Saturday, December 31, 2011

Weekend Reflection: Lake Merritt

Yesterday at Lake Merritt.  Right after I publicly bemoaned the lack of rain, it rained lightly during the night and on and off today.  Although much appreciated, we have a very long way to go before we reach our seasonal average.  For more reflections, visit James' meme Weekend Reflections.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Skywatch Friday: lake at dusk

Lake Merritt at dusk with the Federal Building in the background.  The Necklace of Lights is beginning to glow along the lake front.  A close inspection reveals there's more than a 100 birds in this shot.  Still no rain, which is not a good sign.  For more sky views from around the globe, visit Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ABC Wednesday: X is for xyclo

Xyclo is a local Vietnamese restaurant named after the pedaled rickshaw of VietNam.  It's a popular place that features an innovative menu.  This picture was taken during the annual Halloween parade and trick o' treat fest on Piedmont Avenue.  For more takes on "X" visit ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

guardian angel

This graceful sculpture sits atop the Charles Crocker tomb in Mt. View Cemetery.  It has previously been featured here.  The Crocker name, well known in California, is associated with banking and railroads.  Mt. View Cemetery, established in 1863 and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, was developed as an ecumenical site that welcomed all races and religions.  It also embodied the Transcendentalist philosophy of man as being of nature rather than being separate from it.  The cemetery was intended to be a natural park and to serve as more than a burial ground.  Today it is very much occupied by the living as well as the dead.  People come to exercise, walk their dogs, attend concerts and holiday celebrations, bird watch, picnic and honor their family members who have gone before.  You frequently hear bagpipes playing as part of funeral ceremonies.

This cemetery has been featured many times in this blog, which makes Julie's new meme a perfect fit.  She has just launched Taphophile Tragics to showcase the historical and artistic aspects of cemeteries that make them fascinating to so many of us.  Stop by to see what's on display.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday Mural: magical animals

Early in November I showed you this mural in progress by Thomas Christopher Haag.  It was recently finished and fairly glows in its space.  He's wrapped the mural around to the front corner of the building as well.  It's hard not to like it, especially his presentation of magical animals.   More murals can be found here, here, and here.  Much to my surprise, this is my 501st post.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ABC Wednesday: W is for wrought iron

This is the entry gate to Mt. View Cemetery.  I was pleased that this night photo picked up the the gilt that adorns the gate.  And the silhouettes on the ground.  For more takes on "W" visit Mrs. Nesbitt's meme, ABC Wednesday.  We're close to starting a new round; think about joining us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

waning light

The sun had set when I snapped this.  It wasn't until later that I saw the far cluster of headstones that seemed to be glowing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Mural: The Lord is my Shephard

The St. Vincent de Paul Community Center has recently added murals painted by local clients based on the 23rd Psalm.  The artistry is naïf but heartfelt.  Go here, here, and here for more murals.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weekend Reflection: Middle Shoreline Park

We're back to a dry spell with chilly weather.  At the Middle Shoreline Park in West Oakland, the waters were calm and the low sun cast a golden light.  For more reflections, visit James' meme Weekend Reflections.

Friday, December 16, 2011

primary colors

It's been gray and raining.  But the sight of these chairs seemed to lift the gloom.  A bonus is the deco era tiles on the facade.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ABC Wednesday: V is for verklempt

Verklempt is a wonderful Yiddish word meaning "choked up with emotion."  That's what I thought this chicken might be feeling knowing he's soon to be dinner.  Caught this in the window of Maison d'Etre on College Avenue.  It made me laugh.  For more takes on "V" visit the variety of contributions to ABC Wednesday.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Mural: Virgin de Guadalupe

Today is the feast day of La Virgin de Guadalupe, an icon so important to Mexican culture.  This mural was done with glass mosaic tesserae, possibly under the guidance of the nearby Institute of Mosaic Art, on a mural wall in Jingletown.  Check out links to other murals posted today here, here, and here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekend Reflection: bookstore reflection

