Monthly Archives: May 2012

Whut Glamour: Boffo Show House

Dear Diary,

I was delighted to open my email this morning and find some images from the latest Boffo exhibition. Boffo is the culture/arts non-profit started by my close friends Faris and Gregory. Their most recent project is an art/design installation called “Show House” that features the work of dozens art artists and designers, each installed into uninhabited apartments on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The show is open until June 4. So check it out if you’re in New York.

The exhibition space is located at 371 Madison Street and is open from 11 AM to 7 PM daily. More images of the show are available from the website of photographer Evan Joseph.

Love,
Orlando

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Think Outside The Box: No Socks

Dear Diary,

Apparently there is a totally exciting new trend involving naked male ankles. I had no idea, always running around wearing my nerdy socks pulled up to my knees. Enjoy these glamourous images of shoes with no socks!

The juxtaposition of a dressy suit with the casual exclusion of socks is a nice one. I guess it is kind of sexy to see a little skin, even if it’s just the ankle.

Love this whole outfit. He looks like a sailor from the high seas, except for with better hygiene and more teeth.

Ugh, I so want to be this kid. All skinny and weird and downtowny. Excuse me while I go do heroin and lose 30 pounds.

Good things about this picture: stacked stone wall in the background, highwater pants, lovely golden countryside, and no socks. Bad things about this picture: that ugly ottoman and that cheesy camera in front of his face.

Hi, I’m glamourous and my hair blows in the wind. Also, I’m too cool for socks.

Someday, I want to look like this.

I’m digging this tinysuit. Also, I want whatever is in that Dean & Deluca bag. I’m starving!

Love,
Orlando

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My So-Called Apartment Building

Dear Reader

In an old apartment building in Hollywood, not covered in vines, lived twelve little gay guys, in two straight lines.

…Well, not really, but you get the picture. I live in this crazy apartment building where a lot of my friends happen to live and as you can imagine, it is filled with titillating gay drama, glamourous rooftop parties, and devious boyfriend stealing. I moved here last year after admiring the building for years. Mainly because it’s the best color ever, mint green, which totally goes with the mid-century style of the building. It was built in 1949 and hasn’t had much updates since, which probably endangers my life greatly, but is sure pretty to look at. The building sits near the border of West Hollywood, but is technically in Hollywood. This is good because it means it’s just fancy enough that I can walk around without getting stabbed (hopefully) but just gritty enough that I can tell people I live in Hollywood and they will be a little scared and wonder if I am a drug dealer and/or thief (Sidenote: I am neither, unless you count stealing America’s heart as thievery). I know most people don’t aspire to live in kitschy apartment buildings, but I must say I’m thankful for my place every day. It’s very warm and inviting and feels like home.

My favorite thing about the building is its palm trees. One sits right outside my window and greets me every morning.

Strangely, I also love the power lines outside. Even though they are probably, like, giving me cancer as we speak. Rude.

I love all the original railings on the building. So simple and geometric.

The cathedral windows look slightly strange from the outside of the building but are a dream on the inside because they provide floor-to-ceiling light. It’s illegal to install them now because they kill you instantly in an earthquake. Or something. I think I just made that up.

Don’t you love the lush landscaping combined with the crazy power lines?  Like Hannah Montana, it truly is the best of both worlds.

My street, nestled at the base of the Hollywood Hills, is pretty cute too. Lots of mid-century apartment buildings and vast green lawns (which by the way are native to Los Angeles and not at all a disastrous waste of water).

Everything is minty aqua green, just like in my complexion every time I hear that Gotye song that they are totally playing into the ground right now. Gotye, your song is somebody that I wish I used to know.

This is our pool, where daily drama occurs. Usually involving someone accusing someone else of stealing his boyfriend, which is followed by a martini being thrown in someone’s face and the other one getting thrown in the pool screaming, “You’re dead to me!” Actually that never happens but I would be so much happier if it did.

This is my upstairs neighborfriends’ deck. They had custom stripe cushions made in classic black and white. Luxury.

Because California has some of the prettiest sunsets on earth, our rooftop provides the perfect place for a nice glass of wine at dusk..

I hope you enjoyed these images of my apartment’s exterior. A wise person once said not to judge a book by it’s cover. But in the case of my apartment, I’m glad I did.

Love,
Orlando

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Tree Houses For Your Spouses

Dear Treehouses,

I’ve always wanted to live in one of you. I had no idea how many other people had treehouse fetishes until I started researching the topic. There are some crazyamazing treehouses out there. Here are some of the more exciting ones:

This is classic treehouse. It’s rustic and woodsy. Like my soul.

This treehouse is all “Forget everything you thought you knew about treehouses, I’m an urban girl!”

This one looks like an alien. So does your mom.

I love the floor-length window. I’d live in there.

