Bay Lights

The story is the same everywhere.  No money for things that are supposed to work.  Private support and public endorsement for things that bring in tourists.  In our corner of the country that means the new end of the Bay Bridge is on it’s way to the embarrassment  hall of fame while the old end gets a light sculpture.   The lights sure are pretty.

Of course, a shorter version of this material has been made into a card you can check out at

http://www.onceuponagreeting.com

 

 

Posted in Art, San Francisco, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Too Close

The wind was the thing.  A freight train moves a lot of air.  Each type of car doing it a little differently.  The result was a swirling wind that alternately pushes away from a train and then towards it.

This was an unexpected shoot.  I had already taken what I had gone to the track  for and was heading towards the stairs when I heard the horn.  The engine was through before I could get the camera out.   But the cars and noise and wind were mesmerizing.

Here are two minutes of a freight train that had  somewhere else to be.

I have no idea how to use this clip as a greeting card.  Happy to take caption suggestions at http://www.onceuponagreeting.com

Posted in Railroad, Trains | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Welcome to California

Who needs trumpets?  When it is really Spring in California the announcement is orange.  Bright glorious orange.  Last week’s flowers required a long drive.  These beauties were down the street.  Spring has arrived in our corner of California.

This Poppy video will be condensed into a 30 second greeting card but we had a full minute of music and they were pretty enough to use it all.

Thanks for stopping by.  http://www.OnceUponaGreeting.com

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Welcome Spring

Welcome back.

Spring has arrived to our corner of California.  And while I would like to return to the blog that started it all with a longer version of this movie the music will not allow it.  I didn’t buy and chop a longer version.

But the explosive spirit of spring runs through it and I hope you enjoy it.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Cruisin’ Como

Our day to day is rush and bother about greeting cards.  However, in blog time we are still in Europe.  Specifically, along the shore of Lake Como.  If only…

I’ve known Lake Como forever.  Murals decorated the walls of my boyhood Italian restaurants.  When I moved west I discovered it was an endless source of inspiration for amateur art.  None of which prepared me for the real thing.

Those bright flowers and steep hillsides did not suggest how large the lake is.  Nor did they indicate that the bright flowers and steep hillsides number beyond counting.  A failure that  opens a gap between the fantasy and the reality.

This is beauty done on such a large scale that it can be taken for granted.  There is no frenzy.  No checklist.  The game here is to visit an impossibly beautiful location.  Enjoy a stroll, visit a cafe, browse a shop, marvel at an old church and ferry off to another impossibly beautiful spot.  You are never going to see it all.  No reason to try.  Relax, it is delightful right here.

Even when it is overcast, as it was for our visit.  But with so little drama on the ground a little in the sky just made things more interesting.

 

Posted in Contemplation, Italy, Lakes, Nature, Scenic, SlowTV | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

41 Years Later

It was my honor to be a part of the Manalapan NJ High School Easter trip to Switzerland in 1971.  My ninth grade language teacher, Herr Schmidt, thought everyone should see some part of Europe and said so on the first day.  To my ears, a reasonable proposition.

To my parents, not so much.  But a winter of delivering papers and shoveling driveways convinced them I was serious and would only require a signed permission slip.

The result was a near sleepless week in an exotic locale surrounded by Americans I barely knew and foreigners I could never hope to understand.  A determined fourteen-year-old with the language skills of a German toddler.   What could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out, not a thing.  Armed with three rolls of film, a borrowed Instamatic and an ability to say either “Good Morning” or “I’m sorry” in three different languages I saw Switzerland.  And I loved it.  Every minute of it.

But I didn’t go back.  At first I couldn’t, then it was no longer exotic enough.

Last month we arrived in France with two weeks of plans and three weeks before our flight home.  New friends invited us to visit Italy during the unscheduled week.  We accepted with barely a thought for our transit of Switzerland.

Until I ran into myself.  There is a picture of me on the shore of Lake Lucerne that has survived the forty one year trip from Manalapan, NJ to Moraga, CA.  In it I am the size of a man with the face of a boy.   An anything is possible smile sits under eyes that see nothing but blue skies ahead.  A well-intentioned and arrogant young man with one cleared hurdle to his credit and no future in meteorology.  He and I have much to discuss.

None of which should get in the way of your Sunday morning visit to Lake Lucerne, Switzerland.  A place where memories come alive.

Posted in Art, Contemplation, Nature, Relaxation, Scenic, SlowTV | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Burgundy Bound

The wines of Burgundy are famous.  The back roads are not.  The further you get from the presumed sophistication of the wineries the closer you get to a land similar to the one you left but not exactly the same.

Throw in some dramatic clouds and the result is a drive through wonderland.  Long stretches of bucolic farmland separated by the little towns that inspired Mr. Toad’s wild ride.

 

Posted in Contemplation, France, Nature, Relaxation, Scenic, SlowTV | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments