Monday, June 30, 2014

Early on a Sunday Morning...

and walking through a nearly deserted "new" banking district in L.A., we found well-crafted art which recyled obsolete hardward into interesting new art.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Downtown LA - Bliss

With street photos, my favorites are the ones where people tell a story just by their being at that place at that time.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Big City Twins...designed by the same architect.

First, in LA, the older and smaller Westin Bonaventure Hotel; next a revisit to the Renaissance Center in Detroit (that was one of my favorite snaps from that trip--thanks to Hubsy). Both are 1970's confections designed by John Portman.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Reading Related to the recent D-Day Anniversary Celebration

Inspired by Diane Burke Fessler's "No Time For Fear-Voices of American Military Nurses in World War II", I continued to explore the topic with a history by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee called "And If I Perish - Frontline US Army Nurses in World War II". From the very beginning of the war, the Japanese attack and invasion of various Pacific Islands, the entrapment of dozens of nurses in the Phillipines (where they remained til the end of the war in concentration camps), the initial recruiting and training of what would be about 70,000 nurses from the homeland; this book tells it all. Then proceeds to describe the evolving policies and tactics for incorporating medical support with the invading American troops from Africa to Sicily and the terrible, dangerous situation at Anzio. Eventually, the preparation and support for the invasion of France in the June 6, 1944 D-Day. Finally, the confusion after VE Day (how to get those in Europe immediately to the Pacific) or how long would those in Europe remain with the occupation? After the many nurses returned home, there were periods of readjustment and restlessness. I have mentioned my Mother was involved as a dietitian, late in the war in France. From reading this book, I understand why, as a 4-year- old, I would sit listening to my young, stay-at-home Mother, tell stories more exciting than fairy tales, while she smoked purple and pink cigarettes and sipped creme de menthe.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

You Have Seen This Place...

though you may not realize it. This old, venerable-looking early 20th century garage or workshop, located in the L.A. Factory District is a commonly used filming location in action, police and thriller-dramas. On our first trip to Los Angeles, there was actually a shoot in progress as we strolled by.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

"You Know You Have Lived in L.A. Too Long...

..when everytime you see a car commercial on TV, you can recognize the exact location it was filmed" says our Blonde Son. We saw a car commerical being filmed one evening as we walked back to our hotel. And yes, we walked a lot in downtown L.A.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"The Lilac Bus" plus four short stories

Following one of my reading themes, sampling the works of popular writers of my time that I haven't quite gotten around to, I settled on this novella and four stories by Maeve Binchy. The "bus" is written by the device of eight vigniettes about the lives of citizens of a tiny town in the west of Ireland who work, during the week, in Dublin. Each Friday evening, they climb aboard the purple mini-bus driven by Tom, the last story to be told. He takes them all home for a reasonable fare; everyone has the weekend with family in the village; on Sunday evening, they all go back to Dublin. The people have known one another for years, so we see each one thru the eyes of some or all of the others, as the book progresses. The yarns are intertangled in some cases; mainly, each character seems to find some resolution to problems in their lives: one young woman comes to terms with her own nature, which others see as selfish, thoughtless, remote and too penny-pinching (like "Georgie Girl" of the 1960's); another, with a life of crime, etc. The best story, imo, was "Flat in Ringsend", a small classic in the genre of "the alien or outsider comes to belong". An eighteen year old country girl with her first job, free in Dublin, figuring out the ropes of living on her own, finding a flat to share with strange roommates, arranging a social life for herself, finding friends. We see the strangeness thru her "new eyes". Tho it was no problem to finish reading the book, I feel comfortable with one "Maeve Binchy" exposure.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Latte with Steamed Milk Design....Delicious

...found at a Latin-themed cafe near the L.A Cafe. A pretty way to get my minimum daily requirement of coffee.

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...