One Good Life in Los Angeles

Roslyn's observations about places and events around Southern California


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Lotus Festival at Echo Park

echo park lotus festival

“Park Proud”

Another day, another adventure in Los Angeles!

Yesterday I joined several friends to celebrate the blooming Lotus plants at Echo Park, located approximately two miles from downtown LA. As usual, we all arrived by public transportation from all over the city. For me it was the Expo Line train to the #200 Metro bus up Alvarado to Sunset Blvd.

echo park lotus festival

This was the 37th annual festival. Echo Park Lake was closed for several years for rehabilitation. The festival started again just a few years ago. Every year the festival is hosted by a different country and this year it was the turn of Bangladesh.

You can read my blog post about the history of the park here.

echo park lotus festival

It was a pretty hot day yesterday… and humid… but it was a lovely day by the water. The lotus plants were lush and tall due to all the rain we had in the winter months and now the heat.

echo park lotus festival

echo park lotus festival

The dragonflies were enjoying themselves too.

echo park lotus festival

echo park lotus festival

echo park lotus festival

One of the highlights of the festival is the dragon boat races.  I’ve been to Echo Park many times to walk and take photos but this was my first time at the festival so I was delighted to finally see a dragon boat race! Click on a photo below for slideshow:

echo park lotus festival

The opening ceremonies were colorful and fun with a traditional Bangladesh puppet lion dance. Click on image below for slideshow:

This certainly worked up an appetite. I was hoping for some Bangladesh food but that didn’t pan out.

echo park lotus festival

But I certainly enjoyed my Korean BBQ squid. I also ordered a watermelon drink, not realizing it came with it’s own pool float! Now if I only had a pool…. but I’ll use it as a coaster.

echo park lotus festival

After lunch we had an enjoyable walk around the lake.

echo park lotus festival

The dragon boat races continued on throughout the day with various teams. It seemed that some teams were taking the race seriously, really out to win. Others were just having fun, which would be my option.

echo park lotus festival

I always enjoy festivals of any kind as they all have their own special flavor, like last month’s Summer Solstice parade in Santa Barbara. And coming up the end of this month is the Gilroy Garlic Festival, my all time favorite… stay tuned for my post about that!

If you’ve never visited Echo Park I certainly recommend the effort to get there… even if you can’t make it to the Lotus Festival…

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Summer Solstice in Santa Barbara

summer solstice festival

Seems like every couple of years I take a tumble. Some are more serious than others. This one happened last Friday. I had packing boxes lined up on the living room floor. I had just finished a good half hour workout with Richard Simmons when I turned around and hit one of the boxes with my right foot. My left foot had nowhere to go so couldn’t save me. Somehow I twisted around trying to get my balance and I landed kersplat on both knees on the hardwood floor! My left leg took the brunt of it. So I am walking on my trusty cane for a while!

summer solstice festival

However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying a planned adventure on Amtrak to visit Santa Barbara for the Summer Solstice Celebration the very next day. I rarely pop pills but I was thankful to have Tylenol left over from my last “trip” in Oregon two years ago when I managed to give myself a mild concussion.

summer solstice festival

On Saturday I was out of bed at 4:00 am. My friend picked me up at 6:00 am to drive to the Metro train station (as I couldn’t walk as I usually do). We met another friend there to take the Expo Line to the Red Line to Union Station where we met yet another friend.

summer solstice festival

The Amtrak train gave us quite a tour of Los Angeles, stopping at various stations along the way including (not in order) Van Nuys, Glendale, Burbank, Simi Valley, etc on the way to Chatsworth where we picked up seven more friends for a total of eleven. By the time we got to Chatsworth (Northwest Los Angeles County) we were advised the train was so full it was going to be standing room only so nobody could hog two seats! Everybody was headed to the festival.

summer solstice festival

Santa Barbara is approximately 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and about 2.5 hours by train.

summer solstice festival

Upon arrival we headed straight for Moby Dick’s restaurant on the wharf which was a mere fifteen minute walk from the train station… or twenty five minutes for me on my cane! I had already decided I was ordering the seafood omelette with lobster, shrimp, crab and hollandaise sauce. It did not disappoint and although it was enough food for three people, I valiantly cleaned the plate all by myself.

summer solstice festival

I wish I could have taken more seascape photos but my normal modus operandi when walking with a group is to lag behind taking photos then run to catch up with the others. It’s hard to run with a cane. For one thing, even if I could, I would have ended up tripping over it!

summer solstice festival

From the website: 

Summer Solstice Parade began in 1974, as a birthday celebration for a popular artist and mime named Michael Gonzales. In subsequent years, their parade joined forces with a Summer Solstice Music Festival coordinated by Michael Felcher, sponsored by The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, staged at the Sunken Gardens to celebrate the longest day of year.