I really like the tall angel in local bookstore Black Swan's window.  And then noticed the reflection of St. Leo's Church across the street.  Seemed like a good match.  For more reflection photos, visit Weekend Reflections.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Skywatch Friday: heavenly view

This is the view you get once you climb the stairway featured yesterday.  The skies have been clear and the weather chilly.  For more sky views from around the world, visit Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

stairway to heaven

Walk up these stairs; catch your breath; walk along the upper path; veer to the right.  Voila! A fantastic view of the bay.  Catch your breath again.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ABC Wednesday: U is for ubiquitous

For more takes on "U" be sure and visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Mural: Marshall Taylor

Spotted this mural while driving down 7th Street in West Oakland yesterday.  It is on the wall of Bikes4Life a community business that works with youth.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

SOOC: shoreline park

After two days of intense wind, the weather has turned mild.  The clear air and late afternoon sun make everything sparkle.  Including the cranes at Shoreline Park in West Oakland.  For more scenes straight out of the camera, visit SOOC.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Weekend Reflection: commentary

Rare Bird on Piedmont Avenue has this arresting window display.  The shop's owner organizes the 3rd Thursday Art Walk on the Avenue.  This shop was previously featured as part of Monday Mural.  For more Weekend Reflections, please visit James' meme.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Theme Day: action shot

They feel like they're flying.   Seen at The Temescal Street Fair this past summer.   Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in this month's CDP Theme Day.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ABC Wednesday: T is for tiles

Many Oakland buildings are trimmed or decorated with hand made tiles.  Most are from the 20s and 30s.  Here's a sample.  For more takes on "T", visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Mural: Aung San Suu Kyi

Students at Oakland High School created a series of murals of winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.  Now that Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest and has decided to participate in the coming elections in Burma, I thought about her place in this mural.  Hard to believe it's been 10 years since she won the Nobel Prize, most of which she has spent in confinement.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekend Reflection: on autumn pond

It's hard to believe this rural looking pond is a half block from a busily traveled street.  It is one of three ponds at the back of Mt. View Cemetery.  Now that some of the brush has started its winter die back, you can see the pond's edges.  The rain has raised the water level some and the ducks are having a grand ol' time.  For more reflections, visit James's meme Weekend Reflections.  You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Although the Thanksgiving holiday is not celebrated everywhere, I'm sure the practice of counting your blessings is pretty universal.  The pilgrims celebrated their survival.  I try to practice gratitude for the primary things in life.  Like a snug home, good health, companionship, food enough, and an occasional pretty thing to put on the table.  What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ABC Wednesday: S is for sphinx

More than one tomb in Mt. View cemetery has sphinxes guarding it.  Much to my surprise, Wikipedia tells me the sphinx is a symbol for Christ and the divine light.  Didn't know that; did you?  The sculpture in the cemetery is always a delight to see.  For more takes on "S", please visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Mural: The Carpenter

This new mural is located downtown at San Pablo and about 16th Street.  It is done by John and Michael Manente. The mural is situated on the back of an odd shaped building and as you can see is two stories high.  It's quite striking in its painterly quality and verisimilitude.  I'd swear it wasn't there a month ago.  I like that it is talking directly to us.  What do you think the message is?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Skywatch Friday: before the rain

The last light a couple of days ago.  Last night and this evening it was too foggy or rainy to get much.  Taken from Mt. View Cemetery.  For skies from around the world, visit Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ABC Wednesday: R is for red roadster

Auto Row on Broadway used to be packed with car dealerships.  Most have now moved closer to the freeway or to towns east of here.  This Corvette has pride of place in one of the few showrooms left on Broadway.  Even through the plate glass window I could hear it go rrroom, rrroom.  Note the red trim on the white walls.  So cool.  For more takes on "R", visit ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Halloween survivors

