Huntington Botanical Gardens
The Huntington Botanical Gardens at The Huntington in Pasadena covers 207 acres with more than 14,000 different varieties of plants among a dozen principal garden areas. Forty gardeners, a curatorial staff of seven, and more than 100 volunteers maintain the botanical collections. And their efforts do not go unnoticed. The Gardens are a magical escape from the rest of LA, lush and meticulously maintained.
I did not have the opportunity to explore all of the gardens, so I made the recently restored Japanese Garden the priority for my first visit. Love the koi-filled ponds, moon bridge and historic Japanese House – so serene.
Patience is a virtue. A striking bonsai in the Bonsai Courts within the Japanese Garden.
The scent of wisteria swells upon descent into the Japanese Garden.
‘And the tree was happy.’ Definitely some Shel Silverstein vibes here. I took a lot of pics with my iPhone, but I won’t bore you with low resolution. My advice would be to plan a visit here on a weekday afternoon during your next trip to LA. Can’t wait to get back and experience the other sections…
A softer Cali color palette today.
Palm Springs Blues
One of the great joys of California is discovering its many shades of blue. Depending upon the hour of the day, the sky and surroundings can change from periwinkle to turquoise to a rich indigo blue. It’s marvelous. Those colors were on full display last week in Palm Springs. Below, a few snaps from our little roadtrip adventure…
While the weather is marvelous here in LA, I’m dreaming of more exotic fare. I haven’t been to Italy in a couple years, and I hear the Amalfi Coast calling! For some travel and fashion inspiration, I thought I’d share one of my favorite posts from venerable blogger Miss Moss. Dulce Dolce is a gorgeous color comparison matching Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2013 to vintage travel posters. “Just one quick glance over the entire collection and a myriad of things come to mind: summer holidays, the Italian Riviera, hammocks, umbrellas, hot heat, cold drinks, ripe fruit and seaside stripes.” So grab your sunnies and feast your eyes on this magnificent mashup.
More Italian posts this way.
A Visit to LACMA
The Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA is a superb, detailed look at the director’s creative process and the meaning of his work. It’s a must see in LA. And while you’re there, do take in some of the art on the grounds – no ticket necessary.
‘Levitated Mass’ by artist Michael Heizer is a 340-ton granite megalith straddling a long concrete corridor, built for the museum.
I don’t know what this tangle of yellow is called. But I do know that kids love ‘em some spaghetti.
LA at the Golden Hour
I’m never more taken by the beauty and grandeur of LA than at the golden hour. Below are a few snaps from the past week during my favorite time of day…
A bus stop in Angelino Heights. Even the city benches in LA are colorful.
Viva la gumball machines! At an old school market in Echo Park.
A shiny VW Van in Silver Lake. There’s a whole lot of LA in this shot.
Love how that pink house stands out like a flamingo in Silver Lake.
Two chic hikers cross the bridge in Griffith Park.
A lone hiker makes his way ‘round the bend.
Santa Monica Pier as the sun sets over the Pacific.
And fin. Goodnight LA. I love you.
Every night. Sunset from Griffith Park.
Sunset over Hollywood.
Theaters of LA
I love the retro theaters here in LA. I might dedicate an entire blog to them – and their fonts! Much like Savannah, their architecture and unchanged look give the city a distinctive cinematic air: that “Back to the Future” feel. I love researching the history behind each one. Above, The Orpheum Theater on Broadway in downtown LA.
The Vintage Los Feliz 3 Cinemas, around the corner from my home here.
Snaps From LA
I’ve been settling into Los Angeles and loving it. It’s so beautiful, so colorful, so kooky. The city is similar to New York in that there is no where else like it, with a specificity and breed of crazy that is entirely its own. I’m working from different cafes, exploring, meeting up and saying yes to everything! Each day brings new discovery and delight. Included are a few Instragram snaps from my stay so far. Above, the city from atop Griffith Park, which I walk to from my Los Feliz home.
I’m adjusting to car culture…and it’s not bad! I’m in a neighborhood where I can walk to stuff, so it’s nice to get behind the wheel and blast some Jimi Hendrix B-side from time to time (‘Crosstown Traffic’ is very relevant these days). Beyond the driving, though, it’s the cars that kill me! LA has some freaky looking cars, maybe a blog’s worth of ‘em. Above, a vintage Camaro atop Griffith Park; below, waiting at a traffic light at the intersection of Hyperion and Rowena.
Ombré carrots at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. I hit the flea and farmer’s markets on the reg.
This made me chuckle on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “For my money, I don’t know if it gets any better than when he sings ‘When a Man Loves a Woman.’” -Bob, “Office Space.”
My pool. Yep.
Rowena is a great street to live on. Cute cars, access to excellent cafes and shops in both directions, and Rowena Reservoir, above, sublime at dusk. Stay tuned for more!
This Is Happening
I’m In LA now! And I need to meet everyone…
A visit to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert masterpiece, is essential when in the Greater Phoenix area. The architect was a fascinating, brilliant eccentric, with vast highs and lows in both his professional and personal lives. Taliesin offers great insight to his tastes and philosophies, along with a history of the building and its inspirations.
Taliesin West served as Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and school from 1937 until his death in 1959 at the age of 91. It has evolved considerably from the basic rock corridors he first created, but its place ‘at the brow’ of the mountains and its innovative concepts endure. Like Falling Water and many of his other projects, using natural, available materials to build was fundamental to a project’s design. You might call him the ‘Granddaddy of Green Building.’ But to him, it was the only way to construct harmoniously.
Every doorway, every beam, every detail has purpose in a Frank Lloyd Wright building. The weekend tours here are excellent, elucidating architectural ingenuity and nuance not immediately apparent to the average eye. And lots of fun facts, too. For instance, did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright patented Cherokee Red, seen above on the front door?
One of my favorite parts of Taliesin is the cabaret room. Built in an irregularly hexagonal shape, with six sides out of the standard rock and concrete mixture, it’s cozy, beautiful and the acoustics are world class. One sitting in the back row can hear the lightest whisper from a speaker on stage. Both Frank Lloyd Wright and his last wife (and most enduring love) were classically trained pianists and performed here.
Here, a table setting in the cabaret celebrating Taliesin West’s 75th anniversary (rocks as placeholders, naturally). It was such a treat to witness this special occasion, and I highly encourage a visit here. There is profound history to Taliesin – I could go on and on – but ‘tis best discovered firsthand.
Sunrise in Scottsdale
Am I the only one who rises earlier on vacation than during their daily routine? You won’t ever find me up with the sun in New York, but in Arizona, there is such quiet beauty in the morning, I can’t seem to help myself. Can you see the little sliver of moon still dangling as night gives way?
Camelback Mountain is especially impressive at sunrise. I sort of felt like Santa Clause, looking down excitedly as the town awakes from their slumber. We hiked the mountain later than day – my legs are still sore!
Today’s office: Gateway Trail Loop at McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale.
They don’t have arms, but they have each other.
What moss-covered oaks are to Savannah, crazy ass cacti are to Scottsdale.
I’m coming ‘round the mountain.
I really love the wild, curious brush in the Southwest. Having grown up and spent most of my life in the Northeast, it’s a marvelous contrast. McDowell is a quiet preserve, stretched across 21,400 scenic acres of Scottsdale, and I highly recommend a visit for long, leisurely hikes amidst arid beauty.
Different day, different skyline. Good morning Arizona!