Posts tagged Los Angeles

“Architecture Exposed” LIGA Book Presentation
The Neutra VDL House invites you to the launch of the second book of LIGA, Space for Architecture, Mexico City. The volume “Architecture Exposed” has the exhibition of architecture as its central theme. Founding directors Wonne Ickx and Ruth Estevez, will engage in a conversation with architecture critic, historian and curator Sylvia Lavin on curating architecture.
When: October 28th, 4-6pm
Where: Neutra VDL House, 2300 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90039

Dia de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is proud to present the 18th annual Dia de los Muertos festival:
The Legacy of Posada – El Legado De Posada. For our 18th Annual Dia de los Muertos, we tip our feather and flower adorned hat to the Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada. Over 100 years ago, Posada gave us many of the foundational images of Dia de los Muertos that are still venerated today and which have become treasured images of Mexican culture and identity. J.G. Posada reminds us that art is power – political and social speech – mass produced by the printing presses and now social media. Posada’s La Catrina asks us to embrace the beauty and grace inherent in facing our own death and the inevitable loss of those we love. By facing loss with love, and art, we find transcendence.
When: October 28th; 12pm – 12am
Where: Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Smorgasburg L.A.
Smorgasburg LA is open every Sunday on the five-acre site of the weekday Alameda Produce Market in Downtown Los Angeles, which is part of a larger, new development called ROW DTLA. Each Sunday, find dozens of exciting food vendors at Smorgasburg LA, plus sophisticated shopping from the realms of design, craft, style, vintage, wellness, and more. Cultural events, pop-ups, and other surprises transform the vast site into a new node in Downtown LA’s burgeoning scene, and a unique destination for the region.
When: October 29th; 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Where: The Row DTLA; 777 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA

Sergei Tchoban Architectural Drawings
On Friday 27th of October at 4pm an afternoon lecture called Drawn Visions and book signing of the monograph Sergei Tchoban Architecture Drawings will take place at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles. This lecture is concurrent with Sergei Tchoban Architectural Drawings exhibition opening reception at the AD Museum at 7pm. The exhibition presents design sketches, imaginary travel studies and architectural fantasies depicting the contrasty dialogue between the historical and contemporary architecture. The show is on view at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum until 8th of January 2018.
When: October 27th, 4pm
Where: A+D Architecture and Design Museum; 900 E 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Pasadena Heritage Craftsman Weekend 2017
A tribute to Pasadena’s unique contributions to the American Arts & Crafts Movement, Craftsman Weekend is the largest most comprehensive celebration of the Craftsman Movement in the Western United States. The Weekend’s offerings will include a tour of significant Craftsman-era houses, a variety of bus and walking tours, an Exposition Show & Sale of over 40 exhibitors featuring antique and contemporary furniture and decorative arts, a silent auction, presentations and exclusive receptions at historic sites.
When: October 26th; 4:00 PM and October 29th, 8:00 PM
Where: Pasadena, CA

In Pursuit of Flora: 18th-Century Botanical Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections
European exploration of other lands during the so-called Age of Discovery revealed a vast new world of plant life that required description, cataloging, and recording. By the 18th century, the practice of botanical illustration had become an essential tool in the study of natural history. From lusciously detailed drawings of fruit and flowers by Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708-1770), a collaborator of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, to depictions of more exotic examples by Matilda Conyers (1753-1803), “In Pursuit of Flora” reveals 18th-century European appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.
When: October 28th – February 19th, 2018
Where: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens; 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108

Edible Options for Harvested Seeds | San Bernardino Regional Seed Library Workshop
This month’s seed library presentation will be about edible seeds. We have spent the year so far talking about plant breeding, seed cleaning, seed saving…. but what about seed eating?! We will talk about which seeds are edible, and different cleaning and preparation techniques and seed eating around the globe. Some seeds are toxic though, and we will go over some of those too. But……of course… Always do your research before you eat interesting and unusual things out of the garden or the forest! Don’t forget to check out our “what to plant” list for this month in our seed library and pick up or drop off some seeds there, too!
When: October 28th, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Where: Chino Basin Water Conservation District, 4594 San Bernardino Street, Montclair, CA 91763

CA Native Garden with James Maxwell
Join expert horticulturist, James Maxwell, as he explains the aspects of planting and caring for a California native garden. Learn about different California native plants, plant pairings for design possibilities, and the needs of native plants to better maintain them in your outdoor space. Also, discover how to incorporate native plants in your existing garden to reduce watering needs and improve wildlife habitat.
When: October 28th, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Where: 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

When my parents moved to California, they settled down just east of Chinatown in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Lincoln Heights. At that time, my parents decided to settle there due to it’s close proximity to Chinatown and the relatively affordable rent. I spent a good part of my childhood exploring the neighborhood, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to truly appreciate the walkability Chinatown offers.

