One Good Life in Los Angeles

Roslyn's observations about places and events around Southern California


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Thundery Sunday at the Huntington Library and Gardens

Huntington Library Gardens

Four of us brave souls called the weather gods’ bluff and despite a forecast for rain, thunder and lightning made the trip out to the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, depending on the route you take, less than 25 miles from Culver City. When I go by myself I take the train and my feet but this day we drove.

Huntington Library Gardens

Since my last visit a couple of years ago they have installed a whole new garden near the entrance. And they have upgraded the dining options, always a good thing!

Huntington Library Gardens

No matter how many times I visit the Huntington, I always leave wanting more, looking forward to the next trip out there.

Huntington Library Gardens

We pretty much managed to avoid the rain until the very end. As we were sitting in the restaurant for lunch, the heavens opened up and provided us with some great thunder and lightning entertainment. When lunch was over, so was the rain. It’s all in the timing.Huntington Library Gardens

One of the cool temporary exhibits is the Orbit Pavilion… a sound experience that allows you to listen to the movement of NASA’s earth science satellites as they pass across the sky above you.

Huntington Library Gardens

This structure captures the sounds as you stand inside.

I wonder, as we are listening to them, are they listening to us?

Huntington Library Gardens

When I came up on this scene I wondered what all the baby bunnies were doing hanging out on the lawn with the geese. New glasses, Roslyn! These are goslings under the care of two napping grownups… yes, I imagine looking after all these cute little guys would be quite exhausting.

As you know from posts about my previous visits, I’ve taken gazillions of photos at the Gardens. I just enjoy wandering around shooting whatever takes my fancy. So here are a gazillion more random photos:

One last stop at the Conservatory and as we emerged, the rain started up. We took cover hoping the storm would pass but it was relentless.

Huntington Library Gardens

We gave up and made a run for the parking lot. We got soaked but at least we didn’t have to take the bus… we could be soggy all the way home in the comfort of our car!

Visit my other posts about the Huntington Library and Gardens:

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/in-hot-water-at-the-huntington-library/

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/thirsty-afternoon-in-the-desert-garden-at-the-huntington-library/

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/reflections-in-a-pond-and-art-gallery/

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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Roses get their close-ups

roses

I was visiting the Natural History Museum nature gardens last week to take a few photos with my macro lens. I’ve had the lens for a while but I don’t use it very often. So I decided to force myself to take photos with only that lens. Although I was enjoying doing that my attention was drawn to the rainbow of colors next door at the Exposition Park Rose Garden.

rose garden

Probably because of the heavy rains we have experienced after years of drought, the roses are apparently blooming early. The garden was a gorgeous sight to behold.

rose garden

The best estimate I can find is there are 200,000 bushes and over 200 varieties of roses in the 7-acre garden.

rose garden

The Rose Garden is next door to the Natural History Museum, in front of the California Science Center and across the Expo Line railway tracks from the University of Southern California.

rose garden

And it’s a short Expo Line trip from Culver City. Walk across the tracks from the station and you are there!

rose garden

It was such a beautiful April day in LA and I was grateful to be alive!

rose garden

Please click on an image below for 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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…it’s all happening at the zoo….

los angeles zoo

This meerkat would not cooperate and turn around for his portrait. But he does have a pretty back side!

My friend KL recently became a member of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. When she mentioned it, I realized I have not visited the LA Zoo since the mid 1980s. As I was overdue for a visit we set a date to meet.

los angeles zoo

The first time I ever remember seeing a real live flamingo was when I lived in Florida as a teenager. I still have a hard time believing they are “real.”

I have mixed feelings about zoos in general. Animals being held captive, etc. (But they at least they don’t live the wretched lives of food animals.) Some species would become extinct if not for zoos and some can no longer live in the wild. So, I decided to put all that aside and enjoy the day.

los angeles zoo

This turtle seemed to be using his wings to fly through the water.

I tried to work out a way of getting to Griffith Park, where the zoo is located, by public transportation. But as the parking is “free” in an ample sized parking lot, I didn’t try very hard. Besides, Cinnamon Girl has to get out of the garage and go for a spin once in a while.

los angeles zoo

The detail on this Silverback Mountain Gorilla sculpture made it look almost lifelike.

