Friday, June 30, 2006

"Life would be tolerable but for its amusements" --George Cornewall Lewis

So, the big joke around Hollywood is about whether or not Superman is gay... yet, if I were a betting person, I'd put my money on Lex Luthor wants to know most of all. Jay Leno joked that the studio's nervous re-imaging of Superman just proves that he's a top... but is Lex a pushy bottom?

Yes, I'm quite certain all Hollywood could see Lex licking his chops as he has Superman top him.

I'm less concerned whether Superman is gay on the screen than if his alter ego is when he is not. Me and a hundred million other gay men. Sigh.

The '06 Bottom of the Year Award may go to Kevin, but the contest for Villain of the Year looks to be between Meryl Streep and Star Jones. Meryl has Best Wardrobe of the Year, hands down --and I've only seen the promos for The Devil Wears Prada.

I'm sure there will be a prize Best Bitch Fight between Star Jones and Barbara Walters, though.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

"Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is rotten to the core." -Arendt

Among the e-mails I received regarding the mention of him in an earlier post, were those who were apparently unaware that Lyndon LaRouche authored a ballot initiative in California that would have quarantined all people living with HIV. In addition, from 1989 to 1994, LaRouche served time in Federal prison for cleaning out the bank accounts of unwitting donors who wrote him a check or used their credit card. Click on the header to read several direct quotes of Lyndon LaRouche.

I have a deep and searing memory of being surrounded by a group of LaRouche volunteers in 1990 at the entrance to the LA County Fair in Pomona.
At present, his volunteers focus almost exclusively on an anti-Cheney hook to grab the attention of passers-by --and, hey, who wouldn't want to be on an anti-Cheney crusade? Many of the volunteers I've seen around Los Angeles staffing LaRouche tables are far too young to remember his regular tirades against gays and lesbians (at the time, we were his new-found cause-- even as he was being led off to jail for fraud) much less his unsuccessful attempt to round up people with HIV and put them in concentration camps. That is no exaggeration.

Oh yeah, and he said that British royal family put Hitler in power. It's a little known fact that a great deal of the British royal family's wealth is derived from almost half a millennium of involvement in the slave trade; but there's evil and then there's evil. And as evil and complicit as the monarchies of Western Europe have been in the genocide of peoples the globe over, I doubt they can claim Hitler as their doing. Not on purpose, at any rate.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hey, but at least it's DRY heat...

8:32 p.m., June 24: Willow Station on the Metro Blue Line: The Tour des Artistes was as delightfully disorganized as any art fair could be when run by a bunch of artists -- but a lot of fun all the same, and worth spending almost three hours wandering through the Long Beach East Village Arts District.

It almost made up for running into the LaRouche volunteers --again-- outside my post office. They have some nerve, putting up a table in the heart of WeHo. What worries me more, though, is how little people seem to be aware of who they are. That their homophobic, anti-Semitic, racist propaganda could be disseminated in the heart of gay-and-Jewish West Hollywood is more a commentary on the apathy of the community. Karen Ocamb has an excellent piece in the new issue of IN Magazine where she talks about that very issue.

Those LaRouche volunteers --as well as the people taking their pamphlets-- may have little to no idea of what LaRouche has done. I tried to get one of the volunteers to say whether they were actually being paid, but he was cagey enough not to bite --and raise my suspicions that he can't claim complete ignorance about LaRouche's politics.
Thank you, Jetboy747, wherever you are at this moment, for my gratuituous Jake shot.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Eric Rofes pased away yesterday ---

One of his first books was, "I Thought People Like That Killed Themselves," a still timely text on gay suicide for youth.

What a bummer. We've lost another brilliant mind.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

NOW this feels like summer...

I see a car go by La Cienega and Santa Monica with a red string tied on the steering wheel... is this Kar-ballah?

There's a photo shoot up the hill at the Case Study House as I walk down the Sunset Strip; I see the occasional flash going off with the tiniest of ant-sized people running around...

