We were happy to have made it up to San Francisco this past week for Handful of Salt’s launch party celebrating the birth of their brand spankin’ new print magazine. At a time when so many publications are foregoing print issues for digital, we’re so happy to see someone proving that print is not dead. The perfectly square print edition is anything but square, featuring work by some of the world’s most interesting makers and creatives. We can’t wait to see the next issue and look forward to adding this to our coffee table collection!
Order your own copy here!
Every year since 2008, the LA Tourism and Convention Board has teamed together with LA restaurants and American Express to host dine LA Restaurant Week, a bi-annual celebration of LA eateries. For 12 straight days, over participating restaurants will be featuring special prix fixe menus for adventurous diners. It’s the perfect chance to check out a new restaurant that has been on your soon-to-hit-list, or be reunited with a tried and true classic that you haven’t enjoyed in a while. The winter installment of dine LA starts January 21st (today) and runs till February 1st.
Since we, at Secret Agent, pride ourselves on being quite devoted epicureans….(in other words, we eat….a lot), here is a selection of some of our top picks. We have a preference for the Eastside so most of our picks are east of La Brea.
Artisan House - local to our new office in DTLA, this elegant eatery boasts a market, fantastic coffee, and fresh and local produce transformed into delicious Californian fare.
Cliff’s Edge – we love a hidden restaurant and Cliff’s Edge has positively the best patio in town. Beyond the clandestine door awaits a newly renovated door and a revitalized menu by Chef Vartan Abgaryan.
UMAMIcatessen - Inspired by international street bazaars and the classic American delicatessen, UMAMIcatessen is a table-service dining hall inside the Orpheum. Informal, international, and insanely good.
Mo-Chica – it doesn’t get mo-delicious than Mo-Chica. Chef Ricardo Zarate, Food and Wine’s Best New Chef, offers up his own modern interpretation of classic Peruvian dishes. It doesn’t hurt that the compact space pops with color and verve to match the cuisine.
Lukshon - our *one* west side pick is Lukshon. This gorgeously appointed Culver City restaurant won an AIA Los Angeles Restaurant Design Award a few years ago. Minimal, sophisticated, and ridiculously tasty. You cannot go wrong with crab fritters.
For more information, follow dineLA on:
One part avant-garde sculpture, and other part functional light fixture – there’s nothing we love more than practical, modern design, and the Stickbulb by NYC-based RUX is all that and more. Hot off the heels of its debut at this year’s ICFF, Stickbulb will be launching a new collection of LED lighting elements, along with its first custom light installation at Luminaire Design Lab in Miami from December 5-9, 2012.
With its K’Nex-like versatility and minimalist profile, Stickbulbs can be assembled with other parts or stand on its own to accomodate a wide range of spaces and styles. LED bulbs are tucked into metal or sustainably sourced wooden beams in lengths ranging from 1 to 6 feet long, and are made locally using resources found right in New York. Keep a piece of the city in your home, with Stickbulbs made from sun-bleached ipe salvaged from Coney Island’s boardwalk and reclaimed southern yellow pine from demolished buildings.
The launch collection includes a range of tabletop and floor designs ranging from $285-$2850 retail, and is now available for purchase at www.stickbulb.com.
It’s official: tickets for this weekend’s San Diego Home Tours and Meet the Architects are SOLD OUT. Don’t worry design fans, all hope is not lost – you can still enjoy a design-filled weekend by signing up for the Home Tour wait list (for Saturday or Sunday), or RSVP to the Dwell Design & Drive, presented by Lincoln.
On November 10 and 11, come test drive a brand-new Lincoln vehicle and help build a more sustainable future using the power of design (for every driver, Lincoln will donate $25 to Dwell’s non-profit partner, Architecture for Humanity). Mingle with the great minds behind the Dwell Home Tour’s featured designs, enjoy chef-prepared bites, and enjoy exclusive access to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) La Jolla’s new Fall Exhibition Behold, America! and the NewSchool of Architecture + Design.
Each test drive will last about 7-10 minutes, and is free and open to the public. Spaces are running out fast, so be sure to reserve your spot online!
Turkey, pumpkin pie, family, and…modern architecture. There’s even more to be thankful for this month! The design indulgence kicked off last weekend with Dwell’s popular Home Tours in Silicon Valley, and continues this weekend in San Diego. From Los Altos to Hillsborough, and Encinitas to La Mesa, fans of modern architecture in Southern So Cal will be treated to an exclusive look at the best in modernist living today with the first-ever Dwell San Diego Home Tours. This is probably the only special treat that you can enjoy this month that won’t affect your waistline. Go forth and enjoy!
With the work of architecture pioneers Richard Neutra and Joseph Eichler featured in the Silicon Valley home tour lineup, it was no surprise that tickets quickly sold out for this sought-after event. But fear not – tickets are still available (though selling fast!) for the Dwell San Diego Home Tours, Nov. 10-11. Dramatic oceanside vistas and sustainable, innovative architecture will be on display among the ten featured modern homes.
Modernist buffs can get a taste of the tours while helping to raise money for Architecture for Humanity by test-driving a NEW Lincoln vehicle at the San Diego Dwell Design & Drive (Nov. 10-11; RSVP for the free event here). Meet architects and designers from homes on the tour; sample fine, chef-prepared cuisine; view Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) La Jolla’s new exhibition Behold, America!; browse student work at the NewSchool of Architecture + Design; and mingle with fellow design lovers, all for a great cause.