Early on a Saturday morning, the 15-mile trip on surface streets took me about 45 minutes. I avoid taking the freeways whenever possible as I prefer to drive through neighborhoods rather than drive past them, seeing nothing but other cars speeding by at 70 mph.

los angeles zoo

I felt really sorry for this red tailed hawk. I often see these magnificent birds enjoying thermals way way up above my deck. I don’t know this guy’s story so maybe he was injured and can no longer fly (and that is why he is at the zoo) or he was born into captivity and doesn’t know any better.

Going home in the late afternoon the trip took me over two hours but I was in no hurry so I just went with the flow. I was amused to see some impatient drivers attempting to cut in and out of lanes but staying in one lane and waiting for traffic to move, I soon caught up with them.

los angeles zoo

I understand the LA Zoo is hoping for some baby zebras sooner than later. But this one just wanted to hang out.

Of course I took a billion photos but a lot of the exhibits are behind protective metal fences or glass so it was quite difficult to get a clear shot. And some inhabitants insisted on showing us their backsides or were hiding partially behind trees… okay, we get the message. So, sad to say, most of my photos are pretty much useless. I’m sure if I practiced taking photos under these conditions over a period of time I would figure out how to do it… but not on this day

los angeles zoo

I arrived at the zoo twenty minutes before opening time. I was surprised to see long lines of visitors ahead of me. I don’t know why I was surprised as anywhere you go in LA there are herds of people, especially at the weekends. My friend assured me that if I came back during the week it would be more comfortable people-wise.

los angeles zoo

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to see so many people, and families, enjoying outdoor activities. And learning about animals. Certainly beats sitting in front of the TV or game console. But in terms of trying to take the perfect photo, it is hard when there are so many heads and shoulders in the way. At least the animals seemed oblivious to all the attention for the most part.

los angeles zoo

However, this guy seemed to revel in the attention, gladly posing for his portrait. He looks suspiciously like the sculpture we saw earlier!

los angeles zoo

Pronghorn Antelope?

I am as good at identifying different species of animals as I am at identifying trees and plants… which is not at all. I believe this may be a pronghorn antelope… I know the zoo has a program for rearing pronghorns, but not sure if this is one of them… sorry for my ignorance.

los angeles zoo

Not totally stupid, I certainly know these guys and girls are kangaroos… er, I mean giraffes. They were craning their necks looking very intently at something going on behind the trees so they would not look our way. Pretty soon we saw what all the excitement was about. The keepers came out with some munchies in the way of branches and leaves. Yummy.

los angeles zoo

I so wanted to get some good photos of the lions. Welllll, didn’t quite happen. Very disappointing as this is a scene I see all the time at home… cats snoring.

los angeles zoo

Kikuyu Colobus Monkey

No napping for this playful fellow. He and his compadres were all having a great time swinging and swaying among the hammocks and tree branches provided.

los angeles zoo

Capra falconeri heptneri

I would not want to meet this handsome gentleman in a dark alley! But he did seem very proud of his family as he was strutting around. According to the LA Zoo website, those horns serve a purpose as the gnarliest male winds up with the affections of the appreciative females. To each their own.

los angeles zoo

A least this tiger was cooperating even if the lions weren’t. So I got my feline photo of the day after all. I’m not sure if he was catching flies or coughing up a furball. This posture reminds me of Frankie in the kitchen before breakfast reminding me that he hasn’t been fed yet. Domesticated cats have remained very close to their wild ancestors.

los angeles zoo

A very sweet scene. The photo was take through glass so I couldn’t get too much detail and the original image showed nothing but a black blob. The second tail belongs to the baby that she was grooming.

los angeles zoo

When we arrived at the elephant enclosure there seemed to be a lot of activity. On closer inspection we saw it was two keepers cleaning and preparing the area. No elephants in sight. It was rather humorous as instead of watching zoo specimens, people were lined up at the fence watching the humans go about their jobs… just another species of animal in their natural habitat as zoo keepers!

los angeles zoo

We waited half an hour for the pachyderms to come out but it was good to rest for a while. Seeing them up close it isn’t hard to understand that they are the world’s largest living land mammal.

