FOTOFRIDAY: A Little Frank Lloyd Wright

Posted on: Friday, May 10th, 2024
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There it is, hiding center-right—one of the most famous houses in the world.

After a light winter—for both weather and travel—I recently escaped to San Fran and Carmel where some parties, friends, and even my son awaited. Yet one of the best reasons to visit Carmel is the ‘Mrs. Clinton Walker House.’ Mr. Wright built it at her request in 1948, aiming to mimic the rocks, sea, and waves, and look like a boat prow setting sail.

Mrs. Walker had requested a house “as durable as the rocks and as transparent as the sea.” The cherry? A Robert Howard mermaid sculpture resting atop the seawall, which was added in 1964. Stunningly beautiful, all of it. Yet the luminous flowers and greenery caught my eye and soothed my winter angst the most.

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FOTOFRIDAY: A Marvy Mini Music BreakAway

Posted on: Friday, April 19th, 2024
Posted in: Sabbatical Shuffle, Travelog, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

His name is Adam Weiner; his band is Low Cut Connie. And yes, I’m a shameless groupie who will go to great lengths (including Iowa) to see their shows.

Do you have bands or entertainers that you are so crazy about that you will do crazy things like drive to Des Moines for a quick over-nighter just to see them perform? I do, at least if their tour is skipping my city. Of course, this would fail to come off as weird if the star were Swift or Springsteen. But in this case, it’s Low Cut Connie—the best band most people have never heard of.

Best stage persona ever and fun-loving troupe ever? Probably! Creativity beyond measure? Absolutely—as their recent movie proves. And his (and their) live-stream performances during Covid were, frankly, far and away the best antidote for the pandemic blues. And live? A few hours with this electrifying ensemble keeps fans giddy and mystified for days.

In fact, just looking at the pictures makes me wanna jump in the car and cruise to wherever they’re rockin’ tonight…

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FOTOFRIDAY: All You Need is…Tickets!

Posted on: Friday, March 29th, 2024
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LOVE is all you need—along with an outdoor escalator, some Roman architecture, and a couple of elevated sculpture repros.

Funny. The Beatles broke up nearly 60 years ago. Yet they show up often, probably more than they did in their heyday. I would LOVE to see Cirque de Soleil’s LOVE. But, unless you’re a VIP or BIG gambler, getting a ticket is nearly as impossible as a Beatles reunion. So I settled for this Fab Four photo while wandering the streets of Las Vegas a few months ago.

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FOTOFRIDAY: Beware of Crashing Buildings

Posted on: Friday, March 15th, 2024
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These random office buildings in downtown San Francisco, shot in March 2022, were already showing signs of emptiness.

Years ago, before I lived in big cities, skyscrapers and architecture fascinated me. I took hundreds of pictures, had a photo exhibit, and incorporated the images into MA projects. Time passes, and so there were years of wearing suits and doing business in such monoliths. The exterior beauty remains, but the inner reality may be scary.

Some say the next big cra$h in this country will likely happen due to all those buildings going empty during Covid, and now remaining mostly cavernous and quiet due to hybrid working, downtown crime, and many more reasons. Smart businesses are pulling out.

The banks that hold those assets, loans, and notes are in for a brutal bust. And when that happens, we’ll all pay the price. Did we really need all those larger-than-life structures? Probably not. But in this country, bigger means better, right? Stay tuned…

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FOTOFRIDAY: Where’s Caitlin?

Posted on: Friday, March 1st, 2024
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U of Iowa women’s basketball superstar Caitlin Clark finally—finally!—tries to leave the court after another record-breaking game, a gaggle of interviews, and umpteen autographs.

Yes, sports (and our appetites for them) have gone over over-the-top. Nonetheless, I defend the mania as a mini-Breakaway option, a suspenseful entertainment, and (we hope) an inspiration for the get-off-your-butt movement.

I will also admit to being a passionate U of Iowa fan, as I grew up in the Hawkeye state, had some terrific time at the school, and limit my emotional attachment to only 3 teams: The Iowa Hawkeyes (most any sport), the MN Twins, and whatever team my kids are playing for.

