Each Sunday morning during my 2017 sabbatical, I would start a load of wash in the apartment building’s single shared washing machine and head to Philz Coffee on Shattuck (don’t look for it—it’s not there anymore). I’d stand on this sunny corner in the perfect weather with an enormous coffee and watch the world for a minute… Before heading back to change over the laundry.
On a recent stroll through the hills east of Berkeley I came upon this house I had seen many times before but never really seen, you know? At first glance it looks like a perfectly reasonable home there’s something about the degree to which the landscaping in the foreground engulfs the home and the juxtaposition of this with the palm tree in the background that I really find fascinating. It looks like the kind of house that would be the setting for some sort of fantasy novel where a normal kid ends up going on some sort of magical adventure.
La Jolla Shores is one of my favorite beaches in the country (as I’ve posted before) in large part due to the incredible variety it presents. The northern end of the beach abuts Scripps and all manner of salt-encrusted concrete constructions; the southern end is home to the La Jolla Shores Hotel, and often has beach weddings. On the beach itself, swimmers stay on the southern end, while surfers dominate the northern half. Behind all of this is a little park, lined by palms, and if you go there in the evening, the smell of families barbequing is absolutely intoxicating.
Growing up in the good ol’ PNW I didn’t see many palm trees except on TV and in Movies so it was a little weird for me when I suddenly found myself in a place where they were landscaping staples (though I suppose not as much as they are in southern California). Whenever I see a palm tree (like this one in downtown Berkeley) it tends to remind me how tropical it ISN’T in the bay area, as if these trees which I associate with warm beaches are mocking me.