In the top photo, the elephant is sticking his trunk through a hole in the wall to feed on chopped veggies, sight unseen. The tire next to him is filled with grass and buried carrots that he has to hunt for.

In the second photo you see an orange ball to the lower right. The elephant has to roll the ball around until the carrot treasures fall out of the small holes one by one. This way the animals have to work to find food instead of having it handed to them on a plate! Sounds like a good idea for the kids, no?

los angeles zoo

Hope I am not mis-identifying this cutie as a Tapir.

Last, but certainly not least, what I believe to be a Tapir had quite a large area to wander around in (given his small size) but he was certainly getting his exercise running around looking here, there and everywhere as if in search of something.

It would be nice to talk to the animals and find out how they feel about living in captivity. I’m sure some of them don’t mind as they are safe from predators and don’t have to worry about finding dinner. But I am sure they lose something too.

My apologies to all the other beautiful creatures who did not make it into this post for no rhyme or reason. But all in all it was a lovely day. And now I have been to the zoo after all these decades, I think I want to return on my own… and on a weekday… with the idea of spending the time to capture some better images rather than merely snapshots. Practice makes perfect indeed.

Sorry to be so predictable (well, not sorry really) but to put a song in your heart for the day here is Simon and Garfunkle singing “At the Zoo.”

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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Peacocks prancing in the park

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

One of the reasons I love living in Los Angeles is access to all the parks and gardens. The Gold Line recently added six more stations, all the way to Azusa. One of those stations is Arcadia where the 127-acre Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located. The free shuttle bus that stops at the mall, Santa Anita Race Track and The Arboretum now also stops at the train station.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Yesterday several explorer friends and I visited The Arboretum. Most of us met at Union Station in downtown LA for the trip on the Gold Line.

The Arboretum is known for its peacocks. They are VERY raucous and can be heard “meowing” throughout the park. The above photos are of the same peacock back and front. Both views are pretty impressive.  They are not shy about posing for the camera.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The Arboretum is made up of small pocket gardens, sprawling lawns and water features. We decided to take the 2 1/2 hour docent-led tour

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

This wood creature was part of a temporary art exhibit but he looked very much at home.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

This is jacaranda season and the purple trees are showing off all over town.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The garden, like everywhere else in Southern California, is suffering from the severe drought. But this “flowing” pond is made of stone and needs no water.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Can you find the hummer? Maybe not as impressive as the peacocks but certainly a sweetie.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

A giant lizard slithering across the path? No, just a peacock all folded up for travel.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Eucalyptus deglupta Mindanao gum showing off its rainbow bark.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The pea hen is looking for lunch. The female has no need for extravagant opulence to attract a mate… there are plenty of males strutting around the premises.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The Seed Saving Garden is dedicated to growing heirloom vegetables and herbs.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic GardenWe had several ideas about what these extraordinary giant flowers looked like, I thought of elephant ears.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Even the Arboretum is not free of exotic bugs!

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Effects of the drought on these trees.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The once beautiful ponds are also ravaged by the drought.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

But this turtle family doesn’t seem to mind!

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

If you were a fan of the TV show Fantasy Island, you will recognize this Queen Anne cottage. It was where Tattoo rang the bell when visitors came to the island.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

There’s a lot more to the park but we were pretty tired and hungry after the tour so it was time to head out to lunch. We took the shuttle to the California Pizza Kitchen close by. I always order the Moroccan Spicy Chicken Salad at this restaurant chain… but I decided to be a little daring and ordered the Roasted Veggie Salad instead. That is now my new favorite.

Click on an image below to start the slide show.

The Arboretum even has its own song!

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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Laguna Beach “week-long” one-day trip

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach, located in Orange County, is about 60 miles and two hours from Culver City. My friend Maria Kurtz has some of her beautiful paintings hanging at the Quorum Art Gallery on the historic gallery row. She needed to check in on Wednesday so I went along for the ride. Her husband did the driving so that was perfect for me!
Laguna Beach

As we walked back to the car we passed this store with colorful pots.

