#ThursdayDoors: Cooler by the Coast

Rockaway Beach, Pacifica California, 61 degrees

I’ve been trying to get back into writing after quite a stint away thus my blogging pace has slowed. However, every now and then I have to get out of the house and when I do I try to snap a picture or two for Norm Frampton’s always entertaining weekly doors party.  

My “doors” – a fun cafe in Half Moon Bay

Mural in the cafe. Another flying fish: the Honolulu clipper.

Even when the weather is unbearably hot here in California, the Pacific coast is always at least 15 degrees cooler and so that’s where we headed last Thursday when we needed to put miles on our car so it would pass the smog test.  You probably wonder why we hold onto a car which we drive so rarely that it doesn’t pass the smog test.  Well, it’s not just any car.  It’s a 2001 Lexus IS. Damned addictive to drive and cute as hell.  We bought it when we both worked for dot.coms which were supposed to make us millionaires.  Ha!

Because we live due east of downtown San Francisco, the most direct route to the coast is through the City.  However traffic is insane and then there are all those hills “climbing half way to the stars” with cable cars and buses and Ubers and taxis and trolleys all fighting for a lane. Lest I forget the bicyclists who think they own the whole damn street. So we generally go either north or south and then cut over to the coast via roads less traveled.  Last Thursday we drove south then west to the beaches, Pacifica to be exact. The reason, we wanted to see the Tom Lantos Tunnels which were completed in 2013 after many years of struggle and debate, both ecological and financial.

These tunnels go directly through Devil’s Slide, a massive landslide covering the stretch of Highway 1 between Pacifica and Montara. The mountain literally decided to join the sea taking the road with it. For years they kept fixing the road and for years the mountain kept moving. Finally they gave into nature and built the tunnels.

Exiting the tunnel when fog hugs the coast is a bit like seeing that light at the end of the tunnel as you lay dying.  On that cheerful note, I’d best be getting back to work!

#ThursdayDoors: The Camp Store

Options, options, too many options!

I haven’t been blogging much recently for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been trying to figure out how to self-publish using Createspace.  Or perhaps that should be, how NOT to self-publish using Createspace.  Sheesh. Right now I’m at a loggerheads involving pricing and distribution and waiting for a callback from their support staff, so, why not skip on over and join Norm Frampton’s weekly doors event I thought!

The second reason for not keeping up my blogging schedule is, I’ve been down in San Diego helping take care of a two month old baby, my grandson. He lives with his family across the street from a state-run campground with a Five Star view. And how could it not?  It’s literally perched on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean. Below is a pebbly beach which almost disappears at high tide.

Although it’s location and view are Five Star, the camp is quite equalitarian. You’ll find million dollar, high tech Winnebagos sitting next to folks with just a tent and camp stove. I didn’t take any pictures (sorry Norm), because I figure people don’t go to campsites to be featured on #ThursdayDoors. However I did take photos of the stage (above) where camp rangers give presentations on ecology during the day and movies are shown at night. They have doors of a sort but I have no idea what’s beyond them.

And lest you wonder where the heck the real doors are – drum roll please – I present the camp store.

A place where you can purchase items you’ve forgotten such as toothpaste and aspirin.

After a long day of changing poopie diapers, getting spit up on, and making endless bottles, what better way to relax than watching the sun go down on a pebbly beach.  Have a lovely weekend everyone. It’s supposed to be hot, hot, hot here.  Rats!

#ThursdayDoors: Cheating Bigly

Doors leading to the outdoor sculpture garden.

This week for ThursdayDoors I cheated bigly.  I hopped on BART and took a ride to downtown San Francisco, where if you can’t find an interesting door to snap, there’s absolutely no hope for you.  However the purpose of my trip was not to take pictures but to see the Matisse/Diebenkorn exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

For those who don’t know San Francisco, the MOMA is about three blocks south of Market Street which is about as close to a main drag as you’ll find in the City. Above is the Lotta Crabtree Fountain where every year on April 18th the survivors of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire are honored.

There are a many fine old doors in this area but to get good photos of them you’d have to have a death wish. Traffic is ridiculous. Above is the Hearst building which maintained its original doors although the building has obviously been modernized.

Next to the MOMA are the Yerba Buena gardens “the cultural center of San Francisco.”  Many of the gardens and restaurants in this two block complex are actually on the guarded second level and thus free of the homeless population known to panhandle in this area.

The Martin Luther King Memorial on a gray day. I like the solemnity of this memorial more that the rather grandiose one in Washington DC..

Across the street from the gardens is St. Patrick Cathedral originally built in 1851.  Although it’s dwarfed by the other buildings and hotels in the South of Market or SOMA area, it remains as they say “an island of calm and tranquility amidst chaos.”

And they do have a lovely door.  Hop on over to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors event to see other doors from around the world.

Oh – the exhibit was great.  If it comes to your town, do try to see it.

 

ThursdayDoors: Prayers for the Hopeless

Last week I did my patriotic duty and showed up for jury duty. Unfortunately I showed up on the wrong day. Heck, I wasn’t even there in the right month.

I blame my blunder on having to reschedule twice and, in the process, getting confused. Yeah, right.

Anyway,  not wanting to waste a morning (and because I had no desire to get back on the freeway during rush hour) I decided to wander around the small but historic town of Martinez California.

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Martinez is the county seat, thus most of the courthouses are located here. The sheriff’s deputies don’t let you take pictures of the security entrances for some reason so I took the above shot from across the street.  The men standing in front are offering free prayers for those entering the courthouse. The town is filled with signs also offering hope to the hopeless or the guilty but only if you’re willing to pay

Martinez is also full of antique stores. I’m not sure what the two have in common.  Perhaps you know.

