California Los Angeles

Walt Disney Concert Hall

A few photos of the LA Symphony’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. It’s an iconic Frank Gehry building, and their free tours are highly recommended to all architecture nerds.

Bud California Sailing TP52

Practice on TP52 Bud

This weekend, we had coach Chris Doolittle come by Bud and give everyone tons of tips and ideas. We’re all lucky kids to have a chance to train under some incredible sailors. Much thanks go out to our skipper Victor, for making it all possible.

California Los Angeles Photography

Dan Tana’s


No George Clooney sightings.

California Culture Photography

The Getty Villa

Efforts to find culture were renewed this long weekend, as we headed to the Getty Villa in Malibu — the museum J. Paul Getty built to house the items of his collection that belong to antiquity. The place itself was built to resemble the Villa dei Papyri, the Villa where they invented Papyrus font. No, no, not really — it was a villa near Mount Vesuvius where they found a bunch of papyrus scrolls.

The Villa does a brilliant job of adding context to the collection pieces. A visitor can easily picture the life led by those lucky enough to live in these type of villas and have busts made in their liking (you know, the 1% of antiquity).

I was honestly disappointed by the Architecture Tour, and although the guide was a lovely older gentleman who apparently is somehow related to J. Paul Getty, there were few if any of the more intricate architectural details we were hoping for, like exactly what type of columns, marbles, etc, were used, or which styles were more Roman or Greek (my archeology professor would’ve been proud). I guess I shouldn’t complain about a free tour.

We checked out The Victorious Youth — one of the last remaining bronze statues from antiquity (the others were melted along that wrecked path of time and used for bullets and other weaponry in different wars). The statue was found at sea off the coast of Italy in 1964, and purchased by the museum. The controversy behind the Victorious Youth is that Italy wants it back alleging that former curators of the museum were trafficking stolen antiques.

Regardless, the Getty Villa is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon, imagining the life you could’ve led (or perhaps you did lead if you believe in reincarnation) while a rich Roman in 500 B.C. Coupled with the vast collection of art, glass, jewelry, and even mummies, it’s definitely worth the $15 parking fee. The Villa itself is technically free, although you do need to reserve tickets in advance and print them out.

I still feel we didn’t check it all out, and we had to hurry through at the end, so I’m looking forward to going back again.

California Sailing

America’s Cup World Series San Diego Video

Just a miscellaneous video of the finish in one of the Saturday races.

California Photography

Faces from the Crowd

This post is a cleanse of sorts, to rid myself of the guilt from not posting anything about a great weekend down in San Diego for the America’s Cup World Series. It’s impossible to take a bad picture of an AC45, that ridiculous boat. Instead, I wanted to do a quick post of portraits. Even without knowing the people in the portraits, you can interpret bits of who they are, along with snippets of a thought — droplets in the narrative.

Amazing! California Photography Sailing Santa Barbara Travels

Busy, beautiful weekends

Every once in a while, you come across these perfect weekends spent not only surrounded by incredible scenery and weather, but by amazing people. In my last trip up to Santa Barbara, I met Doug, who sails with Sleeper — a Lindenberg 26. He arranged for me to come up this weekend, basically for a trial run — to see if I was game enough to go on an overnight race out to Santa Cruz island this upcoming weekend.

I left a little later than I would’ve liked, so my choices leaving Santa Monica were to sit in traffic on the 405 or to sit in traffic on the PCH.

Obviously, I chose the PCH. It’s a gorgeous drive north, first through the coast and then some picturesque farmland.

I stayed with the co-owner of Sleeper, Cheryl, in her stunning Santa Barbara home. I walked through the door, and was speechless with the view.

California Music

Beaches and Soundtracks

Hi there, it’s been a while. A lot has changed while essentially remanding the same. The beach is 1.4 miles away, and I feel the ocean breeze more often than those scalding desert winds.

I can almost picture David Hasselhoff running out of there in slow-motion. I grew up on this stuff!

The water is too cold for me, so I would much rather just sit by the shore and people watch. If I had a wet suit, I’d totally pick up surfing. In fact, I think once things settle down a bit with my new job and apartment decorating, I will do some surfing lessons, because it just seems like the right thing to do in Southern California. Amen.

