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Showing posts from November, 2017

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#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

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IT WAS A TIME OF TANS, BLONDS AND HOT PANTS, WHEN THE ENDLESS SUMMER WAS JUST A SHORT WALK DOWN A HOT SIDEWALK
Beach Music, an On the Street Where I Livestories is really a tale of two cities; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California. It was originally published in the LA Times Sunday Magazine.


Beach Music We came to California from Canada, with a detour to Puerto Rico that lasted one endless summer of a year. A year in which I turned 15, and my hair turned blond from living in the sun. “Psst,” the boys and men would call after me in the blue-cobbled streets of San Juan. “Psst! Hey, blondie. Psst! Hey, cutie pie.” I was devastated when my parents said we had to go, that it was time to leave the island so that my older brother, Russell, could get a first rate education. The plan was to drive cross country from Miami and settle in San Francisco so that my brother could finish high school before going on to UC Berkeley. But, once we got there in the fall of 1968, we found that …

Dreaming of France: Picturing Paris

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Bonjour! Can you guess where, precisely, this picture was taken? I love the diamond motif on the staircase, and the diamond pattern the lattice-work trellis creates on the wall. I shot the photo in France when we were there last spring, but where exactly? It took me a moment to remember where until I spotted the man tucked beneath the stairs. 

So who was he and what was he doing? He isn’t Harry Potter, I can tell you that. An American tourist? A French student? I’m not sure. What was he doing? Drinking a cup of coffee. Perhaps a Cafe AmĂ©ricain or maybe a cafe au lait. Chances are it was espresso. 

Where? Any guesses? I’m betting some of you more experienced French travelers will be able to pin it down. 


The answer: Starbucks on the Boulevard Saint Michel just down the road from Boulevard Saint Germain. Located quite near our hotel, Cafe de Flore and Deux Magots were both just up the street but on that occasion I just wanted to grab a coffee and take it back to our room. No muss, no fuss.…

Time to slay your own dragons, ladies.

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My first kiss was an unwanted one. I was seven years old when a boy named David pushed me up against the wall outside our apartment building. Forcing his mouth on mine, his breath, hot and fusty, something sickly sweet like apple juice and milk gone sour in his gut that made me squirm. I don’t remember seeing him as I ran with my brother and the other neighborhood kids through the empty lot next door, scrabbling over the toppled trees, slick with moss, tripping over the bramble of twigs and woodsy decay, but he must have been there, his knees as scratched and muddied as ours, before he caught up with me in the driveway that ran alongside and behind the apartment building. 
As usual I’d tagged along in my older brother’s shadow. Tag, hide and seek, cowboys and indians, the games kids used to play. Outdoors, up and down the streets, no watchful mommies on red alert. Ignoring our mothers’ warnings—don’t go into the woods, don’t go into the woods—we went into the woods, woods that in fact …

As Seen in Britain

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Iconic British Phone Booths in Marylebone May, 2017
With cellphones prevailing many of these lovely totems of once up a time in Britain, always a popular photo opp, have been revamped as cell phone hot spots and wifi zones. Speaking of which, I shot this pair with my iPhone.
There is even talk of transforming the red phone boxes into mini-offices! Long may they reign!
Posted for British Isles Friday hosted by Joy Weese Moll.

Dreaming of France: Guarding the Louvre

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When we entered the grounds of the Louvre, this gentleman, standing as still as the statues within its walls, gave us our first glimpse of not only the dizzying financial value of the treasures housed within its walls, but the importance of the Louvre as France's most beloved cultural institution. 


Home to some of the most famous and valuable works of art in the entire world—the Mona Lisa alone was last valued in 1962 at $100 million, and is presumably worth many times that now—and the museum, as the most visited tourist site in Paris, is worth much more than that. 


Over 8 million people visit the Louvre every year and when we were there this past spring, I have to admit it felt as though most of them had come to see the Mona Lisa that same morning. For anyone who wanted to linger and really look at DaVinci's masterpiece—like moi—it was a frustrating experience. 

Liberty Leading the People / Eugene Delacroix
Still, there is so much to see at the Louvre, there is no time to linger…
It's been just over a month since 58 people were killed by a gunman in Las Vegas. There is still nothing being done. We need to keep fighting the NRA.

'Can't you hear the children scream?' — this man's spoken word poem about America's gun violence will move you to tears (via @inqlife) pic.twitter.com/4JaviUM9RY — NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 6, 2017