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Alissa Walker Guest
Alissa Walker


Urbanism Editor at Curbed; former Urbanism Editor for Gizmodo; design writer for publications like Fast Company, Dwell, Wired, Details, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times; co-founder of design east of La Brea, an organization that produces design events in Los Angeles; design journalist for DnA: Design and Architecture

FROM Alissa Walker

Design and Architecture

Could the fourth border be a ferry route? Communities along the Southern California coast generally do not use the sea as a transportation route. Why not? And might that change? DnA explores whether it could be possible for beach cities to be connected by ferry services. We go to the end of the Santa Monica Pier with Curbed editor Alissa Walker to observe the remains of the breakwater that once created a safe harbor for yachts, fishing vessels,and gambling ships in the Santa Monica Bay. And we ask the city’s mobility manager Francie Stefan if sea transit might ever be restored. CAPTION: Alissa Walker at the Santa Monica Pier, with the former breakwater in the background. Photo credit: Frances Anderton. We learn from Captain Dan Salas what the challenges, and opportunities, are for running a ferry service today. First and foremost, you “need a safe port for passengers,” he says, explaining how most of the Southland’s beach cities sit on open sea. Add to that powerful headwinds and high swells, then you have to guarantee the passengers, making sure “you are 70 to 80 percent full in order to cover your fuel, your insurance, the cost of the vessel, the maintenance and the inspections and the upkeep, because they’re all regulated by the federal government and the United States Coast Guard,” Salas says, adding that running a ferry boat is “almost like running a large aircraft.” Dan Salas, founder of Harbor Breeze Cruises. Photo credit: Frances Anderton. But he believes it is feasible nonetheless, adding that the first test might come with the possible arrival of SpaceX at Terminal Island, between San Pedro and Long Beach. Salas is considering offering an electric-motorized ferry service for workers who would have to park on the San Pedro side of the harbor. We learn the topic has been discussed in the City of Hermosa Beach. A ferry service has been floated as a possible application of tidelands funds earned from the cable landing sites. If ferry service could serve as a welcome connection for stressed-out Westside commuters, it might be essential in the future. Francie Stefan explains that as ocean levels rise, and tidal events might block PCH, we are going to have to figure out ways both “to enjoy the coast and to get up and down the coast… But I also think by introducing water based transportation we can actually start to break down some of that fourth border.” Bridges and Walls is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. And special thanks to NPR’s Story Lab. Follow this series at KCRW.com/BridgesandWalls

11 MIN, 51 SEC Apr 27, 2018

Design and Architecture

Shopping Locally for LA-Made Goods The design enthusiasts Marissa Gluck, Alissa Walker, Haily Zaki and Erin Cullerton together run de LaB , aka Design East of La Brea—a part-party, part-culture club that introduces Angelenos to LA contemporary design. Last week Frances caught up with them at their last event of 2011, a tour of LACMA's California Design: Living in a Modern Way 1930-1965 exhibition. Since their events have taken them all over the city for sneak peeks of products made by the region's designers, the four ladies each gave their picks for the best made-in-LA designs of the year. If you're still looking for presents this year, their selections would each make a perfect locally produced design-centric gift. The Dustbin by Brendan Ravenhill : This ingenious trash can not only keeps a dustpan and brush at-the-ready, all of its parts were manufactured in Los Angeles by companies ranging from a 60-year-old metal stamper to a brush maker who produces parts for the Mars Rovers. $220 at BrendanRavenhill.com   California Design: Living in a Modern Way 1930-1965 designed by Michael Hodgson and Ph.D : The gorgeous catalogue for the definitive exhibition on California design includes hundreds of objects produced in the state during the midcentury modern movement. $60 at the LACMA Shop   Rodarte by Laura and Kate Mulleavy, Catherine Opie and Alec Soth : This art-fashion photo book is a collaboration between the Mulleavy sisters, renowned Pasadena fashion designers, and photographers Opie and Soth. It features the Rodarte clothes against the California landscapes which inspired them. $80 at Hennessey + Ingalls toHOLD designed by Kara Bartelt : Part modern art, part terrarium, Bartelt's delicate pieces use succulents and airplants to create beautiful living sculptures that look right at home on a desk, a coffee table, even as a unique necklace. Starting at $8.50 at  Etsy  and other LA locations Design your own present at KnowHow Shop LA : Visit this Highland Park workshop with your own gift ideas and their skilled proprietors will help you navigate their fabrication wonderland filled with laser etchers and CNC milling machines to bring your creation to life. Contact for prices Geoff McFetridge's collection at Heath Ceramics : The Los Angeles designer and illustrator dabbles in clay for the first time with a limited-editon line of custom-painted dinnerware and accessories covered in McFetridge's signature doodles. Various prices at  Heath Ceramics , 7525 Beverly Boulevard Top image: Kara Bartelt's toHOLD piece features an airplant inside a pink sea urchin

6 MIN, 31 SEC Dec 20, 2011



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