Do This Today: The Moshe Safdie Exhibit at the Skirball Center

IMG_6338 (Photo from As Her World Turns)

Today’s event is going on until March 2nd, so you have some time, but the Skirball Center is having a Moshe Safdie architecture exhibit. He’s a Israeli architect creating work all over the world. As Her World Turns went to one of his buildings called Marina Bay Sands. Take a look at her photos of this amazing building and then high-tail it over to the Skirball Center to learn more about his work.

Event: Moshe Safdie Architectural Exhibit (event link)
Location: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Time: Thursday, January 9, 2014 until March 2nd.
Cost: $10 (don’t buy online to avoid the $1.50 service fee- just get them at the door)

Do This Today: Inverting Neutra


Architect lovers head to Silver Lake to learn about Richard Neutra’s architecture in the VDL House. This will  run through Sept 7, so go while you can. Bring $10 cash for the tour. It’s a fun walking neighborhood, so why not pack sneakers and do a loop around the lake or at lest head over to LAMill for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Event: The Super Serious Show (tour info)
Location: 2300 Silver Lake Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039
Time: Thursday August 22, last tour @ 3-7pm
Cost: $10 donation

Hearst Castle 2: Casa Grande

Catch-up to speed by reading Hearst Castle 1: The Gardens and Pools.

The first tour we did was of the Casa Grande (aka, the big main house). Since these tours are pricy and people often just do one tour, this is the most popular tour they choose. Our group easily had 25 people in it. This tour was nice, but it left out the quirky William Hearst details that this house is screaming of. Thankfully, the upstairs tour and guest house tour filled in a lot of gaps for us.

It looks like a college campus or cathedral more so than a house.

How many people do you know who collect ceilings and walls from Europe?

Every room is covered with architectural details/artwork from Europe what an unusual collection. William ate dinner here with all of his guests. All guests were required to attend dinner at the same time here. Your seats were assigned based on how long you’ve stayed at the castle. New people sat in the center and guests who overstayed their welcome were pushed to the ends of the table. William would often select someone and say “entertain me”, and that guest was required to put on a one-person-show for William Hearst. It’s like people were his puppets. So strange.

Church right? Nope, dining room wall. Yeah, my dining room looks like this too.

The billiards room.

The above photo is a decorative ornamental column in the theater. This is where guests were required to watch a film every night at 11pm. You were not allowed to skip this. So unusual.

Next up, Hearst Castle 3: The Upstairs Tour.

Secret Stair Walk#27: Silver Lake Court

Since I’m lacking Comedy Wednesday material, I thought I would share a Secret Stair walk with you. I know I haven’t shared many walks with you recently, but there are more coming. There’s nothing more calming than pushing stressful thoughts from my head, grabbing my camera and hopping in the car off to a clear-your-head walk. I find these walks force me to live in the moment and focus on what’s around me. You should try it, if you haven’t already. This time around I explored walk #27: Silver Lake Court.

—  In 2012 I have to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  —

This was a lovely quiet walk, which took me along the familiar Silver Lake Court, which is a dirt patch where the Pacific Electric Red Car trolley used to run.

Only this time we didn’t take my typical route up the stairs, but instead turned to the left, and headed in a new direction. Excitement!

I passed an adorable bunny guarding the gate to the Rose Sharlin Co-op Nursery School, and continued along the brush path.

Eventually I was spit out into another side of the neighborhood, where I noticed this spray painted on a trailer parked on the street.

Stairs, stairs, and more stairs.

Log cabin?? In LA??

Fun with color. I love the creativity in the Silver Lake neighborhood.

“Warning: People Before Profits”

An odd museum.

Architecture fun! I love this home above.

Above: The wide shot

Above: The close-up of the John Lautner’s Silvertop residence.

Assuming I got the address right, the home above is designed by Eric Lloyd Wright for Rupert Pole and where Anais Nin lived and died in 1977.

Do This Today: Les Femmes (art!)

The A+D Museum invited in a large group of female designers, artists and architects to take over the space with their work (no rules). Come check out this exhibit before it ends Sept. 8.

Event: A+D Architecture and Design Museum “Come In! Les Femmes”
Location: A+D Museum, 6032 Wilshire Blvd, LA CA 90036
Time: 11a-5pm
Cost: $10
FIY: Parking is tricky. The museum recommends taking the Purple Line and getting off at Wilshire/Western.

BONUS: Marc Maron is back at the Trepany House tonight, click HERE for details.

Chicago 4: Frank Lloyd Wright

To catch you up to speed with my Chicago adventures…
Chicago 1: Bloomingdale Trail + Street Art + Antique Taco
Chicago 2: I Love the ZOO!
Chicago 3: Millennium Park + The Art Institute of Chicago

Since my trip here is so short (2.5 days), we are approaching the last .5 day. How could I leave Chicago without visiting Oak Park, home to Frank Llyod Wrights home, office, and many of his designs. We arrived at FLW’s home and got tickets to go on the 12:15p tour. While waiting for the tour to start we walked around the block which is filled with other examples of FLW architecture.

The house above is called the Arthur B. Heurtley House designed in 1902. The house below is the Nathan G. Moore House.

I think the FLW house offers walking tours aroudn the neighborhood, but if you wanted to go at your own pace just print the map HERE and read up on the sights ahead of time. This is a beautiful walk and you can even stop an grab some delicious pizza (like we did) at Giordano’s on Chicago Ave, just down the block. Once it hit 12:15p we were back that FLW’s house for the tour. I opted not to get the photography pass (aka more $), but I got these photos of the outside of the property.  Below is the front of his home, and behind the greenery to the left of the photo, is where his architectural studio/office was.