I'll head down to the East Village Arts Festival to escape the heat this afternoon. This seems like a great way to get my Summer in Paradise officially going!

So why does it surprise me to discover I'm the last person in the Western Hemisphere to discover Cristiano Ronaldo? When I searched online, I found these photos that are apparently for a Pepe Jeans ad campaign. And what does this have to do with the World Cup?

Not a damn thing.

This ought to be one way to get Americans interested in futbol or soccer or whatever you wanna call it. I'm --shall we say, amused-- by the ad campaign, but I'm still strictly a Levis guy, thank you very much.

The theme of the ad campaign seems to be, that even after total world annihilation, men will still be narcissistic. I dunno. At least it beats the more crass ads I've seen of late.

This is what happens when you spend too much time in the middle of the City of the Pretty People. Don't think I don't count my blessings, though, that the guys who look like this and parade around here on the Boulevard are a dime a dozen --and I still have my eyesight... if no dimes. That's what I get for being a struggling artist. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. There are worse fates in life.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

If we shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended.

Yes, I was up at 5:26 a.m. this morning. And it wasn't particularly different from any other June-gloom sunrise in Los Angeles. Then, the tourists slowly began to appear in our woods near Athens...

On Andy Towleroad's site, there was a link to Uncle Donald's Castro Street, which brought back many pleasant memories of (dare I say it?) the last century when I was but a wee lad running amok in the Castro. Ah, but what golden days in hindsight they seem to have been! I've also added a long overdue link to the Bay Area's GLBT Historical Society, which features an exhibition of photography by Rick Gerharter.

Perhaps on a day as nice as this, one ought not spend too much time looking backwards; yet I'm fortunate enough to be able to put this Midsummer in the context of (more than I want to count) Midsummer's days of yore.

'Tis a heck of a lot more pleasant than stewing at the Presbyterians hemming and hawing over gay priests. Don't think I don't know my history: first the right wing will do everything they can to define marriage as between "one man and one woman," then they'll slowly work on overturning Loving vs Virginia. Before you know it, no one will be able to get married or even cross the MacArthur Causeway or the Bay Bridge until they can first get an audience with the all powerful Wizard of Oz.

I best get to the beach whilst I still can to enjoy the day. Before I bid you one and all good day, I want to add a note about Margie Reese, who very quietly announced her departure from LA's Cultural Affairs Department.

There will always be those individuals who will never get a fraction of the praise they deserve. If Drew's celebration of life reminded me of one thing, it's to honor individuals while they're still around to get it. Most Angelenos have not idea what a debt they owe to Margie Reese, who was for the past five years the general manager of Cultural Affairs. If not for her resolve and determination, Cultural Affairs Department would have been dissolved during the struggle to balance the city's budget. Reese was the person responsible for some of the most iconic landmarks in Los Angeles, including the Watts Towers and the Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House. As with Adolfo Nodal before her, the task of safeguarding the cultural heritage of Los Angeles is best left in the hands of those who have a true appreciation and understanding of what it means to be a public servant. Folks like Adolfo or Margie are few and far in between amid the sea of bureaucrats in government. We can only wish her well, and cross our fingers that whoever eventually replaces her has the same comprehension of a sense of duty and vision.

Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.
And as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call.
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

How now spirit! Whither wander you?

Aye, 'tis the Summer Solstice and to the beach we go...

I ought not be jealous that New York has such great pride events scheduled: they actually had a LGBT Literary Conference (check the Publishing Triangle link to the left), and as if that weren't enough, the Eartha Kitt returns to the Carlyle! Sigh...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Summer Solstice will be at 5:26 a.m. (in Los Angeles) tomorrow morning --do you know where your Druids are?

So, it's going to be Midsummer's Day. Yay. Whoopee. Yawn.

The weather is nice enough; I live in a relative paradise (why else would there be gaggles of tourists everywhere you turn?) yet I'm not quite in the pagan spirit.

