Monday, March 7, 2011

Out and About--the Historic Jonathan Club and Los Angeles Athletic Club

Whereas many people may know what preppy looks like, I am lucky enough to truly live it.  After all, you really can't get much more preppy on the West Coast than a Squash Tournament at the Los Angeles Athletic Club and team celebrations afterward at the Jonathan Club downtown.  For those of you who follow GlamAmor, you know that honoring the history of Los Angeles is something that I love and I was very excited to visit both venues for the first time.  To make the day even more divine, we drove downtown in the 1972 Le Mans convertible on a perfectly sunny 80 degree day.  

West Coast Preppy Chic:  1980s white lace sheath dress, 1960s yellow wool coat (shown in other photos), 
yellow silk and cashmere cardigan from Victoria's Secret, yellow Charles David strappy stilettos, Barr + Barr camel leather satchel, 
tiger's eye and silver beaded necklace custom made for GlamAmor, and silver hoop earrings

Cheering on my friend, Wes, who won his match and advanced to the finals as the #1 amateur in the tournament

Watching the professional league play during the squash tournament was an incredible experience.  Julian Illingworth is from Yale and the number one squash player in America.  Ryan Cuskelly is from Australia and just won the bronze at the Commonwealth Games, which is Olympic-level athletic play.  With this kind of skill and talent, it should be no surprise that both men were on fire and the speed of the match was mesmerizing.  

For those who don't know, squash is the pre-cursor to racquetball and infinitely harder.  There are areas that are considered "out" and the sport is played with a "dead" ball, which means that there's not much bounce to it and you have to move with lightning speed to keep it effectively in play. You can see how low the ball is often played in the photo below.

Another player from the Ivy League cheering in the stands as USA wins the match

After the squash tournament, everyone headed over to the Jonathan Club for cocktails and dinner on the outdoor terrace high above the city.  The Jonathan Club holds a long and distinguished history in Los Angeles.  Its inception dates back to 1895 and has been in its current location at the corner of Figueroa and 6th since 1924.  The architects of the building were responsible for other impressive structures such as the Biltmore Hotel, also in Los Angeles and the first home of the Oscars, and the famed Grand Central Station in New York City.  

The Jonathan Club is one of the best private clubs in the United States and many "important decisions have been made within its walls by the power elite."  The top businessmen, politicians, and Hollywood royalty have been members and some have even lived here.  Much of the Jonathan Club has an apartment structure so that members may either temporarily stay as hotel guests or permanently stay as residents.  It also includes ballrooms, an extensive library, indoor pool, the Sky Bar, the Tuscan Terrace, and other impressive features within its oh-so-private walls.  I was lucky enough to experience many of them, so join me on a rare tour of the Jonathan Club.  It was everything I hoped it would be...and more.

Two early images of the Jonathan Club--undated above and in black-and-white from 1957

The grand Italian-inspired lobby

Hallway leading to the library

Entering the library

Hallways are adorned with images of former members (including silent screen stars, above), old city maps (below), and museum quality artwork

Kevin and I making ourselves comfortable inside Weston's room at the Jonathan Club

The indoor pool

Entrance to the Sky Bar and Tuscan Terrace, where we heard the strains of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin throughout our summer-like evening

Wes and I kicking back with a cocktail in the Sky Bar

Wes and I kicking back in the room at the Sky Bar where members store their cigars

Cocktail party getting underway at the Sky Bar

Dinner set outdoors on the Tuscan Terrace

What a view!

After hours of celebrating and an absolutely amazing day, we were finally ready call it a night

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