Sunday, February 28, 2016

Go West Project - Kim

Last summer, wandering the streets of DTLA,
I stumbled upon Kim West's mural Ode to Bohemia and an obsession was ignited.
I immediately stalked her online and added her Instagram feed to my list of followers.
Her vibrant paintings are easy to spot.
Animals often make an unexpected appearance:
a deer with metallic antlers or a polar bear emerging from a crimson cloud.
My Kim West fixation came up several times in conversation with Mad Whip
as we explored the downtown scene yesterday.
The universe responded in a whimsical fashion.
As we turned down an alley, talking about ideas for our next photography project,
I was silenced by a huge wall painted in deep teal and blue, unmistakably Kim's work.
In the far right corner I spotted a woman.
Blond hair tied in a pony tail,
she was wearing a paint splattered jumpsuit, and soaking a paint roller in a bucket of teal.
What are the odds?
I had no choice but to introduce myself, and gush.  
The kicker was I had just suggested a notion for our next project: portraits.
It's the subject matter I shoot the least, and the one that makes me the most uncomfortable.
I mentioned it as a springboard for other ideas,
but now there was no going back.
Our next photography project is born:
Go West in honor of my first subject and the ever-present desire to 
take on new adventures, and explore foreign territory.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Mad Whip and Joons

Had a perfect weekend visit from Madwhip and Joons.
An overnight was not enough time to accomplish all there is to do on a sunny weekend in LA,
but we did our best to satiate our adventurous appetite.
We cruised around Echo Park Lake in a pedal boat.
Ate a scrumptious lunch at Sqril.
Wandered The Arts District where we had a synchronistic encounter with muralist Kim West.
And took a moonlit walk to dinner at The Beachwood Cafe.
Joons was so exhausted she feel asleep while eating her cheeseburger and fries.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Thursday, February 18, 2016

What Belongs To You

Garth Greenwell's first novel, What Belongs to You,
induced another lively book club discussion.
The short novel about an American poet teaching English in Bulgaria
who falls for a hustler he meets in a public restroom
was unanimously enjoyed.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday, February 6, 2016


I'm slightly obsessed with the dilapidated Neutra across the street from me.
It was built in 1933 for Ernest and Bertha Mosk,
a young, non-affluent couple with sophisticated taste and an eye for modernism.
For Neutra the work was a replicable prototype for steep hillside development.
A few months after moving in, Bertha wrote the architect to express their
"feeling that now we have the freedom to breathe and grow.
The house is alive and so we too feel vital."
I know the power of the light in this canyon,
and can only imagine how Neutra maximized the southern exposure and hillside views.
Ironically, in its current state, the house is an eyesore.
My obsessive thoughts are about restoring this architectural gem to it's original splendor.
"Above and below the rows of steel casements running continuously around the bedroom wing,
were wooden and stucco bands, painted to heighten the building's "machine identity" 
in various hues of silver-grey aluminum." 
Never say never.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The People Vs OJ Simpson

After viewing just one episode of The People VS OJ Simpson, I'm hooked.
On a personal note, it's odd, in the way that getting older continues to confound me,
to watch an historical event that I lived through as an adult.
The murders and subsequent trial were the backdrop of my first years in LA.  
Of course, this was National, front page news, but it was also local, and somehow personal.
The infamous car chase on June 17, 1994 had caused heavier than usual Friday night traffic.
I recall leaving my office at Universal that night, concerned I'd be late for dinner.
Over the following year and a half, meetings with writers often started with reactions to the incredulous occurrences in the court room.
Kato Kaelin was like a sitcom character who wandered into a crime show.
Later, he'd break the forth wall, showing up at industry parties as a C-list celebrity.
I was working with one writer who was addicted
to watching round-the-clock courtroom coverage.
I had to constantly remind her of our deadlines, and to turn off the TV.
On a different project, the writer named the local hang out
Judge Ito's Side Bar & Grill.
Early on a cool Monday morning, notepads left in the conference room, 
we gathered in my boss' office to hear the verdict.
Palpable anxiety in a still room. 
The Rodney King riots lingered in the city's psyche.
Would people take to the streets if they didn't like the outcome?
The foreman stumbled over OJ's name.
Not guilty.
Not guilty?
I felt disheartened, shocked.
I had just watched someone get away with murder.
The case underscored something I was witnessing in Hollywood:
celebrity was the ultimate commodity.
It was a harsh awakening.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Time Marches On