Since launching Curating Los Angeles in September, I've thoroughly enjoyed the process of building this online resource. In just a few short months, I've had the privilege of getting to know some fascinating local organizations, meeting others who are passionate about the city and enhancing life in southern California through their work and/or volunteerism, and then writing about these people and institutions so I can share what I've learned with you.
Although from time to time I may write up a restaurant that I enjoy, this site is not about food. That said, I do plan on sharing information concerning the local restaurant scene as critiqued by others whose opinions I value. One such local authority is Jonathan Gold, who writes for the LA Weekly. Recently, he compiled a list of his 99 essential restaurants of 2010. Check it out here and enjoy!
In the December / January 2011 issue of Interview Magazine, Christopher Bollen posits that “some of the most provocative, potent art being created in the United States today isn’t coming out of New York City but clear across the continent in Los Angeles.” He then sets about proving his point by profiling a number of artists who make LA their home - some with long established international reputations such as Chris Burden and George Herms, and others who have more recently begun making a name for themselves, such as Zackary Drucker, Kaari Upson and Matt Chambers.
I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to spend time with other people who love LA as much as I do. One of the best ways to find these kindred spirits is to take a tour with them, and that’s exactly what I did several weeks ago. On Saturday afternoon, December 11th, I participated in a bus tour called East Side Babylon, run by Esotouric, a local tour company. The excursion introduced me to a facet of local history that I was largely unfamiliar with; namely, local crime tales from communities east of the Los Angeles river, including East LA and the cities of Montebello and Commerce.
As the year comes to a close, KCRW's Frances Anderton, producer and host of the monthly program Design and Architecture (DnA), looks back and finds that although 2010 was hard on the design and construction industry in Los Angeles, the city united around a quest for community.
LA design experts share their favorite projects; Maureen Sullivan, Lisa Watson and residents discuss design by women for women at the Downtown Women’s Center; and designer Raul Rodriguez, manager Robert Cash and others discuss the collective design spirit that animates the Rose Parade.
When: Tuesday, December 21 - Airs/streams live @ 2:30 to 3 pm PST
Future Programs: DnA airs on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.
As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Los Angeles Magazine has reached into its archive and put its covers online. When I browsed the collection, I was surprised how many of them I remembered from either reading particular issues or seeing them on the newsstand.
Seeing the magazine's covers presented chronologically by year highlights the degree to which they represent markers in time. The majority of early issues featured drawings on the covers and were not personality driven. Then in the late 60's the publication began using more photographs and by the early 70's started putting celebrities on its covers, moves likely intended to sell more magazines but also reflective of changing social sensibilities.
Check out the online archive for yourself and take a tour of this interesting collection.
With his huge, buoyant sound and a supple sense of swing veteran Los Angeles bassist Henry “The Skipper” Franklin has been a dependable rhythm section sparkplug for five decades. In the late 1960s and 70s he gained international prominence with a series of high profile gigs, touring and recording with resurgent LA piano legend Hampton Hawes, gigging with trumpet firebrand Freddie Hubbard, and freelancing with tenor sax giants Pharoah Sanders, Harold Land, and Sonny Rollins. He collaborated with South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela on the chart-topping hit “Grazing In the Grass” and contributed to another pop landmark, “The Secret Life of Plants” by Stevie Wonder.
Last week Metropolis Magazine published a really interesting interview with Guy Martin, principal of Guy Martin Design. Trained as an architect, Martin runs a very unique practice in that he doesn’t design buildings. Rather, his work is focused on using robot technology and in-house fabrication to create physical objects from digital designs.
Martin’s firm is based in Westminster, a city in north Orange County, and he’s a graduate of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC), known worldwide for its innovative undergraduate and graduate programs. If you want to learn more about this creative southern Californian, read the complete Guy Martin interview. It’s truly fascinating.