RMW: the blog

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


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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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Feline Friday – #43 – at the watering hole

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I’ve been looking for a water purifying system for a while now. I got tired of driving to the Water Store, filling up my three two-gallon bottles and lifting them in to the back of my car, driving home and then having to carry them up all my stairs. It was getting to be too much for my knees and shoulders.

My main concern is to rid the water of the fluoride in our city drinking water. The reverse osmosis system employed at the Water Store is the most efficient at ridding that drug from the water (along with all the beneficial minerals, of course.) At-home RO systems seem to be in the experimental stage at this point.

So I looked at drip systems. To make a long story short, I chose the ProPur Big system which contains all-in-one contaminants & fluoride filter elements so I don’t have to fiddle with extra filters for the fluoride.

It seems really dumb that our government contaminates our water with the fluoride drug without our consent only to have a multi-million dollar industry built around extracting that same drug. Could there be some symbiosity there?

Oh, Freddie is admonishing me. This post is supposed to be about him and not my conspiracy theories!

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Cats in general are attracted to running water. But Freddie has a particular affinity to it. He could be in a deep sleep in the darkest corner of the house. Upon hearing a splash of water, he is up and running in the direction of the sound. 

So when I’m pouring water into the water filter tank, or pouring it out into the water dispenser (as above) he has to be in the middle of it.

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The way the system works, in case you are interested, is I pour about two gallons of tap water into the top tank that sits on the bottom tank pictured in the back (the top tank is not shown and if I wasn’t feeling so lazy right now I could go downstairs and take a photo of the whole thing set up but you’ll have to use your imagination). The top tank contains the filters. The water oozes down to the bottom tank in a matter of hours. I then pour the filtered water into the stainless steel “fusti” which I keep on the kitchen counter.

As I don’t have a use for the wet bar in my living room (I was using it for storage), it has become the perfect space for my water system! The two heart-shaped tiles to the left are my ceramic painted portraits of the late, great Friday and my current older cat, sweet Pharoah.

Click here for a related post on the drinking water fountain I bought for the cats, which has turned out to be a winner.

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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Feline Friday – #39 – running to the running water

freddie and frankie water dish

Freddie and Frankie both have an affinity for flowing water. Whenever they hear water running, they come running to check it out.

Drinking out of the bathroom faucets in the washbasin or bathtub became a morning habit with the two fighting over the optimal position to receive the nectar of the gods from the tap.freddie and frankie water

Every morning I thought I really had to figure out a replacement for this activity. I never drink unfiltered city water myself so why should I inflict this on innocent creatures who depend on me to make these decisions. And Los Angeles water isn’t exactly mountain pure. Feline Friday is not the format to get into that discussion so I will move on.

All the pet drinking fountains I had seen in the stores were made out of plastic. When my late cat Friday was drinking and eating out of plastic dishes, he developed a condition known as feline acne (quite common) around his mouth and lips. I switched to stainless steel and the problem disappeared.

Amazon to the rescue! I searched for stainless steel pet drinking fountains and there were quite a few choices. There are still plastic elements in the fountains but nothing is perfect. The one I decided on seemed to have the least amount of plastic and the most amount of steel coming into contact with the cats. I also needed one that was substantial enough that these two rambunctious guys wouldn’t knock it over… and big enough that they could both use it at the same time as you can see in the photo at the top of the page. And the gallon size doesn’t require refilling all the time.

freddie and frankie water dish

There are two ways to enjoy the water. One is drinking out of the bottom bowl where the water is calm like a zen pool.

freddie and frankie water dish

The other is to drink out of the top bowl where the water is being recirculated so it is always moving… just like the cat drinking it!

freddie and frankie water dish

Another option is to drink the water as it slides down the side of the top bowl in a waterfall. Freddie seems most attracted to this.

The most amazing part about this story is that I ordered the fountain from Amazon in the afternoon, clicked on one-day Prime member delivery and voila…. it was delivered by 9:00pm that evening!

I set it up immediately (you have to read the instructions for the motor and other info on putting it together… but it couldn’t be easier) and decided to put it just outside the bathroom. Freddie and Frankie came running up the stairs right away and wasted no time in getting their snouts wet.

