I don’t know how often you get to L.A.’s Chinatown, but it’s changed quite a bit since the last time I was down there picking out traditional funerary offerings to decorate our Chinese-themed Christmas tree. A few nights ago, our friend Hai invited us along to Chinatown Design Night and I noticed that several of the wonderfully dusty old antiques shops along Chung King Road have gone. The storefronts are now being used as cool art galleries and most were hosting shows the evening we were there, which was organized by the L.A. Design Festival, but the space I became most familiar with, both because the works were so interesting and because they had vodka,
Have you had the theme song from Friends popping into your head over and over for the past few days? In case you did and couldn’t place it, the most annoying line goes something like “I’ll be there for yooooou, ‘cause you’re there for me tooo-oooo.”
Killough and I hiked our usual Hollywood Hills route the other day and, unlike on another recent hike, our lives weren’t threatened even once unless you count that bitchy queen in the Prius making crazy hand gestures because I accidentally stepped in front of his tiny, silent car to avoid the sparks coming from some redneck welding his primer gray Mustang on the side of the road. Ah, the Hills are so glamorous.
In celebration of the Hills and my safe return home, I flipped on HGTV’s Selling L.A., the spin-off of the highly successful Selling New York. The New York show discarded its original hardworking yet nebbishy estate agents after the first season in favor of sleeker, gayer ones with fashion addictions and six-packs, but the L.A. version features my wise and wonderful friend, top real estate agent Victor Kaminoff. I thought I’d tune in to see what he was up to but, instead, I got an eyeful of some shiny guy with a tragic facelift trying to find a rental for a nice lady whose lease was going to be up in two weeks. I was hoping she wouldn’t end up out on the street as I watched their frantic search for something suitable. It was really hard to find the entertaining space as well as the beautiful kitchen needed to support it because her budget was only $15,000 to $20,000 a month! What’s a girl to do with pennies like that?
I’m sure that you’re as pleased as I am that, despite continuing economic woes in Greece and Spain and sluggish domestic employment figures, CBS managed to get Big Brother back on the air for season 14. The show kicked off last week with the lovely, robotic Julie Chen reprising her role as host while trying to bring Halston back with her red halter jumpsuit. If you’re married to the head of the network, I guess you can wear whatever you want.
And the famous Big Brother house has been again redecorated but this time by a blind person with a glue stick who was told to make it look like their idea of the Starship Enterprise. That many colors should not be seen together outside a Mondrian exhibit or a Crayon box. The producers might have intended the ugly surroundings as a “stress and duress” tactic to work like the isolation, overheating, and strategic food deprivation they use to disorient the contestants, but we’re the ones who have to fucking look at it.
by James Tuttle
Are you sitting down? If not, maybe you should be. I have something to tell you. You may have come to know me as an icon of taste and style over these past weeks but I have a terrible admission. I’m not actually perfect. For one thing, my left thumb bends a little crooked, the result of a nasty childhood break. And that’s not the worst of it. I am also recovering from an acute addiction problem.
The last thing I wanted to do was disappoint you, especially now that we’ve become so close. If you think back over our history, we’ve been betrayed by Balmain together, dealt with trampy Housewives, and confronted drag as an art form. You and I have even learned some tricks for the over-40 guy and gone on the lam from the damn mafia, so I feel I should be honest with you. I’m just going to say it. I was addicted to HGTV.
I don’t know how it started. I can’t even remember which show I first watched on this seductive network but it was quickly followed by another and then another until HGTV was on whenever I was home. You have to admit that Candice Olsen does very glamorous work with her gas fireplaces and crystal chandeliers. David Bromstad designed great rooms in the Bay Area, especially when he wasn’t wearing his shirt, before he tanked on the Miami season. Maybe he started wearing his shirt too much.
And don’t get me started on Sarah’s House! Unbeknownst to them, I was involved a love triangle with Sarah and her witty sidekick Tommy, as they overhauled a sixties suburban split-level one season and then a Victorian farmhouse the next.