THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN LOS ANGELES - PART 8: Architecture - Kenzine, the Kenzo official blog

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Lush forests, mountains in silhouette, and the unusual glow of super-sized moons, melting into industrial landscapes of the Pacific Northwest states. This is the majestic yet weird scenery that inspired Carol and Humberto for the men’s Fall/Winter collection, interpreted in cool, twilight tones in several bold and abstracted landscape scenes.

To find out more about what makes this part of the United States so special, we asked three Pacific Northwest natives to share a travel guide to their region. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Georgia Frances King now calls the tree-lined streets of Portland, Oregon her home. She is the editor of Kinfolk and the new unabashed owner of one-too-many flannel shirts. She gives us a tour around Portland.

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“Portland is a city that is so liberal we have five quadrants: Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest and… plain ole North. Each area has its quirks and deserves to be explored, though half of the fun of visiting this smallish city is spending time in the weird and wonderful natural locales that surround it. Here’s a short list that encompasses some of our favorites. 

SALT & STRAW, 838 Northwest 23rd Avenue, 2035 North East Alberta Street and 3345 Southeast Division Street.

 

Green fennel and maple, Arbequina olive oil, dandelion and spring flowers: These may sound like bruschetta toppings, but they’re some of the flavors available at our most infamous ice-cream store. Be prepared—the lines are long, but if it’s an authentic Portland experience you’re wanting, then queuing for the best food is definitely one of them. 

SWEEDEEDEE, 5202 North Albina Avenue.


It is near-impossible to step foot in this cozy establishment without running into a Kinfolk staff member. Mismatched ceramic mugs line the walls alongside an impressive vinyl collection from Mississippi Records, which is housed next door, and there is always a miniature bouquet of locally picked flowers to keep your table company. Their honey pie (a custardy concoction of the sweet stuff mixed with cream) is legendary to locals, but their whiskey cake, salads and egg sandwich are the insider picks. 

NAVARRE, 10 North East 28th Avenue.

 

Incredible food abounds in Portland, so it’s no surprise that tapas joints are resurging, allowing diners to get their fingers into as many dishes as possible at once. One such place is Navarre, a swanky neighborhood institution with a charmingly simple method of ordering that involves ticking off boxes on a laminated menu. Mediterranean influenced with an emphasis on simple dressings and fresh produce, it’s hard to be disappointed, even if you let a 3 year-old randomly scribble on the glossy menu with a marker.

ANGEL FACE, 3540 South East 119th Avenue.


If you find yourself waiting for a table at Navarre, pop next door for a tipple at one of Portland’s newer drinking holes, Angel Face. Their mixologists will be able to whip you up anything you please, and will do so in style and with a good story at hand. At first the pink and green walls may look like wallpaper, but closer inspection always draws coos of delight as people realize the entire detailed interior is painted by hand. 

COAVA COFFEE, 1300 South East Grand Avenue.


There are legions of legendry coffee haunts in this town (Stumptown, Heart, Barista, Extracto, Ristretto Roasters), but one of our favorite places to caffienate is is Coava. Sip some of the best brew the town has to offer while perched on an industrial carpenter’s bench in their renovated warehouse space—these guys are known for creating the Kone, a stainless-steel filter that can be used in conjunction with a Chemex for an ultra-strength brew. Plus, they only serve coffee: Requests for tea will be met with a firm hand pointing toward the exit.

THE MEADOW, 3731 North Mississippi Avenue.


This tiny store continues the theme of doing one thing and doing it very well. Well, three things: The walls are lined with an incredible array of salts, chocolate and bitters that come from the likes of Southern France, Tahiti and Australia. The signature store for America’s sultan of salt, Mark Bitterman, The Meadow is the perfect stop to pick up a small, quirky gift (and do some salt sampling while you’re there).

OPAL CREEK, 721 North West 9th Avenue #236.


If you’re in the mood to either swim or hike off some of the pork products you’ve scoffed in the past 48 hours, Portland is home to multitude adventures that are within an hour or two’s drive. While many head to the obvious locations—Sauvie Island, Multnomah Falls, the Washougal River—Opal Creek may provide you with a slightly different experience. Located in an ancient forest swarming with multicolored giant beetles, this picturesque location has everything you could want: turquoise waters, huge abandoned mining structures, first-come-first-served camping, and if you’re willing to take a short hike, there’s even a natural waterslide for you to zig-zag down.

VINTAGE THEATRES


After stuffing yourself silly, you might feel like reclining in a food coma instead of hiking up a mountain. If this is your vibe, Portland plays host to many old-fashioned movie theatres with some pretty spectacular neon signage. Some favorites include The Hollywood, The Laurelhurst and The Baghdad, but wherever you go you’ll be able to watch old and new films alike for just a few bucks (and have a beer at the same time!).

