Friday, March 31, 2006

at least my shoes are good for something

a few weeks ago, an art director friend of mine mentioned she was working on her portfolio and had an idea for a dr scholl's-type campaign. she casually mentioned she needed a few pairs of new, expensive shoes and was worried about the prospect of maxing out her credit card to buy them, bring them to chicago for the shoot, and then return them to the store. so I, ahem, stepped up. you see, I have a bit of a shoe thing, like many women I know. the problem is, I buy them, admire them, sometimes put them on in my apartment and walk from bedroom to living room. they're just to pretty to wear outdoors. what if there's a puddle? some mud? and I dont just want to break them out for dinner with friends. they need an occasion. a debut. so they sit indefinitely in my closet, waiting for that moment to fulfill their destiny. as a result, I was happy to send my babies off to chicago for their photo shoot. as you can see, their vertiginous height makes me a candidate for future orthopedic surgery. that is, if I ever get around to wearing them:

the spikes and cheese grater were obviously added in photoshop later but serve as apt metaphors for the experience of wearing these beautiful little torture chambers.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

habitat 825

three stories on the south side - should have taken it from a better angle to see just how tall it is.

habitat 825

the north side, adjacent to the schindler house, now two stories high.

Habitat 825 update

lorcan 03.30.06 3
Originally uploaded by msgluck.

its been awhile since I took photos of habitat 825's construction site, which has progressed considerably, and looms over the schindler house. a few photos to follow - and blogger seems to be down so I'll be uploading via flickr directly.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

aram was on ABC

stuck at the conference yesterday, I didn't get a chance to tivo aram on abc world news tonight, but the video is available online (for a fee). will have to either subscribe or see if there's some way to grab it off of lexis-nexis but I'm guessing they only have the transcript. oh well. in any case, its great to get that kind of exposure for our little fledgling company.

Monday, March 27, 2006

monday media

Photo from:

off to a generic chain hotel for a 2 day conference that will likely suck the life out of me. thank god for wifi. but no time to belabor monday media - so a few short ones today:
  • j'accuse! place performance calls out the ten cruelest, most criminal architects they can find and provides a handy list of their sins. gehry, meier, eisenmann - they're all on there. [via archinect]
  • while I was across town touching pretty things with santa monica's limousine liberals, LA had its largest protest ever, downtown. the flickr pool is pretty amazing.
  • NBC wants it 400-acres and a mule. ok, maybe not the mule part. Rios Clementi Hale Studios will help NBC universal expand their real estate with more retail, residential and hotels and office development.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The OC as metaphor for purgatory

finally saw this week's Sopranos and was struck by the location of the dream sequence (although David Chase disavows its as a "dream sequence" per se): Costa Mesa. Why Orange County? Why the forest fire mention? Why the shining beacon across town? smarter semiotic detectives than me have attempted to answer that question:

Here Tony's stuck in Orange County, quite possibly the most personality-free corner of the world, with no way to leave (a k a Purgatory). On one end of town is a shining beacon (Heaven), on the other, a raging forest fire (Hell). Over and over, he stops to assess the worth of his own life, asking, "Who am I? Where am I going?"

Follow this analysis with this excellent post on the meaning of the episode.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

runway review

today I went to one of the runway shows at the main tent at smashbox studios for LA fashion week. in no particular order, why I loved it (and none of this has to do with the clothes, which were alternately beautiful and completely vulgar):
  • paula abdul's clap. get your mind out of the gutter. she sat front row (the only celeb I recognized, which isnt saying much) and her American Idol clap (elbows together, palms spread) is for real. that's about the only part that's authentic.
  • boobs. sure, some of the models were your typical flat-chested lollipops. but since this was mostly a lingerie show, there were boobs on display - I saw perhaps the most bouncy, aerodynamic ones ever. I'm jealous.
  • aging italian stars. think lots of hair pomade and oversized sunglasses - and that was the men. since I sat with my GBF's parents, who are visiting from italy, I spent a good 20 minutes after the show taking pictures of them with their favorite aging soap stars and singers.
  • great people watching. but isn't that true for all runway shows?
and what I didn't like: faux fur pom-poms. at least, I hope they were faux. I know fur trim is one of the big trends from the paris, new york and milan shows but as pom poms for lingerie in 80 degree heat they just look stupid.

