Santa Monica Third Street Promenade
|The Tin Man of Santa Monica |
This character on the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade doesn't speak, he just whistles.
Santa as Voyeur
"He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he know if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sake." He's a bit strange. This is part of the Christmas display at Bijan on Rodeo Drive - a little bit ominous. Christmas is strange out here. Irving Berlin was so freaked out by it he wrote "White Christmas" while sunning himself at a pool one December in 1940 about a mile north of this Santa (check out the verse).
Bijan, at 420 Rodeo Drive, is the single most expensive store in the world. You must make an appointment in advance to shop at Bijan (which was named after its Iranian owner). On a typical visit, Bijan's average customer spends about a hundred grand on men's fashions, which range from fifty dollar pairs of socks to the fifteen thousand dollars suits.
Suzy Menkes in the International Herald Tribune on 27 November says Rodeo Drive is so last decade. The important center of fashion is now Melrose Place - "The intimacy of Melrose Place compares to the bustling, youth-oriented Robertson Boulevard, a five-minute drive away, and the glossy plate glass and palm trees of Rodeo Drive (which has chandeliers as its Christmas lights)." She quotes Bill Blass when he found an old house on Melrose Place he could buy - "I had my eyes on Melrose Place for four years and then this house came up. I think it is very chic and I am in love with this space. It is going to be the most important street in fashion. Rodeo Drive is for tourists." Blass' place opened last month. Note that Melrose Place is just around the corner from Trashy Lingerie.
This is an odd town.
Sometimes it is hard to decide what to attend to, giving the visuals out here. It's enough to confuse those of us who smoke a pipe - La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood, looking north to the Hollywood Hills, Saturday morning, November 25, 2006. Belgian surrealism meets Japanese fusion at the Hollywood strip club? So it would seem…
Koi, as in an odd dream - The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, 17190 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, California -
Koi are ornamental domesticated varieties of the common carp, Cyprinus carpio, that originated from China and widely spread in Japan. They are very closely related to goldfish, and in fact the style of breeding and ornamentation has become very similar, probably through the efforts of Japanese breeders to emulate goldfish, but they are not goldfish. Koi and tattoos of Koi are traditionally considered lucky. The word "koi" comes from Japanese. The original Japanese word koi simply means "carp," including both the dull grey fish and the brightly colored varieties. Nishikigoi is a more specific term for the ornamental carp. While a Chinese book of the Western Jin Dynasty (4th century) mentions carp with various colors, Koi breeding become popular in the 19th century in the Niigata prefecture of Japan. Farmers working the rice fields would notice that some carp would be more brightly colored than others, capture them, and raise them (when normally the brighter colors would doom the fish to be more likely eaten by birds and other predators). By the twentieth century, a number of color patterns had been established, most notably the red-and-white Kohaku. The outside world did not become aware of the degree of development until 1914, when the Niigata Koi were exhibited in the annual exposition in Tokyo. Some of them were also presented to Crown Prince Hirohito. At that point, interest in Koi exploded throughout Japan. The Hobby of keeping Koi spread worldwide after plastic bags and shipping of Koi became both fast and safe for the fish. These factors enabled Koi to be shipped worldwide with low mortality rates. Koi are now commonly sold in most pet stores, with higher-quality fish available from specialist dealers. Koi varieties are distinguished by coloration, patterning, and scalation. Ghost Koi, developed in the 1980s are metallic hybrids of wild carp and Ogon Koi and are not considered true Nishikigoi. Butterfly Koi, Longfin Koi, or Dragon Carp were also developed in the 1980s and are notable for their long and flowing fins. They are actually hybrids with Asian carp, and, like Ghost Koi, are not considered true Nishikigoi. The major named varieties include:
There's more here, including this illustrated table.
- Kohaku - a white-skinned Koi, with a red pattern
- Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke) - a white-skinned Koi with a red and black pattern
- Showa Sanshoku (Showa) - a black-skinned Koi with a red and white pattern
- Asagi - a Koi with light blue scales on its top and red scales on its bottom
- Shusui - the partially scaled version of an Asagi
- Bekko - a white, red, or yellow-skinned Koi with a black pattern
- Utsurimono - a black Koi with a red, white, or yellow pattern
- Goshiki - a mostly black Koi with red, white, brown, and blue accents
- Ogon - a Koi that is one solid color, can be regular or metallic; known colors - red, orange, platinum, yellow and cream
- KinGinRin - Koi with shiny scales "Gold Silver Scales"
- Kawarimono - Miscellaneous types of Koi
- Doitsu-goi - German Carp
- Koromo - Koi with areas of blue-edged scales (align neatly)
- Hikari-Moyomono - Koi with coloured patterns over a metallic base, and koi in two metallic colours
- Tancho - White koi with Red single patch on head
- Ghost koi - "Hybrid" of Ogon and wild carp. Not Nishikigoi.
- Butterfly koi - Long-finned version of all others. Not Nishikigoi.
Marketing Using Dislocation
The French have this thing with Hollywood. It's not for no reason the most popular chewing gum over there is "Hollywood." At this site you can get back issues of the trash pin-up magazine Paris Hollywood (Beauté de Paris Hollywood and Les Folies de Paris et Hollywood). That was published bi-monthly over there from 1947 through 1973. Here's a cover from 1950. The book on that is Paris-Hollywood: Serge Jacques. At this site you can buy French posters for American Movies, like this one (of course). There used to be a junk jewelry store on Rue des Rennes call Sunset Boulevard - perhaps it's still there. The place that sells "California clothes" in the little square on Boulevard St-Germain across from the centuries-old church where Descartes is buried may be gone. But casually mentioning you're visiting from Hollywood works wonders in Paris.
Marketing Using Dislocation
But we don't have much use for the French. We quite regularly remake their movies (see Encore Hollywood: Remaking French Cinema), but the cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys meme has overwhelmed things. We're supposed to be mad at them all. Hollywood's Johnny Depp may be a wonderful actor, but he married that Frenchwoman, Vanessa Paradis, and settled in the hills east of Avignon to raise his kids and relax. He's seldom at his home here, just down Sunset, at Sweetzer, just above the boulevard. How odd of him.
Now, as you can see with this poster on Hollywood Boulevard, in the middle of all the souvenir shops, tattoo parlors and general junk, the French are coming here to Hollywood. Préparez vous ça va déchirer! Get ready for what? That would be these folks (you might want turn off your speakers). We're talking "urban fashion." It seems the young French who dress like scruffy barely-employed American twenty-somethings to make some sort of point in Paris will be selling their version of our own crap here, to us. Go figure.
The poster is sure to confuse the tourists visiting here from Iowa. They may worry this is something political. We worry about the French. We should, of course.