Backyard Salad for ’09

About a year ago we bought a couple of galvanized containers from Seeds of Change, and they've been great for growing a small salad supply. They're so compact and portable that they can easily be moved around to get more or less sun, as needed.
Salad greens (and reds), fall through spring, have been our most successful, cost-effective and rewarding minicrop, as they're easy to grow, taste a ton better than anything store bought, and are available at a moment's notice.


Faster Than You

And me.
This is Andrew, an old friend and coworker from my days at Mountain Biker magazine. Back then I was fortunate to work, and mountain bike, with a bunch of talented riders and good people. It was a fast group, and I never was quite able to keep up, but I learned a lot.
This photo was taken during the last day of the SoCal Cross series a couple of weeks ago in Woodland Hills.


"I Want to Be Left Here"

That's what the kid said as she and I were touring the restaurant after finishing our meal. Between a friendly and helpful waiter, an actual train (trolley car, really) inside the restaurant, mere feet from our table, and a colorful cup with a bendy straw, she decided the Old Spaghetti Factory, Duarte, was where she wanted to spend the rest of her life.
Do you remember thinking that way?
I'm still reeling.

The Old Spaghetti Factory, Duarte

We happened upon the Old Spaghetti Factory in Duarte on our way home after some fun in the snow at Mt. Baldy. Have you been to the Old Spaghetti Factory lately? If the last time you were there was 15 years ago, you wouldn't have any trouble recognizing the more-is-more faux Victorian eye-numbing splendor and unsubtly flavorful flavors. I can't say my food was very good, but it was great eating there, particularly with the spumoni ice cream finale.
Worth a drive to Duarte, unless you're coming from St. Louis, in which case, you should just visit the location in St. Louis, which I'm guessing looks exactly the same as the one in Duarte.

First Snow


Edible Tomorrowland

Frontierland would seem a more likely candidate for edible landscaping, but it works just fine in Tomorrowland, too.
They grow food in Disneyland, and it looks great. Do cast members get fresh produce as a portion of their pay? If you know where the food goes please tell us. Asking the woman at the nearby churro cart didn't get us very far.
And yes, we did see Eeyore, bless his gentle soul.


Ditty Bop Velostyle

We saw Amanda—one half of the Ditty Bops and recently married (CONGRATS!) to the other half, Abby—while at the No on 8 demonstration last month. We could point to their marriage as yet another overwhelming argument against hateful laws, but I'd rather take this opportunity to commend Amanda's rare achievement of being car-free in L.A. (so I've heard), and yet so damn stylish while getting around by bike.
Take notes, kids.


Raised Perspective

Here's another view of the bed in which we're growing the majority of our sugar snap peas this year. Also (clockwise from top), oregano, golden chard, sage, broccoli, thyme, a bean of uncertain origin, the peas, more thyme and eight Russian kale plants.


More SoCal Cross


We went to go cheer on some bike racers in Orange County today. Nusia's been to some bike races already, but this was her first cyclocross race. She rocked the cowbell, yelled "Ossa!" (we tried teaching her to say "Allez!" but she wanted to make up her own word) and drank a whole juice box.


I Love Snacks!

We took the kid to the No on Prop 8 demonstration at city hall today. Bryn made her a sign, which I think sums up the kid's position pretty clearly.
We went with some friends and met a whole bunch more there, which was heartening. Herb and Sol rocked these great coordinated signs.
Back on the subject of snacks, all demonstrations should be planned, as this one was, in the vicinity of Mr. Ramen. Right on. Right on.

Oh yeah: Making it illegal for a given group of people to get married (as in, to commit to a long-term loving relationship) is insane and wrong and we will all look back on this as having been a time of great ignorance and fear and general compassionlessness. I look forward, eagerly, to obtaining this hindsight.


Travel Town

We climbed, we investigated, we rode the train. We had a blast. I don't think it's changed much since I was there last, in 1975.


Love It or Fix It

My wait to vote today was two and a half hours. I wasn't impatient or annoyed at any point.



