Monthly Archives: March 2012

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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What I Do When I’m Left Alone (I’m Scared)

Dear Diary,

Do you know what normal people do when they are left alone? They watch movies, make soup, and pet their dogs. I, on the other hand, rearrange my entire apartment on a daily basis. In fact, just yesterday I woke up and realized the that my bedroom needed a little bit of attention. So naturally I spent the next three hours rearranging the top of my dresser (which is ugly, by the way, needs to be lacquered in a hip color but I can’t decided what). Below are the results of my playtime.

Here is what the top of my dresser looked like before:

Here’s what that same surface looked like after I went crazy rearranging it and spray painting that little filing thing gold. To be honest, I have no idea if it’s any better than it was before. But rearranging it made my life feel more meaningful. Which is something I’d talk to my therapist about if I had one.

I love this Yoshitomo Nara toy (on the left). For the most part I tried to stick with aqua, green, white, and gold. You know, because normal all guys have color-coordinated accessories on top of their dressers.

This is a little table I have in my bedroom. It belonged to my great-great-great-great grandmother, who got the wood to make it from George Washington when he cut down that cherry tree. Or something. Anyhonk, this is what it looked like before I changed it:

And here is what it looks like now:

Impressive, right? [Insert cricket noise]

You know, I have to admit that restyling these surfaces made me realize that I like nicknacks a little bit too much. All I want to do all day is stare at beautiful, interesting objects. And books. I’m also obsessed with things like my Whole Earth Catalogue, which I stare at every day while I fantasize about living in the 60s (which by the way I could never do because I hate body hair and flared pants).

Yes, I moved that ceramic spherical sculpture by my friend Suzanne so I could stare at it in the morning. Sometimes I give it a little kiss to let it know how much I care.

So yeah, that’s my thing. Rearranging stuff for hours for no apparent reason. (I’m scared).

Love,
Orlando

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