Monday, December 29, 2008

Robert Graham: An appreciation

Artist and sculptor Robert Graham died over the weekend here in Los Angeles. I've always admired his elegant sculptures. At left, is his "Torso" the best thing about Beverly Hills' "Walk of Style."  His bronze works at the entrance to the Coliseum were the high point of the L.A.'s Olympic arts project. His Mary appears to float over the monumental bronze doors at downtown's Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels.  He considered that work one of his best.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shepard Fairey creates the cover of Time Mag.

Earlier this year I interviewed artist/illustrator and gallery owner (Subliminal Projects) Shepard Fairey. He's now the cover artist for Time Magazine person of the year issue--very cool.  Save your Obama posters and stickers--now they're real collectibles.  He's got a major show upcoming in Boston at the ICA--also great. Entitled Shepard Fairey: Supply & Demand -- opens Feb. 6. Congrats!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Desert Hot Springs: The Palm Springs alternative

Imagine finding water in the desert?  Cabot Yerxa, a pioneer and traveller, was the first Anglo to find water in Desert Hot Springs.  He then spent the rest of his life building his own version of a Hopi-style pueblo (above) from scavenged materials. Now a house museum, Cabot's Pueblo Museum, is the oddest attraction in Desert Hot Springs.  The first time I visited the house ten years ago with my kids, there was an even odder caretaker who gave us a personal, private tour.  These days, the museum is securely fenced in and run by the city--still weird but not so wild.  The primary reason for visiting the city is to take in the waters as I outlined in today's L.A. Times.  
While staying at the mid-century styled Miracle Manor Resort, with its twice-filtered mineral waters, I had a water massage. Very trippy indeed--not necessarily the most restorative massage ever (it's certainly not a deep tissue) but because of the water and movement, it was more like a journey back in geologic time. 
Definitely different. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

Eastside gets groovier: Silver Lake walk path to open

After years of meeting and master plans and a prolonged construction schedule, the final leg of the Silver Lake walking path will officially open on Dec 20--that's the date for the ribbon cutting, hard to know how they'll keep joggers, walkers and dogs off the crushed granite path until then as it looks very inviting.  Took some pictures yesterday as I walked next to the path; really changes your perspective and John Lautner's Silver Top seemed to stand out even more. 
The Richard Neutra-designed homes on Silver Lake Blvd. are now seen in full perspective.  Great for jogging/walking architectural buffs.  Years in the making--I recall going to a master plan meeting 10+ years ago--the path is definitely a safer alternative to walking on busy Silver Lake Blvd and it's great that we have more open public space.  Can't wait to circle the reservoir in style!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chickens are big with writers and residents!

From the it's in the Zeitgeist department: today's L.A. Times Home section covers urbanites with chickens and their fancy coops.  Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne get a great plug for their blog. And egg-laying hens get more positive press. Roosters not so much.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Plucky modern homesteaders in Echo Park

I admire Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen: they're part of a new generation of homesteaders that promote modern self-sufficiency. In their case: a farm in Echo Park within view of my old house that produces almost all of their veggies and some fruit.  I liked the fact that they've turned the entire landscape into mostly edible plants like artichokes, tomatoes, beds of lettuce, herbs with some very healthy and well-protected chickens (hawks, coyotes and raccoons are the local predators).  They were kind enough to share some "farm fresh" eggs when I visited them for an interview for the Los Feliz Ledger.  They have a very useful blog; the most recent post includes plans for a cocktail bar in your hand built fallout shelter--definitely a must have.