happy birthday, lacma

speaking of LACMA, next week is the museum's 40th birthday and to celebrate, the museum is planning a celebration next week with free admission and special programming. best to rsvp early and its one rsvp per person. the schedule of events can be found here.

nytimes house & garden in LA again

it seems like the nytimes house & garden section's currents column can't stay away from LA. today's column covers Francois Perrin's architectural project in Venice, bespoke botanical mobiles, Frank Gehry-designed sculptures for sale, and the Ettore Sottsass exhibition at LACMA, among other things. No surprise, our very own Frances Anderton penned the column this week.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

grey skies are clearing up

the last few days I've been awash in misery - mostly computer-related, some...not. but like our weather, my mood is finally beginning to improve. computer problems fixed, at least temporarily, and the next few days are looking bright. I guess jupiter is moving into retrograde or something like that for me. I'm going to one of the smashbox shows tomorrow for LA fashion week. sure, it lacks the power and prestige of the bryant park shows (and the project runway contestants) but who am I to complain? I also won tickets to ballet biarritz on fri at royce hall - again, free tickets and dancing! oh, how I love to watch modern dance (and I'm not being sarcastic there). and best of, writing for curbed is starting to pay off, so to speak. I'll probably be attending the CA Boom show in santa monica this weekend with a curbed LA press pass (silly show organizers - bloggers aren't REAL journalists). crossing my fingers I also get to go to the prefab home show there. and will certainly try to blog about it both here and on curbed. of course, all of this is contingent upon me actually finishing an article I need to write for mediapost and a presentation I need to prepare for a speaking gig at OMMA next week.

and when I have a chance, I will try to post about the trip to san luis obispo and hearst castle, william randolph hearst's impressive monument to himself.

Friday, March 17, 2006


this has been a week of mourning for me. everywhere I look, death looms in the air. I'm not talking about friends and family, fortunately. I'm talking about killing off characters in just about every TV show I watch. its become so prevalent, even the nytimes is talking about it. I'm just glad I didn't read the article BEFORE I watched this week's L word. and I fastidiously avoided all media about the Sopranos until I watched the season opener. and its only going to get worse, as we head into May and sweeps. what took me by surprise, though, was the one death that actually made me tear up. it wasn't the L word's sappy breast cancer melodrama. Nor any of the surprise deaths on the Sopranos. Not even tony's death on 24 (long overdue, if you ask me).

it was edgar. poor, sweet edgar. overweight, lisping, nerdy edgar. even the show's producers must have mourned that one - he got the silent counter - the first time I can recall them counting down silently since Teri's death in season 1. even president palmer and michelle's death didnt get the silent counter. or tony's for that matter. (altho tony dying in jack's arms as he cried was one of the most homoerotic moments between two alpha males I've seen since brokeback).

so I just need to post my 2 cents on this season of 24 - which I really think is the best one since season 1. The last few seasons had been increasingly bush apologist propaganda. then end always justified the means. This year, they've definitely scaled back on the torture. rather than inflicting government-approved pain on innocent, homosexual, slacker sons of the Secretary of Defense, they seem to be limiting it to ex-CTU turncoat agents and Rumsfeldian advisors. What will be really interestig (from more of an academic perspective) is what will happen now that the Dept of Homeland Defense has been called in to take over CTU operations. I'm hoping for a subtle (or not so subtle) indictment - and last week's one scene with them seemed to imply an overconfident, power-hungry agency galloping in like cowboys to save the day. who wants to bet they'll turn out to be incompetent, bureaucratic and misinformed? if this is all David Fury's doing, I just want to hug him.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

UC system and sudan

University divestment from Sudan is not new - a slew of private universities have already pulled billions of investment dollars, including harvard, yale and stanford and brown. But today the UC system's board of regents is scheduled to vote on divestment, and the CS Monitor argues the vote represents a tipping point for university politics.

so while the UN is basically hamstrung in terms of intervening in the genocide in Darfur because of Chinese and Russian economic interests in the region, the student movement is gaining traction. and in case you think there isn't much money at stake here, the UC Sudan-related investment is estimated at"$2.6 billion in more than 70 multinational companies."