THE RICE NORTHWEST MUSEUM OF ROCKS AND MINERALS, 26385 North West Groveland Dr at Hillsboro.


If you feel like you need to get away from the crowds, head out toward the coast on Highway 26 and peel off to The Rice Museum, which confusingly doesn’t contain one of the country’s largest collections of starchy carbs, but instead of gemstones and natural rock phenomena (including a particularly impressive display of brightly colored thunder eggs). Off the beaten path and nestled between tall evergreens, this is an obscure Portland-only experience that won’t be found in your guidebooks (or on the outskirts of any other vaguely normal town, for that matter).

THE ENCHANTED FOREST, 8462 Enchanted Way Sout East at Turner.


Stumbling through the dark caves and slime-covered walls of The Enchanted Forest rekindles your childlike sense of wonder. All of the animatronic puppets are still programmed with the voices they had in the 1960s and many of the displays are covered in more cobwebs than they are paint. Wandering around the exhibits—which involves a lot of caves, moss and humorous sound effects—is a fine way to giggle away the afternoon without the aid of alcoholic lubrication or altitude-induced madness.

 

All of our KEEP KENZO WEIRD addresses can be found in our Pinterest map

Lush forests, mountains in silhouette, and the unusual glow of super-sized moons, melting into industrial landscapes of the Pacific Northwest states. This is the majestic yet weird scenery that inspired Carol and Humberto for the men’s Fall/Winter collection, interpreted in cool, twilight tones in several bold and abstracted landscape scenes.

To find out more about what makes this part of the United States so special, KENZINE asked three Pacific Northwest natives to share a travel guide to their region. Jacqui Scoggin of the creative studio Year Round Co. and a prolific cook, introduces Tacoma, Washington.

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'Travel to the Pacific North West and you're sure to meet someone with a laid back vibe about life, and more often than not you'll be standing before a magnificent backdrop of beautiful wooded mountains and coastline. This is true of Tacoma, but the city itself is typically known as the place you drive by on I-5 on the way between Seattle and Portland. It’s also infamous for "Tacoma Aroma", thanks in part to the pulp mill next to the freeway. I promise the city does not smell, but it does have a unique and interesting history. It’s more noble nickname is "City of Destiny” because of the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, opened in 1883 to connect 6800 miles of track between the Great Lakes and the Port of Tacoma. During the 1980s Tacoma went through what we'll call a rough patch, and mentioning that you’re heading up to the Hilltop neighborhood can still fetch you some strange looks. However Tacoma is now one of the top 30 Most Livable Communities in the U.S. and the city is clean, friendly, and an all-round great place to live and visit. Below is a short list of some of our favorite places you shouldn't pass up during your stay.

 

Bluebeard (2201 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403)
Like any true Pacific North Westerner, you probably like a good cup of coffee and a pleasant place to enjoy it. Bluebeard is your place. They roast all their beans in-house and take pride in sourcing the most interesting high-grown Arabica beans they can get their hands on, all while caring for their customers and community. The space is light and open, giving you a chance to catch up on the daily news either solo or with friends. They sell the beans they roast too, which makes great gifts or treats to bring home for yourself.

Urban X Change (1932 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402)
Urban X Change is the best place for vintage and used clothing in Tacoma, recently confirmed by local paper Weekly Volcano in their Best of Tacoma guide. The owners have put together a thoughtfully curated collection with a very PNW vibe of classic rugged denim and plaid and you're always guaranteed to find something unexpected. As is typical to Tacoma, the owners open the space up to the community from time to time and you can attend live music, art gallery shows, or even have your own private event.

Wright Park (316 S G St, Tacoma, WA 98405)
The city parks around here are truly amazing and being avid outdoorsmen, if we can't get away to the mountains, the parks offer a quick reprieve from city life. Wright Park is our favorite inner city park, with 27 acres of rich foliage and over 130 diverse species of trees, each of which is marked by name. The park also includes a duck pond, playground, walking path, and designated lawn area for lawn bowling or bocce ball. In the center of the park is the historic Seymour Botanical Conservatory gifted to the city by William W. Seymour. It opens into a jungle of tropical and exotic plants overflowing from every corner; the perfect spot for a morning walk or afternoon picnic with friends. Watch out for the squirrels though, they're fearless and may snatch up your lunch when you're not looking!

Hilltop Kitchen (913 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma, WA 98405)
Upon entering Hilltop Kitchen, you immediately feel welcomed into an intimate atmosphere set off by exposed wood beams and dark wood tables. The space feels intentionally communal and offers a fine selection of seasonal fresh foods to go with your perfectly pared, hand-crafted drink. Their impressive list of cocktails is divided into two categories "Goes Down Easy" and "Boozy & Odd" and with names like ‘You Got It, Dude,’ ‘Single Dad,’ and ‘Discipline Problem’, you get the idea that these are folks with a sense of humor. Their kitchen menu features produce grown in the Pacific Northwest, but with a Latin American flair that is all their own. Our personal recommendation would be the Street Corn and Cauliflower Tacos.

