Sunday, October 31, 2021

A Celebration of Halloween


I've posted before about a plant nursery in Newport Beach California called Roger's Garden.  It is one of my favorite places to visit when I go to California.  In addition to plants it also has a restaurant and a variety of items for sale, everything from gourmet treats to beautiful "objet d'art".

While I was there in September, they opened their annual Halloween store.  Stepping through this doorway, opened up a world of spooky things to enjoy.

All kinds of creepy-crawly things could be seen (and purchased).

Skulls and bones were everywhere.  One entrance to a room was framed in skeletal remains.

Of course, it wouldn't be Halloween without the appearance of Dracula.  On this occasion he was seated at a table full of ceramic pumpkins.  

And Frankenstein was also present he stood against a wall and reached out for people as they passed.

And in case you want to put a spell on someone, there was a book available with instructions.  

Hey, that book is watching me!

Happy Halloween everyone!

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.