Thursday, January 28, 2010

A few cool things I've seen this week

Air's music video: "So Light Is Her Footfall"

Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, Fashion Blog:
(for you ladies out there: How to get ready for a night on the town)

And this video is amazing. You'll need about 12 minutes, so come back to this if you'd like, but it's just a stunning video. All in 3d, but you'd never know it. Make sure you expand to full screen mode and just sit back and relax:

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Joseph Arthur film preview

Here is the film preview of the guy from Saturday who got me to take pictures of Joseph Arthur and his band. Looks awesome:

Joseph Arthur: You Are Free (Trailer) from reverb productions on Vimeo.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Joseph Arthur Recap

(can't see anything, but such a pretty song)

So I was looking forward to seeing one of my favorite musicians, Joseph Arthur, on Friday, til i went to the website and saw that the show was Saturday, which meant that Sam couldn't go because he had a show in Bakersfield. I was pretty bummed. I got to the show with a friend on Saturday and was told at will call that my tickets were for Friday and I had missed the show and there was nothing I could do. After enough things going wrong this past week (including looking for my lost keys for an hour and a half and having a couple emotional breakdowns), I was on the verge of tears. But I mustered up enough courage to just try to forget about it and go to the show anyway. I was already there and would be even more upset if I didn't get to see him. Luckily I was able to bring my camera in and took some pictures:

I was glad I went. There was even a guest appearance by Ben Harper:

After the show, some guy who had done a film for Joeseph Arthur asked if I could send him the pictures I had taken, then introduced me to the manager and (long story short) I waited around for over an hour to take pictures of the band after the show!! How amazing is that!? So it ended up being a pretty good ending to a frustrating week. Here are some of the band photos:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To Grandmother's House We Go!

I spent a few evenings at my Grandmother's house after she moved, to help prepare it for being sold. Here are some pictures of some of the retro-ness that I think makes her house awesome:

Kitchen: Wallpaper is a retro delight, but had to be stripped for the painters. Hardware on cabinets is awesome. Old-school floor laminate. Overall seagreen color with yellow sink.These are closeups of the two tiles you can see under the top cabinet in the picture above. I wish I could take these with me. Cock-a-doodle-doo!
Dining room lamp:
Save the pink bathrooms!
I love this bathroom hardware. I might have to take it with me...
Table lamp:
Classic glass knobs:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks is an easy 3-mile hike about an hour from most places in Los Angeles. Best time to go is sunrise or sunset, as you'll see from the pictures I took around 5pm this past Saturday. All the pictures have larger versions if you click on them, so check them out; especially the panoramas! :)
(This panorama was a bit harder to piece together, sorry for the seams.
Used "equalize" in photoshop to get this effect)

As I'm sure you'll recognize, the Vasquez Rocks have been used in many motion pictures and television shows. It was a delightful place to visit. To get there take the 5N to the 14N, exit and turn L on Agua Dolce Canyon Rd. Follow the signs about 2 miles to the park entrance. If you go at sunset, park outside the gate so you don't get locked in.

Lovely Rita and her floppy ear (matches the rocks!).

This was the view from climbing halfway up the main rock.
I loved how the sun cast the color on the rock across from us.

I loved getting this shot of the man standing on the rock. Looks epic.
Thanks dude, whoever you are!

lensbaby photos of the sunset

Friday, January 15, 2010

Discovering Mid-Century Modern, Part 4

highlight on A. Quincy Jones and Charles and Ray Eames

A. Quincy Jones was a Los Angeles-based architect and pioneer for "green" design. My wonderful husband got me a book about him several years ago:
I was surprised that I had never heard of him because his modern style and innovative design was so compelling and beautiful. I was captured by his houses that were centered around interior courtyards. He implemented this idea also in his tract housing developments and designed prefabricated units to provide affordable options for urban planning. A lot of his buildings incorporated a usable atrium as well.
According to the wikipedia page on Jones:
The December 1950 issue of the magazine Architectural Forum featured a "Builder's House of the Year" designed by A. Quincy Jones. The same issue also awarded the innovative Palo Alto building magnate Joseph Eichler "Subdivision of the Year". Eichler then invited Jones to tour the Palo Alto development he had just completed where he suggested to Jones that the Builder of the Year team with the Architect of the Year. This relationship continued until Eichler's death in 1974."
Eichler also prompted Jones to partner with architect Frederick Emmons and together the three of them designed and built about 5000 homes. Here are a couple in the Los Angeles area (photos courtesy of

Charles and Ray Eames were a married couple that made much contribution to the mid-century modern era. Charles' story reminds me much of Roark from the book the Fountainhead. A follower of Frank Lloyd Wright, he was dismissed from his university because his views were too modern. Charles and Ray Eames designed and built the Eames House (a.k.a. Case Study House #8) as their home overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with "prefabricated steel parts intended for industrial construction." -wiki

