Category Archives: Travel

The Neutra Residence in Los Angeles – a modern glass house built in 1933

The front of the Neutra house. You can see the address, the font is distinct to many of his buildings.

Last weekend it was beautiful out, so we decided to stop by the Neutra VDL Studio & Residence located in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. Built in the 1930s by Richard Neutra, it was considered radical for its time. He lived here with his family and also worked here as well.

I think the description on the web site explains the architecture well: “a “modern” two-story house: a markedly horizontal composition with a repetition of identical casement windows running from edge to edge of its box-like form; a simple volume defined by a skin like enclosure and capped by a thin flat roof plane; a façade without the distractions of color or ornament. This house was the embodiment of then current European avant-garde design scarcely known to the people of Los Angeles. Its architect was equally unknown. Yet in years hence his name became famous and his works associated with modern architecture in California. This house was Richard Neutra’s own, his third building in America and the house in which he was to live and work for nearly three decades.”

Following are a few photos from our trip there. It really is an amazing house and certainly worth visiting. For $10 you can get a tour of the house and are then free to wander around and take photos after.

Also, be sure to check out our FREE LETTERPRESS WEDDING INVITE GIVEAWAY!

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

The rooftop. In the background notice the gravel on the ground. This area was originally filled with a shallow layer of water, creating a moat like feature around the glass room.

Mirrors were used on a number of walls throughout the house. Here, you can see the moat filled with gravel. It wraps around the entire room. There are plans to renovate this feature and fill it with water again.

A low seating area.

The "modern" kitchen. It even has a dishwasher! It is interesting to note how much smaller the spaces in this house are compared to many of the houses today.

A detail from the kitchen.

The hallway leading to the bedrooms. Neutra and his wife each had a separate room. I really like the long horizontal lines in this space.

The open stairs to the roof top.

The back courtyard.

While we were there, actors were practicing a scene for a film that was set to be shot in the house. It was kind of strange, wandering around while this drama was going on!

They must have done this scene four or five times. The first time the actress threw herself to the floor, the actor was concerned and asked, "Are you ok?! Are you hurt?" Her reply..."Oh, its nothing, I used to do roller derby."

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Shopping at Dosa 818 in Los Angeles…and the perfect dress for a garden wedding.

Mexican paper art installation at Dosa.

Part art gallery, part store, Dosa 818 is located in downtown Los Angeles. Owned by designer Christina Kim, this stunning loft space houses her jewelry, textiles and home furnishings, as well as hand made items from other designers throughout the world. I spent the afternoon here and I strongly suggest that anyone else visiting LA do the same. It really is perfectly curated and the items are constantly changing. To see this space, an appointment must be made. You can call 213.489.5901 to set one up. There is also a store in NYC at 107 Thompson Street. I will absolutely be checking it out as soon as I get home.

Also, on a side note, I have to say, the natural light in this space is perfection. In fact, I would have to say that Los Angeles is like one giant light box with the most amazing lighting. We have to take photos of all of our letterpress cards and it is an absolute struggle. First, because I am a pretty poor photographer. Second, because the light in my apartment in Brooklyn just doesn’t seem to lend itself to good photos. In LA, I don’t know what it is, but the lighting in my photos looks lovely and I don’t even touch anything in photoshop. Why is this? Wish I had known, I would have brought all my cards to photo…oh well, just means I need to come back!

Also, don’t forget to check out our FREE LETTERPRESS WEDDING INVITE GIVEAWAY!

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

Fell in love with this dress. It would be perfect for a garden or beach wedding.

Clothes at Dosa.

Love these necklaces and bracelets by Christina Kim. So I just had to buy one for myself, you know, because I need a souvenir and this is so much better than a magnet!

A camouflage bag and belt with delicate beading. I liked the contrast of the rough camo fabric with the unexpected bead work.

A room showing some of Dosa's house wares. I could very happily furnish my apartment from here.

Gorgeous hand made cabinets from re-claimed wooden doors. I want these!

These pretty bracelets are made from scraps of fabric by a collective of women in India.

A wall hanging by Christina Kim. It is made of gauze and the shimmer is from small circles of mica. This was stunning, would give anything to have it on my wall!

A detail from the wall hanging.

Pieces from the Oaxacan artist, Francisco Toledo. Las plantas de los pies de Toledo are cut from mica using a pattern made by tracing his own feet. The delicate mica pieces were then hand sewn together.

