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For Simon Rodia, another man’s trash is another man’s tower. Watts Towers are handmade constructions diligently and passionately built by Simon Rodia, a native of Ribottoli, Italy, during his time off work over the course of 33 years. The decoration materials … used and collected glasses, shells, pottery shards, bottles and tiles.
“I had in my mind I’m gonna do something, something big.”
The tower reaches a height of 99 1/2, only stopping there because of the city limit.
I like all the details of it. Such cool thing just seeing the different shards and pieces scattered all over the place. It seemed like he wanted to spread the love of this tower.
When Simon Rodia stopped construction of the towers in 1954 because of controversies after WWII, vandalism and some abuse, he called it “Nuestro Pueblo” which is Spanish for “Our Town”. Today, the city continues to preserve his works. Its community respect it highly. The Center of Watts District in LA, just few blocks from Watts Towers, feautres other Simon Rodia-inspired arts that were made from junks.
By the way, this really is not the usual art installation. It is right smack in a dead-end street.
I also saw this by their office … For my followers ….
It truly is a magnificent one of a kind LA sight especially given its location, its history, its underlying message to people, and the passion of Simon Rodia.
It started with a series of Flashback Friday posts where, while I was in California, I get to turn back the time and revisit some of my travel destinations in Europe and Philippines. Then it now continues with Throwback Thursday where, while I’m here in Japan, I get to turn back the time and revisit some of my travel destinations in California. And now that my time here is coming to an end, this will be the last of my Throwback Thursday post. In February, for now, I will be revisiting my time here in Japan, and even older travel destiantions, when I get to California, and I will call it Memory Monday.
Remember Europe in California? Well here is the Asia version…
California is arguably the most racially diverse state in the nation. You get in a place, look around, and you’ll never find just one racial group. Here, it isn’t difficult to cross-culture. I have a pleasure of knowing that I have plenty of options to satisfy wherever my desire and imagination decide to go or be. I can walk to the end of my street, and I can choose what kind of cuisine to eat. On the way, I can come across people of different backgrounds. I can travel further a mile or two, and it’s as if I can get transported somewhere else in the world.
The above image is taken from Chinatown in LA. Perhaps the easily recognizable place to go to experience Asian culture in California are Chinatowns in both LA and San Francisco.
Let’s go to Japan in California…
Out of the 16 museums in Balboa Park in San Diego, my personal favorite is Mingei International Museum. They have a really nice display portion for Japan culture.
California has Chinatown, Filipinotown, Koreatown, Little Tokyo, and even Little Italy.
Karaoke singing at the center stage, Habachi dining, Hello Kitty/Sanrio shops, and wish paper are some of the things you can experience in Little Tokyo.
This next one is from Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Arts…
Moving on. My most favorite Asian places in California happens to be my first travel destination when I got back to California in 2011….
…Hsi Lai Temple.It’s so amazing that this hidden Asian gem is sitting atop a hill amongst the modernized, bustling city of LA.
You see, it’s very easy to cross-culture in California. It may not be the same, but it’s just an awesome thing to know that you can go to and experience an entirely different environment without crossing over seas.
So do you know where the Asian places in your area? If not, I think it’s time for you to do some research.
Cross-culture in SoCAL?
Suebee and Kat is an instant pro-blog in a matter of days. You can see Korean Friendship Bell, Japanese Pavilion in LACMA, Noodle Soup restaurant, Irish Dance Costumes, Brazilian Dance, Vietnamese Exhibit in Pico House Gallery, Dia De Los Muertos Gallery and Pacific Asia Museum, just some of their cross-culture sightings. My favorite, however, is a post that shows pictures of Kat’s grandma.
