Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shock and Awe for June - Orly Genger in Madison Park

So ARE we in June yet?  Oh, OK, tomorrow......

(Photos: Dominique Browning via SlowLoveLife see more pics there)

So it has been so crazy around here, that even if some reference to these pieces appeared in the NYTimes, I totally missed it.  Wish I'd been in NYC for this installation.  It's like Richard Serra traded in his annealer for a giant crochet needle!  And apparently, if you check the comments on the link - the same conversation was being had over Orly Genger's work in Madison Park (see, I did miss it: NYT -click the link!) as took place over Serra's "Tilted Arc" way back in the days (which I'd previously blogged about here).

What do you think?  I love it, I'm all for it.  Though I will rant about crass entertainments in gardens and historic places.....(here) I do believe that judicious use of art in public spaces, in the spirit of for example, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, serves the purpose of not only bringing large-scale art to an unsuspecting public, but highlights the specific characteristics, quality, and value of such public spaces to the community,  i.e., it's good to have a chat about what our public spaces are good for, what use they are to us.  And who, exactly "we" are.  What is a garden, or not......?  And obviously, the chat about what "art" is, which we're still having, here in L.A., about our notorious rock.

So.  I'm still recovering from my Month of May, 2013.  It won't be one I'll forget anytime soon.  But more on that the meantime........hope you like this and hope you have something you'd like to tell me about it.

XOXO.  Tres bon weekend a vous tous!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm Calling It Fawn, You Might Want to Call it Gold

Could we settle on bronze?

This is not really a spring-ey post.  But these pictures settled into my archives via Tumblr sometime in the past couple months and they are screaming out to be shared.  OK, whispering to be shared.

I'll be back soon with more Bay Area pics.  As Mr. Paradis said, I took a phenomenal amount of photos. We are now struggling to get them from my camera to the computer without crashing my whole cyber world.  

These pics are all via Tumblr with no legitimate provenance obtainable.  Love how they're so graphic and textured and the same time.  Like an ancient greek aesthetic - so sophisticated and primitive at the same time.  And do we adore the spot of sea blue in the second picture?????

Enjoy, Enjoy!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Paradise Not Where You'd Expect It

How was the weekend everybody?

June is soon, I hope things are looking up a little weatherwise, where you are.  We did have a terrible week in the states last week with monster tornadoes.  The pictures of the destruction were hard to look act.  Our thoughts and best wishes are with all those people in Oklahoma who lost homes and family members.

And you all know that we in the Paradis family could have had a better month than our May turned out to be.  So finding a little sweet respite from it all was a blessing and a surprise.

Anyway, I'll have more on this soon, but I thought I'd start the week with a colorful sneek peek.  It's a part of a garden at Annie's Annuals, in Richmond, California.  Richmond has always been a working class kind of place....but in recent years, it has gained a terrible reputation.  And Annie's is located in a very industrial and unpromising part of Richmond.  But it defies all expectations and is utterly life-affirming and a generally exceedingly optimistic kind of place.

Looking at this picture, you can't disagree with me, can you?  It's amazing what a little color and Mother Nature can do for a place, and for our morale.

Hope it's a good one!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Is This More Like It?

(Photographer: Unknown)

Have a lovely weekend!  Whatever the weather.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sunrise, and Sunset

We have a new mayor in L.A. after our election this past Tuesday.  It will be interesting to see how he makes his mark.  We also voted to limit the number of pot shops (yes, I'm talking medical marijuana) to only 135.  In the whole city.

I'm now regretting that I never did my long-planned photo essay on L.A. pot shops cuz I reckon I could count about 30 that I could walk to just in my neighborhood!  Not that just ANYONE can come in and get some weed.  As my recent houseguest from Hawaii just found out.  

Sophie asked about my was rebuilt in the 90's in a Bauhaus-ey kind of style by a TV actress.  Hence the characterlessness of the street side that you saw in my honeybee post.  The actress didn't want prying eyes so there aren't ALOT of windows on certain parts of the house, nor alot of curb appeal to attract interest.  Instead, my house is all about the back.  And what you can see from it.  And which I share with you here.  

My neighbors' roses in the morning, and sunset over the Santa Monica mountains.  

Cuz that's L.A. baby!  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bee-You-ti-FULL! ........ My Honeybee Saga

So it all started a little over a month ago with the odd lonely honeybee

(First attempt:  "Trap-out" luring bees to substitute hive)

suddenly appearing in our bedroom, and after fruitless attempts to find an exit and rejoin the outdoors,
curling up to die.  A sorry state of things.  (We have screens on our windows, so it was not practical to take them out seventeen times a day to let the poor bees out.)  Mr. P. climbed up on the roof to see if they were coming in through the skylights or the chimney and instead he found a cluster of buzz, clinging to a tiny hole at the front of our house.  