Laguna Beach Laguna Beach

After visiting the gallery we ate lunch in the outdoor patio at GG’s Bistro. As I enjoyed my seafood salad (calamari, salmon, shrimp) I was reminded of my trip to Italy some years previously. I was so relaxed I was feeling like I was on vacation in some exotic location instead of a short drive on the 405 freeway.

Laguna Beach

Like every other area in Southern California, Laguna Beach is getting to the point where there are too many houses, too many people and too much traffic.

Laguna Beach

After lunch we went for a walk along the beachside park.

Laguna Beach

Of course I couldn’t stop taking photos.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

The prickly pear cactus were enjoying the ocean view. And their flowers were showing off too.

Laguna Beach

It was a spectacular April day in Southern California.

Laguna Beach

As we were walking along I kept using the word “amazing.”

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is known for its artist community. You can understand the attraction when you see the marvelous views.

Laguna Beach

Some of the views reminded of my visit to the Oregon Coast last year.

Laguna Beach

I love the ocean and can’t enough of it. For the most part I’ve always lived a short distance from the sea. I just need to know I can get there quickly when I need an ocean fix!

Laguna Beach

Tourism is the primary industry with approximately three million people visiting annually.

Laguna Beach

Laguna is famous for the Pageant of the Masters, Festival of the Arts, Sawdust Art Festival, Art-A-Fair, all of which I have attended over the years.

Laguna Beach

According to Wikipedia “The scenic beauty of the isolated coastline and hills attracted plein-air painters in the early 1900s. William Wendt, Frank Cuprien, and Edgar Payne among others settled there and formed the Laguna Beach Art Association.”

Laguna Beach

Laguna’s coastline is 7 mi (11 km) long and includes 27 beaches and coves.

Laguna Beach

I could imagine sitting here for a few hours absorbing the view. Well, not really as I can’t sit still for very long!

Laguna Beach

If I was on a longer visit I wouldn’t mind joining that couple out on the rocks feeling the surf breaking.

Laguna Beach

How lucky am I to have the opportunity to visit all these beautiful places!
Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach was the southern California epicenter of ‘alternative’ culture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Timothy Leary lived here.

Laguna Beach

A reminder that what we do inland goes into the storm drains and affects the ocean.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach has a mild Mediterranean climate with abundant sunshine all year. Succulents love living here!

Laguna Beach has a mild Mediterranean climate with abundant sunshine all year.

Laguna Beach has a history of environmental stewardship and historic preservation. Laguna Beach is the only Orange County city protected by a dedicated greenbelt inland and bluebelt seaward.

Laguna Beach

Click on one of the photos below for a slide show of way too many photos!!!

I wish there was a Magic Carpet that would take me back here some day soon. But unfortunately as far as I can figure out I will have to drive the 405 freeway. I’ve done the drive before. The last time another driver took out my rear bumper. But I don’t hold that against Laguna Beach!

Although we had only been there a few hours on one day, on the way home I felt like I had been on a week-long cruise through the Mediterranean.

A big thank you to Wikipedia for the information.

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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Who knew there was so much to do in the Valley

San Fernando Valley

My friend KL lives in Northridge in the San Fernando Valley. Better known as “The Valley,” it is part of the vast city of LA. The City of Angels is cut in two by the Santa Monica Mountains… the Los Angeles Basin to the south, the Valley to the north. Glad we have that out of the way.

SF-Valley-020616-001-C-600px

San Fernando Valley

Generally speaking, most of our adventures together take place in the basin part of the city. KL either drives to Culver City via the 405 (San Diego Freeway) or she takes the Orange Line to the Red Line, I take the Expo Line to the Red Line and we meet downtown. I have been promising to come out to her house for quite a while, so Saturday was the day.

I had recently taken Cinnamon Girl in to be serviced, and she was raring to go. I was surprised that the 23-mile trip via the 405 took only a little over 30 minutes on a Saturday morning. Just for the heck of it I checked the time it would take right now at 6:30pm on a Wednesday night and according to Google it would take 2 1/2 hours…. yikes!!!

SF-Valley-020616-003-C-600px

We changed cars and armed with my point & shoot camera, off we went on our Valley Adventure. First stop was the Valley Relics Museum. What a kick, is the best way to describe it. From their website:  The collection includes rare documents, photographs, vintage neon signs, post cards, year books, negatives, clothing, books, art, automobiles and bicycles from the valleys past.

