Carpe Design!

My motto has always been “Carpe Diem” (“Seize the Day”), which to me means take time to smell the smells, laugh out loud until it makes you cry, love all the good people, eat and drink with friends often, swim at every opportunity, and travel as much as possible….oh!… and that live in the moment thing.  But I’ve realized lately that I’ve become lazy and that maybe I need to put specific parameters on what will qualify as “Carpe Diem-ing” for the rest of my life.  So I’ve decided that I’m going to try something new every single day that makes me uncomfortable…in a good way.

 

I plan to test out my current resolve on our “new” fixer-upper once we navigate the vagaries of the permitting process.  I’ve been looking at paint colors, tile samples, window details, marble slabs, bathroom fixtures, and kitchen sinks etc., and my choices this time around will not be conventional. If it doesn’t make me uncomfortable – or make me laugh – it’s not going in my new house.

 

“Building a nest” – in my case “decorating” would be a euphemism for what actually happens – will be fun; a whimsy–filled experience that makes me happy!  If I can get beyond the contractor issues, the cost of Sheetrock, the angry neighbors and the too tight budget, I should be home free.  All the shelter magazines are full of “fun” interiors; bright chairs, unconventional light fixtures, blurred lines between indoor and outdoor space, ridiculous bathtubs, furry couches and sublime art. This May, Architectural Digest, arguably the last bastion of urbane good taste, features a mash-up of avocado shag and playful puce sofas in stylist Carlos Motta’s Manhattan apartment…he’s clearly a man who understands a fun interior and an unconventional choice! So anything goes right?!

 

Icicle Pendant_Detail 8x10 Icicle Pendant_Detail Grey

 

At Boyd Lighting we’ve always aimed for drama, beauty, design gravitas…but even here we’ve caught the “fun” bug and are lightening up.  Look at the Icicle Pendants with dancing colored cords and soft spiked glass…or the Topanga family with 96 possible combinations of wood, shagreen and metal…or the bright glass in Orange or Turquoise of the gorgeous Grasse sconce…or the swirling curlicues of the Alhambra series…all are a light-hearted designer’s dream.  Our latest fixtures are unexpected, exciting and fun and over the next two quarters our new pieces will push the bounds of conventional design!

 

Grasse Sconce Blue_8x10

Grasse in Turquoise

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Grasse in Orange

Bedside table with crystal lamp

Alhambra Table Lamp

 

 

In March I fell in love with and purchased a 3’x4’ painting in bright turquoise and hot red framed by an over-the-top ornate silver frame…of the Virgin Mary.  I think she’s going to go over the tub in the master bath, but I haven’t shown it to my husband yet.  I didn’t get a consensus vote, and it made me uncomfortable in a good way. But that was two weeks ago and I’ve barely recovered.

 

 

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Virgin Mary in Turquoise and Red

 

Now I’m coveting a ridiculous, over-the-top armchair I have no room for anywhere.  It is covered in lovely, deep curly sheep skin, and I am determined to find a place to put it, (in my kitchen?), even if it doesn’t make sense.  I’m getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, so for now I’ve revised my motto:  Carpe Design!

 

Boyd Bracket 2015: Some Chalk & Plenty of Shock!

First off, no one is an expert at picking NCAA tournament games. March Madness is a moniker both deserved and long-validated by, well, madness. Nova over Georgetown in ’85, Duke taking out undefeated UNLV in ’91, C-Webb calling the timeout that didn’t exist against UNC. More recently, we’ve had Duke shown the door by 14 seed Mercer, and Georgetown (more to come this year for the Hoyas as well) losing as a 2 seed to something called Florida Gulf Coast.

 

This year the storyline is one of Goliath: Kentucky, undefeated at 30-0, enters the tournament seeking the end chapter to a perfect season. Kentucky’s head coach John Calipari is often maligned for building a program that focuses on NBA-ready talent, high school superstars who, after a rule change requiring NBA draftees be at least 19 years old, attend college for a one year apprenticeship in basketball. Kentucky has sent a veritable who’s who list of stars to the NBA after one season, including all-world players like John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Anthony Davis.

 

 

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Calipari pointing to future NBA lottery picks

 

This year though is different. After a somewhat unexpected run to the Championship Game in 2014, Kentucky has returned three starters, including Junior center Willie Cauley-Stein, and Sophomore twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison in the backcourt. Still loaded with freshman talent, including Carl-Anthony Towns (a possible top pick in this year’s NBA draft) and Trey Lyles in the starting five, Kentucky is less a team built on one-and-done’s, and more a team that simply has every conceivable box checked. Tournament experience, shocking height and length on defense, ridiculous talent off the bench, and possibly the best offensive and defensive players in the country (Towns and Cauley-Stein, respectively).

