Travelling to Los Angeles, you will probably have many media images from film and television in your luggage. Once you arrive you can explore the city by walking in the footsteps of the British architectural historian Reyner Banham, who published ‘Baede-Kar’ in 1971, an audio tour as a parody of Karl Baedeker's travel guides, which have been used widely since the 19th century. Or you can visit the houses of Rudolph M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, Ray and Charles Eames, which were designed transparently and rationally in harmony with nature and have become symbols of Californian living culture. Or you can relax with a view over the Pacific Ocean at one of the famous beaches in Malibu and Venice. Downtown, which was only worth a footnote to Banham in the 1970s, is experiencing a revival today: in the Industrial District, renamed the Art District, warehouses and office buildings are being transformed into galleries and lofts. Skid Row is home to projects that create permanent housing for the homeless, and along Grand Avenue, Frank Gehry's Disney Concert Hall opened in 2003 and The Broad, a new museum designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, opened in 2015.
I am curious about other cultures and ways of thinking and therefore enjoy observing, drifting, discovering (historical) traces in current cityscapes – unexpected discoveries and inspiring encounters become possible.
Los Angeles – a city in which the typical grid of North American cities overlaps with that of the Spanish colonial masters – has an urban structure all of its own that can best be grasped by changing modes of transportation: the canyons by car, the galleries and museums in downtown on foot, and from there to the Santa Monica Pier by Metro E, which was completed in 2016.
A reading which is adapted to the destination, like the crime novels of Raymond Chandler.
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