Wednesday, June 30, 2010

H.D. Buttercup at Helms in Culver City - Sale on Now!

Might this be what you're looking for???????

maybe this........

hmmmmm, or something very much like this........?

On the other hand, what if you're looking for something a little jazzier.

A little more muscular.

What if you aren't really looking for



Did you bring hubby?  Or did you leave him at home so you can SURPRISE HIM on his birthday?

with a WHOLE new room!

Where ARE you?


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Corner View - Summer

Smiles of a Summer Day...........

What can I add?  Except if you want the recipe for Kenza's delicious and super easy lemon mousse you can find it here.  And for more Summer Corner Views, you can find them with Jane at Spain Daily here.

Hope your summers are going well!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hollywood Bowl

Have you ever been to the Hollywood Bowl?  I thought I'd share some pictures.

We went there last night for a KCRW (Santa Monica Community College-affiliated Public Radio Station that has a music reputation that ranges far beyond Los Angeles) World Music lineup

(yes you can even be served dinner there with white tablecloths!)

starting with Afro-beat influenced Tune-Yard (a single young woman with  BIG VOICE and some serious percussion going on), continuing with the 2010 lineup of the Buena Vista Social Club, and closing with Goldfrapp out of England.

Well these were my favorites by a long shot, the Buena Vista Social Club with Omara Portuondo.  I have loved them desperately since 1998 when the movie first came out and I was lucky enough to see them at the Beacon Theater in NYC on a freezing cold night when they TO' IT UP!!!!!  The whole auditorium was on it's feet for most of the night through like three encores.  Not bad for a bunch of mostly old geezers.  (Wonderful wonderful old geezers.)  The new team was good, but a little jazzier, a little brasher, definitely younger and maybe thinking they don't need to try so hard.

This is the stage being set for Goldfrapp.  A nice blonde, not-so-young English woman in a mirrored dress who looks like Courtney Love if she were a glam-rocker instead of a Seattle grunge-monster.  Lots of wavy blonde hair at the relentless mercy of a wind machine,  non-stop electric organ, kind of Cirque de Soleil high-drama music.  With a pounding drum machine beat.  Also relentless.  The rave crowd loved it.  This last picture says it for me, all staging, but at the heart, emptiness. But it is summer, and at the Hollywood Bowl,  just BEING THERE is enough.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stupendous! James May's Toy Stories

Hi!  Hope everybody had a great weekend.  It was gorgeous here in L.A.  Here's another video for you.  For those of you who get BBC America, this is something to look forward to especially if you're someone who's never really grown up! James May - also known as the somewhat put-upon, scruffy, third man of the Top Gear (car show) crew had a series last year called "Toy Stories" in which he attempted (with help from a little bit of everywhere) to create on a grand scale, versions of favorite toys from his childhood.  So, record breaking slot-car race tracks threading through English towns and villages with obviously, speeding slot cars, giant model airplanes, and my favorite, a deliriously colorful Lego house in the middle of a vineyard.  Here's a clip:

The series will be broadcast on BBC America this summer. If you don't get BBC America,
get an invitation to a friend's house - you'll laugh, you'll cry.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dulux Color Video - Painting the Town This Weekend?

via Famille Summerbelle........this week.   What colors would you go with?

I will admit. I fantasized about doing this to MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD! Have a wonderful wonderful summer weekend everybody!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Homage to the Seed

So remember Sophie's Bloggers Postcard Event that I mentioned yesterday?

Here's what it's inspiring in me so far.......I'm thinking this is just a starting point though.  What about you?  Any ideas?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beverly Blvd - Part Three - Heath Ceramics

So do you know Heath Ceramics?  It's kind of an American mid-century icon in the way of tableware.  It has a sleek California aesthetic with a whiff of the woods and the ocean.  There are three locations, the actual factory in Sausalito - one of the few ceramic tableware factories remaining in operation in 21st century America, a shop in the Ferry Terminal building in San Francisco (a lovely place - who doesn't love the Ferry Terminal?!)  and a shop and studio here in Los Angeles.  It has a very open, simple, approachable vibe with a wide embrace of both the artistic and culinary community in America which you can find out more about at their very attractive blog.

