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May 3, 2012

. . . . . . .

Prior to a couple of weeks ago, I had only visited California for a couple of days in 2008. When I told people this, they were surprised. I shrugged. “I grew up on the east coast”, I offered as an explanation.

So perhaps you can forgive my awe and maybe that will help to explain the way I feverishly grabbed my camera around every corner in southern California. It all felt so new to me. I quickly became obsessed with the differences – the light (especially during the golden hour – man oh man), the plants and flowers and vegetation growing everywhere, the colors, the shadows created as the sun beats down. I’ve been to tropical places before, and Mexico – but this was different.

I have a lot of photos from my travels so I thought I’d start at the beginning. I flew to San Diego from NYC and spent a couple of days in and around Encinitas, a small beach town just north of San Diego. I was visiting my good friends Meg & Sam. Upon arriving late one night, we stopped for tacos and this began a 10-day stretch where I ate amazing tacos at least once per day (I know…). We went to the farmer’s market on Sunday morning and my mind was BLOWN. Local blood oranges, strawberries in season, beautiful produce that we won’t see on the east coast for at least a couple of months. We hiked in Torrey Pines and we drove through horse country & the hills of Rancho Santa Fe. I tasted wild fennel that was growing along a path. We ate wood-fired pizza one night and I’m still thinking about it. I walked along the ocean at sunset and watched the surfers enviously. Houses are perched on cliffs & sea walls that are quickly eroding and I thought about California slipping into the ocean one day.

There is so much more to share … I only wish I could’ve stayed longer.

  1. May 3, 2012 9:32 am

    Well, all I can say is I’m glad the sun is actually shining here at the moment as otherwise I think I’d be sobbing looking at these! So much good stuff here mate…

  2. Kimi permalink
    May 3, 2012 9:36 am

    How lovely. I lived in Escondido about ten years back, and this reminded me. I loved La Jolla. Thank you for taking beautiful pictures.

  3. randall permalink
    May 3, 2012 9:54 am

    san diego is great. I was lucky enough to spend five years living there from 1999 – 2004 and I’ve recently been thinking a lot about going back. They live such an enviable, active lives out there and despite all of the distractions, somehow I managed to walk away from San Diego with a JD. Imagine Jeff Spicoli showing up for trusts and estates and you kind of get the idea. But there is also where I came up with my theory that California is wasted on Californians. I think you really need to be from somewhere else to really appreciate the beauty of the place and all it has to offer. Anyway, great shots of Encinitas. I used to surf there all the time. Never spent too much time in Lude-cadia though. Can’t wait to see more pics from there. I can’t remember if the Jasmine is in season now, but I used to love walking at night and it was always a treat when the jasmine was blooming and scenting the night air. Absolutely magical.

  4. May 3, 2012 10:01 am

    fabulous collection. this reminds me of my one and only visit in California, middle of May, many years ago. I had very similar feelings, made the same observations, didn’t eat a single taco (it was many many yrs ago!!!). But I stepped along the beaches, took photos of cacti, blooms, palm trees, wondered at the spectacular light, picked wild flowers along the road, ate wonderful food (but hardly any wines were known then….) and I too thought it was sad that Andrew’s Fault might make CA dip into the ocean one day…..
    Thank you for calling back those unforgetable memories. And taking pixies is no longer a problem – I had to take my films (including the precious Ilford b&w films) with me and only when staying longer I could have them developed. No discs with the ‘negatives’, all gone and dust….

  5. May 3, 2012 10:04 am

    Killer series. Very impressive number of images all consistent in feeling and story. Your work is beautiful.

  6. May 3, 2012 10:07 am

    this is where i grew up! so nice to see.

  7. May 3, 2012 10:45 am

    That’s a good damn post Brian !

  8. May 3, 2012 11:12 am

    this is where I grew up too! makes me long for home.

  9. May 3, 2012 11:20 am

    These are so great Brian, I particularly love the top two shots. Now I just wish I could feel some of that sunshine.

  10. May 3, 2012 11:25 am

    I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to see California through your eyes.

  11. May 3, 2012 12:22 pm

    Superb post, Brian.

  12. May 3, 2012 12:57 pm

    excellent post. made me miss california so much (though, i lived in berkeley and barely even visited southern ca). i love how you described your first impressions. looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip.

  13. May 3, 2012 1:43 pm

    Lovely photos. I went through San Diego a couple of years ago and wanted to stay longer. We took a train to Anaheim and the view from the train was crazy, surfers and birds of paradise. It was like a new postcard every couple of seconds.

  14. May 3, 2012 3:38 pm

    Those two trees growing in front of the white house are blowing my mind! It’s such an…organized tree? Ha. Amazing.

  15. May 3, 2012 4:55 pm

    Love these.

  16. May 3, 2012 6:47 pm

    oh you make me miss living in California. (from the east coast too) and yes, mind blowing it IS. You’ve captured a lot of it’s beauty.

  17. May 3, 2012 9:14 pm

    Love the sunshine, and colour, in these beautiful breezy shots! So pleased for you that you had such a wonderful time over on that other coast!

  18. May 4, 2012 1:24 am

    Ive been following your blog for a year now… i don’t know how i came across it and i’ve never really followed any blog consistently. All i know is i really enjoy your photographs. When i saw your encinitas post i had to laugh because i live in San Diego and work in encinitas. Maybe i saw you around and didn’t even now. makes me smile .

  19. anny loring permalink
    May 4, 2012 12:54 pm

    yeah! but would you want to live there?

  20. May 4, 2012 1:13 pm

    Lord. So so so beautiful photos, they (you) made my friday evening here in cold Sweden (it is spring but just in the calendar though) a bit warmer. Thank you!

  21. May 4, 2012 5:02 pm

    I moved to San Francisco from Boston (and Maine) 13 years ago and I’m still blown away by the beauty of this area. Even when life gets crazy and hectic or I’m feeling blah and bored or down, I don’t think there’s a day yet that I have not stopped at least once to marvel over just how gorgeous this place is–year-round greenery, crazy, huge Mediterranean plants and succulents, the still-to-this-day exotic seeming palm trees, gorgeous flowers climbing walls and covering everything. So I totally get your excitement over all that you saw in LA.

  22. May 6, 2012 10:22 am

    These photos have made me feel the smell of Ocean and pizza, the heat on my skin, the wind through my hair.

  23. May 6, 2012 10:36 pm

    What is it about East Coasters? They never leave to explore the rest of the country! Glad you headed out west. Lovely images and it’s nice seeing Califas through your eyes. Next time, come to NoCal.

    p.s. If you really want to experience a golden hour, visit New Mexico. There’s no place like it.

  24. May 8, 2012 1:14 pm

    There are so many different types of plants then we have here on the east coast! so incredible and interesting

  25. Jason permalink
    May 14, 2012 5:28 pm

    Great pics. I grinned when I saw this. I actually live in Encinitas. It’s a great town. Coastal North County SD has a much different vibe than the rest of San Diego County. Hope that wood fire pizza you had was from Blue Ribbon Pizza. Great post.

  26. May 24, 2012 11:38 am

    These make me smile bigger than ever!! So many amazing memories of your trip. You’ve always got a second home in Encinitas!


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