Saturday, May 7, 2016

More Trains, Mom, Plus Plays About Moms!

First off we want to wish all the moms out there a very happy Mothers Day!

More Trains! For those of you who were able to make it to the Fullerton Railroad Days last weekend we hope you got to check out the wonderful working model of the Mine Train Through Natures Wonderland. But, for those that didn't make it here are some photos and a short video. Built by hand over a 10 year period it's truly a labor of love. Enjoy! (Note: click on the photos for a larger view. Also, apologies for the poor video quality. Will try to update with a better quality video soon!)



Plays about moms! Our chapter member Felix Racelis, who has been writing plays for a while now, has a new series of 6 short plays called 'Motherload' now playing. See the flyer below or click the link for details. To get a discount on tickets enter the code 'thecat'.  

Facebook link:

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Studio Chapter Update for May

Studio Chapters members and friends enjoying lunch at Clifton's

Happy May everyone! Time for a chapter update! Hope you were able to make it to the Fullerton Railroad event. That awesome working model of the Mine Train through Natures Wonderland was worth the visit alone! If you missed it mark your calendar for next year’s event! It’s worth seeing at least once. We want to thank everyone who made it to the Union Station Tour last month. A special thank you to Dennis and Carol for guiding us through the buildings and explaining about the rich history and architecture that is Union Station. Following in this update is a brief recap of the tour with some photos and a revised schedule of some of our upcoming activities. (Some dates have changed so re-mark your calendars.) As always if you have any questions please contact us at And thank you for supporting our chapter!

Union Station Tour

On Sunday April 17th about 30 of us met for a tour of LA’s Union Station with docents from the LA Conservancy. A few of us started the day off with breakfast at famous Philippes. If you have only been for their famous French Dip sandwiches try them for breakfast sometime. It’s quite good and reasonably priced. After filling up we walked through China Town which, sadly,  is in much need of some TLC (and some trees!). Still a fun and historical place to visit. From there we headed through a bustling Olvera Street and over to Union Station.

We started at the original refurbished Information Booth for our two hour tour and wound our way through all the main buildings/sections, courtyards, and a peek into the Harvey House Restaurant. (If you haven’t been to Union Station since it was fully refurbished in 2014 it’s worth the trip. The place is gleaming with all the restored brass and fixtures. It’s quite remarkable.) We then made our way down the long passenger tunnel stopping to check out some unique pieces of art along the way including ‘The A Train’ by artist Bill Bell. It took a while to see the images but once we did it was pretty amazing. Check it out here: We eventually made our way over to the 25 story MTA headquarters building. Inside a rather grand lobby and on the upper levels were art murals depicting aerial overviews of Los Angeles from 1870, 1910, 1960 and after 2000. We also had a great view of Union Station and LA from the 3rd story balcony.

With that our tour ended and it was time to take the Red Line subway over to Clifton’s Cafeteria for a late lunch. Clifton’s re-opened late last year after a very long 4 year refurbishment and it was worth the wait. It’s a visually impressive place—more so in person than in photos due to the dark interior. While fully refurbished the first level looks mostly like it did before but with a completely reworked cafeteria/kitchen. The upper levels really showcase owner Andrew Meieran’s eclectic decorations in the best way including a multi-story ‘tree’ fireplace, meteorite, bar that was once an elaborate church alter and many taxidermy museum quality animals. And that’s a very short list! Most everyone seemed to enjoy the food as well.

It was a great day exploring two different areas of downtown Los Angeles with its many hidden gems. Check out a few photos at the end of this post and thanks again to everyone who participated and made this a big success!

Studio Chapter Schedule Update

Mark your calendars! Here are the dates to our upcoming chapter outings. Note that we have made some changes. Details are provided in the links or will be upcoming.

May – No activities planned
June – The Little Mermaid at La Mirada Theater. Details:
July – The Studio Chapter will be hosting the hospitality suite at the DFC convention on Thursday night July 14th. Tiki theme with refreshments, a raffle and BINGO!
August – No activities planned
September – we have an exciting guest speaker planned tentatively for Sunday September 18th. Confirmation of date/time and details to be announced soon!
October – Huell Howser exhibit at Chapman University followed by the Anaheim Halloween Parade on Saturday October 29th.
November – No activities planned
December – Annual holiday party at Ron King’s house in Norwalk. Sunday December 11th noon to 5PM.

Following are a few photos from the Union Station Tour

Approaching Union Station from Olvera Street
Beautifully restored information booth and flooring

The massive ticketing area normally off limits to guests.

One half of the tour group under one of the front arches.

Carol and Dennis sharing interesting information with us. Notice the beautifully refurbished brass.

In front of the Harvey House restaurant
Interior of the restaurant
Information about the Harvey House Restaurants:

Clock tower from the south courtyard

South courtyard - ready to hear more interesting facts and history!
Birds eye view of Union Station with Los Angeles city hall to the left and financial district behind it. Taken from the MTA headquarters building.
Some of the tour group waiting to ride the red line over to Cliftons
Main dining area of Clifton's.

Curiosities everywhere!
Multi-story tree with it's own fireplace.