Straight is the Gate: NOT!

Straight is the Gate: NOT!

The Venice Canals are a fantasy-land of visual whimsey.  Art and architecture, design and details, color, form, texture and landscaping intersect with the natural world of earth and water, mingling in a magical way.  Here, the lines between privacy and the public are both diffused and defined.  Visitors stroll past homes that buttress right up to the sidewalk, but often are shaded by trees, and hidden behind hedges, walls and gates, or a combination of all three.

Metal, wood, and foliage flow together  to create both art and utility.  We are are so caught up in observing the material mix, we forget to peer beyond the gate.  Mission accomplished.

Creative cutouts provide contrast to the wood and metal geometry below, and make of this gate a work of art, both two and three dimensional.

No-one is getting past this gate, unless the owner wants you to.  So arrested by its beauty, we forget how formidable it is. Flanked by bamboo, the strength of its materials, shape and detailing stops us in our tracks.

The simplicity of repeated squares which form a pattern is further softened by curving grasses, and enlivened by the use of stones on the ground in front.

A similar repeated shape creates a grid, reflecting the larger tile-like stones before it, creating a starker, and more stream-lined feeling.

What magnificent and magical gates have been in YOUR purview lately?

If you feel so inclined, please share about them with us here.

We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all traversing this thing we call Life, together.

Cheers!

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LA Stories IV: Navigating the Venice Canals 1

LA Stories IV: Navigating the Venice Canals 1

The canal district of Venice is one of the most amazing urban areas I have ever seen.    Just for that reason…how extraordinary to have picturesque waterways crisscrossing the urban landscape of this beachfront district on the Westside of Los Angeles, lined with residences ranging from the charming to the spectacular.  The stone design  of the embankment is a unifying factor, framing the multitude of creative energies and architectural styles.

The canals were built in 1905 by tobacco millionaire, and developer Abbot Kinney, who  sought to recreate the appearance and feel of Venice, Italy in Southern California.

Did he succeed?

A color friend of mine likened this residence to a sherbert sundae! I love the color reflected in the water…

A “boulevard” of water…can create a feeling of such peace.

Reflection of a palm darkly…everybody uses that water, and crosses it.

Yes, that is a swimming pool, adjacent to the green wall, under the blue roof, and next to the orange post.

The perfect vista…a bridge over untroubled water.

From formal to funky, stately to sculptural, and shutters to shingles,  the whole district is architectural eye-candy.

Multitudes of watery reflections turn the world upside down…a California preoccupation.

Classic forms remain.

Holidays on the Canals, anyone?

Have You ever visited the Venice Canals?

If so, what was Your impression?

If you so choose, please share it with us here.

We Love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all navigating this thing called Life, together.




LA Stories III: The Balm of Palm

LA STORIES III: The Balm of Palm
What says “Southern California” more succinctly than palm trees?  Yes…they also bespeak the tropics, surfing,  Miami Beach, and the essence of relaxation itself, , even paradise,  but when in LA, the Balm of Palm is King…er. Queen?

Here are some of my favorite recent “Palm Psalm” sitings in Santa Monica and Venice…so sit down with your favorite drink, tropical or otherwise, , relax, and listen to the palm leaves rustle….

Palm-lined boulevards are the norm in Santa Monica

Reflections of a palm darkly…in downtown Santa Monica

Follow the palm-lined road…

Biblical implications behind Yahoo Center, Santa Monica?

Headed down Colorado Boulevard to the Santa Monica Pier…looking left!

The leaning tower of palm…

The Washingtonia robusta palm trees line Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica

Abbot Kinney, I presume…Venice!

“Who you lookin’ at?”  Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica

The storied Venice Canals…

So, what are we to make of the abundance of LA palms?

Well, according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “In historical times palms have been symbols for victory, peace, and fertility. Today, palms remain a popular symbol for the tropics and vacations”.  Hmm…from victory,  peace and fertility, to the tropics and vacations…go figure.  Sounds like So-Cal to me!

What do Palm Trees mean to YOU? Have You relaxed under any lately?

If You so choose, please share about it with us here.  We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all relaxing into this thing called Life, together.