Spotted on Ivy Hill just off Park Blvd.  A bright spot on a gray day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Mural: completed project

This mural by Thomas Christopher Haag is on the side of Rare Bird on Piedmont Avenue.  His work in progress, also on the Avenue, was featured last Monday.  Rare Bird sells clothing, home decor, and art from local artists.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend Reflection: trees inside and out

This flower shop's window display is unique and eye catching.   For more reflections, visit James' meme.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

ABC Wednesday: Q is for quiet

This sign is back stage at the renovated Paramount Theater.  The Paramount is the most deco-y building you'll find in California.  It has previously been featured many times including here, here, and here.  It remains a performance venue for monthly movies and concerts.  For more takes on Q, visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Mural: mural in progress

Thomas Haag is creating a mural for the new holistic veterinary clinic on Piedmont Avenue.  He expects the project to last another four weeks.  Thomas has created murals in many locales around the world including Albuquerque, Barcelona, Venice and Varanasi.  His work is done with reclaimed latex paint  and his distinct mural style reflects his exposure to many cultures.  He's already completed another mural on the Avenue, which will be shared next week.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Skywatch Friday: rain

We've gone from balmy to rainy with big winds that got a little scary.  If we get a few more days of mild weather, my last round of roses should bloom.  Always a welcome sight in any weather.  As is this vista of the bay.  For more sky views, or to post your own, visit Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ABC Wednesday: P is for paste-up

Paste-ups are ephemeral art on paper mounted with wheat paste.  They are intended to be impermanent, with weather taking its toll over time.  One of the favorite places to hang these pieces is the BART support pillars in North Oakland.   All the paste-ups I photographed in February are now gone.  That includes this piece by Get Up.  For more takes on the letter "P" visit ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Theme Day: fences

Here's a literal interpretation of this month's theme.  Driving down Lincoln Avenue you can't help but notice this fence.  Massive, marble dragons sit at the front and side of the house entrance.  Each dragon is at least 10 feet long and stands over 5 feet high at the head.  That's a whole lot of power, strength, and good luck for the home owners.  Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in this month's City Daily Photo theme day.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Mural: mural on stage

This weekend was the annual Piedmont Avenue Halloween parade.  Besides the parade with trick o' treating and a pumpkin patch at the cemetery, there's always music and other entertainment.  This group performed at the Rocky Baird mural at Key Route Plaza.  The Key Route street car system ran in Oakland and Berkeley until 1958.

As always, everyone had a good time.  A beekeeper and her favorite bee.
Dog Marley
Capoeira exhibition in the street.
Everyone knows that moms are super heroes.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

shadow on stairs

Late afternoon shadows in the cemetery.  For other photos featuring shadows, visit Shadow Shot Sunday.

Friday, October 28, 2011

the space between

This sweet building is only a few blocks from City Hall.  It does its best to stand tall between its towering neighbors.  The weather continues to be fair but the temperatures are dropping significantly at night.  For more sky shots, visit Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

bay trail

This is part of the Bay Trail near Jack London Square.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ABC Wednesday: O is for Occupy Oakland

This photo of Oakland's version of the Occupy Wall Street action was taken 10 days ago.  Occupiers camped in the public space in front of city hall and attracted a diverse group of participants.  Over time the mood shifted from ebullient to edgy.  Before dawn today the police moved in to remove the protesters and their tent city; tonight the confrontation has turned ugly.  Regardless of where you stand on the 99% Movement, this local story arc was entirely predictable.  Sigh.  For more representations of "O", visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Mural: bomb squad kingz

One more from the Oakland Wall of Fame.  Shows a sense of humor and self-deprecation.  And, it was done by girls.  Girl Power!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

last bite of the season

Friday was the last Bites off Broadway event for the season.  Seven food trucks were there, along with musicians, hula hoops, and an after-dark performance of the "Thriller" dance.  The weather was quite mild and the crowd was large.  Linking to SOOC Sunday.