Posts Tagged With: Skywatch

Hazy Los Angeles Sunset

Last week I went to dinner at an amazingly delicious establishment in Silverlake, Black Hogg. Thank you Ayleen for this wonderful dining experience!

We arrived a little too early so backtracked down Sunset a little to spend some time at Barnsdall Park and view the exterior of Hollyhock House.

Hollyhock House is a Frank Lloyd Wright creation atop a hill in East Hollywood and though it is lovely in it’s own right the views from the surrounding grounds are real showstoppers even on a hazy evening.


North: Griffith Park Observatory


Northwest: The Hollywood sign and comm towers


West: The city and her people

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The Long Way

I traveled to Arizona last week and was loathe to zip over there via the mind numbingly dull (though almost an hour quicker) Interstate 10.

Last Thursday morning broke sunny and Spring-like in Southern California, perfect driving weather. I traversed the Cajon Pass before turning East onto I-40 in Barstow.

The original Route 66 was covered by I-40 over much of it’s path although a few drivable sections remain. They are mostly on the Arizona side of the state line but portions can be seen resting in the California desert sun here and there along the way. This route took me first to Needles CA then through Kingman AZ and Ash Fork where I turned South toward Prescott.

Original 1970s 7up sign in Needles

Original 1970s 7up sign in Needles


Since I was without any time constraint this trip and the temperature was still cool and Springy I stopped in Needles to explore a bit farther from the highway for the first time in my life.  I have been here many times but it is either far too cold in the wee hours of a desert morning or blistering hot on a Summer afternoon to want to stay any longer than it takes to fill the gas tank and hurry away.

Nice little Studebaker Truck

Nice little Studebaker Truck

Colorful tagged cattle cars rolling East

Colorful tagged cattle cars rolling East

Vintage Motel still welcoming guests

Vintage Motel still welcoming guests

Kingman has a modern thriving town accessible via the second and third exits from the Interstate, it is always a nice stop along the way but I didn’t go there this time. I took the first exit onto old RTE 66/business 40 taking me through old Kingman which is full of antique shops, tasty BBQ lunch and friendly locals. The requisite small town water tower looms over still busy railroad tracks while a western theme permeates  vintage motels and eateries for a couple miles until the old road hooks up to the interstate once more. I was so focused on the BBQ lunch that I didn’t take many pictures here but you can bet I will return to this road on a future trip.


Building being restored in Kingman

Building being restored in Kingman

Late afternoon found me in Ash Fork which has been one of my favorite places in the entire state of Arizona for many years.

The reason? Oh, the little old Mobil Gas station!

Ash Fork station lot

Ash Fork station lot

I darted in this station one very cold afternoon about 15 years ago to find myself in a warm, cozy hang out for the local old guys to spend the day telling tales and drinking (ahem!) coffee. The walls were covered with old license plates, junk parts and taxidermy…I wanted to stay forever!

A beautiful Jeep @ Ash Fork Mobil

A beautiful Jeep @ Ash Fork Mobil

After I paid for the gas I was graciously allowed to join the conversation so while Bob filled the gas tank outside we talked about Jeeps, Javelina and the value of Gold Toe socks in the glow of a pellet stove. I make a point to stop here just to check in anytime I am nearby.

When I walked in the station last week the conversation was ongoing and the guys were all still in place. After topping off the tank I grabbed my camera and went back to ask if I could take a picture…of the Javelina…they seemed disappointed so I told them to crowd around the wall pig and smile…only the Javelina complied at that point.

I think she winked at us!

I think she winked at us!

Special places that welcome you as a kindred soul are few and far between, when you find yours enjoy it for all it is worth!

I will post the road home to So Cal next week!

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Rivers of America

Night has fallen on Rivers of America at Disneyland and the Riverboat Mark Twain casts a sparkly reflection.


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Leading edge


Rain clouds scuttling along the treetops form the leading edge of an incoming storm at sunset.

Weather forecasters are warning a real storm is due to hit Southern California in the wee hours of Friday morning.

I hope they are right this time, So Cal could sure use the rain.


These three little fellows are running South before the wind!

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Adios Napa Mural

This neighborhood Mural is not long for the world.


The Napa Auto Parts building on which it resides is about to be demolished to make way for the 91 Freeway to be widened through Corona.


These are not  great photos of the work and I will try to remember to document the wall with something better than my phone soon.

