Thrills and Spills in Palm Springs

So ever since the 2010 Denver Modernism show I’ve wanted to go to Palm Springs. Ok, I actually wanted to go before then, but after competing in the inaugural Miss Modernism contest for a shot at going I really wanted to go. Sun, palm trees, un-freaking-believable modernism goodies, what more could one ask for? So when Randy determined I was going along to the 2012 PS show, I hopped on that opportunity like a hobo on a ham sandwich.
However, the celebration is called Modernism WEEK, not Modernism WORK, which is what it really, really should be called for those of us running the booths. I don’t think there is a direction or limb I can move that isn’t stiff, sore, bruised, scratched or otherwise. But I digress…
The start of the vacation trip was outstanding, leaving cold weather in Denver for a leisurely one-stop with a short layover in Vegas. It’d been a while since I’d been to Vegas, and though I never left the airport, getting to see the strip from the plane and the concourse is always a treat. My ipod randomly selecting “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” in perfect timing with the descent and landing was an added bonus. I HIGHLY recommend the dusk arrival, as you can see the strip just before dark, then the puddle-jumper to Palm Springs flies RIGHT OVER the strip with it completely lit at night. AMAZING! And no, I did not follow the “turn off you stuff” instructions, which is why you too get to enjoy these great shots from the twin turbo prop…
GREAT FLIGHT!!!! Fun, cozy, with the added bonus of some sleet and heavy rain was we came into PS. How is crappy weather and added bonus, you ask? Since the plane was so small, as we descended the lights on the wing highlighted the precipitation such that it looked like hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon. Seriously. Freaking. Cool.

Just like this, minus the wookie.

The palm springs airport oozes cool, and considering it’s an airport, that’s a pretty neat trick. The gates and the main terminal are enclosed, the rest is an open air facility with some nice architecture and landscaping. Most of the planes coming and going are small, so you deplane right onto the tarmac old-school style. Since it was raining heavily when I arrived, I didn’t get any nice night shots of the airport, nor did I get any on the way back for interesting reasons, which you’ll have to wait for a later blog post to read about.
After Randy and his buddy Kevin (who came out for a short vacation with his wife) whisked me back to the house to dump my bags, we shot over to the shops on Palm Court to visit Ken Erwin at Funkis Inc., one of Randy’s best friends who was participating in an opening night shindig for the start of the Modernism show. Many little shops were open along the strip, and the stuff in the shops was too cool not to get drenched walking from one store to the next. Some of the best examples of MidCentury, Atomic, Modernism, and the like were ubiquitous compared to our selection here in Denver. Randy was amused at my constant gawking and slack jawed drooling, elbowed me in the ribs and said “this is just the tip of the iceberg, baby. Wait until the show.” And I can give you a teaser now, he wasn’t kidding.
Once we finished with the after-hours soiree, we headed back to the Alexander rental house we booked for the stay. Kevin had rented from the outfit before, and it was a pleasant experience, especially being able to cook. Randy did miss his kitchen, as the one in the rental had very little counter space to work on, and the appliances were spotty at best for new models, but he got it done, and done right most of the time. After a quick stop for more Bass, we settled in for Rando to get his Iron Chef on. Though Randy claims to have no hobbies other than stressing out about business and drinking Bass, he actually has a fairly serious hobby when it comes to cooking. Not only does he love to do it, he’s also quite good at it, and does so in large quantities. So for supper we had italian sausage stuffed peppers baked to perfection, with a giant meatloaf that could feed 20. It was AWESOME.

Good design means flowers can look awesome in a blender.

View looking out from the front of the house

Our Alexander Rental...very nice indeed!

