Dialogue 2: Looking Back at Redwood City’s Annual (2014) Fourth of July Parade

So many things to love about self’s current abode, Redwood City. The annual Fourth of July Parade is surely one of them.

And what would a Fourth of July Parade be without at least a couple of fresh-faced beauty queens?

Below, shots of the same float, from different points of the parade route, and from different angles (wide shot to close-up).

She’s still trying to come up with interpretations of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: DIALOGUE. Which to self means exploring a set of pictures for what they reveal about a photographer’s “sensitivity to certain content or visual elements.”

To self, the pictures below highlight self’s sensitivity to — people watching? Public display? Patriotic holidays? She can’t be quite sure.

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Watching the parade always sets off in self a powerful feeling of nostalgia.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Fray: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

December 2013

December 2013

Must confess self finds the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge a tad — shall we say — vague: FRAY.

She decided to think of the challenge as “fray” as in frayed material or frayed thread. Hence, the Christmas angel, whose skirt is made out of thin, frayed hemp.

Another from December 2013

Another from December 2013

Below is a detail of the Miami Holocaust Memorial in Miami’s South Beach, one of the most powerful holocaust memorials she’s ever seen. Self realizes it’s quite a contrast: Christmas decorations and concentration camps. But, this whole blog is about contrasts, isn’t it?

Miami Holocaust Memorial, South Beach, November 2013: Frayed Flesh

Miami Holocaust Memorial, South Beach, November 2013: Frayed Flesh

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Relic 2: Car Show, Fourth of July, Redwood City

Fourth of July is celebrated in a BIG — and self does mean big — way in Redwood City, California.

Aside from the parade (“the oldest on the Peninsula”), there is a car show.  FUN!

Annual Car Show, Redwood City, Fourth of July

Annual Car Show, Redwood City, Fourth of July

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is RELIC.

“Share a photo of what ‘relic’ means to you:  it could be a photograph of your still-running Honda Accord Hatchback, an historic building in your town, or an old, rusted farm implement poking up through the long grass in a field.”

Which had self thumbing back through the photos she took on the Fourth of July:

The Car Show is held in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July Parade, in downtown Redwood City.  A VERY fun tradition!

The Car Show is held in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July Parade, in downtown Redwood City. A VERY fun tradition!

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Relic: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge Theme is RELIC (“Share a photo of what relic means to you . . . “)

These pictures aren’t of relics, per sé.  Self took them on the Fourth of July (just a week ago, hard to imagine!).

The Redwood City Fourth of July Parade is the oldest on the Peninsula.  It’ an annual tradition that self tries never to miss.

After the parade, she and The Man retreat to City Pub for beer and crab cakes.  It’s more of a tradition than a relic, come to think of it.

Is the flag a relic?  Is that what self means?

Or does she mean that parades are relics?

Anyhoo, self is in the middle of the final days of the Squaw Valley Writers Conference.  It is hectic, people.  Her brain is fried.  This is the best she can do, at least for now.

City Pub, Broadway Ave., Redwood City (After the Fourth of July Parade)

City Pub, Broadway Ave., Redwood City (After the Fourth of July Parade)

Another From City Pub, downtown Redwood City

Another From City Pub, downtown Redwood City

At the Redwood City Fourth of July Parade:  The parade always features a high contingent of military, navy, and veterans groups.

At the Redwood City Fourth of July Parade: The parade always features a high contingent of military, navy, and veterans groups.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Contrasts 7: Light and Shadow, Annual Redwood City Fourth of July Parade (2014)

Citi Pub, Broadway Ave., downtown Redwood City:  We always go there for a beer after the Fourth of July Parade is over.

Citi Pub, Broadway Ave., downtown Redwood City: Self and The Man always wind up here after the Fourth of July Parade is over.

There’s more of the light-and-shadow thing going on in the next two shots.  In the one just below, self focused on the feet of the members of the Leland Stanford, Jr. University Marching Band.  They participate in the Redwood City Fourth of July Parade, every year.

The Leland Stanford, Jr. University Marching Band! Self loves that every year, they participate in the Redwood City Parade and play "All Right Now."

Self loves when the Stanford Band plays “All Right Now,”  their signature song.  Compared to the other bands, they sport VERY casual attire.  She once heard someone describe them as “a bunch of hooligans.”

Another parade regular are the horses.  These are city officials, self thinks.

Another parade regular are the horses. These are city officials, self thinks.

Self is having so much fun with “Contrasts.”  Turns out that’s what summer light is all about.  In summer, and particularly in mid-day, the difference between sunlight and shade is very dramatic.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Because July 4, 2014 Is Just Around the Corner

The Fourth of July is one of self’s faaaaavorite holidays, for many reasons:  the red, white and blue!  The parades!  The picnics!  The fireworks!  The summer heat (if a parade takes place in less than scorching weather, it’s not really a parade, in self’s humble opinion)! The crowds! The mood!  The retro rock music!

