Monthly Archives: March 2012

Color Warriors (of Radness)!

Dear Warriors Of Radness,

Sometimes when the cloudy winter weather has me down, I Google images of your clothing and feel better about the world. Everyone knows I love bright colors a little too much. In fact, every time I get dressed, I am accused of being either gay or a woman (one or both of those accusations are true). Not only is Warriors of Radness clothing bright and exciting, it also provides inspiration for some wonderfully playful photographs. Below is a selection of some of my favorite images featuring Warriors of Radness clothing and a collection of uber-glamorous surf hippies. Delightful!

Tank, $22

Hoodie, $125

Graphic Tee (past season)

I Heart WOR Shirt, $12 (was $32)

Tank Top, $40

Pullover, $42 (was $144)

Muscle Guy Shirt, $10 (was $36)

Swim Trunks, $105

Fleece, $110

Surf Punks Tee, $12 (was $36)

Sweatpants, $145

Aqua Shorts, $66

Sweatpants, $145

Sweatpants, $145

Aqua Shorts, $66

The following four looks are from past seasons.

Surf Punks Tee, $12 (was $36)

Stonewash Shorts, $80

Sweatpants, $145

Rainbow Trunks, $28 (was $110)

Even when the sky is full of clouds and it’s cold outside, these pictures make me want to become a beach bum, live in a tent on the sand, and wear neon for the rest of my life. Yay!

Love,
Orlando

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I Saw Some Stuff. And So Can You!

Dear San Francisco/New York Snobs,

I know you love to discredit LA as a cultureless wasteland of ugly, but I happen to disagree. Sometimes I like to take pictures of the pretty stuff I see every day. Below are a few of those finds.

Hollywood.

My Apartment, Morning After a Party. Hollywood.

The New Library. West Hollywood.

Runyon Canyon. Hollywood Hills.

Vacant Lot Near My Apartment. Hollywood.

(Note the tent in the image below)

Hollywood Boulevard. Hollywood.

Echo Park.

Laurel Canyon Boulevard in a Rainstorm. Hollywood.

Laurel Canyon Boulevard at Mullholland. Hollywood Hills.

The Sky Above My Apartment Building. Hollywood.

View From My Window at 5:30 AM. Hollywood.

Flowering Trees. Hollywood.

Laemmle Sunset (Now Closed). West Hollywood.

Sky Above Hollywood Boulevard. Hollywood.

Downtown.

Orange County.

After The LA Marathon. West Hollywood.

West Hollywood.

So yeah, that’s the type of thing that catches my eye on a daily basis. Now you go out and find some for yourself. You can do it!

Love,
Orlando

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Sun Day

Dear Diary,
I went grocery shopping yesterday and when I got home I was, like, “HARK! Look at how crazy pretty the light is in my apartment!” And then I was like “I should take some pictures of stuff so I can remember how nice and warm everything looks.” It’s been chilly in Los Angeles (I think the temperature dipped below 68 degrees, BRRRR!). Thus, I was happy to get back to my warm, cozy apartment. Here is what my apartment looked like on Sunny Sunday Sun Day:

That vintage Interview Magazine is one of my favorite things in the world. I just love how giant and 80z glam it is. One day, I’ll be as pretty as Sylvester Stallone on that cover. Dreams…

Love,
Orlando

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Dollhouse Update / The Backside

Dear Dollhouse,

This week saw some progress with your backside. A traditional dollhouse is open only in the front, so I’m closing off the backside of my dollhouse with a huge wall of glass disguised to look like the rotting wall of a barn. Right now all the wood on the roof and side of the house is blond, but it’s going to go aged grey once I stain it the right color.

The wall is meant to look like it’s falling, so I made it angled. The angle makes it look a little unstable, but the whole house is supposed to look decrepit from the outside so I’m okay with that.

Just as a reminder this was one of the inspiration pics for my barn. I want it to look as gross from the outside as possible so that its inner beauty is what really shines through. I want the whole project to be a thinly-veiled metaphor for how I am more beautiful inside than outside. Oh yeah, and so are you.

Light is the most important part of any residence, so I wanted my barn to have as much glass as possible to let in the most light.

Once I’ve stained this I think it will look more convincing. Right now it looks extremely fake and modely. Kind of like you.

