Monday, August 29, 2005

i ain't afraid of no ghost[town]

downtown blaine, kansas

this weekend i went on a little journey to visit some "ghost" towns in rural kansas for a class project. my group and i decided to visit the towns of st. george and blaine. our first stop was st. george which is only a few miles east of manhattan. although it was small i wouldn't consider it a ghost town. there were people walking on the sidewalks and a small crowd in the local cafe. after taking a few pictures of the area my group and i headed up to blaine. we drove to where we thought the town was, and immediately found the church, however we couldn't find the town. we had seen a few abandoned buildings but assumed there was more, we were wrong. the only sign of life we saw were the few people setting up picnic tables at the church. we wondered over and asked a few questions about the town. after a short history of the town they invited us to stay for the picnic but seeing that it was two hours away we weren't sure if we could kill that length of time. driving through town i got out of my truck to take a few pictures. while taking pictures of an abandoned garage, a call pulled over and asked what we were doing. after explaining what we were doing to the older gentleman and his wife, he invited us to talk to his 97 year old mother who lived up the road. deciding to go along for anecdote's sake i followed the couple into a very traditional farm house. upon entering i was that this ladies whole family was gathering for the annual picnic. she explained that the city of blaine was settled by irish catholics from st. louis. the town peaked in 1910 with 250 people but since the decline of the railroad, the town was slowly dying with only a few people remaining. after enjoying some refreshments the family invited my partner and i to be there guests to the picnic. upon hearing that there was mashed potatoes, and pie being served i couldn't turn it down. we went to the church, and ate in the old school basement. during the course of the picnic i was introduced to many people all who gave me a little bit more insight into this small town. after playing a round of bingo and taking a few pictures of the gathering, my partner and i headed back to manhattan, but not with out the brownies and cookies that our new friends had so graciously purchased for us.

inside a forgotten garage

steps to a bank that once stood

doorway to the old depot

st. george grain elevator

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

my last first day of school

well yesterday was my last first day of school. i was curious as to how many times i've had to got through this and after some disbelief i counted a grand 20 times! 13 for grades k-12, and now seven for college. i'm finally on the last lap of this journey that started in august of '86. instead of heading off to mrs. primm's class with my striped polo shirt, a micky mouse lunch box, and a big chief notebook, i'm heading to professor hoag's class with a solid color polo, a debit card, and a sketchbook. what a trip. anyway....another concern is a name for this blog. i'm not in so-cal anymore, at least not physically, none the less i need a new name. so just wait for the change. also not posting pictures on this blog is starting to bore me, since that's the reason i started this, so i'll just wait untill i get my computer hooked in studio, and start again.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

you stay classy, san diego.

well this is the last post i'll have from sunny san diego. i'll be headed back to the land of oz in the morning with my girlfriend jean. i've had a great time out here, and as much as i'd love to stay, i know that there are good memories to be made yet in kansas. in a few days when i get settled i'll post some road trip pictures. but you can just imagine as i get into the car packed with the things i've needed to survive out here, i will quote the immortal words of our friend ron burgandy that i used in the title.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

i might be so money, and not know it.........

exterior of the dresden

after paying my respects to the eames' i had another pilgrimage to make, and that was to the dresden. now for those of you that can't quote every line from the movie "swingers" the dresden is one of the favorite places to hang out in the movie. in fact, most of the best quotes come from inside. after driving up sunset blvd. i turned onto vermont ave, and find it without a problem. with my camera in hand and a huge appetite i ventured in. as i walked down the steps from the back parking lot and into the doors i could almost here vince vaughn tell me that i was so money. i sat in a huge white leather booth, ordered, and ate the biggest reuben i've ever seen in my life. as i was eating the owner came up to me and said, "it's a pleasure to see you again sir." i of course told him that it was my first time, and he pardoned himself and told me that i looked familiar. i assume that he thought i was either russell crowe or matthew mcconaughey. (i get that a lot) after my meal i headed over to the bar and ordered a seven and seven and chatted with the bar tender. the inside couldn't have been more lounge. it looks like it was decorated in 1966 and never touched. after taking a few pictures and making some patrons recite a few lines with me i headed back to san diego, but not before the owner gave me a few matchbooks for souvenirs.

here are a few pictures, sorry they're a little dark, but that's the way it was. If interested here is a the website.

interior of the dresden

area where marty and elayne still play

my seven and seven on the counter

me, trying to look "money"

los angeles, with it's sweet, and bitter taste...