This one is so cute and classic, like a little tiny East Coast birdhouse…

I love that this treehouse includes indoor/outdoor space. So warm and inviting.

I don’t know if this technically qualifies as a birdhouse, but it certainly does dialogue with all the trees. Me likey.

This looks like a treehouse where a witch would live.

Someday, when I live in the middle of the woods, I am going to have a guest house that looks just like this.

This one is way more basic than the others, but I would have killed for it when I was a kid.

How cute and romantic is this one? I want to throw a dinner party in there.

I love how this treehouse looks like it’s floating. In fact, is this treehouse floating? I can’t tell…

Someday, I want to live in a giant onion/cacoon  made out of wood, stuck to a tree.

And now for the winner of the Best Treehouse Ever In The History Of Time Award. I can’t believe how much I want this one. It’s made out of mirrors. It sits amongst the trees, like a ghostly box. It was designed by a Swedish firm called Tham & Videgård. I’m sure there are piles of dead birds outside this thing, but it might be worth it considering how gorgeous it is.

The one-way mirrors allow like to come in and people to see out.

I’m pretty sure this is just a rendering, but I’d like to put it on my face.

Now I am going to fantasize about treehouses. Perhaps instead of buying a real house one day I will just get a treehouse instead. Then I will become a crazy hermit and when people come by to visit I’ll pull up the rope ladder and scream at them about how the world is ending. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do…

Love,
Orlando

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Orlando’s Obsession: Casper Balslev

Dear Photographer and Music Video Cinematographer Casper Balslev,

I am obsessed with your cool photographs of Los Angeles and your totally amazing music videos that I could just eat with a spoon. I discovered you when I watched the music video for “This Boys In Love” by the Presets. Upon further investigation I found out you not only shot videos for Marina and the Diamonds and a bunch of other fun bands (videos at the end of this post), you also take beautiful photographs. Please enjoy:

And for the music videos, beginning with the one that started it all:

Thanks for the beautiful work. Me likey.

Love,
Orlando

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You Must Buy These Things Or You Will Be Socially Ostracized!

Dear Diary,

The sun is shining in beautiful Los Angeles and the summer is upon us. Or at least I think it is. I actually have no idea when the official start of summer is and I don’t feel like googling it. I know the unofficial start is next weekend. Memorial Day Weekend. To get ready for summer, I’ve been slowly stocking up on summer must-haves. And so should you. If you are a girl, just buy these things for your boyfriend. That way no other girls will hit on him because he will look like a mischievous homosexual. Like me.

I’m super into these cool hats. They are yet another piece of evidence that black people (along with the gays) are responsible for everything that is cool. Black guys were the first to wear these, then straight white guys, now gay dudes. I’m into the gay thug look though, so that’s fine by me. Thank you, black people!

LA Dodgers Cap from 59fifty

I like bright things, so I love these sunglasses. They cost $5 and I bet I’ll break them by this evening. The average lifespan of a pair of my sunglasses is 3.67 days. I am a terrible human being.

Sunglasses from H&M

I love everything from Warriors of Radness. Especially this awkward ball tank top.

Tank from Warriors of Radness

These jersey knit tanks are so soft I want to wear them all the time. It’s like wearing air.

Tank Top from H&M

Loving these pink painterly swimming swimmerz.

Swim Trunks from H&M

These are very exciting and sort of tiny. I’m not into long swim trunks. Who wants to be weighed down by all that fabric in the pool? I just want to be free.

Grey Swim Trunks from H&M

These look totally dorky online but are cuter in real life. Especially when you cuff them a bit.

Shorts from H&M

Yup. These flip flops are old news but I still love them.

White Flip Flops from Havaianas

To protect my lily white skin from the harsh burning sun of Southern California, I rely on this sunscreen. Mainly because it has the most adorable label I’ve ever seen. But also because it smells like oatmeal and doesn’t have nano particles that get into your pores and give you even more cancer than the sun does. Trust me, I’m a scientist.

Badger Sunscreen

To change the color of my lily white skin from Titanium White to Swiss Coffee, I rely on this delightfully streak free product. It actually works but it comes off if you sweat to much. And believe me, I sweat too much.

Sunless Tanner from Keihl’s

So that’s all you need for summer. Now go out and buy it, because that’s what we do. This is America.

Love,
Orlando

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There’s Something Going On In The Bedroom

Dear My Bedroom,

I hate you. I’m over you. And I need a change. But for some reason all the bedroom inspiration I’m finding is so feminine. Which is weird because guys like to sleep too. Below are some images of bedrooms I like. Please enjoy them.

I love this one. Look how tiny that mirror is? I can’t tell if it’s stupid or amazing.

This grey bedding is fun. I think you can get away with dark colors in a sexy, masculine bedroom…

Gimme. All of it. The flag, the cute rug, the jacket.

Emily designed this one for the show. It’s still one of my favorites.