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Filed under fashion, Furniture, Interior Design, Jewelry, Shopping, Travel

Gorgeous Art Deco Buildings in Los Angeles

The stunning entrance to the Eastern Columbia Building.

Walking around downtown Los Angeles, the amount of stunning Art Deco buildings is really quite amazing. It seems nearly every other building is a testament to the energy and optimism of the jazz age. What I also find particularly interesting is many of these buildings seem to be rather uninhabited. They are frayed, either abandoned or under utilized. However, strangely enough, this makes them even more interesting to me for a couple of reasons…

I live in New York City. Of course, there are a great many beautiful Art Deco buildings in Manhattan as well. However, for the most part, they are used, lived in and have pretty much always been since their construction. In Los Angeles, this downtown is a place of such potential, whereas Manhattan already seems so done, so developed. Here, there is so much possibility. At night it is rather desolate here, downtown. The streets are rather bare, save for the handful of people sleeping on them. However, there are signs of small cafes, independent book stores, restaurants and little galleries popping up. People are seeing the beauty of these buildings and slowly moving back into them and creating something new where there was once just a boarded up shell. It is great to see a downtown in such transition, especially one with such beautiful architecture.

Anyway, here are a few photos from my wanderings around the city. Don’t be surprised if some of these patterns pop up in our designs in the near future.

Also, be sure to check out our FREE LETTERPRESS WEDDING INVITE GIVEAWAY!

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrookyn.com

The clock tower on top of the Eastern Columbia Building. The blue terra cotta tiles are beautiful!

Love this tile pattern. Have no idea what building this is.

Another unknown deco building.

An Art Deco building located on Broadway.

There are a number of Art Deco movie palaces lining Broadway. Most of them have seen better days.

Another movie palace.

A building that is neo-gothic in style. I would imagine it was built around 1915 or so, or right before Art Deco. It is a great example of a lovely building that seems rather empty now but has so much potential.

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Scenes from LA – a Mexican Market and Quinceanera Dresses

Little dried silver fish at Grand Central Market in LA. What type of dish are they used in? I have to look that up...

During the day I am forced to entertain myself while my husband is at work. I’m not from LA, I’m here for a month and don’t know anyone. However, since I tend to be somewhat socially awkward, I really don’t mind exploring the city on my own. We decided to stay downtown, the thought being that I could take public transportation to other places, much the way we do in NYC…I quickly realized though that this is a city of cars and there is not much use of the subway system in LA. So, I mostly just walk.

Yesterday, it was beautiful out so I decided to stop by Grand Central Market. I was amazed by all of the fresh Mexican spices, fish, baked goods and sweets. Most of these items I have never seen before. I would love to know what the Charal Pequeno are used for, not that I am much of a cook (although I love food). My most recent attempt at rice, I forgot I was boiling it and burnt the bottom to a crisp. It was pretty embarrassing, I think even my dog was disgusted with me.

Near the market were many shops selling highly embellished Quinceanera Dresses. The area surrounding the dresses was rather industrial in look and feel, metal gates over the shops, unkept sidewalks, store fronts that had dulled with age. I couldn’t help but notice the contrast between these ornate, pristine and brightly colorful dresses as compared to their frayed surroundings.

So, following are a few photos from my visit.

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

Dried and seasoned shrimp. It was hard for me to resist buying these, even though I had no idea what to use them in!

All types of seasoned meats and chorizo.

I have never seen so many types of Mole before!

Different types of Mexican spices.

Mexican cakes. I had to buy some of these, they were amazing.

A lovely dress in pale pink.

Another dress in bold blue.

Bright pink!

I noticed a lengthy line for auditions for "America's Got Talent." I briefly toyed with the idea of standing in line and auditioning myself. However, the only thing I really excel at is procrastination...

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Filed under Dining, fashion, Food, Shopping, Travel

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House – aka the Blade Runner House

The Ennis House, large and imposing, set atop a hill in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

This weekend my husband and I also explored the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. I have to say, I absolutely loved this area. Set on the hills, the houses are all so lovely and quite charming, which made the Ennis House stand out even more. Most of the houses appeared to be built in the 1920s to the 1950s. As much as I love living in Brooklyn, I think I could be very happy in a place like this, too.

So, here are a few photos we took of the Ennis House. Some of you might recognize it as the house featured in the Sci Fi classic, Blade Runner. Seeing the house on a bright and sunny day really gave it a very different vibe than it was shown to have in the movie, where it was depicted as dark and cold. Quite a difference to see the house in real life.

