RMW: the blog

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


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Feline Friday – #15 – in the nick of time

Been a little busy taking care of stuff. Was afraid I wasn’t going to make Feline Friday today but it is 9:20 pm and it’s still Friday so I made it!

I painted these two heart-shaped tiles in 2006 in honor of Pharoah, my Champagne Tabby and Friday, my late Tuxedo Cat.

These kiln-fired glazed tiles measure 7 inches across and still hang in my living room.

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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Reflections in tiles and being purple

california science center los angelesI visited the California Science Center a couple of times during the past year. Located in Exposition Park, south of downtown Los Angeles, the 400,00 sq ft museum hosts permanent installations as well as special exhibits related to all areas of the sciences from bacteria to outer space. It is also home to the Space Shuttle Endeavour and a seven-story IMAX theater.

california science center los angeles

Between the main museum and the IMAX theater is a plaza area where I took these photos. I was just having fun shooting some abstract and miscellaneous images.

california science center los angeles

This is a series of selfies reflected in some colorful ceramic tiles installed on the exterior of the IMAX theater.

california science center los angeles

california science center los angeles

Steps leading out of the plaza area.

california science center los angeles

Looking up to the ceiling of the plaza area and towards the main museum building.

california science center los angeles

california science center los angeles

Granite slabs which create a seating area or a place to run and jump depending on your age group. Oops, my copyright covered up Victor Hugo’s name.

On a very hot day, a place to cool off and be purple.

science-center-012115-016-C-850pxA closeup of atoms or planets?

The plaza area reminds me of the 1970s and I thought that was when it was installed but the facility opened in 1998 so obviously I am wrong. But if time is non-linear it can be the 70s in the 90s and 2015 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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Feline Friday – #10 – Catalina Cats

I didn’t want to miss a Feline Friday but, as you may imagine, my life is a little hectic right now. So until I can get back to some kind of regular schedule with my blogging activities (and my life) I decided to copy and paste a post of mine over at my archived Art, Tiles & Mosaics blogspot from September 15, 2008. Gee, that is more than six years ago… hard to believe!

As you will note, my cats Friday and Pharoah show up in this tile… I often painted them into my designs to make them more personal for me. Friday, of course, has since passed away, but Pharoah is still going strong! The other tile mentioned in this post came out pretty well too but I don’t have time right now to track it down. So, in the meantime I wish you a happy Feline Friday!

Catalina Cats

From September 15, 2008

As a self-proclaimed tile addict, my favorite thing to do when I visit Catalina Island (just a short boat ride from Los Angeles) is to hunt down all the beautiful tiles that adorn the buildings and walkways in Avalon. (And I highly recommend the Jewels of Avalon Tile Walking Tour.) But just as ubiquitous, and beautiful, are the feral cats of Catalina. T-shirts and other souvenirs of the cats are easily found in the shops. So for me to paint a tile of a Catalina scene was well overdue. I just retrieved this one from the kiln this morning. I have a companion tile that I’m starting to work on now but for the first one I decided on the most famous landmark, the Casino Ballroom. Inviting you into the scene are my two friends, Friday and Pharoah!
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 train! The train! All the way from Culver City to downtown LA on the Metro Expo Line.

Culver City Expo Line station

Train arriving at Culver City Expo Line station – decorative tile in foreground

Wednesday, June 20 at noon the train station at Culver City officially opened. Less than two hours later a friend and I tested the waters… or should I say the rails… on the Metro Expo Line running to the Metro Center at 7th and Flower in downtown Los Angeles.

Culver City Expo Line station

Culver City Expo Line station

It was an exhilarating experience. And brought my personal history full circle with transportation in this city. The first time my family moved to Los Angeles was in the early sixties. I remember riding the Red Car to downtown LA to shop at the department stores. Downtown was where you went for the full shopping experience back then. When we were ready to come home we had to stand on a painted island—no physical barriers at all except a stripe of paint—in between two lanes of traffic racing past. That was an exhilaration of a totally different kind indeed!

