It was absolutely coming down in buckets today in San Diego. The skies opened up and gave us a month of rain in a single day. The paper reported the the rainfall in the last 12 hours has exceeded the average that we get for the entire month of November. That means coats, scarves, blankets and lazy days here in San Diego. I caught a picture of a barely able to keep her eyes open Darla and her mom (and my sister) Elizabeth wrapped in woolen sweaters and hats. You can picture how happy and safe Darla feels and how happy Liz is to have her right there next to her.
I am not sure if you are aware but my niece Lucy is a pretty avid bike rider. She rides pretty cool motorcycles and takes off on the road for days on end. When she is happy she will give you a thumbs up as she rides by, when she disapproves of you she will show you with a definitive thumbs down. Check out this wild child on her new Harley and you will be amazed.
Michelle, my sister in law and Bill my brother are finally having a baby. They have wanted a baby for a long time and Michelle is due this December. December 31st to be exact so the baby girl will either be close to the last baby of 2011 or perhaps the first baby of the new year 2012. I took some pictures of them today. It was a first for me and I have never taken pictures for an expecting mother but it was quite fun and both she and Bill did great.
My nephew Oliver celebrated his 5th Birthday yesterday. The party was held at their house in Encinitas and it was a blast – there were lots of kids, chickens, superhero’s and a real life BatMobile. Now this was not just any Batmobile but a unique one of a kind custom build by his dad Michael. The custom build took over 40 hours (probably many more) and involved a lot of blood sweat and tears. The result was the most awesome looking kids car that I have ever seen. Michael designed and built the car himself using fiberglass, paint and other materials. You have got to see this car. I took a picture of Oliver in the car after the part ended. Oliver said it was the most awesome birthday ever. He has some great parents I must say and now he has a really awesome new car.
You be the judge. Do you see any resemblance here?
Today is Tu’s birthday. She turned 30 today, but to me she will always be Tu. Get it? That’s a joke. Well we are on our way to the airport to go to Las Vegas. This should be a nice weekend. Will she gamble away our life savings? Will she play the $500 dollar slot machines. Odds are that she won’t because she does not like gambling. Happy Birthday Tu!
I just went up for a visit to my sisters Kathy. She lives in Central California along a beautiful stretch of beach called Pismo Beach. I am from a large family of 12 kids and Kathy was the oldest, although you would never know it since she looks much younger than I do. Kathy was a special person in the family. She just has a very dynamic and cheery disposition that draws everyone to her. I remember when we were younger and she left the house finally to go to college. We were left traumatized as she drove away as we felt the family would never be the same without her around the house. Well it was true – everything did change after she left. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t the same without her there.
I had never really had the opportunity to visit Kathy in many years and check out her home or the area that she lived so this was a special experience. I am not sure how to describe what it is that Kathy does since it is so eclectic and original. I would say she is part collector, part stylist, part decorator and part food aficionado all rolled into one. She just has a knack for creating a feeling in places that she goes. Her house is an amazing collection of beautiful vignettes and pieces done more tastefully and originally then you might find in any place in the world. It is french shabby chic but much much more. I was lucky enough that she let me photograph the rooms of her house – something that she has not allowed anyone else to do.
Kathy let me take some pictures of her too while I was there. She was very easy to take pictures of because the camera loves her, but she even changed her outfits and let me take pictures of her in various settings. Kathy is pretty amazing and I really enjoyed my short but eventful time in her house.
A few months ago, I convinced my nephew Charlie to let me take some photographs of him in San Diego’s notorious Chicano Park. For those of you not from San Diego, Chicano Park is located underneath the Coronado Bay Bridge and is home to the worlds largest collection of outdoor murals. The park is dedicated to the hispanic heritage, whose people make up a large part of the San Diego population.
The park area was originally known as Logan Heights and was formed by Mexican settlers that were trying to escape the Mexican Revolution. Over the years, the primarily hispanic neighborhood was decimated by the creation of bridges (Coronado), highways (The 5) and lots of industrial buildings. It stirred up a lot of resentment between the hispanic people that lived in the area and the City Council.
The San Diego City Council promised the community a park but instead secretly planned on building a parking lot. On April 22 1970, a boy named Mario Solis noticed bulldozers in the area where the park stands today and started knocking on doors to get the neighbors to start protesting. He was successful in getting a large congregation of people to go to the park. They ended up staying there and protesting for 12 days. The result of their effort was the development of Chicano Park and it is a place where hispanics of all countries congregate each weekend for BBQ’s, Events and to just hang out with friends and family. It is truly a remarkable place.
I like to photograph in Chicano Park because of the authenticity of the place, and because of the brightly colored murals that provide and urban and unique setting.