All this was distressing to Mr. Paradis and me on many levels so we decided to call in experts. 

(Plan B: "Cut Out" and remove)

We found those experts at the Backwards Beekeepers.  And found out ALL kinds of things we did not know about L.A. and BEES!  The good news is, that urban bees are fluorishing!  Unlike the agricultural bees that are being overworked, apparently, and under siege by mites, chemicals etc., etc., all those things you read about in the newspapers.  But urban Los Angeles hosts a legion of healthy populations of bees and beekeepers.  Are you as surprised as we were?

But none of us are surprised are we, that yes, I had a beehive in my house. 

The beekeepers cut a big hole in the front of it, and removed TWO LARGE GARBAGE CAN SIZE quantities of honeybees and a comb. (And more...eventually.) How all those bees fit into that hole we still don't understand.  Further small holes were made in the wall in order to locate other hives and bees but nothing turned up.

All this took place over the course of several weeks.  Our first strategy had been to lure the bees out into other hives, and one of the beekeepers, Walker (who looks like a fashion model and has had a career in the movie and rag trades) - took them away with her to live at her house.  (Most of the beekeepers in the L.A. area are women.)  That was called a "trap-out".  When more and more bees continued to accumulate in our bedroom, Mr. Paradis said:  "Enough of being a nice guy!" because he was tired of them landing on him when he was trying to sleep.  (And he never wears slippers in the house, so the bedroom was turning into a minefield.)  So we called Walker and said: "CUT THEM OUT!"

That is when the big hole appeared.  It is more traumatic to the bees than a trap-out, but they do recover.  And we were told that these were quite happy, nice bees (of course! - unlike the very unhappy ones who killed the Doberman Pinscher in someone's back yard in the San Fernando valley but that is another story).  So most of the bees went away to a home close by, and the beekeepers came back every other day for about a week to take home any stragglers and make sure the bees weren't trying to get back in to any other hives, or to reestablish one.  And then we had Jaime, the mason, (who lost the Doberman Pinscher, poor guy) come over right away to close up the holes before any other crowd of bees could make themselves at home in one.  

It was a fairly expensive and unexpected episode in our lives all the way around, and came at a bad time - so not something I would wish on anyone......but we now have a lovely jar of glistening fresh honey in our cupboards and we met some lovely interesting people.  

If you'd like to know more about all this check out the Backwards Beekeepers site (above) and here is a different blog post and video about Walker.   Our other beekeeper was Kirk, who's been beekeeping since the '70's.  Underneath that beekeeper's hood, he sports a white mohawk.  (Yes, a beekeeper with serious personality!) And his hives are at other peoples' houses extending from the San Gabriel Valley, to Beverly Hills since he lives in apartment!  

This last photo is from David Lebovitz's blog.  The hives are in Lebanon which he recently visited and blogged about in a truly tempting, soulful and beautiful set of posts.  It reminds me that once upon a time, we lived much closer to nature, and having bees in such close proximity might not have been so alarming as it now seems to be to some.

So that's about all I have to say at the moment about bees.  I do love honey and I think it's supposed to be good for you.  I don't think I will ever become a beekeeper, but I am thankful for this brief insight into the natural world around me.  And I'm glad to know that there is hope for the bees - as long as we turn them all into urbanites!  

What about you, anybody out there interested in being a beekeeper?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"F" is For Friday

And for flea markets.  Because some days L.A. just seems like an endless enormous vintage extravaganza.  Probably because of the film industry's perennial, insatiable requirement for authentic looking props.  Nothing seems to be thrown away.  If you can't make it to one of the many flea markets, La Brea Avenue is a good substitute.  

Can't believe it's almost the end of May and that the longest day is on the horizon!  What are your plans for the weekend?   What are your plans for the summer?  Because I guess it's time to talk about that, isn't it?

Have a very happy one!  I'll be thinking of you!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Back to Shoreditch

How's the week so far?  We started our week here in L.A. super hot -

but the delicious cool-but-sunny weather has returned.  My company has gone away again for

a couple of days.  So I'm taking a mini-breather.

I wasn't sure about posting these pics today since most of us are enjoying so much our finally sunny days.

But I figured, it ALWAYS looks like this in London so, what the hey?

And anyway, miserable weather outdoors seems to beget such a lush indoor cultural life.  (Which we love about England, no?)

And a multitude of interesting ways to counteract the grays.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


These pics are NOT from this weekend.

With everything going on last week, I completely forgot to wish all you Mums'n'Moms out there Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Hope it was a good one. 

Here's a little eye candy.  That was my Mother's Day gift.

After about six months of it just not happening for me, I finally got the right new prescription

for my reading glasses.  And I can actually see my pics properly again.  For my writing class I managed to come up with something that was meant to console me for the definitive loss of eyesight that I fully expect to come to me eventually. Maybe I'll share it sometime.  Meanwhile, I'm enjoying it all.........