The Parade and Festival is the largest arts event in Santa Barbara County, drawing crowds of over 100,000 spectators from around the world. From these humble beginnings arose a celebration of life which, is like no other.

 

Not knowing how my legs would hold up, I couldn’t wander too far off the beaten path. So I just walked along State Street taking in the parade which was very enjoyable. I took several videos but didn’t know how to upload them to WordPress. So you’ll have to imagine the music and movement!

Click on an image below to start the slideshow.

On the trip back to LA the train was so crowded our group got to sit in Business Class. That is the way to travel. Plenty of room and leg rests like a Barcalounger. Perfect for my aching limbs.

I love traveling by train and I look forward to returning to Santa Barbara by Amtrak maybe next year on a non-festival day to see the rest of the city. It’s been about thirty years since I was there last.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 

 


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Culver City’s Screenland 100th birthday 5K, The Race of the Century

screenland 5KCulver City was incorporated on September 20, 1917 so our little town of approximately 40,000 people has been celebrating our 100th birthday since last year.

One of the celebratory events was the “Screenland 5K, The Race of the Century,” in which I participated. Lori Escalara headed a team to help support the restoration of public murals in Culver City so I figured that was a good reason to plonk down the entrance fee, not to mention the T-shirt and medal that came with it!

Screenland 5K 100thCulver City birthdayUnfortunately it turned out to be a rather grungy day weather-wise with no sun. At one point I had to walk with my camera inside my jacket. But it could have been worse.

screenland 5K

We were entertained by bands along the way.

screenland 5K

I was ten minutes late getting to the start line and by the time I had walked a few yards, many of the serious runners had already completed the first third of the 5K (3.1-mile) course and had turned around.

The race was scheduled for the morning of February 26 to coincide with the date of the 89th Academy Awards later in the day.

screenland 5K

Culver City is dubbed “The Heart of Screenland” because of the numerous movies filmed at studios such as MGM, Columbia, Sony, RKO, Desilu, Selznick and many, many more.

The Heart of Screenland

Perhaps the most famous movies are “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.” But I also have to mention “Singing in the Rain.” Some of the 5K participants dressed up as their favorite movie characters. I was just ME!!!!

The Heart of Screenland

Sony and Culver Studios opened their lots to the 5K participants.


I was looking forward to getting some close-ups of the Rainbow sculpture inside the gates… too bad the sky was so grey.

screenland 5K

But I was happy to get a good shot of the artwork for my all time favorite movie “Lawrence of Arabia” which I have watched numerous times. I love everything about it from Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif to the spectacular photography and the glorious music. I realize the story isn’t that close to being accurate but that doesn’t stop my appreciation of the film.

screenland 5K

A peek into a “window” to see a gathering of classic movie stars.

screenland 5Kscreenland 5K

I walk or drive by Sony Studios several times a week on my way somewhere but it was nice to see inside. I have actually taken visitors from out of town on the studio tour a couple of times. And, of course, the exterior is on my Culver City walking tours.

screenland 5K

My final time was something in the range of 1 hour, 20 minutes so obviously I wasn’t going for any prizes! I was having more fun taking photos.

Click on any image for the slide show:

After I completed the 5K I felt like I could have kept going. So in a couple of weeks some friends and I will be walking the 6-mile CicLAvia route from Culver City to Venice Beach.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Walk & Talk Photography

culver city rainbow sony studios

Over the Rainbow, Sony Studios… formerly MGM where The Wizard of Oz was filmed.

Moving along with 2017… Yesterday afternoon I posted my brand new MeetUp group “Walk & Talk Photography.” As some of you know, I have been a tour guide in one way or another since 1988. Starting out as an architectural walking tour docent for the Los Angeles Conservancy for 16 years. For part of that time I was also a hike leader for the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club for about 10 years.

After I left corporate life, I got certified with the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) in 2008 (the hardest two weeks of my life) and became a professional Los Angeles city tour guide. The person who sits up front in the motor coach with the microphone.