San Fernando Valley

I have a past with the Valley which I won’t go into here (maybe another blog post). Nudie Cohn was a fixture in the Valley until his death in 1984. I saw him driving down the street in his Cadillac. Yes, those are horns (steer, I think) and a pistol on the hood of the car. He designed flamboyant cowboy outfits for the stars.

My partner at the time was into cowboy hats and boots which he wore with his business suits, and we shopped at Nudie’s. Until recently I still had a couple of “cowgirl” shirts and belts. I loved shopping there.

San Fernando Valley

The Palomino in North Hollywood was the best known country music club in LA for decades. We went there to see the best country singers of the time. Gosh, this museum brought back all kinds of memories from another era of my life… one of the benefits of being old is that there are eras!!!

San Fernando Valley

Back in the car we drove through the Santa Susana Pass towards Simi Valley. At this point we were heading out of Los Angeles and into Ventura County.

SF-Valley-020616-037-C-600px  San Fernando Valley

KL had a vague recollection of a park somewhere in this area and wondered if it was still there. As you can see from this photo it was a beautiful, clear February day, although the temperature was getting up there. We have been experiencing temps in the high 80s F (about 31° C) the past few days in the city… and in the valleys the temps are always higher.San Fernando Valley

Amazingly, we rounded a corner and there was the directional sign for Corriganville, thataway. This park played many roles in the days of Hollywood western movies. Such as Dodge City, Tombstone and the Lone Ranger’s ranch.

San Fernando Valley

Nowadays it’s a place for hiking or strolling. Most of the buildings used in the movie sets burned to the ground in the 1970s.

SF-Valley-020616-053-C-600px  San Fernando Valley

As nice as this place was, we had to hit the road again back to the San Fernando Valley.

San Fernando Valley

We were getting hungry so KL asked me if I would eat soul food. Love it!

San Fernando Valley

She introduced me to Les Sisters Southern Kitchen & BBQ in Chatsworth. They bill themselves as New Orleans and Southern Style cooking. As you can see, the decor was charming.

les sisters

We ordered from the lunch menu and both decided on the catfish with hush puppies and coleslaw. When catfish is on the menu, as far as I am concerned, there is no other choice.

We wondered if the lunch portions would be enough food as we were both starving. Oh my goodness! This catfish filet was enough for two people and I cannot imagine how much food the dinner portion must contain.

I was first introduced to catfish when I was working in Arkansas in the 1980s. Ever since then I have compared all other catfish to the delectable dish I ate there. I have to say, I have finally found catfish equal to my memory of the catfish I first ate in Arkansas. This was cooked so perfectly with succulent, juicy fish on the inside and light, crisp batter on the outside. I may have to order it and have somebody drive it over to the Westside for me, it is that good!

San Fernando Valley

Our bellies well and truly taken care of, we made a pit stop back at KL’s house. My hat had gone missing but I was happy to find it in the gutter next to my car, protected from the strong winds by the wheel. I must have dropped it on the way out.

There was an obligatory few minutes of playing fetch with Cindy. I’m not a dog person but Cindy is very sweet, more like a cat. When I sat down she jumped in my lap and licked my face.

As we were in the neighborhood, we visited a couple of open houses. In my own neighborhood I always enjoy being a lookie loo. You can buy a lot more real estate for your dollar in this neck of the woods but prices are catching up everywhere.

San Fernando Valley

Our final leg of the adventure included a stop at the Museum of the San Fernando Valley. This museum was interesting in a totally different way from the first one we visited. The Relics museum was all about pop culture. This is attempting to be a little more cultural with exhibits on art, architecture, design and history.

San Fernando Valley

We were greeted at the door by a very affable and knowledgeable gentleman. Some of the artifacts displayed in the museum were from his own home. He pretty much ended up giving us a private tour of the museum.

San Fernando Valley

This model of the 1960 Stahl House, located in the Hollywood Hills above the Sunset Strip, intrigued me. Our guide informed us that there are public tours of the house which aside from its architectural significance affords spectacular views over the city. I am signing up.