What makes Chinatown so walking friendly?

I believe it’s partially attributed to the Chinese culture, but also because of the dense residential layouts, short blocks, human scaled storefronts, and most importantly, the small businesses that serve the community. There’s a wide variety of shops ranging from family owned supermarkets, herb shops, seafood, eateries, bakeries, clothiers, and many more serving the tight knit community. Growing up, my parents did all of their shopping and errands within a few square miles. We purchased our birthday cakes at Queen Bakery and Phoenix Bakery, brought our produce at Ai Hoa Supermarket, and picked up fresh chicken from the local poultry shop.

But the small businesses environment in Chinatown is changing. There is now a mixture of new and old businesses that co-exist together, each serving different demographics, both culturally and generationally. The younger generation has moved away from Chinatown, leaving an increasingly elderly immigrant population that relies heavily upon the shops and services for their daily needs.
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Gabba Alley Project. Mural: DOURONE / Photo: Alissa Walker

Making LA Together Meet-and-Greet
Join us for the kickoff of the Making LA Together series with the four winning teams from our Making LA Together event, each representing Transportation, Water, Density, and Community. Here’s your chance to learn more about the projects, meet the people behind them, and find out how you can get involved to bring their ideas to life. RSVP on Facebook so we can give the bar a headcount!
When: July 16th, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Tabula Rasa, 5125 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027

 

Summer Movie Nights at the LA River
Join Assemblymember Anthony Rendon, your neighbors, friends and family for an outdoor summer movie night at the Los Angeles River featuring Moana!!! Come enjoy the LA River informational booths, food trucks, and family fun activities. Make sure to bring a blanket and a comfortable chair. The movie will screen in the Los Angeles River channel!! You can bike, walk, or drive to the site. Limited parking available so get there early.
When: July 15, 2017 at 6:30pm – 10pm
Where: 5532 Imperial Hwy, South Gate, CA 90262

 

Choreography of the City: Hans Scharoun’s Philharmonie as a Landscape of the Mind
The In Studio drop-in program presents a demonstration by artist Jamie Sweetman. She explores drawing concepts on form, structure and composition using a variety of mark-making techniques, as in parallel lines, cross-hatching and contour lines. Following the demonstration, visitors are welcome to draw directly from nature in the Sculpture Garden as well as from works in the collections. Join each week to see a different demonstration, and come away with drawings of your own.
When: Thursday, July 27, 2017, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Where: Norton Simon Museum Entrance Gallery

 

Lotus Festival Echo Park Lake
It is an annual event showcasing the people and culture of Asia through verbal and stattionary arts, dances, dragon boat races, and entertainment offered free to the general public. The event is sponsred by the City of Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation and Parks and the Los Angeles lotus Festival, Inc.
When: July 15 at 12 PM to July 16 at 9 PM
Where: 751 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, California 90026

 

Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space
Drawn principally from the Getty Research Institute’s collection of prints, artists’ books, journals, and manuscripts documenting the international concrete poetry movement, this exhibition focuses on the visual, verbal, and sonic experiments of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. Featuring works by foundational figures Augusto de Campos and Ian Hamilton Finlay, Concrete Poetry explores how these artists invented new forms such as cube poems and standing poems and continuously re-created their projects across media. Poetry by contemporaries including Henri Chopin, Ernst Jandl, Mary Ellen Solt, and Emmett Williams also plays a prominent role.
When: Thru July 30th, 2017
Where: Getty Research Institute

Photo by Gary Lai

All photos by Gary Lai.

Inspired by our recent viewing of La La Land, my wife and I felt compelled to make the trek up the hill to visit the Griffith Observatory. We had heard stories about the epic traffic caused by the popularity of the film, so we decided to take the LA DOT DASH shuttle from the Metro Redline Station at Vermont and Sunset up to our destination to make life easier.

It proved to be the right decision.

Cars stretched down to Los Feliz Boulevard, the traffic snaking upward from both the Greek Theater and from Fern Dell Drive routes up to the Observatory. Even though the DASH crawled up the same road as the rest of the traffic, we were eventually dropped off directly in front of the entry plaza while everyone else in their cars had to still navigate and battle for parking up top.