Visit the official Dwell Home Tours website for more information.
The #ModernismProject is a mobile initiative encouraging the Palm Springs Modernism Week community to get involved and capture modernism in their everyday lives through their photo lens. We’re proud to say that we’re the sneaky chicks behind this covert operation, and we’d love for you to get involved. You could stand a chance to win tickets to Palm Springs Modernism Week, February 14-24, 2013, or if you’re not able to make it, an equivalent prize.
Starting in October through January, participants will have the opportunity, twice a month, to participate in this mobile photo challenge simply by snapping a photo on their smart phone and exploring their own personal perspective on modernism. Then follow Modernism Week on Instagram by searching for username Modernism_Week, upload the photo to your Intagram account, and hashtag your submission with #ModernismProject, so we can keep track of your submission. Hop on over to the Modernism Project page on the Palm Springs Modernism Week blog for more info on how to play.
For each contest, there will be an overarching theme, but we’re not at liberty to say what they are – just yet. We have an all-star cast of judges lined up to review each themed submission, so make your photos snazzy! For the October 11th contest, we have the talented team over at Archilovers, and for the October 25th contest, the design driven ladies at Design Milk.
As part of our work creating a robust blog for Palm Springs Modernism Week, we came across an amazing artist who kind of blew our minds. Danny Heller is a Silver Lake-based painter who, quite simply, paints houses. But not just any houses. As this great KCET Artbound piece highlights, Heller has a unique perspective. His light-filled photorealistic paintings capture the beauty of signature Southern California mid-century architecture, and add something just a bit indescribable. He’s part of a new generation of modernists who look back with nostalgia but also interpret the concepts of modernism with a look towards the future. His paintings make us want to run out and buy a vespa…or a Wexler. In short, we love. And if you love too, be sure to VOTE HERE to help transform this KCET Artbound story into a short documentary. You only have till this Sunday to vote! Also, don’t forget to like Artbound on Facebook.
With many people in pre-dawn lines waiting to pick up their brand spankin’ new iPhone 5s or glued to their windows waiting to catch a glimpse of Endeavor as it flew over LA, the crowds for Parking Day LA 2012 were not huge this morning. Nonetheless, LA designers did not disappoint as there were still a few great pop-up green spaces spread across town from Culver City to Downtown. We were lucky enough to be involved with two parklets this year, so here are a few of our favorite shots.
de LaB continued its tradition of hosting a parklet in front of popular Silver Lake eatery LOCAL. This year the provocative pop-up park was designed by the Art Center grads at The Rare Studio. Soft Publics was an edible, “sittable” pop-up green museum disguised as a construction site.
Culver City-based landscape architecture firm AHBE also built their perennial parklet near Helms Bakery in Culver City in front of everyone’s favorite purveyor of sweet tasty treats, Coolhaus. “Parkside Confessions” gave passersby an opportunity to share their thoughts on urban green space, making the journey from teepee to tree of life.
The LA Times ran a great preview yesterday with a rundown of parklets across town and there will probably be more coverage of the best of Parking Day LA later today or this weekend. Also, stay tuned for more info about the three permanent parklets that will be announced later this fall as part of a City of LA pilot program that hopes to set the rules and in turn encourage more permanent parklets throughout the city.
As is tradition, we shut down Secret Agent PR HQ for the month of August and took some much-needed time to catch up with life. Here’s a quick recap of our adventures and what inspired us on our travels this year.
Agent C spent some time exploring closer to home in the OC before heading back to Paraguay to catch up with some of her old students. No photos of Paraguay since she had to travel without any steal-able devices, unfortunately. As a last hooray, she also made a jaunt northward to Portland where she was inspired by the robust architecture, design, and fashion scene. She also became addicted to Stumptown coffee. She’s currently in rehab.
Agent J headed home to the Mother Land and the beautiful isle of Cephalonia to outfit her family’s newly completed home Villa Ersi. Between assembling furniture and filling up the new pool, she spent her time beach hopping and acquiring a ridiculously golden Mediterranean tan. She also managed to squeeze in a trip to the famed Athens Monastriki Flea Market. From antique books to rotary phones, there is nothing that you can’t find here if you’re willing to endure bustling crowds, sweltering heat, and soaring prices.
I headed to the Great White North to explore Quebec. Most of my time was spent eating but my one design discovery was the amazing Solair chair. I had no idea that these babies were designed in the 70′s by two Canadians from Montreal. Knock offs were on corners and front porches throughout Quebec City. I was happy to find them sold at OK in Silver Lake. Once they passed the most important test (snooze test by Cael), we scored a couple for our newly renovated front garden.
For more photos, check out our gallery. And that is the story of our summer.
Ah, the popsicle. The quintessential summer treat. Cold, sweet, refreshing…what could be better? Uh…designing your very own colorful edible work of art and then flash freezing it so you don’t have to wait. Fantastic idea, Zoku! The Quick Pop Maker is this New Jersey-based company’s first major product, but we can’t wait to see what they make next. We see a popsicle party in our near future…
The Quick Pop Maker is one part fun science experiment and one part well-designed kitchen tool, flash freezing liquids to make popsicles in minutes. (It’s not recommended to put alcohol in the Zoku for obvious reasons…we checked!)
Obsessed as we are? Check this out.
You can get molds to customize your pops too. (Seriously, just look at them. We’re sold.)
And if ridiculously cute is not your thing, you can always try these healthy versions.