Make the most of your year

Museums (Suggested by history teacher Katherine Holmes-Chuba)

Exhibit: “Luis Meléndez: Master of the Spanish Still Life” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Dates: Until Jan. 3, 2010.
About: “Luis Meléndez (1716–1780) was one of the greatest still life painters of 18th century in Spain. The exhibition includes more than 20 of his paintings. Other relevant works from abroad are also grouped with this exhibit.”

Exhibit: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ s “Comtesse d’ Haussonville” at the Norton Simon Museum.
Dates: Until Jan. 25, 2010.
About: “This will be the first time the painting is in California. It is on loan from the Frick Collection in New York as a part of an art exchange program between the museums.”

Exhibit:”Drawings by Rembrandt and His Pupils: Telling the Different” exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Dates: Until Feb. 28, 2010.
About: “More than 30 years of scholarly research of Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn’s work will be presented in this exhibit. The display will pair different drawings of Rembrandt’s with those of his pupils and outline the artistic differences.”

Exhibit: “The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis” at the Hammer Museum.
Dates: Until Feb. 7, 2010.
About: “Robert Crumb’s cartoon version of the Book of Genesis contains all 50 chapters of the book illustrated and incorporates every word of the text in the pieces. The exhibit will feature 207 black and white drawings.”

Jazz clubs (Picks from Performing Arts teacher Shawn Costantino)

The Baked Potato: “Right by Universal City, this jazz venue always features prominent acts such as The Yellow Jackets, Arnold McCuller (James Taylor Vocalist) and many modern jazz fusion acts.”
Vitello’s Jazz Club: “A club often featuring our own Harvard-Westlake combos, this venue has recently reinvented itself as the premier valley jazz club.”

Vibrato Grill Jazz … etc: “Again, a venue where Harvard-Westlake plays from time to time, this club features live jazz six nights a week. Look out for Bob Sheppard, Peter Erskine and the occasional Joey DeFranceso sighting.”

Catalina’s: “The Premier Jazz club on the west coast. This place has rockin’ jazz all the time.”

Jazz at the LA Phil: “A wonderful  concert series in Disney Hall featuring some of the most world-class jazz musicians alive today.”

Hiking trails (Favorites from Science teacher Wendy Van Norden)

Saddle Peak from Stunt High Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains.

San Gabriel River via East Fork in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park.

San Jacinto Peak via Palm Springs Tram.

Bike paths (Suggested by science teacher Dietrich Schuhl)

From the intersection of Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Mulholland Drive to Malibu via Stunt Road and then Las Flores (very steep and technical descent).

Mulholland Drive from Topanga Avenue to the beach.

Malibu to Port Hueneme via Pacific Coast Highway.

Silver Lake/Echo Park to Harvard-Westlake Upper School via Riverside Drive (or the LA River bike path).

In the Inland Valley Empire, Mt Baldy Road to Glendora Ridge Road to Altadena.

Books (Top picks from English teacher Laurence Weber)

“Letters to a Young Poet” by Rania Maria Rilke: “It is a correspondence between a young writer and great poet. It’s full of life lessons and wisdom.”

“Delights and Shadows” by Ted Kooser: “This book is accessible, resonant and they are grounding in terms of reading about common experiences. He’s a great human writer.”

“Journey to the End of the Millenium” by A.B. Yehoshua: “It’s a fascinating window into the intersection of Jew, Muslim, and Christian at a critical historical moment, and Yehoshua’s story suggests, among other things, a fluidity in the relationships between his diverse characters that we could learn from.”

Movies (Suggestions from Performing Arts teacher Ted Walch)

“A Man Escaped” (1956): True story about a French Resistance fighter

“M” (1931): Directed by Fritz Lang

“Fanny and Alexander” (1982): Won four Oscars

“Being There” (1979): Featuring Peter Sellers and Shirley Maclaine

“Au Revoir, Les Enfants” (1987): Nominated for two Oscars

“Don’t Look Now” (1973): Featuring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie

“La Strada” (1954): Won Oscar for Best Foreign Film

“Running on Empty” (1988): Won Golden Globe for Best Screenplay

“The Motorcycle Diaries” (2004): Adaptation of Che Guevara’s journal

“America, America” (1963): Nominated for Oscar for Best Picture

Music (Suggestions from Danielle Strassman ’11, Alan Snider ’12, and Jack Healy ’10)

Tegan & Sara
Album: Sainthood
Song: Hell
“I like them because their voices are really unique, and outside of their music they seem like really cool people… I mean, they’re twins from Canada.” —Danielle Strassman ‘11

Cut Copy
Album: In Ghost Colours
Song: Lights & Music
“I like the beats. They have great energy.” —Alán Snider ‘12

Portugal the Man
Album: Censored Colors
Song: Lay Me Back Down

“They blend the style from the ‘60s anti-war movement into the new age acoustic progressive rock.” —Jack Healy ‘10

Update your look (Tricks of the trade by Costume Designer Lisa Peters)

Try adding…
a hat
a bow tie
some heavy metal

Go to…
a thrift store
your grandparents’ closet
Michael’s craft stores

“Dye it (one package RIT + a tired old pair of jeans = American Apparel lookalike mineral wash fabulousness for way less money!)”

“Hint: cheap, size XXL thrift store merino or cashmere sweaters turn super cute and cozy after a hot wash and dry cycle.”

“Step one: close your eyes. Step two: reach in your closet and pull out one top and one bottom. Step three: make it work!”

“‘Costume’ yourself for a day and put together a themed outfit (‘Victorian Dandy’; ‘Secret Agent’; ‘Edie Sedgewick goes to Bollywood’…)”

Do a good deed (Suggestions from the Community Council)

Operation Santa Claus
When: Dec. 24
Where: 150 North Madison Ave., Pasadena, and other locations
What: Be Santa for underprivileged children: pack your car full of toys and deliver them to boys and girls throughout Pasadena and surrounding communities.

One Voice

When: Dec. 20, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
What: Distribute meals and toys to underprivileged families. Where: A bus will take you to and from the Upper School.
Contact: [email protected]

Meals on Wheels
When: Any time you want to volunteer.
Where: 1823 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica
What: Deliver hot lunches, or frozen food to homebound individuals.
Contact: 310-394-7558 or visit

Tea (Science teacher Yanni Vourgourakis’ recommendations)

Westfield Century City
“They have a lot of specialty teas. A good one is called lapsang souchon, which is a kind of smoky Chinese tea.”

Sherman Oaks
“They have more red teas, or roibos, all non-caffeinated.”

Sushi (Archivist Allan Sasaki’s suggestions)

Studio City
“They’re known for their sashimi dishes. One of my favorites is yellowtail.”

Sushi Nozawa

Studio City
“The crab hand roll is superb: highest quality seaweed, blue crab, and warm rice.”

Sushi Zo
West LA
“The owner will ask you if you like to eat slimy and chewy. If [you say] yes, you will get the full selection of wonderful sushi.”