Wed04162014

News

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council earmarked $7,000 for the purchase of Chris Johanson’s artwork.

The city of Los Altos will contribute $7,000 toward the purchase of a $28,000 art installation featured in the San Francisco Museum...

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Schools

LASD students celebrate service learning

LASD students celebrate service learning


Courtesy of Sandra McGonagle
We Day, held March 26 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, exhorts students in the Los Altos School District to effect positive change.

More than 150 Los Altos School District student leaders joined 16,000 Bay Area students to ce...

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Community

Film career launches with Cannes screening

Film career launches with Cannes screening


Courtesy of Zachary Ready
Los Altos native Zachary Ready, front left, and co-director Andrew Cathey, right, celebrate their Campus MovieFest awards.

After learning the art of filmmaking as a child in the front yard of his family’s Los Altos hom...

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Sports

Reeling Panthers look to get rolling again

Reeling Panthers look to get rolling again


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood School senior Kevin Tracy pitches in a game against Westmoor, the first of two losses by the Panthers last week.

Pinewood School baseball coach Chad Morin knows exactly what his team must do in the second half of...

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Comment

Now is the time to expand parking: Editorial

Just a few short years ago, vacancies dotted downtown Los Altos. Property owners had a hard time attracting businesses because there was a shortage of customers. That is no longer true. Now, the cry is: Where are my customers going to park?

The city...

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Business

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Coldwell Banker recently recognized realtor Kim Copher, right, for her philanthropic efforts. Copher and colleague Alan Russell, left, volunteer at Reach Potential Movement, where they collect books for its Bookshelf in ...

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Books

Local Author Spotlight

In an effort to support authors from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, many self-published, Book Buzz periodically spotlights their books and offers information on where to purchase them. Local authors are encouraged to submit brief summa...

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People

Noteworthy

RotaCare honors local volunteer

RotaCare Bay Area honored Jim Cochran of the RotaCare Mountain View Free Medical Clinic with the Outstanding Clinic Volunteer Award April 10 for his commitment to RotaCare’s mission of providing free medical care to t...

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Travel

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
Sausalito offers panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. A number of companies schedule boat tours that sail past Angel Island and Alcatraz.

On a clear day, Sausalito offers spectacular views of the San Franc...

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Stepping Out

Western Ballet performs this weekend  at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills

Western Ballet performs this weekend at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills


Courtesy of Alexi Zubiria
Western Ballet’s “La Fille Mal Gardée” features Alison Share and Maykel Solas. The production runs Friday and Saturday at Foothill College

Western Ballet is slated to perform “La Fille Mal GardéeR...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away


Van Houtte/Town Crier Yoga of Los Altos hosts a variety of classes, including Strong Flow Vinyasa, above, taught by Doron Hanoch. Yin Yoga instructor Janya Wongsopa guides a student in the practice, below.

It’s nearly 9 a.m. on a Monday mornin...

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Face of Cuban fashion flourishes in spotlight


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cuban fashion icon Natalia “Norka” Méndez, left, discusses the “Korda Moda” photography exhibition with Foothill College students and staff at an Oct. 23 event.

Natalia “Norka” Méndez knows a thing or two about being comfortable in her own body.

As the former Cuban model stood in front of a crowded room of students, instructors and media at Foothill College Oct. 23 on her 75th birthday, her composure offered glimpses of the confidence, perseverance and fiery attitude that helped her forge a place in history through the pages of international newspapers and fashion magazines.

Méndez gained international fame in the 1950s and ’60s as the favorite muse of renowned photographer Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez. Her success, she said, is all about being an “elegant and natural woman.”

Before blowing out the candles on her birthday cake, Méndez shared stories from her days modeling during Cuba’s golden age. With a Spanish father and an American mother, Méndez had a thin figure, a physical attribute that contrasted with the “thicker” image many in the Latino culture considered beautiful. It wasn’t in vogue for young women of her era to pursue creative careers, but her fate was sealed when she met Gutiérrez, the photographer behind “Heroic Guerrilla” – the iconic photo of Che Guevara the Victoria and Albert Museum identifies as the most reproduced image in the world.

“Being an artist was the last option to my family,” Méndez said.

Two artists, one heart

In what Foothill College photography and digital imaging instructor Ron Herman called the union of “two artists with one heart,” Méndez and Korda – the name Gutiérrez gave himself to mimic the sound and spelling of Eastman Kodak Co. – married and enjoyed success in the days before the Cuban Revolution.

But when Fidel Castro assumed power in 1959, extravagance and luxuries disappeared, along with fine fabrics and opportunities in fashion and modeling. After giving birth to two children, Méndez emigrated from Cuba to Germany, where she recalls struggling day-to-day to find work. She eventually made her way to Paris – fortuitously during a model strike, a circumstance that landed her the opportunity to model again.

In the years that followed, Méndez returned to Cuba to be with her family. Although many of Gutiérrez’s film negatives were destroyed in the Revolutionary Offensive of 1968, Foothill College Photography Department recently spent five months restoring some of the remaining images. It was during this process that the team organized Foothill’s “Korda Moda” exhibition, showcasing 30 of Gutiérrez’s couture fashion photos, including pictures of Méndez.

The exhibition is scheduled for display 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 6 in the Krause Center for Innovation Gallery at Foothill College, 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. The gallery is closed Sundays and Nov. 11 and 28.

For more information, visit kordamoda.wordpress.com.

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Cuban model "Norka" visist Foothill College - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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