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Week in Photos: Start of Summer

On the first day of summer, Jody and Tim frolicking inside the Jesús Rafael Soto sculpture, Penetrabile at LACMA.

On Monday I flew to Florida to meet up with Jonathan. After some meetings in Orlando we drove down to Miami Beach for the weekend.

I finally got to wear this orange croqueted dress I bought in Uruguay last year. I had been saving it for a special occasion. Actually I couldn’t figure out what shoes would go with it, but Jonathan convinced me that silver goes with everything. It has been raining and overcast all week and today was the first blue sky I have seen in Florida. Here we are walking down the boardwalk to the Fountainebleau Miami Beach — more photos of the Fountainbleau soon, I am writing a post on it.

Today we went hunting for the Osklen store (one of my favorites) in Miami Beach and came across this architectural gem — check out the corner of this parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Road! The mall complex was designed by Herzog & de Meuron and opened 2-3 years ago.

Also at 1111 Lincoln Road — I loved the water features and landscape/paving designed by Raymond Jungles. It was clearly inspired by Roberto Burle Marx, but felt contemporary and a bit more playful. It was hugely successful at elevated the retail space/experience and making it feel like you were in a world class park.  As crazy as the architecture was, I was absorbed in the plants, water and the tactile quality of the ground. I wish 1111 was back in LA so I could visit more often.

Wow – it’s 2:31 am and I am curled up on a coach in a hotel room. I need to get to sleep.

Have a great 4th of July and holiday weekend everyone! Be safe.

July 1, 2013
See more: art, buildings & places, landscape & garden, on the road, water, week in pictures

The Week in Photos: Echo Park Lake

New lotus beds at Echo Park Lake, Los Angeles, California
Opening day: June 15th 2013

 “29 Acres of Paradise

I am so excited!  After a 2 year wait and 45 million dollars spent in renovations, Echo Park Lake is open again! I live in Angelino Heights, just a few short blocks from Echo Park Lake, and I feel so fortunate to enjoy this park everyday. To live in the middle of a busy, dense city and have this kind of access to nature and wetlands is amazing – you can’t really ask for a better place to live.

For those of you who don’t know, Echo Park Lake is a 125 year old lake/park on the east side of Los Angeles. It is a really stunning public space and has also been used for filming TV and movies since the black and white era. All sorts of projects, from Charlie Chaplin, to Chinatown to scenes from Gillligan’s Island has been filmed at the lake over the years. You have probably seen it in something.

In recent years the lake had become a bit rundown and was in need of a “triple bypass” as Eric Garcetti (our mayor-elect) said at the re-dedication ceremony.  The famous lotus beds, planted in the 1920’s had died in recent years for unknown cause (probably some kind of water pollution).  As part of the renovation the lake was completely dug out and re-built and 1/3 the surface area of the lake was converted into wetlands to support the migratory birds that regularly stop here.

The netting in the photos is there to protect the lotus, and it will stay on for 1 more year.

376 New Lotus — All Grown from the Original Plants

The lake originally had one lotus bed at the north end that was planted in the 1920’s. I was really excited to see that they expanded the lotus beds in the re-design. There are now three huge lotus beds in the lake. The lake is really surrounded by lotus blooms and you see them as you walk around the entire lake.

The new plants were grown from tubers stolen from the old lotus patch! Read more: How A Thief Saved Echo Park Lake’s Lotus Bed From Extinction


New wetland planting with the original fountain in the distance
Paddle boats will return to the main part of the lake soon

Our Lake Won the Lottery! (well, sort of…)

 Map from

A picture perfect day in LA – the original lotus bed is behind us

EP Lake Links:

Echo Park Rehabilitation Website

History of Echo Park Lake

5 Awesome Things about the New Echo Park Lake

Echo Park Lake to Re-Open with Eco Friendly Improvements

How A Thief Saved Echo Park Lake’s Lotus Bed From Extinction

Who do you think they should get to run the concession at the boat house?
I vote for Homegirl Cafe.
+ What do you think of the lake? Tweet me @pattyhume

June 17, 2013
See more: diary, Los Angeles, plant stars, water, week in pictures

Need Recommendations for Miami

Later this month Jonathan and I are headed off to Orlando, Miami and the Florida Keys for a business trip/summer vacation. The highlight of the trip, for me, is going to Miami for the first time! I really love waterfront cities, like Amsterdam, Venice, Rio, Hong Kong, etc. and I have heard that Miami is one of the prettiest cities in America.

So far, my Miami wishlist includes: Going on a walking tour of the Art Deco architecture on Miami Beach, shopping at Osklen (one of my favorite stores – we usually have to go to South America to shop there), getting a cocktail at one of the grand hotels, people watching in South Beach, hitting the night clubs & finding veggie Cuban food. I’d also like to visit some nurseries or historic gardens in Florida.

Jonathan is really excited about driving on the Overseas Highway. It is a 127 mile long section of highway that goes out over open ocean connecting the Keys to Florida. It was opened in 1938 and is kind of an engineering marvel. We are going to stay in Key West and go snorkeling.

 So, tell me: What are the must see places and restaurants in Miami?
What is your favorite place to get coffee in Miami?

Is there anything I should see in Orlando (not theme-y)?
And what is the best place to snorkel in the Keys?
Tweet me @pattyhume


June 12, 2013
See more: diary, on the road, water

The River Under the City of Angels

The River Under the City Of Angels from fred kaplan on Vimeo.

In 2010, Fred Kaplan made the short film — The River Under the City of Angels, about the Los Angeles River.  Since then, it has screened in number of film festivals around the world.

I was one of the many people Fred interviewed for the film. I live near the Los Angeles River and I am fascinated with the history and politics of the water way. You can catch a few clips of me talking about my thoughts on the LA River in the film.

December 10, 2012 0
See more: history, in California, landscape & garden, Los Angeles, water

Kayaking on the LA River (yes, it is navigable!)

Last weekend we got up at 6am on a Sunday to go kayaking on the LA River. I am a big advocate for urban access to water so I was excited about this trip and getting out on the river for a few hours.

In 2010, the EPA ruled that the the LA River is a navigable waterway. This is a huge deal in that the Clean Water Act only applies to navigable waterways. With this ruling the LA River gained a number of environmental protections. It also opens the door for the LA River to be used more recreationally,  allowing it to function more as a Central Park for the city of Los Angeles.

So this is only the second season that LA River Expedition has been able to to take groups out on the LA River. We wanted to go on a trip last year but they sold out in 10 minutes and we missed it. The Army Corp only allows them to run the tours 10 weeks out of the year, due to flood safety concerns. This year they added a lot more trips so more people could get out on the river.

Our group traveled a section of the river in the San Fernando valley west of the Sepulveda Basin near where the 101 and the 405 freeways meet. We launched just north/west of the dam and headed upstream for a 3 hour trip.

This section of the river is pretty naturalized. Surprisingly, there wasn’t that much trash, but we did see maybe 30+ old shopping carts in the river. Sometimes the kayaks would get stuck on them if they were submerged. Our group pulled one shopping cart out of the river and transported it ashore on a canoe. I also collected some golf balls and trash from the river.

They are trying to get permission to take people out on the Glendale Narrows section of the river next year. The Glendale Narrows is a section of the river I know well and it is near where we live. Plus this section of the river has some great rapids so that should make the kayaking extra exciting.

September 10, 2012 0
See more: BREAKurban, in California, landscape & garden, Los Angeles, plant stars, walks, water