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Archive for the ‘Travelin’’ Category

Wee Trees!

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Nov 18, 2008:

Very soon after I moved away from Oakland, an excellent Saturday Farmer’s Market opened up in my old neighborhood. The Lakeshore/Grand Lake area has really changed over the years – I would argue for the better. Anyway, I was visiting this weekend and playing tour guide to an out-of-towner so we walked down to the Farmer’s Market, on the shore of Lake Merritt – a little man-made lake in the middle of Oakland pictured here in a photo I took last year:

Lake Merritt, Dec 2007

Lake Merritt, Dec 2007

The weather in the Bay Area was AMAZING this weekend so we decided to walk around the Lake a bit. There’s a neat little bird sanctuary not too far from the Farmer’s Market where the wild birds of Oakland like to hang out:

Lake Merritt 2

On this particular walk, we discovered a Bonsai Garden hidden among the trees in the park area surrounding the Lake. This is not a new garden but I had no idea it existed. According to the website, it’s the only public Bonsai garden in Northern California. The collection is pretty spectacular – this tree was brought to the US during Lincoln’s presidency:

This 4′ Redwood was originally 12′ – the guy who found it in a landslide slowly pruned it down over several years to look like a fully grown tree:

And more:

There is a whole art to balancing the roots so a tree as tall and thing as this one can be freestanding in a little pot:

Juniper maybe?:

Quince! very disproportioned but still cool:

Japanese Maple (I think):

Gorgeous:

I am by no means a Bonsai expert – each tree style and pot shape have meanings and the whole thing is very ritualized. They rotate the trees on display so I’m looking forward to visiting again soon. Make sure if you go to have a nice long chat with the docents – ours were a super sweet elderly married couple who were extremely knowledgable and loved talking about Bonsai.

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Written by juuulia

December 4, 2008 at 8:10 pm

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Foggy Morning

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This morning I looked out the window to discover that a blanket of fog had descended on the coast. With visibility at about half a city block, I decided to hold off going to work for a while and take a walk.

I love fog. It reminds me of home and it normally accompanies my favorite temperature ranges. The smell of fog is amazing. It’s a bit of a different experience to see it filling a SoCal beach community. Rather than being a sleepy quirky part of the changing of the seasons, it takes on an almost sinister feel.

Houses designed for warm weather and to maximize the view of the ocean stand out in stark contrast to their hazy neighbors. Tall palm trees fade into the ether.

I walked down to the beach, which was the eeriest of all: I could hear the waves but I could not see or smell the ocean. It was like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where someone was erasing my sensory experiences.

As I walked home, I smelled wood smoke drifting out of houses of the lucky few around here who have fireplaces. Today, I wish I could curl up in a fleece with a cup of cocoa and let the fog mute out the rest of the world. Instead I better get ready for work.

Um, I think you can turn off your sprinklers:

Written by juuulia

October 27, 2008 at 8:35 am

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A little perspective…

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From Wikipedia:

The Dymaxion map of the Earth is a projection of a global map onto the surface of a polyhedron, which can then be unfolded to a net in many different ways and flattened to form a two-dimensional map which retains most of the relative proportional integrity of the globe map. It was created by Buckminster Fuller, and patented by him in 1946, the patent application showing a projection onto a cuboctahedron.

I’d never heard of a Dymaxion map until last week but they are pretty neat. Buckminster Fuller is pretty awesome. It’s just a reminder of how subjective the maps we grew up with can be. Does this look weird to you?

https://i1.wp.com/www.thesavvytraveller.com/agraphics/world_views/maps/odt/upside_down_475h.jpg

This is probably a good time to plug one of my favorite blogs, strange maps, who surprisingly haven’t done a post on the Dymaxion Map yet.

You can order a Dymaxion Map poster here

Written by juuulia

September 23, 2008 at 10:14 am

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Gas Prices Dropping

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Screenshot of today’s gas prices. I guess we peaked (for now) in mid June. I certainly picked the right time to take a 1000+mi road trip around the East Coast.

I looking forward to paying less than $8 to fill my scooter (hee!)

