Drove down to San Clemente today, to see the Dewey Weber exhibition at the surfing heritage foundation, before heading north through Laguna, Long Beach and around the Palos Verdes headland to beautiful Lunada Bay, home of the famous Palos Verdes Surfing Club in the 1930 which in many ways was the crucible of Californian surf culture.

Image

Poolside at the strangely moving Joshua Tree Inn, where young GP checked in but never left and the whole place has this unconscious 1960s roadside motel aura, including one of the best swimming pools in which John Wayne, Keith and Mick, the early Saturday Night Live team and countless others have cooled off in years gone by.

Image

What you notice first about Palm Springs desert architecture are the roofs. There’s a uniform height of about 8-9 foot, they’re mostly flat or raked at very low angles (as it hardly ever rains here) and usually dominate the overall design. Then there’s the standard, almost cliched cactus and rock garden, peppered with palms, playing the idea of a magical desert oasis.

Image

View from Manhattan Pier down to Hermosa and the Palos Verdes headland today. Beachside suburbs seem to have building height limits of no more than 3 floors which keeps the scale feeling good and the overall urban texture mixed, complex and interesting. Plenty of 60s and 70s remnants mixed in with more recent efforts. Lovely part of LA.

Image

It was on the sand under this Pier, in the late 1940s, that a guy called Dale ‘the hawk’ Velzy started shaving glued-up lengths of balsa into surfboards, adding a fin, and covering them with fibreglass, that resulted in the world’s first dedicated surfboard making business. A few years later he opened the worlds first surf shop across the road and is even credited with inventing the logo t-shirt.

Image

Spent the morning on Manhattan Beach, which is such an LA place – low rise, slightly worn but smart, hazy light, oil tankers beyond the breakers, billowing smokestacks and industry up the bay, Santa Monica shrouded in smog in the distance, endless streets of classy beach houses and no condos in sight.

Image

supersonicelectronic:

Casey Neistat.

The YouTube Films of Casey Neistat.

I first came across Casey Neistat’s video work perhaps a year ago when I watched “Bike Lanes by Casey Neistat” on YouTube, his anger driven video on New York City’s bike lane laws inspired by receiving a ticket for riding his bike outside the lane.  His way of dealing with the issue was creative, humorous and hooked my attention, so I watched a few others.  I said to myself, “this guy is really good at this.”

After my video watching binge the videos and name settled in the back of my mind and I went on with my art posting and Tumblr antics.  Until a few months later when I came across the video above: “Make It Count.”  According to the video Nike asked Neistat to make a short film about how to “make it count” and in turn Neistat took all of the money Nike gave him and flew around the world for ten days, “making it count.”  The video is fantastic and is a perfect commercial for the product Nike is selling.  It’s also beautifully shot and edited and the narrative really hits home.  It was at this point I said to myself, “who is this guy?”

Read More

Video

So great to be back in LA. First thing you notice is space, gleaming neon lit strip malls lining the pacific coast highway, unlike the grimy, shambolic curb sides of NYC, and of course the wide open spaces and low rise sprawl. We’re staying at beachside Redondo tonight and heading out to Palm Springs tomorrow before a night in the Joshua Tree Inn on Monday. Tonight we ate at the fabulous Fatburger diner in Redondo and enjoyed possibly an all-time top hamburger. Once again the jukebox was humming with classic Stax soul and chuck berry tunes, so perfect accompaniment. So good to be here. Can’t wait to explore more.

Image