Workplace Fail: HanaHaus

HanaHaus is not for the rest of us. It is aimed at a certain demographic, and everyone else be damned.

I had an afternoon of down time between meetings in SF and Cupertino. Needed a place to hunker down and work for 4 hours. Made a reservation at HanaHaus on recommendation of a friend on the Stanford faculty.

The WiFi was miserable, the environment was so loud I could not hear on a conference call, and I had to move my car every 90 minutes because HanaHaus is conveniently located in a district with maximum 2 hour parking.

So I guess I’m not their demographic.

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California Showpalaces: Carthay Circle

Source: Cathay_Circle_Theater.jpg (648×518)

The Fox Carthay Circle Theater, one of the great movie houses in the home of the film business.  The photo shows the theater at the premiere of The Life of Emile Zola in 1937.

Architect Dwight Gibbs created the Spanish Colonial Revival building, which housed a round theater within the building’s square frame, for developer J. Harvey McCarthy. Completed in 1926, the theater became the anchor for the Carthay district, bordered by Wilshire, Fairfax, San Vicente, and Pico.

Sadly, the great lady of the Mid-Wilshire district is no more, demolished in 1969 to make way fro two low-rise office buildings and a park.

Picking up Jean Stein’s “West of Eden”

Jean Stein’s West of Eden is an oral history about Los Angeles, shaped from interviews collected over a period of thirty years.

Source: Very Big in LA by Diane Johnson | The New York Review of Books

Johnson is not particularly kind to Jean Stein in this review, but an Angeleno would almost certainly see the value in Stein’s new West of Eden: An American Place. 

Note: When I’m not a fan (updated)

For the record, when I say in this forum that “I am not a fan” of an artist, that does not always mean to cast aspersions on the skill or talent of that artist.

Case in point: I am not a fan of the Rolling Stones, and with all respect to Jagger & Co., you couldn’t pay me enough to sit through one of their concerts. I recognize that they are talented. I acknowledge they had an impact on a generation of music. Unfortunately, neither they nor their music ever connected with me.

(My elder sister, twelve years my senior, believes this to be a generational issue. She’s wrong: if my age was the cause of my Stones issue, how to explain my love of The Who, Frank Sinatra, and Benny Goodman?)

Talent does not mean connection. We too often interpret in others a failure to appreciate the work of an artist we like as an aesthetic failing, a fundamental flaw in their world view that prevents them from really seeing the work.

But if I have learned one thing at this early stage of my swim in a deepening sea of art and literature, it is the truism that no creation is objective. We bring our experiences, our fears, our subjective values to a work. And that is where the magic takes place. Art is not what happens on a page. Art is what happens when creation and perception collide.

Designing California: Paul Williams

Source: PAUL_R._WILLIAMSC_A.I.A._-_NOTED_ARCHITECT_-_NARA_-_53569_Straightened.jpg (2848×2848)

A true California original, first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects. The number of his buildings that still stand remain the best testament to his greatness.

I grew up in one of the homes he designed, and as a result his aesthetic was a major influence on my own.