Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lynn Kishiyama at the Paso 2015 Artsfest

Lynn Kishiyama at 2015Paso ArtsFest © B. Radisavljevic
During the Paso Artsfest I looked for Lynn in her studio at Studios on the Park, but she wasn't there. Instead I found her next to her exhibit out in the park,  as part of the Main Event. It wasn't easy to photograph the exhibit without people blocking it, but they moved back so I could get a clear shot. Lynn herself, front left, seems to be looking at something I can't see off to the side. I'm wondering what she saw that I missed.

To better understand the story behind Lynn's work displayed here, see the related article below. To enlarge the photo, just click it.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Meet Joe Thomas at Studios at the Park

Joe Thomas Studio at Studios on the Park, Photo © B. RadisavljevicI have been in Joe Thomas' art studio at Studios on the Park before, but couldn't resist another visit when I came through during the Paso ArtsFest. Those huge pictures in bold colors jump out at me to the point where I just want to jump inside them. This first photo shows the entrance to the studio that lures people in.

As I look at Joe's paintings that are larger than life, I can't help but wish he'd illustrate a children's book. They are the sort of pictures children would pour over, and they beg for a story. Here are more of them.

Joe Thomas Studio at Studios on the Park, Photo © B. Radisavljevic

Joe Thomas Studio at Studios on the Park, Photo © B. Radisavljevic

How about it, Joe? Will you write a book? Or at least illustrate one?

Friday, May 29, 2015

My Search for the Musical Petting Zoo at the 2015 Paso ArtsFest

Overview of Paso ArtsFest 2015, © B. Radisavljevic
I love the PasoArts Fest, but this is the first year I've been able to go. I had to skip its inauguration last year because I had just had foot surgery and couldn't do the walking. I have, however been a fan of the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts since I became aware of it in 2010 and was amazed at the production it was in 2012. I captured as much of it as I could then in photos and on video. The photo on the left shows an entrance to the exhibit area for the Paso ArtsFest this year, 2015.

I've developed a knee problem, but still decided to attend the ArtsFest this year to check it out, even though I couldn't stay more than an hour. I expected it to be bigger and better than ever, and I immediately tried to find my favorite attractions. One of those is the Musical Petting Zoo. Traditionally, this has been an exhibit of a wide variety of orchestra instruments. Children were allowed to come and try them out. It's an exhibit I could always find by the sounds. I couldn't find it.

I looked for the 12th Street ArtsFest booth where Norma Moye usually welcomes everyone and it wasn't there. I discovered it was closer to Carnegie Library this year. Norma and the other ladies checked the map and directed me the Musical Petting Zoo, I couldn't see it where  I'd been told it was. I couldn't even hear it.

Martin Espino Sounds of Ancient Mexico Booth, Paso ArtsFest 2015,  © B. Radisavljevic
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I finally asked people in the booths surrounding its supposed location. Finally someone told me they had cancelled at the last moment. I was directed instead to this booth, which I had seen coming in right where the the Musical Petting Zoo usually is. It seems they were filling in.

Martin Espino Sounds of Ancient Mexico Booth, Paso ArtsFest 2015, © B. Radisavljevic
I went back to the booth and saw that the children were having fun making music there, as well. Maybe they will have a chance to experience the orchestra instruments again next year, but this year they are having a more cross-cultural experience.

I somehow missed the environmental exhibits this year if there were any. I was hoping to find the Airstrike Bird Control Booth I've enjoyed in the past, but if it was there, I didn't see it. Perhaps there was just not enough room for the non-art exhibits this year.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Z is for Zoo

Parrots at Charles Paddock Zoo, Atascadero, © B. Radisavljevic
I've already written plenty about Zenaida and a bit about ZinAlley, so I'm taking you to the only zoo in our area -- the Charles Paddock Zoo in the Atascadero Lake Park. I'm not going to show you much because it's a very small zoo in comparison to those I've seen in Santa Barbara, Tustin, Los Angeles, and San Diego. I took  this photo on July 4, 2012. They normally offer free admission on Independence Day when the city parties there.

Flamingos at Charles Paddock Zoo, Atascadero, © B. Radisavljevic

When I took the photo above the zoo was very  crowded and it was difficult to get a clear view of most cages occupied by mammals.  Many cages were empty. I took this photo of the flamingos in March of this year when I went to check on the level of the lake. I was happy to see some water in it.