The UC system has only made politically-motivated financial divestment decisions twice previously: "Once was when university officials objected to apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. In 2001, the university took its money out of tobacco companies."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

can't stop, won't stop

I'm almost loathe to post this, because the hammer lectures fill up so fast, but aram and I going to this tomorrow night:
Jeff Chang & Staceyann Chin

Jeff Chang & Staceyann Chin
Jeff Chang has been a hip-hop journalist for over a decade writing for publications including The Village Voice, Vibe, The Nation, and The Washington Post, among others. His most recent book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation explores issues of race, culture, politics, and music. In 1993, he co-founded and ran the influential hip-hop indie label, SoleSides (now Quannum Projects) helping launch the careers of DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, and Lateef the Truth Speaker. Chang is currently editing an anthology entitled Next Elements: The Future Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, due in 2006.

Slam poet Staceyann Chin was one of the original performers in Russell Simmons’s Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, which won a Tony Award in 2004. She was also featured on several seasons of the Peabody Award winning HBO series, Def Poetry Jam. Her poems can be found in numerous anthologies and in her chapbooks Wildcat Woman, Stories Surrounding My Coming, and Catalogue the Insanity. As part of The Culture Project at the 45 Bleeker Theater, Staceyann has written and performed the one-woman shows Hands Afire, Unspeakable Things, and Border/Clash Unspeakable Things.

all in a days work...

what hath brad wrought? blondies' gonna getcha

why should the boys have all the fun? with brad pitt, hayden christensen and lenny kravitz all declaring themselves future AIA members, not many female celebrities have jumped on the "but what I really want to do is design" bandwagon. until now.

Debbie Harry, always a pioneer, uses her bands induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame to pronounce her next career move:

"That's why," she says with a smile, "my future will be in architecture and urban planning."
Hey, if it means she'll staunch the flow of overdevelopment and gentrification in the lower east side, I'm all for it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

riding the wave

I don't know if there is a huge overlap of architecture/urbanism dorks and media/technology geeks besides myself, but just in business partner aram and I have quietly begun to write (yet another) blog: Radar Waves, the "official" blog of our company. Aram is lapping me right now in terms of number of posts (as well as in substantive, critical thinking) but I will catch up. Oh yes, I will.

CA-Boom! another event listing

this one looks pretty great, actually - especially the home tours:

Location, Dates, Times, & Prices

· Santa Monica Civic Auditorium 1855 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 Thursday Evening, March 23 to Sunday, March 26, 2006
· Design Community Opening Night Event ($40) Thurs: 7:30pm to 10:30pm
· Home Tours ($75) Fri, Sat, & Sun: Departures 11:15am to 2:30pm (includes transportation & viewing the exhibits)
· Exhibits ($20-$18 from this site) Fri, Sat: 11:00am to 6:00pm, Sun: 11am to 5:00pm

do bloggers count as press? if so, sign me up and send me the press pass.

angelino heights

I sorta kinda remembered someone once telling me about a small enclave of victorian-era homes nestled on a hill in echo park. so yesterday rachel and I decided to seek them out. if I had unlimited financial resources, these may not be my first choice for my dream home (I don't think I could live with lace curtains in every window every day of my life) but its hard not to find these homes charming. sure, there may be "needless clutter" and complexity, but its hard not to love the wraparound porches, the round towers, the ornamental spindles and brackets and weathervanes and horse posts. and of course, the complicated assymmetry of these rambling homes. carroll ave provides the highest concentration of these homes in LA, with a houses in various states of renovation, restoration and decline. here, a couple of pix:

pink house
green house 2
circle house
horse post

back to blogging

I realize that right after I announce I"m going to be writing for curbed LA, I abandoned this blog for a few days. the truth is, with a friend from ny staying with me, I didn't really have time to post here or on curbed, for that matter. I think I managed maybe 4 posts on curbed in the past 5 or 6 days. and none on our newly launched radar blog. but that will change, starting today. I hope.