The photo below was his carriage house, which has been converted into a gift shop and main office for the museum.

The photo below is looking toward the entrance to his offices. I really enjoyed this tour and highly recommend it to be able to see the inside and learn more about his design decisions. I’m so glad I could to stop here before I headed to the airport.

Check out the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust website to see better images and learn more about his architecture, events, and different types of tours offered.

Secret Stairs #35: Temple Hill

I’m sorry for the late responses, as I’ve been traveling non-stop. This also means no Friday Weekend Guide. I know, I’m bummed about it too. Depending on timing, it should be up next Friday. With the 4th of July holiday coming up, you’re probably going out of town anyway. So lets get down to business. I want to share with you Secret Stair walk #35, Temple Hill.

In 2012 I have to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!

For this next walk, I parked by Gelson’s on a street off Franklin because the parking there is always very easy. It’s several blocks from the start of this walk, but you’re in it for a walk so why not?

It goes from the cute shops in Franklin Village, to the bustle of everyone trying to get on the 101, to the quiet Hollywood Hills.

This area is known as The Hollywood Dell. It loops around and connects with the Vandeta Society of Southern California. I know there are several around LA and near many Secret Stair walks. This area is very peaceful and quiet despite having the 101 in its backyard.

This walk takes you through this very old Hollywood neighborhood. Charles book gives you a brief history and tells you about neighborhood locals. You get to see a mix of homes, one of which is this odd looking castle.

I love the color of this door and the attention to detail with this funny door handle.

This neighborhood connects with Krotona of Old Hollywood. This apartment complex was generated to house the colony of believers. This whole neighborhood is filled with Moorish architectural influences. It has an entire history that I don’t know much about, but THIS website can tell you more.

Then you know me, I had fun just looking at details around the neighborhood.

This walk looped down back to Franklin, although I decided to stretch it out and look for a local church where nuns make fresh banana bread. I didn’t end up buying the bread, but I got to see more fun along the way.

Secret Stair Walk #22: Coffee Table Loop (Silver Lake)

Last I just told you about walk #21 (West Silver Lake) and this next walk picks up from there. Just to recap for newbies:

In 2012 I have to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!

Secret Stair Walk #22: Coffee Table Loop (Silver Lake)

Walk #21 finishes around Hyperion Ave and walk #22 picks up around Rowena, I figured I would go right from one to the next. This 1 mile stretch of Hyperion is not officially included in the walk, but I enjoyed it so much I included the pictures below. There are so many artistic, well designed shops and restaurants along Hyperion that when you do this walk, I would plan it so you can stop for lunch along here.

All the shops are so original: Barbarella Bar, Pizzeria Lago, Tomboy (kid’s clothing store), Say Cheese (cheese shop),   Broome Street Genral Store (coffee, food, knickknacks)

Rowena Ave is where walk #22 pickup, so right around here in the photos.

You know how I love texture and graphics.

Like walk #21, as soon as I was off the main streets it got very quiet and calm.

It was a beautiful day for a stair walk, so the photos came out so bright and colorful.

The photo below is of the John Lautner designed Silvertop. This home is well known architecturally and iconic to LA. Learn more about the home and architect HERE.

The higher-up I went, the more beautiful the views (and the steeper the climb).

I turned a corner by Landa St. and took a short detour to get this image. I was so nestled walking in the hills I didn’t realize how close I was to downtown. Quite a view, seeing the lake and turning to my right and seeing downtown.

What goes up must come down. I made my way down the hills zig-zagging through the neighborhood until I reached the Silver Lake. At this point it was 5:30p, so all the runners who just got off work were doing their laps around the lake.

One thing Charles Flemming points out, which I didn’t want to miss, was this “V” on the door of not-the-schmanciest house on the block (as you can probably tell from the christmas ornament hanging on the door in June). Under the V is the morse code for that letter, which coincidentally (or not) matches the opening nots of Beethoven’s Fifth. Nice call on making that connection Charles!

As I looped back to Rowena, I made myself a cat friend who I also tried to get out of the street.

That finishes up walk #22! Now get out there, get the book and make your own free (once you own the book) adventures! It’s a gorgeous day, and I’m about to do that myself.

Secret Stairs #21: Silver Lake Terraces West

If you’re new to Life Absorbed (I love newbies!) then you might not know about one of my biggest hobbies: Secret Stair Walks! In 2012 I have to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!

Recently I explored walk #21, Silver Lake! What a fun neighborhood. This specific walk was 2.5 miles and 190 steps. I ended up combining it with another Silver Lake walk from the book, but that post will come later. The walk began along Hyperion Ave by the recording-studio building, The Boat. According to Charles Flemming, it is where Beck recorded most of his Guero album. The building is TINY, but very cool looking. How have I never noticed this odd looking building?

This walk almost immediately takes out of the craziness of Hyperion Ave and up into the Silver Lake hills, where I started to notice the details.

It was so quiet up here, high-up out of the wildness of LA.

After the walk, I looked at the album of all my photos and noticed that this walk had a bunch of very cool looking doors. It was a theme of the walk.

I love the details in doors.

This photo below is a home designed by Stephen Alan Siskind. There are many homes in a row here all designed by him.

More fun doors  and gates 🙂

This staircase (below) was toward the end of the loop. I love how the greenery hides this staircase.