Thursday morning came awfully quick, and thus began the start of Modernism Work. The carpet in the convention center, is, well, convention center carpet, so it lacks that pizazz you’d prefer to have when displaying the kind of wares we brought. In previous years, Randy had acquired pieces of paneling to produce a floor that helped display the items appropriately, so once we got in line with the truck for load off, he borrowed a pickup and an off to score the flooring. After a two hour wait, Kevin & I finally got a dock space, and began the unloading process with the help of one of the super-friendly porters that the center provides. Originally, our good friend Winston was coming out to help with the heavy lifting, but due to a series of unfortunate events, we were left Win-less, and in more ways than one. We had about 1/2 the truck unloaded and placed in the booth by the time Randy showed up with the flooring, at which point we all decided we were famished and left for a bite at the Fish Market. Randy and I took a slight detour to return the borrowed pickup, which had consequences later, so read on.
Now, if you’ve been keeping up and read about the trip to San Francisco, you know about Swan’s. If you didn’t read that, go here and read about it now. Go on…go! I’ll wait. For those of you who did read that post, you know that the oysters were out of this world, and we determined it’d be difficult to find their equal. The oysters at the Fisherman’s Market tried really hard to tie that record, and just barely missed the mark, but where they fell short, the fish tacos grabbed the ball and RAN! WOW!! All talking ceased and nothing but yummy noises could be heard from us as we wolfed down the tacos. The meal was reasonably priced for the size of the plates and the quality, and it was determined on the spot that we’d be making a repeat visit before going home.

Oysters, oysters, YUM YUM YUM!!!

While at the Fish Market, Randy realized that he left his cell phone in the pickup we returned. Ok, not a huge deal, except that when we returned to the truck, the doors were open for unloading, and the phone was GONE. Completely MIA. We tried calling it multiple times, no luck, called the Fish Market in case he was mistaken and left it there, no luck again. Upon further thought, it was determined that when Randy handed me his cell phone while in the truck, and in my state of having a headache and needing to eat I left it on my lap, thus when I exited so did the cell phone. Someone must have picked it up, because it was no where in the parking lot. Randy was, uh, unhappy, I’ll just leave it at that. In a last act of desperation before cutting of the service to the phone, I texted my cell number with a plea for returning the phone, and hoped for the best.
This marked the point when Murphy decided he was full on going to bitchslap us and the booth. Our first hurdle was the booth was 1 1/2″ short of 32 feet, so the last row of panels didn’t fit and needed to be cut back at the store. Then we realized the flooring panels that Randy picked out had a warp to them, but we figured some strategic placing of heavy items would take the warp out. That, of course, made arranging the booth extremely difficult, in fact impossible. When the “tower of power” we use to display chairs was assembled, it listed worse than the Concordia in Italy, so finding some reinforcement pieces was a must before we could place any chairs in the display. And in the process of the final unloading of the truck, one of the lamps slid out of a hidey hole and broke before we could even get it to the booth.

Note the start of the warp on the floor...not good.

All of us were glad to see the 5 o’clock bell chime to end setup, but non of us were looking forward to day two, as we were now wickedly behind schedule, without a cell phone, and I ended up with a massive migraine from the stress and another vendor shellacking chairs in our area of the show with some nasty chemicals. So it was early to bed for me, and an early start of heavy drinking for everyone else.
There’s a saying about “tomorrow is another day,” and Friday was a new and much brighter day on our horizon. While drinking the night before, the boys came up with a plan for getting the wood cut, the pieces we needed for the tower, and some semblance of a plan for how to attack the booth. I was still a bit foggy from the migraine, but considerably sharper than I had been the entire previous day. Randy prepped what would be our dinner on Saturday night, endless racks of ribs with a killer rub provided by Adam, one of my best friends back in Denver.

You cannot have enough meat, as illustrated here.

Meat, it does a body good.

While finishing my second latte, my cell phone went off, and a nice older couple had found Randy’s phone, saw the text, and were happy to return it to him! YAY!!! Randy gratefully provided our saviors with free passes for the show, and I got to work reactivating his phone.
When the 3 of us arrived back at the booth, we were greeted by the fact that the flooring had not flattened out, but had warped much much worse as a result of drying out in the desert air. Kevin and I tried several things, but to no avail, the floor had to come out. This was at 12:30, and we needed to leave to get ready for the gala no later than 3:30. So we had 3 hours to sh*t a booth. Several of the other vendors looked on in awe, stunned we’d even attempt a redo this late in the game, others sort of snickered implying we’d never make it, or have the worst booth in the show. What none of them knew is that when working under pressure, Randy, Kevin and I are the Hillbilly Gator Stomp Champs, and not one of us stopped moving the entire time, placing, drilling, arranging, and assembling. Anna, Kevin’s wife, came later in the day, bringing some much needed tools and supplies, and also chipped in to get the booth done. Through a combination of determination, a good eye or two, and some happy accidents, the space went from f*cked to UN-F*CKING-BELIEVABLE in 3 hours flat. We left the show to go back to the Fish Market for food right at 3:30, which was our initial plan before everything else happened.