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hope Your Weekend is TOP-KNOT-ch!

OooooooKay: Excavating the archives........for a little weekend smile.......

I took these almost exactly a year ago in May 2012, in Leicester, England.

Where topknots were rampant!

I think I remember topknots being all the rage in NYC in the summer of maybe '09?????  They might have had a nano-second here in L.A. shortly thereafter but as with alot of fashion in L.A. they barely rippled the surface of the proverbial water.  (Many people will tell you that, Rachel Zoe and the red carpets notwithstanding, LA is just not a fashion-ey town.)

So I was bemused that "the knot" seemed to be "de rigueur" in the West Midlands last Spring.  And of course as always, I felt deeply un-fashionable because I wasn't wearing one.  I felt the same in Leicester in years before when those skinny jeans appeared and I was still in my good old bell bottoms.  Somehow in medium-large towns it's very problematic when you're not in the swim of things.  Bigger cities seem to accomodate more variety.  No?

Have you done the topknot thing?  Did it make your head hurt?  (That's what I imagine.)  

Will you have a good weekend?  I certainly hope so!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

More Not-Pictures-By-Moi-M'dears

Mostly from old, yes I'm talkin' like 1990's?

Marie-Claire Maison and Maison Madame Figaro.  I still do and always will,

L-O-V-E these images.  Hope you like them too.  They are bursting with spring spring-ey-ness.

Do they not make you want to get outside and kick off your shoes?

Or lounge in the sunlight with a good book?

(Adore, adore......)

Sorry I have not been around much to visit with you all lately or even take my own pictures.

We've had honeybees and bee wranglers all over our home these past two weeks, contractors coming in to put back what the beekeepers had to open up,  Mr. Paradis has been having many Dr. visits (he's fine, thanks - it just took awhile to figure it out), two family members have passed away (very sad, lovely Uncles), houseguests coming next week (so I must shop and clean!) and I am taking a writing class that is demanding alot out of me one way and another.  Are you tired just hearing all this?  Believe me, I am too!

Another ten days or so and then I will be more back to normal-ish.  Thanks for being patient with me. 

Milles bises! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pure Indulgence - Perfect Partnership of Man and Nature

Hello everybody!  Well, really, MAY!!!!??????  Already?

Since it's raining today in L.A. and I haven't been taking alot of my own pictures

lately, I thought I'd indulge us all with a little of these somethings that I've collected with my

magpie eyes.  The story behind them is that Mr. P. and I celebrated a biggish anniversary

LAST YEAR and ever since then, I've been toying with acquiring for myself a nice piece of jewelry.  In honor of.....and because of course, you realize, I am richly deserving.  (A little joke, I'm entitled to, at least, no?)

(also mociun)

For the record, all these months on.  I have acquired NOTHING!  And anything I eventually acquire will not remotely resemble anything like this (sadly) in scale, workmanship, or value.

Since I am one of those people who's always got hands covered in paint, dirt from the garden, or plunged into sinks full of dirty dishes......rings aren't very practical.  And I am inclined to losing things or have clasps fail me at inopportune times.......And it's true, I am not spending my weekends (or even weeknights) at gala affairs, requiring glittery things to go with my dresses.

 (mociun again)

But you know, looking has been delicious fun.

Most of these things I found on and I can't rule out them disappearing instantly from this post, since I don't own the copyright to these beauties.

I have to admit that there is a special place in my heart for English Edwardian jewelry.

And some things like this, I find utterly fascinating.  I have sworn to myself that I will eventually own this.  Which will likely only happen if I recreate it out of Sculpey!  But probably in a coral red color.

Anyway, and this will not be the first or last time I say this - dreaming is cheap!

Any good dreams lately?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Catch a Break This Weekend

It's been a challenging week in Paradise this week.  I'm looking forward to taking it easy for a couple of days.  You?

Hope it's a really good one.   I'll be thinking about you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This Is Silver Lake

It took us years of living in this neighborhood to discover this.

Silver Lake is actually a large reservoir in the middle of this historic neighborhood in Northeast L.A.

The Paradis family already knew about the reservoir, and even the dog park on its banks where people will snooze in their lawn chairs all day while their four legged family members meet up with buddies for long runs and doggy play. 

But we did not know about this nice lawn.  Perfect for kite flying and frisbee.  Picnics and sunbathing.....

Listen, in this neighborhood with it's steep hills and desert terrain, LAWNS ARE RARE.  In fact most people will opt for a pool behind their house, in lieu of lawn.  It's not quite the sheep meadow at Central Park but it will do for people like me.....

Because what is nicer than going barefoot in a great big expanse of grass?  And enjoying a lawn that you didn't have to mow?