 

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Cauley-Stein = erasure

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Towns = rim punishment

 

Everyone knows about Kentucky, but there will be challengers, and plenty of upsets in this year’s tournament.

 

Biggest upsets

 

Georgia St. (14) over Baylor (3)

 

Nobody is taking this. But we believe in Kevin Ware. In 2013, Ware suffered one of the most gruesome leg injuries ever seen in a basketball game playing for Louisville, the eventual NCAA Champions that year. Ware has come back, reshirting the next year to recover and transferring from Louisville to Georgia St. Ware was the MVP of the Sun Belt Conference tournament this year, and it’s just too good of a redemption story to pass up.

 

kevin ware

Return of the mack!

 

 

Buffalo (12) over West Virginia (5)

 

Everybody is taking this, and for good reason! Buffalo is coached by former Duke legend Bobby Hurley, and his team takes care of the ball. This is important because WVU is a team that presses, forces turnovers, and scores off of those turnovers. Buffalo has the MAC Player of the Year in Justin Moss, and without turnovers West Virginia’s offense will struggle. Book it.

 

justin moss

We call this the “See my leggings? They’s pretty huh?”

 

Deepest runs by unexpected teams

 

Utah

 

Utah will pull off upsets over both Georgetown (not really an upset, but seed-wise, sure) and Duke in consecutive rounds. Watch out for Delon Wright, former City College of San Francisco star and younger brother of former Golden State Warrior Dorrelll Wright, he could have a star-making turn in this year’s tourney.

 

delon wright

I got more hops than Dorrell, he knows it too

 

SMU

 

Same bracket as Utah, the wild wild South, and also the bane of Utah in the Elite Eight. SMU is coached by maybe the best basketball coach in history, Larry Brown, the only head coach to win NCAA and NBA championships (with Kansas and the Detroit Pistons). SMU also holds teams under forty percent from the field, and it’s real test will be against Iowa St. in the second round. Coaching matters more in college, and we’ll take Larry Brown vs. the field, until they reach the Final Four.

 

Final Four

 

Kentucky (1) over Arizona (2)

 

In a battle of NBA talent factories, Kentucky has the experience, the better coach, AND the better talent. Look for Kentucky’s defense to manhandle the young Wildcats and win easily.

 

Virginia (2) over SMU (6)

 

In a battle of slow-paced, low-scoring, beat-em-up grind teams, Virginia’s length and talent will win out. If Justin Anderson is right, the Cavaliers will make this a blowout.

 

justin anderson

If I’m right? Take a walk Boyd Lighting

 

 

Championship

 

Kentucky (1) over Virginia (2)

 

Virginia is the poor person’s Kentucky. Long, talented, suffocating defense, well-coached. Trouble is, Kentucky is better at all of those things, particularly the length and talent. Watch for a close tight game in the first half, with Carl-Anthony Towns and the Harrison twins taking control on offense in the second half, breaking down Virginia’s elite defense and stretching this out to a double-figure win.

 

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

As the most heavily immigrated-to port on the west coast during the late 19th  and early 20th centuries, the San Francisco Bay Area has a long and storied history of immigrant culture. During the California gold rush, many early immigrants made the voyage to the United States from China, crossing the Pacific and arriving at the Port of San Francisco. In 1848, the Chinese populace in San Francisco founded the first Chinatown in North America, and today it remains the oldest Chinatown on the continent.

 

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Since those early years of San Francisco’s establishment, the Chinese community has remained one of the most vibrant ethno-cultural communities in the Bay Area. San Francisco’s Chinatown is the most populous Chinese community outside of Asia, and for more than a century and a half, Chinese customs, food and culture have become a key part of the diverse cultural landscape of San Francisco. Of all the aspects of Chinese custom and culture to flourish in our fair city, the celebration of Chinese New Year is undoubtedly the grandest.

 

Chinese legend tells of an ancient monster called Nian, a beast that would ravage the villages of ancient China every New Year. In order to stop Nian from feasting on farms, animals, and the people themselves, villagers began placing food in front of their homes as an offering to Nian, but it is Nian’s fear of firecrackers and the color red that are at the root of the colorful New Year’s festivities.  If you are lucky enough to experience the Chinese New Year’s parade in San Francisco you will experience firsthand the lighting of fireworks and firecrackers, and the pervasive, and elaborate uses of the color red.

