Monday, March 27, 2006

Rem Koolhaus, the Fast Pass and a Stormtrooper

In Rodeo Drive there is a Prada store designed by Rem Koolhaus that immediately caught my attention. I was not aware of these Prada "Epicenters", apparently there is another one in New York (also designed by Koolhaus). There is no signage and the store groundfloor is completely open space with a huge aluminum box hovering above. LeNorm and I were so enchanted by this store we had to enter and were both completely blown away by the design. There was a main twenty foot stairway flanked by glass panels that subtly flickered from transparent to opaque! We also went to a Rodeo Drive art gallery where we chatted with some very nice ladies about Chagalls and Warhols they were selling. We bluffed our way out of the store and laughed as we could not believe they took us seriously.

We learned about the "Fast Pass" and it paid off big time. We never waited in the notoriously long Disney lines except once and we had an amazing time. We caught the traditional fireworks show which is extra special this year because it's Disney's 50th anniversary.

Ok, I'm a nerd, but I couldn't resist. L.A. is bringing out the child in me and I am one of those original Star Wars children (I saw a 1977 screening in the theatre as a child and grew up with the toys). Yes, it's cheezy tourist stuff but when in Rome, right?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Del Mar, Java Junkies and Louis Kahn

OK, I've been pretty lazy about updating my blog. So here's a bunch of stuff I've been up to the last while.

I have fallen in love and my lady's name is California. I've lived on the Cote d'Azur and have been to Waikiki. However, I saw my most beautiful sunset at Del Mar in San Diego. There were surfers even though it is still March. With its exotic fauna and palm trees, I could easily believe I was in Fiji.

Most of the rides at the Universal Theme park are "virtual" but are still an amazing and fun experience. I had seen the Shrek4D short on DVD but it is nothing compared to the actual ride with it's spraying of water and hydraulic seats.

Here's leNorm and I sitting on the actual Friends' tv show couch. We saw Charlie Sheen and Lauren Graham taking breaks from their shows.

This building started construction while I was still in architecture school and at the time there was a lot of buzz in the architecture world. Finally experiencing it in person, I was amazed by the attention to details considering the sheer size of this project. I was never really a Richard Meier fan but he did a truly amazing job. It brought me back to Europe with its marble open courtyards.

This is considered one of the most sacred buildings in the pantheon of modern architecture. I saw this building in pictures so many times during architecture school but of course there's nothing like being there. It truly is an amazing place that inspires serenity and quiet.