Monday, January 31, 2005

8500 Melrose (photo by Alexander Gallardo / LAT)
 Posted by Hello

"the bleeding zebra"

The LA Times covers the eyesore that is 8500 melrose.

Among the better quotes:

"It represents everything I loathe about Los Angeles," says Daniel Schwartz, a longtime television producer who left town a few years ago but still vividly recalls 8500 Melrose Ave. "It's sort of a cross between Leni Riefenstahl and 'La Cage Aux Folles.'

"It's the 'Miami Vice' of buildings," says Paul Davidson.

"I'm surprised the Urth Caffe two blocks to the west hasn't asked them to get rid of it," says Davidson, who suggests the building be covered with a waterproof blue tarp or converted into a home for Don Johnson retrospectives. "They should give out special glasses to people who drive past it."

The building was dated even when it opened.

The LA Times seems to be fairly unequivocal in its hatred of the building - but I suspect they would be hard-pressed to find many supporters.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

selma blair is not mildly retarded

despite her believable performance in Cruel Intentions and questionable taste in men. it turns out she's quite the crafty real estate buyer. bought a home in west hollywood four years ago for $645,000 and sold it for almost double that amount. One of the best columns in the LA Times, Hot Property chronicles the deal. But why does the Jasmine Guy item sound more like an obituary than a real estate column? Even the Barry White item is less of an obit than Jasmine's - and he's actually dead.

Friday, January 28, 2005

5 BD, 1.5 BA -- in nebraska

Forbes writes that selling the childhood homes of celebrities on ebay has become an international trend. first johnny carson, then david beckham. however, it seems simply having "celebrity pedigree" doesn't guarantee a big payoff. the owner of johnny's childhood home paid double the market rate and has been trying to unload it for the past 2 years. lesson learned - just because a celebrity once peed there 60 years ago doesn't trump location, location, location. the house is in NEBRASKA.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

construction cylinders near kings road and willoughby. reminded me of a richard serra - his investigation of seriality, scale and architecture. but kind of better since its missing the self-consciousness of minimalist art.
Posted by Hello

but is there valet?

Amazon's A9 search service launched a new yellow pages service today - letting users virtually walk up and down the block of local businesses. Right now, the service covers LA, SF and NY. Amazon claims it takes only a few days in each city to digitally photograph it. yet another salvo fired in the highly competitive local search business.

ciao venezio.

A little behind on my real estate reading, but the LA Times covered the history of the venice canals on sunday: The Renaissance of Venice. while doing some research for the schindler house, came across this archive of los angeles aerial photos. viewing is by appt only, but there are some great examples online, including venice in 1966.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

restaurant rumble?

From today's LA Times:
The Top of her Game

It seems Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton have joined forces (and egos) to open a restaurant in LA. While I wish it will have a crudo bar, it seems the focus will be on italian charcuterie (why hasn't crudo arrived in LA - the abundance of fresh fish is perfect for what is essentially italian sashimi).

no word yet on where the restaurant will be. the article says it will be a small place, seating 60-80. it will still need to be large enough to fit both mario and nancy's considerable egos.

Standing on Shaky Ground

Welcome. I can't resist the peer pressure - so here it is - my blog. I'd like to focus on just a few subjects that interest me - real estate, retail, architecture and urbanism, the evolution of neighborhoods - all focused on Los Angeles. I don't want this to devolve into a "what I did today, what I ate, who I saw" blog. I have almost no credentials to start a blog about real estate or architecture, other than an amateur's interest in it and a master's thesis on rem koolhaas. So welcome to the experiment.