Don’t worry, I’m totally redoing those stairs. Actually, I have to redo a lot of the back of the house. The back wall is detachable so as soon as it’s done I’m going to take it off, add the plexiglass, and fix all the things at the back of the house I can’t get to right now.

Because doing the backside of the house was so tedious, I decided to reward myself by upholstering the sofa. I used foam core covered in navy linen.

Here it is covered in linen.

I still want to sew the edges of each cushion so it looks more polished (I did that on the built-in window seat I made). I love the color but the thickness of the cushions makes it much more contemporary than I had anticipated. I kind of don’t care though because I don’t want it to look like a mid-century theme house and I am going to be using a lot of mini-mid-century furniture.

That’s all for dollhousing this week. All I have to do now is stain the back of the house, add the plexi, paint each room, and build furniture for the entire place. I should be done around 2015.

Love,
Orlando

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Much Ado About Sunglasses

Dear Celebrities,

Whenever I find myself wondering what to do, I always look to celebrities for advice. For example, I’ve been looking for new sunglasses lately and I can’t figure out what to buy. So I looked up pictures of fashionable celebrities and now I have a few ideas for sunglasses to purchase.

I have a complicated relationship with sunglasses. When I was in high school, I only wore fancy expensive sunglasses. But then I kept breaking/losing them so I decided to ban myself from buying any that cost more than $10. This has had an unexpected side effect that I no longer care if I lose my sunglasses. Which means I lose them on a daily basis. Thus, my new theory is that I need to invest in a real pair of sunglasses that I care enough about to keep an eye on.

Here is my namesake Orlando Bloom wearing some wayfarers. These wouldn’t look good on me because of my nose shape but they do look fetching on him.

Ray Ban, $200

Because I grew up in the woods and love the outdoorsy aesthetic, I’m into these wooden sunglasses from Schwood.  Sometimes I wish I lived in a world where everything was wooden.

Schwood, $135

Schwood, $175

I could never pull off these fancypants Tom Ford sunglasses, but Brad Pitt can.

Tom Ford, $425

Every time I drive my boat, I put on these Oliver Peoples sunglasses. Glamour.

Oliver Peoples, $390

Ryan Gosling looks great in these Persol sunnies. Gimme.

Persol, $360

This guy looks like an American Pyscho murderer, but the Ray Ban Clubmasters he’s wearing are great.

Ray Ban, $145

Oh Jake Gyllenhaal, how I yearn to trap you in a human size aquarium so that I could stare at you all day. Oh, and I love these classic shades. And your face.

Spitfire, $35

Robert Redford is the grand master of aviators (which coincidentally are on of the best frame styles for my nose shape).

Ray Ban, $140

Finally, a pair of sunglasses that I only want because I know I can’t have them. They’re limited edition wayfarers from a few years ago that are impossible to find (unless you want to pay $1500 for them on Ebay, which I don’t).

Ray Ban Limited Edition Wayfarer, One Million Dollars

I don’t know which way I’m leaning right now. Kind of between the Ray Ban aviators and those Oliver Peoples sunglasses. What I do know is that as soon as I spend $400 on sunglasses I’ll immediately sit on them whilst losing them in a cab, lending them to a friend who will never give them back, and having them accidentally fly off my face while I’m on a roller coaster. I can’t be trusted.

Love,
Orlando

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What I’m Going to Eat On Vacation (Sydney, Australia)

By Contributing Food Editor Jared Levan

Dear Daily Grind,

It is with great pleasure that I inform you of my brief (but not too brief) leave of absence. At the request of my good friend, Whitney, I have consented–with little to no coercion–to a two-week vacation to the glorious land down-under. And while I will declare to customs my trip is a holiday, I can’t help but think of this trip as work-related…to some degree.

I will eat, after all, and I will undoubtedly (yet willingly) describe what I eat–how it looks and how it tastes–in unfettered detail.

So what will I be eating whilst on “holiday” in Australia?

#1 Lamb, Lamb….Lamb
Forget beef–from what I’m told, lamb is the dominant meat down under. I do love lamb, so I’m rather excited to see what the Australian chef can do when it’s the protein of choice. Chances are by the time I leave I may be sick of it, but might as well take advantage of it.