Museum District (between Dock Street and Pacific Avenue, Tacoma)
There's a reason so many artists and creative types live here and much of it has to do with the support given to the artistic community. In the Museum District of Tacoma you'll find the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Glass, and the Washington State History Museum within walking distance of each other. Throughout the city however, you will find lots of installations and community art, thanks to a big push by Tacoma's Spaceworks Program, who's tagline is 'Vacancy to Vitality!' The program is for local artists that want or need space to create or run a small business. They match applicants to vacant spaces to make use of empty commercial lots and storefronts. It's been a huge asset to the city and the artist community. We ourselves put together a gallery show of our work and the response was encouraging. It's great seeing and hearing about others success stories through the program, while also bringing revolving art installations to those who maybe can't afford a museum ticket price but still appreciate art.

King's Books (218 St Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402)
You would never know they are the largest new and used bookstore in our area, but enter King's Books on any given day, and you are likely to come across Miko or Atticus, the resident feline greeters. The knowledgeable staff can help you navigate the floor to ceiling shelves lined with books to help you find that rare and possibly even out of print book you've been looking for all your life. They have a monthly rotating list of book clubs you can join including the popular Banned Book Club and the Food Justice Book Club. 

Explore our Pinterest map to discover all of our Pacific Northwest spots!

Lush forests, mountains in silhouette, and the unusual glow of super-sized moons, melting into industrial landscapes of the Pacific Northwest states. This is the majestic yet weird scenery that inspired Carol and Humberto for the men’s Fall/Winter collection, interpreted in cool, twilight tones in several bold and abstracted landscape scenes.



To find out more about what makes this part of the United States so special, KENZINE asked three Pacific Northwest natives to share a travel guide to their region. Portland-based photographer and outdoor explorer Kennett Mohrman starts us off on a visual detox: a tour of the PNW’s best trails and strange beauty spots.

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Cape Kiwanda, Oregon - Located on the central Oregon Coast, Cape Kiwanda offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean's waves crashing onto spectacular, otherworldly sandstone formations. The mysterious atmosphere as the fog rolls in sets the mood to some imagined place in a science-fiction thriller.

Lost Lake, Oregon - For camping with beautiful vistas of Mount Hood, Lost Lake is a must. With canoeing, hiking trails, and comfortable camping amenities, Lost Lake is a popular Oregon destination for good reason. Nothing makes me happier than setting up a hammock among the tall alpine trees as the sun sets, listening as the night brings them alive with strange noises.

Silver Star Mountain Trail, Washington - During the late spring, this out and back mountain trail climbs through hills and fields painted with beautiful wildflowers. After a moderate uphill hike of about three miles, you are rewarded with views of the surrounding cascade mountains on a clear day.

Abiqua Falls, Oregon - After a quick hike through a forest and briefly upstream, this short trail empties into an enormous basalt bowl with a breathtaking waterfall spilling over the edge.

Bull of the Woods Trail, Oregon - For a more intense and long distance hike, Bull of the Woods Trail is a wonderful area for those who love to backpack. Deep in the Hood National Forest, this trail snakes through dense trees, rocky hillsides, open cascade viewpoints, and a few alpine lakes (perfect for cooling off after a long hike!). It's hard to feel larger than an insect here, with the massive pines surrounding you as you attempt to climb and descend many steep ridges. The dead of the night out in this wilderness may be one of the quietest places -eerily so- I have ever hung my hammock to sleep.

Our Landscape pieces are waiting for you in the shop! Don't forget to check out our Pinterest map to discover all the entries of our cityguide.

Go Whale-watching on an L.A. Harbor Breeze Cruise.

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This season, KENZO heads out to California, Carol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our tenth and final installment of the series is about water activities!

 

Go Whale-watching on an L.A. Harbor Breeze Cruise
Just sit right back and I’ll tell you a tail- a whale’s tail that is, while you’re aboard this three-hour tour. Blue whales, the largest mammals on the planet, once hunted to brink of extinction, are thankfully still around, and can be found in record numbers off of Santa Monica Bay. Never seen one of the most amazing creatures on the planet in the flesh? Well now’s your chance to see them up close (safety for the animal and passengers will determine how close). And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see it expel from its blowhole, which can sometimes reach 30 feet or more. Sheer beauty and sheer power, the blue whale is a definite sight to see on the L.A. Harbor Breeze Cruises.

 

100 Aquarium Way, Dock #2 in Long Beach. 562-432-4900 www.lawhalewatching.com 
 

Kayak through the Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island.

