Sunday, October 24, 2021

A Day at the Beach


In this case it was four mornings at the beach.  Today I have a few photos taken on my walks on the beach when I was in California last month.  

There is something very soothing about a long walk in the sand while listening to the sounds of waves crashing into the rocks and along the shore.

While listening to the sounds of the ocean, I can amuse myself with the antics of the water birds.  They supply an endless amount of entertainment.

Every now and then, I might see a lone kayaker out on the horizon.  This one looks like he might be sinking but that is actually a trick of the undulating water.  He was perfectly fine.

We went early enough that there were only a few other people on the beach and sometimes it looked like we were all alone. 

However, there were always birds to keep us company.  They never seemed to tire of the little dance they did with the teasing waves of water.

After about two hours of walking and breathing that wonderful sea air, it was time to head back to the Crystal Cove beach community and make our way back to the resort.  Exercise doesn't get any better than this.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

New York on My Mind


I'm leaving for a week in New York tomorrow morning so I thought it might be fun to post some photos from some of my past visits.  The photo above was taken from my hotel window the last time I was there. Since I'm going to be staying in the same hotel on this trip, I might get a similar view.

One thing I'm looking forward to is seeing the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The last time I was in NY, the temple exhibit was closed so I didn't get to see it.  I'm looking forward to once again standing among these ancient stones that were reconstructed inside the museum.

It will be fun to see Bryant Park again and see how it has changed.  And I'm sure I'll get glimpses of the Empire State Building on my trips around the city.

When I visited New York in 2002, I saw this memorial to the World Trade Center.  This was part of a sculpture that was located at the site and was damaged when the buildings fell.  We have plans to visit the new memorial on this trip.

I'll also look for The Statue of Liberty with her welcoming torch raised high.  

We have dinner reservations for some great places to eat and a few reservations at some of the museums.  Almost all the museums are operating on scheduled visits at this time.  I'm looking forward to visiting the Neue Galerie  where the beautiful Klimpt painting "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" is located.  I've always wanted to see that painting in person.

Oh yes, we also have tickets to three Broadway plays.  It's going to be a busy and fun week.  

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The View from Above


When I flew to California last month, I made a point of getting a window seat.  I enjoy looking out the window and seeing what I can recognize.  Here we are approaching the Orange County Airport.

On this occasion, I had another thought in mind for wanting to sit by the window.  You see, every time I fly into this airport, I always see two huge buildings that look like giant hangers and I've been curious about them.

I was hoping I could snap a photo that would help me discover what those buildings were used for.

So when they came in view, I snapped some photos.  Here is a photo of the first of those giant buildings.

And in this photo, I've captured them both.  The second one is to the right in this shot and partially hidden by the wing.

Well, having these photos helped quite a lot.  I did some searching on line and soon found a photo that matched mine and it related to a place called Marine Corps's Air Station Tustin.  It seems these two buildings have quite a history.  They date back to 1942 when they were used by the Navy.  They were officially designed for blimp operations. The facility was decommissioned in 1949 but the buildings were used for other purposes after that.

In 1979 it was renamed to its present name.  Officially, the place was closed again in 1999 but one of the hangers is still used for storage and repair of commercial blimps.

You can read the history of the place here.  

Since I was featuring views from above, I thought I'd add two more views that I took back in 2019 when I flew home to Arizona from Orange County.  I love being able to recognize the places below such as this view of the big Newport shopping center called Fashion Island.  

And this last photo is getting pretty grainy but I can still make out Crystal Cove where I walk on the beach. It's right in the center of this photo and above that is the resort I was staying at.  

I've flown this route so many times now that I know what to expect and where to sit on the plane to get the best views.  

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Inspired by the Ocean


The Newport Beach (California) Civic Center was inspired by its proximity to the ocean.  Last week I posted about the sculpture garden located here.  Today I'm going to show you this beautiful building that was completed in 2013.  

Those repeating curves in the roofline seem to mimic the waves of the ocean while they serve to reflect light and provide shade at the same time.

The building to right in the top photo is the City Council Chambers and the property also includes a public library and meeting space along with the sculpture garden and a viewing tower.  The tower forms a bridge that crosses a very busy road as well as providing spectacular views over the ocean.

The piece of land it was built on was considered an eyesore for along time.  It was hampered by height restrictions to keep ocean views open for residents of the area.  It was also hilly and covered by degraded wetlands.  Since the property wasn't commercially viable, the city decided to use it for a civic space and they commissioned architectural designs.  The architects of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of San Francisco were chosen for the project.