 

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With a Californian history reaching all the way back to those early days of San Francisco gold fever, San Francisco’s Chinese New Year celebration is the largest Asian cultural event in North America, and the biggest “general market event” in all of Northern California. Included in SF’s Chinese New Year festivities are the annual Chinese New Year Flower Fair (which wrapped over Valentine’s Day weekend) and Chinatown Community Street Fair (March 7-8). The climactic Chinese New Year Parade will be held on Saturday, March 7th at 5:15pm. This year’s theme for the parade is the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Goat Ram, which are emblematic of creativity and artistry. If you were born in 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, or by some miracle you are an infant genius reading this blog piece and born in the year 2015, this year’s Chinese New Year Parade will hold special significance!

 

Check out San Francisco Chinatown’s website for more information on the Community Street Fair and New Year Parade, including a detailed map of the parade route.

 

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Q1 Launch – You Must Defeat our Dragon Punch to Stand a Chance

In times of great crisis, the world looks for a hero. Boyd Lighting has found three in Fiyel Levent, Jamie Drake, and Doyle Crosby.

 

Our all-star lineup of Q1 designers has helped Boyd roll out one of the most ambitious product launches in recent memory, with six distinct fixtures, including four portable lamps that redefine our idea of interior lighting aesthetics.

 

The Alhambra Series, designed by acclaimed designer Fiyel Levent, is the flagship of our Q1 launch, with two wall sconces, the square 12” x 12” and a taller 18”, and the Alhambra table lamp. The intricate design of the Alhambra fixtures incorporates modern fabrication techniques with ancient motifs inspired by Central Asian and Islamic architecture.

 

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Fiyel Levent

 

Seen below in situ, one notices the gorgeous inscriptions on creamy white plates, creating an opaque and delicately rendered pattern of light.

 

Interior beautiful apartment

Alhambra 18″ Installation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alhambra 18in

Illuminate much?

 

 

Bedside table with crystal lamp

Alhambra table lamp, bedside table

 

Resident guru of rad-ness, Jamie Drake, has expanded his scintillating Topanga Series with the new Topanga Petite Table Lamp. The elegant, luxurious design of previous iterations of the Topanga, like Boyd’s Two-Tier and 8-Arm Chandeliers, has been redeployed into a smaller, sleek portable lamp that maintains the grandeur of the Topanga line of fixtures.

 

JD Headshot 2011

Jamie Drake

 

How do you define versatility and grace? With brilliant options in shade (finished metal and white linen), metal finish (six variations of brass and nickel), and the signature hub of the Topanga, which boasts three wood options (natural maple & walnut, grey cerused oak) and five colors of shagreen, including peony! PEONY. Yes, the sound you just heard was Boyd dropping the mic.

 

Observe the variety of detail shots that illuminate the Topanga Petite’s liquid-fantastic vibe!

 

Topanga Table

Topanga Petite Table Lamp

 

Topanga Table_Shagreen choc_Fab shade detail

Linen shade, chocolate shagreen

Topanga Table_Walnut Detail

Polished nickel shade, natural walnut

Topanga Table_Shagreen peony detail

Three words: PE – O – NY!

 

Like gunslingers of old, Doyle Crosby is nothing if not consistent. This consistency, creating trend-defining fixtures year-in and year-out as Boyd’s in-house designer, might overshadow just how ahead of the curve his artistic sensibilities are. No longer.

 

Headshot 2012

Doyle Crosby

 

Perhaps the most ambitious fixtures in our Q1 launch are Crosby’s Abacus and Bauhaus Table Lamps. These require a triple-take. Then some thought, some daydreaming. And then a few more mental pictures. Meanwhile, each sets a new standard for post-modern lighting design.

 

The Bauhaus Table Lamp – evocative of Bauhaus architecture – sits atop a square base and resembles stacked blocks (or wooden “windows”) partitioned by metal.  The Bauhaus blends modernism and mid-century sophistication flawlessly, introducing Boyd’s new, silver cerused oak finish with a flourish.

 

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Bauhaus in situ

 

Bauhaus Detail 2

Silver cerused oak…much like the Elven craftsmen of Middle-Earth use

 

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Bauhaus Table Lamp

 

The Abacus’ calling card is a base of stacked rounded wooden discs separated by beautiful metal spacers; it is an elegant interpretation of its namesake. The first fixture to feature Boyd’s gold cerused oak finish, the Abacus’ treads the borders between mystery and understanding. One moment you think you’ve got it, the next you return to square one.