Next week, however, opening on June 30th and running through August 30th, Hollyhock House at the Barnsdall Art Park hosts "Julius Shulman: Hollyhock House Rediscovered."

There will be a reception on July 1, from 5 - 8 p.m., and a discussion with the artist at 6 p.m. Given that Shulman is one of our undisputed national living treasures, and doesn't get out to speak all that often any more (I was so jazzed at getting to meet him at the AIA Expo!) you'd best plan to be there. You might not get another chance.

I trust the gallery at Barnsdall will do a better job at displaying Shulman's photography than the Getty did (their initial exhibition of his work upon acquisition left a lot to be desired-- but it was better than nothing).

Monday, June 19, 2006

I'm still waiting for my forty acres --preferably Midtown Manhattan and you can keep your damn mule

As a caveat, I should warn you before you read this that I have not had my morning coffee yet. So you know I'm in a mood.

At the triennial gathering of the Episcopal Church, they quickly apologized for appointing a gay Bishop... but after 387 years, they still haven't apologized for slavery. Well, well, well. If you see a dark cloud forming overhead, don't worry-- but don't stand too close to any Episcopal Bishops if you know what's good for you.

The American Episcopal Church split over the issue of slavery before the Civil War and only reconciled in 1983. News accounts suggest the appointment of their first openly gay Bishop could threaten to rip the church apart all over again. If something as central to the teachings of Christ as the sexual orientation of a Bishop threaten to disintegrate the Episcopal Church, then maybe it's an entity that has ceased to serve its purpose.

Them uppity black folk over two hundred years ago walked out of the church when those supposedly religious folk wouldn't let them worship in the same pews- sometimes even in the same building. This after they kidnapped said black folk, destroyed their families and annihilated their cultures including their languages and spiritual beliefs --all so they could get rich.

Germany and Japan had to pay reparations after the World Wars. Iraq is being forced to make restitution. But these same folk let themselves off the hook when it comes to acknowledging how much of their wealth is actually is ours --or at the least, of our making. We didn't even get a thank you for the wealth we created for Western Europe and the United States.

Somehow, I get the feeling that this isn't the best time for North Korea to have a nuclear warhead pointed at North America. Luckily, God in His or Her infinite wisdom does not entrust me with the button to the launcher. Besides, after I have my cortadito, I'll be thinking much more rational.

Oh, but then comes the news that the Board of Governors of the BBC have ruled that the word "gay" now means "rubbish." I think I just told my secretary to put through that call to North Korea again. Then again, they did give us "Are You Being Served?" and Graham Norton.

To think that I have held the BBC to a far higher standard than what I expect of American media for years. Well, I just made a (expletive deleted) ruling of my own. From now on, when I say, "BBC," I gather you'll know exactly what I'm referring to.

The BBC has a website where folks may voice their own opinions. Just click here for the link.

After all, who wants that nasty ol' nuclear cloud hangin' over their head for the next ten thousand years? Since those heterosexual white men are the only ones who've (thus far) used the Bomb, I'd like to be able to remind them that they were the ones who had a problem keeping their rockets in their pockets. Besides; if they keep acting this way, in another generation or two, it'll be our turn to have our summer homes in our European colony.

And if they can learn to act right, we'll let some of 'em work in the big house.

Now where's that houseboy with my cortadito?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Animals in Clothing

Wilson Swain & friends present "Animals in Clothing" tonight from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at wax poetic with music and refreshments --which is a good thing, cuz even if it is worth going into the Valley for, you want something cool to drink while enjoying the art and stuff.

3208 West Magnolia Ave., Burbank; 818/843-9469

Friday, June 16, 2006


Remember the 60s bumper sticker: "It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber?"

dis-in-gen-u-ous adj : lacking in candor; giving a false appearance of simple frankness: CALCULATING

President Bush creates a marine preserve in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands as large as the entire National Parks Service combined. On the surface, a really decent thing to do. This administration, however, is not backing away from efforts to allow drilling for oil in Alaska's protected lands. The National Park Service as a whole seems to have even less support in the administration than widows and orphans. The poor manatee seems to have a lower approval rating than even the President. And the Everglades, in the most succinct language possible, are fucked.