In honor of this year’s holiday (which falls on a Friday, thus making the weekend a three-day, which means everyone — those getting away as well those doing staycations — is in a mellow mood), the Wall Street Journal asked six Americans — a potter; a world-champion swimmer; a novelist; a fashion designer; a CEO; and a performance artist for their own particular takes on the concept of “Independence.”

Here’s what the novelist, Richard Ford, has to say:

Independence contains the seeds of drama — the very thing a novelist is looking for — because it always implies independence away from something.  It also confers consequence on a person and a complex sense of interiority, which are also things that novelists are interested in.  But does it confer strength or powerlessness?  That question is part of the American narrative.  A month before my novel Independence Day was published, I threw out the ending and wrote a new one, which we used, in which my protagonist, Frank, is standing beside a Fourth of July parade as it marches down the street and feeling the urge to join in.  Whether or not I knew it before I started the book, I knew then for certain that the real virtue of independence was the degree to which it allows you to join the human race, rather than stand apart.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Split-Second Story: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Split-Second Story :

Capture an image that tells a full story.

First, a picture that always brings a smile to self’s face when she sees it, because it calls up all the joys of summer:  barbecues, being outdoors, evening concerts in Stafford Park, ease:

Summer 2013:  The Wednesday evening concerts in Stafford Park, just two blocks from self's house, are absolutely a delight.

Summer 2013: The Wednesday evening concerts in Stafford Park, just two blocks from self’s house, are absolutely a delight.  They are generally packed with people.  The concerts range from Motown to Country to Classic Rock.

Then, feet heading towards downtown Redwood City for the annual Fourth of July Parade.

Fourth of July, Redwood City, 2013

Fourth of July, Redwood City, 2013

Summer in San Francisco is sometimes more like winter:

Andrew and Jennie, at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.  June 2013.  Typical San Francisco summer weather:  They could be in Ireland.

Andrew and Jennie, at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. June 2013. Typical San Francisco summer weather: They could be in Ireland.

Oh does that longing for good ol’ Americana ever hit home — yes, despite the fact that self’s current trip has been a never-ending series of spectacular adventures.

For instance, she can’t wait to see a movie (Watching “Eastenders” is her only guilty passion.  That and reading fan fiction).  The X5 from Cambridge passed a movie theater showing “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”  Self practically salivated.  She also badly wants to see that new Emily Blunt movie, the one where she puts on her action-hero mojo.  Anyone who saw Blunt chop wood in that time-travel movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt knows this woman can certainly pack it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Work of Art 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Can you believe it will be summer soon? Summer is absolutely self’s FAVORITE time of the year!

A time to celebrate heat and being outdoors! In fact, summer would be absolutely perfect if she didn’t have to water!

Now to the WordPress Photo Challenge this weeek:  WORK OF ART.

A vintage car can be a work of art.  At least, it is treated as such by people in self’s corner of the world:

Annual Redwood City Fourth of July Extravaganza always includes an exhibit of vintage cars!

Annual Redwood City Fourth of July Extravaganza always includes an exhibit of vintage cars!

Last year, self spent a few weeks in Venice with Margarita Donnelly, long-time publisher of Calyx Press. She loved taking the vaporetto to the various outlying islands of the Venetian lagoon.  She visited Murano one evening, after all the tourists were gone.

Near the Vaporetto Stop in Murano

Near the Vaporetto Stop in Murano

Another example of outdoor art on Murano. This may be a Chihuly.

Another example of outdoor art on Murano. This may be a Chihuly.

Doors, Entrances: Thresholds 4, WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

One more door beyond this is the door to the backyard.

One more door beyond this is the door to the backyard.

Filoli, early December 2013.

Entering Filoli, early December 2013.

Invitation to Enter Self's Humble Abode

Invitation to Enter Self’s Humble Abode

For those dear blog readers who’ve never heard of Filoli before, here’s a link to the historic estate and gardens (just a mile or so from self’s humble abode).  Every December, the place gets decorated to the nines for the Holiday Bazaar, and it is just glorious.

Stay tuned.

Fun Facts About Americans’ Love of Fresh-Cut Christmas Trees, Courtesy of The Economist (14 December 2013)

Is self barreling along, or what?  She only has about six week’s worth of back issues of The Economist left to read.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to read a post about Christmas trees BEFORE Christmas?  Yup.

Now she’s on the Dec. 14, 2013 issue of The Economist.

p. 71 has an article on Americans’ apparently insatiable love for fresh-cut Christmas trees.

  • Every December, a man named Francoise brings 500 fresh-cut trees from Quebec to New York’s Upper West Side.
  • The trees sell for anything from $20 to $300.
  • The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA)  — Ever heard of it before?  Neither had self! — reports that “Americans spent more than $1 billion on 25m trees in 2012.”  The average price of a tree?  $40.
  • People on the East Coast prefer Fraser firs because of their “typical evergreen fragrance.”  Californians prefer Oregon’s Grand Fir, “which has an orange-like scent.”
  • Home Depot expected “to sell 2.8 million” fresh-cut trees in 2013.
  • Easton is “the Christmas-tree capital of Connecticut.  “Every second car leaving the area has a tree or two strapped to its roof.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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