Monday, November 21, 2005

monday media: the nytimes edition

the gray lady has been busy covering our little 'burb. always on the bleeding edge, the paper has discovered...abbot kinney and whole foods:

  • janelle brown takes a stroll down abbot kinney and discovers a coffee shop, bookstore and a japanese sneaker shop. the article actually gives short shrift to the street, missing beechwood at the south end and joe's, primitivo and lilly's at the north. no mention of any of the bars and she may have strolled past jin patisserie and could have missed it entirely.
  • hippies love hemp! the times takes a look at whole food's new "lifestyle" store in weho with $164 organic cotton jeans and $34 Ecobaby onesies. ok, I'll admit it - I'm a sucker for bobo consumerism and totally want to go today.
  • and ouroussoff reviews the (about to be) newly reopened getty villa in malibu. he likes it, he really likes it! (despite the constant barrage of academic architectural references). and he manages to get in a few digs at renzo piano and bolster rem koolhaas, so I am immediately suspect. I am also completely perplexed by a couple of statements:
When it comes to Los Angeles, I count myself among the believers. The city's mix of high and low cultures, its relative youth and indifference to history, and its vast expanses of affordable land made it the greatest laboratory of 20th-century architecture in America.

In recent years, its unique landscape has inspired architects like Frank Gehry and Thom Mayne as well as a rising generation that includes Michael Maltzan, Neil Denari and the team of Kevin Daly and Chris Genik. In Los Angeles, they found a fertile creative terrain fostered by anonymity, shifting definitions of suburbia, cheap rents and hedonistic pleasures.

high and low culture? check. relative youth? check? indifference to history? check. affordable land? he must be on crack. granted, he refers to that as a 20th century phenomenon, so I"ll let it slide.

but then he drops this bomb:

But those architects have never been embraced by traditionalists. And increasingly they have had to contend with the mentality of arrivistes who are more concerned with the appearance of good taste than with new or challenging ideas.
gehry and mayne not embraced by traditionalists? both have won the pritzker. and both have won commissions from those wacky, transgressive, non-traditionalists like disney, caltrans, the state of california office for public school construction. ouroussoff seems to have a hard on for gehry regardless, offering glowing praise for gehry's much maligned plan for the brooklyn rail yards. what all that has to do with the newly restored getty villa, I'm not sure. he devotes almost 1500 words to the villa without a single mention of richard meier, yet meanders off to discuss koolhaas and piano. bizarre.


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