no need to give a rundown of the weekend. my friend is far from an architecture fan, but after only her second time in LA, she gets this city and digs it - generally hard for another born and bred new yorker to do, esp when the weather is far from cooperative. and for an overly pretentious geek like myself, I enjoy being able to talk real estate, downtown development, the tragedy of chavez ravine, and LA's cultural idiosyncracies with someone who pretends to care. that's what friends are for, after all. oh, and a lot of shopping. and we did spend an inordinate amount of time scanning MLS listings for our dream homes.

later today: photos from our morning in angelino heights.

its good to be back.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

seeking greater fame

some bloggers are able to leverage their talent, popularity and wit into book deals. some into fortune. I, however, have done neither. but I will start writing for Curbed LA momentarily. since there's a lot of overlap between curbed's areas of interest and mine, I'm not sure what direction this blog will go in. I may save the more serious/outraged rants for terra non firma. I may begin to expand the focus area here to include not just architecture and real estate but other forms of culture - more tv. more film. more books. I dont know. as my new overlord likes to say, "its just a blog."

stay tuned for more blog announcements in the next few weeks.

free booze!

ok, you can may to endure some bad pretentious art, or some bad pretentious band, but isn't it worth it for free booze? (very unweidly name) seems to think so. the site also lists happy hour deals. drink up.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

entertaining guests in LA - suggestions welcome

a good friend from new york is coming for a visit this weekend. when I have friends and family here from ny, I tend to over-plan, over-itininerize and generally become an overwrought, one-woman welcome wagon to this city. this time, we only have two things planned: a trip to the getty (in brentwood) and reservations at AOC on sat. my friend has been to LA before, but she hasnt been to either of those two places. I had suggested she bring clothes for hiking and yoga but the weather doesn't look likely to cooperate. so I'm asking readers for suggestions: where would you take friends visiting LA on rainy days? we're already holding off on pedicures until she gets here as a back-up rainy weather plan B. please email or post suggestions in the comments for cool things to do/places to see when the weather blows.

more fun with data

yay! more data...this time my very favorite kind - demographics.

the brooking institution just released findings in a study it conducted on immigrant populations based on the latest US census. while the study looks at trends in metropolitan growth, population diversity and residential changes, this short article from our local cbs affiliate's web site breaks down the numbers for LA:

Los Angeles led all metropolitan areas in population gains by Latinos, Asians and blacks -- increases attributed to higher birth rates among immigrants, the Daily News reported. The Riverside-San Bernardino area ranked second.

In addition, 30 percent of Latinos nationwide live in Los Angeles and New York, the study said, according to the newspaper. And metropolitan Los Angeles, which includes Long Beach and Santa Ana, has 5.6 million Latinos, about 43 percent of its total population.

I love these plates

I'm a sucker for delicate little silhouettes on housewares, stationery, bedding, etc. so its not a surprise I love these - while they look like delicate little etchings on simple white dinnerware, they also celebrate the urban, the ugly, the mundane and the "eyesores" of modern cities. I think they're awesome. [via Curbed LA]

Monday, March 06, 2006

monday media

with the oscars taking up most of the local news coverage (crash? seriously? crash?!), kind of hard to find a few interesting links today. or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. but here you go:

