photography (177)

Windswept Tree in Sonoma County

You don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows here. This bay tree is in a field between Bodega Bay and Jenner on the California coast. I must have shot pictures of it half a dozen times; it’s always striking. Adaptability in naure. Going with the flow.

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Notes From NYC #3

Wrapping it up this morning, am at Grounded Coffee in West Village with latte/double shot and bowl of oatmeal. Getting picked up by Supershuttle around noon, thence to Newark and flying the friendly skies, albeit in the cattle car section this flight. The business class via frequent flier miles getting here was a dream, but not enough miles for the return…I’ve got to say, I really like United — service, airplanes, it’s an intelligent giant. Plus the United terminal at SFO is as good as it gets. Fast wi-fi, recharging stations, great art exhibit.

New camera I bought a Panasonic Lumix DSC-ZS100 at BH Photo Wednesday,. It’s small (carrying it in my fanny pack). It has a 1″ sensor and a 25-250 mm zoom, an extraordinary range for such a small camera (about the same size as the Sony Cybershot RX-100). Kevin Kelly has been using Lumix’s for years, and I’ve long been attracted to the zoom features. So I’m trying it out. Here are a few pics shot at maximum zoom.

Farm fresh food Last night I had dinner at Rosemary’s in the West Village, (after watching the Warriors at The Blind Tiger pub). “Farm fresh,” they don’t take reservations, super popular, usually long lines, but last night, Sunday, rainy, a bit cold (temp drop of 30 degrees from previous day, lots of tables, I sat at the bar. Good food, not as expensive as you’d think, They have a garden on the roof.

Getting around in the city:

(1) Uber works well, although the pool rides are sketchy. The drivers all seem personable compared to today’s cabbies, who seem a sour lot. Almost all Uber drivers use the app Waze to navigate; I downloaded it (free) and it’s really good for city navigation (for cars, not pedestrians).

(2) The blue CitiBikes are a huge success for going from point to point. No need to lock up at yr. destination, you use your phone to find drop-off point.

(3) Subways are in one sense a miracle, that you travel so fast under the city, but many of NYC’s lines are in dire shape.

(4) On foot: I probably walked 3-4 miles a day, using the app Citymapper, which is brilliant.

Friendliness of natives: I can’t get over it. I got into conversations with a ton of people in bars, restaurants, park benches. I invariably give people one of our mini books — a great conversation starter.

Venues: The Village Voice is gone, and Time Out magazine has morphed into a free and lame advertising mag, so it’s really hard to find music, among other arts. My friend Kim turned me on to Pollstar online, and it seems to be the best thing, but nothing like the The Village Voice was (or SFWeekly still is in SFO).

Photos: NYC is a photo wonderland for me. I’ll post some in the following days.

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Notes From NYC #2

Yesterday had an early dinner at EAK Ramen (thanks, Mark), 469 6th Ave., rich ramen along with Kawaba Sunrise Ale. This morning I took the subway to the East Village and went to Abraco, thanks to tip from my friend Doug. Unique coffee shop, great coffee and pastries, long lines that never abated, no stinkin laptops allowed, wonderful place, good vibes, latte as good as it gets. When I left, I gave the manager, a cool guy who was moving around with alacrity and humor, a mini-copy of Tiny Homes. When I was out in the street, he ran out and said: “Lloyd, this is brilliant.” So good when people get it.

I walked around the corner, and there was Do Kham, a Tibetan shop with elegant things in the window. Serendipity at work. I went in, and everything was just right. The owner, Phelgye Kelden, is a former Tibetan monk, who has assembled a shop of totally wonderful things. His specialty is Tibetan hats, which he designs, and which have been featured in Vanity Fair, Elle, and other major fashion magazines:

I had vowed not to buy anything on this trip, but, ahem…a beautiful wool scarf, a necklace of prayer beads, a rock carved with Om Mani Padme Hum: “Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying the mantra (prayer), Om Mani Padme Hum, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion.” So as I walk around today, I’m chanting it to myself.

It’s been hot and muggy this week here, like it usually is in August. (Global warming is a hoax, right? )Walking along St. Mark’s place, I spied St. Dymphna’s Pub, and it looked authentic, cool (in both senses), and I went in and had a pint of Guiness and talked to the bartender and the guy next to me, a director of plays, and a native of Philly about a variety of subjects as we watched Serena Williams in the French Open. A good restaurant? They recommended Cafe Mogador, across the street, Moroccan, and crowded, and good.

I’ve finally learned to overcome shyness when traveling and ask-ask-ask. I think 90% of the places I’ve eaten, visited, or had coffee at on this trip were by following recommendations of friends and strangers.

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On the Road // On the Beach in Sonoma County

I took off from home about noon yesterday, on my way north on Hwy One to Pt. Arena to hang out with with my pal Louie in Pt. Arena and environs.

I’m in midst of publishing 64-pg. book, “Driftwood Shacks,” and about halfway up the coast, spotted a nicely symmetrical tipi-shaped beach shack from a cliff. Whoa! Totally timely. I climbed down the cliff and discovered a strung-out village of maybe 15 beach shacks over a mile and a half, perfect day after rains, good surf, jogging along beach, gulls, turkey buzzards soaring, beach vibes rich in chi.

I think my book just grew another dozen pages. Will be out before year’s end. Digital printing by Ingram’s Lightning Source. Color, 8 by 8”, probably $20. This is a shot of my computer screen this morning.

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