Still, my personal excitement and pounding heart was NOT prepared for the rock-show atmosphere of the sold-out IA/MN game last night. All to see Caitlin Clark, who’s broken just about every record, shot women’s sports to a way higher level, and did NOT disappoint.

She scored IA’s first 12 points in 4 possessions—never missing a shot—including the one from the center logo. She racked up 33 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. And she embraced her role as a role model, teammate, and good sport with grace and smiles.

Not bad for a 22-year old who grew up just a few hours of Iowa City. Best of all, she inspired and made hundreds (thousands?) of dreamy, screamy young hoopers happy. Me too!

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FOTOFRIDAY: Camera, not gun

Posted on: Friday, February 23rd, 2024
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I met this fellow photographer on 12-26-17, and jokingly asked him not to shoot me.

Every time this picture shows up, I think that guy is carrying a gun. Perhaps we are all getting gun-fried from the ongoing assault images from Gaza, Ukraine, mass shootings, and more. But in this case, rest in peace. That young man was simply using an old-school movie cam to capture the amazing imagery of Salvation Mountain, a mammoth religious installation near the equally bizarre Salton Sea, near Palm Springs, CA.

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FOTOFRIDAY: One Day 2 Years Ago…

Posted on: Friday, February 2nd, 2024
Posted in: SoulTrain, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

Embrace the spirals of nature. Fresh snow inspires fresh snow art.

I’ve made so many works of snow art that I have lost count, and can barely find them all in my enormous photo files. So when this one popped up when scrolling today, a distant cold day warmed my heart. Note the globe on top!

This year, we have no snow. The record-breaking warmth is pleasant and easy. But I do miss the bright white, the childish magic of playing in fresh white stuff, and making spontaneous snow creations. Climate change keeps getting freakier. So jump in the snow when you can. And of course…

Keep the faith.

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FOTOFRIDAY: A View from Vegas

Posted on: Thursday, January 11th, 2024
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Just another front-row selfie from an NFL game.

That’s yours truly—hanging (almost literally) out in Allegiant Stadium watching a LV Raiders game, just like last year. I am afforded such suite luxuries because my son plays on the team. The absurdity of Vegas (more soon) never sleeps. The mania of the NFL slams like a Maxx Crosby tackle. And the people watching everywhere tops gambling as a star attraction.

The stadium really is—REALLY is—futuristic and brilliantly entertaining. (Who needs a game!?!) Watching from up-close really is different (and way better) than watching on TV. And much to the raucous delight of the proudly outlandish fans, the home team won the last game of the season.


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FOTOFRIDAY: Happy (?) Solstice!

Posted on: Friday, December 22nd, 2023
Posted in: SoulTrain, Unplugging, FOTOFRIDAY | Leave a comment

This installment of the Snow Art Series is titled Solstice Rosy Sunshine.

Why the (?) in Happy Solstice headline? Well, lotsa reasons, including that the day is DARK, the weather can be frightful, and it portends the start of winter. Still, the day is full of hope and reasons to festivate. (Or just unplug and meditate.) Stonehenge was built 5,000 years ago by Solstice fans, and people throughout the N side of the globe have commemorated in countless creative (and sometimes shocking) ways since the Pagan days.

My 2023 commemoration stayed simple. Some sun-colored roses offer reminders of brighter days ahead, while taunting a frozen (and slippery!) lake for a backdrop. Fortunately, the day was unseasonably warm enough to assure that the roses survived the photo shoot unscathed—though I was prepared for them to become sacrificial blooms.

They’re inside now. The earth has tilted. And we’re only 6 months til the longest day…and a full year until we can commemorate the dark daze yet again. I may not be ready, but I won’t miss out. Happy Solstice!

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FOTOFRIDAY: Liberty is Not a B/W Issue

Posted on: Friday, December 8th, 2023
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“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

I stumbled on this pic from a fun week in NYNY in 2015 with my daughter, who was only 12 at the time. The statue looks stark, perhaps because Lady Liberty knows the world is ringing with divisiveness, war, extremism, and worse. It’s no fun for wide-eyed children and millions (billions?) of people all over the world.

Yet it’s the holiday season. So we continue to hope and pray for peace, love, and understanding. Nothing so funny about that, right? So as possible, please turn down the noise and enjoy your holiday rituals and festivities.

And of course, keep the faith.

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