This is my favorite picture of a bedroom ever. The bedding is from Dwell. I want to smother my face in it.

I hate plywood, but for some reason it works here.

I want a bicycle. Not to ride, but to look at.

This bedroom reminds me of the snotty kids at camp who whisper racist things to each other in the dining hall. I love it though. Is that bad?

So, Bedroom, you are going to be transformed soon. If it’s the last thing I do. And you’re going to like it.

Love,
Orlando

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Whut Glamour: New York

Dear New York,

It was a whirlwind trip visiting you for the first two weeks of May. But I must say I saw a ton of pretty things (and I managed to take a picture of a few of them). Here is a pictorial recap of my trip.

We stayed in an adorable part of Brooklyn (Carroll Gardens) in our friend Ian’s apartment. If I ever move back to New York I think I’ll live in Brooklyn. I’ve never lived there before but it’s way more mellow than Manhattan.

Our first night there we took a little walk in Dumbo. Did you know that “DUMBO” stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”? I didn’t.

We shopped the Meeker Avenue Antique and Vintage Market in Williamsburg. We didn’t find anything but it’s always fun to peruse their offerings. Sometimes it’s garbage, sometimes it’s filled with fun finds. This visit was mostly garbagey.

No trip to New York is complete without a trip to Central Park. It’s just classic. Also, it’s the only place in Manhattan you can walk freely without feeling like you’re in a mosh pit of people screaming into their cell phones about what their evening plans are.

On the way to dinner one night I passed this film set. I have no idea what they are filming but it felt like a little slice of home, Hollywood invading the Big Apple.

This was a lovely dinner my friend Misako made for me and some of my old friends from college. Misako is a talented graphic designer who makes glamorous custom invitations, stationery, and business cards. We’ve been friends since grad school and she always makes me feel at home in New York.

She made the most delicious salmon, quinoa, and avocado salad.

New York definitely has more interesting coffee options than Los Angeles. And most of them have really adorable cups like they have at Joe.

I love Fishs Eddy because it reminds me of my mother, who loves it because it reminds her of her grandparents house in Long Eddy, New York. They sell wonderful dinnerware and home goods.

We saw this adorable mirror at an Organic Modern pop up shop in Chelsea.

This was a poem posted in a subway train. I love it a lot.

A trendy Lower East Side pub with a trendy menu with a trendy typeface.

My friend Faris’ fire escape herb garden.

The disco ball DJ booth at David Barton Gym at Astor Place. Because every gym needs a disco ball DJ booth.

A mural on the Lower East Side.

My old apartment in Chelsea, where I went to a dinner with my former roommate and close friend Meaghan.

A ridiculously buttery and delicious French dessert, made by Meaghan.

The view from the Lake House, in Upstate New York.

The adorable Lake House. As someone who fantasizes about living in a barn, it was hard to leave this place. I’m still considering traveling back to squat there illegally, hiding in the basement every time the homeowners come up from the city.

Neon workout gear at Michaels Arts and Crafts store. Whenever I see colors like this my eyes turn into spirals and I can’t turn away. Must. Resist. The. Bright. Colors.

The best Old Fashioned I’ve ever had. Served at Bar Tabac. I drink these because they remind me of someone special. And so can you!

Cute cups at The City Bakery, where the food is “meh!” but the graphic design is “me gusta.”

This image might as well be a scan of my brain, because this is exactly what my internal dialogue looks like.

Schiller’s, Lower East Side. Did you ever notice how waiters in New York are totally mean? Our waiter hated us and made sure we knew it. That being said it was the best dinner I’ve ever eaten in my life (I had the steak frites, smothered in butter. My arteries haven’t been the same since).

I had to take multiple pictures of the sign, because I love the scripty font so much.

Meanwhile, in Sonoma County, California, my niece was doing a cute baby thing by crawling into a basket. I know this is completely unrelated to my New York trip, but it’s totally relevant because she’s the cutest baby in the world. And she’s in a basket. So get into it.

New York was crazy, crazy busy, and crazy fun. Hopefully next time I’ll get to stop and see more sights (my one regret is not seeing The Whitney Biennial). But it felt good to get back to California, back to family, and back to work. The end.

Love,
Orlando

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Valley Of The Ken Dolls

Dear Diary,

I spent the past two weeks in New York, where the weather was cloudy and rainy and wet the entire time. I had a great time decorating The Lake House with Emily, but I missed my boyfriend and home so I was ecstatic to come back to Los Angeles. I got back Saturday afternoon and immediately began having more fun than I’ve ever had in my whole life. Saturday evening we went to Cinespia. This is the film series they have every summer at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It’s one of my three favorite things about summer in Los Angeles (the other two are the Hollywood Bowl and glamourous pool parties). The film shown this week was “Strangers On A Train,” which is a pretty awesome Hitchcock film about a hot guy named Guy who meets a crazy murderer on a train (as you can imagine, zany antics ensue and everybody dies).