Written by juuulia

August 8, 2008 at 1:31 pm

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Your typical city involved in a typical daydream

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I spent the last weekend of my vacation back in New York. I had even less of a plan for this part of the trip than the rest of my two weeks and as a result didn’t get to see everyone I meant to (sorry DP, Tones). I just want to post the last few pics I snapped (still need to get the ones from my sister’s camera). For whatever reason, the lyrics to Truckin’ keep coming to mind…

Truckin’ got my chips cashed in. Keep truckin’, like the do-dah man
Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.

Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street.
Chicago, New York, Detroit and it’s all on the same street.
Your typical city involved in a typical daydream
Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings.

location: Brooklyn

Dallas, got a soft machine; Houston, too close to New Orleans;
New York’s got the ways and means; but just won’t let you be, oh no.

location: Greenwich Village (yes Vespas were parked on 3/4 of these street corners)

Most of the cast that you meet on the streets speak of true love,
Most of the time they’re sittin’ and cryin’ at home.
One of these days they know they better get goin’
Out of the door and down on the streets all alone.



location: Brooklyn (Cake Wrecks anyone?)

Truckin’, like the do-dah man. Once told me “You’ve got to play your hand”
Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a dime, if you don’t lay’em down,

Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurres to me What a long, strange trip it’s been.

What in the world ever became of sweet Jane?
She lost her sparkle, you know she isn’t the same
Livin’ on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine,
All a friend can say is “Ain’t it a shame?”

Truckin’, up to Buffalo. Been thinkin’, you got to mellow slow
Takes time, you pick a place to go, and just keep truckin’ on.

Sittin’ and starin’ out of the hotel window.
Got a tip they’re gonna kick the door in again
I’d like to get some sleep before I travel,
But if you got a warrant, I guess you’re gonna come in.

Busted, down on Bourbon Street, Set up, like a bowlin’ pin.
Knocked down, it get’s to wearin’ thin. They just won’t let you be, oh no.

You’re sick of hangin’ around and you’d like to travel;
Get tired of travelin’ and you want to settle down.
I guess they can’t revoke your soul for tryin’,
Get out of the door and light out and look all around.

Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurres to me What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Truckin’, I’m a goin’ home. Whoa whoa baby, back where I belong,
Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin’ on.
Hey now get back truckin’ home.

Written by juuulia

June 30, 2008 at 10:49 pm

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More Gorges!

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Well I’m back in New York City for the last bit of my vacation. I had a really wonderful week in Ithaca. On Wednesday, my gracious host had to get some work done so I decided to go for a gorge walk. I started at the park at the bottom of Cascadilla Gorge – I lived a block away from there my last year in Ithaca in a horribly teeny apartment so I spent much of my time in the warm months in this gorge. In addition, this is the way I walked home from class on nice days. Check out the gallery and click through the images for descriptions:

Yesterday I went out to breakfast with my old advisor then spent the rest of the day with my gracious host. We went to Taughannock Falls (the largest single drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, I’ll have you know), then walked around the Cornell Plantations and finally hit up the Ithaca SPCA and played with kitties. The drive to NYC was *mostly* uneventful and I found an amazing parking space which means I’m not going to move my car until I have to. My sister is here this weekend too and we’re meeting up in a bit. The Cold War Kids are playing a free concert in Brooklyn so I think we’ll be hitting that up later.

Written by juuulia

June 27, 2008 at 6:28 am

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Gorging

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Took a day trip up to Watkins Glen yesterday for a day hike. The original plan had been to camp but the weather forecast said rain (it didn’t) so we just went for the day. After starting out the day with lunch at the Glenwood Pines (I almost cheated on my no mammal diet for a Pinesburger) we drove up to Seneca Lake and the Watkins Glen State Park. It was a nice hike up to the top of the gorge and I took tons of pictures. Check it out:

We took the long way back, driving up and over Seneca Lake, across to Cayuga Lake, then down to Ithaca hitting up wineries along the way until the tasting rooms closed at 5 (Why do they all have to close at 5?). The wineries along Seneca are a bit more chill than the Cayuga counterparts. Most do not charge for tastings which is awesome. We picked up 3 bottles – it’s tough for me to go tasting without buying a bottle at each winery. Luckily they were all pretty decently priced.

Had deep dish pizza at the Nines for dinner. As a bonus, we got corn nuggets (breaded & fried creamed corn) at both the Pines and the Nines so I was able to do a side-by-side comparison. Conclusion: the Nines makes it’s corn nuggets a bit gooier but they are both f’ing delicious.

Written by juuulia

June 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm

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