 

Abacus TS_Accurate

Abacus Table Lamp

 

Abacus Detail

Abacus detail

 

cabot in clasic room

mmm, this room smells of rich mahogany

 

Boyd Lighting’s 2015 is a year of redefinition, and it’s only beginning. Check out all of the new products on Boyd’s homepage, and stay tuned for our Q2 launch, coming in spring. We’ve only just begun.

Psssst…Q1 Launch Preview, Boyd Pulls Back the Curtain on 2015

In case you were looking for redefinition in the doldrums of winter-spring, Boyd Lighting has it in spades! Take a gander at a few of our soon-to-be-launched 2015 portables.

 

Bedside table

Fiyel Levent’s Alhambra Table Lamp, part of the exquisite Alhambra Series that includes two sizes of wall sconces!

 

 

Bauhaus Bedroom

The Bauhaus Table lamp by our very own Doyle Crosby. Note the Silver Cerused Oak finish, and stay tuned for its sister fixture, the Abacus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topanga Table_TS

The Topanga Series goes portable! Jamie Drake’s gorgeous set of fixtures adds the Topanga Petite Table lamp to its lineup!

 

Next week, see our full slate of Q1 Launches, as Boyd Lighting’s gears up for a memorable, luminous 2015!

When the Lights Go Up in the City

In the months leading up to the winter solstice, the days grow shorter. To accompany the longer, colder nights, the lights have gone up in our fair city! San Francisco and its surrounding environs are a hotbed of holiday lighting displays, from public monuments to private homes, and we at Boyd Lighting would like to take a moment to celebrate the collaborative holiday illumination of the Bay Area.

 

The historical significance of Union Square is grand: built by the now eponymous first mayor of San Francisco, John Geary, the square was initially constructed to honor the Union Army in the mid-19th century. It is home to memorials as old as the Dewey Monument, circa 1905, and public art as new as the Hearts in San Francisco installations, sculptures auctioned off and renewed every year since 2009. As the central hub of San Francisco, Union Square is also home to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, a brilliant tradition reignited just two weeks ago.

 

 

Christmas tree on Union Square at night. San Francisco, California, USA

 

 

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While the Embarcadero matches Union Square in history, it surpasses it in evolution. San Francisco’s waterfront and center of trade for over a century, the Embarcadero has had many incarnations. From bustling, turn of the century seaport to military hub in the Pacific Theater of WW II, from freeway partition between city and sea to rebuilt modern boulevard following the ’89 earthquake, the Embarcadero is one of the most beautiful and transitional of San Francisco’s landmarks. The Embarcadero Center’s holiday lighting ceremony overlooks an open-air ice rink, and is remarkable for the way the glowing outline of each building accentuates the San Francisco skyline.

 

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220px-Embarcadero_Center_-_Flickr_-_Joe_Parks

 

Not to be outdone by their more stationary cousins, San Francisco’s more quaint transit venues also enjoy adding their own spark in the Holiday Season. The Sausalito On The Waterfront Foundation, not two miles from Boyd Lighting headquarters, holds an annual Lighted Yacht Parade, where over 50 decorated boats tour the Sausalito Waterfront. San Francisco’s Classic Cable Car chartered tours depart from Fisherman’s Wharf, where sightseers get to take in all of the city’s lights and holiday vistas aboard gorgeous, Yuletide decorated Cable Cars!

 

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I’ve left maybe the most glorious, awe-inspiring lighting display in the Bay Area for last… and not without reason. Nearly two years ago, the Bay Bridge was illuminated like never before. The Bay Lights, as the project has come to be called, is already a Bay Area classic. Twenty five thousand LEDs, individually programmed to shine rhythmically through the night, decorate the suspension cables on the two mile western span of the Bay Bridge, stretching from Yerba Buena Island to San Francisco. A study in scale and an opus of light, the Bay Lights stretch 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high at their peak.

 

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Under the auspices of the Illuminate The Arts non-profit, this massive public art installation was designed by Leo Villareal, a nationally recognized artist famed for large-scale light sculptures including public LED installations in Madison Square Park, NY, and the National Gallery of Art’s Concourse in Washington, DC.

 

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Yet this magnificent sight is not a perpetual gift to the public. The Bay Lights have been funded only for a two-year span, which will end this March, 2015. In the spirit of giving that is the core of our brilliantly lit holiday season here in the Bay Area, please take the time to donate to the Illuminate the Arts homepage to keep the Bay Bridge lit past 2015 and beyond!

