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Posts tagged ‘Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980’

Little Tokyo Love

This video caused me to go temporarily insane.

That video, my friends is one of the many reasons to love life.  Oooooh, I want to cuddle that intelligent Beluga!!!  If you’ve already seen it before, too bad!  I always forward links or videos to friends, thinking I’m really cutting edge, + they’re always like, “Seriously Shelli, I’ve seen that a million times.” or “What, do you live under a rock?”.  I’ve been compared to a coma patient that has just woken up.  It’s true.  I should get out more, but I don’t.  And I don’t plan to!

I love living in Little Tokyo!  Why would I go anywhere else?  Everything I want is within walking distance.  Uuuuuugh, I’m going to miss living here.  I walked to my optometrist this morning, Dr. Kurata.  Do you like my new frames? 

I had a hard time taking a picture with my IPhone.  Or maybe I’m trying to emulate a pirate minus the eye patch.  My frames are by Ic! Berlin.  German, but of course.  Remember: Japanese or German products only need apply.




Everything I need is in Little Tokyo!  My hair stylist + friend Kayo cut Jeff’s hair before he left for Canada.  Kayo is a scientist of hair – a real genius!  Most of my friends + family go to see her.  She usually cuts + colors at Umberto Salon in Beverly Hills, but works in Little Tokyo 2 days a week because she loves styling hair so much.  I’m not going to forward a link, because she’s already so booked by word of mouth, that it’s difficult to get an appointment with her! Recognize!!!





Shin-Sen-Gumi just opened up down the street!  I used to drive all the way down to Gardena to eat at the location there.  This ramen shop is great because you can choose your toppings, how firm you want you noodles to be cooked, how oily your broth, etc.  It’s the ultimate in ramen customization!!!! Plus, they serve Spam!!!!!!!!  The protein of Asia.  What’s not to love?



The waiters enthusiastically SCREAM in Japanese: “WELCOME!!!”, “2 AT TABLE 5!!!”. “TABLE 3 IS CLEARED!!!”, “THANKYOUVERYMUCH!!!!!!!”.  It’s a little jarring + hard to hold a conversation with all the yelling, but at least they’re consistent.  I still relish in their militancy very much.  It flows through my blood…







Today as I was getting my mail, my condo manager Shin-san motioned me into the common room.  He said, “Look at all these things, take whatever you want!  If people don’t take these things, I’m just going to throw them in the trash!”.  Shin-san is not much of an environmentalist.  There were various, not so memorable tchotchkes that were up for grabs.  My condo complex houses many elderly Japanese, + lately they have been unfortunately moving to nursing homes or passing away.

But, look at what I found!  Beautiful Kokeshi dolls!  The one on the left does not appear very old, but the two on the right I have to do more research on.  They look old, yo!!!

Look at the intricacy of the painting!  One of them has “Hakone Onsen” hand written on the botttom in calligraphy.  Onsen is Japanese for “hot springs”.  I’ll have to bring these to the “Antiques Roadshow” (aka Jeff’s favorite show), y’all!!!!

They’re so simple + beautiful.  Aaaaaah, Japanese aesthetic, how I love you so……







For some reason, Megumi was very intrigued by these dolls.  Which kind of creeeeeped me out a little….

Yet another reason to miss Little Tokyo.  The MOCA Geffen Contemporary is one block west of my condo.  I have a membership + can just stroll on down there whenever I want.





Right now they are exhibiting: “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981”.  Go see it, because it’s very in depth + really expresses the raw art, photography + music scene that was happening in California during that time period. People were very jaded + angry back then, y’all! Again, this is in collaboration with fabulous Pacific Standard Time .    Check out my past blog, “Eames to the Nth Degree” for more on Pacific Standard Time.

Well, don’t look to this blog if you need tips + advice for moving, because this ain’t it!!!  I managed to box up a bunch of stuff.  The problem is, I don’t have a tenant yet + I’m not sure of when I’m moving out, so my drive to really get packing is like zero.  That’s how I found that Beluga video on youtube.  It’s called procrastination, people.  This makes it hard for me to know what + how much to box up, because I’m not sure of what I’ll need to keep around to live on without feeling like a complete bachelorette. 



Don’t get impressed, because 3/4 of these boxes are empty!!! Hah!!!





As the night progressed + my IPod played on, I managed to get a good amount of boxes packed up.  There’s nothing like some Bruce Springsteen, Roxy Music + Selena to push things along.

I did the fishy face because I was tired + at a loss.  Plus, I’m not very photogenic.  I wish Jeff was here. 😦


California Pride

This Pacific Standard Time art collaboration that I mentioned in yesterday’s blog is really something else.

I am really proud + excited to be Californian + be surrounded by art + design that really personifies the West Coast + Californian ideals.  I think these exhibits come at a perfect time, considering that soon I will become a permanent resident of Canada.  It’s like a bittersweet goodbye to my beloved state + the artistic environment that I may have taken for granted, now that I realize all the art + culture that was surrounding me growing up.

