Friday, June 22, 2012

More Please!

So I have been taking a lot of pictures, not all of them make the cut for my blog but if you have a real hankering for more pictures, I'm trying to put them all up on my flickr.

The stupidly beautiful view from Mount Lowe.

The Pacific Ocean says Hay

Yesterday I went to Venice Beach. It was a trip! It first of all took a very long time to get there (I will never complain about the TTC again!) about two hours each way on multiple trains and buses. But the trains in LA are a pure delight, I will say that, and a day pass is 5 bucks. I spent some time on Abbot Kinney looking at the shops in the ocean air, I had my picture taken by a fasion blogger (watch for my picture here) and then I finally got the boardwalk, which is weird and wonderful. Here's my photo essay on the experience-

Here's a Dumpster Rock Sculpture on Abbot Kinney. California's version of the inukshuk

There were a few other pieces by the Typo Terrorist but this was my favourite.

Not as cold as Lake Ontario.

This was also my first time seeing clouds in California, this picture is rather Turner-esque.

Low Budget Pier Fair!

You better believe I went on the Ferris Wheel!

New Stitchings!

I thought you might want to see the new stitching I'm working on. This is a small sampler with text from a Silver Jews song- the top panel has been started yet but it will read, People ask people to watch their Scotch, People send people up to the moon (and the rest which is stitched already reads) When they return well there isn't much, People be careful not to crest too soon.

All cross stitch. Soon I hope it will be done, but these things always take longer than I realize.

Bradbury Building

Today I went downtown to see the Bradbury Building, and some other sights downtown. The Bradbury building is so beautiful, it was built in 1893 and comissioned by an eccentric millionaire, Lewis Bradbury, who died shortly after the building's completion. The story goes that the orginal architect was fired because his vision for the building was not spectacular enough. Bradbury approached George Wyman, who orginally refused and then changed his mind after he was allegedly spoken to by his dead brother who told him that the Bradbury building would make him successful. This communication took place on a planchette board, and here's a little string of interesting coincidences- The science fiction publisher Forrest J. Ackerman was Wyman's grandson and he owned the orignal document containing this message until he died. Ackerman was close friends with Ray Bradbury (Whom I always liked to imagine the Bradbury building is named for even though it pre-dates him).  But science fiction plays a huge role in the building's history, the building is said to be influenced by the 1887 Edward Bellamy science fiction book, Looking Backward. The book describes a utopian society in 2000 and a commerical building is described as"vast hall full of light, received not alone from the windows on all sides, but from the dome, the point of which was a hundred feet above ... The walls and ceiling were frescoed in mellow tints, calculated to soften without absorbing the light which flooded the interior."

This is an accurate desciption of the Bradbury building. It has of course been used in many different film sets throughout its lifetime but agrueably its most famous role is in the film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?- Blade Runner. Being in the Bradbury building is like stepping back into time and into the future all at once, it does feel utopic as though it has some higher purpose in mind for itself and its just biding its time through the ages until that reality arrives. But it also feels lonely and a bit like the world has bypassed it, its strange to think of old buildings and the way they communicate with us.

I also rode the Angels Flight train, another historic downtown Los Angeles landmark. Originally it was built to transport people up to Bunker Hill. Its claim to fame is being the world's shortest railroad, and its steeped in political convtroversy throughout the ages. It was opened in 1901 and then it was dismantled in 1969 and moved from its original location transporting people between Hill st and 3rd, to a block and a half away, but that wasn't until 1996. There was an accident shortly after that which killed one person and caused the railway to close, but they resolved the issue and now you can ride it up for 50 cents. Yahoo!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mount Washington

Yesterday we took a journey up to Mount Washington, a beautiful walk through a great neighbourhood. It was so dense with plants and shade. Unfortunately my computer ate a lot of the pictures I took up there so here are the ones it graciously saved to share with you:

One of the views of the city from near the top. I did have pictures at the top, but someone got greedy.

At the top of the mountain there are beautiful meditation gardens at the Self-Realization Fellowship.

The wise old cat who lived there.

Oranges right off the tree have an unbelievable taste. So good.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Noah Purifoy

In Joshua Tree there is a collection of work by the late Noah Purifoy. All these pieces have been constructed sometime between 1989 and 2004 and they sit out in the desert sun and turn into something rich and strange. The works are really spooky and beautiful, each one stands alone but together they seem to paint this picture of some kind of lost civilization. The first one is my favourite, its called Carousel. There were birds living in the fabric that hung from the ceiling and the circular building had a hole in its roof where light shone in on this altar-like assemblage of old computers and keyboards. The pieces along the walls seemed like little shrines.

The impact of the sun on the materials was really apparent but things don't really decay in the desert, they just change into something more desert-like. They harden, and discolour.