As of last year I am no longer doing any of those things… for now.

Three or four years ago I bought myself a Canon T3i DSLR camera and I haven’t looked back. I’ve been extremely happy to re-connect with my first love, photography, after many decades of estrangement. Not really estrangement, more like not being very involved. But I won’t go into that story now…perhaps a subject for another blog post.

A few months ago I was thinking about how I could put together my love of exploring Los Angeles, leading walking tours and photography. This blog has been great because it has given me a platform for showing my photos and talking about my favorite city, LA. And in the coming year I hope to do more of that. With all my commitments, hobbies and interests, sometimes it’s hard to find the time.

MeetUp is a great opportunity for people to organize groups of like-minded people. So I decided to jump in. That’s pretty much the story of my life. Oh, that sounds good. I think I’ll just jump in even though I don’t know what the heck I am doing! It hasn’t brought me much in the way of monetary fortune. But I have experienced a LOT of stuff. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know… but too late now!

Anyway, yesterday I posted my group on MeetUp. It made sense to do my first walk around Culver City. It took me a long time to actually click on the button to post it. I almost didn’t do it. But I took a deep breath and clicked.

Then I waited. It was a horrifying experience as nobody signed up to join my group. I was devastated and went to bed feeling very depressed. We live in an era of immediate gratification and I respond accordingly. I was so embarrassed about this I didn’t even want to turn on the computer this morning. I had already decided I was going to take the group down and go crawl in a hole and never come out…

But I realized I had to face the harsh reality, no matter what.

Lo and behold, eight people had joined my group! During the morning more people joined. It is now 2:00pm and I have 12 people on the actual walk (the maximum) and millions** more as members. I have a waiting list. I’ve created a monster!!!!! (**I really don’t know how many members I have at this moment and it could be less than millions.)

Gosh! Who knows what will come of this? Maybe nothing. But if this is as far as it goes, that’s okay. I took a chance. And I feel good about it. That’s all that counts, isn’t it?

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 


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Christmas at the Grove

farmers market

It’s been a while since I posted anything to my blog or caught up with my blogging friends. It’s been one thing after another… mostly good but some not so great… the way life goes.

I’ve missed everybody.

So we reboot.

Last Saturday I enjoyed the Christmas lights and entertainment at The Grove with some friends. We ate dinner at Canter’s Deli on Fairfax. Canter’s has been serving food since 1931. Been decades since I was there last. I was surprised at how reasonable the prices are. My friends were all ordering the senior meal so I had to go along. I had half a small tuna sandwich, small cup of soup, small potato salad. I was stuffed. But the senior meal? I am a senior?

The Grove is an upscale shopping center behind the Original Farmers Market, a tourist destination for lunch when you are on the Los Angeles City Tour. The Farmers Market is very low key, down home. The Grove is the opposite.

The Grove

But this night we were here to enjoy the Christmas spirit, lights and fellow Angelenos. I subscribe to no particular organized religion but I still enjoy Christmas and prefer to call it that rather than “the holidays.”

the grove

Farmers Market stalls lit up for Christmas

I had been to The Grove a few days earlier with a friend visiting from England but at night all lit up it was spectacular.

the grove

The Farmers Market originated in the mid 1930s during the depression. A dozen farmers showed up with produce in the back of their pickup trucks to sell to people. I think this display between the Market and The Grove is an homage to that event.

The Grove

Okay, so now we are walking into The Grove which opened in 2002.

The Grove

And I am feeling the Christmas spirit. I love it!

 

I HATE crowds but although it was crowded it was not at all uncomfortable. I was enjoying being with my friends and other people out to enjoy the evening.

grove-121016-017-c-500px The Grove

And Santa Claus was ready to receive visitors.

The Grove

And all was right with the world. I need to take my inner child to places like this to escape reality. It’s important. Having fun is a necessary part of a balanced life.

The Grove

I am grateful for my friends and being able to take part in events like this. These moments are precious.

Please enjoy the rest of my photos. Click on an image to start the slide show.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Twenty one years old and still going strong – Culver City Art Group Annual Holiday Art Show

Culver City Art Holiday Art Show flyer

For the three of my followers who have been wondering what happened to my blog posts recently, this is part of the reason. I’ve been getting ready for the 21st Annual Culver City Holiday Art Show. One of my jobs with the art group is to design all the invitations/flyers and registration forms for the show plus manage and update the website at www.culvercityartgroup.com and generally oversee the “look” that we present to the public.

