Cactus Skies and Rainbow Fringes and Cities in Cities in Cities
I’ve been neglecting the blog in favour of the portfolio
(Images are always more forgiving than words)
despite my head and my sketchbooks and the notes on my phone (and the notes on my old phone that doesn’t work anymore because it slipped into the toilet from a too-shallow pocket when I was drunk and probably a little sad one night) being full of all the things i’ve done, and the things people have said and all the weirdos on the bus playing out their scenes, all the characters written by a million different pasts and all the colours of cities and how they fit together.
So i’m going to piece together some of it, in sound bites and quotes and little insights so I won’t forget any more.
All the best writing you ever do is the writing you lose to water damage or misplacement or burning. So just imagine how good all the writing in the notes on my old phone that drowned one night are and forgive everything here. Forgive me all of it.
LA has these internal cities within it, kind of like the vatican I guess, but with less perverts. So when we visited Culver city I couldn’t help but wonder where the edge of it was, if it ran along the kerbs or cut buildings in half like a wire.
Eric showed us around, showed us another Eric’s work, the Owen Moss kind – disruptors of space, interrupters of architecture, arrogant windows, unapologetic in its pointlessness. Good though, to have a cactus garden in the sky for no reason. Or a pushed and pulled tower on the brink of falling. Or a column on an angle that would suggest it was barely a column at all.
Apparently he’s an asshole. Even though I love his stuff, you can kind of see it.
We had architecturally themed ice cream and sat in the shade of a tree on a slither of kerb grass and talked in wide loops about architecture education, orbiting the topic and getting sucked in and out by all its gravity.
Culver city is an American suburban dream. It’s crouched and leafy and has spread itself comfortably across the train line, its single hill like the hip of its slumbering body.
Later that night I met Lili, Karina and Alexx at Row DTLA for a furniture exhibition and we played Karina’s game of “what if you were rich, or not so rich, but rich enough to buy one thing here.” And it changes the value of everything, because if you could would you? Maybe you need the context of existing wealth to make sense of beautiful things. Would that beautifully crafted chair, or that finely cut table even work in my falling-apart, converted-shop, slug-infested flat?
It’s hard to understand a place when even its wear and tear seems curated. The Row will be bougie dream within the year, all its old buildings transformed into boutique art stores, with art made by the people who used to live there and bought by the only people who can afford to live there now. LA is growing up right?
Jonathan skateboarded while Jeff and I took the metro bikes. The night had pulled us along, from bar to bar, green lights to red neons, spaces that sucked you in, to little outdoor areas where the big, empty, always-starless sky felt like a roof held up by the brick walls and the fences and the little buds of street lights peeking out over top of them. I hadn’t planned on going out.
The darkness and the rush of it ate us right up and everything just flicked past, cars and lights and the groups of people bundled like flowers in their going out clothes, and all the old downtown buildings with their boarded up windows and on the ground floor the dim silhouette of security bars, keeping everything tight
LA isn’t a windy city but you can make your own wind on a bike, everything seems to rush right into your ears.
Blurring into blackness.
Spreading the city across the night like butter.
The end at a New Orleans themed bar covered in posters and road signs and glowing with a pink light.
If Saturday night was a rush of darkness, Pride LA on Sunday was a fireworks explosion of brightness and colour.
[Getting lost with Ruta in Weho, making friends with a guy in our uber pool who works at the abbey, finding the parade eventually (having slept through the protest), finding Gonzo and Charlotte and not finding her cousin, weaving all over the big wide grey roads occasionally shepherded by cops in their black jackets and short hair, some guy dressed as a bear dancing on a table while drinking a corona, other guys dressed in not much at all thrusting their sculpted hips for singles against a backdrop of dark bodies and glinting bottles, dancing under the sliced up rainbow sky fringe that rolled around us in the light breeze, jamming ourselves into the fleshy mass of the crowd at the abbey until our bodies were dripping]
Finding our ways home from the empty streets where proud people held each other and hugged the edges and occasionally slipped over the kerbs, and the bright buzzing bars and cancelled bus routes of West Hollywood on a festival day.
Another city within a city. Its edges that day fringed by rainbows.