Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles, 1972 (and so should you)

02/05/2011 § 1 Comment

“…Los Angeles, which makes nonsense of history and breaks all the rules…”

As an Angeleno living in New York, I frequently find myself advocating in defense of my fair home city.  Now, I will be the first to admit that Los Angeles is a fickle mistress.  She is incredibly large and incredibly small at the same time, and she isn’t the type of city that welcomes you with open arms.  But with a bit of effort, the right car and a knowledgeable guide, Los Angeles will slowly reveal her incredible beauty to you.

Reyner Banham, noted architectural critic and owner of a rather awesome beard, took up the torch for Los Angeles in his 1971 book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies.  The BBC went along with Banham to Los Angeles in 1972 to shoot the accompanying documentary, which was brought to my attention by a dear friend, and luckily, I was able to find it in its entiretyFollow Banham as he arrives to LAX, tours the mansions of Beverly Hills and the Sunset Strip, drive-in lunches at now-extinct Tiny Naylor’s with Ed Ruscha, and views the waves of Hermosa Beach.  Not one to highlight only the gentrified and picturesque, Banham also does a bit of freeway driving and drops by the Watts Towers.  This love letter to Los Angeles in the early seventies is a special treat, indeed — Banham’s sunglasses and the amazing soundtrack are just the icing on the cake.  J’adore!

Apple/Paris

07/07/2010 § Leave a comment

The new Apple store in Paris strikes me as a place that I would not mind waiting for hours to get an iPhone…

Via: Culture Shoq

Classic Los Angeles: The Theme Building Reopens

05/07/2010 § Leave a comment

There are a few things I must always do and see when I make a trip home to Los Angeles.  The Theme Building has always been on this shortlist (if not for the lucky coincidence that it happens to reside at LAX).  Completed in 1961, it originally was meant to serve as the central hub for LAX’s terminals and parking, but building plans were scaled down.  Instead, the Theme Building became a futuristic icon for the airport and for the city of Los Angeles itself.

The Jetsons-like structure is not the location of LAX air traffic control — a common misconception — but rather is home to a restaurant and observation deck.  The structure has recently undergone an expensive and lengthy renovation, its first in 47 years.  The observation deck was closed after 9/11, but it will reopen on July 10, 2010, giving a new generation the opportunity to see what Los Angeles looks like from the top of a flying saucer.

Via: Los Angeles Times

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