Pharoah has never attempted to drink out of a faucet so I didn’t think he would be interested. I was wrong. I should have had my camera handy to take pictures, but I didn’t. So I missed the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snap a photo of all three guzzling the water at the same time. Just take my word for it, it was overly cute!

We’ve had the fountain for three days now and it is certainly a success with the cats stopping by individually to quench their thirst. Of course, with cats you never know if or when they will lose interest. But unlike an optional toy, cats drink a lot of water, so I think this was money well spent.

Although the motor is silent, I turn it off at night to save electricity.

There is some maintenance cleaning the cat hair out of the filter and motor on a timely basis but the fountain comes apart easily and compared to cleaning out litter boxes this should be a cinch!

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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December on the Venice Canals – part two

venice canals

The second half of my walk through the Venice Canals. Most tourists coming to Venice never see the canals. And truthfully, they are more interested in seeing Venice Beach that they have heard so much about.

Venice Canals

The two areas could not be more different although they were once both part of Abbot Kinney’s idea to emulate Venice, Italy on the shores of Los Angeles in the early 1900s. I’ll write more about the history in another post.

Whereas the canals are very serene and peaceful, the Venice Beach boardwalk is like a circus. I’ll have photos of that area in another post.

Venice Canals

For walking I really prefer the quietude of the canals.

Venice Canals

And stopping to look at the details.

Venice Canals

Oh, those reflections!

Venice Canals

And ducks.

Venice Canals

I’ll be sorry when the holiday decorations come down.

Venice Canals

But even without the decorations the canals are never less than picturesque.

Venice Canals

This cat was very curious about my shoe. Perhaps he could smell some other felines I know.

Venice Canals

Although there are many cats strolling around the canals, ducks rule!

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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December on the Venice Canals – part one

venice canals

In December I made several trips to the Venice Canals and Venice Beach for a walking tour I was working on.

venice canals

I was happy to see some people had their Christmas decorations up.

venice canals

And unlike my visit in June when it was dark and dismal and the canal was in the process of being dredged (see post here), the sun was out and everything was looking cheery.

venice canals

This ladybug was having a good day too!

venice canals

Even Yoda and Darth Veda were in the holiday spirit!

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venice canals

But I wasn’t too sure about these two snowy egrets!

venice canals

However, this fella seemed to be enjoying the sunshine.

venice canals

One of the things I appreciate about the canals as a photographer is all the reflections… and the juxtaposition of the boats.

venice canals

And the variety of architecture is always fun to photograph.

venice canals

Giant candy canes growing right out of the bushes.

venice canals

Too bad we can’t have holiday decorations all year round.

venice canals

But we do have snowy egrets posing for the camera in every season.

venice canals

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the poinsettias.

venice-121615-059-C-700px

venice canals

Don’t mess with the ducks… the residents of the canals are especially protective of them.

venice canals

This palm tree could use a trim. They need to be manicured on a regular basis or the fronds will drop in the wind.

I wrote the names of my cats on a scrap of paper and left it on this pet tree.

venice canals

venice canals

I’ll be posting more random photos from my December visit from time to time.

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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All the way to Santa Catalina Island for Bubble Gum ice cream

santa catalina island

The Catalina Casino has to be one of the most photographed and iconic buildings in the world. I never get tired of taking pictures of it, just as I never tire of visiting it.

On Saturday several of my explorer friends and I headed for Santa Catalina Island for a day trip.

Santa Catalina Island

Catalina is approximately 26 miles from San Pedro, the Los Angeles port we chose to travel from. I use that distance because it is the title of a 50s song by the Four Preps. I never heard the song before I Googled the words “Catalina song.”

At the end of the post I’ve included two versions of the song by the Four Preps, one from long ago and one more recently. It’s a peppy song and now I can’t get it out of my head… but certainly matches the Catalina feeling!

And yup, that’s our catamaran above, the Starship Express! Not quite the Enterprise, but close enough!

Santa Catalina Island

The photo above is our first sighting of the island after leaving port. A little hazy… and I was shooting through a window…

Santa Catalina Island

As we neared Avalon we were hit in the face by this crazy condo complex cut into the side of the formerly pristine mountainside. Hamilton Cove just keeps on growing… okay, moving on…

Santa Catalina Island

This was our next, more pleasant view from the boat. Just as I remembered it.

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Santa Catalina Island

Avalon has a very small beach but it is popular. As it was past noon by now our first thought was food so we made a bee line for the restaurant.