Yesterday, we visited the JF Chen antiques + furniture gallery/showroom that was showcasing their huge vintage Eames collection for Pacific Standard Time. 


I really thought Jeff was going to pee his pants when we stepped inside.  It was like a museum.  Everything was for sale, but the deal was that if an item was purchased, the paid for item was to be on display as if on loan until the exhibit was to come to a close.















I went to the ladies’ room + this is what I wanted!!!!  Danish modern mirror!!!!  Drooooooool!!!!!  Dreamy.








The old department for Superman was super (haha!) close by, so I wanted to take Jeff there to say hello to everyone + debut myself as Mrs. Nishino-Fayle.  Yes, I’m a hyphen!!!!  Oh, explanation – this is where I was working before I left to go pack a 40 foot shipping container + get married. 



The gang!!!!  Cacey, Annie (The White Duchess), Ninska (Nina) + Kurt!!!!!  I missed everyone like loco!!!  We chatted, ate a bunch of their potato chips + headed down to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Better known as LACMA for all those who are savvy.



On exhibit is the “California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way”, going on until March 25th – so everyone, vite, vite!!!!  Go now!!!  Go!!!!!  Go nooooooow!!!!!  So well curated + displayed!!!! 








The exhibits showed how Californian design evolved over time through the influence of German + Austrian emigres post WW II, the materials that were used in a post war era, the population explosion of Los Angeles suburbs + the needs of the growing atomic families, etc.






The contents of the Eames House living room was on display in painstaking historical detail.  But alas, we weren’t allowed to take pictures.  But it was really fun to see after being at the house yesterday. 

The best part is a conversation I overheard between two toothpick baby hipsters chatting in their respective bathroom stalls.  Hipster #1 was not excited about celebrating her birthday + was just going to do a quiet Sunday brunch (which is the female Angelenos most beloved past time, by the way).  Hipster #2 asked, “Why aren’t you excited???”.  Hipster #1: “I’m really not that excited to turn 26.”.  Hipster #2 replied, “Well, it could be worse!  You could be turning 27!”.  Hipster #1: “Omigod, you’re totally right, I know!!!”.  This whole conversation is even more ridiculous to me because I just had a conversation with a friend about how she was turning 37.  When the hipsters came out of the bathroom stalls + saw me washing my hands + realized they weren’t alone in the bathroom whilst they were conducting their flippant conversation they bowed their heads sheepishly.  That’s right!!!!!!!






At the permanent exhibit was “The Centaur” by Pablo Picasso.  Jeff sneaked a picture for me because when I was 4 years old LACMA had a huge Picasso exhibit that my dad took me to.  I remember this piece + how blown away, confused + mesmerized I was by it.  This piece is really symbolic to me.  I thank my parents so much for exposing me to the arts for my whole life. 







Jeff + I were really excited to stumble upon the temporary exhibit of Ed Kienholz’s “Five Car Stud”.  It’s a huge installation piece that was crazy controversial in it’s day during the civil rights movement in America.  A huge statement on the race wars in America, it was only showed in Germany + was subsequently placed in storage for almost 40 years in Japan.  Keinholz’s more famous “Back Seat Dodge” installation almost caused LACMA to lose it’s funding in 1966.  His depictions of reality, violence + sexuality gets the good old US of A up in a tizzy. 



This is not my picture, but from the LACMA website because you were not allowed to take pictures.  But what the amazing thing was that  we were allowed to walk into the installation + really get a really close look at all the details.  I’m not going to describe “Five Car Stud” to all of you, because you should go + see it, or educate yourselves about it.  This is a teaser!

I haven’t been to that many museums in such a short time in a really long while.  I thank Jeff + Pacific Standard Time for being such a patron of the arts + for Jeff being my best friend!!!!  I LOVE CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!

Eames to the Nth Degree

Charles + Ray Eames overload!!!  Is there such a thing?  Possibly, yes.  For those of you who’ve aren’t familiar with them, Charles + Ray Eames were an American husband + wife design team that were HUGE contributors to architecture, furniture design, photography, film, etc.  Most of what the general public would think of as “mid-century modern design” was probably influenced by Charles + Ray Eames.  Don’t they look fun?






Some iconic Eames furniture pieces – this only scratches the surface of what the Eames contributed to the world of design.




Yesterday was POURING rain!!!!  Everyone said that Jeff brought the rain to Los Angeles.  Jeff called it “a light mist”.  Macho.  People were decked out in all their rain gear – you would have thought it was a tornado warning.  Angelenos freak out when it rains + it’s like the whole city shuts down.  We went to the A + D (architecture + design) museum on Wilshire.  The show was: Eames Designs: The Guest-Host Relationship.  “The role of the designer,” said Charles Eames, “is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests.” 



Rainy, rainy streets.




Another Eames philosophy was to find, “the uncommon beauty of common things.”  Not a very good philosophy to promote to a hoarder.  Easy, Jeff.  Don’t get any ideas.