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This season, KENZO heads out to California, Carol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our tenth and final installment of the series is about water activities!

 

Take a ferry from Santa Barbara and head to California’s biggest island, home to the largest and deepest sea cave in the world (nearly a quarter mile long and one hundred feet wide). At the Painted Cave, named for its colorful walls, explorers can paddle or float down into its deepest, darkest chambers. For those worried about getting “trapped”, visit in the spring when a waterfall flows over the entrance/exit. The cave can be difficult to access due to the Nature Conservancy, which owns and manages the northwest portion of the island where it’s located, so it’s best to go through a travel company.


Stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, and fishing are optional. 805-899-4925 www.channelislando/painted-cave-kayaking.php

Ride a dolphin at La Laguna de San Gabriel at Vincent Lugo Park.

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This season, KENZO heads out to California, Carol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our tenth and final installment of the series is about water activities!

 

Creatures of the sea come to life in this make-believe lagoon playground. Dozens of oversize ocean-themed concrete sculptures, designed by artist Benjamin Dominguez in the 1960s, are as fun as they are noteworthy. You can crawl over a sea serpent, climb and perch on top of a giant octopus, and even slide out of the mouth of a pink whale. If you’re looking to actually get wet, there’s a one-foot-deep gated pool for kids to splash around in.


Corner of Wells and Ramona Streets in San Gabriel 626-308-2875 www.friendsoflalaguna.org

Find your urban oasis downtown at the Kyoto Gardens.

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This season, KENZO heads out to CaliforniaCarol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our ninth installment of the series is gardens, little known but yet amazing!


You don’t find much green among the concrete and metal of downtown L.A., and the views are cluttered with buildings. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle, head to the third-floor terrace of the Double Tree Hotel, where the Kyoto Gardens, a half-acre garden filled with greenery and reminiscent of Japan, is a nice and calming surprise. Smell the flowers, enjoy the waterfalls, and soon everything else will fade away, with only the skyline there to remind you where you really are.


120 South Los Angeles Street in downtown los angeles 213-629-1200.

Beware "the watchful eyes of Argus" at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

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This season, KENZO heads out to CaliforniaCarol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our ninth installment of the series is gardens, little known but yet amazing!


This 127-acre arboretum might be smaller than the Huntington Library’s Botanical Gardens, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find any less of an array of things to do and view. Opened in 1956 on land jointly purchased by California and Los Angeles around Lucky Baldwin’s original development site of the modern-day Arcadia, the arboretum is home to exotic towering trees, a turtle-filled lake, the Queen Anne House (an ornately decorated and reportedly haunted Victorian gem), a waterfall, a “house” made of interwined branches, and vegetation from all over the world.


301 North Baldwin Avenue à Arcadia 626-821-3222

Did you know? : According to Greek Mythology, the eyes on a peacick's tail come from Argus, Hera's watchful servant. With one hundred eyes that were always on alert, he was in charge of guarding Zeus' lover Io. In order to free Io, Zeus ordered Hermes to kill Argus. He put his eyes to sleep and then slew him with a rock. Hera took, Argus's eyes and placed them upon the peacock's feather in his memory.

Make like Tarzan in the Jungle Garden at the Huntington Library’s Botanical Gardens.

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This season, KENZO heads out to CaliforniaCarol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our ninth installment of the series is gardens, little known but yet amazing!

 

The high forest canopy alone signals the drastic change in the environment. As you walk among the understory filled with shrubs, bromeliads, ferns, and leaves so big they could double as umbrellas, you feel as if you should be wearing khakis and a pith helmet while cutting back the dense foliage with machete. If swinging from the vines seems tempting, just think of George of the Jungle to fight off the urge.

 

1151 Oxford Road in San Marino 626-405-2100

This season, KENZO heads out to California, Carol and Humberto’s home state. We asked Joy Yoon - author of the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas' (Universe / Rizzoli International) - to select some surprising and unexpected addresses in Los Angeles. Our eighth installment of the series is architecture. Let's finish this tour in Hollywood at The Chemosphere!

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Credit goes to the American Architect John Lautner for this innovative California Modern house built in 1960. The Chemosphere, a single-story octagon-shaped living space, is perched atop of 30-ft concrete pole in the Hollywood Hills. Faced with a site on a 45-degree angled slope, Lautner came up with this space-aged solution to build on the unbuildable, creating what Encyclopedia Britannica once called “the most modern home built in the world.” To the untrained eye it looks like a spaceship landed here –which Lautner simply welded down and called home- but it remains to this day one of the most renowned Modernist buildings in America.


7776 Torreyson Drive in Los Angeles.

 

From the book 'The best things to do in Los Angeles – 1001 ideas', by Joy Yoon (Universe / Rizzoli International).

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