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Hola, how was your weekend?

Ours was all about traveling and settling back into our flat; man does it feel good to be home!!! One of the things that I love about London is that the architectural details are so different from everything that I grew up with in LA. When we moved here I became obsessed with noting the tiny details of building facades and period characteristics of the 1600's onwards.

Los Angeles is obviously much newer so going back for a visit after being away for a while proved to be super inspiring. Everything from the Mexican and Spanish Colonial details around El Pueblo/Olvera Street, the Art Deco facades in Old Pasadena, to the simple retro lines of the beach communities ... they all hint to the diversity of design in the City of Angels. I admire and respect the ornate and elaborate styles of traditional European design but when push comes to shove, simplicity and basic geometry always captures my heart. It wasn't until this trip that I realized how much my hometown had influenced my personal design tendencies. I guess sometimes you really don't know what you've got until it's gone...or at least leave it then go back :)

A day at the races

Two dollars on a long shot. That was the extent of my gambling this past Saturday at Santa Anita Park. The last time I was there I bet two dollars on a trifecta and won $252 - was really hoping for a repeat but no such luck. Instead, I put those dollars to good use on several beers.

It's amazing what getting older will do to you. When I was in middle school I spent many Saturdays hanging out on the lawn watching semi-known bands play while paying little attention to the races and our general surroundings. We thought we were so cool skipping around in the mosh pits and drinking our ice-cold sodas. We were too young to even care about the beer gardens right next to us.

This time around - with beer in hand - I couldn't help but look up and admire the art deco beauty that is the oldest racetrack in Southern California. On this perfectly clear and sunny day the lines and the colors of the park seamed to mirror the angles and hues of the San Gabriel Mountains that sit directly across from it. It was love at 20th sight and a testament that some things do get better with age.

An interesting fact that Wikipedia or the park's page won't tell you is that Santa Anita was the site of the largest Assembly Center for the Japanese-American internment in World War II. My 11th grade social studies teacher was held there as a little boy with his family. It's a truly sad part of the park's history but that's a whole other blog post. Just felt it important to note.

Art Deco Heaven

The Pantages Theatre in Hollywood is an absolute dream. I tried taking photos of the inside of the theatre but they didn't come out very well (the ones above are from the powder room and foyer). By the time we were seated, I was so mesmerized by the decor that I didn't want the lights to go down. Simply beautiful.

ps. who would kill for a vanity room with mirrors like that?!?