Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

I posted some website shots of the Kauffman center when it opened this past fall. We went to a concert tonight and I took a few phone shots of my own and thought I'd share. You enter the building and then take stairs or an elevator up to the main level where this was taken. Yes, the front wall and ceiling are glass. And yes, its stunning.

There are two performance halls, the Muriel Kauffman theater, and Helzberg Hall, both serviced by this lobby. Multiple bars make grabbing a pre-show drink a breeze, and Chris the cute bartender made it a pleasure.
We had super seats in the orchestra, third row center, which you actually walk down to from the lobby. Since we had a little time we took our drinks up a level and walked the length of the building. Its beautiful from pretty much any vantage point.

This shot is inside the theatre, and its a little bit deceptive. Those panels that front the balcony and boxes are indeed reflective, but far less harsh in person. They don't reflect so yellow in person either, the way they do here and in every photograph I've seen. When I first saw pictures I thought it might be a little bit garish but its really not. There is a lot of color in the seats, carpets, and wall panels, so its not subdued, but its nothing crazy either.

We saw An evening with Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin. I enjoyed the show, but it made me realize the one way in which I'm a bad gay: I have almost no knowledge of, or love for, musical theatre. Brett has a little more knowledge and thanks to him I now know Patti Lupone was the definitive Evita.

We turned around for one last shot as we walked a couple blocks to the car in the bone-chilling night air. I think the symphony will be our next ticket and I'm really looking forward to going back.

Monster Marbro

The auction house I hit most here in town shuts down a little before Christmas through the end of the year. Tuesday night was the first sale of 2012. Nothing I needed badly, but there were three Marbro lamps I wanted to see. I don't know a lot about Marbro other than they were in Los Angeles and they made some pretty spectacular lamps back in the day, which sell for quite a bit on eBay.

The first was a crystal column with bronze fittings and a grey linen shade, the sort of thing we could totally use around here. I reluctantly let go at 80 and it sold for twice that.

The last was a bottle-shaped, carved marble number with a carved and pierced floral band around the body. People at auctions go crazy for marble and I never even got in the fray. I think it ended up going for 170. And then in the middle there was this:

Yes, that's a normal wine bottle, so yes, it's huge. In fact from the table to the top of the finial is 46 inches, so its just shy of four feet.

Chinoiserie chrysanthemums on a white background, with a gilt base, pull chains as well as an inline switch on the cord. The quality is there, this thing is heavy as hell. Looking over the body it appears to be flawless. It was lit at the auction house so electricaly everything seems to be in working order, although I always feel better when vintage lamps get new wiring. The base even seems good if just a bit dusty.

I love a big lamp, and you know I love a little Asian flavor, but sadly this bad boy doesn't really fit in here. Someone's got the love as well as the perfect spot though, so this weekend its going up on eBay. Of the 60-some Marbro lamps currently listed there are a number of chinoiserie styles, but none this big or this model. I'm hoping it does well as I still have one brass lamp here to take in for nickel plating. Wish me luck. Or even better, bid your best!

The Facebook makes me laugh

A strong DIY urge

I've been in the mood for a project. Unfortunately I've also been a slug. I had every intention of starting my burnt orange faux-lacquer sideboard last weekend. The weather was nice enough I could have opened up the garage and started stripping the old finish, but as the snow is falling outside now I fear that ship has sailed.

Still there's this:
It's already down in the basement, where its warm, along with a plastic dropcloth. A non-toxic, low VOC stripper would be fine to use down there.

I want to strip it down to bare wood and take a look at Minwax's charcoal gray stain. They have a couple other gray options too, and Sherwin-Williams has 25% off January 12 through the 29th.

But there's still the issue of the top. The wood frame around the edge is just fine, but the "field," consisting of some patterned veneer is done. Some is curling up and some is just plain gone. I was thinking about a stone top and stopped by Carthage Marble here in town a while back. I asked about off-cuts or remnants, which they'll cut and edge. For my 42 inch table the price would be right around 700 bucks. Obviously NOT what I'm going to put on my 50 buck Craigslist table.

But what about filling in with this?

Its slate, the color is Silver Shine. Best of all, it's veneer. A tiny slice of stone backed with fiberglass, easily cut with hand shears and applied with plain old construction adhesive. Best of all, two 2x4 foot sheets are $109.

Now if I can just pull myself off the couch this weekend and get started.

The emancipation of Ladybird

photo credit: JoeMyGod

Well, the race just got a lot less funny.