Open Studio with Dacy

We attended the open studio of artist Dacy Kolsky in downtown Sacramento recently and really enjoyed her art and the vibe of being in her studio. Check out her mixed media collage work! Her art has an neon Andy Warhol meets 80’s throwback vibe from the time before digital when everything was actually done by hand.

What’s your favorite piece?  Support your local artists!

Email dacy@modernpoppy.com

http://www.society6.com/dacykolsky

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden has been on my local list of attractions for a while.  I can’t say why I haven’t gone before but I haven’t.  And after visiting today looking for some fall colors I certainly regret not having gone sooner.  I can say the Arboretum and gardens were not at all what I expected…in a good way.  I expected just a large park with some glorious old trees and a place for my son to run around reasonably free.  Instead, I found a lovely meandering creek called the Putah Creek lovingly surrounded by well maintained gardens and walking bridges.  Visitors can walk the entire thing or sections and can follow both sides of the creek.  They will be joined by runners, students, local residents, gossiping women, and visitors like me.

It is hard to be unhappy in a place like this even with heavy smoke in the air from the Butte Fire raging a small distance away.  Several distinct gardens keep one’s interest while they get their steps in.  Acacia gardens, redwood gardens, desert gardens, and plants and trees from China were the highlights.  Ducks followed us everywhere we went.  This perfect little park is a quiet oasis placed smack in the middle of one of California’s premier Universities.

Postcard from Sacramento

Greetings from my home town Sacramento, California! I’m still alive. I’m just over here sequestered in my house raising a tiny human and working in between with the occasional break to eat and sleep. Thank you for your patience with my lack of posts and lack of travels. 

I headed downtown this morning for an appointment and snapped some random Sacramento photos of things not everyone would pick to highlight my town. I’ve never really posted much about Sacramento so I finally took a moment to focus on a few locations and things that have always been the background of my runnings around. These are some places I enjoy for one reason or another. The art, the old signs, the institution of it, or the plane weirdness emitted. 

Yup. That’s a cow on the roof.

Are we in Greece or Mexico with these color?

Flipper!

The Tower theatre across the street from what was the original Tower Records and Books

A clock on a cemetery sign?

Always loved this sign

Water tower that has just always silently been in the background

Bon Lair. As close to Scotland as I can get right now.


The food is marginal but I go for the name.

Charming

Gold Country Drive – Melones Dam, Ca

It’s impossible to ignore the drought when driving over this massive bridge staring at the water marks from years before.  Thankfully we have received a decent amount of water here in Northern California, 130% of normal I am told so far.  But, still the brutal fact remains we need a lot more.  Spring flowers are starting to bloom and we still haven’t had enough water…

For other posts in and around the gold country please click here.

 

Gold Country Drive – Mokelumne Hill,Ca

Mokelumne Hill, California is an example of a small remote gold town that is still transitioning and finding its 21st century self.  While it does so I enjoyed the heck out of exploring its main street and the details of all its strange and wonderful architecture.  I have driven through this town hundreds of times.  My parents used to love doing the exact same thing taking us kids for a drive through the gold country.  This is the first time I got out with my camera and focused on the details.  I probably got a few strange looks from people drinking in the local bar but they shrugged their shoulders and went about their business.

For other posts in and around the Gold Country please click here.

 

 

 

 

Gold Country Drive – Columbia,Ca

My husband and I set out for another great day drive through the gold country.  As some of you may know gold was discovered in 1848 by James Marshal at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento,California in a beautiful place called Coloma.  This discovery set off what was later to be coined the California Gold Rush.  Tons of people came west with their sites set on riches.  In order to support these folks many “gold towns” sprouted up.  It’s always fun to me to go through and visit these towns observing how they have changed over the years.  Some are quickly on their way to obscurity while others are being revitalized by wineries, antique shops, coffee houses, and restaurants.  I have mixed emotions about the revitalization changes ultimately deciding it is for the best.

Join me on a tour of Columbia, a preserved gold town turned state park.

For other posts in and around the Gold Country click here

Just takin’ a little walk…over the Golden Gate Bridge!

Don’t look down!

My cousins and their Egyptian foreign exchange student came to visit San Francisco for business/pleasure from Phoenix.  Deciding not to plan ahead my cousins and I , both San Francisco tourist veterans in our own right, set to decide what important sites their new “daughter” must see.  The conversation went like this, “What do you think she should see?”  “I don’t know, what do you think she should see?  All I know is I am hungry.”  “Anything you want to do that you have never done before?”  “Ah, no. I feel like I have done everything.”  Then my cousin asked me if I had ever walked over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge?  Well, heck.  I never had.  I guess I just never wanted to deal with the wind and the crowds.  So we set out…

The parking Gods were with us.  Someone pulled out right in front of us.  Parking was only $5!  Parking is NEVER only $5 in San Francisco.

It turns out there is a lovely gift shop at the bridge.  I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to me but it does.  Near the gift shop there is a cool representation of what it takes to build this magnificent bridge.  Did you know that those gigantic orange cables holding up that thing is made of thousands of of smaller cables?  There are a few interactive toys/models to show folks the engineering behind the bridge too.

