RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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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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Gardens of privilege – Virginia Robinson Estate

virginia robinson gardens

View of the main house

The informative text in italics is taken directly from the Virgina Robinson Gardens website.

As long as I have lived in Los Angeles (all my adult life) I am still learning about and discovering new places. This is one such place.

virginia robinson gardens

Lawns are no longer bright green in LA due to the severe drought.

It was a hot day so I decided against taking the bus and struggling up the hill behind Sunset Boulevard… and Cinnamon Girl needed an outing. So I drove my car with the lovely air conditioning.

virginia robinson gardens

Pool house is undergoing renovation and pool is drained.

Built in 1911, the Robinson mansion was one of the first homes in Beverly Hills. Known for hosting the areas most legendary parties—it was not uncommon to catch famed individuals entering and leaving the estate.

virginia robinson gardens

Today, the garden is recognized as not only a historical landmark, but also as an exotic paradise that all sightseers are invited to enjoy.

virginia robinson gardens

When Virginia Robinson died in 1977 just before her 100th birthday, she was arguably one of the last grand dames of the Hollywood era. Nevertheless, she left her legendary home and gardens in serious disrepair. A leaky roof and a dangerous electrical system threatened the very survival of this cultural landmark.

virginia robinson gardens

“The Friends of Robinson Gardens” was founded in 1982 with a Board of Directors and a general membership of over 75 committed women.

virginia robinson gardens

A great deal was accomplished in a short period of time. The Friends of Robinson Gardens raised enough money to begin crucial repairs, establish docent programs, and begin educational seminars. Coincidentally, Robinsons Department Store, originally known as the Boston Dry Goods Store in downtown Los Angeles and owned by Harry Robinson’s family, was celebrating its 100th anniversary.

virginia robinson gardens

A letter from President Reagan that year called the Friends of Robinson Gardens “a fine example of what can be accomplished through cooperation between the private and public sector,” and congratulated the group on its significant accomplishments. Since its inception in 1982, the Friends have restored all of the historic buildings on the property according to the strict standards set by the Department of Interior and the Friends are contributing one quarter of the Gardens annual operating budget.

virginia robinson gardens

Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open by appointment to the public. Located behind the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, the beautiful six-acre property contains a breathtaking display garden, mansion and pool pavilion.

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virginia robinson gardens

The Robinson Gardens was once the site of lavish Hollywood parties. Mrs. Robinson was known as the first lady of Beverly Hills and her triumphs as a hostess are legendary: her diverse guests included royalty such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Hollywood stars like Marlene Dietrich and Fred Astaire; her neighbors were Glenn Ford, Lillian Disney and Elvis Presley. She sipped champagne cocktails with Sophia Loren and challenged Charlie Chaplin to a spirited game of tennis – all with her signature elegance and class.

virginia robinson gardens

virginia robinson gardens

She was equally renowned for her philanthropy. Among the many benefits she hosted, the Hollywood Bowl Patronesses Benefit was a favorite. Each year, after the opening of the Hollywood Bowl season, the orchestra would repeat their performance on the estate’s Great Lawn, to the delight of her guests.

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virginia robinson gardens

Shortly before her death in 1977, Mrs. Robinson bequeathed her estate to Los Angeles County. The County, along with the not-for-profit organization Friends of Robinson Gardens, preserves the estate for future generations to enjoy.

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virginia robinson gardens

As the first luxury estate built in the world’s most famous residential neighborhood [Beverly Hills], the multi-faceted historic property provides an opportunity to experience the world of privilege in early Los Angeles.

virginia robinson gardens

virginia robinson gardens

This cat was not at all disturbed by the visitors intruding on his shady nap. I believe his name is Henry or Harry, just can’t remember which!

virginia robinson gardens

A couple of very fancy bird houses… well, they are Beverly Hills birds!

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virginia-robinson-073016-066-C-550px

virginia robinson gardens

The potting shed

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virginia robinson gardens

It’s Southern California so you gotta have a palm tree forest in your garden!

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virginia robinson gardens

virginia robinson gardens

The perfect location for a mid afternoon cup of tea!

virginia robinson gardens

And of course, a pink tennis court. Why not?

We were able to tour the interior of the house but not allowed to take photos.

Traffic was pretty bad driving through Beverly Hills back to Culver City on a Saturday afternoon but my chauffeur had the day off, so what could I do?