It’s been several years since I last visited and since then The Busy Bee, my favorite water-side restaurant, morphed into the more upscale Bluewater Grill.

Santa Catalina Island

After a rather long wait for just the right table (able to accomodate six people) we were happy to sit down and admire that perfect view.

I ordered the sand dabs with summer squash and scalloped potatoes, one of the better meals I have ever eaten. I accompanied it with one of the best Bloody Mary’s I have ever tasted. It included a large, juicy shrimp, two huge stuffed olives and a string bean. I could have ordered two of those and called it lunch!

Santa Catalina Island

The Bluewater Grille hanging out over the water on the right. Pier on the left. At the top of the hill to the right is the Wrigley Mansion (now The Inn on Mt Ada).  At one time William Wrigley, Jr. (Wrigley’s Chewing Gum) owned the entire island.

Santa Catalina Island

After lunch we walked up to the Casino and I stopped to take some snapshots of people enjoying themselves on this glorious day. Not just people, of course. This dog was obviously captain of his ship.

Santa Catalina Island

The row of buoys designates a swimming area where boats are not allowed.

santa catalina island

A little paragliding, anyone?

Santa Catalina Island

And I had to take the opportunity for my selfie. Look at how clear that water is… if I wasn’t covered from head to toe to protect myself from the sun, I would have jumped in! Fortunately, I had many years of frolicking in the ocean so I still remember what it feels like… I have always loved being in, on and around water.

Santa Catalina Island

Cars are not generally allowed on Catalina but there are plenty of golf carts for hire. I also noticed quite a few two-person smart cars. According to the Chamber of Commerce there is currently a 14-year wait to own a car on the island, so why bother?

Santa Catalina Island

Tiles are everywhere. I could have filled this post with them but I had to restrain myself. Wrigley founded Catalina Clay Products in the 1920s which produced pottery and tiles. Forget about the pottery, I adore Catalina-style tiles which are prized by collectors and imitated by contemporary tile artists (myself included).

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Santa Catalina Island

This tile piece illustrates the bison that have been roaming the hills of Catalina for a hundred years. I can tell you a few stories of my bison encounters when you have some time. Just recently (end of August) the CEO of a conservation group, engaged in mapping for a new hiking trail, was gored by a bison. Fortunately he survived, but they are wild animals and you don’t want to piss them off.

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Santa Catalina Island

The Catalina Island Yacht Club sports a fancy weathervane of a galleon.

Santa Catalina Island

Sailboats come from Los Angeles and around the world to drop anchor at Avalon Bay. In my sailing days I remember not being able to sleep because of the clanging of the rigging from the boats that surrounded us. I suppose old salts get used to it, but I was merely a weekend sailor so I didn’t.

Like many things in my life, I’m glad I tried it, but after years of dreaming about learning to sail, the reality wasn’t as glamorous as the expectations! Now I’m happy just to look at the boats from afar.

Santa Catalina Island

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Santa Catalina Island

The Casino is now a movie theater downstairs. The old ballroom is still open upstairs and many events are hosted here. There are also tours available of the building which I highly recommend… takes you back to days gone by.

The entryway murals were created in 1929. After John Gabriel Beckman completed the murals for Grauman’s Chinese Theater (in Hollywood), Wrigley invited the artist to adorn the Casino.

santa catalina island

Walkway to Descanso Beach Club, north of downtown Avalon. The place was hopping with loud music and twenty-somethings. A sign stated for $2 members of the public could access the property. But we decided it was time to return to Avalon for our ice cream dessert. I treated myself to a double cone with Bubble Gum on the top and Vanilla Bean on the bottom. The only time I go for Bubble Gum ice cream is at Big Olaf’s on Catalina. It’s a tradition I started for myself many years ago and I can’t give it up now!

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santa catalina island

After sitting for a while to people watch as we finished our ice cream, we sauntered on down to Lover’s Cove just past the boat dock. This is a popular place for birds to hang out so they can watch the snorkelers.

It was almost time to board the Catalina Express to head back to the mainland. It was a short trip due to circumstances beyond my control. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful afternoon and I wouldn’t have missed it.

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santa catalina island

We are already thinking about coming back next year when we can spend more time. I’m also thinking about making an overnight trip on my own. Just me and my camera.