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The day was spectacularly clear with a moody sky perfect for an amateur iPhone photographer. Even though we had been to the Observatory many times, the trip never disappoints. The building itself screams nostalgia with its Art Deco architecture from a by-gone era of old Hollywood glamor. This combination of architecture and the breathtaking view offers a spectacular experience worthy of the crowds.

Photo by Gary Lai

Standing on the rooftop deck of the Griffith Park Observatory, the urbanist in me couldn’t help but imagine the view back in 1935, the sight of a central city surrounded by orchards, farmland and small, somewhat isolated communities. I would have surely been shocked to see a vast megapolis with long boulevards stretching toward the horizon.

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If the 1927 film Metropolis seemed far-fetched to my imaginary 1935 self – or even my former 1982 “Blade Runner” self  – surely this view would convince me that those  fictional visions of the future are entirely plausible. As we run out of developable land and concentrate on densification and in-fill, I hope that we will make smarter decisions to manage our growth in the next century as opposed to the last. It was something for my wife and me to contemplate as we made our way back down the hill on the shuttle in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

[Mild spoilers ahead]

In the opening scene of Damien Chazelle’s new movie musical, LA LA Land, the sound of honking begin before the visuals start (reality check: no one honks their horns in LA, for fear of being shot). The camera pans across a line of cars stuck in traffic on the 105/110 interchange. For a movie about Los Angeles, this is about as cliche as it gets…yet, also about as accurate as you can get considering we do have the worst traffic in country.

As the camera pans across bored and miserable people baking in the sun and stuck in their cars, it suddenly climbs up above the traffic and zeros in on a specific women who starts to sing the opening number, “Another Day of Sun”. The woman jumps out of her car, convincing her fellow commuters to sing and dance their way across the freeway. As the camera deliriously pans back and forth over and around the freeway, the musical number reaches its climax, upon which everyone promptly gets back into their car and the honking resumes. The word “Winter” appears on the screen.

The audience at the Vista Theater in Los Feliz chuckled in acknowledgment.

Image: Lionsgate

Los Angeles is a city of great complexity and contradictions. As the movie moved onto follow two star-crossed lovers – a struggling jazz musician played by Ryan Gosling and a struggling actor  portrayed by Emma Stone – I realize that director Damien Chazell, more than anyone I know, has a deep understanding of Los Angeles.

As a contextual designer, I strive to understand a place, a site, a neighborhood, a city, a state, a country or wherever I need to design. Since the majority of my current work is in Los Angeles, I need to understand Los Angeles. But, LA is a city of contradictions. We are slow to accept change, but obsessively fast to implement change once it is accepted (see: public transportation). We revere aspects of the past, but are also quick to tear down reminders of that past (see: our penchant for destroying historical landmarks).

We convey the Hollywood image to the world, but are really about our blue collar background (did you know that we are one of the largest manufacturing cities in the country?). LA LA Land uses the imagery and cliches of the City of Angels to say something more about the inner truth of this place. At one point Gosling’s character, a native Angeleno, criticizes Los Angeles: “We worship everything, but value nothing.” Even that statement is a cliche, but has truth to it.

LA LA Land plays with these contradictions and layers them throughout its 128 minute playing time. It’s a modern musical shot in 1930’s style. It’s a fanciful drama of Old Hollywood Glamour set in Los Angeles gritty post-industrial neighborhoods – a “City of Stars” that regularly crushes its occupants aspirations and dreams, always precariously edging toward disaster, but maintaining stability somehow.

What’s a designer to do? Like an author striving to write the “Great American Novel”, designers try to create the “Great American Place” – in my case, the “Great LA Place”.

Maybe the key to designing in such a place is to embrace the complexity and contradictions of this city and try to ascertain the deeper meaning. Do we contradict ourselves because we honor and miss the past but recognize the need to move forward and change? Perhaps designing for our real life LA LA Land is really about designing to the vision of what Los Angeles wants to be. Perhaps we need to design for the ideal, the glamour, the image, but make those designs accessible to the reality of the people who live in this city.

As I was walking out of the theater, I overheard the best line of the evening that wasn’t even in the movie. One man standing in line for the restroom asked his friend, “So, did that movie inspire you or make you more desperate?”

Exactly the correct Los Angeles question.