Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - a year in review...

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? But, just where did 2010 go?

Cooper at Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara
Labrador Cooper Hendry's Beach
I have to say I've had great time in and around Los Angeles this past year, and these are just some of the highlights of an amazing twelve months...

January saw my blogging empire expand when I launched Daily Billboard, indulging my fascination with all the cool billboards dotting L.A.'s skyline...
True Bloods Rehydrate billboard
In February we ventured into the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the first time to hear the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra perform...

Inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall
LA Philharmonic Orchestra
March saw a rainy 82nd Academy Awards and I took a peek at the Oscars set-up day along Hollywood Boulevard...
82nd Academy Awards Oscar statue
Meanwhile atop Runyon Canyon, an artist named D*Face had created an alternative Oscar professing 'Beauty is one snip away'...
Alternative DFace Oscar 2010
We continued to enjoy being so close to the ocean and ventured to Santa Barbara with Cooper for fun and games along the dog-friendly shore of Hendry's Beach...
Beach Labradors playing

Chromatic Gate Santa Barbara
April was a time to train dragons and continue with my other blogging endeavour which focuses on original costumes and props from the movie industry...
Dragon training
In April we also ventured for the first time over to the Huntington Botanical Gardens near Pasadena to be inspired by nature...
Huntington Gardens flowerHuntington cactus garden
Plus we tried our hand at whale-watching in the Channel Islands, but sadly being late in the season, all we saw were some sea-lions...
Channel Island sea-lions
San Francisco welcomed us in May for the 99th Annual Bay to Breakers 12k race, which was the rowdiest costumed affair you've ever seen. It was the perfect way to train for my first half marathon later in the year and great fun to run with friends. We're already signed up for the 100th year in 2011...

Running Bay to Breakers 2010
Jason racing Bay to Breakers 2010
Bay to Breakers 2010
We continued to make the most of L.A.'s outdoor lifestyle and took advantage of Cooper's wealthy dog friends to have a few puppy play-dates in the swimming pool...
Swimming Pool Cooper
Labrador Cooper pool diving
This year we had less outings to the Hollywood Bowl, but we did see some great shows, including the inaugural year of Singalong Grease...
Singalong Grease Hollywood Bowl
And a performance of one of my favourite musicals, Rent, with an all star cast...

Hollywood Bowl cast of Rent
Rent cast Hollywood Bowl 2010
This year finally marked another milestone for gay rights when Harvey Milk Day was officially celebrated as a holiday for the first time in California on May 22, 2010 (Harvey Milk's birthday), to honour his life's work for the gay community and to remember his assassination.
Harvey Milk Day celebrations
In June I enjoyed the diversity and fabulousness of L.A.'s annual Gay Pride Parade, now in its 40th year...

West Hollywood Pride 2010
WEHO Gay Pride 2010
For the Fourth of July weekend we took ourselves off to Palm Springs with some friends for fun, sun and relaxation...
Palm Springs pool duckie
Palm Springs wind turbines
In July we took advantage of the dire property market and bought a new condo in West Hollywood, rather than throw money away on renting, allowing us to refurbish the apartment in our own style and make it feel like a home...
WEHO condo
Fantastic news and a great victory for gay rights came in August when the first steps to overturn Prop 8 took place, when a federal judge deemed denying same-sex marriage unconstitutional...

West Hollywood victory rally on August 4, 2010
Prop 8 overturned rally WEHO

West Hollywood rooftop support for gay marriage
Let freedom ring California
I got up close with Glee's Jane Lynch in August, as she unveiled her new Sue Sylvester waxwork at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood...
Jane Lynch Madame Tussauds
Sue Sylvester Jane Lynch waxwork
Additionally in August L.A.'s Sunset Strip was invaded by giant Gibson guitars, becoming a public art installation called GuitarTown...

GuitarTown sculptures
GuitarTown invades Sunset Strip
Also during August Santa Monica Boulevard was illuminated with some classic neon signs as part of the On Route 66 public art display...

La Fonda neon sign
Route 66 Lights WEHO
This year I crossed another thing off my 'to do' list and finally ventured out at night to photograph the fascinating Urban Light sculpture at LACMA, the installation of 202 antique iron streetlamps look even more impressive in the dark...
Urban Light at NightUrban Light sculpture at Night
September saw me get all sporty and run my first ever Half Marathon at Disneyland in a fantastic time of 1:44:30...

Running through Disneyland
Disneyland Half Marathon
In September I also tried my hand at being a paparazzi and stalked Teri Hatcher, James Marsden and other celebrities at the Malibu Triathlon...
Teri Hatcher paparazzi Malibu
James Marsden Malibu Triathlon 2010
Later that month we headed off to Florida and a trip to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando to enjoy fireworks, rollercoasters and humidity...

Fireworks over Magic Kingdom
Disneyworld fireworks

Jason's first time at Epcot
Jason at Epcot

Exploring the world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando
Hogwarts School Universal Studios Orlando

Teaming up with Captain America
Jason and Captain America
October saw me running the Rock 'n' Roll L.A. Half Marathon and beating my personal best by four minutes...