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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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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Easter Sunday and a change of plans

culver boulevard culver city

“Over the Rainbow” peering over jacaranda trees at Sony Pictures Entertainment

Today I was supposed to take the Expo Line to the Red Line to the Orange Line to visit a friend in Northridge (that’s on the Valley side of Los Angeles, over or under the Santa Monica Mountains depending on how you look at it). But not to be. My friend texted me at midnight to tell me she had a plumbing emergency and to hang tight. I was still awake so I texted her back to let her know I got the message.

culver boulevard culver city

“Over the Rainbow” seen behind the Irving Thalberg building at Sony Pictures Entertainment

I fell asleep and one of the cats woke me up at 3:40am. I saw there was another message from her telling me to call her before 8:00am (when I was supposed to leave the house) as she wasn’t sure what time the plumber could be there or what the problem was. So I went back to sleep knowing that I could stay in bed until at least 7:00am if I wanted to (and the cats would let me). Lovely.

Turns out she had a serious problem with some 1950s pipes under her house. I won’t go into all the murky details but evidently it was going to be a big project. So we decided to reschedule.

culver boulevard culver city

Better view of “Over the Rainbow”

Okay, what to do. I am not very good at changing plans and making new decisions. My brain gets stuck in a groove and that is that. When I think of all the opportunities at my door, what I decided to do instead was admittedly mundane.

I decided to treat myself to a Smashburger Black Bean Burger with a side of Veggie Frites and Sweet Potato Fries for lunch. The nearest Smashburger is a 25-minute walk from my house one way so that was my excuse to get out of the house on this beautiful day.

I have a choice of several walking routes to get to Culver Center but as I needed to drop off my Netflix movie (The Imitation Game) at the post office I decided to walk down Culver Boulevard.

I took a few random photos along the way. The first three photos above are all of the “Rainbow” sculpture installed on the Sony Pictures Entertainment lot. I prefer to call it “Over the Rainbow” but that’s evidently not it’s official name. Sony now sits in the space that was originally Metro Goldwyn Meyer, the greatest movie studio of them all where “The Wizard of Oz” was made in the 1930s. So, of course, the rainbow pays homage to that movie.

culver boulevard culver city

A side street along the way. Walking beneath that archway of trees is like being in the forest… except for the cars!

I’m always fascinated by the seeds and/or fruit on the palm trees which look a lot like tree dreadlocks. It is a beautiful display.

This is my favorite apartment building in the neighborhood. It is a lovely example of maybe 50s or 60s apartment architecture with a circular glass lobby, swordfish sculpture and decorative circles in the stucco and fencing. The building you can see across the street is another view of the Thalberg building.

culver boulevard culver city

A result of our weird weather. Jacarandas usually show their gorgeous purple blooms in May/June. But this year we saw some of the trees flowering as early as March and some that have not yet flowered at all. Everybody is confused.

culver boulevard culver city

I love this clock by the artist Terry Allen. I think the name is Golden Time (too lazy to look it up). I always tell people this is how I felt before I quit corporate life… dragging a huge clock around on my shoulders waiting for each working day to end! This poor guy hangs out on the corner of the Fred Astaire Building, built during the golden age of MGM.

culver boulevard culver city

Looking back at the Fred Astaire building and what I have labeled the ziggurat building, the mid 1980s Sony building at the end.

culver boulevard culver city

Orchid Fever is a great place to spend some time with more than 10,000 square feet of greenhouses filled with thousands of orchid plants, hundreds of bromeliads, and a wide variety of other tropical and exotic plants. When you walk in from the street it is like being transported to some magical jungle.

culver boulevard culver city

Another tree-lined side street.

culver boulevard culver city

Sony is constantly building… this is apparently a new parking garage going up. I would prefer they would have less parking spaces for their employees and give them incentives to ride public transportation. There is too much traffic in Culver City already without encouraging more.

culver boulevard culver city

So how much do you pay for gas? The price goes up and down like a yo yo. I don’t drive that much anymore so it really doesn’t matter to me but I don’t even bother to check the prices. If I need gas, I need gas. But when I have tourists from out of town, the price of gas is always a hot topic.

culver boulevard culver city

This is the sign outside the Backstage Bar across the street from Sony. These gentlemen seem to be appropriately dressed for an after work drink. And I am certainly glad no skateboards are allowed… nothing worse than a drunken skateboarder.

