I’ve written many many times about my love for Sister Corita Kent, the designer, activist and nun whose work was inspired by the place she called “marvelously unfinished Los Angeles.” Next summer, the Pasadena Museum of California Art will be mounting a comprehensive exhibition of her work, and to get pumped up for the show, they’re hosting a series of events starting this fall. On Saturday, October 11 at 3pm, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be moderating a panel with three wonderful women—Juliette Bellocq, Louise Sandhaus and Jan Steward—who have been influenced by Kent’s work. We’ll talk about her life and her legacy, but I’m most excited to hear from these ladies on how they’ve been able to keep Corita’s spirit alive through their own art. All details here. See you then!
Over a year ago I told you about a Kickstarter I was participating in to raise money for LA’s first-ever pedestrian campaign through Los Angeles Walks, where I’ve been a steering committee member for several years. As part of that campaign we promised to create an annual “state of walking” report for the city to help keep tabs on how LA is improving for walkers. I’m excited to announce Footnotes, a new publication edited by me and designed by the lovely Colleen Corcoran.
Among the many awesome pieces I edited, I wanted to point out two features that I particularly enjoyed working on. One is an interview with Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne about his work to promote walking in LA, including his recent Boulevards series, and the many other ways he’s seeing LA change for the better when it comes to building new pedestrian infrastructure. The second feature, which was really a treat for me, was editing a timeline of LA pedestrian milestones with the awesome folks behind @LAHistory. This timeline, which goes all the way back to the founding of the city with the nine-mile walk of the Pobladores, includes several residents who became famous for walking as well as an entire sport popular here named “pedestrianism.” Who knew we had so many great walkers and walking events as part of LA’s history?
The publication is rounded out with stories, essays, drawings, infographics, and much more walking content from Rudy Espinoza, Randal Henry and Manal Aboelata-Henry, Andy Janicki, Daveed Kapoor, Yuval Bar-Zemer, Dylan Lathrop, Andy Martinez, Outpost, Mark Vallianatos, DJ Waldie, Valerie Watson, Brian Rea, and Rosten Woo.
We’ll slowly be publishing the content online (and translating many of the stories to Spanish as well), but you can get a copy by donating to Los Angeles Walks today!
To tell the truth, I hadn’t planned to announce my pregnancy to the entire internet at once. But as I started to write the story, I realized that I had an awful lot more to tell that didn’t neatly fit in a Facebook status update.
Our journey to get here was not quite easy: Last year I had a miscarriage. I wanted to tell my story not only to talk openly about this still-quite-taboo subject, but also to share how technology, specifically, an app that I downloaded on a whim, had helped me get through this difficult time, learn more about my body, and, after many long and trying months, finally get pregnant again.
My goal in writing my story was that women like me who were searching the internet in vain trying to find some truth about what happens after a loss would somehow find my words, and with them, a little bit of solace. A few days after publishing this piece, I’ve been completely floored by the comments, emails, texts, and Tweets, and the sheer number of women who have used my essay as a cue to share their own stories. So that alone has been truly amazing.
You can head over to Gizmodo and check out the whole thing: “How An App Helped Me (And 20,000 Other Women) Get Pregnant.” Thanks so much for reading and sharing this important story.
Now on to some other important tasks: Like finding a baby stroller that can make it up the steep hills of my neighborhood!
Every time I write a story for Dwell I seem to have some kind of funny personal connection to the subject. A story I recently wrote about a home in Silver Lake, for example, was an apartment complex less than a mile from my house that I’d been drooling over from the sidewalk for years. So when my awesome editor Kelsey Keith reached out about this home in Boulder—where I spent 3.5 glorious collegiate years in the late 1990s—I couldn’t hit reply fast enough. Not only did I know exactly where this house was, it was located in a part of town that had been one of my most treasured afternoon escapes while I was in school. It was also a place that had been ravaged by one of the most destructive wildfires to ever hit the state.
It was incredible to hear about architect Renée del Gaudio‘s work to not only reclaim the Sunshine Canyon hillside from the fire, but also her commitment to design a hypersustainable, fireproof structure that pays homage to the type of buildings that used to populate the area. It felt good to know that this little sliver of my personal history was not only brought back to life—quite literally from the ashes—but that it was now even better than it had been before. The story is now online and includes more beautiful photos by David Lauter. Check it out here.
30 years ago this week, the 1984 Summer Olympics started with a blast (quite literally, a dude in a jetpack) and Los Angeles was never the same. I’ve spent the last year researching and writing a few pieces on the Games That Changed Everything and I’ve never been more proud to be an Angeleno. Here’s my Olympics round up.
How LA’s 1984 Summer Olympics Became the Most Successful Games Ever: At Gizmodo, we’ve been covering the financial stress that Olympic Games have put on cities in recent years. Which led me down a path to figure out which cities—if any—had benefitted from the Games. In fact, the best example of all was right here in LA, and it was largely due to the smart design! A truly inspirational tale of civic pride, from a time and place you wouldn’t expect.
Why Would Any Country Host the World Cup?: As a follow up, I started to investigate some of the reforms that had been proposed to help reign in costs and impacts from the Olympics as well as the World Cup. I was excited to speak with Barry Sanders, chair of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, about LA’s 2024 bid and how LA plans to be fiscally and environmentally responsible yet again.
Interview with Deborah Sussman: As part of their amazing 80s issue, Los Angeles Magazine asked me to sit down with the great Deborah Sussman, whose graphic design drove the identity of the Games and transformed the city. I gladly spent a few hours hearing the whole story from Deborah—from the color palette she saw in a dream to the story of the LA 84 logo.