Sunday, February 12, 2006

Eastern Columbia Building...











Walking by the Eastern Columbia building in Downtown LA last night and falling in love with it for the one thousandth time. Even in the dark, its majestic exterior (clad in massive clay tiles of matching Mediterranean blue hues) emits rays that will soothe the rods and cones of the achingest eyeballs. Architectural Visine. They're redoing the place now. Condominiums. Who can say what kind of ugly faux Philippe Stark bathroom fixtures they're gussying the place up with... I'm always suspect of these make-overs... before the actual building starts they've already placed slick ads in the Sunday papers with full architectural renderings of tidy dwellings inhabited by lounging long-legged ladies. Puhleez.

Anyhow, for those of you who cringe at the mere mention of Los Angeles, who think its all silicone and cell phones, who laugh at the concept of LA history, well friend, I can tell you that I too was once like you. I came here kicking and screaming, repulsed and resistant to the core. But Los Angeles is a town to be curated. You must carefully hunt down and incorporate those remarkable people, places and things that hide in the sprawl. You must have a great home and a handful of close friends (who needs ten thousand acquaintances?) and a good set of psychic blinders. In building your own LA there is quite a lot you will need to ignore. But once you do, well, I fear what the song prophesies might be true: you can never leave. Welcome!

(photo by Robert Landau)

2 Comments:

Anonymous hc said...

I think you're right, down town is really something, we went to art walk the other night, and ended up walking through skid row for a while, and then up to little tokyo for some japanese, and back to the humbled down town for more gallery schmoozing... and I love the architecture, the crumbling feeling of it, the sooty streets and drab facades all come together in a palsied beauty...

6:13 PM  
Blogger pigatschmo said...

Wasn't that building once a department store, or am I confusing it another? It's a Hewell Howser thang...

8:42 PM  

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