Today Los Angeles hosted its 2016 Marathon. As I do every year, I went to see the 25,000 runners from around the US and the world zoom by my neighborhood on their way to Santa Monica. I missed the members of the elite teams (who ended up winning the race) by a few minutes, but it’s always fun to see and cheer for the thousands of athletes and regular runners who show enormous endurance and determination to complete the 26.2-mile race under pretty hot conditions. These photos were taken in Brentwood, which is Mile 22 or the race, just a few miles from the finish line, where I plan to be next year. 🙂

Architectural Photoessay

The Petersen Museum: Love It or Leave It

L.A.’s Petersen Automotive Museum reopened in December of 2015, after undergoing extensive remodeling. The new building, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (who also worked on New York’s MOMA), is a textured hot-rod-red aluminum structure wrapped by hundreds of stainless-steel ribbons, meant to “evoke the imagery of speed and the organic curves of a coach-built automobile.” But many critics in L.A. are calling it a huge eye-sore, an obnoxious, loud, and tacky Las Vegas-style monstrosity. Will the public hate it or embrace it? One thing is for sure: once you’ve seen it, you will never forget it.

The interior is impressive with twenty-five galleries on three floors, packed with interactive technology telling three stories about the automobile: its history, its industry and its artistry.  I enjoyed the time I spent there. The cars on display are simply jaw-dropping beautiful and for car lovers, there is a special tour to the museum’s vault, where they keep hundreds of car intended to be display at times in different exhibits.

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The Tamer Side of Venice Beach ~~

Venice Beach is one of the most colorful and interesting areas of Los Angeles. Walk on its boardwalk, known as Venice Beach’s Ocean Front Walk, between Rose Avenue and North Venice Blvd, and you’ll see all sorts of things, from palm and tarot card readers, to sand sculptors and collage artists, performance artists, street hustlers, buskers and bodybuilders. Continue walking past North Venice Blvd, towards the pier, and you’ll hit a residential area, consisting mostly of architectural houses with lots of glass to allow owners to enjoy the beautiful view. These are brave souls. As much as I’d love to have that view and to be able to step out of the house into the beach, I wouldn’t live in one of those houses, for two reasons: 1. Crowds. Lots of people -locals and tourists- walk up and down that strip day and night; some are rowdy, others are snoopy, taking pictures of everything around, including the houses… ;); and 2. Tsunamis! Yes, if there’s a strong earthquake and a subsequent tsunami, that entire area will be washed away in no time. But enough of the bad stuff. Here are some photos I took today while roaming around the tamer side of Venice Beach.

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Honoring Chris Burden (4/11/1946 – 5/10/2015) ~~

If you’ve ever visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), you’ve seen “Urban Light,” Chris Burden’s installation in the form of a classical Greek temple composed of 202 antique cast-iron street lamps. This permanent installation has been at LACMA since 2008 and is now one of the symbols of Los Angeles. I fell in love with “Urban Light” the first time I set eyes on it. No matter which angle you look at it you’ll discover something new and beautiful, not only in the lamps themselves but in the way they are displayed. So, so pretty…

Today we woke up to news that Chris Burden had died. He was only 69 and would’ve had so much more to give to the art world had he not lost his battle with cancer. I am honoring him with some of the photos I’ve taken of his wonderful “Urban Light.”