Urban Design Observations, Los Angeles Edition

In L.A.’s tony neighborhood of Marina Del Ray, here’s something you’d never see in New York:

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Yes, they’re free. 

There are three cardboard tubes inside (the side ones are empty). I also found it hilarious that they have instructions for how to use these printed on the bottom of the box face. In fact I’d say everything printed beneath the dispensing hole is a mini design fail, as the text is unnecessary and is obscured by the bags protruding from the holes.

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This circular bench seems simple but is attractive, and a fine example of what you can do with a tapering jig for a table saw. I can see the builder in my head making a cut, flipping the piece around its long axis and making the second cut with the jig.

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Also, while the bench does not look new, the wood doesn’t look like shit like most wooden outdoor stuff does in New York. Los Angeles’ better weather makes wood a much better materials choice for outdoor furniture.

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Finally, this utility box. 

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Unadorned, these things typically look like shit, and I’m impressed that the neighborhood beautification committee, or whatever they have out here, took the time to wrap it in this graphic. It looks a damn sight better than the sheet metal would.

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