I love taking photographs when I travel, but I am selective about it because cameras can make you an outsider, an observer instead of a participant. One thing I like about having a camera is that, even if I don’t use it, I pay a little more attention to the details.
In traditional cultures, where you live is a big part of who you are. Many Americans, on the other hand, tend to view our communities as way stations to somewhere else. Most of us leave home at an early age and don’t return to raise our kids in the communities where we grew up. As we age, many of us move again for economic reasons or to be with the grandchildren our children are raising somewhere else. Continue reading
Like most parents of active boys, I got a few phone calls from school over the years. Remembering them, I usually laugh. He stole a potato chip from Emily! But one of them still turns my stomach. When I was at work one day, the principal of Gabe’s school called to say Gabe had been “acting up” all week whenever his teacher read aloud to the class. This wasn’t Gabe’s usual venue for mischief so after a few minutes on the phone I asked what book the teacher was reading.
Street art has become a kind of big deal in some cities. It is an early stage experiment in some places, like Bangkok, and an integral part of the architectural landscape in others, like San Francisco’s Mission District.
When I went to China a few years ago, I didn’t think of Beijing as a city with a thriving arts community. More of a temple/palace/Great Wall kind of place. So I was surprised when I got off the bus in Beijing’s Dashanzi Art Zone. Also called “798,” the neighborhood is a virtual Disneyland of playful murals, outdoor sculptures and aromatheraputic galleries.
Springtime in Los Angeles is gorgeous — blue skies, puffy cumulus clouds, bright orange poppies, lush green hills. Every once in awhile, you smell the syrupy perfume of orange blossoms. The traffic is famously slow on freeways that seem to go nowhere but a lot of the cars are awfully nice. Although my first loyalty is to my geographic soul mate in the north, I feel very comfortable here and even a little nostalgic. Disneyland. Vin Sculley. Olvera Street. Surfer boys. Palm trees.