Finishing the Rock 'n' Roll L.A. Half Marathon
Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon Jason
And signing up to train and run the L.A. Marathon in March 2011 with the Team To End Aids to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles...
Team To End AIDS Jason
For Halloween this year I indulged in some traditional pumpkin carving...
Halloween pumpkin lantern
And donned my Spider-man suit to venture out into the night and enjoy the delights of West Hollywood's Halloween Carnaval (until the crowds got too unbearable, that is)...
WEHO Halloween Carnaval 2010WEHO Halloween Spiderpeople
In November we flew to New York City to meet up with friends and had a great time exploring the Big Apple (and drinking lots of cocktails)...

Jason on the Brooklyn Bridge
Jason on Brooklyn Bridge

Jason in Times Square NYC
Jason in Times Square NYC
Then it was back to California to get ready for a wonderful Christmas with Charlie and Cooper...
Christmas Cooper kisses
After almost three years in L.A., I'm still enjoying the adventure, whatever the weather...
Misty Downtown Los AngelesDowntown Los Angeles skyscrapers
I wonder what 2011 will bring, good things I hope. I know for sure there's a trip back to the U.K., friends visiting us in L.A., a marathon in March and maybe even a wedding.
Paws in the sand
Happy New Year...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December's coolest billboards around L.A...

With almost a full week of non-stop rain it's been a difficult month to capture the billboards lining L.A.'s skyline in December. Luckily when the sun does break through and the skies are clear, those drinks, film, fashion, TV, music and other cool billboards really do get a chance to shine.

Drinks billboards
Skyy Vodka unzipped billboard
Let's kick off this festive season round-up with this saucy Skyy Vodka 'unzipped' billboard, whose colourful design looks stunning against that California blue sky along the Sunset Strip.
Bacardi bat logo billboard
Bacardi work late billboard
Next up are the new brand ads for Bacardi and I really like their new creative made up of their iconic bat logo.
Maker's Mark Yep, they're real billboard
Always having to showcase the recognisable bottle of alcohol in the creative could be a bit tedious, but Maker's Mark always finds a way to make you smile with their witty copy and innuendo.

Music billboards
Beatles iTunes billboard
The big news in music this month was The Beatles back catalogue finally being available on iTunes and the billboard to promote this momentous milestone didn't disappoint.

Movie billboards
Green Hornet film billboard
The billboard for the new big screen adaptation of cult 60's TV show The Green Hornet burst onto the scene this month along Sunset Boulevard with this action-packed creative.
Gulliver's Travels movie billboard
I liked how they cleverly worked the Gulliver's Travels movie title onto Jack Black's soles on this Lilliput-inspired creative and his shoes peeking over the top of the billboard really helped convey the 3D aspect of the movie.
Yogi Bear picnic billboardYogi Bear and Boo Boo billboard
December also saw another childhood favourite cartoon character take to the big screen, but this time in a mix of CGI and live-action filming.
Yogi Bear river rafting billboardYogi Bear driving billboard
The creatives may help you realise he's smarter than the average bear, but I'm not sure they necessarily let you know this isn't just an animated adventure.
How Do You Know billboard
New Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy, How Do you Know, may have had real star power on its billboard, but it failed to light up the box office this month.
True Grit remake billboard
Finally for movies, the Coen Brothers remake of the John Wayne classic Western, True Grit, looked suitably foreboding around the streets of L.A.

TV billboards
The Cape TV billboard
Whilst lots of shows took a break for the holidays, other new and returning shows geared up for the new television season, like this heroic looking billboard for The Cape.
Wishful Drinking TV billboard
HBO aired Carrie Fisher's one woman stand-up show, Wishing Drinking, and promoted it with this fantastic drunken Princess Leia Star Wars parody. So clever and funny.
Gene Simmons Family Jewels billboard
The sixth season billboard for Gene Simmons Family Jewels reality TV show, about the 'Demon' bassist from the iconic 70's rock band, Kiss, added some sparkle to the Sunset Strip this month.
Hot in Cleveland TV billboard
Whilst Betty White proved she's having the time of her life as her new series, Hot in Cleveland, returns for a second season.
Shameless TV remake billboard
Showtime gives a Hollywood makeover to Channel 4's award-winning Shameless, which looks far more glamorous than the original British show.

Fashion billboards
Emporio Armani winter 2010 billboard
For fashion, Emporio Armani continued to be suitably stylish along Sunset Boulevard.
Louis Vuitton fashion billboard
Louis Vuitton debuted a summery new billboard just in time for the Holiday season, which was a relief as their previous creative had been there for months without changing.
Guess by Marciano sailor billboard
Everyone loves a sailor, well at least that's why this billboard for Guess by Marciano caught my eye along Melrose Avenue.
Tiffany diamond ring billboard
Finally, Tiffany & Co provided the perfect luxury accessory for the woman who has everything, with this stylish billboard for yellow diamond rings.

Games billboards
Epic Mickey wii game billboard
Mickey Mouse received a bit of a makeover for his new Wii game and made quite a splash with this cool billboard.

Travel billboards
Right amount of wrong billboard
And finally for this month, I love this quite literal 'cheeky' billboard for The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, although I'm not really sure they'd allow guests to go bottomless in their pool, no matter how pert their buttocks were.

That's it for 2010, be sure to come back next month for a round-up of the best billboards around L.A. in January and be sure to check out Daily Billboard every day for more cool creatives, or why not follow on Facebook.

Until next time...