Thursday, July 31, 2014

LA Dreaming

My gentleman friend and I are planning a late September getaway to Los Angeles. Our tentative itinerary for the weekend includes Disneyland, a Dodger's game, and the Getty. I'm excited, but the preliminary administrative tasks are gettin' me down. Currently snagging our progress is the issue of picking a hotel. This one would have been perfect...

pink roses framing the Hollywood Pensione hotel

As indicated by the name, the Hollywood Pensione falls in LA's most famous neighborhood, near iconic streets like Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and La Brea, as well as the freeway. Yelp users left a series of four- and five-star reviews, enthusing about the B&B vibe and attentive owners. The hoteliers describe their establishment as "an Eco-conscious Boutique Inn, housed in a 1915 Craftsman", boasting "fine Bamboo linens, and spa-like Bath amenities." Rooms go for $165/night.

Aaand of course the place is totally booked for the weekend that we want.

Hollywood Pensione hotel interior, bed & bathtub

Floral exterior shot via hotel website; interior photos via Yelp.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blooming Bathtub

bathtub in bloom - improvised garden planter

The bathtub planter has new contents! Sometimes it's annoying to interrupt my afternoon to walk the next-door neighbor's dog, but I'm glad to chance upon sights like this one.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Window Boxes

white windows, navy blue walls, green foliage and flowers

My neighbor's houses are irresistible. How do they live? Are they happy? Why did they choose that paint color and those breeds of flowers?

The vast amount of accessible media regarding people's personal lives has made voyeurism normal. We don't even need to pry to get the details of each other's business, because they are displayed voluntarily. That's basically what Facebook is.

And yet, neighbors remain elusive. I'm too young to know if this is a new thing, but I have no idea who lives around here...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dwelling Among Flowers

illustration of houses and floral pattern


I don't view floral motifs as an essential aspect of homefeel, but on the other hand I must, because they sprout up again and again (pun intended). During my neighborhood rambles, my eyes and my lens are constantly drawn to blossoms, to proliferations of petals and pollen. Like these shockingly pink roses:

hot pink roses

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Play House

Play house


How beautifully dismal. A dollhouse is a microcosm, and this one is falling apart.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cafe 116 Ashland



During a recent trip to Oregon, my mom and I spent one night in Ashland. That evening we went to see Richard III, which was wonderful, and in the morning we ate breakfast at a friendly local coffee shop, the enigmatically named Cafe 116. (Storefront photo via Yelp.) My mom enjoyed a glass of potent New Orleans iced coffee, which is apparently a thing. What I most appreciated was the pale decor, soothing on a sleepy morning.

cool white light fixtures minimalist white antler branch wall hanging

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Free Yellow Squash

free yellow squash - help yourself!

My neighbor Lola is so nice. She put some fresh produce from her garden out on the sidewalk, up for grabs! I snagged one of the yellow summer squash. I haven't cooked it yet--one of my parents will probably toss it on the grill--but it looks delicious.

free yellow squash - help yourself! yellow squash

And here are a couple of illustrated versions of the same vegetable:

Yellow Squash, Three Squash, Purple Background, Original, Watercolor Painting, golden, gourd

// $35 //

Original Yellow Squash Painting watercolor Vegetable series

// $8.75 //

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Potted Plants

potted plants, soft white sculpture

I walk my neighbor's dog, so I'm always going into her house. She has pretty potted plants (and some spiderweb-bedecked windows).

potted succulent plants, afternoon sunshine potted succulent plants, afternoon sunshine

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bright Breakfast

I love when a series of photos convey the mood of a certain experience. Moments are so quick that sometimes we wonder if they ever existed, and the physics-defying magic of art is being able to capture a fleeting feeling. There are no people in following images, but I hope you can still sense the smiles generated by this cheerful communal breakfast:

handmade ceramic mugs, mountains scenes bagels and strawberries for breafast sausages and coffee for breakfast breakfast, kitchen, bananas purple and white orchids

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rainbow Restaurants

By happy coincidence, my boyfriend has taken me out to a couple of restaurants with multicolor decor.

rainbow ceiling fan

A taqueria in downtown San Francisco, near the seedy edge of the Tenderloin. I felt like it was Pancho Villa, but that place is in the Mission so I can't be right... They definitely served burritos and multiple kinds of salsa, if that narrows it down. (It doesn't.)

Moroccan restaurant, elaborate decor

Lush faux-Moroccan trappings at El Mansour. I wasn't into the bellydancer but the food was pretty good. The soft downward billows of ceiling enchanted me.

Moroccan restaurant, elaborate decor

I'm amazed that the photos came out as well as they did, given that El Mansour does the fancy thing where the lighting is ridiculously low. At least that way everyone looks good!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Dilapidated Abandoned Building

dilapidated abandoned building

What happens when a place loses its purpose? It starts to break, and continues until it is nothing more than scattered rubble. The process has begun...

dilapidated abandoned building dilapidated abandoned building dilapidated abandoned building dilapidated abandoned building dilapidated abandoned building dilapidated abandoned building dilapidated abandoned building dilapidated abandoned building

Friday, July 11, 2014

Grilling & Grinning

grill sitting on the stone patio

My father's company gave him this grill to celebrate 25 years of employment. It's almost paleolithic these days, to have a single-company career. I imagine that my own future resume will bounce from brand to brand, essays distributed among various online portals. Of course, there's no way to know that--the future is still on its way. Give the tech world a decade, and my current aspirations may be old hat. I'm running full tilt toward my own obsolescence.

The company sent my dad a congratulatory letter and a brochure. "Happy Anniversary, Mister Employee! Here's what you can choose..." The grill was one of the gift options. Dad could have picked a semi-fancy watch. But he's not the ostentatious type; my father is satisfied with his $25 Target-brand timepiece.

The grill gets a lot of use, especially during the summer. Using the stove or the oven makes the kitchen air start baking--I'm not bothered, but my mom is menopausal and short-tempered with heat. The grill sits out on the patio, occasionally half-coated with sunshine but often covered by the blue shadow of the house. In the kitchen, my dad twitches his hips to songs streaming from Pandora, dropping duck legs into spicy, acidic marinade. He calls to me, "Sonya, will you make a salad?" I will.

I scoop sliced chunks out of an avocado, depositing them on top of sliced tomatoes and chopped lettuce. My elbow knocks the stainless steel bowl and it spins a quarter turn. Dad reaches for the drawer below the counter where I'm working, and I have to step back, pausing my spoon in the avocado. We laugh, extracting the familiar joke that whenever more than one person is in a kitchen, they want to be in the same place. "Science says so," I giggle to him.

Middle-class suburbia, summer suppertime paradise.