 

As 2014 comes to a close, Boyd Lighting wants to wish everyone a very happy, well-lit, and artfully designed holiday season!

Boyd Cares: Holiday Food Drive 2014

For the past several years, Boyd Lighting has held a holiday season food drive for the San Francisco & Marin Food Banks. As a company that began in 1921 in San Francisco,  helping the needy in our area is a cause near and dear to our hearts.

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Helping this wonderful organization collect donations is our small effort to give back to the community that has supported our business for over 90 years. Once again, we have organized an online Virtual Food Drive where donations can turn your $1 bill into $6! Through generous corporate partnerships, local farmers, and food donors, the San Francisco & Marin Food Bank is able to take your $1 bill and secure $6 worth of nutritious foods – enough for three full meals – which can then be distributed throughout the community. Think about that for a moment… A $10 donation can turn into 30 meals. A $25 donation will provide 75 meals for seniors, children, the disabled, and those down on their luck.

 

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Each and every day, the SFMFB distributes the equivalent of 100,000 meals, so the need is there, and unfortunately, it only seems to get greater. Without your monetary donations this effort would certainly not be possible. Even the smallest of donations make a difference. We have set a modest goal of $2000 and/or 100 lbs of food. We will try our best to surpass those goals…with your help!

 

Please give what you are able in order to help out this wonderful cause. Click here to donate for the San Francisco & Marin Food Bank. For more information on food banks near you, or for information how you can donate with a check, please contact me. Happy Holidays!

The Giants’ Mystique, Jinxes, and a Question of Dynasty

It’s early to even mention it. It may even be a cosmic jinx to write it out and publish it on the internet. But no one can deny the historical context of the 2014 World Series, and the debate over whether a third San Francisco Giants championship in five years would constitute a dynasty.

 

Of course, if you are on the East Coast or populate an I-95 metropolis, you might be chalking it all up to luck. We’ve often heard how the baseball postseason is a crapshoot, and no team in the national sports dialogue is more emblematic of the stars aligning than this most recent, uncannily successful iteration of the Giants. The meteoric 2010 run to the franchise’s first World Series title since 1954 (rest assured that the ghosts of seismic earthquakes and Rally Monkeys are just as foreboding as the Curse of the Bambino and Billy Buckner) was definitely the most improbable at the time.

 

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“I’m totally generic compared to the freakish movement on this split finger change”

 

Built on a historically dominant pitching staff that simply waxed lineups in September (18-8, 1.78 ERA), the Giants rode performances that ranged from the transcendent (Tim Lincecum’s 14 strikeout 2-hit shutout in Game 1 of the NLDS), to the shocking (Cody Ross taking two deep off of the impervious, coming-off-a-no-hit-postseason-debut Roy Halladay), to the foreshadowing (Buster Posey, .288/.354/.744 with a postseason rookie-record 17 hits, and Madison Bumgarner, 2-0, 18k, 20 IP, 2.18 ERA). An unlikely champ to say the least, and one that defeated teams in the Braves, Phillies, and Rangers that all came with greater fanfare and more highly touted star power.

 

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“My power is beyond your understanding!!”

 

The following year was forgettable. Everyone in the Bay Area remembers the tremors of 2011. Posey’s ankle snapping in a plate collision that would later end a century-long tradition of catchers being run over (and Scott Cousins being banned from San Francisco). Trading Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler. Some ridiculous reality show on Showtime. Really, a jinxed year all together. But then the odd number turned to even, and 2012 brought with it new faces, along with some recognizable faces taking on new roles. Hunter Pence, acquired in a midseason trade, brought five-tool skills, a confounding, unorthodox swing and a unique pant-to-sock ratio. Marco Scutaro, left for dead on baseball’s scrapheap, also joined midseason and finished the year with a 20 game hit streak (more on this below). Buster Posey, ankle healed and back in the squat, won the NL MVP and Batting Title in his third season. Pablo Sandoval, who had sat the bench in favor of Mike Fontenot in the 2010 postseason, was named an All-Star starter, joining Posey, Matt Cain, and the now forsaken Melky Cabrera. And Tim Lincecum, heretofore the face of the franchise and most recognizable Giants star, would humbly move from starting ace to bullpen dervish for the 2012 playoffs.

