Wednesday, October 26, 2016

students being students

This is the view from my USC office window: green, pleasant, unremarkable, peaceful.  And on the grass neatly arranged, some specimens of student life, as if posed for a college brochure photo any time during the last forty years or so: one lying on their back reading a book; a couple sitting chatting/singing, with one playing the guitar, and one guy in the foreground, to all intents and purposes asleep.  On second thoughts, maybe someone more active should be photoshopped in to that last posture ...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Californian cliché

This elderly Chevy made its presence felt on our walk this evening.  It's not just its shiny chrome and stream lined tail fins that make this fit subject matter for a Larry Sultan mimicry photo; it's the impeccable 1950s domestic architecture behind it ...

Monday, October 24, 2016

the lightness of office leaves

... not the leaves out of the window, but the ones that slowly rotate in my new office in Taper Hall.  They had their origin in the leaf mobiles that we saw hanging from the ceiling of the Grove cafe in Albuquerque back in 2011: Alice gave me this mobile as a gift when I moved into my original Taper office and somehow they never made it across to VKC.  But here they are, offering a tranquil meditative focus.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Halloween is starting...

Halloween is starting ... and this garage roof decoration just round the corner from us is a great reminder of how lucky we are to live in a neighborhood where people like set designers abound ...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

silver lake balloons

And what are these balloons in Silver Lake proclaiming?  It looks a little bit like a Victorian pawn shop, with the three golden balls ... oh, wait, no ... it's another juice bar!

Friday, October 21, 2016

ascending thoughts

I walked through one of our campus buildings today - the Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall was formally opened back in 2014, but I'd not set foot in it before.  Very glossy.  It houses some branches of the social sciences - not, alas, humanities.  But I was very struck by the sculpture, the mobile that cascades down from the center, and apparently changes color according to the light.  Interesting, it seems to be art by design - that is, I can't find a single artist claiming responsibility for it, but rather, SKA Design claims responsibility - and their website, and the publicity surrounding the opening, tell me that it's optimistically called "Ascending Thoughts."  In this environment, even a couple of studious (well, let's surmise) individuals manage to look like an art installation.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Route 66 - restoration and decay

Two extremes along Route 66: La Posada, in Winslow, where Walter Gomez and I spent last night - an old Harvey House railroad hotel, admittedly, as well as a Route 66 stop - it became railroad offices, before being bought and transformed through the architectural and funky design genius of Allan Affeldt and Tina Mion in the 1990s (and pet-friendly - no wonder we always stay there when we can) - and Ludlow.  Poor Ludlow.  I'm always stopping there, too - you may have noticed - because of the relatively reasonably price gas, but almost no settlement better epitomizes what happened when I-40 replaced Route 66.