Before

After

We noshed a quick lunch, which seemed a shame because the oysters were even BETTER than the day before and deserved more time for enjoyment, then rushed back to the house to clean up for the gala opening. From the looks of awe we received, the multiple compliments, and the never ending requests to take pictures of the booth, I think we nailed it. We had, by far, the most colorful booth at the show, and one of the best spaces for traffic in the entire place. I’m not sure if it was the cash bar or the items in the show, but everyone at the gala was beaming from ear to ear, oohing and ahhing everywhere you looked. Many dealers had friends at the show, and laughter flew around the room like a small flock of birds as you heard snippets of stories and greetings. The 3 hours at the opening went very quickly (thanks to the scotch I smuggled in), and when it was over, we were all ready to go home and have some supper. The peppers from the previous night reheated nicely, and it was a quick and tasty supper in a short amount of time. I don’t think going to bed had ever sounded so good as it did after such a crazy day.

We finished the booth on time, so there.

Tune in soon for part two of Thrills & Spills in Palm Springs!

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Surrealism’s Startling Appeal, featured in WSJ

Surrealism’s Startling Appeal

  • By MARGARET STUDER

Columnist's name

 

Surrealism is set to fire the imagination at auctions in London next week.

On Tuesday, Christie’s will follow its major Impressionist and modern art sale with one devoted to “The Art of the Surreal.” On Wednesday, Sotheby’s will include a range of striking Surrealist works in its main Impressionist and modern art auction. “We prefer to show Surrealism in the whole context of modern art,” says Sotheby’s specialist Samuel Valette.

[Collect2] Christie’sRené Magritte’s ‘La Parade’ (1940) is expected to fetch £700,000-£1 million.

Surrealism was a revolutionary movement of writers and artists that rose between the two world wars and ended with the death in 1966 of its founder, the French poet André Breton.

Stressing the subconscious and dreams, the movement’s artists created startling images filled with hidden meanings, strange combinations of everyday objects and unforgettable erotic figures. They were also experimental in using all techniques at hand, including the new effects opened by photography. Later stars of the art world that were influenced by the European Surrealists include America’s Jackson Pollock and American-French grande dame of the global art world Louise Bourgeois.

Many Surrealists were undervalued at the start of the 21st century, despite their great influence on subsequent generations of artists, says Olivier Camu, Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art deputy chairman. To raise awareness, the auction house started dedicated Surrealist sales in 2001. It was a slow start, he notes, but now many previously undervalued artists have taken off, such as Max Ernst. Others, he says, still have a way to go, such as Francis Picabia, who is represented in next week’s sales. “Surrealists have hit a nerve of our times,” Mr. Camu says. “We are living in an age of psychology and eroticism.”

Both Christie’s and Sotheby’s will offer monumental and rare works by Joan Miró. At Christie’s, there will be one of his famous “Painting-Poem” canvases from 1925, in which the artist creates an hallucinatory atmosphere mixing Abstraction, free-flowing forms and text (estimate: £6 million-£9 million). At Sotheby’s, “Peinture” comes from another group of iconic Miró paintings from 1933 (estimate: £7 million-£10 million). The painting is full of energy, pouring out from free forms in red, white, yellow and blue, seen against a delicate brown and green background. Standing before this picture, I was stunned by its combination of power and subtlety. I could only agree with Mr. Valette when he said, “It doesn’t get better than this.”

Christie’sPaul Delvaux’s ‘The Nude and the Mannequin’ (1947) is estimated at £2 million-£3 million.

René Magritte is always a top Surrealist attraction, combining mystery, beauty and humor. A work at Christie’s that deals with the hidden side of life will be “La Parade,” a painting from 1940, the year the Nazis invaded his homeland of Belgium. This seemingly simple image shows a leafless tree before a red curtain, hiding a desert landscape. I don’t pretend to understand it, but there is an enormous impact there in its hidden meanings (estimate: £700,000-£1 million). At Sotheby’s, a dreamy, blue painting of a large petrified apple under a distant moon is pure poetry, designed to give plenty of contemplative moments (estimate: £1.5 million-£2 million).

