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Author: beigesedan

Henrietta

Every Day is Easter

The isolation brought on by this pandemic has heightened my relationship with my feathered and furry friends. From a hilarious hen, to Lars the lover (a dog the size of a small pony), to a remarkably ancient cat named Puma. Life, here, during quarantine is not really boring.

Henrietta, our resident hen, is friendly to the point of making people uncomfortable. She’s like that guy in a bar that stands way to close to you and at other times, like the toddler that follows you around, waiting for a carrot . In the past (and it seems oh so long ago) when I had guests doing cocktails or dinner in the garden, she would initially circle the group and then insist on being at equal level and try and jump on the table and cock her head back and forth. This gets 1 of 2 responses: 1. Horror or, 2. She ends up on Instagram in all her glory.

Henrietta’s eggs are not always where they are supposed to be. Seeking them out, with basket in hand, makes me think of the sentimentality of Easter and the ritual of looking for eggs during different parts if my life. These days, searching for eggs is a regular part of my daily chores. During this pandemic, finding an egg is uniquely like coming upon a little lump of hope during strained times. When I was a child, searching for eggs (as the youngest of three girls) was a competitive sport and kind of stressful, one which often left me with a pittance of what my sister’s had.

The LA River: Dreaming of the Future

Cypress Park is the gateway to the North from downtown Los Angeles. Located where the 110 Parkway meets the 5 Freeway, it acts as the perfect access point to the burgeoning neighborhoods of Highland Park, Glassell Park, Frogtown/Elysian Heights, and Lincoln Heights. Bookended by aqueducts and currently experiencing a massive restoration of the LA river ecosystem, this community has an emerging cultural scene. Galleries are popping up (Bermudez Projects, Curve Line Space, Digital Debris Video, Frame Monster) and cool bars are already here (Footsies and Permanent Records Roadhouse), artists are moving in, Atwater’s, Proof Bakery is renovating a large building on Cypress Avenue to introduce this incredible bakery to the neighborhood, and rumor has it that Hauser & Wirth will be renovating the Southwest Museum into a boutique hotel and art destination up the street. The Taylor Yard River Project (seen as the heart of the entire LA River revitalization project) will be adding a substantial amount of park area to the community, from riverfront marshes, parks, pathways, to river viewing platforms. In addition, a new pedestrian/bike bridge is under construction (with added river front access) crossing the river to connect pedestrians and cyclists from Cypress Park to Frogtown. This bridge will connect to the LA River path, which will eventually connect to DTLA allowing locals to stroll or bike into the city.

I cannot mention the future without stating the present. What Cypress Park is, is a community with a strong sense of self. Home to a majority of latino families who have lived here for decades, their rich cultural expressions of faith, food, and feistiness are the spine of this neighborhood. From the lovely chiming of the church bells in the distance of the Divine Savior Church, calling those of faith to prayer, to favorite local, authentic Mexican restaurants, such as Lupitas and La Abeja, to the best skate shop in the city, Maintain.

Soon one will be able to walk to the river in Cypress Park and glance south, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and witness the meandering and beautiful pathway leading to the city of Oz… I mean City of Angels. And should you discover that you are wearing ruby slippers, just know that they were stolen from the Wicked Witch of the West, used to liberate the oppressed people of Oz, a symbol of revolution, a symbol of the little gal or guy triumphing over powerful forces. This in many ways, is the story of Cypress Park.

Discover more about what is happening around this unique community in the links below:

https://tayloryardriverprojects.lacity.org/

https://www.metro.net/projects/lariverpath/

https://folar.org/2019/11/12/river-bridge-update-nov19/

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-river-taylor-yard-park-design-proposals-20190708-story.html

https://www.kcet.org/shows/socal-wanderer/seven-neighborhood-gems-along-the-la-river

Father Electrico

The Past – Calling on the Ghost of Ray Bradbury

Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible. –Ray Bradbury



A number of years ago, my friend, the sculptor Christopher Slatoff, had his art studio here at the Huron SubStation. While he was here, he sculpted a stunning 8’ man carrying a boy in his arms. This was The Illustrated Man, based on the Ray Bradbury book of the same name and it became a collaboration between the talented sculptor and the epic writer. On the sculpture’s back, coming to life, like snakes in the sun, were tattoos taking the form of another dimension, that of the future. Included in the imagery was the face of Ray Bradbury thrusting out from the man’s rippled muscle. To the left of Bradbury’s face were 2 astronauts hovering outside of gravity. They carried the Huron SubStation’s logo on their space suits, a unique legacy of the building. Filmmaker John Sasser also filmed a docmentary about this process entitled, “Father Electrico Lives Forever”.


Ray Bradbury (when he was alive) visited the Huron SubStation many times. He would come to visit Chris and the growing sculpture in the shed. Just prior to his arrival, we would often wheel the sculpture into the main room of the substation and host Ray and his friends with the sculpture looming over us in thought. One time pigeons came in to land on the sculpture, which seemed very fitting.
 

Right now, Bradbury hovers in my thoughts quite a bit, as he was so familiar with dystopia. Our current situation feels somewhat like a dystopian novel – I’m just not sure who the protagonist is. Bradbury was the writer of the iconic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (a great read during isolation, by the way). He was forever twisting, reforming and inventing a new take on reality. These days, with this growing pandemic and self isolation, we realize that our reality can truly shift in a mere matter of months.


Thank you to sculptor and teacher Matthew Segotta for allowing me to use his image of the Illustrated Man.

Check out John Sasser’s documentary about the collaboration: https://filmfreeway.com/FatherElectricoRayBradburyLivesForever

Check out Christopher Slatoff’s website: https://www.christopherslatoff.com/


 

If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down. -Ray Bradbury

It’s not going to do any good to land on Mars if we’re stupid. – Ray Bradbury

1906 Eau de Parfum

Huron SubStation – Bespoke Unisex Eau de Parfum

When you visit the Huron SubStation you are likely to be introduced to a number of broad spectrum scents, they emanate from every corner. There are scented candles and perfume bottles everywhere. Each bathroom has a selection of room sprays based on ancient mythology (ancient Egyptian, ancient native American, ancient Incan and ancient Hindu) and on the shelf by my desk, there’s a small library of scents from my favorite perfumers.

I live and work at the substation and within these vintage walls you’ll find my laboratory for 3 fragrance lines: Intoxicants, Lux Aeterna and Manifest Destiny.  It’s no wonder that I wanted to design a fragrance based on the beauty and intrigue of this building. Thus the eau de parfum “1906” was created: an ode to the historic Huron Trolley Substation and the ingenuity of the early twentieth century in Los Angeles. An eccentric scent that calls upon the ghosts of old trolley cars, the bricks that surround us in our historic building, and the tobacco and hay scents, prevalent of that era. These scents are followed by the leather bellows of a folding camera and end with the floral melody of roses, wafting down from the nearby city of Pasadena, and lastly the Cypress trees for which Cypress Park was named after.

I am taking this time during the pandemic to pause my other fragrance companies and work to evolve this scent of “1906” as it means something different to me now. I am letting go of this beauty, the building (it’s for sale) and plan, not only to give a bottle of 1906 to the new owner, but, also, to carry a bottle with its scent memory, with me, moving forward. It’s little projects like these that greatly excite me. 

Richly Scented with the Following Notes: Tobacco, Hay, Brick. 

Primary Note: Tobacco

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