How far away is your closest zoo?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Y is for York Mountain Road in Templeton, California

The Search for York Mountain Winery

We discovered York Mountain Road one day a few years ago when we were trying to find York Mountain Winery. York Mountain Road is a loop with both ends on Highway 46 West. Most of it is surrounded by oak trees. A creek runs through part of it. It's one of my favorite places to walk in the summer because it's shady. On one walk   I was able to capture this squirrel high in a tree.

York Mountain Road in Templeton, California

The Creek on York Mountain Road

Here is part of the creek that runs through the east side of York Mountain Road

York Mountain Road in Templeton, California

York Mountain Road is Full of Old Oaks

This is one of the many oak trees that line York Mountain Road. This one appears to be pretty old. I believe the tree beside the creek in the photo above is a willow.

York Mountain Road in Templeton, California

These Zazzle products feature another old oak I found on York Mountain Road.

York Mountain Tasting Room

We finally discovered the historic York Mountain Tasting Room, which has now been replaced by Epoch Winery, on our second York Mountain Walk . You can see it and the old barn that was behind it on the Zazzle products below. The barn is a poster. The Tasting Room is on a jigsaw puzzle.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

X is for Xmas in Paso Robles

Before my Christian brothers and sisters get upset thinking I'm trying to take the name of Christ out of Christmas, I would refer you to the origins of Xmas as explained in Wikipedia. 

Nativity in December in Riverbank Tract, Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic

Xmas is  a sort of shorthand using the X, which is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ as a symbol for the name of Christ and so it means Christ Mass, which in common usage we have shortened to Christmas. I have used the shortened term here for obvious reasons. I didn't want to talk about where to get an X-ray in the North County, even though I have been X-rayed several times in the past year and even have photos of my X-rays to prove it.

Christmas is more fun. The City of Paso Robles has its own big celebration in the park for the lighting of the Christmas Tree and the singing of carols. I have never been able to attend that.

In my own neighborhood, the Riverbank tract, the neighbors decorate their homes in some creative ways. The nativity photo at the top, taken in 2014, comes from a home on Sandbar Court that has had a spectacular display every year I can remember. In 2010 I even made a video of it, since it was full of movement and music. It has gotten even better since I made this. I just haven't made any more videos since 2010.

As far as I'm concerned, the most wonderful Paso Robles Christmas party is the Vine Street Victorian Showcase. It's the ultimate block party, except that it occupies several blocks which are closed to motor vehicles during the few hours of fun after dark. All the Victorian houses are decorated with lights. The community participates in a big way with singers, dancers, story tellers, and free hot chocolate, coffee, popcorn, and other treats offered to those walking by.

Visitors can hear almost any music style, but I tend to pay the most attention to the traditional carolers. People walk along until they find a performance or activity they want to stop and listen to, watch, or participate in. There is a snow slide, a Grinch House, and the biggest attraction -- the house of Ebeneezer Scrooge. He comes out and interacts with the crowd as they try to change his mind about Christmas.  On each block, there are several different points of interest. It's a Christmas smorgasbord of sights and sounds.

In 2013 I took my video camera and tried to pick up the highlights -- the parade warm-up, the display of the Morning Star Youth Ranch (this links to a professional video on the ranch's work with rescued horses and troubled youth), Scrooge interacting with the crowd, the Grinch, and some great choral music. Here's my video.

If you ever come to Paso Robles during the Christmas season, you won't want to miss the Vine Street Victorian Showcase. It will entertain you whether you prefer to write Christmas or Xmas.

How does your town celebrate Christmas?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Let's Pause for a Few Minutes to Remember Those Who Died to Preserve Our Freedom

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States. It's a day not only to remember well-known fallen heroes, but also to remember every man and woman not so well known who made the ultimate sacrifice. Each of them left a hole in this world and in the worlds of those who loved them. Whether you attend a formal Memorial Day Service or not, pause in your day to remember those who fought and died so that you could continue to live a life with liberty to make your own decisions, worship as you wish,  and speak freely about what's important to you.

Let's Pause for a Few Minutes to Remember Those Who Died to Preserve Our Freedom
A Flanders Poppy from My Garden, © B. Radisavljevic

For me it will be a time to pause and pray that these men and women, especially those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, will not have died in vain. It's a time to  pray for those who lead this country, that they may be wise enough to accept good advice and to tell good advice from bad advice, and that they may be brave enough to do what is right instead of what is politically expedient. I will pray for those who serve today and tomorrow, that they may not be treated as pawns in an international chess game, but that our leaders will care as much about them as they do about their own children and act accordingly.

I would also like to share these thoughts posted by an online friend who is a Veteran: Memorial Day Significance Has Been Forgotten.

The Flanders poppy in my photo blooms each year before Memorial Day and reminds me of this very fitting poem written by John McCrae, published after World War II,  now in the public domain.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.  