For eroticism, it’s hard to beat Paul Delvaux, who specialized in naked beauties in totally strange backgrounds, such as “The Nude and the Mannequin” (1947). The painting at Christie’s depicts a white Venus figure stretched on a couch in a railway station, with a black tailor’s dummy at her side (estimate: £2 million-£3 million). A gentler side of Surrealist eroticism is represented by Picabia’s transparencies, paintings where the artist transposes the images of beautiful women upon each other. “Hero” (1929) at Christies, in which women’s heads float against a backdrop of a nude, creates a sensual vision as in a dream (estimate: £400,000-£700,000).

Write to Margaret Studer at wsje.weekend@wsj.com

I left my Art in San Francisco (part two)

It’s taken a little bit to get back to finishing the story, so let’s finish this up before January becomes February!

When we left off with the story, we’d had a superb supper with Rex Ray at  Bar Bambino, and were getting ready for setup at Deco the Halls. Friday morning came early, and we’d prepared for the long day by visiting Trader Joe’s for supplies and snacks to get us through. But upon arrival, our crate o’goodies was nowhere to be found. The shipper had their wires crossed and delivered the crate a day early, which we worked out, but now here it is the day of and no crate. After about an hour and a half wait, it did show up, and there was much rejoicing. Sort of.

Tags awaiting items to be put on

Randy demonstrates his superhuman strength (ignore the guy behind with the pallet jack)

The view of our booth, and down our aisle

The crate o’goodies consisted of many vintage clothing wares, some very good examples of art pottery, and a set of vintage psychedelic rock posters from the late 60’s and early 70’s, owned by no other than the frontman for Lothar and the Hand People. In fact, we actually had the Pearly Suit worn by Lothar on stage back in the day.

Lothar in his Prime...rrrrraooooowwwww!

Now came the fun part…unloading the whole crate, laying everything out, assembling the racks, hanging everything up, tagging it, making tags for stuff that got added while packing, and then making sure the booth had nice”flow.” Randy took over setting up the pottery, which was fine with me since that sh*t ain’t cheap. While setting up, I blinked and realized it had been over 4 hours and I hadn’t had lunch, let’s everyone give a big round of applause to Trader Joe’s!!

Yes, that is my knife. No, you can't have it.

After wolfing down lunch and getting back on track, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t seen Randy in FOREVER. Other than him walking by for a smoke break, and saying “YAY TISH!” as he was going somewhere else. But then he’d appear, and sell some of the pottery that he was attempting to put in the case, or some of the clothing, or was generally being friendly to the other vendors who hadn’t seen him in a while. It was funny to hear the vendors walk by, see the booth, not realize I was in the both/working with Rando, and say things like “Randy is here! Did you see Randy is back? Oh Wow, dude, I think that’s Randy’s booth!” Since we were on a very short schedule for setting things up, I pretty much just resigned myself to being the “grunt” on this particular part of the adventure, which was a small price to pay for the food and accommodations provided. Closing time came very quick, and I still had some things that were not where I wanted them, but for the most part we were ready for business the following day.

This was one of only a few times Randy was actually in the booth!

The Art Pottery was so good, it was featured by the show organizer in a front case!

At the end of Friday, I was fried. Just completely fried. Nothing sounded good to eat, though I knew I was famished and then some from setup. On our walks about town previously, we found a neat little Thai place just a block from the hotel, and it was a gem! “Inexpensive” for SF prices, but very tasty and they even had caipirinhas! The Basil Thai was just perfect for the end of a long day. After a few drinks and some of the best fried rice ever, we crashed out for the night. Thanks Basil Thai!!!

