Top: Architectâ€™s rendering of the new Catalina Island Museum faÃ§ade. Above: Bettie Page on the Florida beach, 1954.
Day trippers appreciate the southern California destination Catalina Island, easily accessible from Los Angeles. You take the ferry boat from Long Beach, cross the channel, and in about an hour, land in the car-free heritage hamlet of Avalon Harbor. There, nothing has changed for years. Long a haunt of Hollywood celebrities and their international guests, Catalina thrives on the tourist trade. In days of yore the allure was deep-sea fishing and exhibition games at the summer home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Today the menu includes boutique shopping, dining and people-watching, nature trekking, mountain biking, zip lines and excellent snorkelling.
The big news this season is the grand opening of the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building, new home of the Catalina Island Museum, located at 217 Metropole Avenue, an easy walk from the ferry terminal. Two gala weeks of celebration will occur from June 18 to July 4. A gem of a museum, the institution is devoted to art, culture and history, and the sparkling new facility houses a fine collection of cultural artifact, ceramics, rare photography and nostalgia. A launch exhibition features recently discovered photos of pin-up model Bettie Page, taken in Miami by photographer Bunny Yeager in the 1950s. Other events scheduled include VIP receptions, and Tibetan sand-painting in the skylit atrium. A very reasonable membership to the Museum brings a host of benefits, well worth the charitable contribution. For more information visit www.catalinamuseum.org.â€”Stanley Moss, Travel Editor
Above, from top: A young Norma Jean Baker lived on Catalina in the years before she became Marilyn Monroe. The Chicago Cubs (Stan Hack and Barney Olsen, pictured in 1941) delighted crowds in the summer months. Winston Churchill managed to land a California marlin during a visit.
Online retailer Swimsuitsforall, which specializes in superior, well fitting swimwear for curvy women, has launched its summer campaign, hashtagged #MySwimBody.
Modelled by Sports Illustrated 2016 Swimsuit Issue cover girl Ashley Graham, activist and model Philomena Kwao, 56-year-old silver fox Nicola Griffin, photographer and mother Jessica Lavoie, and professional athlete and Olympian Amanda Bingson, the campaign kicks off with a video, designed to make women feel empowered, removing the dread many feel when shopping for swimwear.
Swimsuitsforall wants to encourage women to share a photo of themselves on social media with the #MySwimBody hashtag, proudly showing off their curves, challenge a friend to do the sameâ€”with the aim of having 10,000 women take up the cause, regardless of their shape, age or size.
Graham said in a release, ‘I love bikini season, and I hope the #MySwimBody movement helps every woman feel confident and sexy this summer. I’ll be sharing selfies of my swim body all season long and hope that women across the country feel inspired to do the same.
â€˜Beauty is beyond size, and we are calling on women everywhere to embrace their curves, especially at the beach or by the pool.’
â€˜This is the summer of #MySwimBody, when we are encouraging all women to let go of their inhibitions and lose the cover up at the beach,’ said Moshe Laniado, CEO and president of Swimsuitsforall. ‘Swimsuitsforall celebrates all different body types and we’re so proud to once again be leading a movement that inspires women everywhere to feel confident and comfortable in a swimsuit this summer.’
Former Lucire cover girl Gal Gadot arrived in London as the actress of the moment, coming off the high of Warner Bros.â€“DC Comics’ Batman v. Superman, in which she plays Wonder Woman.
Gadot spoke of her ‘interesting first day of shooting’ Criminal with Kevin Costner, who has both acting and directorial duties on the new film.
She called her co-star a ‘talented, good-hearted man’, noting that it was a different experience working with an actor who is also a director. ‘There’s something more into it,’ she says.
She notes that she is ‘really busy’ after Batman v. Superman, coming off an international press tour to promote the film, and then getting straight into the stand-alone Wonder Woman movie for Warners.
Fortunately, her family life remains relatively normal and she is still enjoying everything. As to London, she says she loves everything about the city ‘except the weather’.
Costner, meanwhile, calls Gadot a ‘wonderful woman’ and a ‘great screen partner’, and tells ITN that their first scene saw him sporting long hair and a beardâ€”both of which were fake, although he had that very look just before he began filming.