The Ennis House as shown in Blade Runner, dark and dreary.

It was built in 1924 for retailer Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel, the Ennis House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by his son, architect Lloyd Wright. It is the last and largest of the elder Wright’s four Los Angeles-area “textile block” houses, which feature patterned and perforated concrete blocks that give a unique textural appearance to both their exteriors and interiors. The house spans 6,200 square feet and is constructed of more than 27,000 concrete blocks; all made by hand using decomposed granite extracted from the site.

Unfortunately, the house was not open for tours, although I believe it is during certain parts of the year. However, we still enjoyed walking around the area and taking some photos.

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

Another view of the house.

A view from in front of the house. A number of people were taking photos.

A beautiful and ornate gate. There was an amazing view of the city beyond.

A close up of one of the concrete blocks. Notice the block on right is cracked and it can be seen there is some damage to the blocks in the other photos. This is due to deferred maintenance, the 1994 Northridge earthquake and record rainfall in 2005.

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A memorial to Michael Jackson and Bubbles – an afternoon at LACMA

Michael Jackson and his companion, Bubbles the chimp. A dazzling memorial in gold! Ceramic by Jeff Koons.

On Saturday, my husband and I explored LA a little more. One of our stops was LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A great museum. Currently they have an exhibit, California Designs,  that is certainly worth checking out. Looking at all the mid-century design was inspirational and gave a small window into the ideas and concerns facing the people of that age. Of particular note to me was the board game on display, “Boom, or the Golden Age.”

Boom! or the Golden Age...Endorsed by Atomic Scientists!

At this point in time, the threat of nuclear war was certainly on the minds of people in the Unites States. I suppose what really got me was the fun and innocent way in which this whole concept was presented on a board game, with a Leave-It-To-Beaveresque young woman smiling on the cover.  To see the the very real fears of the era, juxtaposed with the glossy and prim varnish common of this time period, was perhaps one of the more eye-opening parts of this exhibit for me.

Following are a few more photos from our trip there.

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

St. John the Baptist by Jeff Koons.

Louis by Jeff Koons.

A rather uncomfortable looking bed by Robert Therrien.

This large race track (Metropolis II) reminds me of LA traffic, except it moves faster.

Another view of the race track.

It was huge and watching it was hypnotic.

A view of the city from the roof.

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The stunning photography of Candida Höfer…and an amazing option for those of us who can’t afford it.

A library in Lisbon by Candida Höfer.

Sometime back, my husband introduced me to the photography of Candida Höfer. Her work is absolutely amazing. She focuses on large-format photos of empty interiors and social spaces that capture the “psychology of social architecture.” Her photos are often taken from a front angle or sometimes a diagonal. Often, her empty and actionless rooms are shot from an elevated vantage point near one wall so that the far wall is centered within the image. From her earliest photos, she has focused on depicting public spaces such as museums, palaces, libraries, places of worship and theaters that are lacking any type of human presence.

While I am in love with her photos, I am unfortunately not so in love with the price. Short of winning the lotto, I am not sure how I am going to ever get one of these gems into my apartment. Not to mention, these photos are HUGE….to the point that I don’t even think I have a wall large enough for one. The cost for a 10×20 foot photo of hers can go for between $35,000 and $45,000.

But, don’t despair, I believe I have found a viable and much more affordable alternative, on Etsy, no less.  So below, I have a test. Three of  these images are from Candida Höfer and two are not. Two of the images below are from the Etsy artist, Mable Tan, and are a much more reasonable price of $215 and $90. See if you can guess which photos are which!

Biblioteca dei Girolamini Napoli

Palacio Nacional de Mafra

Trianon Palace, Chateau Versailles, Paris

Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, Paris

Palazzo Corsini, Firenze

Ok, so could you guess the three photos by Candida Höfer and which two photos were by fellow Etsy artist, Mable Tan? You couldn’t? Photo 3 (Trianon Palace, Chateau Versailles, Paris) and Photo 4 (Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, Paris) are by Mable Tan. I think both photos are lovely and capture a similar beauty and detail as Hofer’s photos. While Mable Tan’s Photos do not measure 20 feet, they are still a very good size of 16×20 inches for the Hall of Mirrors and 20×32 inches for the Trianon Palace photo.

You can check out Mable Tan’s Etsy shop here for all her amazing photos. If you have $35,000 burning a hole in your pocket…or you just want to see some absolutely stunning photography, you can check out Candida Höfer’s work over on Artnet, which is where all these photos from her can be found.

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

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