Saturday was showtime. Both of us got “all dolled up” for our customers arrival, me in a vintage Lilli Ann suit that is a real head turner, Rando as Rockstar Rando. I had sense enough from working enough shows to bring some knitting along to pass the time, and it helped a lot during the “dead times.” To our surprise, when we arrived at the show for final set-up n the morning, the vendors across from us had called in and weren’t going to make it! So Penelope offered us the extra space, since it wasn’t being used anyway, and it “fluffed out” the aisle we were on. BONUS! Except for the mad dash to get everything placed before the show opened, and Randy was once again off on his adventures, and not in the booth.

Lothar's Pearly Suit on display

All in all, it turned out pretty good, Randy did show up in a little bit and got the second booth tightened up, as the shelving wasn’t very stable.

But the best part of the show days had to do with the visitors. We did not have a mirror for people to check out items as they tried them on but we did have the trusty ipad, so we took pictures and showed people what they looked like! It was a hit with our visitors, and a lot of fun in the process. Here’s a sampling of the “models”…

Once the show closed down, we were ready for supper. Since we’d already done sushi, and Swan’s was closed, Randy called Rex and asked where we should go for a steak. “Epic, you gotta go to Epic. Trust me.” So we did. And we were NOT disappointed.

Epic Roasthouse was at the end of the pier, with a stellar view of the Bay Bridge. Because of our last minute decision to go there, we didn’t have reservations and the only seats left were either in the bar, or at an impromptu breakfast style counter facing the kitchen. We opted for the counter, and next to the view of the bridge, this was the best seat in the house. We watched as dish upon dish of AMAZING entreés wisked past our spot, and got lost watching the dance of the kitchen staff as they effortlessly grilled, baked, chopped and tossed their creations into veritable edible art. Eventually the “den mother” of the wait staff came to check on us, as I am sure with out wide eyes and grumbling tummies were looked a bit overwhelmed and out of place. But once we started giving her our order, she realized we were in the right restaurant. My “Resolution” martini was unbelievable, and the house selection of cured meats and cheeses as simply AWESOME. Once I realized they had beef tartare, there was no going back, this was going to be an EPIC dinner. Our waiter prepared the tartare right in front of us, and it was like watching a magic trick…he seemed to suspend the meat in midair, and massage it with spoons to get it into an egg shape, then guided it onto the plate as though it was a feather landing gracefully onto the dish. It was so beautiful, it seemed a shame to eat it, until taking that first bite, and then it was a shame I had to share it with Randy! We each ended up with a “Steak and Cake,” which consisted of a Filet Mignon, a crab cake, and a crab salad (emphasis on crab, not salad!). Our sides were brussel sprouts that would make even the biggest hater of the things fall to his knees and beg for more, and truly perfect potatoes au gratin. Truly. Perfect. We stuffed ourselves stupid, and still had some to take back with us to the hotel. I am sure that anything on their dessert menu would have put me to tears, as the entire experience was the most elegant, fun, and upscale I have had to date. Randy has travelled the world, and even he was floored by the quality and depth of flavor to come from Epic. We were so giddy with the adventure, that we visited with several of the waitstaff and the head chef, Jan, and had a wonderful conversation and learned a lot while watching and waiting for our courses. I think the waitstaff was surprised to have customers speak with them instead of at them, and truly enjoyed their work as much as we enjoyed eating it. Here it is almost February, and Randy & I still talk about Epic.

Here’s a few highlights from the meal:

ahhh...next time, dessert!

After that meal, we just went back to the hotel and digested. There was seriously nothing else we could have done to top that end to our day. Epic.

Sunday was both show day and pack up day, so we had a lot ahead of us once again. Due to the 49ers game, attendance was slow, and people weren’t really in the mood to buy, just look. The only one buying things was Randy, who bought this sculpture right out from under me…

This was supposed to be mine, damn it! If I had seen it first....

Unlike set up day, packing day Randy was in the booth nearly the entire time, especially for tear down. Part of the motivation there was due to needing the crate ready at the exact time of pickup…too soon, and we’re just milling about bored, too late, and you get charged for however long the guy has to wait while you finish packing. We finished packing the crate at 9:55, and they showed up to pick it up at 10:20pm, so that really wasn’t so bad. But were we beat! Leftovers and snacks were our only option for food, since most things were closed by the time we got out, but that was ok, a night of tv and lounging after all the excitement was just fine.