Culver City Expo Line station

A great way to ride your bike all the way from downtown LA!

When we returned to LA a couple of years later, the Red Cars were history. We won’t go into that ignominious and infamous story here. But we are now paying dearly for it.

Culver City Expo Line station artwork

Photo collage of tiles inset into platform depicting history of former rail system that covered the Los Angeles area.

I never thought I would see rail transport come to West LA—let alone a short walk from my abode in Culver City—in my lifetime. It’s a miracle. I still think I am going to wake up one morning and read the story in the LA Times that train travel in our city is at least twenty years in the future!

Culver City Expo Line station

Culver City Expo Line map

Of course, I take the bus as much as possible but I grew up in England riding the train from one part of town to the other. It’s my favorite form of transportation. Fast, clean, efficient. I just returned from a visit to England and enjoyed riding the rails again.  

Culver City Expo Line bus stop

Culver City Expo Line – looking out to Washington Blvd and the bus stop for the Culver City #1 line that goes all the way to Venice.

So the journey on Wednesday from Robertson and Washington to the Metro Center was nothing less than amazing. I’ve been to this station at 7th and Flower many times over the years but arriving on the Culver City train was special.

Artwork at the Culver City Expo Line station

Artwork at the Culver City Expo Line station

TL and I walked out of the station on to busy 7th Street. I commented to my friend that it was like taking a spaceship to another planet… but an entirely interesting one. I happen to love downtown LA. It is full of life in every direction.

Buying tickets at the Culver City station

Buying tickets at the Culver City station

Years ago I was a Los Angeles Conservancy docent. I would bring my tour goers up 7th Street for the much-lamented, no-longer-available Marble Masterpieces Walking Tour. It was the best tour on the schedule but unfortunately dumped shortly after I left… okay, don’t get me started!!!!

My friend and I gazed in awe at the beautiful buildings from the glorious decade of the 1920s. The Conservancy has saved many of these architectural wonders from the wrecking ball. And I miss leading those tours…

St. Vincent's Court downtown LA

St. Vincent’s Court downtown LA

We were walking towards Broadway but as we passed a non-descript alleyway we noticed an outdoor café. We ventured further and discovered the alley was infested with cafés of all denominations. We felt like we were back in Paris.

St. Vincent's Court downtown LA - where we bought our sandwiches

St. Vincent’s Court downtown LA – cafe where we bought our sandwiches

We only wanted some light fare so we settled on a sandwich shop. We ordered two sandwiches wrapped in Lavash bread which we thought was a good deal for $6.99 each, only to find out they came with a drink and fries. When the meal arrived we agreed it was enough for four people, but I managed to plow through and left not a crumb on my plate.

All this and a drink (I chose Snapple) for $6.99!

All this and a drink (I chose Snapple) for $6.99!

We sat and talked on this warm weekday afternoon splat in the middle of the Jewelry District. We couldn’t remember when sidewalk cafés became a phenomenon in Los Angeles but we agreed it wasn’t that long ago. Strange for a city that has such an inviting climate. But whenever that first restaurant hit on the idea to put tables out on the street it was like a plague that spread overnight. A good plague, of course!  

St. Vincent's Court - Bullocks porte cochere

St. Vincent’s Court – what was probably the circa 1920s Bullock’s department store porte cochere

Around 4:00pm we walked back to the station. When we rode the train in we were surprised how few people were traveling. But when the train pulled in to take us back to Culver City, people came tumbling out of the doors… where did they all come from?

Metro Center at 7th and Flower - tile mural

Metro Center at 7th and Flower – tile mural

I imagine it will take a while for the citizens of West LA to get used to the idea of leaving their cars behind. As much as I enjoy traveling on the bus system, I understand why some people don’t like to take the bus. But the train is a different story—being able to say you arrived by train is so much more classy!

(All photos copyright roslyn m wilkins)