Jan 16 2011

oahu – day trip

we spent  almost a week in honolulu when heidi ran the marathon last winter. we stayed at the 100-year-old  moana surfrider and had a great room in the original building that faced the beach as a vanishing point and the lapping waves made it seem as if we were actually outside. hawaii seems way too decadent for me – you can appreciate why people move here and never return. on our last day – we rented a car and drove to the north to the waimea valley, past the pipeline, then along to the east and back to the city…

about the moana hotel:
The Moana Hotel, also known as the First Lady of Waikīkī, is a famous historic hotel on the island of Oʻahu, located at 2365 Kalākaua Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii. Built in the late 19th century as the first hotel in Waikiki, the Moana opened its doors to guests in 1901, becoming the first large hotel in Waikīkī. In the center of the Moana Surfrider’s courtyard stands a large Banyan tree. The Indian Banyan tree was planted in 1904 by Jared Smith, Director of the Department of Agriculture Experiment Station. When planted the tree was nearly seven feet tall and about seven years old. It now stands 75 feet high and spans 150 feet across the courtyard. In 1979 the historic tree was one of the first to be listed on Hawaii’s Rare and Exceptional Tree List. It has also been selected by the Board of Trustees of America the Beautiful Fund as the site for a Hawaii Millennium Landmark Tree designation, which selects one historic tree in each state for protection in the new millennium.

Moana Surfrider
2365 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-3111

Waimea Valley
59-864 Kamehameha Highway
Hale`iwa, HI 96712

Jan 12 2011

brion vega cemetery

I first visited this place when I was doing a semester at syracuse’s florence program – it is located in the middle of nowhere in the midst of cornfields and very small towns. finding it again years later was a challenge since it was still the early days of internet and very much before gps systems. the entire experience from the perimeter walls, which are built to the height of a stalk of corn – to the common color of the cast angled concrete walls begin a story of what this cemetery is all about. this was arguably carlo scarpa’s masterpiece work and on one of the exterior walls, in an unimportant corner – scarpa, himself, is buried there standing in a vertical position 6 feet under the ground. it is a magical experience to walk through and realize every material, every decision is deliberate but still extremely poetic – as scarpa was so very capable of creating. it is well worth a visit if you are in the veneto – it is close to many of the palladian villas – like Emo…

Brion Vega Cemetery
San Vito d’Altivole
near Treviso

Dec 30 2010

the sodfather – tim dundon

heidi found this guy in altadena through a tomato growing class she had attended this past summer. he has some of most sought after dirt in LA as it turns out. when you arrive at his place – there is no house or structure, just thick green plants and lots of chickens clucking around at your feet. Tim guides you to his stash of stable bedding and loads up your truck for you. we had a great talk while we were loading up the truck I had rented – it was like  a sequel to food, inc or a michael moore film – inspiring and insightful. when it came time to pay – he said it was 8 dollars and he would rather barter. I paid him  a bit more for all the good that he does and I am looking forward to going back. we used his earth for a series of raised beds in our back yard and anything we planted grew at double the speed and many times the normal size…

“…Tim Dundon, the beneficent caretaker of California’s most famous compost pile and the kindly warden of the tropical forest that has fruited from its rich humus. It’s here that Dundon, a scientist-poet in the truest hermetic sense, finds hope and salvation in the transformation of death into life—of rotting organic matter into nutrient-rich soil—that takes place daily in the fecund jungle he maintains on his one-acre yard.The botanical odyssey of Dundon, the self-proclaimed “guru of doo-doo” and the man whose mammoth compost pile once covered a football-field-sized lot, begins in 1967 with a marijuana shortage. Like any good gardening story, it encompasses Hollywood producers, fires, suicide, PCP injection, a nude Quaker iconoclast, standoffs with city officials and a violent pet coyote.”  read more…

Dec 27 2010

venice biennale

we took the boys to the 2009 venice biennale. it was such a memorable experience and thoroughly enjoyable. a gorgeous veneto summer day, each pavilion was better than the next. the highlight was the combined show between the scandinavian pavilions that tied their stories together. there was an intricate storyline of a falling out between neighbors that you first confronted when you saw a dead body floating face down in a shallow pool, a pack of cigarettes and a watch at the bottom of the pool. another show was a dark murky walk through russian writers. the only bad experience was the us pavilion, which had a bruce nauman show. they actually had a guy with a clipboard, whose job it was to act as an LA maitre’d – stopping you from entering and warning you not to touch anything. the rest of show is so much about exploring and revealing mysteries – this was a truly american experience. one other highlight was chile – that had a man dressed in a fine suit who would whistle every once in a while and start a whistle and animal sound dialogue with other projections of himself around the other walls of the small space…



Dec 5 2010

indonesian lunches

some of my favorite meals have been in indonesia – in jakarta and bali. this restaurant had some amazing period furniture pieces, deep red fabrics and walls, heavy lacquered chairs and benches.
from their website:

Dapur Babah is much more than merely a restaurant, it is a living museum that celebrates ‘Babah’ culture, the culture of the distinct group that emerged in the colonial era as result of marriages between Chinese migrants who settled in Java and the local women they took for their wives. While the newcomers retained elements of the culture of their ancestral homeland, they adapted to their local surroundings.

Dapur Babah élite
Jl Veteran I / 18, Jakarta Pusat 10110
Tel: +62 (21) 385 5653, Fax: +62 (21) 385 3040

Dec 5 2010

banqueting house – some interiors

a few shots of when we stayed there. no tv, just quiet fireplace living…and a mac laptop for roman. very peaceful

Dec 5 2010

banqueting house, gibside

years ago when milo was born, we rented these ‘castles’ outside of london. heidi found a great resource called the landmark trust. the houses and castles are furnished and can hold 2-10 people. this one was on a huge estate in northumbria and had been a tea house folly overlooking a pond below….

from their website:

Gibside was inherited in 1722 by George Bowes, a landowner and public figure made rich by coal. After his first wife died, he made Gibside his home and set about embellishing the park. The Banqueting House seems to have been finished by 1746. It was designed by Daniel Garrett, a former assistant of Lord Burlington’s, to stand in the highest part of the park, looking over the Derwent valley.

When we first saw The Banqueting House in 1977 it was almost entirely roofless and the porch and crocketed gables had collapsed. The park, now happily transferred to the National Trust by the Earl of Strathmore and open to the public, was let to the Forestry Commission and The Banqueting House was hidden by trees.

Here was, however, an important building of most original design, part of a famous landscape. The Forestry Commission agreed to give up their lease of it and the Strathmore Estate then sold us the freehold. Most of the missing stonework was found nearby and inside we were able to save much of the plasterwork and joinery of one room. But the Great Room was just a shell: here we replaced only the main elements of Garrett’s design, known from an old photograph.

The Banqueting House now stands in a grassy clearing, looking down to an octagonal pool and the valley beyond. Nearby, the Column of British Liberty rises high above the trees and a little further off lies the Gibside chapel, designed by James Paine in 1760 to hold the remains of George Bowes, ancestor of our Queen.

the landmark trust

Booking enquiries Phone 01628 825925
Email bookings@landmarktrust.org.uk
The Booking Office is normally open Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm.

Dec 5 2010

maine lobster linguine

heidi ran 25 miles – 2 weeks until the marathon. she deserved a maine lobster dinner for all her intense training…and a pitcher of sangria

Dec 4 2010

paradise cove

chilly week in LA. heidi’s brother visited and we spent the afteroon at paradise cove…