RMW: the blog

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


11 Comments

Yosemite – part three – a walk to the Majestic

yosemite

Upper Yosemite Falls

On Sunday S and I decided to walk the two miles from Yosemite Valley Lodge over to the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly known as the Ahwahnee Hotel).

yosemite 
It was another chilly sunny morning and I was beginning to doubt I would ever experience snow at Yosemite in my lifetime!

yosemite

Although we enjoyed the group hike the day before, we were equally happy to have time on our own, going at our own speed and stopping to take photos.

yosemite

A lot of the trees looked pretty brown and dried up. I wasn’t sure if that was the drought or the time of year.

yosemite
The bare tree branches allowed for some dramatic scenes.

yosemite

A rather ominous sign. Does that mean the rest of the park is full of guns?

yosemite

Like Mona Lisa’s eyes, Yosemite Falls followed us along our route.

yosemite
Our plan was to eat lunch at the hotel bar then take a docent tour of the Majestic Hotel.

yosemite

Two of the light fixtures in the bar, one with bears, the other with pine trees.

yosemite

After lunch we had a wait for the docent tour so I hunkered down for a nap in a very comfy chair in the Writing Room next to a window  with a lovely view.

yosemite

View of the hotel built right up against the mountain.

yosemite yosemiteOur tour guide was very lively and passionate about his subject. He told us he had been climbing El Capitan and Half Dome since he was about four years old with his parents.

yosemite

Although our accommodations at the lodge were very comfortable I wouldn’t mind staying at the Majestic (Ahwahnee) on my next visit! This last photo shows what the original decoration of the walls and ceilings looked like. You can see the areas that have been uncovered under the yellow and brown paint. At one point it was thought to be too busy so it was painted over.

Yosemite

Advertisements


11 Comments

Yosemite – part two – a hike and the Golden Hour

yosemite

Saturday was our first full day at Yosemite National Park. One of our leaders was on crutches and announced she was leading a saunter so S and I decided that was our kind of hike! I walked outside our room in the morning to get the photo above. It was COLD out there!

yosemite

This was the view from our patio. Somebody said this was Cathedral Rocks so I’m going with that!

yosemite

Photographers blocking our view!

We set out on our “saunter” along the Merced River. There was no snow but it was CHILLY! My gloved hands were totally numb and I had difficulty clicking the shutter on my camera.

yosemite

The top of the Yosemite Falls. One of the magnificent features of the park is all the waterfalls.

Half Dome peeking up in the center.

yosemite I honestly didn’t think I had any good photos from this trip. But when I got home and looked at them in Lightroom I realized I had a few. I think there might even be two or three that I can work on to upload to Fine Art America.

yosemite
I enjoy framing a similar view in a different way.

The light coming through the trees was magical and mystical.

yosemite
In the afternoon we visited the Ansel Adams Gallery. What could be finer than viewing masterful photographs by the man himself in the location he shot them in? Ah, life doesn’t get much better!

yosemite

Bridal Falls… think you can figure out where the name came from!

I came back to our room and sat outside in the patio with a little vodka cocktail (well, maybe not so little…). You can see our chairs and table and the beautiful view through our picture window. My friend said when she got back to LA her body had returned but her soul was still in Yosemite. Agreed!

yosemiteIt is so important to spend time in nature and to get out of your usual routine so your brain can fly.

yosemite

yosemite
As evening set in we were fortunate to catch the Golden Hour. The next evening the clouds rolled in and there was no Golden Hour…

yosemite
All day long and all evening long we were fascinated with the plane entrails passing overhead.

So you’ve seen day one and day two. Two more days coming up!


14 Comments

Deck the halls of DTLA

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Los Angeles City Hall at right mirrored with Christmas tree

Thanks to my friend SB for walking around Downtown Los Angeles (otherwise known as DTLA) with me today. It’s no secret I love downtown and I especially love it at Christmas… otherwise know as “The Holidays.” As anybody who knows me is aware, I embrace all religions and follow none. But I was brought up with Christmas, so that’s the way it is!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

The above photo advertises El Dia de Los Muertos which is celebrated at Grand Park with installations honoring the dead, a Mexican tradition. The N.Y.E.L.A. poster is for the New Years Eve party hosted at Grand Park. At right is the reflection of the fountain.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

A reflection in a window of the fountain with Christmas decoration on the left half. I always love Christmas with palm trees! After being too hot, today the temperature was around 70F (21C), my perfect temperature!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

We walked over to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This was the window of the gift shop. We assumed the colorful tubes represent the pipes of the organ in the hall. And you can see the reflection of City Hall peeking up behind the pipes.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Decorations in the window of the gift shop with reflections of clouds and palm trees. How Southern California is this?

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

The exterior of the Broad Museum mirroring a reflection of the building next to it.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

We walked over to California Plaza to look at the decorations. The Angels Flight train was coming up the track.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

City Hall in the background.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Christmas trees reflected in the pool at California Plaza.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Christmas tree and wreath inside the building with reflections from outside.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Another tree inside lobby of a building with reflections from outside. Obviously I’m obsessed with reflections!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Decorations inside the lobby, yes, with more reflections!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Looking upwards from California Plaza

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Next we moved on to Grand Central Market. Loved this neon ad for Frontier Whiskey!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Grand Central Market Christmas Tree

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

One Bunker Hill didn’t disappoint with their decorations. But the coffee bar was closed for the weekend.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations
One Bunker Hill is one of my favorite buildings any time of the year.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

A very decent tree at the US Bank Building, the “real” tallest building in LA.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

We then transported ourselves over to the Biltmore Hotel. We had lunch there at Smeraldi’s. We each ordered the mushroom bisque.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Absolute heaven. And we split the prawn sandwich. Equally as good. Just enough food. Would do that again for sure!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

I adore the Biltmore. I could live there!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Now this is what I call a Christmas tree. The photo really doesn’t do it justice. Sorry.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations
They do a really great “tea” in the afternoons.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Christmas in LA cannot be complete without a visit to the skating rink at Pershing Square. The little kids have “penguins” to hold on to. It’s great to see them fall and get up again and still enjoy themselves. A lesson there for all of us!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Looking up from Pershing Square.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Pacific Mutual always has some good decorations. I love all the 1920s buildings in downtown but this one is special to me as when I did my LA Conservancy training this was the building I had to present in order to become a docent. It’s hard for me to believe now but I was so nervous I almost decided to quit the program before I had to give my talk. Glad I didn’t!

After this we visited the brand new Wilshire Grand Hotel. We took the elevator up to the lobby on the 70th floor. I had a bad vertigo attack looking out of the windows as there are no railings to hold on to. Why not??? In any case it was horribly hazy from all the fires so I could not have taken any photos anyway. But it would certainly be an impressive view on a clear day. Some other time, for sure!


9 Comments

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!