#2 Sydney’s Thai Town
Sydney is known for it’s Thai food, so much so that it was named on Saveur Magazine’s, Saveur 100. Because I love and trust the folks at Saveur, I’ve adding these thai joints to my list of places to check out:

Chilli Cha Cha
Spice I Am
Thanon Khao San
Chat Thai

#3 Victoria Bitter Beer
Believe it or not, Foster’s is NOT “Australian for beer” and my list wouldn’t be complete without including a beverage or two. According to my sources (friends who’ve visited/live there) the REAL Australian beer is Victoria Bitter. Cheers to that.

#4 Vege-what?
It may look like a combination of molasses and chocolate, but vegemite is something completely different. Vegemite (similarly known as Marmite in the UK) is an enriched paste made from Brewer’s yeast extract. In Australia, they use this stuff on everything from sandwiches and toast to desserts and pastries. I’ve never tried it, so I can’t wait to get my hands on some.

#5 Food a la Jamie Oliver
Unfortunately for us, there are no Jamie Oliver restaurants in New York City–or anywhere in the US, for that matter–so I jumped at the prospect of snagging some chub at his Sydney-based, Jamie’s Italian. Here’s hoping the Naked Chef lives up to my expectations.

Regardless of where or what I eat, this trip is sure to be adventure.

Love,
Jared

Jared Levan

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Orlando’s Obsession / New Canaan Moderns

Dear My Former Professor Ellis Hanson,

One of my favorite classes I took in college was English 276: Desire. That class was awesome, basically just an excuse for you to put on bondage gear and give outrageous lectures about sex. I took this course my senior year so much of my time was spent sitting in the back of the lecture hall talking to my friend Matt about our impending moves to New York City and about how after tiring of city life we’d move to New Canaan, Connecticut to retire and live with our rich husbands and blond children.

I had no idea at the time how many glamourous mid-century modern homes existed in New Canaan, but apparently it’s a hot spot of modern architecture. New Canaan was the home to The Harvard Five, which was basically five fancypants Harvard architects that settled in town and built, like, totally awesome modern homes that changed the face of residential architecture forever.

Lately I’ve had houses on the mind. People keep asking me which style I like which is so hard because I love so many different kinds of homes. I fantasize about living in a cabin in the middle of the woods (like the one I grew up in), I fantasize about living in a cottage on California’s Central Coast (like the one in which John Steinbeck did much of his writing), and I dream about living in a Laurel Canyon treehouse (like the one I imagine Joni Mitchell writing “Blue” in).

Northeastern modern homes will always have a special place in my heart though, because they are so classic, each one their own work of art. As much as I love vintage items and piles of nicknacks everywhere in a home’s interior, when it comes to the exterior of a home I love rectangles and clean lines. Basically, I want to live in something that looks like a white box from the outside, a grandpa’s house from the inside.

Below are a few of my favorite New Canaan Moderns:

John Black Lee, 1952

Elliot Noyes, 1951

Alan Goldberg, 1977

Hugh Smallen, 1964

Hugh Smallen, 1957

Hugh Smallen, 1962

Victor Christ-Janer, 1953

Philip Johnson, 1945

Victor Christ-Janer, 1953

Allan Gelbin, 1969

Evans Woollen III, 1954

You can learn more about the New Canaan Moderns and see more pictures here. You’re welcome.

Love,
Orlando

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Whut Glamour / Griffith Observatory

Dear Griffith J Griffith,

I’d like to thank you for Griffith Park and The Griffith Observatory. Sometimes when I’m having a crazy week I take a drive up to the observatory and walk around just to calm down and stare at the giant city I live in. I have been to the observatory a million times, but I’ve never seen a planetarium show so I decided to visit last week to check one out. The star shows are pretty cheesy, but they’re totally old-school and informative and will leave you freaking out about how tiny we are in comparison to the vastness of the universe.

If you love looking down on people, there is no better place than the Griffith Observatory, perched high above this glorious city.

I love all the vintage signage and the pretty copper rooftops.

Parts of Rebel Without A Cause were filmed here, so there is a sculpture of James Dean. It kind of makes him look like a gaunt werewolf. I want to look like a gaunt werewolf.

The grounds of the observatory are beautifully manicured and a great place to catch a sunset whilst thinking about your deepest, darkest secrets. If you have any. I don’t because I’m perfect.

The whole place feels like a time warp (it was built in the 1930s).

If you’ve not been there you need to go visit Griffith Park and the observatory. Catch a show at the planetarium (but prepare to be bored and/or terrified of the insignificance of humanity). Fun!

Love,
Orlando

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Rugs Not Drugs!

Dear Friends,

I think I have a rug problem. It’s like whenever I’m not on rugs all I can think about is getting more rugs. And then when I’m not on rugs I all I think about is rugs. And then my friends show me their rugs and how they’re using them, I just want to go out and steal/sell bikes so I’ll have more money to spend on rugs. I’m a total rug addict. It started out slow, I put a rug in my living room. But that rug was just the gateway rug, and now I can’t stop. I live in an apartment with cold, hard, bamboo floors that look like this:

Every morning I wake up and my feet hit the cold hard floor and all I can think about is where I can get more rugs. I need a rug dealer.

Wool Cable Rug $809 from Rugs USA (8 x 10)

I want to inject this rug between my toes. Meaning I want to step on it with my bare feet every morning when I wake up…

Nate Berkus Dhurrie Rug. $480 from hsn.com (8 x 10)

Emily has this in her guest bedroom and sometimes I think about stealing it and bringing it home with me. Sometimes being a rug addict compromises one’s virtue.

Jute Boucle Rug $279 from West Elm

This rug is perfect for the cash-strapped rug addict. It’s so cheap and the grey color is very pretty.

It comes in other colors too:

Maui Chunky Loop Rug $479 from Rugs USA (9 x 12)

This is a warm and inviting rug. We recently sold this rug to a client and he loves it. I  bet he’s on that rug right now.

Thom Filicia Jasper Crackle Dune New Zealand. $692 from Overstock.com (8 x 10)

This rug is totally crazy but I love it. Looks kind of like a tribal pattern but modern.

$2,420.99 from Hayneedle.com (8 x 11)

This is like the first one except more felty. And sometimes, you just need a felty rug. Or any kind of rug to protect you from the cold hard world. Being on rugs makes everything feel better.

Woolen Jute Blend Rug $207 from Home Decorators (8 x 11)

This rug brings together two of my favorite ingredients: indigo blue and jute. Mix those together and you get total ecstasy.

Facet Rug $850 from Dwell (8 x 10)

This rug is trippy, but the graphic pattern on it makes it worth the trip.

I’d like to conclude this drug-pun-infused post by letting you know that I don’t do drugs, but I do love to  make fun of them. Ask my friends, I’m a nerd when it comes to that stuff. I used to think it would be fun to look like one of those Calvin Klein heroin models from the 90z but I’m sure if I ever tried drugs my brain would explode instantly and the Jonas Brothers would pop up out of thin air and say “And that’s why we say NO to drugs!” as I lay dying. It would be the best PSA ever. Drugs are bad habit mainly because they kill you and they’re so expensive. So if you want to waste your money on something crazy expensive and addictive, why not let it be rugs? That way your feet will thank you and you wont have to die. YAY!

Love,
Orlando

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The New Vegetarian (Who’s Not a Vegetarian)

By Contributing Food Editor Jared Levan

Dear Meatless Monday Lovers,

Like you, I occasionally dabble in vegetarianism. Not out of respect for the animal–though I respect those who live and eat by that philosophy–but because, sometimes, I just want to.

And because I truly feel that vegetarian cuisine doesn’t have to be as boring as everyone thinks it is, my hat goes off to you, Mr. Yotam Ottolenghi (pictured above). While he’s not a practicing vegetarian, he does manage to create delicious recipes that could make you want to quit meat.

Originally from Israel, Ottolenghi now graces the UK with a weekly column called The New Vegetarian as well as amazing cuisine at his many restaurants. The food philosophy he follows, and teaches, is quite simple…

Everything is made from scratch.
Every ingredient is bought raw.
Use local products, whenever possible.
Only cook food you’d eat yourself.
Cook to feed and to share.
No coloring or preservatives.
No freezing.
No prolonged refrigeration.

Beetroot & Avocado Salad

“One-Pan Wonder”

Aubergine Cheesecake

Black Pepper Tofu

Pea & Leek Soup with Basil Oil

Late Winter Salad with Blood Orange & Anchovy

Raw Brussels Sprouts with Oyster Mushrooms & Quail Egg

**Photos courtesy of The Guardian UK

My sister Adrienne lives by these recipes, and she’s got quite the discerning taste–much like her brother. Try them yourselves, and the next time you venture across the pond to the UK, make an effort to visit one of these great cookshops.

Love,
Jared

Jared Levan

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