Archives for category: Design
Long Beach Skyline

I’m in Long Beach, California, but did I really leave Australia? Even though I see people driving on the right side of the road and hear American accents, it doesn’t feel much different! Palm trees line the streets, glistening new buildings dot the skyline, and beachwear is the order of the day.

Actually, Long Beach is my home town, but this Long Beach is different from the one I remember from the late 1970’s. Over the last 30 years, the city has transformed itself. The decaying downtown of my childhood has given way to fancy restaurants and trendy cafes. Entire sections of the city have been torn down and completely replaced by sleek modern architecture and landscaping (which I suspect is the reason it reminds me of Australia). Long Beach is no longer the sleepy and depressed place that I left.

Riding around town, I’m struck by its cultural vibrancy. Buildings once dedicated to manufacturing are now art galleries, music venues, and live performance stages. Like Paris and Berlin, Long Beach has even elevated the simple bicycle post into art. 

Coffee Cup in Front of a Cafe

Ice Cream Cone
for an Ice Cream Shop

Palm Tree Bicycle Posts
add Style to Hair Salon

Dine at a Diner
with Bicycle Post
A Guitar
for a Music Store
A Surf Board: SoCal
Beach Culture
A Bicyclist
Highlights the Many Bike Lanes
in Long Beach
Stretching
in Front of a Fitness Studio
A Dog Treat
Welcomes Dogs to a Wash Salon

Vegetables in
Front of a Vegan Restaurant
Dragonfly Compliments
an Asian Restaurant

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Entrance to the Melbourne Museum
Showing the Six Bond Men

Currently, at the Melbourne Museum is Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style. It traces the importance of fashion and design in the 23 official Bond movies. From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, the Bond movie franchise has been going strong for 50 years. James Bond has meant many things to many people, and the Bond movies have influenced everything from the cut of men’s suits to sport cars. On display are dozens of original costumes, props, set designs, movie clips, and Bond paraphernalia.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the exhibition. It’s hard to imagine, but the curators managed to make James Bond boring. This exhibition should have been called “Blah, James Blah,” and, at 24 Australian Dollars, it was overpriced.

Jill Masterson as the Golden Girl
in Goldfinger

One highlight of the exhibition was a life sized replica of Jill Masterson, the actress in Goldfinger who was painted gold. Also, the exhibition did convey the impact of the Bond films on the world of fashion and even technology. Yet, it neglected to address some fairly obvious social issues, such as the sexist nature of the films themselves.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but the exhibition left me cold. Perhaps, I was hoping for the thrill and action of a real Bond film. 

Entrance to the Melbourne Museum
Showing the Six Bond Men

Currently, at the Melbourne Museum is Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style. It traces the importance of fashion and design in the 23 official Bond movies. From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, the Bond movie franchise has been going strong for 50 years. James Bond has meant many things to many people, and the Bond movies have influenced everything from the cut of men’s suits to sport cars. On display are dozens of original costumes, props, set designs, movie clips, and Bond paraphernalia.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the exhibition. It’s hard to imagine, but the curators managed to make James Bond boring. This exhibition should have been called “Blah, James Blah,” and, at 24 Australian Dollars, it was overpriced.

Jill Masterson as the Golden Girl
in Goldfinger

One highlight of the exhibition was a life sized replica of Jill Masterson, the actress in Goldfinger who was painted gold. Also, the exhibition did convey the impact of the Bond films on the world of fashion and even technology. Yet, it neglected to address some fairly obvious social issues, such as the sexist nature of the films themselves.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but the exhibition left me cold. Perhaps, I was hoping for the thrill and action of a real Bond film. 

Illuminated Boats Floating
at Potsdamer Platz

This October I’m enjoying New England’s magnificent fall color. However, I’m also missing Berlin’s Festival of Lights, which runs from October 9 – 20th. This annual event is one of the largest illumination festivals in the world and transforms some of Berlin’s most famous landmarks into lighting works of art. I love riding my bike through the streets and taking in the festive atmosphere and wondrous installations. It’s definitely a Berlin experience. 

I’m always amazed how different an actor looks in person as compared to his or her on-screen persona. In film, make-up and lighting can transform a frog into a prince and make an old geezer young. I once saw a famous TV actor (his name shall remain my secret) at the gym and nearly didn’t recognize him. He looked decades older, had deep set wrinkles, a bad complexion, and was nearly bald. Yet, on TV, he was rather handsome.

We don’t think much about lighting when watching a TV show or movie, but it’s key to good film making, and it’s essential to the success of an actor or actress.  

Imero Fiorentino, a master lighting designer, died recently. Here’s an interview from 2006 where he discusses the field of lighting design and its impact on film. It’s worth watching. 
I’m always amazed how different an actor looks in person as compared to his or her on-screen persona. In film, make-up and lighting can transform a frog into a prince and make an old geezer young. I once saw a famous TV actor (his name shall remain my secret) at the gym and nearly didn’t recognize him. He looked decades older, had deep set wrinkles, a bad complexion, and was nearly bald. Yet, on TV, he was rather handsome.