 

While 2010 was improbable in the sense of the Giants being a mostly unknown ballclub, the improbability of 2012 was sheer, odds-beating guts. The Giants opened the 2012 NLDS by losing the first two games at home, and then coming back enflamed, sweeping the Reds and ex-manager Dusty Baker in three straight games in Cincinnati. Let’s pause, and offer a moment of silence for Buster’s grand slam off one Matt Latos, he of the infamous “mercenary” nonsense (love ya Buster).

 

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“I prefer the term bat-for-hire”

 

The Reds series was also notable for Timmy’s 1.42 ERA and 8k’s out of the bullpen, and Hunter Pence going pregame football scream-speech all over the place. The 2012 NLCS brought another showdown with elimination, as the traditionalist’s dream the St. Louis Cardinals took a 3-1 series lead, with the much defamed, 126 million dollar man Barry Zito on the mound for Game 5. Somehow, beyond impossibly, Zito pitched the game of his life, carrying a shutout into the eighth inning. I’ve argued with many a Giants fan on whether that albatross of a contract was worth Zito’s 2012 postseason run (while Sandoval was benched for the 2010 postseason, Zito wasn’t even active), where he shone with a 1.69 ERA, 2-0 record, and only 3 earned runs in 16 innings. Most say something close to no, but, given his track record before 2012, the fact that I haven’t received any unequivocal no answers speaks volumes to Zito’s redemption. The Giants would go on to win the next two games, off the strength of the resurrected Marco Scutaro’s performance at the plate, with the following, absurd splits: .500/.533/.607/1.140. Not much of a debate for the NLCS MVP. (One crazy sidenote on Scutaro: he had only, and read this carefully, six swinging strikes in a 170 AB stretch during the second half of the 2012 season. He swung and missed SIX times in 170 at-bats. That may be the most absurd statistic I’ve ever seen, thank you, thank you Fangraphs).

 

To cap off 2012, the Giants would face another ESPN / East Coast media darling, the juggernaut Detroit Tigers. MVP Miguel Cabrera had won the Triple Crown and former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander was simply unhittable. But apparently, the Giants pitching staff and Pablo Sandoval weren’t paying much of any kind of attention to the hype. The Panda went ahead and paid homage to Mr. October, crushing two of Verlander’s pitches over the wall (three in total), including a pitch way outside that he just knuckle-busted to the opposite field. I still enjoy watching the replay of Verlander mouthing “Wow” in disbelief, watching the opposite field muscle shot land in a screaming sea of orange.

 

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Quoth the Panda, “Nevermore”

 

Ah beautiful. Cabrera would bat a subpar .231, and the Giants would proceed to sweep the Tigers, clinching in Detroit and again simultaneously shocking and embarrassing the so-called baseball experts, who had consistently picked against them.

 

Now, after another ignominious odd-year in 2013 where they failed to make the playoffs, the Giants seek to win their third World Series Championship in a five year-stretch, again in improbable fashion. Off the unlikely, left-for-dead bat of Travis Ishikawa, the Giants again have defeated the Cardinals in the NLCS in dramatic fashion, this time with a walk off home run. Many faces are the same: Posey, Pablo and Bumgarner, along with the four headed bullpen monster of Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, Serigo Romo, and Javier Lopez, were all on both the 2010 and 2012 teams. Many new faces have shown their mettle: Joe Panik, Yusmeiro Petit, Michael Morse. But strangely, this year more than any, the Giants are winning despite an absence of some of their greatest stars: Angel Pagan, a linchpin at the top of the lineup in 2012 is out for the season; Lincecum and Cain, bulwarks of the starting rotation, are gone to a loss of mechanics and injury respectively.

 

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This is what “I just cruuuushed it” looks like

 

But with Posey, Sandoval, Bumgarner, and the middle relief, one other constant remains. Bruce Bochy, the essence of equilibrium. He of the gargantuan cranium and longtime catching experience. It’s become fashionable to name him the best manager in the game, and the pundits likewise grudgingly place Posey and Bumgarner in the pantheon of elite players in the game. But, as we in the Bay Area have known since the mystical postseason success began in 2010, this team is about much more than MVP awards, or All Star appearances, or media kudos, or star recognition. Simply put, the more they succeed in October, the more they believe they can continue that success. The more often they navigate pressure and face elimination, the more they bounce back and outperform expectations.