Here, tucked into this L.A. landscape, neither quite urban nor suburban, but sunny relaxed and slightly rarefied by virtue of its very high quality, high concept retail neighbors close by (see my earlier Beverly Boulevard posts), is the L.A. shop and studio.  Yes, their closest neighbor sells pet supplies but as everyone knows, once you've got the dog, the next step is the wedding invitations and the registry!  

Here you can find a complete selection of Heath Ceramics for the aforementioned bridal registry or... to fill in or augment your existing collection whether from back when, or newly acquired, through felicitous inheritance or..... an impulse to make a statement about being more "grown up" .  And pick up a few odd other goodies, not necessarily bearing the Heath marque, but which blend harmoniously with their products in your home.

Do you love the blue tiles cladding their exterior?  I DO!  Yes the tiles would be my personal weakness. And yes you can buy them in the shop too.

Inside, one of the cleaner, yes, let's say virtually "pristine" ceramics environments I've ever experienced.  Airy, bright. Spare.  The better to appreciate the clarity of forms and glaze choices.  Welcoming, cordial sales help.

Do you like the two tone inside/outside thing going on?  Do you like the perfectly uniform matte surface?  And why not?

The turquoise and yellow is Heath Ceramics' very newest range.  These could be my very favorite colors!  I don't need a new set of dishes but maybe if I bought a cabin by the sea...... it would need a whole new table arrangement to see summer dinners served upon!  ............A person can dream....

At the back is the "bespoke" studio of Heath's ceramist in residence, Adam Silverman, who is behind Heath's custom ceramics service which you can read more about on their website.  I love the red enameled carts.  (Has anyone noticed that rolling carts have now appeared in three of my posts in A WEEK?!  Thinking I loves me some - what is that?)  But back to Adam.......seeing where artists are actually doing all the creative work is always very exciting isn't it?  You feel you are witness to the birth of something very special.  And you are!

I am totally embarassed that I did not note down the name of the female (and I'm thinking a fairly well-recognized Scandinavian - can anyone i.d. this work?) artist whose lacy pieces are shown here.  And tsk tsk Heath Ceramics, I've scoured your site and blog and no mention of who this artist is and in what capacity!  I think it's very cool and Californian that they make room and display space for artists whose work does not necessarily strictly conform to Heath's particular style.  I have a feeling in NYC they would be a little more dogmatic about "identity"...."defining philosophy" a la MOMA and all that.....

Heath Ceramics: LOVE it!  It's like tapping directly in recent American artistic history.  I'm not sure that that is specifically what they are trying to sell you but it's a successfully hip, but reassuring, and satisfying  "lifestyle"product. Now I just need that summer (tree) house!

p.s.   for any of you who haven't already been to Sophie's website, want to participate in a bloggers' postcard show? Link to Sophie Munn's and send her a postcard pronto with your interpretation of an "Homage to the Seed".  This could be really great!  Check it out!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Corner View - Noticing


what is not obvious or showy

can be very 


The Village Idiot - Melrose and Martel

So it took me a few extra "minutes" to get to this post.  Yesterday instead of blogging, I spent four hours doing yard work.  Having received what would ultimately turn into a very last minute (based on my schedule for the next couple weeks) threatening letter from the LAFD (fire department) about brush clearing.  And having not yet morphed into a properly self-respecting house-and-yard proud Angeleno, I don't have an army of willing helpers from south-of-the-border to call on at a moment's notice to whip my perimeters into a paragons of social responsibility of the non-flammable type. 

So (ouch!) still aching and blistery, here is my post about the Village Idiot.  

A nifty "corner pub" situated right in the midst of the vast post-punk 20-something oft-recycled in many and various iterations consumer paradise otherwise known as Melrose Boulevard.

The Village Idiot does the 21st c. English pub thing par excellence and with bells on, this World Cup moment, going even so far as to having special pub sign, AND t-shirts (framed, above and below) made up for the occasion, donned obligatorily by their wait staff.  It took me a minute to get the joke (yes, remember it is called the "Village Idiot") but I could be forgiven for thinking that the T-shirts were actually made in (dis)honor of all those overpaid European footballers who are playing so badly and staging mini-strikes-from-the-bus in this World Cup, and all those ego-crazed, Managers and money-bags Club Owners who, as my husband's grandfather has been saying for lo, these many twenty years, have "ruined the game". Yes, I@#$%S!

I'll also take a moment to apologize for the picture quality again.  I seem to have spent all Saturday with the camera on "tulip" setting (i.e., close-close up)  and the Guinness did not at all help in bringing my attention to or remedying the situation.

