Carrizo Plain National Monument

Coastal Tidytips
Coastal Tidytips

Trawling through the myriad websites listing the top destinations for wildflowers in California, you’ll eventually find mention of Carrizo Plain National Monument.

Continue reading “Carrizo Plain National Monument”

Playland Park

The west coast has Santa Cruz; New York City has Coney Island; but Rye, NY? Rye has Rye Playland.

Growing up in earshot of the latter seaside park, summers would always be punctuated by the fireworks shows every Wednesday and Friday night that could be seen from my bedroom window. Amid the echoes of the explosions off the neighbor's houses, the clatter of the historic wooden Dragon Coaster rattling along would always leave me breathless as I searched for any audible indication that the coaster hadn't fallen off its tracks or disintegrated into a pile of firewood. The timed screams a few seconds later would indicate that all was well and disaster had been averted. If the wind were right, you could hear snippets from the Grand Carousel, or a 'toot-toot' from the Playland Express, a train that would travel around Kiddyland. Continue reading “Playland Park”

Pisco!

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour

Pisco, a brandy from Peru, became readily available in San Francisco in the 1830s, where it fueled the debauchery of the Barbary Coast.

Nowadays you can enjoy it in a more civilized setting, including the lounge at La Mar, which features Peruvian cuisine. There, you can sample a pisco sour, which was created by a gringo bartender who had moved to Peru in 1904.

If you prefer something that harkens back to the Barbary Coast, try the pisco punch, which was created in 1853 when the Bank Exchange & Billiard Saloon opened on the spot where the Transamerica Pyramid now stands.

We certainly did!

The California Poppy

California Poppies
Cup of Gold

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed my photographic journey over the years that the California Poppy is my favorite flower. Also known as the golden poppy, cup of gold, and California sunlight, nothing else evokes for me the sun’s brightness and warmth and a childlike sense of joy than eschscholzia californica.

Continue reading “The California Poppy”

McKittrick

There will be blood

I awoke before dawn having barely slept the previous night in the dingy motel along the strip of civilization that is the Buttonwillow exit off I-5 that for all I know constitutes Buttonwillow itself.

My plan was to get to McKittrick early and explore, a vision of a Sierra gold rush town transfixed in my mind.

Continue reading “McKittrick”

Hometown Tourist

Can you be a tourist in a town that you grew up in and went to college in? Sure; why not. So if you happen to be in Boston and are willing to try an adventure, head down to Long Wharf to catch the Salem Ferry.

Long Wharf
Salem Ferry Departure

Continue reading “Hometown Tourist”

Fall in New England

Apple Picking
Apple Pickin’

There is nothing more quintessential than apple picking in New England in the fall. It seems to inspire people. Robert Front penned “After Apple Picking,” perhaps after he went apple picking. It makes people fall in love. It ignites hunger, albeit for cider and caramel apples. It provides a tableau for artists of all kinds.

Continue reading “Fall in New England”

The coolest cats

Chinatown

I love this photograph: Christmas Day 2010.

For a few years running, from 2010-2012, we would travel to the city, ride the California cable car to the top of Nob Hill, and stay at The Fairmont for Christmas. It was our “thing.” Continue reading “The coolest cats”

Summer of Munch

If there is one painting that everyone knows by Edvard Munch, it is The Scream. Even though the #sfmoma Summer of Munch exhibit does not display that iconic image, it is amazing to see the context it which is was painted.

Continue reading “Summer of Munch”