Piering Ahead

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The Santa Monica Pier!  It was chilly but sunny as we walked around the Third Street Promenade and the pier with the cousins. Nice for those of us who live here to get some use out of our winter coats!

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Tom treated Sharon, Toni and I to a ride on the Ferris wheel. Great day for it. I’d never been on it before, but it was a great day for sightseeing. We could make out the outline of Catalina Island, which we all visited together some years ago.

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I like this shot of Toni and Gene pausing for a moment while enjoying the view of the Pacific.

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We had lunch at Ye Olde King’s Head.  Love the poster for their bar.  Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie!!

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Circling Los Angeles

We ventured down to Venice, CA to meet up with the OC cousins and Michigan cousins here on a visit.  I thought ahead to juice up the batteries for my good camera, and then forgot to put it in the car.   Sigh.  Photos Well, there was a lot to think about as we prepped for the day, since  we were going down to the beach in the morning, and then out to Claremont to see Ronny Cox in a house concert.  (About 200 miles of driving alone!)  These were taken with my LG smartphone.

This photo is of a mural of developer Abbot Kinney who made Venice, CA happen.  There’s  a lot of good street art in Venice, on the walls, being sold on the beachwalk.  I need to go back with a good camera some time soon.  The bits of old buildings always fascinate me.  The contrast between the large numbers of street people by the beach and the upscale stores on Main Street is amazing.

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I was trying for a shot of the completely sticker-covered soda pop machine behind this guy as he set up his small shop for the day.

Gull on a table.

Harley starts a long day of people watching.  That is, if Harley is in the right chair.  The sign on the other side says “Lisa.”  Is Lisa a dog or a person?  We never found out.

We walked around for a couple of hours.  I bought a couple of inexpensive pieces of artwork for the house.  We went to Santa Monica to walk along the beach there and to visit the King’s Head Shoppe.

Then headed across the city to meet up with friends for dinner and then to see Ronny Cox at a house concert. (In the home of one of my Harmonista pals…that’s the group I’m singing with.)  It was wonderful!   We were the first people to arrive, and he came out and greeted us and stood there talking to us about the 40th anniversary of Deliverance, which was his first film.  He played the nice guy who played the guitar with the autistic kid at the beginning of the movie… Dueling Banjos!

I asked about the tv series Apple’s Way, which I thought might not have mattered to him much, but which I loved as a kid.  He said it was actually the project that caused him to move to Los Angeles.

We had front row seats for the concert in a room that held about 30 concert goers.  Very friendly and fun evening.

Finally arrived home around 11:30 at night, having left home at 9:30 in the morning.  Happy and tired.

Ask a Man to Stand in Front of a Cannon

And there’s no telling how he’ll react.  I think I heard Hydra say, “I’m just warning you, I’m a Vietnam vet!”

This is from Saturday at Santa Monica.   As we walked up there was a guy standing in front of the barrel of this cannon, completely oblivious to being on the business end of a big ol’ weapon.  He moved before I could take his photo, or maybe while I was hesitating, wondering whether it would be okay.

 

He was standing next to me when I took these shots.   I was trying to get Hydra to put his arms down.

Finally, I said, “Think Buster Keaton!”

And boom!

“Good direction,” the guy standing next to me said.

 

Sundry’s Pre-Birthday Adventures : Santa Monica & LACMA

Spectacular rainbow Swiss chard.

Last night we went to see The King’s Speech, which was great.  Really great.  I admit that when Colin Firth was standing next to Ralph Fiennes in The English Patient I understood why his wife dallied with the Count.   Now, I think I might choose dear, complicated Colin.

On Saturday morning we continued the weekend-long birthday celebration (the actual date is the 16th).  One only turns 50 once, so one has to do it up a bit.   It started with Hydra playing guitar in the library while Dodger and I read the morning paper, drank coffee and tossed in the occasional harmony.

Then we ventured down to Santa Monica to the fabled Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

The Good Food podcast from KCRW does a market report at the beginning of each Saturday’s show, so you can keep abreast of what’s in season and shop accordingly, even if you can’t get to this seaside town’s market.

This little item is fresh, but not available at the market.  That’s the end of the Santa Monica Pier over his shoulder.

Sunny seventies Saturday at the beach.   The park above the beach at Santa Monica used to feel a little shabby.  I think they’re taking it more seriously now.   There were people using for all sorts of reasons, including as a place to bed down, but it felt like a botanical garden today.

Coy amid the flora.

After 23 years in Southern California, still not too proud to pose like a tourist.  Route 66 would get me almost all the way home!   (Home in the sense of the wonderful corner of Noble County, Indiana where I grew up.)

Lunched on a cod sandwich and fries at Rusty’s Surf Ranch on the pier and people-watched.   Probably heard accents from a dozen different countries as we strolled.

Drove up Wilshire Boulevard to the L.A. County Museum of Art.  Must have seen this ad for The Beatles on iTunes five times along the way.  Somehow it felt really good to see the fabs up there as if there were a new release coming out this week.

Big wonderful installation art by Richard Serra.   This is the kind of stuff you really can’t fully appreciate unless you’re there.  It changes the way you feel about yourself in space.

I started walking the maze within the sculpture without any expectations.  It was actually pretty wonderful.  Reminded me of 20 Mule Train Canyon in Death Valley, being surrounded by a color.

I wanted to go to LACMA to see the William Eggleston exhibit, which closed on Sunday.  His work, especially from the Los Alamos series, makes me so happy.   I just stood there grinning at the photo of sunshine filtered through a glass on an airline seat back table…I have tried to get that shot.  Really captures the joy that flying used to engender.  I realized that I’d seen and fallen in love with a couple of his images at a Getty exhibit a few years ago.

Hydra said a few of his photos reminded him of some of mine.   Very nice to hear.  I think my nephew DBean’s work is sometimes Eggleston-esque, too.   Thrilling in the every day.

Of course, photos weren’t allowed in the photography exhibit, but we had free rein in the antiquities section.   This statue of Horus seemed so familiar to me.  Then I realized that this was a bird’s internal-eye view of how Dodger sees himself.   The little prince.

We headed home, full of art and sunshine.  Great day!