Walked to Point Dume recently during a low tide and, at the base of the steps that lead to the headland, found this invite to dinner.
No shirt, no shoes? No problem.
We were at the Santa Monica pier last week, at the carousel for a party celebrating a new book from Angel City Press about the history of the pier. (It's 100 years old.) Joan Baez, who once lived in the apartments above the carousel, was there, sang some songs for the crowd.
I shot some pretty good photos of guests riding the carousel. And then there was this one. There's something about the fuzzy, spinning, off-kilter feel of it that channels the symptoms of this awful cold. Misery loves company and I had to share.
Bad news -- I'm sick. My head hurts and my throat hurts and my eyeballs are very, very hot.
Good news -- I sound like Lauren Bacall.
And because it took no effort and still looks impressive (well, except for the part where the horizon is a bit tilted -- welcome to my flu-ridden world) here's today's sunrise.
This one's from the archives, L.A. during a storm. And in case you missed it, Hector Tobar took a few minutes yesterday for a meditation on SoCal winters.
If you follow Heal the Bay on Twitter, you learn all sorts of interesting stuff, like news that a new species has been discovered off the coast of San Diego, or how fish farms affect the coast line, or thoughts about the greenest U.S. presidents.
As for this photo, I shot it while visiting friends in Village Green, an amazing 68-acre oasis in the heart of the city. Click on this google map and select the satellite view and you'll get the picture.
This, well, let's call it a watercraft, appeared on the beach last week. It has the bones of a catamaran and the soul of a '70s piano bar, and the gulls who perch and poop on it think it's groovy.
I have a friend who hates the phrase "tiny little". I understand. "Very unique" makes me a bit nuts, as do people who use "blasé" when they mean "blah".
But when you're driving along with the windows wide open because L.A. is on the verge of one of its annual mid-winter bursts of spring, and you check the rear view mirror and there she is, Maisie the Teacup Lab®, stretched to her full height so she can stick her head out the window, there's no other way to say it.
Look at the freakishly small dog sticking her tiny little head out the window! Very unique!
Here's one of the boutiques in the Cross Creek shopping center where, since new owners came in and hiked the rents, close to one-third of the storefronts are now empty.
And speaking of hard times, I've got a story today in the LAT, about people selling their heirlooms on Craigslist to make ends meet.
I always try and never quite succeed to get a good shot of Escondido Falls, the seasonal rimfall that makes such a splash (sorry) here every time it rains. My lens isn't long enough and something about the green green green of the hills this time of year flattens things out. Let's face it, with a camera, I'm an amateur. But here it is anyway, a double waterfall that, when there's enough rain, springs right out of the rocks and tumbles hundreds of feet to the pools below.
* Thank you to everyone who emailed to (once again) urge me to get over my personal vendetta against the impenetrable nature of Photoshop, one of the most counter-intuitive programs ever invented. Lenny from Arizona even sent along a little tutorial and here, just below, is my newly-juiced photo.
Here, shot last week, is the channel where the creek meets the ocean in Paradise Cove.
And here it is again, carved deep and wide by the recent rains. You can't quite tell, but that steep wall of sand is about six feet tall.
We need the rain, I love the rain, I hope we get lots more of it, but after three days of cold, wet weather (yes, I'm a weenie) the sun doing chin-ups on the horizon is a welcome sight.
Headed out early yesterday to watch the waves at Zuma, to see the sweep of coastline from Pt. Dume, to take my place among the
homicidal maniacs other drivers on PCH as this latest storm rolled through. Stopped at Starbucks in Cross Creek and, as a dark-haired couple who no one recognized (Brit reality TV stars, their kids in tow) strolled in, the pap rats swarmed.
So I took their picture.
Here's the view from the bluff this morning, where the wind had the pelicans whirling through the sky and the waves marched in with a baritone roar. (And here's how it looked from Pt. Dume.)
My friend, Kiala, a Portland expat now living and blogging in exile in San Francisco, is married to web dude extraordinaire, Dane, who speaks such fluent geek, I get weak in the knees. In their honor, I made this movie, a direct quote from Dane's blog.
Feeling sentimental? Write your little heart out right here.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Raining now, cold and gray. I'm in my third hour of failing to get through to the state unemployment office, ironic considering today is the one-year anniversary of the blog I started at the LA Times, LA Now. (Here's my post about it, at Native Intelligence.)
There's something about the edge of the continent that draws aircraft. We get all types, parasailers with engines strapped to their backs who putt-putt-putt over the Cove, the Goodyear blimp, which wafted through one foggy afternoon, and an endless stream of joyriders, cruising low over the row of beach houses, because they can, because the view must be magnificent, because chances are, someone famous is sunbathing naked by the pool.
I intended to (but never did) post this photo of early-morning drivers on PCH. And check it out -- JFK's watch is up for auction, expected to get $150k.
Ripped from the front page -- real estate news.
A bit of maintenance to the Paradise Cove sign, which gets walloped when the winds blow. What I love are the neon letters and arrows of the "ENTER" sign, a throwback to the olden days when the restaurant at the end of the road was the sleepy Sand Castle and trailers at the top of the hill still had wheels.
Every few years the aloe in my yard sends out an enormous stalk covered with tight green buds which, in a slo-mo homage to Busby Berkeley, open one by one, the whole thing unzipping, calling to the bees, a succulent pollinate-me-now strip tease.
I'm working on a "Dear Eddy" letter, adding my plea to all the others asking the LAT publisher to please re-think his notion of killing the California section, so all I've got today is this sunrise.
I love February in California when the earth is green from recent rains and the weather gets all balmy, summery, in fact, and local TV newscasters, rigorously trained to ignore context, act like this annual warm spell is something we've never seen before.
I was going to make another Sunday movie but then, Maisie happened. If you riffle real fast through the next few photos (they jump) a story emerges:
I don't look cute?
Oh frack no, I look silly.
My legs are short but my memory is long.