“Urban Light” is one my favorite public works ever. I remembered it was installed in 2008 when I was in college. It was fun to go at night with my friends. We would go out for dinner and pass by Urban Lights. We would park at LACMA and we would take photos, goof off, and run around the forest of street lights.
For those who follow this blog, you may have seen Teddy, my miniature schnauzer, making a few cameos. Here’s a photo of his first day with us when he became ours. He use to live with a family who lived in a house about a few miles over who could not have him anymore. At the time, we were looking for a dog after a few months living in our new home. After looking around at the shelters and Craigslist, there he was.
I’ve never owned a dog before Teddy. I was a little skeptical to why they would not want to continue keeping him — was there something wrong with him? Maybe this family had to move and could no longer live in their current home and keep the dog. Anyways, Teddy is living a pretty comfortable life. He loves anything that feels like a pillow or comforter, he hates roughing in in a tent, enjoys eating his dog food with a little bit of green leafy vegetables, and play rough house with his Pomeranian brother, Koda. Teddy’s enemies are the vacuum cleaner, the polyester cleaner, pretty much anything that makes that vacuum noise.
I was coming from the Bangkok airport taking the train to the city center to meet my college friend showing me around Bangkok. I remembered when I got off the train, I was greeted by this lovely juice stand — there were so many bright colors and it looked so fresh. The display was beautifully arranged. Also, it’s nice to see most of the juices cost less than 1 USD. In the U.S. these juices would run between 5 to 10 USD depending on the flavor and the brand. Take for examples, the more exotic flavors for the U.S., such as coconut. I’ve seen the price run as low as 3 USD to as high as 9 USD for coconut juice. It is interesting how carrot juice is the most expensive at more than 1 USD, I guess there’s not a lot of carrots growing in Bangkok.
I did the 52 Hike Challenge last year because wanted to move more and get more exercise. Through this journey, I found a lot more. Most of the hikes, I hiked alone. I did not mind it. I knew better to pack more than enough for my hikes like water, more water, lots of snacks, and a walking stick. I always started my hikes early in the day so I don’t have to walk around at night.
I did not mind hiking alone. It allowed me to walk at my own pace, enjoy my surroundings, clear my mind. It was the first time in a long time I felt present. The year before I started the 52 Hike Challenge, I was becoming scatter-brained. Following that, my mind became so foggy with piles of things to do “when you get the chance” — they always add that part politely before it gets progressively aggressive — “what you did not get around to it yet? I needed it yesterday!”
I wanted to get out of this fog. Through my year of hiking, most of the fog has cleared away. The fog creeps back into my head once in a while because people like to storm in with stress, stress, stress. I take action to clear it up as soon as possible. I know some people embrace the storms and try to get as close to disaster as possible. Maybe they enjoy the adrenaline, the high they get when there’s high pressure. But remember, it is not sustainable to do this each time.
This was a photo from two years ago when my husband and I finally went to Italy for our honeymoon about a year after we got married. This photo was taken on our first day arriving to Rome at the train station walking to our AirBnB. We were elated to finally take some vacation, we wanted to take it all in — the free time, food, the culture, and old structures that have been around far longer than America itself.
On to way to our AirBnB, we were walking along the Aurelian Walls — these have been here 275 AD. Rome did a great job preserving it so someone like me could appreciate it 2 millenia later. What I love about Rome is that it retains these ancient elements around the city — like a wall, a theatre, a forum–blending it more modern buildings and shops. That is something I have not seen in any other city. If anything, other cities would get rid of the old structures to make room for more roads and to create a more uniform skyline of skyscrapers and edifices.
This is from Hike #50 from my 52 Hike Challenge-– Franklin Canyon — a canyon that divides Beverly Hills and Studio City — respectively, the hip Westside and sprawling San Fernando Valley. Franklin Canyon is not as crowded as Griffith Park nor Runyon Canyon. It is funny how a few miles down Coldwater Canyon Road and suddenly you are away from the hustle and bustle of L.A.
I also find the plants interesting in the canyon. There’s a mix of grasses, black walnut trees, and palm trees — though many palm tree species are not native to California. I wonder if the plants who started out as seeds made their journey through wind, through birds, or wild cat scat that this is became the flora of the canyon.
I loved doing the Weekly Photo Challenge because it gives me an excuse to share photos deep from the vault aka my Dropbox files, Amazon Cloud Drive files, Facebook, Photobucket, etc. Looking through my photo vault, I have more than enough content to blog even though it is likely I’ll be doing less travelling, less excursions in 2018. Key word here is “likely”. I’m not saying I am dismissing all the things I love in life in 2018.
Also, what I love about the WPCs is connecting with the global blogger community.
The WPC Topic is “2017 Favorites”. I decided to do this in three different ways which to recognize the photo with the Most Views, Most Likes, and My Personal Favorite.
Here the Weekly Photo Challenge with the Most Views for the theme, Corner. (Furore, Italy)
…and awarding my Personal Favorite: Texture (Ravello, Italy). I simply love the depth and composure of this photo. There’s a mix of different textures: the spikes of the chestnuts, the wood grain on the fence, the smooth leaf all standing out in their own ways.
Teddy is the first dog I’ve owned. When we first got him, I took (I tried) lots of photos but he somehow does a great job turning himself away avoiding the camera. It’s not because Teddy is camera shy, it’s because he knows he can give me a hard time by looking away. *sighs* It’s hard to take a good photo of him.
The thing I look forward to in the spring is going to the park seeing the cherry blossoms leaving winter, greeting spring. Beautiful, but so short-lived. We try to go to the park as often as we can to enjoy the cherry blossoms.
Living in Los Angeles, we don’t have leaves that change color indicating it is fall. In the fall, the weather gets slightly chilling. In winter, we get lots of rain. In summer, we get unbearably hot weather. In spring, our local park gets cherry blossoms.
Last December I went to Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted: Forest of Light in La Canada. At night, the ever-changing colored lights blanket the trees and the sprinkling chandeliers make the garden magical — and not in a cheesy way. This event quickly became one of my things to so during the holiday season. I can’t wait until it re-opens next month!
Below is just one part of the garden. Because I love Enchanted so much, I am going share these photos in pieces.
Last week on a Friday night, our neighborhood city center went from unlively, pedestrian plaza to a night full of light sculptures, live art exhibits, and concerts.
I go to the Van Nuys City Center regularly. After hours and weekends, the plaza is bare and not a place to people-watch and do photoshoots, which is a far constrast from Pasadena City Hall–30 minutes across town. I don’t think our city hall will ever be as pretty as Pasadena’s, but it’s got so much room for cultural events. It’s just that nobody was using it until last Friday night.
It was a wonderful turn out. I hope Van Nuys gets more events like these. Bonus points for me and my dogs to not travel across L.A.
Yes, there is a cave in Los Angeles. This was from one of my hikes (hike 38/52) last week and it was probably one of the coolest hikes I’ve done this year. I did a bit of rock scrambling and made my way to the top of the cave. Stay tuned for more pictures!
This is the “ceiling” of the cave.
I can’t believe this is in Los Angeles and only 10 miles from my house!