November 30, 2017


Landscaping in the common areas is quite lovely.  These again remind me of spring.  And I had to get out of my “winter” clothes today, as even though the mornings start quite cool (well, cool for here, high 50s or so when I get out), later in the day it can be quite balmy.  One of the reasons we tell out-of-town friends that winter is a great time to visit San Diego!

November 28, 2017


We treated ourselves to a special dinner out tonight to celebrate our move to downtown.  After our 2+hour relaxed evening, we walked back to our condo, enjoying the lights of the Gaslamp and Marina districts.  It’s pretty magical at night, and, as you can see, not very busy at 8:30pm on a weekday at the end of November.  Mid-July weekends would tell another story!

November 27, 2017

At the Dock of the Bay

Sometimes the simplest things are compelling.  The water is nearly black.  The wood is textured and the metal bolts are corroded and fade into the color and grain of the wood.  The inserted piece in the lower center is balanced by the notch in the upper left.  I think there are nails or thin rods along the bottom edge, but I’m not sure what they are for.  I’m also looking much more carefully than I did when I took the photo — another reason I do this!

November 25, 2017


We walked a bit earlier than usual today and the fog was so moody and lovely.    It softened all outlines, put half of Coronado in a shroud, and fuzzed up the skyline quite effectively.  Rather surreal, I think, in a comforting rather than threatening way.  I like the fog and its mystery and its peek-a-boo playfulness — blue sky is playing there towards the bottom — peek-a-blue!

November 24, 2017

Nature in the City

One of the things I really like about our building in general, and our third floor condo in particular, is the mix of trees and buildings that comprise our views.  When you walk in, you see green trees out our windows, their leaves softening the rectangular architecture of the building across the street.  You can frame almost any vista with greenery of some sort.

This view is from the large central patio on the lobby level, which we see daily because we don’t zoom by the lobby to an upper condo; we are just behind the lobby area, also very convenient.

November 23, 2017


Another spiky greenish-gray succulent-looking plant with pale yellow spiky-looking flowers.  I sure haven’t seen them all.  They are nice to see:  “Thanks for sun and thanks for rain, for restful sleep and play.  Bless us all who sing this song on this Thanksgiving Day.”

November 22, 2017

Once Again

With feeling.  I think I’ve used a photo of this sort of plant before, but if so, it’s been a while.  The mini-leaves and the red and yellow contrasts are appealing, as is the tangle.  Order in the midst of chaos.

Speaking of chaos, people my age remember just where they were 54 years ago today.  I was in study hall, and the math problem I was working on was a set theory problem, involving the set of presidents who died in office.  Chilling.

November 21, 2017

Same, Only Closer

Well, not the same one.  I took a photo of a cycad earlier (a year ago?) but from further away.   This really looks like a tangle of shredded feathery paper, with some orange-y brown pods tucked here and there.  It’s simultaneously a bit off-putting and attracting.

Nah, it’s impossible.  I made it up.  Someone just painted that on top of my photo.  Well, no, I wouldn’t do that.  But it does look like something scooped up from the depths of the garbage disposal, doesn’t it?

November 20, 2017


In the sanctuary at San Juan Capistrano.  Everyone else was taking photos of the ornate altar.  I noticed that the ceiling was simple– and that the beams weren’t parallel.  That was how it was.  Elegant in its imperfections.  The whitewash contrasted with the dark green was lovely.  The simple candelabra fit with the elemental aesthetic.

There are incongruities and cognitive dissonance at these California missions, in their history and  also in their becoming tourist sites.  Recognize that and enjoy it for what it offers?

November 19, 2017

More Flowers

We need more flowers.  This combination of purple and white is so fresh, and, dare I say it, springlike.  In November?  These, too, look rather impossible, a quirky invention, perhaps.  They are soft and fluffy to the touch, yet somehow beg to be squeezed.  Have I said, at least a hundred times, how delightful the weather is here in San Diego?!

November 18, 2017


At the Farmers’ Market in Little Italy, downtown San Diego, California, USA.

Wish it were all beautiful and abundant and available for all of us, everywhere.  Where’s the will?  The older I get, the more I understand the simplicity and the wisdom  and the frustration of “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Have we lost both our will and our way?

Just look at these colors.  I brought some home.  Fortunate.

November 16, 2017


Or stone-bark.  This wall seemed alive to me, ancient yet growing.  Its juxtaposition with the stone stairs was convincing, as it seemed of a different nature, not laid on earth, flat, but rather climbing upright, reaching, trying, dreaming of attainment if not perfection.

And yet it crumbles, slowly, imperceptibly, and yet it stands, neither proud nor humble, just there.

November 15, 2017


And leaves and stems and bricks.  The colors and shapes.  It’s all about the colors and shapes.  But then, it often is.

I like the wildness.  And the diagonals of the twiggy branches.  And the grayish green in the lower right-hand corner.  There’s more gray-green at the top right.  I don’t know what I think of the dark gray concrete on the left.  Maybe it anchors the wind-blown branches.  Or is a foil to the old brick.  At any rate, it works for me.

The berries themselves are some soft and round to sprinkle and cluster in front of the sturdiness of structure, of more regular, intentioned geometry.  And they aren’t shy.

My photos are memory quirks, and serve me, asking me to notice and to think about what’s there, why I chose it, and what it means to me — while I just start writing and see what happens.  This is what happened.