Plus, of course, I’ve been busy choosing. processing, printing and framing the photos that I want to exhibit. I’m also putting together (and printing) a portfolio of past work and making greeting cards.

And after procrastinating for two years (did I ever mention procrastination is my middle name?) I finally decided I needed to spend some serious time on a website to showcase my photography. That has been a daunting experience. With years of experience as a web designer and manager, you would think this would be the easy part. But just the opposite.

I chose a content management system specifically geared towards photographers as I thought this would be the easier road. But I am so used to making a website act and think the way I want it to that I had a terrible time getting my brain wrapped around somebody else’s thought processes. I am sure if I was inexperienced with building websites I would have had an easier time… you know what they say about the dangers of a little knowledge…

The domino effect of that situation was that I couldn’t make professional-looking business cards because I had no URL address to put on the cards.

My website is not ready for prime time at this point but I am making a major effort to be ready by the time of the show. I already ordered my business cards with the URL so that is a big incentive too.

As soon as I have all my ducks in a row, or at least some of the ducks, I will publish the website address on my blog. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be getting close to having a website and to be able to hand out business cards. I have no idea what, if anything, will come of all this but I do know that if I hide in the closet absolutely nothing at all will happen! So please stay tuned…

Ah, one of the other reasons I haven’t posted that much on this blog is because I have been working on my recent travel photos and posting to my other blog, www.onegoodlifetravels.com.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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LA Art Show and Los Angeles Fine Art Show 2016 – my favorites

LA Art Show 2016

It’s no secret that I love art. And as I’ve said many times before, I even appreciate art I don’t like. It all opens up my brain to creative ideas and that can’t be a bad thing.

LA Art Show 2016

So I was able to snag a complimentary ticket to the LA Art Show 2016 combined with the Los Angeles Fine Art Show.

LA Art Show 2016

Thursday morning I took the Expo Line train to the Pico Station which is just a couple of blocks walk from the LA Convention Center in downtown LA.

LA Art Show 2016

Some of the art seemed to be very commercial, some was just plain puzzling. Just my opinion.

LA Art Show 2016

But there were many pieces I found inspirational and enjoyable.

LA Art Show 2016

I am a big fan of kippers. I grew up in England eating these delectable smoked herrings. Now it is a great treat for me to eat lunch at Langers Deli and order the kippers with onions and scrambled eggs. Oh heaven! So, naturally, I enjoyed this photo. Not sure these are herrings but close enough!

LA Art Show 2016

I enjoy abstract art. I can’t explain why certain works appeals to me and others don’t. It’s an emotional reaction.

LA Art Show 2016

I’ve attended this show several times over the years. As always, there was plenty of variety.

LA Art Show 2016

LA Art Show 2016

Everything from the fantastical to the very simple.

LA Art Show 2016

Everything I am showing you here are the pieces I related to in some way.

LA Art Show 2016

LA Art Show 2016

I was really trying to limit this post to my to ten favorites. But obviously that was not possible! I’m sure if this was your blog post you would have a totally different list of images… that is what is so wonderful about art… different people have different reactions.

LA Art Show 2016

I couldn’t pick which ones to leave out. Each one is so different and all equally interesting.

LA Art Show 2016

This one is really clever. A map of the Greater Los Angeles area.

LA-Art-Show-012816-037-C-650px

LA Art Show 2016

People were going nuts over this sculpture of Frida Kahlo. There seemed to be no middle ground. The opinion was either that it was fabulous on the one hand or really creepy on the other. I thought it was great, like she was there in person.

LA Art Show 2016

All the detail in this fascinated me.

LA Art Show 2016

New York City at night.

LA Art Show 2016

Just the opposite of the big city. This landscape is of Avalon Bay, Santa Catalina Island. I don’t know the exact date this was painted but had to be the early 1900s. If you know Avalon, today you would be looking at the Casino building and a harbor filled with boats. And houses and hotels everywhere. If I had a few extra dollars I would love to have this painting of one of my favorite places before “civilization” arrived!

LA-Art-Show-012816-047-C-650px

LA-Art-Show-012816-051-C-650px

LA-Art-Show-012816-055-C-650px

LA Art Show 2016

The show started the evening before and several pieces already had the red dot indicating they were sold. So that’s a good sign that art is alive and well in LA.

