Sometimes a proposed project is just to special not to share with you. Yesterday it was a 60-story hotel tower that has carved-out a distinct place in the LA skyline, today it’s this dog.
I am tempted to try to reign this thing in so that it resembles a building that actually belongs in the East Hollywood context–maybe get rid of the foam balustrade, the foam arches, the foam parapet–the FOAM, but I have come to learn that if you are an “architect” who believes that these are materials and motifs that should be used, you are not an architect who will ever successfully find alternatives. Subtle play with basic building forms, well placed windows, landscape, a water feature–devices that could create a personal scale and welcome the visitor are lost when you’ve got marble columns on the brain.
I have resisted Facebook for quite some time. I was on Myspace for about a minute, and I mostly hated it. At the time I felt that there were enough things in life to obsess about, ego-projection into cyberspace didn’t need to be one of them. That, and I don’t think that my computer could handle loading everyone’s crazy-ass wallpaper/Alicia Keys song/emoticon nightmare.
However, over the last couple of weeks, a number of friends asked me why I wasn’t on Facebook yet, and reminded me that it’s a useful way to simply be friendswith people. Alicia Keys=bad, friends=good, right? Fair enough. I signed up, and now I’m pretty hooked.
The coolest thing, so far, has been reconnecting with people from elementary school. I grew up in a small town in LA County called Agua Dulce, which you might never have heard of, but have probably seen at least once a week on TV because stuff gets filmed there all the time. (I think everyone in 3rd grade had a signed head shot of David Hasslehoff on account of all the Knight Rider shoots that invaded our town.) My family moved to the Central Coast when I was in high school, so there really aren’t any high school reunions or other similar events to look forward to. Consequently, Facebook has become this big “roots” experience.
It’s really pretty cool to see the people that I grew up with relating to eachother as friendly adults. And it’s pretty amazing to see that these same people are leading happy lives with kids and spouses and careers, and we weren’t all destroyed by being required to sing “Wind Beneath Wings” at sixth-grade graduation.
So thanks for being friends.
…because Alzheimer’s sucks and you don’t really need to smell good in the summer.
One of the things that I deal with at work is historic preservation. Occasionally, the City will identify neighborhoods where there is a significant concentration of historic buildings (usually houses) and create restrictions and guidelines as to how the structures can be adapted and maintained over time. At its best, this practice preserves important parts of our built environment and tells a much better story of what Los Angeles is. On a more surfacy level, this practice just prevents really tasteless people from fucking up really cool houses with cheap remodels or McMansion additions.
In addition to getting communities behind stuff like this, I also write guidelines that deal with design and restoration, and I end up working with individual property owners on their projects (a process I call baby-sitting door knobs every now and then).
Recently I came across this house in Lincoln Heights. Someone bought it and wanted to re-stucco it. Now normally, if someone asks to stucco over a late-19th century Folk Victorian he gets a really smarmy lecture from me about how absurd and horrible that is (using phrases like “an historic”). But when the damage was done years before anyone really cared about this sort of thing (in this case 1979) I usually just hit the “okay fine” button. This has more to do with officially differing standards for houses that have been bastardized vs. those that remain intact.
However, several days later I got a call from a building inspector asking if I was aware that the owner had removed the original Tums-orange stucco and that the original clapboard siding was still in-tact. On a sunny Friday morning, this kind of phone call is equivalent to a city planner bat-signal. I grabbed a co-worker who speaks Spanish, jumped in the white hybrid and headed north.
Through some creative negotiation, most of which took place in Spanish my friend was able to persuade the new owner to at least restore the porch decoration and some of the clapboard. Given the circumstances, not a bad deal–the house is so far gone that it would take an economic miracle to restore it (the interior is gutted, the fenestration is all hacked up, etc.), but at least now it tells a better story to the neighborhood about what Lincoln Heights looked like 100 years ago (when this farm house was probably the only house on the block). There is a real insistence among recent Latin American immigrants that wood siding looks old and having a house with wood means you are poor. The tragic reality for these homes and neighborhoods though, is that the opposite tends to be true. These homes were constructed with a level of craftsmanship that no amount of stucco or aluminum could replicate or replace.