It is certainly a beautiful addition to this part of Newport Beach.  And, as I said last week, I will return to this area again in the future to once again explore the wonderful sculpture garden.  I can also admire this building while I'm there.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sculpture Garden Near the Sea


I made a new discovery on this recent trip to California, the Newport Beach Sculpture Garden.  It's located directly across from the Newport Beach Civic Center and City Hall.  My friends and I took a walk through the garden to admire the sculptures scattered around.  Above is a sculpture called "Individuality" by artists Dominic Panziera and Daniela Garofalo.  They work under the business name of Arteclettica.  I looked at their site where I found this quote that I immediately fell in love with: "Always remember that you are absolutely unique just like everyone else."

The sculpture to the left is called "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and it is by Patricia Vader, another creative artist who works a lot with wheels of all shapes and sizes.

The colorful sculpture above is called "Fractured Peace" by Nancy Mooslin. I love all those shapes and colors.

To the right is a sculpture called "Marble Shooter" by Ron Whitacre.  It makes you think of childhood games. 

Apparently, the circle of bunnies above is referred to as "bunnyhenge" by locals.  It is actually there as a whimsical place for children to play.  I read something that said that some people find this circle a bit menacing.  I don't see that at all.  I think it's kind of cute.

To the left is a sculpture called "Talking Heads".  Isn't that a great name?  It's by artist Oleg Lobykin.  He works in both metal and stone and creates some very large objects.

The sculpture to the right is called "Woodpeckers" by Michael McLaughlin.

My friend Julie is admiring Steven Rieman's sculpture called "Chairman of the Board.  

At the top of hill I found this sculpture of former president and California native, Ronald Reagan.  I read that this sculpture has been located in several places around Orange County before being moved to the sculpture garden.

Behind the very first photo in this series you get a glimpse of this blue bridge. This blue railed bridge spans a large arroyo in the wetland where this park is located.  This area is close to the beach so the ground is sandy and hilly.  There are paths to follow through the garden so that you can locate all the sculptures.

I'm glad I found this place.  I'll add it to my list of places to visit whenever I'm in California.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Green House

Every year when I go to California, I plan a visit to Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona Del Mar. It's a beautiful garden and for the last few years, they've been featuring some kind of art exhibit.  This year's exhibit is called greenHOUSE and is described as "Lavish living rooms with a botanical twist".  

Above and to the right is the dining room all set for a large dinner party.

Here is the study with it's bookcase and comfortable chair.

The parlor was enjoying some time in the bright sunlight.

There was even a lavatory. 

It was fun exhibit and it was all created by the Sherman Garden's own horticulture team.  

They did a great job.  It was fun to wander the garden and discover the different rooms.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Send In the Clowns


Running Cars

Just last week, I finally got to travel again to California and the areas of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach.  As I usually do when I visit this area I made a trip to the Laguna Beach Art Museum once again.  It's a small art museum but I've found over the years that they have some fantastic exhibits.  They specialize in California artists and I've learned about some very talented painters and sculptors by viewing some of their wonderful exhibits.  This trip was no exception because I was introduced to Wayne Thiebaud whose more commercial work I recognized immediately.  However this show was dedicated to paintings he's done over the past seven years and the subject is all about clowns.

Dancing Clowns

What makes these works even more special is that Mr. Thiebaud is 101 years old!  Back when he was a boy growing up in Long Beach California, he sometimes helped out behind the scenes at Ringling Brothers Circus in exchange for tickets.  He became fascinated with the costumes, faces and antics of the clowns and these paintings almost 90 years later are based on those memories.

Suspended Clown Cars

Clown in Silvered Wig

Mr, Thiebaud's early career was as an animator and cartoonist.  He is a celebrated artist most known for his depictions of cakes, desserts and candies.  Take a look at this Google search and I'll bet you will recognize his distinctive style and an image or two.

Clown on Fire

Clown Behind Bars

Clown Rescue

In 1962, an exhibition of his work consisting of the cakes, ice creams and desserts was made in New York City and the show got rave reviews making his name known in art worlds and giving him a solid footing as an artist.

Clown and Beast

Clown with Suitcase

Also included in the exhibit was this self portrait of the artist.  He looks like a very happy-go-lucky fellow with a great sense of humor.  I'm so glad I got to see this collection of his works.  I was smiling the whole time I was viewing this show.  Reading that he was born in 1920, also put me in awe of his continuing talent and work.  There are not too many centenarian artists around.