Sunday, July 30, 2006


Yesterday the child and I wandered some more. I wanted to take some pictures of the industrial warehouses that are cropping up in Sumner in the strip of land between West Valley Highway and West Valley Freeway. So we did. I initially became intrigued with this area after reading the previously mentioned article "Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A." by Jenny Price. These industrial areas are surrounded by acre upon acre of wetland habitat, much of it also encompassing retaining ponds and bioswales. It is a wonderful place to view birds that favor wetlands and marsh habitat, especially red-winged blackbirds.

I am also intrigued by the new color schemes that seem to be prevalent in new warehouse and multi-family housing construction. There seems to be a color palette of earth tones that features mustard yellow, brick red, rust orange, tan, cocoa, gray, slate blue, and sage green. Some condominiums, such as those pictured above, incorporate the same colors, although of a richer intensity. They really are pleasing to me. The housing and warehouses feel like artificial streets of rowhouses, with pieces of buildings made to look as though they are separate structures.

Crash directed by Paul Haggis
A disappointment for me. Yes, it did win the 2005 Oscar for Best Film. Nonetheless, although some of the scenes worked, the movie felt overly contrived to me. It tried too hard to show that we are all racists, but I felt that it actually reinforced stereotypes and forced conclusions upon me as a viewer. I felt that its portrayals were cartoonish, with little substance to the characters. A movie that tackled some of the same issues much better was 1989's Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee. The characters in it were caricatures, but their exaggerations and embellishments left room for character development, which ultimately gave their characters some depth. It made me care for them.

So, in review: cartoons in Crash-NO; caricatures in Do the Right Thing-YES.

Guinness Draught by St. James Gate Brewery
One of my favorite beers. It was the complement to a thick steak grilled in Montreal Steak Rub. Heaven!

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