Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Color Scheme: Brutalist Blue

Adding a splash of color to Brutalist design, in the final stages of converting an office building near LAX to a hotel. Believe it or not, the bolted-on cross pieces are new. I can’t imagine they’re aesthetic, which makes me wonder if it’s some sort of earthquake retrofitting and they’re making the best of it.

It’s an interesting approach, but it still looks way more institutional than inviting, IMO.

Update: It turns out the scaffolding is being used to hang a full-height geometric design. I’m still not convinced it didn’t start as some sort of seismic retrofit, but it will at least look a little more inviting once they’re done.

These are all on three different days, incidentally, which is why you can’t see the first square on the left side in the middle photo.

Update: This LA Times article on what to do in an earthquake may be relevant. In most cases, you want to drop, cover, and hold — don’t run outside, since you’re more likely to be hit by something falling off a building than crushed in a collapse. But “brittle concrete buildings” are more likely to collapse than other types.

The city of Los Angeles in 2015 passed a law requiring those buildings to be retrofitted, but gave owners a 25-year deadline to do it once they are given an order to seismically evaluate the building. The city is still working on preparing its list.

Hmmm….

Walk for Food Allergy: Studio Edition

Today I joined hundreds of people at the CBS Studios in Los Angeles to raise money for Food Allergy Research and Education through the FARE Walk for Food Allergy.

We skipped last year and decided to join this year’s event at the last minute. Rather than walking along the shore at Long Beach, this year’s course ran through the CBS Studios lot. It started on what looked like a suburban New England street, and wound past production trailers, soundstages, prop storage, and even the Los Angeles river….

Walk for Food Allergy by the Los Angeles River

…such as it is. Other parts of the river are much nicer, even navigable at times, but this stretch is basically a concrete drainage ditch inside a bigger drainage ditch. It looks bleak now, but during flood years the channels fill completely, preventing the city’s streets from flooding instead.

Wait, Walk for What–Who–Why?

FARE funds studies to explore the causes of food allergy and develop new therapies. They run outreach programs to make it safer to visit restaurants, or just be at school or the workplace.

Food allergies can range from mild to life-threatening — yes, people die — and those of us on the far end of the range need to be constantly on the watch for hidden ingredients and cross-contact between foods we can eat and foods we can’t.

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Escape from LA(X)

Stranded travelers leaving LAX on foot down a closed Century Blvd.

I work in an office building across the street from Los Angeles’ main airport, LAX. This morning was….interesting.

I was driving to work as usual, and noticed two things:

  1. Just past the next intersection, the street was completely full of stopped cars.
  2. At least five helicopters were hovering in place up ahead.

This is the third time in as many months that I’ve seen helicopters just holding position like that near the airport. Once the choppers were keeping an eye on a damaged airplane making an emergency landing. Once was the ex-TSA agent bomb scare on September 11.

I turned onto a side street and took a back way to the parking structure. The drone of helicopters was stronger when I got out of the car, and police car after police car started racing down the left side of the street, sirens blaring.

The building concierge hadn’t heard what was going on. She just shrugged and said, “L.A.”

Once I got into the office I found out what was going on: There had been a shooting at the airport, an incident still ongoing. There were still airplanes taking off at the time, though we hadn’t noticed anyone landing, and more and more helicopters took up position in the sky down the street.

Information was still spotty at the time, so I sat down to work, but it’s unnerving to listen to the constant drone of helicopters when you know they’re there because something’s wrong, especially when that sound is punctuated every few minutes by yet another siren.

By lunchtime, Century Blvd. had been blocked off by police and the trapped cars had been cleared out, leaving the street eerily empty. A stream of stranded travelers trudged along the sidewalk and in lanes, dragging their luggage away from the airport and toward hotels, offsite parking, or transportation. The cafe downstairs was swamped (though not as full as I’ve seen it during conventions).

What surprised me were the people getting out of cars at the curb just outside of the barricaded area, pulling their suitcases with them and starting the mile-long trek toward the airport. I can only assume they were counting on delays being lifted by the end of the day and their flights actually taking off. Though I’m not sure what the people waiting at the bus stop inside the closed area were planning to do.

It’s about two in the afternoon right now. I’m pretty sure I heard an airplane take off a few minutes ago. Most of the helicopters are gone, and while the street still looks closed, I can see more people walking toward the airport than away from it. It looks like things may be starting to return to normal.

Update 6:00pm: Century Blvd has been re-opened for traffic (though I wouldn’t say it’s moving, and airplanes are taking off again. If you look closely in the picture below, though, you can just see some helicopters still holding position above the airport.

Backed up traffic at sunset

On a completely different note: I’ve decided to try NaBloPoMo and post every day this month. I’ve been getting all the NaNoWriMo emails, and while I don’t have the time or story ideas (and Katie’s covering the “writing a novel” thing), I’m a little nostalgic for a writing challenge.

Wizard World LA 2008 – Con Report

Wizard World Los Angeles 2008Wizard World Los Angeles turned out to be a surprisingly good con. Originally I was planning to go on my own, but when they announced the addition of Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli) to the Heroes panel, Katie decided to go as well. So we drove into LA Saturday morning, and arrived at the con around 11:00 AM. I was expecting a much sparser crowd based on my experience last year, but that had been a Sunday. This Saturday was a full-fledged con.

Update: The photo gallery is up!

The Floor

I put on my robe and wizard hat.I spent most of the time on the main floor, hunting down back-issues, bargains and autographs. A lot of dealers had brought their bargain bins (some of them, thankfully, alphabetized!), and a lot of them had trades and hardcovers for half-off or close to it. There were also the booths selling high-grade Silver-Age and Golden-Age books, toys and collectibles, and at least two booths selling swords. Yes, swords.

At one point, I overheard two comic-book dealers discussing whether the show was worth it. One of them said that people here tended to be looking for bargains, so it was hard to sell anything else. They agreed San Diego was a better bet.

Marvel Cars: Iron Man and Punisher SUVsI’ve been joking that the logo design for this year’s con (see above) was inspired by the gigantic auto show that shared the convention center witl last year’s con. So I was surprised to find a mini-auto show here: Marvel-themed cars, including Iron Man and Punisher SUVs.

There was a stage set up for Guitar Hero. At one point, I noticed the music was Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” It seemed appropriate.

Costuming

Darth Vader and his entourage march though the food court.There weren’t quite as many people in costume as I saw at WonderCon last month (also a Saturday). But there was a large contingent of people in Jedi costumes, some of whom seemed to be sparring with lightsabers every time I walked down the right edge of the dealers’ room. And there were Imperial Stormtroopers directing traffic, making sure people could find the one large panel room that was half-way to the other end of the convention center.

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Con Report: Wizard World LA 2007

[Logo: Wizard World Los Angeles]I went to Wizard World Los Angeles today. I almost went last year, and decided not to—and regretted it when I learned that Sunday (the day I almost went) was sparsely attended. So not only would I have had no problem getting in, but it should be a low-stress experience overall, rather than the insane crowds of San Diego.

The convention itself did turn out to be a nice, low-key experience, and I found some interesting stuff, but getting to the convention was a bit of an adventure. Continue reading