Now if you'll notice, I'm taking you on a quick tour from left to right of the bright, airy, generous space, with its Ilse Crawford hipster-finds-herself-in-the countryside (deer butting heads if you get close enough) graphic wallpaper at the back in the loungey nook, slatey gray slat-back chairs reading bluey in this light reading as more "rustic chic".....

cozy traditional bar to elbow up to

open kitchen at the right 

and finally, giant blackboard on which someone has lovingly spent an inordinate proportion of their precious moments on earth recording the prospective match schedules (and ultimate scores - yes FRANCE IS OUT already!) to help us all keep track. 

Well, if I've never said it before, an Englishman, wherever he finds himself in the world, needs a drink and a chat on a Saturday afternoon.  To relax, to take stock, to renew his sense of proportion about the world AND his acquaintances. And if that acquaintance turns out to be with one's wife, well she may not be particularly inclined to hole up in some dark man-cave reeking of stale beer and ricocheting with the sounds of competing jukebox, sports event and sporting-man hoots-jeers-and-boasts.  (Did I mention IN THE DARK!?  On a bright Saturday afternoon?)  So thank goodness for the English pub tradition which long pre-dates the Puritans and the Victorians (with their morose vilification of a cheery social drink), of bright big windows and fresh air, letting a little of the outside world in, and comfortable seating which invites you to linger.  Thank goodness for good humored color and good design.  And thank goodness for immaculate restrooms with little hooks for hanging your handbag up off the floor, and turbo charged handdryers.  That get you back to your beer "wiki-wiki*" with less muss, no fuss.

Thank goodness for tall creamy not-too-cold and not-too-warm pints of beer, tuna tartares with lots of little bits of pink grapefruit, endive and radish (so pretty - sorry I didn't take a picture - too hungry!) and big plates of fish piled on mounds of veg in savory sauces (just like the Grove - a very similar "gastropub" in Hammersmith, London)  and practically authentic fish'n'chips (so says Kevin at Hollywood Forever), and yes, TACOS, that slip down beguilingly with it all.  And the homemade Peruvian chocolate gelato and Intelligentsia coffee that reminds you that yes, you can be rustic and SOPHISTICATED all at the same time.  That's what the 21st century and globalization is ALL ABOUT.  

The Village Idiot is a very pleasant place to while away your afternoon, do the odd celebrity sighting: was that Lilly Allen?  (No, but v. similar.)  Count how many times the other (must be authentic) visiting Brits go out for a cigarette break....  The staff are as pleasant and charming as the atmosphere and you can always easily park on Kevin's street and have a stroll around the shops before you head in.  (At night, go L.A. baby: valet!)

Its effect on my marriage:  so far, so GOOD!

*   Hawaiian, for "quickly"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hashimoto's + Santa Monica = Paradise Partout

So over the weekend, it was a little about relaxing, a little about chores.  I decided I needed some potting soil and that Mr. Paradis needed to get out in the world a bit too.  He is working all hours while I get to scoot around L.A. poking into corners, basking in the sunshine with friends and turning the car radio up real high.  So to remedy this a bit, I suggested we go to the West Side to Hashimoto's and promised him that on the way home we could grab dinner at our favorite pubby kind of joint on Melrose.  So we did.  And it was a nice afternoon.

So why do I like this place so much?

Maybe because the seaside Santa Monica sunshine makes it seem more luminous than almost any other plant center you might visit.  Maybe because there's a relaxed orderliness to it.

That is both restrained and exuberant.  Maybe because they carry enough of any variety to make a real statement with each plant or type of plant. 

There is a mosaic-ey quality to the groupings above which hovers a  blue haze. The haze seems to be a byproduct of the color harmonies in the plants.

There is a real environment here, you feel you could be in a real, proper garden

or woodland full of wildflowers.

They carry everything, for every kind of garden you would want to plant in L.A.

and they do expect you to buy in quantity.  Which is odd, considering they only have about six parking spaces.  It's a very confident, Mom and Pop very Japanese place.  They have many assistants to help you with your plants, and to your car.  They get you in and out with ease.  Oddly, you don't remember any of these practical details once you've left, or whether the prices or selection are better, or worse than the competition.  

You just know that you have been somewhere very beautiful.  And that you must return soon.

Tomorrow:  The Village Idiot