Thursday, September 29, 2011


Polka-dotted bathing suits, skies bluer than I thought possible, Slurpees with my best dude. A beautiful day at the beach.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Charm Bracelet

Living in San Francisco, I frequently encountered things or events that were overlooked by many but made me happy. I started to think of these as charms for an invisible charm bracelet. Z would sometimes say,"Charm bracelet?" when he realized I had dropped back to photograph a doorknob or tiny piece of graffiti, and soon he began noticing them too. A front door painted in rainbow stripes, the curvy lines of a gate, a cute message scribbled on the chalkboard outside a coffee shop...though some of my favorite charm bracelet moments were unphotographable. The man dressed as a disco ball, leading an impromptu parade of four down the sidewalk to the sounds of Earth Wind and Fire (yes, Z and I made up half the parade) is one of my favorites.

It was in San Francisco that I realized my habit of noticing and photographing doorknobs, fire hydrants, things written in cement wasn't weird. Okay, maybe it is but it is a weirdness I fully embrace. Finding (and documenting if I can) tiny moments of beauty and joy help make up for the all instances of apathy, anger, and sadness. Besides, having all that color, texture, and humanity around made mundane tasks like walking to the library something much more memorable.

The charm bracelet is filling up at a much slower rate here in San Diego. The routes I can walk safely are limited and largely residential which makes me look even closer for those vibrant moments. Finding pops of color in my suburban neighborhood has become a personal challenge.

Other common San Diego "charm bracelets": cats sleeping outside, dogs frolicking in the waves, and people riding bikes while carrying surfboards (bonus points if the biker/surfer is still wearing a wetsuit). 

In a world that is often dangerous and ugly on a huge scale, these could be viewed as insignificant or frivolous. Maybe they are. I'm sure many would scoff at a painted van and dictate "better" uses for the creator's time and talent. I choose to think that each of these small strikes against blandness represents a person or people with creativity and the courage to exercise it. We could do with a lot more of that.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beach Nerds

Reading on the jetty that overlooks Dog Beach was the perfect way to spend this afternoon.

I'm about halfway through a giant biography of Edith Wharton and Z is plowing through Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Library books, some loud prints from the thrift store, and cutoffs...we're pretty much twins (creepy!).

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pacific Shores

When you're unemployed and your partner is a grad student, going out isn't high on the list of priorities. Other things typically come first, like rent and clean laundry. I'm all for DIY but my yard-less apartment isn't really set up for doing laundry by hand and I do like clean sheets. So I love finding interesting places to grab a cheap drink without being surrounded by boisterous undergrads.

After an afternoon walk to Sunset Cliffs, Z and I decided to check out a bar on Newport Ave called Pacific Shores. The sign outside let us know that it had been in operation since 1941 (vintage!) and an older gentleman let us know the drinks were cheap (his words) and strong (his actions). We walked in around 3 on a Tuesday afternoon and stayed for an hour and half. The drinks were indeed cheap and strong but even more importantly, the bartender was friendly and the decor was pretty great. Those shells over the bar? Original! Z and I chose to sit in one of the booths. Each booth has a fluorescent painting of an ocean scene and my white skirt lit up in the blacklight. Love it! I can't wait to grab some of Z's classmates and take over a booth sometime soon. Cute cheap bar within walking distance? Come on!

Sunset Cliffs

Earlier this week Z and I walked to Sunset Cliffs. The walk itself was lovely, it was far too nice a day to spend inside.

I can never quite believe that these amazing cliffs are only 2.5 miles from my front door. Definitely a very different coastline from anything I saw in Virginia. There's a spot where people can get down to a little beach looks really steep to me, but then I'm not really known for physical courage. I decided over the summer that before Z and I leave San Diego, we'll spend a day on that beach. It's just so...California.