November 14, 2017

Big Fella

You don’t need sci fi or inventions of big plants.  This thing had to be 12 feet wide.  Really.  Like it was going to eat the whole mission if it got loose.  Not your typical garden specimen.  I wish there had been a sign, perhaps saying how old it was.  And how tiny it was when planted.  It was more than imposing…it was a bit scary.

November 13, 2017

More Pond

And palms.  And broken reflections, and greenish-black water, and ruins of the mission in the background.

We have been here several times, but it seems there are always new things to see.  This time there were lots and lots of people with professional photographers posing them, perhaps for holiday cards.  Festive.

November 12, 2017


Well, the mission at San Juan Capistrano is a good place to ponder.  And to look.  And to see.  The dark water is such a dramatic backdrop for the vivid colors of the leaves and flowers.

We met friends and had a lovely time.  More photos to come.

November 11, 2017

Seaport Village Peace

Just a few blocks from our condo.  Could be anywhere, I guess.  Peaceful.  You can sit on a bench, sip coffee, eat a cookie or a pretzel, shop for overpriced souvenirs, look at the boats in the harbor, gaze across to Coronado and its bridge connecting to the city, watch the tourists, or just sit and contemplate.  We did the latter.  (Latterest?  What’s the last in a long list?)  It was good.

November 9, 2017

East at Dusk

Funny, the sky looked dark blue-gray to me.  The camera sees differently.  There’s something almost spooky about the lights in the building across the street — and it’s the grocery store.  Doesn’t look like it.  The more distant buildings almost look like rooftop appendages.  Flattening the picture plane…

We walk mostly in the mornings.  Seems like this would be a good time to walk, if only for noticing the lighting.

November 8, 2017


From our living room windows.  Well, maybe it should be the great room?  It’s all one big room:  living room, eating area, kitchen.  We were noticing that city noises seem less intrusive than suburban ones.

There’s traffic, as you see, and even ambulances and police cars and roaring motorcycles.  It’s partly a matter of expectations, I think; one doesn’t expect silence.  And it’s being on the third/fourth floors in a commercial-style building, high enough up that the noise doesn’t seem so much in your space.  It’s down there.  The windows are also heavy-duty and seem to do a great job of muffling sound.

We like it.

November 7, 2017

Another View

I finally looked up the architect for our buildings.  They have a huge web site and do lots of different kinds of projects.  I’m continuing to be impressed; here’s another view of the “plaza” level where our condo is located.  We like being able to walk across the hall and out to the pool and this view!

November 6, 2017


Leaving the architectural world for a bit, we took a morning walk at the harbor, the embarcadero to be specific.

These leftover stumps of chopped-down palm trees look like other independent life forms, and have a strange, neglected sadness .  I was glad there wasn’t much color in this photo.  The morning light seems to sweep gently over these stumps and remains.  I remember recently seeing an article exploring whether plants feel pain.  This reminded me of that question.  Pain is a big question.

November 5, 2017

Grillin’ and Chillin’

Well, neither.  Although maybe it’s time to make some pizza dough and try out the building’s BBQ grills out on the entrance plaza.

This was just another angle on the angles.  Looks impossible, but there it is.  Wonky space, eh?

November 4, 2017


Near and far.  Streaks and swoops.  Angles and more angles.

Now that I look at it again, I like the 1/3 – 2/3 ratio, side-to-side.  And the reflection in the left-hand near windows.  And the buildings are like people talking in a group, leaning in and out.  The one on the right has the floor.  The center one has her arms crossed and is very reserved.  The one on the left (us?) is curious and wants to come closer and listen better.  It has an openness as well as the bright light edge.

While I type this, I hear fireworks, probably at the Midway, a few blocks away.   The Midway is an aircraft carrier museum, and fascinating even to a non-military person.  When there are events there, they sometimes do fireworks.  Someone is being honored.

Living downtown.  Yep.

November 3, 2017

Out My Window

Already framed for me.  We have nearly floor-to-ceiling windows on the north side of our condo.  The upper transom part makes a great frame for a view.

Here, what appealed was the cloud-hat over the top of the building, and the graphic quality of the hard linear outlines in contrast with the softness of the clouds — plus the great deep blue of the sky juxtaposed with the black and white of the architecture.  Look up, look out, look — I keep reminding myself.

November 2, 2017

One More Floor

OK, I’ll move on to something else tomorrow.  But here’s a bit of variation, again.  Irregular shapes, many sizes.  I love the little piece in the corner.  And the darker brown splotches.  Isn’t “splotches” a great word?  I wonder if other languages have splotchy words.  They must…And then there’s the greenish dimpled piece to the left.  Who’d have known it was green?  I didn’t until I enlarged this photo.  Sometimes a photo can tell you more than your eyes do.  Well, I guess that’s trite.  But anyway.

November 1, 2017


Simple, clean, just enough texture and color variation so as not to be clinical or boring.  Swirls.  Dots.  Inclusions.  Not white but not much color.  Actually, a similar stone is used in the bathroom floors of our condo.  Nice because, well, not white.  Not sterile or generic, yet not making a brash statement.  Not that brash statements might not have their place…perhaps this tells me why it is a good exercise to make art with very little color, at least once in a while.  Color can be deliciously distracting!