Unless, of course, someone can come up with a way for developers and Big Sugar to continue to destroy the Everglades with one hand as they attempt to reverse a century of devolution at the hands of... developers and Big Sugar with the other...

For more than four million residents of South Florida, this would be a good time to run to your tap and get a nice glass of water, while you still can. Cuz the administration is helping eradicate your source of fresh water a Hell of a lot faster than the Florida peninsula is sinking.

The president is doing to the environment what Ken Lay did to Enron. Except that we're applauding him as he does it right in front of us.

And to cap it all off, Dublin had to cancel their Bloomsday celebrations as the City mourns the death of an Irish leader.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

One more reason to hug your librarian (or least, give 'em a raise!)

Librarians, those horn-rimmed glasses wearing little old ladies (yeah, right!) are putting their money where their mouth is with their conference this year... and their elbow grease, too. Click on the header above for a link to their 2006 New Orleans Convention page, one of the few that have been booked to bring much needed cash influx to the city. So--what did you do to help rebuild New Orleans?

The affair between Ann Coulter and Ann Coulter will live as one of the prettiest love stories in literature ---with a nod to Dorothy Parker

I stayed up late last night to see Ann Coulter on the Tonight Show. Jay Leno was remarkably diplomatic in trying to get her to admit she had written something in her new book that had truly offended people. She wasn't having it. I have to say that I feel rather sad for her. Don't get me wrong-- look in the dictionary under bitch and you're likely to find her picture. Or, given her prevalence for those long, black dresses, under witch. And what's up with that hair? Is she rightfully afraid to have any gay man touch her coif or have all the salons in D.C. made a pact to screw with her head? Not that it isn't already pretty screwed-up to begin with. The poor dear seems to be so in need of professional help that I fear she may be past the point of salvageable. And the glue factory won't take her-- it would be an insult to the horses.

So you see, it wouldn't be charitable to have anything but pity for the pathetic woman.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


The story even made the front of today's LA Times: World famous Geno's Steaks in South Philly posted a sign that reads:


So, Geno. What's the English translation for Provolone?

My Mom's cousin's husband Mal in West Philly makes a great hoagie, too --and he serves everybody.


What really shocked me today was that as I was coming up San Vicente Boulevard, I noticed that the Tail O' the Pup was missing! The front of the landmark hotdog-shaped eatery is just... gone! Only the back of the building is still there, chained off. It was moved once before, to make way for the Sofitel Hotel where River Phoenix filled up on booze and drugs before making his way to the Viper Room one Halloween night.

According to Roadside America (, the Tail O' the Pup actually disappeared three months ago, almost to the day. It's one of the most iconic pieces of roadside vernacular architecture in Los Angeles. There's apparently a rumor that it will reappear in Westwood. Yeah, right. Probably where the old Ship's Diner was torn down.


Now if I really wanted to get bent out of shape (but, gee, it's such a beautiful day to be angry!), I'd mention that PSA by Mother's Against Drunk Driving to be aired in Canada. Ummm, don't they have PFLAG in Canada? And are PFLAG and MADD mutually exclusive? I'm kind of surprised that Commercial Closet or GLAAD haven't jumped on this yet.

I wanted to get more information before I got bent out of shape; then I found out that the ad may be viewed on MADD's Canadian Website. They'll probably get the pro-marijuana lobby on their case, too, by suggesting that smoking dope will turn you (yuck!) gay!

On the other hand, it might just accidentally promote the use of marijuana among some people...