They also designed a lot of amazing modern furniture together:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Discovering Mid-Century Modern, Part 3

highlight on John Lautner and Frank Lloyd Wright

Another favorite architect of mine is John Lautner. He designed several homes in the Los Angeles area, including this one known as the Chemosphere:
"John Lautner didn’t believe that his work was futuristic, his opinion was that good architecture exits out of time." -look into my owl
Lautner seemed to pay close attention to space, and he tried to include the natural environment. One home that really impressed me is a home where he used the surrounding area's trees as columns or pillars to hold the expansive glass walls:
He is mostly responsible for the term "Googie" architecture, the exaggerated space-like architecture of coffee shops and bowling alleys in the 50's and 60's, because he designed the coffee shop Googie's. This building was on the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights Blvd, but was demolished in the 80's.
Here is one more photo of a home that he created in Acapulco Bay, Mexico called the Arango Residence, also known as Marbrisa:
(Lautner photos found from various google image searches)

Ah, yes. Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most well-known names in architecture. I'm not sure that Wright is known as a "mid-century modern" designer, but rather as the author of "organic architecture." However, he taught several of the "mid-century modern" designers and had much influence on modern design. I think he made close to 400 structures.
He worked early on in this era and called a large group (about 50) of his homes "Usonian homes," which coined the term "carport" since he used car coverings instead of garages. These were usually small, single-family L-shaped houses with a garden terrace that incorporated natural heating, cooling, and lighting.

Here are some of his most famous buildings:
The Guggenheim Museum in New York City (these are a few photos from my last visit):

Falling Water in Bear Run, Pennsylvania (photos courtesy of wikipedia):

One that I'm hoping to visit soon on a trip to AZ is the Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona (photo from

And for you locals, here is a home that is available for viewing in the Hollywood area:
the Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park:
I went here a couple years ago with my friend Abbie and her parents. It was a great tour...about $8. Here is a panorama I made from a few pictures I took during the tour:
(click on picture above to enlarge! You can see a space around the fireplace where water would flow throughout the house, from the outside to the inside, through the interior garden terrace, and out to a sort of exterior mini amphitheater)

I could do a whole post on this house alone since the tour was so thorough. And maybe I will in the future, but for now, a couple more of the photos I took during the tour:
(this detail work was Wright's architectural version of the Hollyhock flowering plant, the client's favorite flower, and used throughout the interior and exterior of the house)

Sitting room adjacent living room, looks relaxing!

Interior breezeway

That was a much longer blog than I intended, but these two architects are worth it! It was fun to share a few of my personal photos, too. I hope you enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Discovering Mid-Century Modern, Part 2

highlight on Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler

Another famous architect of this era is Richard Neutra. Many of Neutra's homes and his current family-run (by his son and partner, Dion) foundation can be found in Silverlake near the Silverlake Reservoir. More specifically, you can drive by some of his designed homes: the VDL house at 2300 Silver Lake Blvd, or 'the Colony' on Neutra Place and Earl St.

Another blog that I frequent did a few beautiful posts on one of Neutra's homes in Texas built for George Kraigher, a Pan Am pilot. He designed this home that just recently got restored back to it's original condition. Here is a before and after picture, courtesy of

Next architect: Rudolph Schindler
I recently was able to go visit the Schindler house in West Hollywood with my coworker Jessica. (my photo while outside)
It was interesting, but if you visit, go Friday afternoon between 4-6pm, when it's free. It's not worth the $18 you would normally have to pay to visit. Very low ceilings throughout made the place feel a bit cramped, but the linear designs throughout gave a serene feeling of simplicity and the concrete floor and bathrooms brought in a pleasant industrial feeling.

Schindler was an Austrian/American architect who was known for being able to successfully work within tight budgets, using warm materials, and making interesting yet complex floor plans. Here is the Lovell Beach House in Newport Beach: beautiful specimen!
Here is one of Schindler's houses for sale in Silverlake. If only I had a million dollars!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Discovering Mid-Century Modern, Part 1

highlight on Julius Shulman and Pierre Koenig

(screenshot from The Incredibles, found on

I've been exploring mid-century modern style design. It excites me. The design is fascinating, and dissecting it in details is difficult.
What materials are they using: stone, stucco, wood?
How is the landscaping properly laid out?
Furniture seems to be minimalist; where do they put all that clutter?
Rugs? Flooring?
What colors are most commonly used?
What characteristics actually characterize this era of design? The angles? The ovals? The industrial? The retro?

All these questions have been stirring through my mind often. Which led me to exploring a few of the masterminds in the industry:
First, Julius Shulman, architectural photographer, who recently passed away. This man created how we look at Los Angeles modernism, as I'm sure most of you recognize this picture:
(I'm hoping that the screening of this movie about him: Visual Acoustics comes to a theater in L.A.) This particular home in the Hollywood Hills, known as the Stahl House or Case Study House #22, was designed by architect Pierre Koenig, and is characterized by steel construction, a flat roof, and linear forms throughout. His wife (now widow), Gloria Koenig, is an architectural historian, writing many wonderful books about the architects of this time.

I will be posting a few more posts this week on some of the major architects of this era, so stay tuned! And if you know of any amazing websites in this realm of interest, please share! More to come...