Snow Day

Snow Day

I invited our good friends for a weekend in Pioneertown. Come out to the desert, we’ll get together, have a few laughs, I said. Exactly like Bruce Willis in Die Hard, because sometimes, that is all there is. While no one cut their feet on glass, we did have some surprises

Around 5:30am we had a rare, freak snowstorm. The whole house got up to properly Instagram the moment.

And then this happened, totally unplanned or with out coercion, of course….

Snow Day

Outdoor Staging

An Outdoor Redo

An Outdoor RedoThis client needed her home staged for a large party. After working on the interiors we realized the outdoor setup could use some work, too. We knew the guests would gravitate to the deck but it wasn’t particularly inviting for groups of people or mingling. The patio furniture was lined up, as it was probably displayed by the manufacturer, Pottery Barn, I think, but I wanted to see if there was another option. Sometimes you just need to look at something with a fresh eye. An Outdoor Redo Staging your home outdoors is much like staging your home inside. My goal was to find a way to create a sitting area where conversation could flow and people could easily set their drinks down. I broke up the seating with end tables creating areas for sitting. I added an indoor/outdoor rug from Cost Plus on the diagonal to draw the eye in. It looked great moved to the corner of the deck and was immediately accessible walking out of the house. An Outdoor Redo

Is There a Demand for This?

Is There a Demand for This?

Read the full article in the New York Times Room for Debate.

Is There A Demand for This?Dirty Spider-Man, angry Batgirl, drunk Wolverine — these are the people in my neighborhood. Hollywood is a wonderfully weird mash-up of idle superheroes, midcentury apartment buildings, empty lots, magic shops, the Magic Castle, office towers and the home of Scientology. We’ve got diversity in spades. Know what else we have? Vacancies.

Skyscrapers won’t destroy the character of Hollywood — after all, Superman can leap tall buildings in a single bound on his way to panhandling — but rows of dark, empty towers will. I see no demand for this kind of dense vertical housing. If you move to Hollywood today, rentals are here for the taking, spacious places with pools, balconies and even fruit trees. Commercial and residential spaces will be carpeted, however. How else will we keep the New Yorkers at bay?

If you want to live vertical, downtown L.A. already has a burgeoning scene of creative professionals, easy access to mass transit … and vacancies. In this city, it’s easier to find an apartment than a TAP card (our version of a Metrocard). I had to buy mine in a liquor store on Hollywood Boulevard, since it’s not sold in subway stations.

Overdeveloping Hollywood so that residents take public transport is truly putting the cart before the horse. Develop our mass transit system so that it goes where many Angelenos need to go, like the west side or the airport, for goodness’ sake. We need more dedicated bus and bike lanes. Otherwise, this new influx of residents will just bring more cars, Capitol Records will become a stylish parking garage, and we’ll all sit in gridlock as the costumed characters stroll by on the sidewalk with it all figured out.

Perhaps the secret plan behind rezoning Hollywood is to fill the skyscrapers with all our disgruntled New York transplants and hope the steel and glass quell them. While native Angelenos adore New York, expats living here have difficulty embracing L.A. I should know; I was one of them. Though my cell number still begins with 917, my heart now bleeds 323. Once I stopped expecting L.A. to be like New York, I began to love what was unique about the quirky city I live in.

After five years of living here, I was looking for a way to lay claim to my adopted hometown, a way to announce that I had finally let go of New York. One lazy afternoon it came to me: I dressed up as Princess Leia, just for kicks, and took my place among my peers on the streets of Hollywood. I never felt more like an Angeleno.


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