Julius Shulman     Case Study House #22 (Pierre Koenig, Architect), Los Angeles     1960

In 1960, the architectural photographer Julius Shulman took a picture of a glass house perched high in the Hollywood Hills that will always be, for me, one of those singular images that sums up an entire city at a moment in time. The house is sleek and white, and its glass walls are cantilevered out over the hills; two elegantly dressed women lounge inside as the lights of the vast sprawl of the Los Angeles basin twinkle below. Modernity and elegance, privacy and openness - things that so rarely went together in the older cities of the East Coast - here become one, bound together in a way that epitomizes the seductive power of Los Angeles in the first years of its heady postwar growth. Here was the modern world, fresher and newer than in the East, possessed of a visual drama that the cities of the East Coast could only dream of, and yet with all of their luxury and style.

–Paul Goldberger, 1989

I don’t care what anyone else says–writing fanfiction is goddamned educational. 

Because of Cartinelli:  researched how to make a transatlantic long-distance call in 1948, researched WWII and Post-war science enclaves, researched shipping practices and railroad practices (both civilian and military) and multiple changing national and international governments, government agencies, and intelligence practices.  I know what rents were common in Manhattan during the late 1940s, what the population demographics were for different neighborhoods, and more about the harbor of Baltimore than I ever wanted or needed to know. 

Because of Supercat:  I now know how the Los Angeles basin was formed, from the marine embayment period of the Middle Miocene epoch through the accelerated subsidence and deposition of the Early Pleistocene epoch.  I know about the Newport-Inglewood fault, what kind of fault it is (strike-slip), and how it works.  I know what I could expect to see 600 feet below ground in that area and the mean temperature of non-ventilated earthen tunnels at certain depths.

Do not ever tell me that what I am doing is “not real writing.”


“Is about the colour of any given night in the Los Angeles basin. What’s going on in the streets- from a crime in a parking garage to a sexy little girl named Annie singing songs to some guy she’s got a crush on.  It’s an atmospheric lyric. Just painting a picture rather than the whole plot.  The feeling that inspired the chorus melody is one of waiting, hoping and wanting to make a connection. Just that feeling of, Is this gonna be the night?” — Anthony Kiedis 

Watch on the-earth-story.com

Interstate 10 in California heads through the San Gorgonio pass, a gap through the San Bernardino Mountains that connects the high desert above the Los Angeles Basin. There are 2700 meter+ peaks on either side of the pass, so all traffic and any wind movement between the desert and the basin is funneled through the gap. That setup means consistent, regular, strong winds, and starting in the 1980s this area was developed as one of the large wind farms in California.

L.A. to S.F. in under 3 hours — without flying. It’s happening. 

California is about to get the nation’s first bullet train.

KPCC reports that Tuesday marked the official start of work on a high-speed rail line that will zip passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco at a stomach-churning 200 mph. For an estimated cost of $68 billion, the new train is expected to cut travel time between the two cities to less than three hours from the six or more it takes now.

According to KPCC, the first phase of the project includes a 28-mile stretch of track from Fresno to Madera Additional phases planned would complete the 520-mile stretch between San Francisco and the Los Angeles Basin by 2029.