“California Inspires Me”.

Here is a nice way to start your post holiday week. An animated short by  featuring Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. The piece is called “California Inspires Me” and has some really solid animation and illustration work going on. The piece is deceptively simple with black line art over flat colored backgrounds, but the flow and rhythm is so solid. What a really nice little short.

Summer Rosé,

The first day of summer is tomorrow, so keeping up with this weeks build up to summer theme I have created a poster of 10 rosés that you can drink now. None of them will break the bank and all of them are good choices for a hot summer afternoon. The list of wines is from Guyot’s rosé picks for 2013.

Prices range from 10 bucks to around 28. The rating scale from Guyot is pretty simple. 13-14/20 is a Good wine, 15-16/20 is a very good wine, 17-18/20 is excellent, anything above is outstanding.

In years past rosés have gotten a bad wrap, especially in the United States. These 10 will change any perception you have about the quality of rosé wines, and hopefully get you drinking rosés if you haven’t started already.


Friday Inspiration. Carlos Santana Surf Photography.

Here is a little Friday afternoon eye candy and inspiration.

22 year old Carlos Santana is a newer addition to the Southern California surf photography scene, but I have a feeling he is going to be huge. Take note of his name, check out his photos, and watch the inspiring video below. For a kid that didn’t even see the ocean until he was 7 (he grew up in the LA area) his images of the surf are breath taking.

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popuphood in Oakland California.

For years Oakland California has been considered the arm pit of the San Francisco Bay area to spite the fact that it has a thriving  bar and restaurant scene, and affordable housing. To help combat this image, popuphood was launched in December of 2011 by Alfonso Dominquez and Sarah Filley. The objective was to help encourage urban renewal in Oakland by filling five previously vacant store fronts in Old Oakland with five new retail shops, including a jewellers and art gallery.

The project’s primary focus is to support the local Oakland community, providing them with a vibrant shopping area giving local artists, designers and retailers the opportunity to open their own store for six months, rent free. The hope is that by building cross sector partnerships with local and federal governments, the economic development council, and private businesses popuphood will help develop a dynamic and vibrant community.

The video below explains popuphood in more detail:

San Francisco Day Two

We should have planned more days in San Francisco before driving south along the PCH to Santa Barbara. Out of all the cities in America, this is my number one choice for places to live. Not the suburbs, but the city itself. It has all the dynamics of New York, yet it always feels so international compared to other US cities.

Today was spent knocking around North Beach, the Presidio, and Fillmore districts after waiting for more than an hour to eat at Dottie’s True Blue Cafe. Everywhere we went we were surrounded by culture, food, fashion, and design. All of which is juxtaposed with the homeless and transient society that also floods this city. Perhaps this dichotomy of cultural extremes is why I am drawn here. There is so much wealth, and culture, so much in the way of the arts and design communities, yet there is also a counter point to all of this.

For example, today we were looking at all the wonderfully designed kitchen wares at the Allesi store, while a homeless man used the doorway next door as a bathroom, completely oblivious to the people passing by. The pedestrians, like the man in the doorway desensitized to all of it.

No matter what, I still love this place.


My New Car.

Since I am still waiting to see what is going to happen with my wrecked MINI, I thought I would spend some time this morning looking for new cars in case I have to buy one in the next month or so. While searching for possible cars this morning I came across this wonderful 1955 Ferrari Monza Spider. The same car that was driven by Fred Astair in the movie “On the Beach”. (It also starred Gregory Peck, and I have to admit the race scenes in it are pretty lame).

This car is the eighth of 35, 750 Monza spiders that were ever built, and this unique automobile, with serial number 0492M, is the car that was used in the movie mentioned above. The opening price is yet to be determined, and there is that whole thing about shifting with my left hand I’d have to get used to, but I think I’d look good driving this car.

This Ferrari Monza Spider has a 260 hp, 2,999 cc DOHC four-cylinder engine, with two Weber 58 mm DCOA/3 carburetors. It features dry sump lubrication, a five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, a de Dion rear axle with transverse leaf springs and trailing arms, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes ( yes it has drum brakes, it is a 1955 Ferrari). The wheelbase is 88.6 inches which means it is agile for my daily commutes to the office. (by the way, this car was advertised for $7000.00 in a 1957 issue of Road and Track magazine. It’s estimated to bring 1 million plus at auction)

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Additional features include…

– One of only 35 built, with a matching-numbers example
– Starring role in On the Beach, featuring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner
– Driven on screen by Fred Astaire in “On the Beach”
– Brussels Motor Show car winner, 1955
– Race-winning history, including John Von Neumann, Phil Hill, Harrison Evans
– Two-year documented restoration

In its professional racing career, 750 Monza s/n 0492M entered 22 West Coast races in an intense period in 1955-56, driven by famed Ferrari importer and racing driver John von Neumann, future Formula One World Champion Phil Hill, and Harrison Evans. In that time it won twice, scored seven 2nd place finishes, was 3rd twice and 4th four times.
For more info on the car, and the movie starring Fred Astaire, or if you want to out bid me, go here.