THEY’RE NOT AS DUMB
AS THEY LOOK, KEN…
Ok, fine, so New Yorkers may take a dim view of the intelligence of our West Coast brethren, but Ken Smith is taking it a little far. Smith is the landscape architect for the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, and he was apparently asked to come up with something snappy to mark the opening of the parks’s first phase, which was July 14. So what did he come up with? A fivestory- tall, 10,560-pound, bright orange helium balloon (which actually sounds kind of cool, since it can carry 30 people at a pop). But surely the symbolism is a little simple-minded, you think; an orange ball for Orange County? Wait, it gets better: “The balloon is an uplifting symbol…for all Orange County, and soon all the nation,” Smith declared in a press release. Balloon? Uplifting? You don’t say! Constant good weather doesn’t addle the brain that much.
KNIGHTED AND DANGEROUS
While we are firmly in the Groucho Marx camp regarding group activities—We wouldn’t join any club that would have us—we congratulate Peter Cook of Archigram fame and HOK on his new knighthood, which was conferred by Queen Elizabeth herself on June 16. But we’re a little worried that all of the Lordy-this Sir-that stuff is going to his head: We have it from a reliable source that he got a letter from Her Majesty’s garter king of Arms (which frankly sounds a little racy to our Yank ears) asking if he wants to bear arms, and he is considering taking said garter king of Arms up on the offer! In a country where even the coppers don’t carry guns! Note to members of the London Olympic Authority: It would be wise to approve his stadium design, and fast!
COLOR US IMPRESSED (OR AT LEAST PINK)
We’ll reserve judgment on his skills as a painter, but Julian Schnabel is clearly a natural at real estate development. According to the New York Observer, the triplex unit atop Schabel’s newly enlarged and violently pink building on West 11th Street is for sale in the $50 million range, and Madonna is a serious potential buyer. U2’s Bono and The Edge were also spotted nosing around. $50 million? Hot pink? Just goes to show that the rich are indeed different from you and we.
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