Apple, Banana

I'm not sure about this one, but I thought I'd throw it out there. I know out there is a big place, but I'm hoping that'll just increase my chances that someone will write and say, "I've always wondered what it would be like to photograph an eaten and browning apple next to a perfectly yellow and ripe and uneaten banana." I'd never wondered about it myself, but was bored shooting something in the studio that I didn't want to shoot. Then I ate my apple, but wasn't quite yet ready for my banana.

A Lot of Good

Years ago I worked with someone who had a poster in her office that said: "A lot of good an airbag will do you if you go insane." That made perfect sense to me then, and now. This image makes me think of that poster.
For Simpsons fans a twice-removed corollary would be: "The goggles, they do nothing!"


Yes on 2

For both of my non-Californian readers, please forgive the local politics. For those of my clients who feel strongly about voting no on 2, I still love you and I still love working for you.
Yes on 2.

No on 8

"The average distance to a polling place in Los Angeles is about half a mile. You can walk that. Even in Los Angeles."
Good Magazine, issue 013; reason #931 to vote.

Hummingbird Cake

Pineapple, banana and dark chocolate ganache. (Thanks, B.)



If you throw arugula seeds anywhere near soil and add water, they will grow.


The blue furry character pictured with the kid here used to be Grover, but he goes by Lola now.


I Like This Building

I don't, however, like taking big transparencies, scanning them and then reducing the resulting file a hundredfold for electronic display (as in, here). But what are my options? Not showing them at all?
This is also BCAM, and I think that's it for the series, unless I take some more. Which I might do because it's really fun.

BCAM, As Well

Degraded 98% for your monitor and mine.


This Is BCAM

Design by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Shot on 4x5 transparency film. My favorite way to make pictures.


The Jungle

Our garden, that is. It's a jungle. The sugar snap pea that was just starting out with such a promising future in the previous post has been cruelly dispatched by a ruthless consortium of pill bugs and earwigs.


Free Park(ing)

I posted a web gallery of the film I shot while driving around on Park(ing) Day. What I saw was quite impressive and equally fun. I hope those involved will do it again next year, and those who happened to encounter it will look at the space on the side of the road differently now. I know I missed a lot of great sites; time was short and the city's kind of big. Sorry if I didn't get a chance to stop by to visit your park and say hi. (To see photos of the sites I didn't photograph, find the Flickr link through the Parking Day link above.) I'd love to give photos to anyone whose work I photographed, so please get in touch.


No Parking

This is the work of James Rojas and his team. It's a model of an imagined downtown L.A. that would improve on the current downtown in a number of ways —on first glance, more colorful buildings, no cars, cute plastic animals in an enormous and hilly central park. If you want to know a little more about it, look here. This photo doesn't do the model justice, as it was something to behold.
On the subject of an improved downtown and Park(ing) Day in general and what it's about, it's worth noting that I missed a few sites downtown because traffic and parking both are less than easy in that vicinity.
I drove around on Park(ing) Day, and I looked for parking. Isn't that the problem? Next year, I'm taking the Xtracycle and getting around without a car.


Office of Ideas

I got my film back from my Park(ing) Day outing; scanning is a slow go. Meanwhile a couple of very talented people known collectively as Office of Ideas made a bunch of wonderful animals that took up a little park space on Wilshire Boulevard yesterday. I don't know whether this is any particular type of animal, and I don't know that it matters.
Here's another angle, for context:


Parking Day LA 2008

I spent the day visiting a bunch of sites celebrating Park(ing) Day today. I lost count, but I think I made it to about 12 sites. The creativity was most inspiring. I shot film, which I won't have back for a bit, but I took some digital photos, too. I hope to post more soon. If I took your photo and you want it, please get in touch.
This is the Koreatown Performance Arts and Fixed Gear Society Moving Park on Wilshire Blvd. near Hobart.



This is a path on a hill in a park in Culver City. It's simple and beautiful and I used to walk on it a lot when I lived nearby. Whomever designed it (anyone know?) deserves a kiss or a beer or a nod of recognition of a job quite well done.

Film vs. This

This image started out on a 6x17cm piece of transparency film, which is really fun to look at. Light comes through it, and it's nothing at all like a crappy computer monitor. If you come over I'll show you the original.