Monday was a lazy day, off to a late start of sightseeing, and riding the trolley, then another visit to Swan’s because, well, it’s Swan’s. The afternoon was spent recovering from all the craziness from the day before, and packing up our stuff for the trip home.The trolly ride was AWESOME, though, and if you ever get the chance to do it, it’s well worth the effort!

All in all, it was a great trip filled with great food, great memories, and a good show. Tune in next time for the recap of our next big adventure…details to come!

Celebrity Death Match: Vance Kirkland vs. Clyfford Still

Ok, ok, no, it wasn’t a true celebrity death match, although both artists are deceased and both were painting and showing at the same times in their prolific painting lives. Hugh Grant of the Kirkland Museum and Dean Sobel of the newly opened Clyfford Still Museum teamed up last night to give a spectacular and informative presentation on the life and times of each of their museum namesakes. Coordinated by the ever-talented Maya Wright of the Kirkland, this sold out event was well worth the price of admission, and we can only hope it will be repeated in the future.

But wait! It will!! If you missed the event last night, KBDI Channel 12 PBS recorded the event, and it will air in the near future! So be sure to check their listings often, and DONATE to keep programs like these coming in the future!

Having sat through many an art history lecture while in art school, usually resulting in a prolonged nap, this presentation was a refreshing change from the monotony of the usual artist biography. Mr. Grant And Mr. Sobel bounced back and forth with information about their respective artists, and each contributed his own flair to the tale, making the lecture both informative and entertaining. The slides chosen to highlight each artist’s work corresponding to topic points was spot on, and rounded out the narrative exceptionally. One of my close friends, an engineer who’s art education is, well, that of an engineer, was pleasantly surprised by the content, and found an appreciation for some of the abstract work he previously had not found interest in. A good time was had by all, thank you to both museums for putting on a wonderful show! We hope to see more in the future!

If you haven’t been to either the Clyfford Still or the Kirkland Museum, put these on your list of things to see in 2012. You won’t be dissapointed!

Here’s a few highlights from the museum, and the lecture:

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Park in Style

The Sleekest, Coolest Parking Garages

By Arian Campo-Flores, WSJ.com
January 18, 2012
Provided by:

A rendering of the ultramodern Collins Park garage in Miami Beach, Fla.
Rendering: Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid, the celebrated London-based architect known for her sinuous designs, has created dazzling museums, concert halls and railway stations across the globe. So what has she decided to tackle next? A municipal parking garage in Miami Beach.

“I’ve always been fascinated by garages,” Ms. Hadid says. “I’ve always liked this idea of bringing the street into a building and making that into an urban space.”

She has company. Miami Beach has become a magnet for high-end architects intent on rethinking what the often drab, utilitarian parking garage can be. In 2010, Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron completed a towering, airy parking structure in the heart of South Beach that has won international acclaim. Seven blocks east, Frank Gehry created, as part of his New World Center concert hall, a steel-mesh garage that is illuminated at night by multicolored LED lights. A few blocks south sits Mexican architect Enrique Norten’s recently finished garage, featuring a taut, white concrete facade pocked with perforations like a punch card.

Slideshow: The Parking Garage as Architectural StarSlideshow: The Parking Garage as Architectural StarNext up: Ms. Hadid’s $12.5 million, city-financed garage in South Beach’s Collins Park neighborhood; a parking and retail complex by Miami-based firm Arquitectonica in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood; and a planned development near the beach by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’s firm, OMA, that is expected to include a parking garage, possibly topped by a restaurant.

South Beach is also slated for three new automated parking garages designed by ADD Inc Miami that are believed to be the first of their kind in Florida. After drivers drop off their cars in a bay, thin robotic platforms will slide underneath, lift them up and whisk them away to a parking spot.

For drivers, the normally humdrum experience of parking gets a dash of flair. Simon Parra, a part-time resident of the city, refuses to park his black Chevy Suburban anywhere but the Herzog & de Meuron garage at 1111 Lincoln Road. “It’s a work of art more than a garage,” he says. “Everywhere you look, there’s a view.”

He doesn’t mind paying a premium for the experience. The parking rate at 1111 Lincoln Road, $4 an hour, is more than double the rate at the municipal lot a block away.

