Almost perfect

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I had to post this picture, taken at LAX, just in case you believed California’s PR about the weather.

But otherwise, my 2.5 days in LA were pretty close to perfection albeit a little chilly (Philadelphia promises to be warmer on Friday!). I got to visit with dear friends, see the ocean, soak up some sun, and see some art.

About airports

Someone on our flight home told us that Philadelphia had a great airport. I swelled with pride. She said it has good food and good shops. Here’s the funniest shop of all–I can’t escape the PMA, even on vacation.

After I was at LAX, I have to say Philadelphia’s airport is looking good.


detail of “Double Vision,” Amy Orr’s twist-tie quilt, the twist-tie edges highlighted with oil pastels

Philadelphia International also has good art. Alas, I missed Astrid Bowlby’s exhibit at Terminal B, which opened Monday. Airport art works best on the way out, when you’re waiting, waiting, waiting.

I haven’t seen work by Lanny Bergner in years, but there it was, in Terminal B! It was like finding an old friend.

Venice


Steve (left) and Murray crossing one of Venice’s canals

Venice has changed a great deal since my days in Pasadena, 20 years prior. It used to be a dump and the canals smelled. These days, the canals are looking good.

We walked into an Open House for a $3.4 million fixer upper along one of the canals!
Every time I go to the beach with Susan and Steve, I start imagining I would like to live there, so I go house hunting. I also saw a really ugly house for $1.4 million. Both houses had lap pools, however, a saving grace in both cases.

Venice architecture

Speaking of houses, this one, Susan said, she thought was designed by Frank Gehry. It’s his little fish, I guess. But I sure did like the lookout tower with the chandelier inside. To get in, you climb a ladder. I wondered if it was for the adults or for the kids.

And speaking of exotic buildings, this one is part of the public works recreation facilities at Muscle Beach. I decided it was above your average architecture–besides evoking barbells, it evoked movie reels and Mickey Mouse ears. Perfect. Nearby was an outdoor array of weight machines. It’s $5/day to use the equipment.

Steve and Susan warned me that people along the Venice walkway try to charge you if you take their picture. So I took the picture of the building, instead.

Venice voodoo

Like most boardwalks, Venice’s walk includes cheesy beachy stores. This G.I. toy was
crawling out of one of the stores on its belly, its colors flying. It’s distorted body came straight out of “Species.”

And speaking of spookiness, here’s a picture of the kids gathering for the drum circle on Venice Beach. They come to drum the sun setting into the ocean, to dance, and to get high.

Nature in Venice

According to Susan and Steve’s landlord, this palm tree, which is in their front yard, is the oldest palm tree in Venice. Maybe it’s so.

The birds of paradise grow everywhere, even in front of this hurricane fence and the construction behind it. Not quite paradise…but still, pretty nice. Next post from me–LA art.

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