The project broke ground December 11th with moving and demo work progressing very quickly, I didn’t want to take a chance and miss the picture completely.

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A California Christmas

I had an entirely different post planned for today but the magnificent views from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library changed all that.

My daughter and I went to see the display ” A California Christmas ” which included 23 trees festooned with themes about cities and regions of the Golden State, they were lovely and fun.


We were treated to this sunny vista from the patio dining area during our lunch.


Then we found out Santa Claus is piloting the freshly restored Marine One Helicopter for the season!

This is the very vehicle that served the Johnson administration forward through the Reagan Presidency and into the George Bush Sr. White House. We were invited to take a walk through tour of both Air Force One and Marine One, awe inspiring seems too small a term for the feeling of history surrounding you as you walk the very aisle LBJ trod and see the galley where in flight meals were prepared according to a menu planned by Nancy Reagan.


The sun was just setting in a blazing swath across the hills toward the Pacific ocean as we walked out through “Gipper’s Grove” toward the parking lot. This was a very nice Tuesday in Southern California.

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Welcoming the Holiday Season at Radiator Springs, California Disney.


It is a little bit chilly out in the Red Rock Canyons tonight!

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Letter H is for…Hollywoodland

Hollywoodland is perhaps the largest antique sign I will be posting for ABC Wednesday this round.Built as a real estate development advertising tool in 1923 on a hillside of Mt.Lee above the Hollywood District of Los Angeles the sign’s 43 foot tall letters became an iconic part of the landscape.


The housing development was never built  and by 1944 the sign became property of the city after years of decay and disrepair. In 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce removed the last 4 letters took over the care of the landmark, they still do so today in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles and The Hollywood Sign Trust.


The sign is not only large in size and scale it is a vessel for dreams larger oft times than their dreamers.

If Morpheus has a West Coast home it is surely atop these storied letters.

The sign still simply reads Hollywood today but the dreams continue, some are fulfilled, others turn nightmarish though most remain with their dreamers to be cherished and recalled with a wink and a smile while their lives play out across the canyons, valleys and beaches of Southern California.

Learn more about the Hollywoodland/Hollywood sign here:

Thanks to our team at  ABC Wednesday you can see more of the letter “H” here:

Also posting for Skywatch Friday:

Note: Through the efforts of The Hollywood Sign Trust’s efforts, the Sign received a fresh new paint job in 1995, courtesy of Dutch Boy Paints whose history is recounted a few pages back for the letter “D”!

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Blue Moon Eve

Monday was one of those days the travel agents never speak about in Southern California. Online booking sites never show photos of this sort of day either.


This was a meltingly hot day in inland So Cal with the added bonus/penalty of light cloud cover by afternoon and high humidity.

People tried to remain ensconced inside well air conditioned buildings and homes, not so happy California cows mooed from their huddle under long rows of corrugated roofs sheltering them from the sun and those few of us who still use Swamp coolers dis the dance of strategically opening and closing windows and shades to direct air flow and not swelter in the added humidity of the cooler’s output.

The reward for dealing stoically with this kind of day (there is always a reward) was one of the most beautiful night skies of the season.


The air cooled right away after sunset and by moonrise all was well once more.


A nearly full True Blue Moon* played peek-a-boo with cotton ball clouds scudding across the inky sky.


See more of the sky above our tiny blue marble at:

*A true blue moon is the third full moon of a four month season while a more common blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month.

The color of the moon has nothing to do with this timing, a blue color only happens after a volcanic eruption or forest fire large enough to send smoke high into the atmosphere thus turning our view of the full moon fuzzy and blueish.

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Sky over San Diego Comic Con

Full Moon over Bayside Hilton from Pedestrian Bridge

Full Moon over Bayside Hilton from Pedestrian Bridge

San Diego Comic Con has come and gone for the year. As usual SDCC is all things to all people be they geeks, nerds, movie fans, toy and art fans, creators, movers, marketers and mules.

The days are long, filled with work, walking, lunching, launching product and navigating long lines, while the evenings are filled with friends, food and good conversation plus those random moments that make memories.

Sad Wookie Sad in Sails Pavilion

Sad Wookie Sad in Sails Pavilion

This Skywatch Friday is dedicated to SDCC 2013.

Inside before doors open looking out

Inside before doors open looking out

Outside on the way to the lines to get inside!

Outside on the way to the lines to get inside!


No sky, but hey...Deadpool Tacos!

No sky, but hey…Deadpool Tacos!

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