I was happy to be able to spend a couple of hours wandering around with my point & shoot camera taking it all in. Until next year.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 

 


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Post Rose Parade Floats: Downton Abbey to Disney to Dragons

post rose parade floats

First of all I want to apologize for being so behind with my postings and for not being able to address your comments and visit your blogs. I have projects I have to work on but I will catch up soon, I promise!

Okay…. Yesterday I watched the Rose Parade twice. It was the last time Stephanie Edwards and Bob Eubanks were hosting the parade for KTLA TV in Los Angeles. Sad to see them go, but as they said, it was their choice to go out on top.

post rose parade floats

I’ve seen the parade in person twice many years ago. It’s a lovely thing to do with the bands and horses but the floats go by yards away and you can’t see all the details.

post rose parade floats

Three years ago I viewed the Post Parade floats and enjoyed seeing them up close and personal. Click here to see that post.

post rose parade floats

So this year I organized a trip for some friends. We were a group of ten. I was really happy that so many people wanted to go.

post rose parade floats

I took about a billion photos. The images I chose to post here were totally arbitrary and admittedly way too many. So forgive me.

post rose parade floats

You have to remember as you look at these photos that everything has to be from the plant kingdom. Flowers, seeds, leaves, beans, grasses, bark, fruit, vegetables… you name it.

post rose parade floats

No, you can’t use feathers so these wings are made of some kind of vegetation.

post rose parade floats

I don’t know how many gazillions of people show up to view the floats. They say it amounts to tens of thousands. This shot was taken on the way out and you can see a bazillion people still coming in way way way way up on the hill.

post rose parade floats

It was a good thing we arrived about ten in the morning before the serious crowds arrived.

post rose parade floats

There are two and a half miles of floats. And it takes over two hours to look at everything.

post rose parade floats

Fortunately it’s really well organized.

post rose parade floats

The weather was spectacular. Look how clear the mountains are. One of my friends commented he expected to see a dusting of snow. But there was none. However, next week we are expecting rain in the city which should mean snow on the mountains.

post rose parade floats

I pretty much took off on my own and lost sight of the group. It’s easier for me to take photos that way.

post rose parade floats

I think people are used to that by now!

post rose parade floats

It’s hard to expect people to go at my speed when I keep stopping to take photos. Oh wait, I have to take a picture of that!

post rose parade floats

I believe photographers see things other people don’t. And find significance in insignificant things.

rose-parade-floats-010216-198-C-700px

On some of the floats I couldn’t help taking several pictures at different angles. Other floats I skipped completely. Not because i didn’t find them worthy but sometimes the crowds of people blocked my view and other times I just got tired. Nothing personal!

post rose parade floats

Also in some situations that pesky sun was just in the wrong place. Of course, later in the morning when the sun was overhead it became almost impossible to take a shot.

post rose parade floats

But I feel like the photos I was able to take are representative of the floats.

post rose parade floats

I am just plain impressed with this art form where anything seems to be possible.

post rose parade floats

As I wanted to get these photos posted as soon as possible, I didn’t have time to do a lot of post processing so many are as they came out of the camera and many have very little basic processing.

post rose parade floats

I have to say what really annoyed me was the photographers trying to take “artsy” photos. They were adjusting the aperture or shutter speed or angle or whatever, hogging their particular space so nobody else could take a photo. Get over it! If you want to be an artist then arrive really early in the morning to take your award-winning shots!

post rose parade floats

I was being courteous by taking my snapshot and moving on. This is not the place for Ansel Adams!

post rose parade floats

I think I got some pretty good photos that give people the general idea.

post rose parade floats

Enough of that!

In the US we are coming up on the final season of Downton Abbey in 2016. So it was really nice to see a representation of Highclere Castle where it is filmed. It was certainly a popular float:

As usual most of us arrived by public transportation. I walked 25 minutes to the Culver City station, took the Expo Line to the Red Line to the Gold Line. There was a free Metro bus shuttle from the Sierra Madre Villa station to the float viewing. The whole trip took a little over two hours.

post rose parade floats

I love public transportation and especially riding on the train.

post rose parade floats

After the float viewing we took the shuttle back to the train station.

post rose parade floatsFrom there we had a six-minute walk to the original Panda Inn for lunch.

I don’t know how wide-spread Panda Express is, but this is original sit down restaurant that also owns the Express venues. I always wanted to eat at this restaurant so I can check that off my bucket list now. They served a lot of food… but that was no problem for me. I ordered the garlic shrimp and ate every morsel.

