are a time-tested match made in heaven. Perhaps that’s why so many newlyweds flirt with Fiji, a gorgeous archipelago nation in the South Pacific.
Visiting Americans often compare Haifa with San Francisco for its hilly landscape and trendy, artsy neighborhoods, or Boston for its mix of academia and maritime culture.
Although the Los Angeles fashion industry is often associated with the most recent designer jean craze, pricey T-shirts and swimwear, stalwart brand Belldini is still going strong after several decades for a number of reasons. One of them is that even the trendiest L.A. career woman will be more likely to wear Belldini’s feminine-but-streamlined pieces to the office instead of Kitson-influenced denim or tank tops.
With its prime oceanfront location, fabled history and elegant architecture, it is not surprising Santa Barbara is still identified as one of Los Angeles’ swankiest backyards, as well as one of America’s hippest college towns.
Factor in the enormous guest lists, global cuisine and diversions such as high-tech interactive entertainment, and it is clear that bar and bat mitzvah celebrations have become more sophisticated than they were even a decade ago.
Akira Kitade is a former Japanese tourism executive who still relishes the opportunity to show a newcomer the cultural sights of Tokyo. He also delights in showing off photos of his new grandchild and extended family.
When many Jews think of the Gold Rush, one thing that often comes to mind is Levi Strauss and his watershed invention — blue jeans. While his fortune is forever associated with San Francisco, it is important to note there were other Jews who traveled west to find gold, but ended up prospering in other ways.
The parents of post-bar or bat mitzvah children often display their photo album featuring moments from the big day — their child holding the Torah, posing with family, hanging on for dear life during the chair dance and mugging for the camera with friends. But these albums reflect how the parents see their child, rather than how the children see themselves.
Bridal magazines and Web sites like TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com overflow with designer dresses, couture cakes, haute honeymoon destinations and dreamy reception ideas. But even the best-organized bride will tell you there is so much more to consider when planning a Jewish wedding — from picking the challah to contemplating a dip in the mikveh (ritual bath).
Here's some ideas for gifts that will continue to inspire long after the chanukiah has been put away.
Savvy couples are realizing -- in increasing numbers -- that when they send out invites, they are also sending out a message about their own sustainability practices. Some are turning away from paper and ink altogether and looking to cyberspace for their wedding communication needs, from the invites to thank-you notes, as well as albums and scrapbooks.
In Los Angeles, with today's foodie culture in full tilt, there is no "one-size-fits-all" option when it comes to choosing a bakery to create the perfect wedding cake.
Destination weddings in spots like Hawaii or the Caribbean are a romantic way to start a new life with someone, but changes in the economy and fuel prices are forcing many couples to rethink the concept of getting "married away."
No matter how you serve up your wedding, you ultimately want your guests to leave with a good taste in their mouths
The Museum of Tolerance is rarely the same experience twice, even with its permanent exhibits. New visuals, soundtracks and materials are added to keep the displays current and relevant. And while many people think of the museum as a "Jewish" institution, it is the "human" experience that touches upon issues that affect visitors of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.