Wonderful tour as always and I can understand how you will actually being relived that it will be closed for two years.
Beautiful story about your "brother" John. It was so neat how he stayed in your family when he no longer needed to financially. Obviously the bond was family, way beyond patron/performer.
What great pictures and recollections about the Bel Air Hotel. I scrolled down and read the earlier ones as well. I hope the remodelling doesn't change it too much. It has such old fashioned charm and beauty.
And congrats on your blog
anniversary. I have only been at it 2 years, and sporadically, at that. But I do enjoy it when I take the time for it.
Your blog is special. I'm glad I found it.
This hotel is so beautiful, no wonder you fell in love with it. That bed looks so comfy, I sure would like that room in my home. I enjoyed your story about John, it was so interesting. Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment.
It's amazing how places can trigger memories seemingly out of the blue. It shows the marvels of our human brains and the connections we form throughout life.
It is so wonderful to be able to help someone who you just feel "right" about, someone with a special talent that without that extra help might be lost to the world. I bet your mother helped many people in many ways. My partner graduated from the acting program at NYU---so much talent but many never get that lucky break, and you really do need a little luck. Your mother was a four leaf clover. (I understand your feeling about nobody being able to visit the hotel right now.)
Beautiful descriptive post in the beginning.....
then very poignant special memories in the middle.....
then you made me laugh at the end!
These rooms are beautiful.. I would never be able to afford one but its great to look at...
Another wonderful trip down memory lane. John sounds like such a special man, and I'm sorry for your loss of a dear friend.
The hotel does look beautiful, but I have to admit the bedrooms look a bit too chintzy for my taste. Not that ultra modern would look good either, but maybe something inbetween. :)
I hope you get another opportunity to go there when all the renovations are done.
Another great post Naomi. The hotel looks so inviting - the bedrooms quite opulent - let's hope they are going to repair and refresh rather than change the ambience.
No wonder you are sucn a person of the arts with your father's collection and your mother sponsoring John. He must have been devoted to her for giving him that chance and how brilliantly he used it.
I love your heart picture - It's quite moving.
A wonderful series of posts, Naomi. I wonder what a night in a lush suite at the Bel Air would go for nowadays? It truly is a little jewel!
Wow! Another great tale. Did you get to meet Balanchine? I LOVE ballet and he's one of the masters, but I have to confess, I've never liked his hand style. When I see dancers holding their hands like that, I always say, "Oh this is a Ballanchine." I noticed that years ago when I saw my first Fort Worth ballet and sure enough, the director had studied under Ballanchine. I so love your stories, I sure wish you would write a book.
I think i've come to the conclusion that you have a whole store room just filled with photographs! I love love love that you have so many pictures of your life!!
(and I'm glad the hotel is closed for a while lol)
Well, you can start packing your bags, young lady...two years will fly by in a heartbeat and I will visit you in LA and we'll stay at the newly furnished Bel Air Hotel for a weekend! How 'bout that?? :)
Seriously, it is a beautiful hotel, and funny enough, I'm reading about it in the Marilyn Monroe book. Apparently she and DiMaggio were fond of the place (and I can see how they'd appreciate the kind of privacy it offered).
The patio and walkways with all the greenery and flowers would make me feel one on one with nature, and I can think of no better place to stay in CA.
The story about John is a touching one, and it's amazing he passed away on the same day as your mother (38 years before!). He really took what she gave him and soared. I love it!!
You have the most wonderful stories, my friend, and the pictures you share are priceless!
Have a beautiful weekend up in your hills!! Enjoy your greenery and flowers!
Beautiful pics and wonderful memories !
Of course, you know *I* was wondering about the pool at the Bel Air Hotel. :)
I'm sure they'll just give the hotel a facelift of sorts, and not change the atmosphere of the place.
You do love deeply, don't you? You have been blessed to have so many wonderful people in your life. They are blessed to be loved by you... xo
once again I feel wordless.
I mean, how can I really comment?
I was not there at that time.
And you know I have even ever been to the L A area.
On the other hand,
it's like beeing there with you, as a flie on the wall, so to speak, if you understand this Norwegian way of expression.
Nonoen but you have teaches me more than you about US entertainment from A to Z as you.
And also written about friendship in an industry known for people outside, like youdo in your remarkable blog.
I've learned a lot from your blog and even when talking with you.
Well, you have encouraged me to write more openly than I first thought about when I planned to present a visit to a more or less Village in the middle of France.
Thanks to you, it ended up more or less as dedication to old friendship.
Something that is utterly important.
In a way, knowing that it will be closed for two years makes me feel a little better about not being able to go...Why? Because no one else can go there either.....lol!
this is why i love reading your blog, sugar! priceless humor and wit! xoxoxo (if ypu'll permit, drinks are on me next time i'm out in la!)
Your photos show why the Hotel Bel Air is home away from home for those who can afford it.
When it reopens, I shall have to visit to learn what hospitality it teaches which can be brought home.
Lovely personal story you associate with this fascinating series with photos on the Bel Air Hotel.
We really do make an impact on others lives with whom we come in contact, whether the degree of involvement of your family with John or even much less involvement.
I, too, hope that they do not make drastic changes to the Bel Air. Maybe I'll save my pennies these next two years and treat myself to a night in that magnificent place when they reopen!
Lovely set of posts about the hotel, a very touching personal memory. I love reading about your life and the many people whose lives you have touched (and who have touched yours.)
Love from the OC --Kathy
What a fantastic thing that your Mother did in helping John!
All I can think of when looking at pictures of the greenery at the Hotel is, "Wow, a team of gardeners has their work cut out for them!"
Oh my gosh I don't know what pinged my heart more the pictures and write up's you so beautifully do thus I live what you did, saw and felt or the wonderful story of John your friend for life. And then your heart I felt it was like mine so often broken and waiting to mend and sometimes it takes so long I can hardly bare and other times the healing is quicker. Thus promise if you can that you will share more of your beautiful art which told me so much about you.
Dorothy from grammology
What a lovely hotel and what a great history you provided about John. Your mother did a truly loving and wonderful thing for him. Everyone benefitted from it.
The pictures you have of the garden suites at the Hotel Bel-Air are indeed lovely.
Many of them go for a minimum of $1,500 a night - $5,00 a night, and more.
They are also TOTALLY different from many of the rooms, which are small and dark and musty and have very old-fashioned bathrooms, even at $850 a night.
I stayed there lasy year and was VERY disappointed on several occasions by what they considered a deluxe King room, even when they moved me to what they said was nicer, it really wasn't.
For that kind of money charged for their accomodations, I think the hotel was LONG overdue for a complete renovation.
The grounds are luscious, and hopefully the new management will maintain that standard of beauty, and the dining room will get a marvelous new Chef as well.
Happy upcoming holidays to you, dear Naomi.
The hotel should reopen in summer of 2011 - let's keep our fingers crossed it once again becomes the jewel of west Los Angeles :)
What lovely photos with a walk through the Bel Air and a walk through your beautiful memories. For us east coasters the Bel Air is full of mystique; nice to get a peek inside! And your artistic abilities, connections and experiences never cease to amaze me. Thank you!
To find someone like you in the blog world is one of the truly great gift of the Web. Imagine, I am here in Georgia and I can visit the exclusive Bel Air Hotel with such an eloquent and knowledgeable guide. In addition I am regaled with a truly sweet family history about the great John Taras. It does not get any better really. I have had my blog for only a few months and am still amazed at how is has enriched my life - your blog being one of the most outstanding.
Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
Location: Los Angeles, California