culver boulevard culver city

An Angel Trumpet Flower tree. Originating in South America they do well in Los Angeles… and how appropriate to have them growing in the City of Angels (well, here in Culver City to be precise).

culver boulevard culver city

The newest completed building at Sony. I thought it was going to be another garage but now it looks more like offices.

culver boulevard culver city

Street lamps lined up probably waiting for their next movie gig.

culver boulevard culver city

And another side street landscaped with cooling trees. Trees also, of course, help mitigate carbon monoxide.

culver boulevard culver city

More jacarandas that have flowered and dropped before their time.

culver boulevard culver city

At this point I was more than halfway to my destination and about to turn off Culver Boulevard on to Overland Avenue. So I thought I would take one last photo of a very important building. This is where I buy most of my lottery tickets. Haven’t won anything yet but I’m not giving up! Liquor stores in LA sell everything from cat food and cough drops to tooth paste and tea bags… yes, you can also buy liquor along with beer and fine wine… they never advertise “cheap” wine, but they have that too!

And the Black Bean Smashburger? It was delicious, thanks for asking…

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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John Muir and the final post from my Yosemite trip

yosemite national park

The final post from my trip to Yosemite! Click below for the full post.

https://onegoodlifetravels.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/yosemite-in-the-un-snow-day-three-and-a-half/

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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Beverly Hills cactus garden

beverly hills cactus gardenBeverly Gardens Park is a narrow stretch that runs the length of Beverly Hills on the north side of Santa Monica Boulevard, about two miles or 23 blocks. It is divided into various sections with different kinds of plants, sculptures and fountains.

The Cactus Garden is located between N. Camden Drive and N. Bedford Drive. It contains desert plants including cactus and succulents.

The photo above and below shows The Church of the Good Shepherd bell tower rising above the trees at the north end.

Church of the Good Shepherd

I love century plants. This one below is the agave americana var. medio-picta – Yellow-Striped Century Plant

Eons ago I worked in Beverly Hills as project manager for an interior design company. I used to enjoy strolling through this park at lunch time.
beverly  gardens cactus gardenI am not a plant expert so I am afraid I can’t tell you what these are… I am sure if I took the time I could find the names but it is already past my bedtime after a very tiring day!

beverly  gardens cactus gardenI love all the plants of the desert, they are the most mysterious and striking of all plant life, in my opinion.

beverly-hills-121414-143-C-850pxAnd who doesn’t love the majestic Washingtonia (Mexican Fan) palm trees?

beverly  gardens cactus garden

beverly  gardens cactus gardenI’ll be posting more photos of other parts of the garden from time to time with more information about the park. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the photos of the Cactus Garden.

beverly-hills-121414-187-C-850px beverly-hills-121414-200-C-850px beverly-hills-121414-206-C-850px beverly-hills-121414-212-C-850px beverly  gardens cactus gardenAll 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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Downtown for the holidays

downtown christmas decorations

It was a rather gloomy, hazy day today but I got myself on the train to go downtown anyway. I like to go this time of year to wander around and look at the holiday decorations. Above is one of the Christmas trees at Grand Park with Los Angeles City Hall in the background. I did the best I could to bump up the blue sky but it just wasn’t there.

downtown christmas decorations

The shocking pink color scheme of the tree matches the color of the chairs and tables throughout the park.

downtown christmas decorationsThis is my favorite photo of the day. A selfie with City Hall behind me reflected in the pink ball.

downtown christmas decorations
I always like a cigarette that can tell a good joke!

downtown christmas decorationsTrees at the midpoint of the park adorned with gifts.

downtown christmas decorationsThe Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain at the north end of Grand Park with another Christmas tree.

Arthur J. Will Memorial FountainIt wouldn’t be Christmas without palm trees.

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center hiding behind the tree. The Music Center is north of Grand Park, across Grand Avenue. The Music Center actually just celebrated its 50th birthday. I should do a post on that.

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain

Another selfie!

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain
Looking back at City Hall.

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain

downtown christmas decorations

I was disappointed there was no tree at the Music Center this year but I guess Grand Park made up for it. However, the area was festively decorated.

