Parking Day LA 2012

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.

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Spotted: Hotel Endemico in Baja, CA

Hotel Endemico, Grupo Habita, Luis Garcia, Garcia Studio

Six years ago when Brian and I headed to Guadalupe Canyon for our camping honeymoon, we had to drive across a giant (and extremely bumpy) salt flat and boulder-crawl up the side of a mountain to get to a bunch of palapas and hot springs.  It was awesome – don’t get me wrong – but a stay at the new Hotel Endemico might have been a bit more comfortable.

I just caught sight of this amazing little piece of heaven on Archilovers (which is like the new Architizer?  Either way, we love them both!) and followed the link love to Inhabitat and Condenast Traveller to find out more.  Designed by Tijuana architect Jorge Gracia, the Endemico offers 20 minimalist structures set on a 40-acre winery overlooking the valley below.  Each luxurious 20-sq ft room features a bathroom, a terrace, a clay firepit and views of the valley.

There’s  apparently a food and wine explosion happening in Baja and Grupo Habita is only the latest to stake a claim in the Guadalupe Valley.  If you believe Johnny Jet, crime stats are down in the area so there’s no reason not to check this place out.  Even though the days of spring break are long gone for us, I wouldn’t mind skipping across the border for a bit of R&R (&vino)…

Photos by Luis Garcia

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Gifts Spotted 2011: Our Secret Agent Picks for Best Gifts Spotted By the Best Gift Guides Out There


We’re usually in the business of pitching our favorite blogs to be included in their spectacular holiday gift guides, but this year we wanted to find a way to thank the host of editors out there who take the time each year to compile such great ideas. For 24 festive days, we’ll be posting our picks of the day, spotted in one of our favorite holiday guides.

Follow us on Twitter to check out our picks at @secretagentpr #giftspotted!

Whether you spot the perfect gift waiting under the tree or not, the most important mission this month is to spend a happy and healthy holiday season with friends and family. Happy holidays from Secret Agent PR!

Joyeuses Fêtes
Καλες Γιορτες
メリークリスマス
메리 크리스마스


Been: The Dunnage Show at Inheritance

One man’s trash was another man’s treasure at Thursday’s opening reception of The Dunnage Show, held at the delightfully offbeat, exquisitely curated gift and design shop Inheritance. Instead of letting 12 tons of dunnage go to waste, members of the LA Box Collective breathed new life into these discarded pieces of old wood by transforming them into unique furniture and accessories.

Featured works included the “Cloud Pony” bench by Andrew Riiska, stools by Casey Dzierlenga, a Shinto bench by Samuel Moyer, a children’s eating table and chairs by Cliff Spencer, a woven screen by David Johnson, and new work by William Stranger and Robert Apodaca. Check out this and other gorgeous woodwork at Inheritance, on display now through January 2012.

Inheritance
www.inheritanceshop.com
8055 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Photos by Christine Kim/Secret Agent PR


“Water Writes” Mural Unveiling in LA

Photo credit: Christine Kim

With all this rain and strange weather, the Estria Foundation isn’t just raising awareness about water issues these days – they’re experiencing it.  Thankfully, the skies stayed dry long enough for the Foundation’s public Water Writes mural unveiling in downtown Los Angeles this weekend.

For two weeks, a team of graffiti artists worked tirelessly (up until 1AM on the morning of the unveiling!) to produce a vivid work of art that will be permanently displayed on the walls of KIPP LA Prep. A collage of images – including a bespectacled octopus, a native Alaskan-inspired whale, and plastic bags floating like jellyfish – make up “Cuidela,” the first completed Water Writes mural.

The literal Spanish translation of “Cuidela” means “take care of it” – a call for people to address water rights issues within their respective communities, and to care for this precious resource that is shared by all.

Big thanks to KIPP LA Prep, DJ Spinorita, DJ Moni, Don Chow Tacos, The Boba Truck, Tapa Boy LALADWP, and Pablo Serrano for the great music, delicious food, and awesome support!

For more photos from  Saturday, check out Estria’s gallery on Flickr!


The Estria Foundation’s “Water Writes” Paint Party in Oakland



Sunny skies, old-school jams, and buckets of technicolor paint.  Throw in some veteran graffiti artists, a blingin’ boombox, and free food to the mix (can’t go wrong with a dozen boxes of pizza), and you’ve got yourself a pretty awesome Saturday afternoon!

Two of our very own Secret Agents were in Oakland over the weekend to help kick off the Estria Foundation’s “Water Writes” campaign.  Over a hundred Bay area locals came out for the public paint party, and did a great job of leaving their marks – literally – on the wall (and in some cases, on each other).

The Oakland mural is just one of a series of public projects that the Estria Foundation will be completing over the course of ten months, in countries all across the globe.  Each artwork will depict water rights issues in various communities, in an effort to raise awareness of the growing water and sanitation crisis around the world.

Coming up next for the Estria Foundation is the unveiling of their first completed “Water Writes” mural at KIPP LA this Saturday, March 19.  Can’t wait to see what the final product looks like!


Proto Homes Preview + Party

Despite the post-apocalyptic deluge this past weekend, Proto Homes hosted a pretty great preview and party at the Sunlight Residence, the company’s first completed project located in Baldwin Hills. Only the stalwart made it out to the party, but those who braved the rain were rewarded with amazing nosh, personalized tours with extremely well-trained and ridiculously informative docents, and some pretty great late night techno.

There was some early buzz leading up to the party, but we expect there to be more talk about this interesting concept in the weeks to come.  [Hint: check out the Los Angeles Times next week!]

What was our favorite part of the evening (besides the deliciously irresistible mashed potato bar…)?  Chatting outside with one of the neighbors who was a veritable font of information.  Best factoid of the evening: Bubba Smith is one of Proto Homes’ neighbors.  And if you ever wondered what happened to Mrs. Parker?  She lives down the street too.

Big thanks to Carla Choy for snapping some amazing photos!