The following are taken, in alphabetical order, from the YouTube search menu’s most popular searches They are obviuosly things that we all need to know how to do:
apply eyeliner, be emo, curl hair, do, get a six pack in three minutes, heelflip, impossible , jerk, kiss, lose a guy in 10 days, make a smoke bomb, nollie, ollie, play guitar, quit smoking, roll a joint the real way, save a life, tie a tie, use a tampon, varial kickflip, windmill, xt-002, yodel, zippo tricks.
The internet is one big sexually crazed and confused teenager with some sick skating moves and not a lot of time for a proper abdominal workout.
I swear to God I’m going to post some stuff on our New York trip any day now and blow you all away with my observations about buildings and places and people that have been talked about to death for the last 200 years. But the photos are all so huge because of Kenny’s schmancy camera, and I don’t have the time to deal with them because I’m a really busy person who spends his time doing very important things.
In the mean time, I am on Twitter. If you’re not on there, you should be. It’s a fun easy way to be able to say hello to your friends and complain to them about the lunch you are eating. Think of it as Facebook, but without all the ego projection and pictures of you backpacking or whatever. My Twitter name is qcondition. Come find me.
Everyone knows that the Internet serves three basic purposes: porn, stalking, and on line banking. Twitter, the super-minimal chatty-networky device that newscasters and Senators can’t shut up about doesn’t really fit into any of these categories, and I have been struggling to understand its utility. Until recently. Twitter is for stalking.
While at JFK (oh yeah, we went to New York for a couple of weeks, more on that later, it was RADICAL) I read a “tweet” from one of my favorite bloggers, The Sneeze. The tweet read something to the effect of “At JFK near that one restaurant, where that one thing happened,” (paraphrased, I can only waste so much time at work) and was accompanied by a photo of said restaurant.
“Holy shit,” I said to myself, “we’re sitting by the same restaurant!” And so I began my quest to ferret the man who introduced me to Cuitlaccoche. “Well I know he has kids,” and “he has to be a 30-something nerdy white guy.” I did laps around the terminal, looking for a dude with an iPhone surrounded by mad-capped hilarity. Finally I checked Twitter again. It read: “Hey 2 guys sitting at gate 19 discussing the sneeze. I’m sitting right behind you.” I think maybe I screamed.
Finally I can shut up about the LA Marathon; it was over a week ago and I finished it! My time was 4:33 which I would call a B in beginner marathon running (the average time is 5:30). I had hoped to come in closer to 4:15, but my legs started to cramp up around mile 23, and so I needed to slow down for 23 and 24 so as not to experience the cramp phenomena where everything locks up at the same time and you can’t move and you scream a lot. I did sprint in the last mile and it felt great. Actually, the whole race went by so much quicker than I expected and I’m pretty sure that I’ll do it again sometime if they can invent a way to make the training less annoying. Here is a picture of me at mile 21 in Hancock Park where Kenny, Joe, Chris, Erick, C.C., Cheryl, Clair, Victor and Juline were waiting with signs food and some love. If you have never had people, strangers or not, cheer for you while doing something you really must. If it takes 26 miles, so be it.
Tomorrow morning is the LA Marathon. I’m pretty excited. I think that I’m supposed to go drink a gallon of water and try to wrap my hamstrings around my head or something, so I’m going to keep this short. Here are some things that I am thinking about:
1. I hope I don’t have to poo during the race.
2. If I do have to poo I hope I can find a clean place to do it.
3. I hope that I find Kenny at the right places to get my goo and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some love.
4. I hope that I finish with a smile on my face.
5. I hope that I have no immobilizing pain.
6. I hope that I can walk normal the day after.
7. I hope that when middle aged women pass me that I don’t notice.
Wish me luck!
Wish me luck