The Valley Line: Lost in the stars with Muse/ique at Caltech

On Sunday, even before I opened my eyes, I knew that it was going to be a different kind of summer day. The breeze coming through the window was cool and fragrant. The birds in the trees outside seemed to be happier than usual, and chirping loudly.

It was a perfect opportunity for me to make a cup of coffee and climb back into bed to finish the book I had been glued to for the previous few days. The book that had captured my almost undivided attention is "Inferno" by Dan Brown. It is based on Dante's famed epic poem and set in my favorite country in the world, Italy. Not only did I enjoy reading how he described the cities of Florence and Venice as I followed the exciting action that had as many twists and turns as the warren of narrow streets of those famed cities, but I loved the intrigue. Brown always knows how to dish out historical facts with a spoon full of sugar. That is a beautiful talent.

After listening to the weather forecast later that evening, I'm already dreading the triple-digit numbers that we will be experiencing soon.


What a great concert it was when Muse/ique opened up its "Summer Sound 2013" at Caltech's Beckman Mall in Pasadena recently.

This is truly a wonderful venue in this campus mall edged with olive trees — relatively cool, too, I might add, because the surrounding buildings provide a certain amount of shade.

Artistic Director Rachael Worby conducted the orchestra in a musical mash-up of works by Brubeck, the Beatles, Ellington, Weill, Paganini and more.

This concert was called "Lost in the Stars," with award-winning legend Patti Austin, who completed her set with her fabulous styling of the jazz song, "How High the Moon."

Muse/ique is known for its counter-conventional performances that feel more like parties than formal concerts. The next concert is scheduled for this Saturday night and is themed "Moving Pictures." It will feature groundbreaking cellist Matt Haimovitz and actress Wendie Malick (TV's "Hot in Cleveland") in a fresh take on motion picture scores by Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith and Erich Korngold.


Emily Elizabeth Schreck of La Cañada Flintridge made her bow to society at the 52nd debutante ball at The Pasadena Guild of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, held in the ballroom of the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. Emily is the daughter of Raymond Charles and Cheryl Schreck.

Unable to attend the ball but presented in absentia was local resident Monica Christine Pernecky, daughter of Michael Emmett and Kathleen Pernecky.

More than 450 members and guests celebrated the presentation of 29 young women, most from other San Gabriel Valley communities, who together with their families have supported the important work of Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Proceeds from the ball will support The Pasadena Guild Endowment for Program Enhancement and Faculty Retention in Developmental Biology.

Founded in 1947, the guild has raised more than $25 million throughout the years, successfully completing endowments in pediatric eye cancer, pediatric surgery, adolescent medicine and bone and soft tissue tumor research, as well as developmental biology endowments in partnership with the Saban Research Institute, and one capital campaign.

Corinne Hawk, guild president, with event chairs Denise Andrews and Sue Ball, welcomed guests to this traditional and exciting evening.

The Langham Huntington Ballroom was transformed into a beautiful floral extravaganza by Jacob Maarse Florist, and was designed with flowers in shades of peach, orange, cream and pale greens.

Schuyler Hollingsworth, Jr. presented each debutante as she appeared under the arch. After each young lady was presented and escorted on the arm of her father, she returned to the center of the ballroom with all fellow debutantes to curtsy in unison to the applause and acceptance of Guild members and guests. The debutantes' fathers then joined them on the dance floor for the first waltz to the music of the band for the evening, Rembrandt.


Every now and then I go to events that are just for my own enjoyment and edification and such was the case recently when I went to a book signing for a beautiful new coffee-table book by first-time author Stephen Gee. The title is "Iconic Vision – John Parkinson Architect of Los Angeles."

Parkinson, a native of England, designed Los Angeles City Hall, Bullock's Wilshire, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Los Angeles Union Station, plus 400 other buildings in the City of Angels.

On Dec. 13, 1935, The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Future citizens have only to walk through the streets of Los Angeles to be reminded how much John Parkinson in his lifetime contributed to the city that grew up under his hand."

"Iconic Vision" is a beautiful book filled with photographs of Parkinson's iconic buildings and his architectural drawings. For an architectural buff like me, this book was an absolute must because it is beautifully presented by Gee, who was born in England, like Parkinson. Paddy Calistro and Scott McAuley of Angel City Press, publisher of the book, were on hand to greet guests.

It was with great love that Gee has written this book because Los Angeles is his adopted home. In the book jacket flaps he writes, "This singular visionary created the look of America's most dynamic metropolis, long before the world recognized the city's importance."

The book signing and meet-the -author was held in the patio of the historic Lucy's El Adobe Restaurant in Los Angeles. Greeting guests were Lucy Casado, namesake of the restaurant, and her daughter Patricia Casado. Refreshing margaritas and an array of Mexican foods were served to guests on this lovely summer evening.


JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.

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