 

What they face now is no easy task. The 2014 Royals look a lot like the 2010 Giants: young, brash, talented, built on defense and pitching, a murderer’s row of no-name players that the national media doesn’t recognize. They look to engender their own brand of magic with their first championship in 29 years. Then again, what the Royals face now is likewise no easy task: a team of misfits and uber-talents, a devious minded manager, and that certain October mystique that bears no easy definition. If the Giants do win, they will join only the 1910-1913 Philadelphia A’s, the 1912-1918 Red Sox, the ’42-’46 Cardinals, a variety of Yankee teams (’36-’43, ’47-’53, ’58-’62, and ’96-’00) and the ’72-’74 Oakland A’s  as teams to win three championships in five years. If that doesn’t constitute a baseball dynasty, I’m not sure what does.

 

I will say, in full disclosure, that after editing this post I waited. You see, when you mention jinxes, they have a strange way of…jinxing. In 2004, watching the Giants play the Dodgers, I somehow uttered this, “The only way they win is if Finley hits a grand slam, there’s no way he’ll do that off of Wayne Franklin.” (Double full disclosure, I had to Google the pitcher). Well, if you don’t recall, Finley went ahead and hit that grand slam, a walk-off that clinched the NL West for the Dodgers. My best friend turned to me and said, “Should’ve knocked on wood dude.” I have never forgotten that. Jinxes are real in baseball. As proof, I’ll point to the Giants game one win against the Royals, a game played with no blog post with “dynasty” in the title posted an hour before the first pitch!

 

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Am I really ending this with a Dodgers’ stillshot? Further evidence that jinxes are real, in baseball

 

Links

1. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/poseybu01.shtml

2. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bumgama01.shtml

3. http://m.mlb.com/video/v15201733/must-c-collision-cousins-posey-collide-at-the-plate

4. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/z/zitoba01.shtml

5. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/scutama01.shtml?redir

6. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/marco-scutaro-and-baseball-at-its-simplest/

7. http://blog.sfgate.com/giants/2010/09/29/team-building-according-to-mat-latos/

8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1TVP5OsqZk

9. http://m.mlb.com/video/v25447495/must-c-classic-sandovals-threehomer-game

10. http://www.dodgersnation.com/throwback-thursday-steve-finleys-walk-off-grand-slam-vs-giants/2014/04/17

A Mythology of Light

Illumination is ever-present in our civilization’s mythology. We grew from roving hunters to petty shepherds, from planting alfalfa and corn to constructing engines, all under the majestic lights of the sun, the moon and the stars. In our wonderment we have written the mysteries of light into our legends. Many Boyd designs evoke the mythology of light.

 

After the war between Titans and Olympians, Zeus and his pantheon of younger gods ruled over earth and humanity. Prometheus, one of the last surviving Titans, gave humans the knowledge of fire, symbolizing the gift of enlightenment. Zeus’s anger, lightning through darkened clouds, can be seen carefully in the design of the Catacaos!

 

Heavy Gale Black Stormy Clouds

Lightning in the sky…

catacaos

…the Catacaos, a vision lighting your ceiling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amaterasu, the Japanese deity of light and the sun, once withheld the sunlight from Japan, hiding in a heavenly cave for generations.  She was tricked into reemerging when the other gods placed a celestial mirror outside the cave. Amaterasu believed another goddess of light was set to replace her, but in truth she mistook her own reflection. The mirror, Yata no Kagami, is one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan, representing the virtue of wisdom. Mirrors are longstanding focal points of lighting design, emblematic in our Mirage Sconce!

 

4_-_Amaterasu_Shinto_Sun_Goddess

Goddess of light, arrested by her reflection…

Mirage

…the Mirage Sconce arresting the attentions of your guests!

 

 

We all remember Aladdin discovering the enchanted oil lamp, and the djinn that lived within. Boyd’s own Steampunk Sconce embodies the image of the oil lamp, and with nostalgia lamps installed, the mischievous djinn may indeed be the source of light!

 

oil lamp 1

Ancient oil lamp, djinn escaped.

oil_lamp_beauty_by_forsakenraptor-d4qzy7o

Victorian oil lamp, djinn returned?

 

steampunk

The Steampunk Sconce, you wished for an airship, the djinn granted it!

 

In more modern mythology, we see the designs of light mirroring modern and ancient traditions. Tolkien’s creation myth centered around two trees that lit the world before man. The great smith Feanor forged three legendary jewels faceted with the light of those trees, the Silmarils. Though generational tragedy led each jewel to be lost into the sky, the earth and the sea, our Baguette Sconce reimagines the concept of jewel and light!

 

maglorcastsasilmarilvf2

Maglor throws the Silmaril into the sea, griefstricken…

 

 

 

 

Baguette

…the Baguette Sconce illuminates your joyous residence!

