Whoever said it’s always sunny and never rains in L.A. is a liar. This “June gloom” thing has got it overcast and cool in the mornings and sunny for only a few hours in the afternoon. But it’s kind of nice, actually, it’s still great weather, and it’s barely raining much, and there aren’t really any bugs so my sister can just leave all the windows open in her house all the time and never use the heat or air conditioning. If I had to pick somewhere in Los Angeles to live, it would definitely be near the water. It’s just nicer here than up in the hills.
I haven’t been able to go see a lot of architecture yet, but I have seen some. Sunday a couple cool homes up for sale near my sister were having open houses so we went and checked those out. Pretty nice modernist stuff, and I’m adjusting to the kind of housing found here. Setting aside the fact that there are is no modern home architecture in Charlotte thanks to the non-existent market for it, the style here wouldn’t work in Charlotte at all. It’s so unbelievably refreshing to not find brick Georgian houses everywhere, and to drive through actual neighborhoods rather than subdivisions. The home architecture here actually works, for the most part, and is so much more appropriate for the location than the homes I see in the suburban southeast. It’s a really nice change, and I think it contributes a lot to the overriding feeling of “comfortable” I’m getting here. This would really be a nice place to live.
I also went and saw Frank Gehry’s house today. Not the one he lives in now, I mean, but the one he did when he was first starting out. The one with all the chain-link fencing and exposed studs and angles stuck onto a residential Craftsman home. I’ve never been the hugest fan of Gehry, but I’m learning to appreciate certain things about certain works of his more and more, and I kind of loved the house a lot. It’s outlandish but in a way that’s so different from him Guggenheim or Disney Concert Hall. I don’t think the outlandishness of those buildings works very well, but for some reason I feel like this house does work. I still have trouble explaining how I feel about architecture I see, so please excuse my inability to say exactly how I feel about the house. But in spite of its craziness it really felt appropriate and like it belonged in that setting. It felt a lot more peaceful and right than his star-making work in the 90s does, I think. Looking at his house today, I didn’t feel the kind of discord I feel when looking at some of his stuff. I would have loved to have seen the inside of it too, because in my limited experience of his work the inside is pretty different from the outside, but someone lives there now, and the gate was closed, and I can’t just walk up and ask to take pictures of the inside of someone’s home, can I? Even in relaxed California that might be too presumptuous.
Sorry I haven’t been writing here much. I don’t have regular internet yet, so I’m having to make do at the Starbucks across the street. Actually, I’m having to make do with sitting in the Starbucks while stealing free internet from a tire shop across the street, because I don’t want to have to pay for coffee and internet both.
Yesterday I biked down to the beach from my sister’s house and lay there and read Alice Walker for a couple hours. Pretty great summer vacation so far.