I learned a lot on this tour of the Valley thanks to my friend KL. And I’m sure Cinnamon Girl enjoyed getting out of the garage.

The trip home back over the hill took one hour and ten minutes with Saturday evening traffic and an accident by the Getty Center. But CG and I made it back to Culver City in one piece, which is always the goal.

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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One of the benefits of owning a Subaru – Santa Monica Pier and Palisades Park

santa monica pier and palisades park

A couple of weeks ago I took my beloved Cinnamon Girl (otherwise known as a 2002 Subaru Outback) to the dealer for servicing. I always look forward to this as the dealer is located a mere twelve blocks from Ocean Avenue on Santa Monica Boulevard. Then it’s just a short walk south to the Santa Monica Pier.

santa monica pier and palisades park

At this point from Palisades Park (that stretches along Ocean Avenue) you can see the pier in the distance.

santa monica pier and palisades park

Here you can see the erosion over the years of the cliffs overlooking Pacific Coast Highway.

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santa monica pier and palisades park

These two photos look on to the park and Ocean Avenue.

santa monica pier and palisades park

The bridge between the two palm trunks is the one I’ll be walking over to get to the beach and pier.

santa monica pier and palisades park

There a lot of steps going down before getting to the actual bridge. My ankles, knees and hips give me trouble walking down stairs… although I can run going up the stairs! Several of my friends can fly down the stairs but have trouble going up. santa monica pier and palisades park

But considering the friends my age I lost last year I am grateful to be alive and kicking…. especially on such a gorgeous January day!

santa monica pier and palisades park

Looking back from whence I came…

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santa monica pier and palisades park

It was pretty clear and I could see all the way out to Point Dume at the end of the Santa Monica Mountain range.

pier-palisades-beach-012116-039-C-650px  santa monica pier and palisades park

This mural is at the stairs going from the beach up to the pier. There is a small aquarium and sea life exhibit which is Heal the Bay’s public marine-education center. I need to pay a visit but it has odd hours and I never seem to be there at the right time. I must schedule a visit soon.

Heal the Bay’s public marine-education center

I was there about 9:45am, too early for the tourist crowd. Nice to see so few people around though.

santa monica pier and palisades park

I never get tired of this view. During the summer it isn’t always this clear. Winter is my favorite time in LA.

santa monica pier and palisades park

Route 66 starts in Chicago. I’m happy to live at this end!

santa monica pier and palisades park

Beach, beach, beach and more beach…

santa monica pier and palisades park

This bird is like the gull I photoed on my trip to Catalina Island last year. I wonder if this was the same guy?

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pier-palisades-beach-012116-063-C-650px

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/all-the-way-to-santa-catalina-island-for-bubble-gum-ice-cream/

I love shadows as much as reflections. Self portraits!

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/all-the-way-to-santa-catalina-island-for-bubble-gum-ice-cream/

Looking back to downtown Santa Monica.

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/all-the-way-to-santa-catalina-island-for-bubble-gum-ice-cream/

No swimming? No worries… doesn’t apply to seagulls!

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/all-the-way-to-santa-catalina-island-for-bubble-gum-ice-cream/

The ocean, the sand, the mountains… it doesn’t get better than this in my book…

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/all-the-way-to-santa-catalina-island-for-bubble-gum-ice-cream/

Recycling or trash? A difficult decision. Either way I don’t think it’s a good place to look for lunch, fellas!

santa monica pier and beach

No, that should read, Please DO feed the birds. Obviously a typographical error!

santa monica pier and beach

A great way to pass the day. Certainly better than sitting in an office. I wonder what he’ll have for dinner tonight?

santa monica pier and beach

A nautical theme of decoration on the restaurant at the end of the pier.

santa monica pier and beach

I am in love with piers. I grew up with piers in England. There is something thrilling about walking out on them and being far out in the ocean. I live within a half hour bus ride of this pier and could not imagine ever living further inland.

santa monica pier and beach

I am not a birder. But in all my many years of looking out into the Santa Monica bay I have never ever seen a bird like this in the water. Did it get washed in from some foreign shore in a storm? At least he seemed to be enjoying himself and not concerned at all about being on the shores of Los Angeles.

santa monica pier and beach

At this point I received a phone call from my service manager to tell me the bushings needed to be replaced and it would be three o’clock before I could pick up Cinnamon Girl.

santa monica pier and beach

Oh, what a tragedy! What could I possibly do for the next four hours on this beautiful day at the beach? Let me think…

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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FIDM: Fashion exhibit at the Gallery

FIDM

Last weekend I visited the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles for an exhibit. I was early so as I waiting for the other ladies in our group I wandered around with my camera.