Arthur J. Will Memorial FountainAnd a nice bow on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

downtown christmas decorationsMoving south on Grand Avenue I saw these trees inside the lobby at California Plaza. They came out pretty well despite all the reflections on the glass.

downtown christmas decorations

California Plaza really came through in a big Christmassy way. There were some kiddies running around in great excitement at this display.

downtown christmas decorations

 
Note the train running around the base of the display. I love trains whether real or scale model.

downtown christmas decorations
I also love reflections.

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A beautiful purply tree inside the Wells Fargo Center.

downtown christmas decorations
Purple happens to be my favorite color so if there’s anything better than a purple Christmas tree, it’s two purple Christmas trees!

Wells Fargo Plaza building
And so you don’t think I’m playing favorites with Wells Fargo, the Bank of America Plaza across the street sports these planters with beautiful red, white and gold begonias and poinsettias.

downtown christmas decorations
Red and white begonias seem to be very popular all over the city this year.
downtown christmas decorations
At this point I was about decorated out. But I was happy that I made the effort to capture a little holiday spirit.

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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The Ginkos put on a show

ginkos san marino

Walking to the Huntington Library from the Gold Line train station last week (see my previous post), I saw this blaze of yellow up ahead.

ginko trees san marino

I couldn’t figure out what it could possibly be.

ginko trees san marino

When I got up close the leaves looked like Ginkos. When I got home I looked it up to make sure.

ginko trees san marino

I just didn’t know they turned this gorgeous yellow in the fall.

ginko trees san marino

Why haven’t I noticed them in previous years? Maybe the conditions have to be just right for such a brilliant display.

ginko trees san marino

Who says we don’t have seasons in Southern California?

ginko trees san marino

According to Wikipedia: Ginkgo biloba is a unique species of tree with no living relatives. The ginkgo is a living fossil, recognisably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food.

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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An unintentional visit to the Los Angeles National Cemetery

Los Angeles National Cemetery

I was on my way somewhere else. When I got off the bus I realized I was in one of those “you can’t get there from here” situations that often show up in my nightmares.  But a daymare? I won’t go into the whole pathetic story but after a while I was gritting my teeth to keep back tears as the further I walked the more convoluted the circumstances became. To make a longer story short I ended up walking a few miles through a construction area posted with signs to keep pedestrians out. I survived to tell the tale and at the end of the tunnel there was light. That light turned out to be the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Los Angeles National CemeteryI’ve lived in Los Angeles all my adult life, which as it happen is a VERY long time. I have walked and driven past the veteran’s cemetery in Westwood a gazillion times, if not two gazillion. I always say, one day I must go inside the gates and walk around. So, although I had not intended it to be, yesterday turned out to be the day.

Well-known as a supporter of US troops all over the world, Bob Hope’s name pops up all over the Los Angeles area in relationship to the military. So it was no surprise to see this plaque on the front of the Veterans Chapel in his honor. And just in time as he died the following year at 100 years old.

Los Angeles National Cemetery

Driving by the cemetery I am always overwhelmed by the size (114 acres) and number of grave stones and markers.

Los Angeles National Cemetery

Once inside the gates I realized it was many times bigger than I thought.

Los Angeles National Cemetery

Interment is now closed at this cemetery.  I don’t know where a veteran in the Los Angeles area is now buried. There must be another veterans cemetery somewhere in the area? In the photo above the Getty Center appears on the hillside above the cemetery. As it happens that is where I was aiming for!

Los Angeles National CemeteryAs  close together as these stones are set I was trying to imagine how a lawnmover would get in there to cut the grass. As I found out, an army of gardeners with weed whackers walk through the grounds.

Los Angeles National Cemetery

Some of the graves are marked with upright stones as in the previous photos. In this area the stones are laid flat in the grass. I don’t know what the difference is. Cost? Aesthetic preference? I couldn’t find any information. Downtown Westwood is in the background.

Los Angeles National CemeteryI was rather pleased with this photo of the flag. The wind and clouds cooperated.

Los Angeles National Cemetery

I don’t know how many burials there are here. I do know that as far as military cemeteries go, the Los Angeles National Cemetery is second only in size to Arlington National Cemetery.

Los Angeles National Cemetery

Watching this guy trim the tree scared the heck out of me. I don’t like heights to start with but zooming around in that bucket must take nerves of steel!

Los Angeles National Cemetery

So I ended up having a very nice serendipitous afternoon after all. Below are some more photos of the cemetery. Click on any image for the slideshow:

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