Now You Don’t. A full-size bar on a large turntable– one that disappears quickly and seamlessly into the wall– can mean just one thing: Dean Martin is back. In other words, at least you might say: he lives here in spirit. This major remodel– born of its initial telltale 1961 footprint– ushers classic mid-century modern into the chic, sharp, rough and polished finishes of today, celebrating cutting-edge technology while commanding a strong link to the entertaining style of yesteryear. From circular walls to centered tub, poolside lounge space to the view beyond– all topped off with new entryway cinderblock stars that really do appear original– in every sense, what’s new is old, and what’s old is new. This truly unique residence beckons fashionable living around the clock. Now you see it, and at any time you can see so much more. And believe me, there happens to be far more than this one impressive spinning bar to be seen!
A Big Leap Into History
Attractively tucked away within the discrete terrain of Brentwood Canyon comes this refreshingly authentic mid-century gem, complete with that ideal medley of nostalgic appointments to remind us the best craftsmanship truly stands the test of time– not to mention an occasional shake or two of the earth. While a full-length partition of decorative cinderblock blends seamlessly with original period railings, wide flat steps and an expansive stretch of floor-to-ceiling glass, that’s merely the view from the curb! Mindful of this auspicious February 29, take a big leap through those classic double doors into the remarkable entirety of well-polished history that awaits. If you appreciate such preserved and timeless residential style as I do, you shan’t be disappointed with 1115 N. Norman Place. Simply drive on over in your ’65 Coupe deVille convertible to appropriately complete the experience.
On The Edge…
A dip in the pool might feel infinite in more ways than one, both for the unending views beyond the water’s horizon, combined with such boundless luxuries in which you’re enveloped. From the far-reaching edge of a completely private backyard, into limitless interior living spaces intelligently balancing fire, water and glass to yield an ideal combination of warmth, texture and openness, this brand-new construction tells its own story in no way words can match. Pool and all, 1740 Bel Air Road sits proudly on the edge– the cutting edge that is– of contemporary architecture, modern decor and unapologetic opulence sure to shine for decades.
Such a seamless transition from living room to pool– five good steps to be exact– effortlessly unites interior space with the outdoors. The fact that an entire uninterrupted stretch of living room– from bar past fireplace to kitchen– literally peels open in one grand disappearance of glass to the view-lined backyard, dramatically cements this union. Meanwhile, the abundant remainder of this striking yet inviting home remains to be discovered. Altogether, the many contemporary architectural elements of 1281 Loma Vista Drive truly bring the “inside out.”
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
A Welcome Step Back
The openness of its flowing single-story floor plan beckons for yet another well-attended, smartly attired cocktail party, as quite likely countless such occasions have here been enjoyed. This is, after all, an entertainer’s playground inside and out, with more than enough space to mingle graciously through the vast, lattice-bordered living room along the terrazzo-floored walkways and walnut cabinetry to the equally roomy combined dining-family room, en route to the telltale floor-to-ceiling walls of glass opening onto the expansive lawn area with tree-lined city views beyond.
If “cottage cheese” ceilings, floral wallpaper and white pile carpet sound appealing, then absolutely nothing need be done to this sweeping 4+5 corner-lot residence. It’s move-in ready, complete with outdoor lattice to match the living room’s. Nevertheless, even such basic and expected cosmetic updates, plus the uncomplicated addition of a pool, will in no way tarnish the magical aura of this inarguably magnificent mid-century Trousdale Estate.
Remarkably yet respectfully, 1012 Loma Vista Drive has seen but one owner since it’s construction in 1958. For all the martini shaking this 4,078 square feet should likely have seen, every detail proves impeccably maintained. Altogether, this truly classic property presents a welcome step back in time, quite literally a once-in-a-lifetime chance at that. Thankfully such elegant and sound architecture stands to be celebrated time and again for decades to come.
Situated high along a prime vantage point of Pacific Palisades comes this modest yet commanding mid-century residence, well deserving of a creative combination of preservation, restoration and modernization. While the impressive ocean and canyon views clearly speak for themselves, this home by itself speaks volumes in terms of classic style and update potential.
It’s all in the cosmetics, for better and worse. While the kitchen countertop and cabinets should certainly go as quickly as the cottage cheese ceiling, the rock fireplace, full-length sliding glass doors and newer roof might not so quickly be discarded. After all, what’s at hand here is an understated yet impressive array of quality, durability and decor to be appreciated, obviously needed improvements notwithstanding. Whatever the future holds for this property, from modest restoration to major rebuilding, the options abound at 16007 Anoka Drive.