Remember Those Who Gave All and Thank Those Who Still Serve

You may also want to see my post on the Faces of Freedom Memorial in Atascadero.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

W is for Windward Tasting Room

Windward Tasting Room in Paso Robles
I have never been in this tasting room, because the day I walked past the vineyard, the tasting room was already closed. We also got sidetracked helping a man who was mowing across the street from Windward get his mower out from a ditch on the side of the road. (Meaning my husband was supervising.)

I took a video,  never posted, of this process of the tractor trying to get the mower out,  and I see now that the the tractor's owner may actually be Marc, who owns Windward. The face is not clear enough in my video to tell for sure.

If you want to see some better photos of Windward and watch a video about their wines, I invite you to the Windward website through this link.  Today I'm only going to satisfy the minimum requirement for a Daily City Blogger in the network -- to post a photo from my city every day with some description.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Surrounded by Vineyards

Vineyards Surround my Templeton Property

I took the photo below from the corner of Oak View Road and Vineyard Drive, looking across the street toward ZinAlley, Croad, and Aron Hill wineries, and my own home. You'd see my house if you knew where to look. Hint: It's barely visible in comparison to all the larger homes and wineries around it.  Behind me are more vineyards. Perhaps you can see why I take them for granted, since they are just part of my world and I see them every time I go anywhere.

Hwy 46 West Wine Country, © B. Radisavljevic

Not Everyone in Paso Robles Loves the Vineyards

Beautiful as they are, vineyards can be a controversial subject here. The city and county officials almost all love them because they attract tourists. Many residents, though, and some officials, think vineyards use too much water and want to keep more from being planted. They think it's not quite fair that more building permits are given for hotel complexes that will have vineyards on their properties while long-time residents are having their water rationed. Residents either have to let their landscaping turn brown as in this yard, or they have to replace their lawns with something that doesn't need much water.

Brown Landscaping Caused by Drought. © B. Radisavljevic

I can see both points of view, but most of our current vineyard owners use sustainable farming methods, and many even dry farm. Many of the families, like the Steinbecks,  have been growing grapes and making wine here for generations. They are already an important part of our community.

The controversy seems to be more about whether we should let people plant new vineyards. The country recently passed an offset ordinance that prevents people from planting new crops of anything unless they substitute them for a crop growing somewhere else, whether it's on their own land or someone else's.

Note: If you look carefully, at the photo below, you will see my shadow selfie in the weeds on my own property as I look across 46 West toward the vineyards of Rotta Winery. They dry farm their grapes.

Looking Across 46 West from My Back Yard,  © B. Radisavljevic

Do you think growers should be allowed to plant new vineyards during the drought?

Friday, May 22, 2015

U is for Under the Bridge

Salinas River Trail Leads Under the Veterans' Memorial Bridge, © B. Radisavljevic
I've always been a curious person when it comes to exploring what I consider my territory. Right now that territory is North San Luis Obispo County. One thing I had wondered about every time I crossed a bridge is what that bridge would look like on the underside. I also wondered what might be under the bridge. I finally got a chance to satisfy my curiosity when I moved to Paso Robles. It just so happens that the Salinas River Trail goes right under the Veterans' Memorial Bridge (also known locally and more commonly as the Niblick Bridge, because it crossed the Salinas River on Niblick Road.)

Salinas River From Under the Veterans' Memorial Bridge, © B. Radisavljevic

I took these pictures from under the bridge in a wet year, 2011, in April.

  Salinas River From Under the Veterans' Memorial Bridge, © B. Radisavljevic

Cross Memorial under Niblick Bridge, © B. Radisavljevic

That year, 2011, we received a lot of rain and the river had almost left its banks. It's said that one of the homeless people who live in on the islands in the middle of the river drowned that year. I wondered about that when I saw this right under the bridge.

This photo was taken this year, 2015, in January, and there was no water in the river.

Under the Veterans' Memorial Bridge in January, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic

Also this year I took a walk that extended all the way to the 13th Street Bridge.

This is the approach  to the 13th Street Bridge from the trail.

Approaching the 13th Street Bridge in Paso Robles, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic

This view was taken under that bridge.

Under the 13th Street Bridge in Paso Robles, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic
 Have you ever walked under a bridge? Both of these bridges are main traffic arteries between the west and east side of Paso Robles. When you are under one of the bridges you can feel and hear the traffic above your head. And, of course,  one always hopes that the "big one" won't come when one is under the bridge. Supposedly they are now retrofitted to be safe in earthquakes. I certainly hope it's true.

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