There is SO much more to see on the island within walking distance of Avalon Beach… I have such great memories of hiking and biking all over.

santa catalina island

On the return trip we were able to snag seats on the outside deck. We had a fellow traveler for a while. But it turns out he was a stowaway without a paid ticket so as soon as we were out on the high seas he flew back to Avalon.

santa catalina island

Bye bye until next year, sweet Catalina!

Don’t leave just yet.  The Four Preps want to sing that song about the island that I promised you. But a warning, you will be humming it for the rest of the day!

The first video is from the 50s with the four original members:

The second video is a more recent version with two of the original members. (And one extra song.)

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. 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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Something about a train – day trip to Oceanside

oceanside california

There’s something about the sound of a train that’s very romantic and nostalgic and hopeful. – Paul Simon

My friend KL obtained two free tickets for the MetroLink train and after several aborted attempts over several weeks, we were finally able to use the tickets last Saturday. We decided to go to Oceanside, the end of the line, and hang out for a few hours with nothing in particular planned.

Oceanside California

I took my little Canon G15 point & shoot camera to capture a few snapshots. It was a very glary day with the sun beating down on the white sand and sparkling water so I had a lot of problems controlling the exposure. But you get the general idea. Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with the DSLR.

Oceanside (population approximately 173,000,) is about 95 miles south of Los Angeles and about 40 miles north of San Diego.

Oceanside California

As we had been riding the rails for a few hours all the way from Culver City we were both starving. A passenger on the train who was familiar with the area recommended “the restaurant under the pier.”

This turned out to be the Tin Fish and what a great suggestion it was!

Oceanside California

My friend ordered the fish ‘n chips but (British blood notwithstanding) I am more partial to fish tacos. I figured there would be one small cut of fish in each taco so I went for the double order.

oceanside, california

That was a mistake! Each taco was big enough to feed two people! And look at those waffle fries…

But trooper that I am, I managed to eat everything minus the second taco shell. Oh my, highly recommended if you ever find yourself hungry in Oceanside.

Oceanside California

Southern California has been experiencing excessive heat lately. We thought we would cool off by the beach. But no such luck. It was a very warm day.

Oceanside California

I cannot be exposed to the sun and I don’t use sunscreen (all those chemicals leaking into my body, no thank you) so I go to the beach covered from head to toe. People are always asking me, when the temperature gets up there, “aren’t you hot under all those clothes?” Actually no. I believe in the Bedouin approach to sun protection: the stronger the sun, the more clothes to protect me from it!

Oceanside California

After our delicious lunch we strolled along the 1,942 ft (592 m) wooden pier. This is not an amusement pier, except for the entertainment provided by looking at the waves and watching the people.

Oceanside California

Mostly it seems to be a fishing pier. And as you can see, these fisherman agree with me about sun protection… I’m not so dumb after all!

Oceanside California

Although the fishermen were no doubt enjoying themselves, the fish, not so much…

Oceanside California

Although I don’t eat four-legged animals, I do love me some fish… so what can I say? Fish gotta be caught in order to be eaten…

Oceanside California

Nevertheless, I had to resist the urge to throw the poor creatures back in the ocean so they could frolick another day.

Oceanside California

The fish were obviously prolific around the pier as they were being hauled up all the time. You would think the fish would learn. Pier = people = dinner.

Oceanside California

The color of the water was really spectacular.

Oceanside California

Like golf, fishing has never appealed to me as a past time. But I’m sure it’s more satisfying to catch your own dinner than to buy it at the supermarket.

Oceanside California

I couldn’t get over all the hoards of people elbow to elbow on the beach soaking up the dangerous UV rays from the sun. In my twenties I lived at the beach, literally, and paid my dues with sunburns and heat stroke.

Oceanside California

As we left the pier and walked along Pacific Street, we saw several young men driving up in their tricked out classic cars. I can’t remember what model this car is. Not a Chevy Malibu but a….. oh well, whatever it is I thought it was tastefully painted.

Oceanside California

The walkway and bicycle path leading to the downtown area. The train station is just a hop and a skip from the beach.

Oceanside California

A mural in downtown depicting Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside Harbor and pier.

Oceanside California

The main drag through Oceanside. It’s a very cute little town. My friend is thinking about retiring there. If so, I will be visiting. But I’m a big city girl myself and all things being equal, I intend to stay put.