I bet Karl Rove is wondering who do you gotta kill to get arrested in Washington, D.C.? Might I suggest Ann Coulter? It's usually the left that eat their own; it would be kind of nice to see the right wing knock each other off. Then Karl could finally get his jail cell and become somebody's bitch. There's something to make me feel better, thank you very much.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

If you're having a bad day, just be glad... that you're not Ann Coulter

Man oh man! Everywhere I turn, this woman is really getting it! How is it Random House hasn't shown her the door instead of James Frey? On Towleroad I found a link to a piece in Advertising Age that really gave her a lashing. Actually, she'd probably enjoy that too much. Better than asking her to kill herself (we don't need another extremist martyr), perhaps JJ Abrams could write a little scenario for her: Ann Coulter awakes to find herself lashed to a leaky raft... somewhere in the Florida Straits during hurricane season with sharks circling...

...Hmmm... maybe I will write a screenplay someday.

On such a beautiful afternoon, I should be playing outside instead of being on the computer, so I'll make this brief...

The post-pride discussion I had at lunch on Monday had me fondly remembering Kris Kovick's book, "What I Love About Lesbian Politics is Arguing With People I Agree With." Unfortunately, no one else was old enough to remember Kovick's splendid humorous look at contemporary LGBT urban life. As with the unofficial motto of Miami Beach, "Ah, you should have been here back when..."


I wanted to give a congratulations to Robert Ramos, whose salon was featured in the first "Best Of" list of Ciudad magazine.


To be filed under the "if only I'd seen this before Pride" file... Jerome Cleary just published a piece in this week's West Hollywoood Independent about MADD putting a casting notice out for to-be-film PSA to be aired in Canada that is incredibly homophobic. As if the stories about Ann Coulter's new book weren't enough to get my dander up. I'll just say, "don't get MADD, get GLAAD."

Tuesday Afternoon

The Afternoon: Forever Afternoon (Tuesday)
Tuesday, afternoon,
I'm just beginning to see,
Now I'm on my way,
It doesn't matter to me,
Chasing the clouds away.

Something, calls to me,
The trees are drawing me near,
I've got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh.

I'm looking at myself,
Reflections of my mind,
It's just the kind of day
To leave myself behind,
So gently swaying thru
The fairy-land of love,
If you'll just come with me
And see the beauty of

Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday, afternoon,
I'm just beginning to see,
Now I'm on my way,
It doesn't matter to me,
Chasing the clouds away.

Something, calls to me,
The trees are drawing me near,
I've got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh.

The Moody Blues

The Saturday night of Pride weekend, the Reading at Skylight with Martin Hyatt and D. Travers Scott was a flashback to that late 80s/early 90s Cal Arts - Silver Lake feel of literature. Their books are not for the faint of heart. It was a great evening, though, with Bernard Cooper among others I haven't seen for a while all in attendance. The Q & A after the reading would have made most undergrads heads spin. Quite antithetical to the scene one might have expected crosstown in WeHo over the weekend.

That reminds me- A July 8 date has been set for Eduardo Santiago to read from his novel, "Tomorrow They Shall Kiss," at Skylight Books. I feel like putting some Rita Montaner on the stereo just thinking about it! Now that will be a literary highlight of the summer! Order your copy now from your favorite indie bookseller!

Back to Pride weekend: I saw a youngster walking down the street reading a new edition of Daniel A. Helminiak's "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality." I had no idea the book was still in print. The scene was proof positive that celebrations of gay pride are still necessary for all those who so haughtily sniffed that they were "over" pride.

The crowd at WeHo City Hall was smaller than in year's past; Abbe Land received a rousing round of applause when she came in, perhaps in part out of sympathy over her recent election loss for the 42nd Assembly district race to Mike Feuer. Here, however, she was among friends. After the parade, I got a free tee shirt across the street at Basix from the shirtless hunk selling rainbow jello shots (did I mention this already?) while on my way to Book Soup. I must have spent as much time in Book Soup as I did at City Hall watching the parade. They had a marvelous window featuring the current issue of Bookforum magazine all about the first works of famous novelists. They have some of the cleverest windows, sometimes, I swear. If Simon Doonan gave awards for Literary window displays, they'd be hands-down winners every year.

