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« Taking It To the Streets | Main | Cutting Personal Spending »

November 13, 2008

California, Visited

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I'm back from two weeks in California and part of my unpacking took the form of downloading snapshots from the trip. Most of them are the usual tripe and wasted pixels. But a few might have turned out okay.

Here they are:


This was taken from a really posh winery near the road from Napa to Sonoma. It shows you what the area looked like before all those posh wineries came on the scene starting in the 1970s or thereabouts. Yes, those are vineyards in the middle distance. This area has been the heart of California's wine industry for decades; it's the fancy wineries that are relatively new.

Here is the facade of the Santa Barbara mission. The towers were heavily damaged in the 1925 earthquake. Rather than using stone structure or facing on the repaired towers, what you see is probably plaster over reinforced concrete or some other base. And the "stonework" on the upper parts of the towers? ... It's painted.

This tomb is on the mission grounds. I photographed it for two reasons: First, it was larger and more attractive than any of the other burial facilities. Second, the family name is the same as that of Miguel Covarrubias, a popular artist from the 1930s and 40s whose work I remember fondly.

This neighborhood is opposite the mission, a nearly 180 degree pivot from the facade photo above. The Santa Barbara area has lots of lovely houses.

On our way north we visited the Carmel area, another favorite California haunt. This is a view of Monterey harbor with a whiff of morning fog to provide atmosphere.



posted by Donald at November 13, 2008


Like the last one. Thanks.

Posted by: Tatyana on November 13, 2008 11:04 AM

The rose garden across from the Santa Barbara Mission is fantastic too.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on November 13, 2008 11:18 AM


Ah, Santa Barbara. My favorite town in California. Another in that tiny catalogue of places that do not disappoint, that are what they should be. Will house prices there drop to valuations where I could afford one? Only if the present financial blow-out reaches catastrophic proportions, and I would hardly wish for that just so I could enjoy my own version of Yeats's Lake Isle of Innisfree.

Anyway, just looking at your photos of those red-tiled roofs and Eucalyptus trees lifts my spirits. Thanks.

Posted by: Rick Darby on November 13, 2008 12:01 PM

Sonoma, Carmel, Santa Barbara! These are my old stomping grounds, back when I was a hippie. Thanks for the gallery!

Carmel was long the home of Robinson Jeffers and Edward Weston, and eventually of Colin Fletcher. Powerful cultural icons all.

Posted by: Lester Hunt on November 13, 2008 2:29 PM

Donald, your first snap and your last snap...


Posted by: Robert Townshend on November 13, 2008 4:46 PM

Beautiful pictures -- sad to know that the Mission area in Santa Barbara is under evacuation warning because of the Tea Fire. Many homes in the hills above the city have been lost overnight due to the infamous sundowner winds which blew last night at up to 70mph. The predominance of eucalyptus and palm trees in the area added fuel to the fire and residents in this area are hoping that they have homes on Saturday.

Posted by: Sejdar on November 14, 2008 5:10 PM

Loved the sunrise photo of Monterey harbor. It amused me no end about fifteen years ago to visit Cannery Row and the aquarium, and realized that they were soooo basing all of that on the fame of John Steinbeck and the characters from the books that he wrote about Cannery Row - and that all those nice middle-class yuppies frequenting the boutiques and the Aquarium and all the nice restaurants would about run a mile screaming, if they ever had to rub elbows with the actual people that Steinbeck wrote about - whores, bums, soldiers, dock-workers, factory hands and fishermen.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom on November 14, 2008 7:51 PM

How ironic. One day after Donald's posting and my misty-eyed remembrance of Santa Barbara, neighboring Montecito was on fire, and now, a few more days later, flames threaten much of the L.A. area.

That's one thing about California: even in select areas where you can convince yourself you are living in an earthly paradise, nature is always poised to rudely awaken you. There are better and worse places, but no havens from care, in this world. Perfection is reserved for another.

Posted by: Rick Darby on November 16, 2008 9:33 AM

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