I love spending time with my friends. Especially when we are all staring into screens and ignoring each other. Mem’ries!

What could make my homecoming even more glamorous than the season’s first Cinespia screening? The season’s first pool party.

Firstly, I have to tell you about the guys who threw the pool party. Here are some pictures of them:

Seriously, they are perfect (I’m not showing you their actual pictures to protect their ubersecret identities). As you can see, one of them is Blond Ken, the other one is Brunette Ken. They live in this gorgeous house where I’m sure they spend most of their time frolicking together, doing jumping jacks, laughing out loud, and rolling on the floor laughing.

Did you ever notice that no one in LA ever seems to be at work, and yet everyone is rich? It’s the exact opposite of New York, where everyone is identified by their high status finance jobs. New Yorkers pride themselves on having elite jobs that trap them in their offices, allowing them to buy luxurious houses in the Hamptons. Angelenos live a bit differently. The goal here is to never work and to live like your life is a vacation. I know both of the hosts have, like, actual jobs that are fancy, but I’d prefer to imagine that they do nothing all day but eat fresh fruit by the pool and talk about their feelings. That is what I’m going to do when I become disgustingly rich.

This is what the pool looked like. In other news I was the fattest person there. And I’m not even, like, technically fat.

In addition to being beautiful, rich, and popular, the homeowners also had great taste. Which really is just kind of annoying. How obsessed with this portrait are you? I thought about stealing it.

This is the guest bedroom. It’s where I’m going to sleep when I ask Blond Ken and Brunette Ken to be my gay dads. Or when I become the pool boy, whichever comes first.

Look at that sun streaming in the window! California is fantasyland and that is that. Also, I love that print by the window. Gimme.

They have a beautiful living room, furnished in delightful pieces, both modern and vintage. I met their talented designer at the party. Also at the party was Craig Olsen, a famous designer who has the handlebar moustache to end all handlebar moustaches. His moustache was my favorite person at the party.

In conclusion, if I were to steal anyone’s identity so that I could live in their house and have their lives, I would want to be one of the Kens. Also, I’ve checked off two of my three summer to-do’s (the only one left is the Hollywood Bowl, where I will be seeing Hot Chip in a few months). I really do love living in this city. Especially when I get to spend the weekend watching movies in the cemetery and going to pool parties with Ken dolls. Yay!

Love,
Orlando

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Being A Dork About New York

Dear New York,

We’ve had a complicated relationship. I’ve loved you, I’ve hated you. I’ve run to you, I’ve fled from you. And then I’ve repeated these steps over and over until I couldn’t tell if I ever loved you at all. The first time I went to New York I was 4. We went to visit family who lived back there (sidenote: I always refer to the East Coast as “back there” or “back east” because it’s older than California). What I remember most vividly about that first trip is going to the Metropolitan Museum for what seemed like an eternity but was probably only two or three hours. It was interesting for about the first 20 minutes, while my sister and I pretended to be in that book where the kids get stuck in the museum (From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler). Needless to say I didn’t love New York after that trip. I’m in New York right now working on a glamourous Lake House with Emily, so the city and my relationship with it has been on my brain.

As you remember I grew up here, in this very house, under this very waterfall.

This is what I saw when I looked out the window.

Many people who grow up in small towns like I did can’t wait to leave. When I was in high school, I would read the Andy Warhol Diaries and stare out the window, fantasizing about my future life in New York. But then I ended up going to college in another idyllic, yet rural place:

So naturally, after a whole lifetime of being trapped in gorgeous places, I decided to move to New York. This is the first picture of me ever posted to Facebook. We are at some club called Crobar, which is closed now but used to be totally cool or whatever.

Below are pictures of things that make me love New York.

Billy’s Bakery

Random Art Truck.

One Girl Cookies.

Sweaty Faces.

The Ferry to Ikea in Red Hook.

A Crazy Art Opening.

Sunset Over The Hudson.

The High Line.

The View From My Old Apartment in Chelsea.

MoMA

Snowy Streets in Chelsea.

Half King.

Spring Blossoms in Red Hook

Trendy Gay Dance Clubs and Ugly Gay Haircuts (On me, not my friend).

Walking near Central Park as the sun rises.

Underground art openings, sponsored by Boffo.

Meeting amazing people (this is Amber Martin, who does AMAZING performance art and hilarious Reba impersonations).

So that’s what I love, among many other things, about this glamorous and disgusting city. Even though it’s totally humid and lots of people here talk like they are screaming across the room even when they are right in front of your face, New York is still a rad place. That being said, I’m always happy to come back home to Los Angeles. Because home is where the heart is. And there’s a heart in this picture. And it’s at LAX. So technically that’s where the heart is.

Love,
Orlando

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