Not Just In Brentwood…
Both within my primary service area and beyond, my eyes are on homes for sale everywhere between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. This listing on Sanlo Place in Woodland Hills naturally triggers my personal interest. If you know me at all, you know why of course!
This one-story corner residence has been on the market for some time now. In other words, it’s not selling. In further words, it suffers some challenges and definitely needs at least a bit of work. While visitors will certainly make such judgements for themselves, let’s just say I’m knowledgeable of much of the property’s history that might prove helpful to a potential buyer. Some present characteristics are changeable, while a respectable amount of quality prevails in key places. Altogether, knowing when and how various features were first introduced, I’m picturing how best to restore this home to its day. (And I clearly remember that lovely day!)
If you’d like a unique perspective on 5018 Sanlo Place, I’m here. For better or worse, I’m based in Brentwood– but not just in Brentwood.
Much to Say, More to See.
Such an exquisitely unparalleled property as this commands instant attention and respect. While many large pieces of land on the Westside of Los Angeles remain unique unto themselves, this particular acre seems situated elsewhere than this large city. Immediately through the front gate beckons the distinct feeling of a secluded, well-adorned countryside.
The history of this home speaks volumes. As such, while various modern cosmetic and utility updates shall certainly be in order, historical preservation here remains paramount. From the expansive main house to not one but two guest cottages and much more, the delightful surprises line up to be discovered. After all, how can you go wrong with wall-to-wall leopard carpet? And to boast a patio that feels like your own Polo Lounge could never too shabby!
Much to say, yet so much more to see, 270 S. Canyon View Drive awaits that special buyer who will appreciate and maintain everything this generous piece of residential history has to offer.
Adding to My Bucket List…
Checking out the offerings du jour from my newest favorite sales source, this beautiful gem quickly rose to the top. 1978 was certainly a good year for SLs. As such, I’m adding to my bucket list a cross-country road trip from Vermont to California.
The details are here, in case you beat me to it:
1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SL for sale #1765408 | Hemmings Motor News.
Retaking His Place, The Chapter Closes.
It all comes down to Paris, and then it’s over. A fourth stage win for Greipel, Sagan in green a fourth straight year sans stage win this time, and Quintana in white on the second place podium, altogether behind the first British two-time champion, bring to an end a three-week, 2088-mile journey for 160 of the starting 198 riders to reach stage 21 on the Champs-Elysées.
What was probable becomes certain. Chris Froome is the man– in not only yellow but also polka dots. With this, as 2013’s winner retakes his place two years later, the 102nd Tour de France takes its place in history. And so we close the latest chapter of professional cycling excellence.
And Now, On To Paris!
The second rest day arrives just in time for “gorilla” Andre Greipel to recharge following his third win du jour of the Tour in stage 15, while Peter Sagan is forced to rest with that same old number after the historically dangerous descent of the Col de Manse takes him to the line of stage 16 in– you got it– second. That’s now five #2 finishes for the points-leading “green machine.”
Then come the Alps, along with further losses to the overall field. As American Tejay Van Garderen had been sitting in third place overall, on stage 17 he meets an illness-induced end before reaching this Tour’s highest elevation point on the Col d’Allos. Meanwhile, other-American Andrew Talansky (of only three in this Tour) notably finishes the day in second with a GC 12th place. A French 1-2 closes stage 18 in Saint-Jean-de-Maurine, as Romain Bardet takes his first-ever Tour de France stage win, with Pierre Roland shortly behind. The GC standings and Froome’s longstanding 3:10 lead still don’t change, that is until the following day. Defending champ Vincenzo Nibali, nearly written off in the first week, proves he’s back by attacking on the Col de la Croix-de-Fer, winning stage 19, and moving himself up to fourth place overall, while second place Nairo Quintana pulls ahead to narrow the gap on le maillot jaune by 32 seconds.
This feeds into the penultimate finish atop Alpe d’Huez, at the end of a final climb long predicted to shake up the Tour even further. A great day it proves for the French, as Thibaut Pinot ascends to a remarkable stage 20 victory, holding off the young Colombian in white who crosses the line in second while erasing another big chunk off that GC gap. As such, to keep it interesting if not exactly shaken up, Chris Froome begins the Tour’s last day with a lead of 1:12, down from 2:38, down from 3:10, certainly a humbled presumed winner.
As always, it all comes down to Paris. The champagne soon again shall flow!
After Two Weeks: Yet Another
This year’s first French victory du jour in stage 8, followed by the team time trial of stage 9, close chapter one of the Tour leading into the first rest day, just in time for the wearer of le maillot jaune to gear up for the Pyrenean mountains ahead. And more than geared he proves by the end of stage 10 with his not-to-be-caught solo win on La Pierre-Saint-Martin, reinforcing Chris Froome’s general classification (GC) lead by almost three minutes. Meanwhile, in green, out of green, and back in green again, Peter Sagan keeps a not-so-tight hold on his best color.
Stage 11 to the top of the Col du Tourmalet keeps Froome on top overall, far ahead of defending champion Vincenzo Nibali who’s clearly not having his greatest Tour. If that’s not enough, what some consider the hardest climbing day comes in stage 12 to the Plateau de Beille, amid extreme weather variations from dry heat to hailing downpour– but ultimately still no shakeup in the overall standings. Stage 13 into Rodez offers up the most exciting and unpredictable finish of the week, as Sagan propels to yet another almost-win but must settle for yet another second place du jour. At least he propels ahead in his points total after a momentary mid-stage loss, again showing he actually has to work to keep the green jersey for a change, courtesy of Andre Greipel of course. Still meanwhile– no GC shakeup.
Two-thirds of the 102nd Tour de France close with stage 14, seeing the first win for the first African team in Tour history, renewed points dominance for the “green machine” amid yet another top five stage finish, and in addition to a 2-3 switch in the GC, now an overall lead of more than three minutes for the man in yellow.
It might seem by now that le maillot jaune is wrapped up for this Tour– but then, is it? As always, we shall see. So comes and goes yet another July week across France. Next up, the Alps!
Highs & Lows: One Week in the Books
His risky solo breakaway proves awesomely successful, winning Tony Martin stage 4 and putting him in yellow. The German “Gorilla” throws the hammer down once again in the final meters of stage 5, Greipel’s second win for a second time eclipsing a Cavendish stage victory. Bad luck repeats itself for le maillot jaune, as a crash in the last moments of stage 6 sees Martin across the line with a broken collarbone. And in the next big sprint finish of stage 7, amid anticipation of dominance or payback, the latter ultimately prevails. The “Missile” triumphantly kills the pressure and wins his first stage of this year’s Tour!
Thrilling highs alternate with shattering lows, again and again in that unpredictable and unforgiving pattern that defines bicycle racing. One week of the 2015 Tour de France is now in the books, with the harsh-yet-glorious reminder that anything we might anticipate will always meet the unforeseen. This said, onward they go to the inevitable highs and lows that come next.
Down to the Tire…
Two seconds behind at the start of the final stage turns into one second after the intermediate sprint time bonuses. As such, it must be solved in the last full-tilt sprint to the finish. And so it is, by the very narrowest of margins, all coming down to less than the width of a road tire. In the closest victory in the history of this tour, thanks to a four-second time bonus for finishing the day in third (narrowly enough), the great Peter Sagan wins the 2015 Amgen Tour of California!
Again, Worth Stopping.
As I’ve mentioned at least once before, a favorite cycling moment for me is one in which I’m brought to a halt by the sight of a well-kept, vintage Mercedes-Benz. Such an instance came again, this time along Foothill Road in Santa Barbara. On this occasion the beautiful classic worth stopping to examine was one Stone Pine Green 1976 450 SL, in remarkable condition– at least cosmetically for all I could see. And even better– it’s for sale, along with many more photos than my one. Have a complete look for yourself if you share my appreciation.
Until Last Night…
The sight of Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris almost au naturel on stage may have triggered for you an infamous memory of Academy Awards show history, as it quickly did for me. While no comparing these two very different moments (except in above-waist result), the audience (i.e. the world) had not seen this much bare skin in more than 40 years, even on Cher, until last night!
Laissez Le Bon Temps Roulez!
As they already did for us in Santa Barbara this past weekend, “le bon temps” that is, so too they shall roll today no doubt. Happy Fat Tuesday to all, in New Orleans and well beyond.
Upon mere outside glance the decision might be a difficult one, given such immediate similarity between the C and CLA. As well discussed however, the numerous distinctions come from within the engineering of these two Mercedes-Benz cars, not to mention that other difference– the one from within your bank account. Horsepower, drivetrain and rear headroom aside, talking pure looks in this case, I get the feeling I’d opt for the lower-priced CLA myself. Et vous?
To The Very End.
Is it just me, or was this year’s lot of Super Bowl commercials rather bland and underwhelming? Wait, I can quickly answer my own question: It’s not just me. Never mind I seem to be saying the same thing every year; 2015 out-dulled itself. Oh sure, we were treated to everything from a JFK voiceover to Kardashian egocentrism, media history vis-a-vis a Couric-Gumbel reunion, celebrity appearances by the likes of Matt Damon and Chelsea Handler, and my personal favorite of the evening– the latest nostalgic nod to television sitcom history with the clever and winning union of “The Brady Bunch” and Snickers. Still, not enough I’m afraid.
Altogether, my favorite moment of the evening came not from an ad, but during the game itself. Imagine that! The final interception that sealed New England’s win– and Tom Brady’s immediate reaction to it– are far more memorable than any 30 or 60 second “break” from the action. Unlike last year, Super Bowl XLIX produced a close, unpredictable and truly exciting game to the very end, brawl included! The commercials will just have to keep trying.
To a T.
Considering the more-than-generous portions at less-than-outrageous prices, with soup and salad courses included, alongside classicly well-poured libations, altogether it might just be the best deal in town. After almost 60 years, this special dining spot clearly has it all down to a T.
“Seared” Into Memory…
There’s always a first time, and in this case it’s bacon and ahi tuna in the same bite. These two distinct yet divergent ingredients lay the foundation for the single most delicious sandwich I’ve eaten in recent memory, if not ever! Such a successful contrast of flavors really is like no other.
The menu wording reads quite simply: “Seared rare ahi tuna with avocado, grilled pineapple, bacon, red onion, island slaw and greens with wasabi aioli on toasted sourdough.” What arrives before you: Absolute bliss. The ahi tuna club at Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach wastes no time in proving itself a unique and delightful experience on the palate. Then with the addition of a blackberry mai-tai, the deal’s done. This meal “seared” itself into my discerning culinary memory.
Needless to say, a repeat sitting can’t come too soon. May your own “taste” meet mine.
A Bite & Sip of Old-School Santa Barbara
Richly flavorful as expected, and while not the single greatest version I’ve ever eaten, indeed a winning incorporation of bacon– chopped into small pieces and mixed evenly among the other main ingredients: So went my most recent liver-and-onions dinner, this time in Santa Barbara. It’s a weekly special at this location, served hot though not-quite-hot-enough to counter a rapid drop in temperature, at least in this instance. As such I polished off my generous plate in a good clip, against the cooling clock that is. (The arguable and subtle infraction was not enough to send it back.)
Meanwhile, service proved consistent and attentive, once the transition from bland bartendress to talkative table server was complete. The history is on the wall– literally– and with so many decades of photos and other classic decor to take in, an entire afternoon of “indulgence” seems perfectly reasonable. The copious cocktails runneth over, as well they should– and in this delightfully old-school, red-boothed establishment always do. And when the time finally comes, the robust coffee will have prepared you for your exit quite comfortably, as of course it did for yours truly, dessert notwithstanding.
Despite minor forgivable hiccups during a crowded dinner hour, my first visit can be considered a success. I’m confident my imminent second trip to Harry’s Plaza Cafe will be even better. Join me anytime for a bite and sip, assuming you can locate this discreetly situated local hideaway.
Climbing Right Along…
October 31, 2012: 4000. October 31, 2013: 4900. October 31, 2014: 5300 and then some.
Suffice to say on this marker day, my yearly cycling mileage remains once more on the upswing, climbing right along with the elevations of my newly discovered routes here in very mountainous Santa Barbara. At this rate, with two months to go, my annual record will indeed be broken.
10, 12, 14…
Even-numbered years clearly suit the San Francisco Giants! Here’s to orange victory, again.
Reaching 90, Presidentially Speaking.
At the end of the 20th century, only two U.S. presidents in history had reached 90 years of age, in far different eras at that. By the start of 2014, this number had risen to four, then a few months ago to five, and today the total hits six. Remarkable all the more are four in a row; that is, the four additional nonagenarian commanders-in-chief of the 21st century held office consecutively.
While what’s called “the world’s hardest job” clearly ages the incumbent, it doesn’t seem to be shortening his lifespan these days. Then again, it’s worth noting that all but one of these multi-party six were one-termers. Furthermore, this distinction won’t see number seven for quite a while yet.
How’s all this for a could-be Jeopardy! category of presidential longevity?
History That Shines, MBZ Style.
From one famous version to the next, to capture such a transition in the same eyeshot always proves fascinating, especially via matching samples. This particular automotive progression covers 1971 to 1972, W113 to R107, second generation to third– or most visibly, 280 to 350/450. Altogether, the Mercedes-Benz SL shines through its rich history, while in this case the original California blue plates accurately reflect the close purchase period, no less. And to think, the newer of the two sits for sale right now in Santa Barbara, asking price $26K in case you’re so inclined.