Friends introduced me to some fun spots around town. The photo below was at the Foundation Room of the House of Blues, where we were treated to an incredible dinner. I met several characters such as the guy who, when asked “what do you do?”, answered in a variety of ways including “I can’t tell you” or “I’m in the music business”; then there was the Russian actress who just moved to town and was ‘shopping around’ for agents and managers (what does that means?); and people who call Snoop Dog just Snoop, because that makes it sound like they know each other (maybe they do, maybe they’re neighbors and share the same pool cleaners).

I also realized that my celebrity-spotting skills are pretty appalling. The entire dinner, this guy James is sitting right across from me, and it was not until after he left that someone mentioned he was in Heroes. Considering I watched that show (before it started being terrible), I should’ve noticed. He played Ando, Hiro’s sidekick, for those of you familiar with Heroes. I’m glad I didn’t realize it while he was there, because I might have been compelled to ask him where did it all go so wrong?

Steve Earle was playing that evening at the HOB. Fun fact: Obama was there the night before, and there was an excited buzz about that still. Plus, a couple at the dinner table had been there and had their photos taken with him, which they proudly showed around.

My friends also took me to Pizzeria Mozza in Hollywood. I’m so glad I found this place, because it was perfect to take my parents while they were in town. And to wrap up my initial Tour de Force, later that week, I attended my first Jewish New Years celebration (L’shanah tovah!), and we swung by to check out Jimmy Eat World at the Wiltern. Those photos are in my phone, but I don’t know how to get them out of there. Eh, they’re probably not good photos anyways.

For those of you not aware, I’m starting a new job with USC, which I’m incredibly excited about — not only because of the job itself but the possibility of getting my Masters there. Also, I found a cute little apartment in Santa Monica which you are all invited to visit! I would like to thank everyone who not only inquired about my apartment hunting, but actively helped me with leads for places and roommates — some of you as far as D.C. and Phoenix, mobilized contacts out here to help me out. It  is true, that in our greatest times of need, we realize who are not only our true friends, but genuinely good-hearted people. Thank you to all. Many of you have asked, and I promise photos of the apartment are coming.

As you can see, there’s been a lot of music in my life lately, so I leave you with a song that’s been on repeat at my household for the past few weeks — Angel from Montgomery by Old Crow Medicine Show.

Because I know several of my friends are Colin Hay fans, he’s playing at El Cajon this Friday, here’s the info. I’m excited to be in a town with so much live music, and I’m hoping to check out some of the greats acts at this venue, which is right around the corner from my apartment. Catie Curtis will be stopping by, and she was my first concert at Cave Creek Coffee Company, which brings back great memories.

Ok, I think that’s enough updating for now, I’ve got some busy days ahead — it’s fun busy though, so hopefully some good photos and posts in the horizon.

California Photography Travels

Santa Barbara and Friends

Out of my own volition, it would have never occurred to me visiting Santa Barbara. I had heard of it, but I had no idea what people do there, or why one would go there. Thankfully, I have friends who not only know of great places, but invite me along on their adventures. My friends drove from Phoenix, spent a day in LA, picked me up Friday night, and we drove north. Although the posts on this Web site don’t show it, there have been tiring and stressful moments trying to start a new life out here in Los Angeles, but seeing familiar, welcoming faces made me feel so at ease and happy.

The next day, we found a Farmer’s Market. It was full of life and color, and the feeling of community. I’ll have to find one near me, so I can get fresh produce and flowers.

California Sailing

What a life

Mark and his family invited me out to Catalina for the weekend.

On the way over, in the ferry, the guy working the bar on the upper level came over to chat with me. I took the Saturday 2:55 p.m. ferry from San Pedro, and it was relatively empty. He said he used to have a job that paid him a lot, but it was too stressful and he never spent anytime with his family. Now, he told me “I get done with work some days and say ‘This doesn’t suck’ .”

And that was the theme for the weekend, in fact the same statement was repeated by several random people I met.

Sunday night we had dinner on board a Lagoon 400 owned by a friend of Mark’s. Brothers Frank and Charles BBQ for us, and it was another lovely evening in which I felt I was living a life belonging to someone else.  I met some incredible people, with fascinating stories and lives.

Jody is sizing up the “real estate”. Early on Sunday morning, we went on a dinghy ride to adjacent coves, where some of the most incredible boats are moored. Mark explained the hierarchy of moorings, and how the more exclusive boats are at 4th of July and Cherry coves. He said there are wait lists to buy moorings, and that some boat owners are on those lists for 30+ years.

Mark was doubling down on those Buffalo Milk drinks. In his own words “I don’t think I left the bar all day Sunday.”

What a life.