Monthly Archives: March 2011

Hungrytimez: What To Eat When You’re Downtown and You Don’t Know Anything!

Dear Diary,

I have to go to downtown LA a lot for work a lot, usually to go to Michael Levine to buy bargain (yet high quality!) fabric for our makeovers on SFAS. One thing I’ve learned is that you should never go to a crazy ass giant fabric store when you are starving, because it’s IMPOSSIBLE to choose nice colors when your stomach is eating itself. Michael Levine is downtown, and I don’t really know downtown very well. The weird thing about that part of Los Angeles is that one block feels like fancy uptown Manhattan and the next block is full of hobos, feral cats, and burning trash cans. Thus, it can be difficult to find a decent place to eat here because you might accidentally wander into a crack den. Don’t get me wrong, I love it down here (Editor’s Note: As I’m writing this I just heard the following soundbite from the table next to me: “Yes, there was a shooting. Right over there, just 40 feet from where you’re sitting. They both died.”). Anyway, one day I wandered into LA Cafe, which looks kind of like a New York bodega but actually makes really delicious iced coffee and has at least one DIVINE menu option. It’s definitely not a fancy place, and it seems kinda dirty, but it’s filled with ubertrendy downtown people wearing asymmetrical feather earrings and covered in tattoos. The item I always order is called the Farmers’ Market Salad (with Chicken added). It’s totally delicious and always fuels me to get through the rigor of a visit to Michael Levine. The salad looks like this:

It’s totally delicious and I could eat it every single day for the rest of my life. Seriously. As a final note, have you ever told a totally long story and thought it was super fascinating until it was over and then you realize it was probably boring for everyone listening? I feel like I just did that. Sorry.

Love,
Orlando

PS: The people next to me are talking about models. And they are models. Downtown LA is SO glamourous.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

Hommegirl: Anjelica Houston!

Dear Diary,

Today, whilst shopping in Santa Monica, Emily and I discussed our first celebrity sightings. Emily couldn’t remember her first celeb sighting, but I totally remember mine. The first celebrity I ever saw in person was Anjelica Houston, and seeing her was the beginning of a one-sided love affair that is still going strong.

My Aunt Julie and her partner, Jules, lived in Three Rivers, California across the street from Anjelica Houston’s country home. We used to visit there from time to time to enjoy the countryside, horses (which I rode a few times and was totally terrified), the beautiful river, and all the other Little House on the Prairie amenities (including an actual outhouse). One day, all my aunties went out riding together and they rode by with Anjelica Houston (I believe I was sitting on a rock at the time). From then on I’ve always been totally obsessed with Anjelica. A year or two after that the first of the Addams Family movies came out and my love for her was cemented. She has such a soothing, elegant, nuanced, and sophisticated presence. But more than that, you can tell she has a little grit. She’s not just your typical girly actress. Shes’s a tough lady, who also happens to be totally gorgeous.  Here are some pictures of her being totally glamourous through the ages:

I love you Anjelica. You are the coolest lady in the whole world. Let’s be friends.

Love,
Orlando

3 Comments

Filed under Art, Life, Style

All Hail Hail.

Dear California,

It’s been rainy, windy, stormy, and haily for more than a week. Thus, I took some pictures of the hail balls that fell from the sky while I was up in Windsor, California visiting my brother and sister-in-law. I love succulents (and hail balls).

Love,
Orlando

Leave a comment

Filed under Life, Style

I Want It: Dave Eggers Folio

Dear Dave Eggers,

I was in a delightful little bookstore in Healdsburg yesterday and I came across a wonderful folio of your drawings entitled Is It Right To Draw Their Fur. I kind of want to buy the collection of drawings, have them all framed, and hang them in my now-empty living room. It’s basically an instant art collection. The drawings are humorous but also rendered sensitively with beautiful tiny strokes. I love them.

Cover art:

Folio collection:

I love these so much I want them RIGHT NOW!
Love,
Orlando

Leave a comment

Filed under Art

SOS: Sights of Sonoma!

Dear My Mother Catherine Soria,

Thank goodness you finally got to Sonoma County, where I fled to after I wandered around San Francisco for a few days. We’ve been coming to wine country since my older brother attended college here. Sadly, I never got to partake in the wine tasting fun because I was too young. I always love coming to this part of California. It’s so calm and green and full of overpriced, yet somehow totally comforting grocery stores stocked with fancypants organic products. Anyhoo, today we wandered around in a charming town called Healdsburg and here’s what we did (AND SO CAN YOU!):

We got delicious lattes and shared a wonderful fruit galette at Flying Goat Coffee:

We drove down this street next to my brother’s house and, like, totally freaked out about how pretty it is:

And finally, we went to do some wine tasting at Seghesio. My parents, who unlike me actually know about wine, are members there and have to go there all the time to pick up their member-wines. While I love it, I know nothing about wine (there are far too many other things to obsess about) so it was fun to have the wine dude tell us about what we were drinking. Actually, this is the first time I’ve ever been wine tasting. Which is weird, because I’ve come to Sonoma county on average 2.3 times every year since I was 12. No joke. Anyway, Seghesio makes wonderful wines. The Soria family favorite is the Old Vine Zinfandel. Try it!