We don’t think much about lighting when watching a TV show or movie, but it’s key to good film making, and it’s essential to the success of an actor or actress.  

Imero Fiorentino, a master lighting designer, died recently. Here’s an interview from 2006 where he discusses the field of lighting design and its impact on film. It’s worth watching. 
My House: Vivid Colors, 
Overabundant Mums and Impatiens,
a Fall Wreath, and a Big Pumpkin.

What does this say about Me?

Autumn in Portland is wonderful, and besides fall foliage, nothing announces the change of the seasons more than the way people decorate their front door, entryway, or porch.

People in the Maine are anxious to celebrate the transition from summer to autumn by decorating the outside of their houses with the familiar images of the season: fall wreaths; pumpkins; gourds; mums; and Halloween props. For me, the fall is an opportunity to add a little punch to the entryway, and it also helps chase away the autumn blues that accompany the shorter days. 

How we chose to decorate our entryways reflects our personalities and how we want the world to see us.  Show me your entryway and I can tell you what you are.  

Here are some houses I found in the West End. What do these homes tell you about the occupants?

Sparse Symmetry
and a bit Cold
A Row of Orderly
and Size Appropriate Pumpkins
all Neatly Arranged


An Understated Design with Mums and Pumpkins:
Neatly arranged and color coordinated

Dramatic Halloween Window Display, Pumpkins,
Mums, Gourds, and Fall Plants.

Unconventional, Quirky, and Warm


A Study in Orange:
Stylish, Subdued
and Careful 
Carefully Thought Design:
Scarecrow, Barrel, Pumpkin,
and Horn-of-Plenty Wreath.

Symmetrical, Sentimental, 
 Subdued, and Conventional 



Stark, Cold, and Lonely
Classic American: A
Flag, Mums, and Pumpkins.

Sentimental, Conventional,
Conservative
Whimsical, Generous, Humorous, and Quirky 

Clever Design using Grasses,
Mums and a Pumpkin. A Modest

Entryway that belies a Creative Occupant?

Orderly Pumpkins
that have become
Disorderly



Boo!
Full of Fun
Don’t Forget Me

My House: Vivid Colors, 
Overabundant Mums and Impatiens,
a Fall Wreath, and a Big Pumpkin.

What does this say about Me?

Autumn in Portland is wonderful, and besides fall foliage, nothing announces the change of the seasons more than the way people decorate their front door, entryway, or porch.

People in the Maine are anxious to celebrate the transition from summer to autumn by decorating the outside of their houses with the familiar images of the season: fall wreaths; pumpkins; gourds; mums; and Halloween props. For me, the fall is an opportunity to add a little punch to the entryway, and it also helps chase away the autumn blues that accompany the shorter days. 

How we chose to decorate our entryways reflects our personalities and how we want the world to see us.  Show me your entryway and I can tell you what you are.  

Here are some houses I found in the West End. What do these homes tell you about the occupants?

Sparse Symmetry
and a bit Cold
A Row of Orderly
and Size Appropriate Pumpkins
all Neatly Arranged


An Understated Design with Mums and Pumpkins:
Neatly arranged and color coordinated

Dramatic Halloween Window Display, Pumpkins,
Mums, Gourds, and Fall Plants.

Unconventional, Quirky, and Warm


A Study in Orange:
Stylish, Subdued
and Careful 
Carefully Thought Design:
Scarecrow, Barrel, Pumpkin,
and Horn-of-Plenty Wreath.

Symmetrical, Sentimental, 
 Subdued, and Conventional 



Stark, Cold, and Lonely
Classic American: A
Flag, Mums, and Pumpkins.

Sentimental, Conventional,
Conservative
Whimsical, Generous, Humorous, and Quirky 

Clever Design using Grasses,
Mums and a Pumpkin. A Modest

Entryway that belies a Creative Occupant?

Orderly Pumpkins
that have become
Disorderly



Boo!
Full of Fun
Don’t Forget Me

I’m a big fan of Bill Cunningham. The legendary New York City street photographer has been capturing the glitterati for his famous New York Times spreads for more than 30 years. With his trademark blue smock and utilitarian bicycle, Bill pedals around New York City observing and photographing fashion trends. (Not bad for a 80+ year old.) His keen observations about style have influenced the world of fashion and made this sphere of the elite more accessible.

Bill’s recent column demonstrates why Paris is still the fashion capital. In Paris, fashion is not a distinct art form but connected to the world of art, architecture, and everyday living. The 2011 documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” is definitely worth a view. Bill reminds us that fashion is key to the human condition.