  • two good articles in the LA alternative this week [via archinect]: they spend an afternoon at the getty villa, and really capture the architecture, the gardens, the irony of the getty's scandals, and the "eerie" cleanliness and newness of the villa itself. they also explore the dark side of whole foods - can an employee working at whole foods afford to shop there? stan cox did a similar analysis with wal-mart back in june 2003, working on a simple premise: "In view of Wal-Mart’s vast range of merchandise and “Always Low Prices,” could a family whose breadwinner worked at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Salina, Kansas, afford to supply its minimum needs by shopping there?" he repeats the analysis for whole foods here.
  • the british are coming! tesco, a large supermarket chain in england, is coming to california and trying to beat wal-mart at its own game. slate keeps characterizing tesco express as a convenience store, but when I lived in london, it was my go-to grocery store, and hardly seemed small (but I grew up in nyc so my perception of supermarket spaces is admittedly skewed). it had a bakery, a wine shop, fresh produce and meat and cheese and those handy semi-cooked meals you finish off with a saute. I say bring it on - I can only hope tesco succeeds where walmart has failed so miserably.
  • not LA specific - but the nytimes mag this week is the real estate issue. I haven't read it all, but it covers everything from building affordable housing, to trying to build an ecologically sound home, to the freakonomic guys' retread on their chapter on real estate agents.
  • bonus brits! my favorite british food writer finally gets his props from the new york times.
  • bonus data bites! yes! you know how much I love fun little data facts. the nytimes, reliably 6-12 months behind on sociological technology trends, discovers that some people don't actually pay for wireless - they piggyback on their neighbor's. shocking! but the article had this little gem:

Humphrey Cheung, the editor of a technology Web site,, measured how plentiful open wireless networks have become. In April 2004, he and some colleagues flew two single-engine airplanes over metropolitan Los Angeles with two wireless laptops.

The project logged more than 4,500 wireless networks, with only about 30 percent of them encrypted to lock out outsiders, Mr. Cheung said.

can I do that on my next american airlines flight?

and because I can't just post without putting in my 2 cents on the oscars. last nght's crash win and brokeback loss will go down in history as one of those monumental mistakes akin to giving the best pic oscar to driving miss daisy the same year do the right thing was released, or forrest gump instead of pulp fiction. crash, like those others, is a completely forgettable movie, notable only for its heavy handedness and melodrama. history will not be kind to that movie, while brokeback's stature will only increase with the passage of time. oh, and matteo and I agree paul haggis must have sold his soul to the devil for this career. its the only explanation.

Friday, March 03, 2006

keywords that brought you here

a few of the more entertaining ones. all brad pitt mentions have been omitted:
  • watt's riots
  • predatory towing los angeles
  • sci-arc lawsuit
  • bad buildings
  • tuscan and andalusian reflections
  • kcrw fringe benefits
  • housing market book stiller
  • joe's auto park downtown los angeles
  • poured in place concrete roof fort lauderdale
  • eisenmann 's proposals for wtc, manhattan , photos
  • autocad schindler house
  • garden wedding receptions
  • industrial loft residences, culver city
  • barneys warehouse sale additional discount (if there is one, can someone please let me know?)
  • sci-arc porn star
  • felt ceiling sci-arc
  • description, purpose, intention of twa terminal by eero saarinen
  • is modernism dead
  • secret supper kcrw
  • rick schroder surfing in malibu
  • life coach interior decorator bungalow ohio
  • google earth why miami coast blackout
  • ellen degeneres bought a ranch what city
  • french horn players sunland tujunga
  • queens is the most diverse place on earth written in the new yorker magazine
  • coop boards stories
  • hispanic skateboarders
  • goliath birdeater ecology
  • godzilla vs the skateboarders
  • mexican standoff

Thursday, March 02, 2006

another day, another docent

cutting into my heavy weekend brunch and yoga schedule, I'm filling in for a docent shift on sat at the schindler house. come by for a tour between 11 and 2:30ish. admission is $7, the docent-led tour is free with admission. I give good tour. seriously.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

what's in a name?

today's food section in the latimes included this gem, covering future restaurant openings in LA in the next few months - all in hotels. the article flirts with parody when you read the names of these places. Apparently one word names rule: Cut, Tart, West, and Sea. there's also a royale but that's a mouthful, forcing patrons to say two whole syllables. I have a feeling there may be a proportional relationship here - the shorter the name, the shorter the lifespan, but I may, um, be forced to eat my words.