November 11, 2012 |
SANTA BARBARA - Chinese scrolls often show landscapes of mountains, deep-cut gorges and paths that spiral through them and past caves in foliage. On these paths, often barely visible, smallish robed figures walk alone or sit in a group. Even people relatively familiar with this kind of art have peered at the finely drawn figures and wondered: Who are they? What are they up to? The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is offering an unusually comprehensive answer to such questions with a far-reaching show called "The Artful Recluse: Painting, Poetry, and Politics in 17th Century China.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 26, 2012 |
MONO PASS TRAIL - Mary Breckenridge crosses the High Sierra every year, with only her horse and two mules for company. She always leaves in September, when heat still tents the Central Valley but cool mountain breezes stir silvery-green aspen leaves. Higher up, the nights could be so cold that the water in her coffee pot turned rock-hard. It's happened. She kept going. Packing and unpacking 300 pounds of gear daily, making and breaking camp, starting her fire from twigs. Reporter's notebook: Follow the journey It made her feel thrillingly self-reliant.
August 26, 2012 |
Winter Journal Paul Auster Henry Holt: 230 pp., $26 The most evocative passage in Paul Auster's "Winter Journal" comes early in the book. "Yes, you drink too much and you smoke too much, you have lost teeth without bothering to replace them, your diet does not conform to the precepts of contemporary nutritional wisdom," Auster admits, referring to himself in the second person, as he does throughout this fragmentary memoir, "but if you shun most vegetables it is simply because you do not like them, and you find it difficult, if not impossible, to eat what you do not like.
July 1, 2012
Contra Costa County pier Point Pinole Pier Overview: The allure is the walk through the grassy parklands of the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline to get to the 1,250-foot concrete pier. The views are not impressive — San Francisco isn't visible from this vantage point — but the solitude makes it special. Background: Beginning in the 1880s, several companies used the spot for manufacturing gunpowder and dynamite. The original pier (its pilings can be seen at the foot of the current pier, which was built in 1977)
January 8, 2012 |
For a nation in perpetual motion, to cross the lands that make up the Mojave National Preserve has long meant only one thing: You are very nearly somewhere else. For westward-bound travelers, whether they came through open wilderness, along the now-overgrown Mojave Road or later by the legendary lanes of Route 66, this most American of deserts was little more than an obstacle to more promising lands. Long before them, Native Americans traded regularly across these harsh miles, as enamored as everyone else with speed.
June 19, 2011 |
It is not the profusion of wildflowers, the gently swaying grasses or the golden sun on Half Dome that brings most people to Yosemite in summer, at least not in my experience. It was summertime when I, as a kid, first experienced California's favorite national park. As an adult, I've found it is the memory of Yosemite in summer that draws me here, like the savoring of a first love. For me -- and, I suspect, for others -- Yosemite meant freedom from school, from work, from the constraints of the city or the monotony of the country.