November 12, 2012 4 Comments
November 4, 2012 Leave a comment
My trip to Charlottesville, Virginia, took me to the University of Virginia as well as Monticello. Here are some pics of the university and its trees. I grew up on the East Coast, but haven’t been back during fall for a few years, so I’d forgotten what the leaves were like!
November 1, 2012 2 Comments
About ten days ago I was at a friend’s wedding in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is the home of the University of Virginia and its well-known architect, a guy by the name of Thomas Jefferson. I visited President Jefferson’s home, Monticello, and was quite glad that I did. Sure, intellectually I knew that there was a contrast and contradiction between Jefferson’s arguments for freedom and his ownership of slaves. But it’s quite a different thing to see the material reality of the situation.
Monticello is a gorgeous estate which ran on slave labor. On the inside tour, they talk about Jefferson’s precocious reading ability and inventions, and I couldn’t help thinking about all of the slaves who were owned and worked so that Jefferson would have the luxury of time to even think about freedom. They have “Slavery at Monticello” tours, which used to be known as the “Plantation Community Tours.” And they do address Jefferson’s so-called “relationship” with Sally Hemings, but I left the tour after audience members were joking with the tour guide about the “fun” that Jefferson and Hemings had together, as if a sexual relationship with a slave could be anything other than rape. Oh, what hijinks!
So yeah, a fascinating mix of beauty and evil. I took pictures of the house and grounds, including Jefferson’s grave and an African American graveyard without tombstones.
October 30, 2012 2 Comments
R. and I intended on going to Cooley Landing, a newly opened park in East Palo Alto, near the Dumbarton Bridge in the San Francisco Bay area. Instead, we wound up in the adjoining Ravenswood Open Space Preserve. It’s an odd collection of open space and steel towers, somewhat abandoned between the city and the water.
October 8, 2012 2 Comments
From the same day I went to Point Lobos, here are pictures off the California coast along Highway 1 near Hurricane Point. I’m not sure what the name of the bridge is, but it was built in the early 1930s, a testament to a time when we reacted to an economic downturn by putting people to work building an infrastructure that we still use today. Harumph.
In any case, the view’s kinda nice….
October 3, 2012 Leave a comment
While in Marin County, we stumbled upon the Spider Shack in Tomales’ town park. Henry Elfstrom collects tarantulas and their molts, and he also dispenses information about them if you happen upon the shack on a Sunday when he’s in residence.
September 30, 2012 Leave a comment
I went to the Harvest Festival today at the University of California Santa Cruz.
Pumpkins! A slaughter house with some old leather restraints still hanging on the walls, but apparently now a laughter house. Pie judging!