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Friday, April 22, 2011

It’s Easter and I have a secret: pink.


Pink is my favorite escape color.

When I was a kid and older people asked me, “What is your favorite color?” as a way to make conversation, I always answered, “Red.” Bold, distinct, a little revolutionary, different from what other little boys replied. But like your name, or your athletic ability, it seemed permanent. When I started my own business, I decided red was too much of an architect cliché and went for orange. And over time I have favored Pantone 021 in all kinds of things. My favorite hotel beach towel is the same shade.

Mark Rothko
The Museum of Contemporary Art



Hotels have a way of claiming you. If red is like my birthright favorite color, orange is my modern business favorite color. But my favorite holiday color is actually pink. Pink is like a vacation or a confection. It’s an occasional affair, not an all-the-time color.

Hotel Bel-Air
Las Brisas, Acapulco

Our favorite regular hotel (that we can afford) is the Arizona Inn. Its pink is deep, inspired by the colors of the desert that used to be right next door. But I also like that silly, lighter, luxury pink of LA’s Hotel Bel-Air. I have to be honest, I have never stayed there. But my friends Wendy and Ira got married there, and another friend had her first honeymoon there. When I lived in LA, I went for drinks there as often as possible. A few years ago, buddy Kenwood and I went for drinks and snacks when we were in LA for the AIA convention. Not another architect in site! The fire burned in the lounge no matter the time of year. It was always a world apart. You had no idea you were in LA. Even an hour spent there is an hour on a special mission. Another friend, Jon, is involved in the renovation, and it should look even better when it reopens later this year. Perhaps the owners will invite design bloggers on a special tour. A few miles away, the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard is also silly pink, but that place always seemed a little exhibitionistic, a little too preening.


Arizona Inn

Arizona Inn

Arizona Inn

In sixth grade, we did a report on Mexico. We had to research travel, and of course our little team chose Las Brisas in Acapulco. Every casita came with its own pool. I have never been to Acapulco, but I loved the idea that the jeeps that climbed the hill to your room used to be pink. The gift shop is called the Pink Shop. Another favorite is the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki. If you don’t look too hard, you can imagine it’s before Pearl Harbor and high-rise development. The recent renovation makes you feel like you are holding down the last remnant of grand era. I have to say your skin looks better under a pink umbrella. My three days there a few years ago were just bliss.

Royal Hawaiian entrance

Royal Hawaiian

Royal Hawaiian pool

Royal Hawaiian

Back in San Francisco, at the corner of Taylor and Sacramento Streets on Nob Hill, there is a slender tower that used to be pink. Many years ago, it was painted beige. I suppose it fits into the city better, but it lost its identity. It’s not special any more. I wish it were pink again.

Happy Easter!

The author in a pink shirt, which he wears occasionally.

9 comments:

Bill Weathersby said...

PRETTY in Pink! Brilliant essay. I love the "Think Pink!" musical number in the film "Funny Face." Glam. And a Happy Easter to you too!

Bill Weathersby said...

Kay Thompson trills "Think Pink!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcCN6XA61Es&feature=related

Paolo said...

Happy Easter to you, too! God knows we need a happy day.

pat's sketchbook said...

There is a great skinny pink building on Lafayette park. I have always wanted to live there. In my dreams.....

Vicki Simon said...

Kenny,
You will love the new pink cake pops at (ahem...) Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

What about the Tickle Pink in Carmel?
Happy Easter to you both as well.
J. Fillius

Sandhya Sood said...

You would love the 'pink' forts and palaces of north India. Finding their place among Edward Lutyens and Le Corbusier creations, they are a regal, majestic and powerful pink!

Baroque Diva said...

Yes, you MUST try the pink cake pops! Confection perfection! (For Starbucks, at least) Love the post! Did you know my Boston nickname is Pinkie? ;)

Paul Crabtree said...

Here's something you overlooked -
http://xdressblog.com/?p=54