The Seghesio tasting room is rustic and welcoming. I love this gigantic chandelier:

If you haven’t made your travel plans to Sonoma County by the time you read this sentence, you’re a complete idiot.

Love,
Orlando

1 Comment

Filed under Life, Style

Worktimez: The Site Measure.

Dear Homme & Garden TV Viewers,

Ever wonder how Emily magically comes up with the two styles on Secrets From A Stylist? Well, here’s a secret, she thinks about it for months before coming up with the styles she announces on air (i.e. “Mad Men Bohemian” or “Industrial Kitsch Loft”). While she does think of the style names on-air, she often has a good sense of the homeowners’ tastes in her head beforehand. Months before each episode tapes, we do site visits with couples to meet them and figure out exactly what kind of makeover they want. We also measure their house so we can figure out what size drapery to buy and what furniture will fit, etc. Usually these meetings last an hour or so. During these meetings, Emily talks up the family while I run around frantically taking measurements of anything and everything (some floor plans are ridiculously complex and, hey, I’m not an architect!). These meetings are a nice time to get to know the makeover families without all the lights and cameras that make everything just a little bit more awkward. Here are some pictures of me working hard, and hardly working (all photos courtesy of Louis DeBarraicua):

Love,
Orlando

1 Comment

Filed under Decor

“Just Give Up.” And Other Treasures.

Dear Diary,

I recently bought these “just give up” sweats from Toddland. Love them.

I’m also into this wallet, but I think it’s slightly too teen for me.

Oh my god. And this. SOMEONE PLEASE BUY THIS FOR ME!

I didn’t know much about this Toddland company before, but I like what I see. I want everything.

Love,
Orlando

1 Comment

Filed under Style

Hedi’s Heads

Dear Hedi Slimane,

I’ve noticed you like taking pictures of the backs of peoples’ heads. I like it.

Love,
Orlando

1 Comment

Filed under Art

A Yosemite Vacation, Sans Yosemite

Dear Travel Journal,

I woke up Sunday morning with a purpose. I packed my car and headed to Yosemite. There was a huge monsoon in Los Angeles and I basically hydroplaned all the way from Southern California to the Northlands. A drive that normally takes 5.5 hours took 7, and by the time I got to the park boundary I was in no mood to find that multiple rockslides and massive amounts of snow had closed all three roads into the park. A sidenote (which I’ll explain in a future post) is that my parents live within Yosemite National Park and I was headed there to visit them. They are now trapped there with no electricity and will probably be forced to eat each other if the power doesn’t come on soon.

Because I’d just driven for 7 hours and I had zero interest in staying in one of the terrifying towns outside of Yosemite, I decided to drive to San Francisco, where my sister and a number of my close friends live. What started off as a harrowing adventure ended up being a totally fun road trip, and now I am in San Francisco working a little bit and playing a little bit.

Highway on the way to San Francisco from Yosemite:

My sister and I ate a quick lunch at The Greens, which is one of the most renowned vegetarian restaurants in the world. A fun fact about this place is that they have a small to-go cafe that opens up for lunch. You can get sandwiches and soups, etc and then go sit in the wonderful dining room. Going to The Greens for dinner is expensive, so if you want to check it out without breaking the bank, lunch is a fun option. Also, at dinnertime when it’s dark out, you can’t see how beautiful the view is, boats and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

Some of the windows inside The Greens. Thought they made for a pretty photograph.

After lunch my sister and I went for a walk at Chrissy Field, my favorite place in the city. Being that I am missing out on Yosemite, being outdoors was highly appreciated.

I love this bright color of this fun thrift store down the street from my sister’s apartment in the Mission District. The Community Thrift Shop allows customers to donate the proceeds from their purchases to the charity of their choice. Fun idea.

What started out as a much-needed trek into the wilderness has turned into a long overdue trip to the prettiest city in the US. My philosophy about my three favorite American cities is as follows:

My brain lives in New York. My body lives in Los Angeles. My heart lives in San Francisco.

It’s cheesy, I know, but I believe it to be true. There is nowhere that makes me feel as intellectually stimulated as New York. There is nowhere that makes me feel as healthy and able to enjoy my body as warm-weathered Los Angeles. And there is no city that makes me feel as happy and comfortable as San Francisco. I grew up coming here frequently and it’s such a treat to be back.

Love,
Orlando

1 Comment

Filed under Life, Style

Take a Look: Rodarte

Dear Kate and Laura Mulleavy,

I heard you on The Madeleine Brand Show this morning and learned that you currently have work on exhibit at MOCA’s Pacific Design Center annex. I had no idea that you were California designers and that you lived in Pasadena (one of my favorite places in the world for its uberglamourous suburbanity). Like all shows at the Pacific Design Center annex, yours is small. But the pieces on display (including many of the costumes you designed for Black Swan) are artfully crafted from feathers, leather, lace, and other gorgeous materials. It’s definitely worth a look, and was a much-needed injection of culture into my home-makeover drenched life.

I love the lighting design for the exhibit, which emphasizes the texture and translucence that makes the garments so special. All in all a delightful introduction to your work. You’re awesome.

Love,
Orlando

Leave a comment

Filed under Style