FIDM is located in the south part of downtown now known as South Park. As you probably know, the city of LA is a sprawling mass and our downtown is appropriately spread out. I had never spent much time in this section of downtown. In recent years it has gained popularity as a residential area after being mostly occupied for decades by industrial buildings and residential hotels.

FIDM

FIDM

FIDM is adjacent to Grand Hope Park which I believe was created in the mid 90s. The park makes a nice campus area for the institute and includes a clock tower, kids’ playground area and a fountain. A small corner of green to relax in.

FIDM

You can see the buildings of downtown in the background behind the bougainvillea.

FIDM

One of the older 1920s office buildings amidst newer residential apartment buildings.

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FIDM

Nice to see water running in the fountain area. In the drought some places seem to be trying to make a politically correct statement by keeping the fountains dry, but it doesn’t make sense for various reasons. Anyway, this makes a very attractive area to sit and contemplate the world.

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FIDM

Grand Hope is such a lovely name for a park, not to be confused with Grand Park which is much larger and further north in downtown. This park is bounded on the west by Hope Street and on the east by Grand Avenue.

FIDM

With the conversion of so many 1920s office buildings to residential lofts, which in turn spurred the development of new apartments and condos, thousands of people now call downtown home. This necessitated facilities for families such as this jungle gym play area.

fashion-institute-121215-9-C-700px  fashion-institute-121215-10-C-700px  FIDM

The women I was waiting for showed up and it was time to venture into the Fashion Institute Gallery to see the exhibit.

FIDM

But first a couple of shots of this angel sculpture on the Grand Avenue side:

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FIDM

We see a lot of different kinds of angels around our “City of Angels,” but I’ve never seen one with a cat mask before… especially one with Donald Trump hair. If I had an angel outside my house it would have to be a cat!

FIDMThe first exhibit we saw was Fleurs: Botanicals in Dress. From the Gallery websiteRoses…Tulips…Orchids…Lilacs…Botanicals have grown around the human body for centuries through trompe l’oeil woven petals, shade-embroidered leaves, and dimensional silk bouquet applications. Fleursexamines these sartorial techniques that allow springtime to be eternal and the flowers to never fade.

I could certainly see myself walking into a room wearing this coat of chrysanthemums… hmm, maybe not. In 1967 this dress cost $3,000, a small fortune at the time.

I’m really not a dress or dress-up kind of gal but some of these are quite striking.

FIDM

This straw hat I was sure was from the 1960s so I was shocked to see it was actually from the 1820s.

FIDM

If I had to wear a dress I could enjoy wearing this black number

FDIM

And I’m sure if my beau showed up at my house wearing this jerkin I would swoon. But only if I was living in the 1600s!

FIDM

This piece is from the student gallery. Quite clever in its own way… the shirt folds up flat to fit in your suitcase!

FIDM

This wedding gown is from 1978 although some of us thought it looked more like a nightie… perhaps she was anticipating the next event. The groom’s suit behind was very natty… I liked the bell bottom pants.

We also saw the Donald and Joan Damask Design Collection, including art books, high fashion photography and a section devoted to Cecil Beaton, who among other things, was an Academy Award–winning stage and costume designer for the movie industry.

I am not generally that interested in fashion but I never turn down an opportunity to look at anything related to art and design. There is always something new to learn.

And now I think my camera and I will have to come back to this part of town and wander around some more.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. 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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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.

