Saturday, June 16, 2018

82 Portraits and 1 Still Life

LOVED the current Hockney exhibition at LACMA showcases portraits, each one painted in a  limited time-frame of three days – what Hockney calls a “20 hour exposure” – on identically sized canvases.
The subjects all sit in the same pale yellow chair, positioned on a turquoise floor with a blue background, or a blue floor with a turquoise background.
"Most people die of boredom, Hockney says, but “I’m not bored yet. I’m still curious. I’m still excited by pictures. I say that when I’m in the studio, I feel like I’m 30. But when I leave it, I know I’m 80. So, naturally, I stay in here. Wouldn’t you rather be 30?”

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Day 9

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready

to break my heart
as the sun rises, 
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open —

pools of lace, 
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes

into the curls, 
craving the sweet sap, 
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities —

and all day
under the shifty wind, 
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies, 

and tip their fragrance to the air, 
and rise, 
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness 

gladly and lightly, 
and there it is again — 
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open. 

Do you love this world? 
Do you cherish your humble and silky life? 
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden, 

and softly, 
and exclaiming of their dearness, 
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, 

their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

Mary Oliver

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mh Zh

For months I've seen Silverlake hipsters line up on the corner of Sunset and Maltman
outside of a no name restaurant no larger than a birds nest.  
On the sidewalk, a green oil drum serves as a makeshift hostess station.
Menus, written in black sharpie on paper bags, are piled under a porous rock.
The sidewalk is lined with tables to supplement the ten seats inside the space.

After an early viewing of short films at a festival in Hollywood,
 we took a chance,
not knowing if the wait would be endurable.
We were in luck. 
Within 15 minutes we were perched on utilitarian stools
with front row seats to the open kitchen.
Rib eyes and lamb chops sizzled over an open flame.
Swiss chard melted on the stove as trays of steaming russet potatoes were pulled from the oven.
A bouquet of flowering cilantro garnished a side of braised cabbage
so rich it looked liked tender beef. 

The restaurant, helmed by Conor Shemtov a 26 year old Israeli chef, lives up to the hype.
Our Branzino was expertly flavored with lemon, thyme and capers.
The flakes of white fish were tender and buttery.
The potatoes, crisp, meaty skins, were last meal worthy.
Roasted baby beets with hazelnuts and to-die for bread rounded out the meal.

An absolutely perfect night.
Satiated by an adventurous dining experience
where a chef's love for cooking was extremely evident.
I felt both transported and grounded in the moment.
Anthony Bourdain has not been out of my thoughts since I heard about his suicide on Friday.
He would have been enraptured by the big meal turned out by this tiny kitchen.
Mh Zh.
Definitely going back.

Day 8

The farms of California grace our local farmers markets
with a bounty of early summer produce.
I long for endless days of no commitments.
Days I can shop, cook and entertain.  
I'm craving all sorts of vacations from work.
Days in the kitchen baking bread and fruit tarts.
Days devoted to self-indulgent care.
Lazy days with a book and guilt free nap time.
Days in a new enviornment exploring ancient cobblestone streets.
Summer, unlike other seasons, makes me dream of time away from my routine.
It's a mind set, a craving, a wistful yearning.
An itch I need to scratch.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Day 7

One of life's little pleasures is working from home.
I don't get to do it every day,
but when I can, I do.
Some of my most productive work days are from the confines of my house.
Conference calls, meetings, and reading scripts coalesce
with a lunchtime workout and dinner prep.
And when rush hour traffic peaks, especially on a Friday,
I'm already home, transitioning into a weekend state of mind.

Anthony Bourdain

As far as you can, as much as you can.
Across the ocean, or simply across the river.
Walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food.
Open your mind, get off the couch.

Anthony Bourdain

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Day 6

Whenever an event is happening at The Hollywood Bowl searchlights over the venue
create two beams of intersecting lights.  
I've always been enchanted by the magical static x
prominently featured from my living room balcony.
Never knowing its true purpose my imagination filled in the gap —
a modern day bat signal for buried treasure or an alien landing.

A little google search revealed the lights' true purpose:
to alert pilots to concerts below and therefore ward off aircraft noise.
And all along I though it was solely  for the aesthetics!