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Friday, January 31, 2014


Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell (left) on the set filming "Seven Year Itch" in New York City
FILMOUT EXPO—Ready to go 26 miles with the memory of Marilyn Monroe? Sure, why not?  Where’s the starting line? 

The Marilyn Monroe Marathon is a one-day film fest, February 22 at the Birch North Park Theatre (29th and University).  Presenting group is FilmOut San Diego.

Five of Marilyn’s films will be shown in the refurbished neighborhood theatre beginning at noon.

The line up includes: Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like it Hot and The Misfits.  Tix: $10 per flick or $25 all day pass.
Sold at box office or check for details at

The mission of North Park based FilmOut San Diego is to enlighten, educate, and entertain the communities of San Diego County through the exhibition of LGBT-themed films. FilmOut San Diego seeks to recognize, promote, celebrate and support the important diverse artistic contributions LGBT filmmakers make to our community.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Fathom Bistro on Shelter Island Pier on San Diego Bay is celebrating its 1st anniversary this weekend with a party!
Typical craft beer tap menu from Fathom's website
URBAN EXPLORER--Thanks to the relationships he’s fostered in the craft beer world, Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle founder Dennis Borlek has assembled quite the tap list for his spot’s first anniversary weekend, which begins today and extends through Super Bowl Sunday (although you’ll find no football watching on the Shelter Island Pier sanctuary).

Special beers being poured during the anniversary weekend include a cask of Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin, plus De Dolle Arabier, De Dolle Oerbier, Cuvée Alex Le Rouge, and Brasserie de Silly Enghien Noël. There will definitely be Pliny the Elder, as Borlek was a college roommate of Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo.

“Come join us for our one year anniversary,” says owner Borlek, “It has been one crazy, fast & fun year! Thank you EVERYONE that has taken the challange to find us on Shelter Island! My goal has been to make the BEST Sausages, Burgers and Hot Dogs in town, and serve the best beers I can get my hands on! 2014 is going to be a great year, thank you all for your support.”

Saturday will be “Sour Saturday” with beers like Russian River Consecration, Supplication and Temptation (2011 and 2012), The Bruery Oude Tart and Tart of Darkness, Bear Republic aged Tartare, Ballast Point Sour Wench 2012 and Green Flash Super Freak going on.

Regular hours doors open at 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday.  “This weekend for brunch we open at 10 am and will be serving our Island Brunch from 10 am-1 pm. Our regular food menu will be available 1pm to 10pm (last call for drinks is 9:30 pm),” added Borlek.

Fathom Bistro
1776 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego CA 92106

Source: Ryan Lamb, Executive Editor. Article originally posted on, the website of West Coaster craft beer magazine.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Gard du Nord railway station, 10th arrondissement, April, 2013.  Pillar to Post photo.
Click once for larger image.
TRAVEL TUESDAY—Gard du Nord, the famed Paris railway station in the 10th arrondissement (112 Rue de Maubeuge) first opened in 1846 but within a few years it was judged to be too small.  A major rebuilding under the direction of Architect Jacques Hittorff occurred between 1861and 1865.  Hittorff’s version is pretty much what we see today.  In 1889 and from 1930 to the present the station has been constantly expanded as fast rail travel in Europe has become increasingly popular.

Gard du Nord main facade, Paris
Gare du Nord is the station for trains to Northern France and to international destinations in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

The statues outside the main entrance represented the cities outside Paris that the station served in the 19th century.  The statue at the apex of the station's front exterior represents Paris.

Photo: Gard du Nord, Paris, France, April 2013 by Pillar to Post photographer Phyllis Shess

Minor note: Founder of Pillar to Post blog, published daily as an online magazine since November, 2011 appears in this photo.

Monday, January 27, 2014


THINK PIECES—Earlier this week, this blog celebrated Ben Franklin’s birthday.  The man whose face is on the $100 bill didn’t invent newspapers or magazines but his creativity certainly went a long way to fashion what we now call feature writing.  His brand of early journalism gave readers much to think about.

Earlier this week, NPR and ABC in their various Internet incarnations posted two interesting “think pieces” on brain related topics.  Studies of our mysterious brain and how it operates makes for interesting reading:

Another home run from NPR’s Cosmos and Culture series on the Internet is an essay by regular contributor Marcelo Gleiser.  In his essay, “The Problem With A Clockwork Universe,” Gleiser delves into a discussion of free will in humans that ranges from the cognitive neuroscience to philosophy.
Free will or pre-determined?