Of course, I neglected to take photos.

Anyway, here are the rest of the way too many photos for your enjoyment. Click on any image to start the slideshow:

Hopefully next week, after I am done successfully with some events, I will be back on track with my blogging duties and responsibilities! Thanks for hanging in there!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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20th Annual Culver City Art Group Holiday Art Show

culver city art group

It’s that time of year again and hard to believe we have been doing this for twenty years!

I will be exhibiting several of my photos in the main show… still deciding exactly which ones but I’m narrowing it down. I’ll also have a table with some of my previous work in ceramic tiles.

These are two of the photos I know for sure I’ll be exhibiting:

Malibu Pelicans

Pelicans, Malibu, California

oregon Cape Meares

Cape Meares, Oregon

The image above came as a surprise when I was checking the photos in Lightroom. This was taken the day after my accident and concussion and I truly was walking around in a fuzz for a few days. Good thing I like to take pictures or I probably would not have remembered being here!

Both of these will be printed on my 13 x 19 inch (33 x 48 cm) Canon inkjet printer.

I have an older Spyder4Pro calibrater for my monitor and I just ordered the upgrade Spyder5Elite which should be arriving today. I have very tricky lighting conditions in my office… so I’m hoping the more sophisticated calibrater will help deal with it. Hope I’m not wasting my money!

The show is one week away and I am nowhere near ready so, as usual, panic has set in. As luck will have it, Aaron Bros is having one of their one cent frame sales and I got a 50% coupon (that can be used once a day) for other items… it all helps.

I’m also working on setting up a photo website on SmugMug which is taking longer than I would like, but I think I have my head wrapped around their engine now and I can move full steam ahead… would be nice to have something up and running for the show, but if not, at least for the New Year!

On with the day!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Someone left the “cakes” out in the rain at MacArthur Park

MacArthur Park spheres

Through September 22 the lake at MacArthur Park is covered in painted balls. Since first hearing about this project several months ago (while eating lunch at Langer’s across the street) I’ve been looking forward to this event.

MacArthur Park spheres

From the Portraits of Hope website: The Spheres at MacArthur Park is the largest public art and civic project in the U.S. More than 10,000 children and adults throughout Los Angeles have participated in visually transforming and revitalizing MacArthur Park as part of Portraits of Hope’s latest project. 

Click on an image to start slideshow.

Everybody knows the lyrics to Jimmy Webb’s MacArthur Park made famous by Richard Harris and many others. As it happens, there was a very heavy rainstorm Monday night so when I visited yesterday I wondered if there would be any damage to the spheres. But I didn’t notice too much.

However, it did seem like life imitating art for here were all these brightly colored “cakes” floating around in MacArthur Park after the rains.

MacArthur Park spheres

Besides the colorful “cakes” there was plenty of wildlife to captivate my lens.

MacArthur Park spheres

I couldn’t decide if this little guy was admiring his own fine feathers or fascinated, as I was, by the reflection of the ball.

MacArthur Park spheres

This seagull was obviously more interested in posing for his portrait than viewing the artwork. Seagulls are very hard to impress.

MacArthur Park spheres

I took so many photos of the “cakes” that I had a hard time deciding which ones to use for the blog. I wanted to pick the photos that were most representative of my experience rather than necessarily the most artsy ones. So I hope I struck a balance between the two ways to go.

Over the decades MacArthur Park has seen many ups and downs, to say the least. I was a little apprehensive about visiting on my own. The park is known for drug deals, the sale of false IDs, shootings, gang violence and other nefarious activities. I believe part of the reason for this installation was to bring the citizens of Los Angeles to the park and to create some interest in its revitalization.

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MacArthur Park spheres

MacArthur Park spheres

Evidently the birds don’t care about any of that and consider it a haven in the middle of the big city.

Above are images of the artists floating on the water.

MacArthur Park spheres

I watched these two birds for quite a while as they chased each other all over the lake and held each other in death grips, keeping the opponent’s wings pinned under the water. Several times I was sure one of them would drown. But after a while one or the other got tired or decided the lesson had been learned and it was all over

If you are interested in seeing this spectacle, do not delay. I took the Expo Line from Culver City to the Purple Line to MacArthur Park. The park is just across the street from the station. The Red Line stops there too.

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