7 Oct
Art for Esquire magazine by Laser Bread
Art for Esquire magazine, a photo by Laser Bread on Flickr.

More excellent work from Brock Davis,  also responsible for the fabulous broccoli treehouse.



30 Sep

I enjoyed the movie Drive recently. Part of it took place in the often filmed Los Angeles river culverts, also featured in Grease, Terminator II, and Repo Man, among others.

After an exciting drive, the Driver, Irene, and Benicio find an intersection between the stark paving and a lush river. I didn’t believe this could actually exist so did some research and found this location on Google Maps in Reseda, a suburb of LA. Evidently, the channels are naturalized at a few points along the rivers path.

As is often the case, community members have insight into their surroundings:

Where the ugly old cement ends, there is still a hint of the wild river that the L.A. River used to be. Anal-retentive city planners, decades ago, decided a cement channel was the way to tame it. Pity.

– via Jerry Garrett

Now, the Ad Hoc River Committee and Friends of the Los Angeles River are part of a master plan to restore the naturalize much of the river, creating green space, supporting wildlife, and changing how stormwater is managed. This process will have significant environmental, economic, and social benefits for the surrounding communities.

It’s intriguing that the concrete channels have become a part of movie history and popular culture. Perhaps due to the moon-like quality and people’s ability to add life to unprogrammed spaces. Would people fight to keep this place?

Although there is no organized movement to preserve the channels, there are fans. But preserving these channels for their austerity is an inadequate reason. For now, allowing public access is building relationships with the natural and recreational potential of the river.

As interesting the barren channels are, the juxtaposition between wild in an urban setting is much more complex, rewarding, and valuable. The LA river restoration progress would become a part of cinema as well.


Digital Landscape

23 Sep

This New York Times series reveals the unfurling of fall by using technology to zoom in on and slow down the process. Projects that bring the outdoors indoors, such as the eagle cam, and on the cuter side, the panda cam, keep us in touch with the wonders and rhythms of the natural world in the midst of urban life. Like a movie preview, hopefully these glimpses of nature will inspire viewers to get out there and see it for themselves, in 3D,



3 Aug


My source for this video remarked that it is

symbolic of how clueless certain people in Washington are.

If that is a commentary on inadequate and outdated social and economic policy, I agree.



2 Aug

Mapnificent is a time-based transit travel map created by Stefan Wehrmeyer. The highlighted zone indicates the distance that can be traveled in 15 minutes in transit.


This Google Maps Application is a fantastic visual tool, revealing functional service levels of transit. Would be interesting to cross-reference this with other publicly available data such as density or property values.


Just as with climate change, there is an overwhelming tendency to tackle serious challenges with consumer goods.

29 Jul

Alison Arieff – “Beyond the Cubicle”, New York Times


Vertical maze

15 Jul

To live in Manhattan is to be persistently amazed at the worlds squirreled inside one another…

We only pretend to live in something as orderly as a grid.

Johnathan Lethem – Chronic City