After A + D, we traveled across the street to the Petersen Automotive Museum.  I think 92% of Angelenos have never been to this museum.  It is fascinating + I highly recommend it, y’all!!!  Usually it is the kiss of death going to the Petersen with Jeff because he’ll take 30 detailed pictures of one car.  There’s THREE STORIES of cars. Lots of them.  Luckily, he forgot his camera. 




History buffs, pay heed.  If you’re not much of a car aficionado, the Petersen Museum is still a good visit for insight into the evolution of car culture + the development of the city of Los Angeles.  Incroyable!!


This guy is at the model T display as an example of how the cars would always get stuck in the mud.  But, really Petersen museum?!  He always gets a chuckle + witty remarks from the viewers cuz it’s like, “What the heck is really going on here????”.  Jeff made me put this in the post.  Guffaw, guffaw.






The rotating exhibit is, “Scooters – Size Doesn’t Always Matter”.  Snicker, snicker.  So, if you are a mod + have Quadrophenia on rotation on your plasma, go check it out.  It shows the complete evolution of the scooter from the turn of the century to the luxury Vespas of today.



Today, the weather was absolument gorgeous!!!!  To die for Los Angeles weather!!!  Thus, Santa Monica, tally ho.  First stop?  The Eames House.  Visit by appointment only, park on Corona Del Mar + no pictures of the inside of the home. Only the exterior.  Nestled in a eucalyptus grove that smelled so fragrant after the rain!!!! 








The contents of the living room have been moved to Los Angeles County Museum of Art which is a bit of a bummer because it would have been nice to see the living room intact, considering all of it’s contents have never left the house since 1949, when the house was completed.  Everyone!!!  Right now in southern California, Pacific Standard Time is happening – a six month celebration of art in L.A. from 1945-1980, with over 60 cultural institutions from Malibu to Palm Springs + down to San Diego exhibiting + showcasing southern California as a influential center for arts + culture.

Charles + Ray’s grandson was on the premises being interviewed by what we assumed was a Japanese reporter.  He shot a film about the dismantling of the studio on Abbot Kinney in Venice that Jeff loved.  We bought a copy + Jeff was able to flag him down for a chat + an autograph.  Jeff was thrilled.  Eames Demetrios was thrilled as well when Jeff told him about meeting me on “Inception” because there is a character by the name Eames + Leonardo DiCaprio’s character spins a toy top, which is a huge symbol in the Eames philosophy.  Hmmm.  Coincidence???  Me thinks not…..







Afterwards was a hop, skip + a jump to one of my best friends from high school, Adrianna’s house.  She is preggos with her first wee bairn, + I haven’t seen her tummy grow since I’ve been gone!!!  Here she is with her tummy + her beloved greyhound rescue, Enid!!!!  How I’ve missed them!!!!  Hi Adi!!!







Jeff is convinced that he + Adi are related.  Crazy???  Yes.  Unfounded?  No.  Adi’s maiden name is Day.  Jeff’s paternal side come from a well documented line of Days from Cork, Ireland.  Here they are looking at Adi’s genealogy binder.  Because everyone should have theirs handy!!!!  Look alive, people!!!  Get with the program!!!  Slackers!!!



For lunch, we walked up the street to Ocean Avenue for a packed picnic because we are thrifty like that.





A perfect Southern California day – beat that, Vancouver!!!!













The Eames Office on Pico was our next stop.  It was bigger than I expected.  They had the 1961 “Mathematica” exhibit commissioned by IBM showcased. 
















It was amazing!!!  There were historical timelines, quotations from famous mathematicians, physics displays, photography + film from the original exhibition.



Oh + let’s not forget – a really amazing gift store.  My favorite part.






Okay, LAST STOP.  The Santa Monica Museum of Art.  Located in Bergamot Station – a collection of galleries located in an industrial location that’s been around for years.  I remember going there in high school feeling artsy.  The exhibit was on Beatrice Wood.  An eccentric bohemian who was known as the Mama of Dada (Dadaism).  I LOVED learning about her!!!  She had a pottery studio in Ojai, east of Santa Barbara.  She only wore Indian saris + was frequently seen with Roche + Duchamp during the early 1900’s, consequently it is assumed that she was the inspiration for the Truffaut film, “Jules + Jim”.  One of the few French New Wave that I actually love.
















After the excitement of Beatrice Wood, we drifted off to the many galleries that Bergamot Station has to offer.  It’s one of those places where, if you’re a local, you take Bergamot Station for granted.  But if you’re visiting – please go!!!!







Julius Shulman – world renowned architectural photographer.  Neutra, Lautner, Frank Lloyd Wright, Koenig + various other Case Study houses.  Jeff was beside himself for real. All I was thinking about, was that Los Angeles traffic that was approaching.  And believe me, it was.  We braved traffic during rush hour + were better men/women because of it.  Today was a plethora of information , art + culture that I haven’t experienced in a very long time.  This need, should not go on so long ignored.