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Some beach front properties.

Oceanside California

We discovered the pink cottages have a senior citizen rate if you stay for three months. Sounds tempting but I would go nuts after about a week!

Oceanside California

Bikes, pedal cars and pickup trucks all share the Strand.

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Oceanside California

Sand, sand, sand and then water, water, water.

I was watching the PBS three-night series Big Blue Live. It is crazy how many animals live out there off the California coast (albeit the show was concentrating on Monterey). Then multiply that by all the oceans in the world. And we humans are solely responsible for polluting those oceans. Oh well, another story entirely.

Oceanside California

Another day, another adventure. As we rode the rails, we followed Interstate 5 which was backed up with traffic all the way down. Going home it was still backed up. The train is the only way to go by land. I don’t know why people would want to sit for hours all cramped up in their tiny cars when they could travel in the spaciousness of the train, looking out the window and not having to worry about whether the car behind you or next to you or in front of you is about to do something stupid. I really don’t enjoy driving anymore.

And besides, I’ll take a train over any other kind of transportation, any day! Paul Simon was right!

Oceanside California

With the sun still shining brightly in the background it was time for us to walk the few blocks to the train station to catch the 5:45 back to LA.

The California Surf Museum

According to Wikipedia:

Oceanside is home to The California Surf Museum (we popped into the museum store for a look), and has been the official start of the 3,000 mile bicycle race, Race Across America since 2006, and has played host to The Beach Soccer Championships since 2007.

I’ve been gallavanting about a lot recently and when I am home I’m working on a myriad of projects. So I’ve fallen behind with my blogging duties. Not enough time for everything!

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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Saturday adventure part four – my first look at the DWP

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We certainly covered a lot of ground on our photography expedition two weekends ago and I was thoroughly enjoying myself being in the company of other photographers.

From the Bradbury Building we moved on to the Music Center (officially named Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County) consisting of  Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum. I have more than my share of photos of this venue and I should create a separate post about it some other time.

So this day, while the others were getting their shots of these buildings, the instructor suggested I should walk across the street and check out the Department of Water & Power building. In all the millions of times I have been to the Music Center I have never crossed the street to look at the DWP!

The photo above is the facade of the DWP building taken from Grand Avenue, looking up the steps at the Music Center.

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The DWP building (renamed the John Ferraro Building in 2000) is surrounded by water… you could call it a moat. Follow this link for a good aerial photo of the building when it first opened.

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The building was completed in 1965, during the same period as the opening of the Music Center across the street (1964-67). The photo above shows part of the downtown skyline with the 2003 Walt Disney Concert Hall poking its nose in from the left.

Like most buildings around LA it has starred in movies, most notably the 2010 sci fi film, Inception.department of water & power

The DWP’s campaign to have homeowners install drought tolerant gardens is exemplified by the landscaping around the building.

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Front yards can look really beautiful without water hogging lawns.

department of water & powerFill up your water bottles here with pure tap water. I did, thank you!

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The Los Angeles Philharmonic winters at the Music Center then moves to the Hollywood Bowl for the summer. To the right are the Mark Taper Forum (far right behind the plant) and the Ahmanson. Santa Monica Mountains are in the background.

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Building in the center is Library Tower (US Bank Building), at 73 stories the tallest building west of Chicago. They are building a viewing platform near the top… yes, I will plonk down my $25 for some spectacular photos on a clear day!

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The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the first module of the Music Center to be completed (1964). Adorned with the usual tour buses.

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A better view of the Mark Taper Forum.

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Los Angeles City Hall located at the far end of Grand Park, four blocks down the hill.

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Wonderful patterns in the water like abstract paintings.

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I assume that all the water is recycled. During our drought any non-recycling water features are supposed to be turned off. I don’t see why any water fountains or pools would not be recycling water to start with. In my opinion, turning off the water is harmful to birds and another creatures who depend on it. And, I admit, I like to see water features!

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dept-water-power-071115-044-C-750pxIn these last two photos you can see how the reflecting pool extends out and over the ground below. The pool forms the roof of the parking garage below.

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I have more photos from other places we visited on this day but in order to catch up my posts about other things I have been doing since then I will leave it at this for now. Now that I’ve “discovered” the John Ferraro Building I want to return and take more pictures 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!