Random Acts of Beauty

Thank you librarians of this world for your shelves of suggested new books. The librarians of LA’s Central Library have been a big part of my effort to cut down on screen time in the evening (during the day my workshop and home restoration duties force me away from that infernal iPhone).

Librarians have a real talent for suggesting books I’d never find on my own such as Wiener Werkstätte Jewelry. Behold, the striking pendant above designed by Koloman Moser in 1905.

William Burges Cardiff Castle.

Another serendipitous find, Gothic Revival by Megan Aldrich introduced me to the work of architect William Burges. A recent Guardian article featured a tour of Burges’ Tower House in London that just happens to be owned by Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page. The ceiling of Burges’ Cardiff Castle, above, shows Burges’ extreme commitment to ornament and detail.

Lastly, when it comes to screen time, I’ve been thinking about re-watching the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, Stalker, in particular. Like all of Tarkovsky’ work the film is poetic and ambiguous. In Stalker, Tarkovsky addresses two of the issues that keep me up at night: ecological disaster and a culture that has become overly literal minded.

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  1. Beautiful picture of Burges’ Cardiff Castle. At first glance, I thought that it was a picture from the latest Root Simple bungalow renovation. Got carried away with the possibilities of table saw molding?

  2. Readers advisory (recommending books to library users) is a real special reference librarian skill set. One I continue to hone. I’m glad the LA librarians are getting such a blue ribbon! Yay pretty things and smart people.

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