Herzog & de Meuron’s creation, part of a $65 million project, has gone the furthest in revolutionizing traditional notions of a garage. “Our building is not designed to be a garage,” says owner and developer Robert Wennett. “It’s designed to be a civic space.”

The structure – with thin concrete slabs at irregular heights and no exterior walls, leaving vehicles on open display – is more than a place to stash cars. It features luxury retailers at the street level, a glass box housing a clothing store on the fifth floor and a soaring space with stunning views on the seventh floor that can be rented for events – all connected by an internal staircase that spirals up like a DNA helix. A few hundred people a day wander in to explore, Wennett says, and the seventh-floor space has hosted weddings, yoga classes and a Lexus commercial.

In some ways, the architectural ferment today harks back to the early 20th century, when garages were beautifully designed by well-known architects, says Shannon Sanders McDonald, author of “The Parking Garage: Design and Evolution of a Modern Urban Form.” By the 1970s, though, “they became cost-driven and functional and ugly,” she says. Not until the late 1980s and 1990s did architects grapple once again with how to incorporate garages into the urban environment.

Miami Beach was at the forefront then, too. Stocked with architectural gems, including Art Deco and Miami Modern buildings, the city wanted to ensure that its parking structures “became urban assets rather than urban albatrosses,” says William Cary, assistant director of the Miami Beach planning department.

Here are more of the sleekest, most chic new garages:

New World Center garage

This parking garage at the New World Center in Miami is appropriately artistic.
Photo: New World Symphony

Frank Gehry designed this steel-mesh garage that is illuminated at night by multicolored LED lights as part of his New World Center concert hall in Miami Beach, Fla. The city has become a magnet for high-end architects intent on rethinking the often drab parking garage.

 

Herzog & de Meuron’s garage

Herzog & de Meuron’s garage worthy of a party in Miami.
Photo: Alberto Tamargo/MBeach1, LLLP

Herzog & de Meuron’s garage at 1111 Lincoln Road. The garage features luxury retailers at the street level, a glass box housing a clothing store on the fifth floor and a soaring space with stunning views on the seventh floor that can be rented for events – all connected by an internal staircase that spirals up like a DNA helix.

 

Park@420 garage

The cool Park@420 garage in Miami.
Photo: George Kousoulas

The Park@420 garage at Drexel Avenue and 16th Street, designed by architect Enrique Norten. Light enters the perforations throughout the day, sometimes spraying the floor with bright spots, other times filtering in obliquely to give the space a chapel-like feel. The exterior also offers vivid displays, with palm trees casting shadows on the white facade during the day and interior lights producing a glow at night.

 

Sunset Harbour garage

The stylish Sunset Harbour garage in Miami.
Photo: Arquitectonica

An artistic rendering of the planned Sunset Harbour garage, a parking and retail complex on Bay Road in Miami Beach, designed by Arquitectonica.

Exceptional article on Eichlers, check o

Exceptional article on Eichlers, check out the slideshow! @WSJ http://ow.ly/8x1dg

Robert Mangold Retrospective: A MUST SEE!

Last night was opening night for “Time, Space and Motion: Robert Mangold Retrospective” at the Arvada Center. Though you may be unfamiliar with Mr. Mangold’s name, you will probably recognize his work when you see it, as there are many pieces scattered throughout Denver. Mr. Mangold is a delight to speak with, unassuming and down to earth, you’d never guess him to be a “Rock Star” Sculptor with so many achievements under his belt. The show is expertly curated by none other than Collin Parson, and you can tell from the arrangement that Mr. Parson truly loves his work, and the works of the artists he showcases.

Your z|staff was on hand to record the first glimpse of the show, and it is one you DO NOT WANT TO MISS!!! All the pieces are show stoppers, though I have to say the Tetrahedral Hypersphere collection won me over as my favorite overall set of works. We’re going to give you just a taste of the Retrospective here on the blog, because YOU NEED TO SEE IT IN PERSON to really understand how awe inspiring it is to see so many exquisite works in one place at one time.

So enjoy this little taste of the Mangold Retrospective, and get thee to the Arvada Center ASAP!

Check out our video honoring the show! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZpHtuO6WzE

http://arvadacenter.org/blog/