I stopped at funky cafe down near the railroad station

where, while waiting for an egg sandwich, I picked up a black journal lying on a driftwood table.  It was filled with drawings and scribbles from patrons also waiting for egg sandwiches:

One person loved her thighs.

Another waxed philosophical.  He or she is far wiser than me.  But perhaps “My Life is a Mess 101” is a college class.

This one had a slightly more positive message.  Perhaps a bit of weed helped.

Some drew pictures describing how they felt with no words.  I’m not sure but the guy in the upper left of this scribble seems to be holding both a joint and a penis.  If I were to guess, I’d say a disgruntled teenage girl drew this picture.

Every page of the book was filled which meant I was not invited to participate. As I flipped through the pages, a young man, not more than fifteen, with torn and dirty jeans and carrying a heavy backpack entered and asked politely to use the bathroom.  The staff, themselves all young, tattooed and multiply pierced, agreed then stood beyond the counter whispering. The boy was in the bathroom for about ten minutes, then exited and asked to buy a chocolate croissant.

“Did you run away?”  the staff asked almost in unison to which he answered, “No I’m homeless.”

As I left the cafe, one of the older staff members (the manager?) was sitting at a booth with the homeless youth. The scene lightened my mind as I walked back to my car past the prayers for the hopeless brigade and the bail bondsmen’s offices. I knew that magically a blank page had appeared in the black journal for someone lost.

Please visit Norm Frampton’s #ThursdayDoors event for more pictures of doors and their stories.

 

#ThursdayDoors: The Rent is Due

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This door is around the corner from Trump International Hotel in Washington DC.  Its message is ominous, don’t you think?

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From Bing images

In case you haven’t heard, Trump bought Washington DC’s Main Post office and converted it into a hotel.

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From Bing Images

Built in 1899 the Old Post Office is a 12 minute walk to the Capital. Before Trump decided to run for president, his plan was to make this building into the jewel in his crown.  Every head of state would want to stay in a Trump hotel, don’t you know? Lather in golden bubbles while munching on Trump chocolates and drinking Trump wine.  However early reviews are not glowing:

From the outside, it responds to a growing need, serves an audience, and looks quite grand. But on the inside, it is a complete disaster, mostly empty inside, riddled with nonsense. From Vanity Fair

Of course when he brought the property he was told if he went into office there would be a conflict of interest but I don’t think he thought he would get into office.  Now I’m sure he thinks the rules don’t apply to him.  After all, look at all he’s gotten away with so far.

Here’s a door of a different sort which I pray is never made into a Trump resort or golf course but in this crazy world, who knows?

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This is one of the many archways at the outdoor stadium in Arlington Cemetery where Memorial Day tributes to our veterans take place.  I didn’t take too many pictures at Arlington. I always find it such an overwhelming experience that snapping pictures seems wrong.

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From Bing Images

Anyway that’s the end of my contributions to Norm Frampton’s addictive #ThursdayDoors event for awhile.  I need to figure out the publishing business I’ve  been ignoring for the last nine months! The rent is due for me; it’s back to work I go.

ThursdayDoors: Blasting Off into 2017

Today’s door isn’t very pretty.discover

Well, if you’d been launched into orbit 39 times in the space of 27 years, you’d be looking a little funky too. America’s oldest space shuttle, Discovery, is currently in retirement at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center outside of Washington DC.  Udvar-Hazy is the Smithstonian’s air and space museum.  Besides Discovery, there are hundreds of planes and jets – both military and civilian – however, if you decide to visit do so on a full stomach.  The only place to get something to eat or drink is an overcrowded McDonalds.

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Puny mortals beneath the thrusters

 

Our guide was a retired Air Force pilot who peppered his dialogue with non-stop stories of famous generals and senators he’d flown hither and yon. I imagine his wife was quite happy to get him out of the house so she didn’t have to keep listening to them!

As we blast off into this crazy year, let’s hope like Discovery we return to an intact world safely.

Happy New Year everyone. Hop on over to Norm Frampton’s swinging pad to see other doors from around the world..

#ThursdayDoors: Carolopolis

On our final day in Charleston I decided to take a leisurely walk around the neighborhood where our hotel was located – the French Quarter – before packing up and calling an Uber for the airport. The homes in this area aren’t nearly as grand as those south of Broad street (the SOBs), probably because it’s home to the Old Slave Mart, the City Market (est. in 1790) and many restaurants and museums.

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When I first saw the plaque next to the above door I thought the name of the house was “Carolopolis” but I was wrong.  Every year one of these plaques is presented to a structure originally built in Charleston’s colonial days that has been properly preserved.  Carolopolis is a combination of Carolus, greek for “Charles” and polis meaning “city.”

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Also common are plaques which describe the historic significance of the structure.

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This salmon colored house is typical of homes in the French Quarter.  As you can see, the balconies are off to the side and draped to insure privacy. And of course, the garden is surrounded by a cast iron picket fence. (These fences made it difficult to trespass to get better pictures of the doors!)

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You see a lot of old gas lamps in the historic districts of Charleston. They’re quite romantic which is one of the reasons you also see a lot of advertisements for wedding venues.

jones_howellhouse

 

 

 

I’m not exaggerating when I say there are hundreds of historic structures in Charleston.  One of the reasons has to do with that dastardly War of Northern Aggression. Ironically, the city in which the Civil War began missed undergoing the fate of other southern cities, many of which were burnt to the ground by Union soldiers.

That’s the last of my pics from Charleston, a city which, if you want to visit, you’d better go soon.  It’s on a list of the 14 American cities that could soon be underwater as tides continue to rise.

Check out other doors from around the world at Norm Frampton’s addictive door event.