February 26, 2013
Every now and then its good to see your normal surroundings through a different lens. Monday was a bit more of a low key day after all our running around on Sunday. The boys were up and out early and took a long walk around Manhattan Beach while I was able to get a bunch of work stuff done. Later I broke free and joined them for a coffee at the food stand on the beach - someplace I hardly go despite it just being steps away. We walked down to the pier to catch the sunset from that view - another thing I rarely do. After an early dinner, the jetlag was already hitting them, so we made our way back home and pretty much called it a night. Even without going far from my normal zone, stopping to see it the way others do can always be nice.
Posted by Jon Berry at 10:51 AM
February 25, 2013
My friends Frank and Norbert are visiting from Berlin, so I'm getting to play a bit of tour guide while they're here. Yesterday en route to Griffith Observatory, we took a bit of time to explore the ruins of the old LA Zoo. Tucked away in Griffith Park, the old zoo is a couple miles south of the current location of the LA Zoo, and was its home from 1912 to 1965. The old zoo had a history of troubles, from only raising $2000 to build the original zoo, to problems with sickness and animal treatment (including a disastrous period where the city council forbid the zoo to feed beef to its animals). Many buildings and features were built in the 30's by the WPA, but it was still subject to heavy criticism. Finally in 1958 voters authorized bonds to build the new zoo, which despite a media circus and political battle, opened in 1965. I was surprised, but pleased, how much of the old zoo is left open for the public to freely wander through. The bear enclosures are surely the star attraction, but the big cat cages and other assorted remains were pretty interesting as well. It certainly makes you glad the days of zoos using enclosures like this for animals are gone.
Posted by Jon Berry at 12:39 PM
February 22, 2013
Another recent graphics package posted to the website: The graphics package for "Infamous 911 Calls" was completed in December and aired on E! a couple weeks ago. I've been lucky to work with E! a lot since they rebranded last year with a great new look, and this package was to conform to their clean 'black, white and a pop of color" theme, but have more gravity and be a bit more darker (in tone, not color) than a lot of their look. Working from style frames designed by John Northway that reflected the nature of emergency calls emanating across geographic locations, I worked with E! to develop and animate a package of over 40 interchangeable elements, covering everything from transitions to transcript formats to segment opens. The show open was based on clips from 911 calls featured in the show, designed to escalate in an increasingly frenetic nature before leveling out into the resolve. Constant visual elements throughout the package are the circular rings, geographic map-like textures, and square tiled transitional patterns inspired by digital signals to add to the urgent frenetic nature of the elements when in transition on or off the screen. You can check out a reel of the open and some of the completed package elements here:
Infamous 911 Calls graphics package
Posted by Jon Berry at 12:50 PM
February 21, 2013
Its almost that time of year again... Tuesday was our first pre-season LA Galaxy game at Home Depot Center this year. We played Xolos de Tijuana (which also shares its fan base with San Diego). Like it always seems to do near the beginning of every season, it was drenched. My friend Alan had cancelled out of going because of the rain, and honestly, I'm glad he did. He went with me to the home opener with the ACB a couple years ago when it was an absolute monsoon - and was such a trooper that I never even knew he was miserable til months later. The rain stayed off for a while, and for a weekday game, there was a great crew from the ACB, though inside the stadium Galaxy fans were probably outnumbered 10 to 1. That's often the case when we play teams from CONCACAF and Mexican Association Leagues, and it can lead to some heightened emotions in the stands. I used to wonder if that came from some subtle level of racism, though I think its really just frustration or indignation at being outnumbered in your own home. The crew held it together and plenty stuck it out even after the skies completely opened up. The team did their part as well, pulling through to a 6-2 win. Admittedly, its a lot easier to weather the storm when your team is winning; but rain or shine, win or lose, it was good to be home again.
Posted by Jon Berry at 9:16 PM
February 18, 2013
My buddy Pat and I checked out the annual Scotsfest at the Queen Mary yesterday. It was a great day out, and I guess the lure of beer, whiskey, and sheep was too much for us to resist. Apparently the Queen Mary was built in Scotland - whether that was the reason for having the fest there or if it was just a tie used to rationalize it after the fact, its hard to know. We filled the time between bagpipers and sheepdog demonstrations (my favorite part, of course) and guys in kilts throwing strange big things with samples of beer and scotch and scotch pie. To be honest, I can't say you should add it to any of your 'must-do' lists (especially considering the admission price), but it wasn't a bad way to spend an afternoon on a nice day.
Posted by Jon Berry at 12:56 PM
February 14, 2013
When I was traveling in Europe after the Olympics last year, I was on a train from Brussels to Munich. Early into the trip, we pulled into a train station that I could tell had to be amazing, even just from what I could see from my seat in the train. I actually remember at the time not being sure whether we were in the station or not, which turns out to be somewhat intentional. I grabbed a few pics, but didn't even know what I was seeing at the time. It turns out we were in Liege, at the Liege-Guillemins station which is a hub for high speed rail networks. Though the station has been there since 1838, this new station opened in 2009. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava, whose work I know best from the Milwaukee Art Museum (apparently that trip was pre-blog!). Liege-Guillemins connects two different parts of the city, and is meant to symbolize transparency as an urban dialogue with those parts of the city. I think we actually sat for 10 minutes or so there - I wish I had known it was a planned stop for that long or I would have jumped off and tried to grab more shots and even just experience the space a little before the train moved on. (The bottom exterior shot here is by Andrew Russeth via flickr) There are more great shots in this article on arcspace here:
Liege Guillemins TGV Station
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:39 AM
February 11, 2013
Posted by Jon Berry at 2:10 PM
February 10, 2013
Posted by Jon Berry at 3:36 PM
February 8, 2013
.75 oz Drambuie
.5 oz Cherry Heering
1.5 oz Compass Box The Peat Monster Malt Scotch Whisky
Garnish: Orange twist
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.
1 tsp Demerara sugar
2 oz Scotch Whisky (Macallan or Ardbeg)
Glass: Mug or heatproof cup
Rinse a mug or heatproof cup with boiling water to warm it. Add 1 teaspoon Demerara sugar and a swatch of thin-cut lemon peel. Add 1 oz boiling water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add 2 oz brawny single malt Scotch (Macallan or, if insane or very cold, Ardbeg). Finish by adding 1 oz more of boiling water to bring the heat back up.
Or check out the Bee Sting, Holy Smokes, or the Perfect Pearl Manhattan from Liquor.com here:
Posted by Jon Berry at 4:37 PM