And then there is the bridge!  Just walk on out there.  Put earthquakes out of your mind.  Put tsunamis from the Rock’s new movie out of your mind.  Pay no attention to the police officer yelling at someone doing something they aren’t supposed to over the intercom.  Take some fun little selfies. And then behold the beauty that is the Marin Headlands in one direction and the most beautiful city in the United States in the other.  (Reference some of my favorite lesser known spots in SF: Botanical gardens, ChinaTown, Japanese Tea Garden, Coit Tower…)  You have a birdseye view of Alcatraz and Angel islands.  You can see the new span of the Bay Bridge and all its glory connected by Treasure island.  You can see Berkeley and Oakland.  You can see seals frolicking in the water below.  Wait, don’t look down!  You can see sailboats at 90 degree angles.  You can feel the vibration of the bridge moving by both natural forces and the hundreds of cars zooming by.  It is loud, very loud and the wind is whipping up in your ears making it seem even louder.  You dodge runners and bicyclists as well as other tourists walking with their cameras up not paying attention to anyone or anything around them.  We turn around 3/4 of the way over the bridge because it is a long darn bridge and the loudness and the wind is getting to us all.

It never fails to surprise me that every time I go to the City I have a good time and can experience something new.  I know it will be this way for the rest of my life.

Photo doesn’t do this view justice


It’s hard not to stare at this view


Do you think there is anyone out there that doesn’t recognize this bridge?


Such a beautiful city and the Golden Gate only makes her that much prettier

Used to have toll takers now what do you do if you don’t have a fastpass?

Cousins everywhere!  I never thought I would have an Egyptian cousin or a cousin from Pacific Grove and look at these two lovely ladies!

Try your hand at how much tension is required to raise a bridge

 

To read about my other San Francisco exploits click here!

Blackhawk Auto Museum

My husband and I have been working opposite shifts now for a while.  So, on the weekends we have been trying to take some day trips to spend good quality time together.  Last weekend we went leaf peeping through the El Dorado, Alpine, and Calavaras National Forests.  (Photos came out lame on the iPhone hence the lack of posting, sorry.)  The weekend before we spent more time in the Quincy area west of the Lake Tahoe region.  This weekend was his turn to pick the location.  So we set off for the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville, California in the “East Bay.”

The East Bay holds a special place in my heart because I got my Master’s Degree at quaint Saint Mary’s College in beautiful Moraga, California.  It also just happens to be a spectacularly pretty area of the world especially with the leaves turning.  (For those of you on the east coast our leaves are just now turning.)

I digress on multiple levels.

My husband is an obsessive “car guy.”  Most girls turn up their noses at the thought of going to car museums.  I however, really enjoy them.  My first car as a kid was a 1965 Mustang and my family growing up has owned an embarrassingly large number of old and interesting cars.  (My husband and I bought our current house based on the number of garage spaces…or at least that’s what my husband will tell you.)  This love of cars coupled with the opportunity to snap some photos of something interesting situated in museum lighting always makes me happy.

The Blackhawk had a reasonably small collection many being concept cars or highly unusual.  If you haven’t already noticed I can’t just take a photo of a car.  I have to try and shoot for interesting angles or details.  I hope you enjoy them.

* I have had the pleasure of visiting a few awesome car museums and have taken some pretty interesting photos.  Click here for posts on LeMans in France, Nascar museum in Charlotte, Hot August Nights in Reno, National Auto Museum in Reno, and the LeMay Car Museum in Seattle.

D80_4446-10

D80_4451-11

D80_4425-7

D80_4478-16

Pretty round lines on this car

D80_4483-17

Car built for royalty or so it would seem

D80_4484-18

Futuristic bubble roof anyone?

D80_4489-19

Not even sure what is happening with these lines but kudos to the designer to convinced someone to go with it…

D80_4501-20

An exercise in aerodynamics

D80_4505-21

The batmobile seems somewhat less interesting all of a sudden

D80_4386-1

Tell me this car isn’t winking at me? Flirty little thing.

D80_4389-2

I am often too lazy to remove my closeup lens so this is what I get…

D80_4399-3

For those Americans reading this…that is a DODGE!

D80_4403-4

Look at the curves on this beautiful thing

D80_4408-5

Love the angles

D80_4410-6

Whoever thought it would be a good idea to start making ornate hood ornaments I thank you. I never grow tired of photographing them even though I must have hundreds of them already…

D80_4444-9

Woah

D80_4463-12

Grillage

D80_4470-13

It’s hard to see this paint scheme and not think of Herbie the love big. Blasphemous, I know.

D80_4473-14

Ford’s answer to European dominance.

D80_4475-15

I often think at night these cars come alive and start talking to each other like they are on the Disney cartoon Cars. Tell me this one doesn’t have a face and personality?

Random San Francisco – Part One – Seward Mini Park

Some places you visit so often that you reach out for the random and unusual to keep it interesting.  I have been traveling regularly to SF since I was just out of high school and one of my best friends moved there to go to school.  I am no SF expert but when I visit I am always looking for interesting and different things in the city to explore.

Traveling from Sacramento through Oakland and over the Bay bridge we stopped at Treasure island for what turned out to be a cool and kitschy and crazy place.  More on that location later…

We headed towards the Castro area and parked our car in the area of Seward and Douglas.  It was here we found a charming San Francisco neighborhood and an awesome homemade park boasting a large dual-cement slide for children. The Seward Mini Park was built in 1973 after a young girl proposed it as an alternative to development.

Bring a piece of cardboard or borrow the many that are laying around and race a partner.  The park is traditionally for children and closes at dark.  (They apparently frown upon adults racing in the park without children.)  The park also boasts a neighborhood garden that looks to be in rehab at the moment.

After you take a slide have a nice walk around the neighborhood and look at some beautiful staircases and lovely architecture.  See if you can find the two houses with the false facades.

It’s parks like these that make me love SF and keep me coming back.  What’s your favorite random San Francisco location?

For more information and a more precise location of the park click here!

For more Random San Francisco (16th Avenue Mosaic Staircase) click here!

1845 1846  1833 1834 1838 1840 1842