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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Malibu Creek State Park test run

malibu creek state park

This coming Saturday I am enrolled in a photography class taking place at Malibu Creek State Park to learn how to get the best shots of marine birds. So today I took the Metro bus #534 from Culver City to Malibu for a test run to scope the area. Now I feel confident about being able to get there on time.

malibu creek state park

This information board tells us that Malibu Lagoon is a seasonally tidal wetland. Water slowly fills the lagoon during summer months. The water level in the lagoon moves up and down daily with the tides.

malibu creek state park

The walking path looking back towards Pacific Coast Highway. The bridge over PCH to the right.

malibu creek state park

The first half of the photos were taken with my wide angle 10-18mm lens. I am loving my new purchase!

malibu creek state park

Sculptural fence looking south over the lago0n.

malibu creek state park

Santa Monica Mountains in the background.

malibu creek state park

As I was walking around the lagoon I felt so grateful to be alive. I struggle with depression and the best “medication” for me is to force myself out of the house to be in nature. Photography is a wonderful excuse to get outside. Life is beautiful.

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Who would want to be dead when there is so much beauty to be enjoyed?

malibu creek state park

I feel so fortunate to live where I do. I can hop on a bus and be in a whole new world in a short period of time!

malibu creek state park

I was at Malibu Lagoon in the afternoon. Our class on Saturday will be in the morning when there are more birds out and around. I can’t wait to get some good shots.

malibu creek state park

I tripped on some rocks and nearly fell flat on my face at this point. Fortunately I was able to save myself before embarrassing myself in front of some foreign tourists! What a beautiful day!

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Yup, this is the famous Surfrider Beach, dedicated as the first World Surfing Reserve on October 9, 2010. It has some spectacular surfing waves, but not today.

 it was dedicated as the first World Surfing Reserve on October 9, 2010

It is also known for catching a good grunion run. “Grunion leave the water at night to spawn on beaches during the spring and summer months. For four consecutive nights, beginning on the nights of the full and new moons, spawning occurs after high tides and continues for several hours. As waves break on the beach, grunion swim as far up the slope as possible. The female arches her body and excavates the semi-fluid sand with her tail to create a nest. She twists her body and digs into the sand until she is half buried, with her head sticking up. She then deposits her eggs in the nest. Males curve around the female and release milt. The milt flows down the female’s body until it reaches and fertilizes the eggs. As many as eight males may fertilize the eggs in a single nest. After spawning, the males immediately retreat toward the water while the female twists free and returns with the next wave. While spawning may only take 30 seconds, some fish remain stranded on the beach for several minutes.” From California Grunion Run.  

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/grunionschedule.asp

Up on the hill, Pepperdine University, a Christian university. You can see the cross at the right.

http://www.pepperdine.edu/

Malibu Sport Fishing Pier in the center where you can charter a fishing boat.

malibu creek state park

View of the bridge over Malibu Lagoon, Pacific Coast Highway.

malibu creek state park

Snowy egret looking for dinner.

malibu creek state park

Gazillions of pelicans.

malibu creek state park

Gazillions of pelicans up close!

malibu creek state park

More gazillions of pelicans.

malibu creek state park

How wonderful it would be to be flying free over the ocean. Santa Monica skyline in the distance.

malibu creek state park

Snowy egret looking for dinner. I had not eaten since breakfast and I was feeling a little peckish myself so I empathised.

malibu creek state park

Some residences in the Malibu Colony. Do you watch Two and a Half Men. This is where Charlie lived. In its heyday this was, in my humble opinion, the funniest show on TV. Too bad it went on too long.

malibu creek state park

Oh, those pelicans!

malibu creek state park

Don’t know what these birds are. At this point I was shooting with my 18-135mm lens. This is my favorite general lens that I use 90% of the time. I can’t wait to come back on Saturday with my 70-300mm lens and get some close ups of these birds.

malibu creek state park

The building in the center is some kind of software company… can’t remember the name. Not a bad place to work. But personally I wouldn’t want to be driving up PCH every day.

malibu creek state park

Another view of that sculptural fence.

malibu creek state park

I liked the curving fence. I walked back to Malibu Country Mart to catch my bus. The ride back at 4:00pm was almost twice as long in traffic. Glad I was not driving!

The park was the center of Chumash Native American life for centuries and was once used to film numerous movies and TV shows, such as Planet of the Apes and M*A*S*H.

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!