The tee shirt --discreetly advertising Skyy Vodka as I later found out-- and a Zippo lighter were the only swag I got at Pride. So unlike the AIA Expo!
And I don't drink or smoke!

Monday was hot enough to for the beach, not that I'll get the chance to get anywhere near the ocean for a few days. The Cat in the Hat couldn't get the boulevard any cleaner after Pride than CSW. Everyone has their opinions about how well they do or don't run LA's festival and Gay Pride Parade, but when it comes down to cleaning every last trace of it's existence with lightening speed after it's all over, you'd think they were on a Mommie Dearest jag or a crystal run.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Post Pride, Part Two

The runners mostly ignore the last minute instructions from the bullhorn as they greet friends and fill the street beneath the orange and blue balloons over the starting point.

Moments after the horn, they are off to begin their 5K or 10K run up Santa Monica Boulevard. As soon as the last have turned the corner, the volunteers have placed the finish tape up beneath the balloons. Three rows are set up for the returning runners to pass through as they approach the finish.

The Abbey employees are a stark contrast in their black jeans and tee shirts, dressed more for evening than early morning.


The weather proves to be the most temperate for an LA Pride that I can remember.

The parade was pleasant, not overly long (and not even as scandalous as say, a Tailhook convention).

I get a free tee shirt from the shirtless hunk selling a rainbow assortment of jello shots as I pass Basix Cafe. They have Skyy Vodka in them, I think (I've never have and hopefully never will have, a jello shot).


The Celebration of Life for Jon Drew Mercer will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 15th, at Hollywood Forever.

A Panoply of Post-Pride Posts

Sunday, June 11, 7 a.m.: A cute latin puppy is meekly waiting on the front steps of my building for someone, his forlorn expression suggesting boyfriend drama as opposed to merely waiting for a friend.

I missed the number four bus by moments, so I turned around and head up Van Ness to catch the number two on Sunset Boulevard instead.

It's just as well; I suspect the Santa Monica bus will already be on detour.

A couple of blocks up, a car full of black drag queens are taking their sweet time merrily bidding adieu to each other as a couple of them exit the car.

I pass an elderly Asian woman out for her morning constitutional. At the traffic light, a questionable couple comprised of a less than handsome older white man with a lovely, younger black woman laugh as they drive west.

The bus boy nods to me as he enters the restaurant next to the bus stop to begin his morning shift. A minute later, a carload of his co-workers eases around the corner.

Car after car is a mix-mash of those heading home from Saturday night along with those heading to their Sunday morning work shifts.

The sun has yet to show any sign it will shake off the morning grey gloom. The bus is filled with two blacks, two whites, two Asians and 28 latinos, mostly women, dressed in casual clothing bearing the tell-tale signs of domestic workers. The men are mostly in jeans and sweat shirts, heading to comparable outdoor work.

After Highland, the bus begins disgorging passengers faster than they board.

Unlike most mornings on the number two, none of the women's lunch bags bear the imprint of famous stores. The only recognizable label thus far is Avon, as opposed to such recently spotted logos as Escada, Prada and Louis Vuitton.

The women bid each other good day as they disembark with Spartan, stoic fanfare.

At Peet's Coffee, a little black dog with a bright red collar eagerly waits by the door for her owner. Only one table is occupied in the window by a man engrossed in his Sunday paper with his coffee.

Here and there, the first sounds of morning float down from open windows: a shower, a radio playing softly, voices around a breakfast table.

Santa Monica Boulevard is indeed already blocked off, though there are the occasional joggers or news crews getting their equipment set up.

The sidewalk is littered with last night's residue.

A cook and a waiter share a leisurely laugh in an empty cafe.

The Star Spangled Banner is just beginning as I walk down Robertson Boulevard. I am the only pedestrian who stops.

A hundred or so runners animatedly take their places in anticipation of the annual Frontrunners Pride Run.