 

Of course, what is more distinct in modern myths of light than the lamp post of Narnia? After Lucy ventures through the wardrobe, she discovers a brilliant lamp post amid the swirling, icy winter of Narnia under the White Witch. There she meets Mr. Tumnus, and begins the cycle of adventure for the Pevensie siblings. Two Boyd fixtures are emblematic of the illuminated winter in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, our Belvedere Lantern and the Icicle Drop Sconce!

 

narnia

Lucy, the lamp post, and the icy castle of the White Witch in the distance…

 

belvedere

…the Belvedere Lantern, aglow above wintry exteriors…

 

Icicle 10540

…and the Icicle Drop Sconce, accenting your festive holiday interiors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The visionary quality of Boyd Lighting’s designs will only continue, as our Q4 launch approaches. Stay tuned!

 

 

A Tale of Two Cities…and of a Legend, Too

Sitting in my hard plastic seat on an 80 degree evening, I take in the sight of an absolutely glorious sunset against a backdrop of palm trees, rolling hills, and thousands of smiling faces.  Is Los Angeles like this every day?

 

As a Mother’s Day gift, I recently took my mom down to L.A. for the weekend.  Sure, Mother’s Day was over three months ago, but I’ll get to that later.  During our short visit, we explored the Hollywood Hills and then strolled on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, taking countless snapshots of terrazzo and brass stars along the way.  In the evening, finding great food was not a problem.  Did I mention the guacamole?  A restaurant we ate at had undeniably the best tasting guacamole I’d ever experienced.  A serving went for $18, which was essentially one avocado, but knowing what I know now, I would have gladly paid double.  In fact, after starting with culinary perfection in the form of such a simple appetizer, the actual dinner turned into an afterthought.

 

But I digress.  Why did I choose this particular weekend for a trip to the Southland?  Sir Paul McCartney was going to be in town!  My parents were big Beatles fans when I was growing up, so I spent many years listening to and appreciating their musical talents.  In 2010 I watched Paul perform live at AT&T Park in San Francisco, and vowed that if the opportunity ever presented itself again, I would be there.  And I was!

 

He was wrapping up the final leg of his “Out There” tour with a swing through The Golden State.  I bought tickets in early May as a Mother’s Day gift, so the wait for this show felt like a long time coming.  Dodger Stadium was the venue this time around, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect night.  The weather was balmy. The setting was stunning. The crowd was friendly and enthusiastic.  Singing along to hit after classic hit from his Beatles, Wings, and solo catalog was something that I’ll never forget.

 

LA 2014

Los Angeles

From the opening chords of “Eight Days a Week”, to the pyrotechnic extravaganza of “Live and Let Die”, to his final song “The End” during the second encore nearly three hours later, Paul never took his foot off the accelerator and the crowd devoured every moment of it.  No one went home disappointed, especially my mother.  Thank you, Los Angeles, for being such a wonderful host city.

 

But the story does not end there.  Four days later, Paul McCartney returned to San Francisco for the last date of the tour, at Candlestick Park.  To put things into perspective, whereas the Dodger Stadium show was a very big event for their city, the San Francisco show was The Event to be at, fully one year in the making.  In contrast to L.A., the weather was cold and windy, and the fog made its presence known quite early.  If you weren’t wearing winter clothes, you were probably from out of town.  Traffic around the ballpark proved to be a nightmare, and some folks frustratingly never even made it into the stadium after hours of trying.  There was no food being served other than popcorn and cold sandwiches.  But to me, this was even more perfect than Los Angeles had been.  After all, this was home.

SF 1966

San Francisco 1966

SF 2014

San Francisco 2014

 

You see, this was the final public event held at The ‘Stick before it meets the wrecking ball early next year.  In 1966, The Beatles performed their last ever live show here, so having Paul as the stadium’s final performer held special significance, both for him and for the crowd.  He reminisced about that show five decades prior and paid tribute to his former bandmates.  He even played some rare songs just for the occasion.  But this was more than just a concert.  It was a chance for us to say goodbye to a terrible venue that held so many wonderful memories – World Series games, football championships, a history of sports legends, a visit from a Pope, or for me, simply that day as a kid sitting with dad and watching a Sunday afternoon double-header in a cold and mostly-empty ballpark, idolizing my heroes who played the game I loved so much.  Oh, Mother Candlestick used this last opportunity to wreak havoc, but these tickets were worth more than gold to those of us lucky enough to hold one in our hands, and a bit of cold weather wasn’t going ruin anything for us.

 

So long, Candlestick.  You will be missed…