typical view of downtown l.a. from a car on the interstate

this tuesday i finally took a trip to l.a. that i had been planning for a while. one of the other buildings that i wanted to see was the eames house in santa monica, or pacific palisades. anyway i'll try not to bore you too much with the details, but the house was a case study house put on by arts and architecture magazine to expose the public to progressive housing concepts, with the eames house being one of the best examples. what i love most about his house is the fact that they used "off the shelf" parts, and were still able to create something so unique. i found the space to be very peaceful, and enjoyable. i think that the eames' were able to capture something that most architects practicing now are still trying to achieve. what i'd really like to talk about though is los angeles. i find this city fascinating. it's the ideal western city with it's endless one person per car freeways. it takes forever to get from one place to another, and chances are you're going to need a car to get you there. from the little that i've walked around downtown it wasn't as enjoyable as my experiences in chicago. but why do i still have this draw to visit it. is it part of my own"manifest destiny" to visit l.a.? or maybe it's because it's a city founded on the [american] dream. where everyone can have there own little space to enjoy. is that it. is that what makes little architectural wonders like the eames house and gamble house in this city so special? is it because in all of this pavement and smog and fumes and graffiti, that you're still able to create a little personalized space for yourself? i don't know. could l.a. ever turn into a pedestrian friendly environment like i've seen in chicago? or is this l.a's fate, is this what it was suppose to be. a city unlike chicago, or new york, where you can drive into the hills and look down on the chaos, while enjoying your own little piece of the earth. or is it a climate thing? cities like chicago, n.y., and boston have extreme climates. in the winter everyone is content to dwell in there little space, and be close to everything, and in the summer have the luxury of going to well established parks within the city. where as in places like l.a., san diego, and phoenix, you can enjoy your yard year round. but this doesn't hold true for places like k.c, or wichita. or maybe it's whenever a city takes "root". cities on the east where well established before the car, and cities in the west came of age after the introduction of the car. cities are very similar to people. my grandfathers generation come of age during the depression and WWII, and they know what sacrifices people sometimes have to make, where as me and my generation, just want to know if we can get it super-sized, and how many songs can be stored on the 40GB one. will we gain experience over time, or are we already branded like this? can we change? or would it be easier for l.a. to become pedestrian friendly? well i quite for now, because i can see that i'm rambling and getting off the point, enjoy the pics.

view of beach from the eames' yard

pathway in front of the eames house

front door to the house

courtyard in-between the house and studio

Saturday, August 06, 2005

where the turf meets the surf......

the first horse i bet on, [yearly attitude]

this friday i completed another one of my goals for this internship, to go to del mar and bet on the horse races. i went with my co-workers scott and chris, and none of us had any idea what to do. after reading the race program we were even more confused. scott however was able to get help from one of the tellers, which he then passed on to us. after we placed out bets we were able to sit and enjoy the races. i had a blast. i think what i loved the most was how much of an ordeal everything is, with the betting and the horses walking in the paddock, and trying to figure out what to bet on. so feeling that i was going to "clean up" i placed my bet on [yearly attitude]. Now the paper said that [triple stand] was going to win, but it said, and I quote, that, "[yearly attitude should run long and gets that chance first off the claim for gary stute. she has an improving look to her." I couldn't miss. The bell rang, the horses went around the turf, it came down to the finish, and my horse came in fourth. great! now i'm down two dollars. even with a few loses during the day, i came out nine dollars ahead, which isn't bad for betting in every race. after the race with my nine dollars in my pocket, and strutting like a high roller, i headed to the night event at the track, a concert by none other then the violent femmes. i stayed and listened, honestly i only know three songs, for blister in the sun, and then left to finish off the night with pizza and beer.

my horse coming in fourth

sunset at the del mar race track

nothing says goodbye like pizza and beer

the hanna gabriel wells staff

on tuesady the 2nd the firm i've been interning with the last seven months threw me a going away party. randy hanna had all of us over to his house to enjoy pizza and beer. the night was very enjoyable. our firm is very social, which makes for very enjoyable parties, especially after everyone had had a few beers. after a few stories consisting of mis-haps at the car wash, and skinny dipping at the salk institute, i received a book from the firm, "surf fever", to honor my new found hobby. the book has some amazing photography in it, and everyone signed and put a few goodbye's on the inside cover. i'm glad i've had the pleasure of interning with this firm, and it's an honor i'll get to put their name in my resume. not only do i feel the architecture the firm produces is well designed and thought out, but they truly strive to create buildings that make a positive impact on it's surroundings and for the occupants. i feel the people that make up the firm never forget you're suppose to be having fun with design and architecture, and don't get too caught up with the other b.s. piling up in other firms. what i'll miss most of all is the interaction and family quality that took place in our firm. i was able to learn something from everyone in the firm, and felt they genuinely cared about me and went out of there way to see that i had the best internship possible.

chris enjoying the pizza

sean and his wife