They are mostly in their late 20s to early 40s, a few younger or older. The ratio is 4:1 men to women. In addition to the LA Frontrunners shirts, many wear souvenirs from other runs or their alma maters.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Geeks getting down; Nerds getting Fonk-ee

Last night's "A Night on Miracle Mile" was quite an event. The new home of the Architecture + Design Museum, occupying the shell of the space vacated by the Carole and Barry Kaye Museum of Miniatures, erased any recollection of the previous conformation. The inaugural exhibition, NEW BLOOD: Next Gen," opened the museum officially on June 1, but last night was THE blowout.
Amid the expected multi-culti fare (and excellent catering) were knock-out exhibitions by up-and-coming firms, architectects and students,each mounted on some 40 industrial carts.
The gathering was a chance for many of the AIA attendees to let their hair down and party --and party they did. The art-party followers were there, too, whho had no idea that the AIA was in town, or even the history behind the A + D Museum or the Kaye Museum, or it's significance in LA museum history. Somewhere amid those partying fools there had to be some architects involved in museum planning... but it was hard to tell, what with all the South Asian, Brasilian and salsa music blaring and all.
A good time was had by all, especially yours truly, as if one couldn't tell.
A shout out to my nephew Maxwell Hofstein and my niece Rio Haile on their first birthday! Boy, oh boy, did Uncle Mark score some excellent swag for you guys at the AIA Expo! Don't worry-- I got some for Miku and Tori (and the parents) too!


On my list of LA sites for those visiting the city, I neglected to mention the residential architecture along Waring Avenue in West Hollywood. The treasures range from a streamline moderne to the Arabian storybook fantasy that are among my favorite buildings in LA. I think they even put on a fresh coat of paint in anticipation of the crowd of architectural tourists who'd be swinging by...
Tonight there'a a reading at Skylight Books by Martin Hyatt and D. Travers Scott, and tomorrow I'll most likely watch the gay pride parade from West Hollywood City Hall after my regular Sunday morning meditation meeting. Other than that, I'm keeping my pride weekend loose and open, as there will no doubt be any number of unexpected events that might catch my fancy.
I most likely won't get to post again until Monday at the earliest, so I hope everyone has a safe and joyful pride.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

From the "Big AIA - Eeee!"

Okay, I couldn't resist the pun ...that anyone familiar with Asian-american lit will get.

The AIA Expo is like a Disneyland for anyone in the design or historic preservation trades. They've definitely gone "LA" with this year's convention, judging by the types of tours offered each day. While I heard mention of the Case Study Houses and Greene and Greene, I also overheard talk of architects and designers eager to do the "Hollywood" tours.

I got to meet Julius Shulman, so you know I'm happy. Every other booth has a bowl of chocolate candies, and the coffee is almost Miami-quality. Almost.

After my discussion with the Route 66 Historian Sunday at the Lummis Day celebration, thought I'd put done my list of sites for visitors to see (sorry, no movie star homes or murder sites!) in no particular order...

Adamson House and the Malibu Pier

The Getty (both Pacific Palisades and Brentwood)

Marina Del Rey

The Venice Canals

The Eames Office

The Case Study Homes

The Schindler House

Farmers Market and The Grove

The Huntington Library

Union Station, Olvera Street and the California Endowment building

The Downtown Core (between the Harbor, Santa Monica, Golden State and
Hollywood Freeways)

...including the Wholesale Markets (Flower, Produce, etc.)

Mulholland Drive

The concrete bed of the Los Angeles River

The Brewery Art Complex

Angel's Gate Cultural Center, the Korean Friendship Bell and Lower Fort

Googie LA


Paadena's Art Center College of Design

LAX (the Theme Building, and the viewpoint by the
Imperial Highway Dog Park)

Nick's Cafe

Ennis-Brown Home

Hollyhock House

Gamble House

Expo Park



The Hammer Museum

Pasadena Museum of California Art

Norton Simon Museum

Okay... see ya after Gay Pride (unless I post at the Expo)!



Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Please don't let it get any stranger before it gets better...

Image from

My next door neighbor passed away yesterday. Those closest to him are still in shock. It's so weird coming home and seeing that coronor's seal on his apartment door.

The last time I saw him, he was so alive. And suddenly, now, he's not.

I hope the AIA Expo and "A Night on Miracle Mile" help shake me out of this dread. I'll at last get to check out the new A + D Museum. LA Pride is this weekend, but it won't quite be the celebratory mood I'd anticipated.

Friday, June 02, 2006

2006 Lambda Literary Awards Announced

The 2006 Lambda Literary awards have been announced. A full list of the winners may be found by clicking on or going to the Lambda Literary Foundation link on the left.

God bless the billionaires...

Well how do ya like that! The Hammer Museum will be free all summer long! Click on the header above for more information. There will be a whole series of workshops for kids in conjunction with 826LA on Sundays.

On Friday, June 9, from 5:30 pm. - 11:30 p.m., "A Night on Miracle Mile: An evening of art Design and Music" will open the doors of museums along --you guessed it-- the Miracle Mile. The event is in conjunction with the AIA Convention in Los Angeles, so hopefully they'll let us hoi polloi in. The flyer reads, "RSVP REQUIRED," so e-mail or call 323/769-1100 x214 or visit AIA Expo Booth 618. Click on this link for more information:

Not everybody was so fortunate as to get into Cal Arts, after all.

618. That was Mom's lucky number...

Summer is here, along with hurricane season...

The Architecture and Design Museum reopened last night in the former home of the Carole and Barry Kaye Museum on Museum Row. Trust LA to have the highest concentration of museums in the West on top of an active methane field.

The Feria del Libro will be held this Saturday, along with Culver City's first Art Walk. On Sunday, there will be the first Lummis Day festival honoring Charles Lummis, with events from the Autry Museum to El Alisal. Links to all will be at left.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

So the heck was it that said,"Change is good"?

Well, they were half right. Jim G is 'putting to bed' his blog One Day At A Time for the time being. His was one of the first blogs I stumbled across as I (still) decide what shape and form my blog is going to take. It was (and still is) a great site for anyone looking to start their own site or merely trolling along the blogosphere.

So a long overdue Thank you to Jim G; and, in a long overdue addition to the links at left, look for Jim Donat's Mister SF. This is one of those fun, urbane, witty sites that I have enjoyed for so long --long before I ever even thought of blogging myself-- that I can't believe that I had neglected to link it until now. If you're thinking of visiting the City, or just dreaming of the City from your armchair, it's a great source of information about everything and anything San Franciscan. The San Francisco sites I've linked give perhaps a little too much credence for why it's one of the most unusual places in the world to live, one that stays with you long after the ache of every other relationship has faded into the past...
It's guys like this that are responsible for people watching less network television. As if that were a bad thing... (I'm presuming my friends who work in network television would either agree or don't read real stuff).

Bumper Sticker of the Day: SEND BUSH TO MARS

It's June First and you know what that means... find those hurricane shutters and start sucking-up to your relatives who live far, far away from the coast.

This Saturday, June 3, is the West Hollywood Art & Design Walk (there's a link to the Avenues of Art and Design on the left).

It is also National Trails Day, sponsored by the American Hiking Society. Here's a link to their website at for a list of activities taking place in all 50 states! Unfortunately, during the recent sweeps period, the local television news stations in LA have been harping on the upswing in the rattlesnake population in Southern California. I've met a bear on a trail once, and if it never happens again in this life it will be too soon. As for snakes, I still remember the time a rattler was right outside the door of our family's trailer when we were camping. My Dad hacked off it's head with his trusty hatchet (thanks, Dad!) and invited us to join in a tasty meal of rattlesnake soup (no thanks, Dad!) as he'd learned in the military. "Tastes like chicken!" he said. Funny, but I don't look at chicken in quite the same way since, either...