[097] Eschscholzia californica

pdc.redbldg.loomingI had a plan for this post. The Pacific Design Center complex borders a residential neighborhood on its eastern flank. PDC’s Red Building resembles a ship with its curved “hull” and soaring “prow”. As you walk down Huntley Drive toward Melrose, the massive building looms above the neat little houses and small apartment buildings as if it has slipped its mooring. It’s quite something – unless you’re trying to shoot photos directly into the afternoon sun. Which I was. And that’s never a good idea. So here’s one pic to give you an idea of what I was after. To be continued…

poppiesFortunately, my walking route to that ill-fated photo shoot took me through the terraced parking lot below Sunset Plaza. There is an upper and a lower parking lot built into a fairly steep hillside which is planted out with wild grasses and an amazing variety of flowering vines and shrubs and trees. I think many other places would be quite happy to have this as a botanical garden. (You know who you are.)

So I was snapping away – if you think I bombard you with floral fotos, gentle reader, then you should feel especially sorry for my Instagram followers – when suddenly I spied the elusive flora: Eschscholzia californica! The official state flower of the Golden State: The California poppy. “Copa de oro” as the early Spanish settlers dubbed it: “cup of gold”.

I call it “elusive” only because I just read an article lamenting the devastating effect the drought is having on our beloved poppies. But the cups of gold bursting forth in the Sunset Plaza parking lot don’t seem to be inhibited in the least. So, enjoy these snapshots of poppies and more. (And I’ll bring you that other story one of these days.)

hillside.poppies poppies galore

And there were these huge bushes covered in pink flowers…

masses of pink flowering shrub

And Orange Morning Glory – which is strange,
because 99% of the time it is those thousand shades of blue…

orange morning glory

And all these purple daisies, which I googled, so now I can
call them by their proper name: purple daisies.

purple daisies

Poppies & Company

Day 097 #100happydays


The End (so far)

[047] The World at 1 mph

Steve Martin’s 1991 film “L.A. Story” takes the piss out of Los Angeles and the curious ways of its inhabitants. There is a scene where the people in a typical neighborhood get in their cars and drive 25 feet to their mailboxes at the end of their driveways. We know this is a spoof because it is choreographed and set to music. Otherwise, there is a sad degree of truth to it. I have a friend who lived six blocks from his office in Santa Monica. He drove to work every day. Why? There is no why. If you’re going somewhere in LA, you drive. The phrase “walking distance” would elicit blank stares.

I swim every day in a pool that is about 1 mile from home. I drive there. They validate parking. I drive home. I’ve decided to throw in a little walking to augment the swimming regimen, and today was a beautiful day to stretch the legs. You know it’s been a warm, dry winter in Southern California, and spring started springing here weeks ago. My walk took me down some side streets that would be out-of-the-way in a car but are shortcuts on foot. And I noticed flowers blooming everywhere. So I started snapping away. Not always in focus, but what the hell. It’s better than shoveling snow, eh?



After my swim, I decided to take a more leisurely, circuitous route home – and went on a real meander. I’ve lived in some great walking cities: New York, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco. After more than three years living in West Hollywood, I finally went on an extended stroll through my neighborhood. And I discovered some of the things I miss when I drive past them at 40 mph. Here’s what my world looks like at 1 mph. Enjoy!

IMG_20140222_170216 IMG_20140222_165921 IMG_20140222_170452 IMG_20140222_170852

IMG_20140222_171408 IMG_20140222_171738 IMG_20140222_172202 IMG_20140222_172430 IMG_20140222_172745 IMG_20140222_174607 IMG_20140222_175138

Day 047. Slow-walking my neighborhood. #100happydays