Interesting thoughts abound in this short report.  For example, Gleiser writes that any discussion of free will must touch bases with a branch of semi-physics called determinism.

In beginning his essay, Gleiser asks: Are we agents of our own decisions?  Or, has free will been predetermined by a better understanding of physical science? “In practice, deterministic physical systems are described by equations that allow us to predict precisely their advance in time,” he explains.

“Is free will nothing more than an illusion: subconscious processes in our brain seem to make decisions before we are consciously aware of it?”

“Is everything determined in advance by the laws of mechanics: the writing of this essay, the winner of the World Cup in Brazil and the rate of inflation in the year 2045.”

Gleiser makes sense of all this in true NPR style: clear and concise.

For Gleiser’s essay link to:


On the heels of National Reading Day Saturday, we ran across an interesting article on the human brain and reading.

Lee Dye writing for ABC News points out “...It's amazing you can read these words.
It took millions of years for humans, and our recent ancestors, to develop the visual and motor and auditory skills that let us function in the complex world we inhabit today. But in less than 5,000 years, a brief span in human history, we learned how to read...”

Dye’s column goes on to point out that when it comes to reading the brain is still evolving and results of recent scientific studies acknowledge blood rushes to the parts of the brain that are active, thus telling researchers which areas are responsible for different functions, like dreaming, and reading, and thinking about making love.

Active brain sections turn red while in use
Says Dye, Neuroscientists at Emory University in Atlanta have determined that just reading a gripping novel makes changes in the way the brain connects with different circuits, and most importantly, those changes last for at least five days. They may not be permanent, but that at least suggests that the rewards from reading last longer than the act itself.

Over at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, scientists there found that even the seemingly simple act of reading involves 17 regions of the brain, but not all at the same time. They studied 30 persons ranging in age from seven to 35 and found that some regions actually grew less active with age, so even the physical activity in the human brain is not constant.

Bottom line: Read often give your brain new challenges.

For the rest of the ABC News report link to the following:

National Geographic Society was founded on this day in 1888.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


One of the jazzy designed vacation bungalows at North Park's Lafayette Hotel.  More bungalow images at end of post

Back in the early 90s, the Lafayette Hotel—like all of the midcity—had seen better times.  City fathers were considering calling North Park a federally blighted area in order to get redevelopment dollars.

By the late 80s, the venerable hotel—built in the late 40s as Imig Manor—was between owners.
Imig Manor (now Lafayette Hotel) as it looked near its opening day 1946
Actually, in the late 80s and early 90s hotel ownership was well known to the feds for being involved in a huge mortgage scandal, where dozens lost millions to fraud.

But, that was the least of the Lafayette’s woes.  The hotel was in limbo while the feds sorted out whom to send to jail.  During those tough times, it was no surprise the hotel was not in good shape.

The hotel’s fortunes fell so low that one local religious organization wanted to buy the hotel and make it into hotel for the homeless.

Enough.  Business leaders along El Cajon Blvd and in North Park were not in the mood for the hotel to become a social service.  The business leaders in the area said if the hotel had proper professional management the hotel would not be in sad shape.

Business leaders and community group zealots were able to convince a reputable hotel management firm to take over the hotel.  Since then the hotel has changed hands several times and each time significant improvements were made.

Today, the community is proud of the Lafayette Hotel.  As of 2014, the Lafayette Hotel is cool and very much part of hipster North Park.  It is a shining example of how enlightened business and district three council leaders saved a historic property and found the right investors to turn it around in a positive manner.

Posted here are images of the refurbished bungalows that sit on the 2.5-acre site at 2223 El Cajon Blvd., near Texas Street.

Each of the seven bungalow has a playful personality.  Owners named each bungalow and given the units an imaginative mix of tongue-and-cheek décor, interesting textures, and thoughtful touches making you feel right at home. From the Chinoiserie to the Premiere, each Bungalow features intricately patterned wallpaper paired with edgy textiles, whimsical drapery and brightly colored walls.

For more information on the new Lafayette go to the following link: