Thursday, May 27, 2010

press log: planetÂș magazine

Really lovely feature in PlanetÂș Magazine's art section by the kind + indefatigable Jenna Martin.

press log: photojojo

Featured on their lovely blog, with a handy mention of my how-to video, too.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

press log: zeitgeist studios

Featured by architecutural designer Tyler Barnard.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

interview: lost in a supermarket

Had a really fun Q + A with Nicholas Stetcher from his awesomely-named Lost in a Supermarket blog. A silly excerpt:
Q: Do you often work with music in the background? If so, what inspires your work or makes the labor more endurable?
A: I usually listen to whatever pops up on the iPod. The Shins are a favorite, or Erlend Oye, Vampire Weekend, Nine Inch Nails, or The Futureheads. Pan Sonic makes me drop everything and become catatonic.

Friday, May 21, 2010

friday favorites: university of california at berkeley

Reader Severin Martinez sent in a snapshot of the Berkeley campus (my alma mater...go Bears!) near the Campanile.

A campus is a great example of a pedestrian-centric urban development, if you think about it. Roads are narrow, there are plenty of facilities for bikes and people (park benches, water fountains, shaded paths, cafes, bike racks, even emergency police call boxes), and the pace is generally slower and much more pleasant than the freaky nonstop Death Race 2000 happening right outside its gates. This road has sharrows to remind drivers of its mixed use nature, and it's only wide enough to let two cars pass, no wider — a bigger street would only invite speed.

Successful models for "car-light" urban design exist all around us (think outdoor shopping malls or even movie studio lots), and there's no reason we couldn't apply the same design patterns to everyday streets.

Got a Friday Favorite of your own? Send 'em in.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

press log: the atlantic

Nifty little mention on their special report entitled The Future of the City.

press log: the league of ordinary gentlemen

Mentioned in The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, which I in turn mention simply because I love that blog title so much.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

omg: street widening in pre-wwii moscow

Via Gizmodo via English Russia, photos of an entire city block being moved to widen (yes, widen) a street in 1930's Russia. Who says the opposite couldn't be done? ;)

More crazy pics and detailed history, plus before + after photos, at English Russia.

press log: los angeles times

Brief little mention on LATimes, within a news round up headlined by...Octomom. Holy non-sequitur, Batman.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

press log: good

Featured on GOOD. God, I admire the hell out of those guys. I'm thrilled to be keeping company with them.

press log: io9

Featured on io9, one of my absolute favorite blogs that's dedicate to all things science fiction.

Monday, May 17, 2010

press log: archinect

Short + sweet mention by Archinect's Paul Petrunia.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

press log: it's nice that

Featured by the superfriendly Alex Bec on his fabulous London-based blog. And I thought only Angelenos would care about this stuff.

Friday, May 7, 2010

friday favorites: floating logos

From Matt Siber (via my pal Jacob), carefully Photoshopped portraits of roadside signage with their supporting structures removed. From Matt's statement:

Making the signs appear to float not only draws attention to this type of signage but also gives them, and the companies that put them there, an otherworldly quality. References can be drawn to religious iconography, the supernatural, popular notions of extraterrestrials, or science fiction films such as Blade Runner. Each of these references refers to something that can profoundly affect our lives yet is just beyond our control and comprehension.

For me, they also show how signage designed for cars and not humans can literally loom over our heads, distant and free of context like a silent sentinels visiting from another planet, adding to an already alienating landscape of sprawl. More beautiful work at Matt's site.

Got a Friday Favorite of your own? Send 'em in.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

santa monica boulevard + sepulveda boulevard, westwood

Here's the intersection right around the corner from my house. The office towers proudly call themselves the "Gateway" to "Westwood," but I think of it as the point where the great Beverly Hills Freeway comes to an end, abruptly cutting off its dedicated bike lanes and continuing its auto-frenzied free-for-all to the sea. The buildings, far from being an integrated part of their surrounding urban ecosystem, function as self-contained acrologies right out of Sim City and leave pedestrians to fend for themselves against the river of cars that fight for space in the transition from freeway speeds to the daily bottleneck caused by the entrance to the 405 just ahead. This intersection suffers from the classic Los Angeles problem of being a landmark solely on paper; as a destination, it offers nothing for those walking on the street. Narrowing it reveals its true autocentric nature: the lawns on the left become an absurdist ghost park, and the columns on the right suddenly feel disproportionately huge. Like many places in the city it's a perfect candidate for infill by new retail, something I'm sure the workers in those towering offices would rejoice at. See it narrowed!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

alley, santa monica

When I used to live in Santa Monica I would walk one mile to work each way, a lovely commute that seems enviable now. I tended to avoid busier streets like Montana, Washington (which has become an overcrowded, illusory "shortcut" to nearby Wilshire), and the "3n+2" streets: 11th, 14th, and 17th, all of which have signal lights and therefore invite faster traffic.

Instead, I would opt for the alleyways permeating this residential area. Smaller, quieter, and generally car-free, they're inviting places to walk with less purpose and more pleasure, to peer at cats hiding under cars, or glass flowers on a windowsill. Alleys are a missed opportunity; in most minds they're places for "dirty" functions like trash collection and parking, but those activities take up only a fraction of their time each day. The rest of the time they are no-cars-lands, effectively becoming some of the most meditative walking paths in the city. Narrowing this alleyway in particular reveals its true nature: an intimate, silent haven. See it narrowed!

About the Photographer

Los Angeles, CA, United States
Writer, designer, and urban planning geek.

Got a location idea or photo submission? Send it to I'll post it to the blog or even run out to shoot it myself.


Other sites by David Yoon
Personal site

Kindred Spirits
Tom Baker, LA Without Cars
James Howard Kunstler

Nicola Yoon Design
SIFT Angeles


All content © David Yoon and Narrow Streets: Los Angeles.