I watched the movie “Flight” in a drive-in theater. I’ve gotten to the northernmost tip of Okinawa. I’ve been to a sticky situation being in an alley filled with EW! bubble gums. I tripped while paying baseball, but I did touch the second base. I started wearing eyeglasses just last week. It opened my eyes that Katy Perry isn’t that pretty as I thought. I personally met a great blogging friend, LuAnn. I thought I will suffer a mild case of social discomfort but she is very friendly that I survived from that embarrassment. Ow! She paid for our food. Ahihihi. It’s been 10 years since I arrived in America. I wanted to punch the eye doctor because he dropped some liquids into my eyes and I couldn’t see anything afterwards.Though I didn’t find Batman, I have finally entered a cave. But, I have seen a batfish. *thumbs up* I also have seen whale sharks, the largest fish in the world. I was giggling inside like a little girl seeing it’s grandeur in front of me. I delivered a Hello Kitty-filled package to my niece in the Philippines. She said she was super happy. That’s all I needed to hear. I have hiked in snow. I have sat on a couch where Joey, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Monica and Rachel did. I went to a California Mission with my mom. I have prepared and eaten a mochi (rice ball), then shared them with little Japanese school kids. I’ve gone canoeing, kayaking, and have dipped deep into the beautiful pacific waters. I’ve seen jumbo rocks in Joshua Tree National Park. I thought it was arranged by a giant who played a lot of tetris. I’ve done rapelling down a 60 feet cliff!!! I felt an earthquake this week. It was only my second time. It scared the little bejibbers out of me. I became one of a 270,000 crowd. I assisted a special-need kid get 4 medals during a Special Olympics event. I have a newfangled admiration for Eisa and taiko drumming. I enjoyed watching Survivor Caramoan and Blood vs. Water, more esp. because they were set in the Philippines. I savored my time exploring Okinawa and its culture. I will be depressed after I leave this place. I’m sure of it. I had a great travel friend who too soon had to leave for good. She is a female version of my whackiness, and I really enjoyed her company even though she bashed me so much. I’ve eaten pig’s feet. It wasn’t good to be honest but was worth the try. I went to Las Vegas where I squandered a good chunk of my money. Ooops. Good thing, I spent lesser time away the casinos by exploring that darn vicious but busy, illuminating city. I’ve sat foot in Shuri Castle where most of the karate practices took place as Okinawa is the birthplace of it. I had a Weekend with Marilyn. She was very patient waiting for me. She also smiled the whole time I was with her. I hate whatever the fox says. I oppose to using Bitstrip. I got infuriated playing a phone Apps. I have licked ice cream 1,195,733 times this year. I have splish-splashed hard by a wave runners. We were being slapped around by riding this floater boat in the back of a speeding jet ski. Snots were everywhere that it cleaned my nose! My girlfriend broke up with me. I stopped blogging for tsk tsk tsk 4 straight months! I found that a person can balance three eggs on top of each other during a Chinese New Year presentation. Poker is fun. Proven to me by Griffith Park Observatory, Jupiter can be seen through the naked eye. Apparently, windmills are eyesores to others. I found out that statistics have it that, among many other things, you can get killed by a bottle cork than shark attack. I also found out that Turkey is a country name. If you get cactus prickles on you, I tell you now, covering your hand with a thin piece of clothing to remove it will NOT help but will only poke you more. I found out that the S in Superman’s chest means Hope. I still don’t buy it. MY name in Japanese means Freeway Jewel. Whatever the darn it means! I have eaten meats of kangaroo, lamb, crocodile, and camel. I sang “We’ve Got Tonight” at a karaoke in front of many. Was I frightened? Yes. Did I deliver? Sympathetic customary accolades. :D Blowfish can kill you if it’s not prepared right. I have been blessed with so many grateful and ungrateful bounties this year.
For my Throwback Pic …
The image is small. It’s a Christmas stage play. I can’t remember my part. I strongly think I was one of the three kings.
I apologize. It’s a personal post, and I didn’t realize that I’ve typed so many words already. You really start to realize how wealthy you are once you start to count your blessings.
Check out one of my Featured Blogger Sunshine and her monthly Gratitude in Motion.
Care to read? Here is Robert M. Weiss’s Site of Discovery and Wonder. Oh! Check out his research topics and science projects. This blog aims to entertain, astound, and excite.
Have you met a fellow blogger before?
Well, I met LuAnn of Paint Your Landscape some months ago this year.
This gal is hard to reach because she’s always on the road. So when she finally hit California, I contacted this celebrity RV’er to make a reservation for an exclusive meet. A lot of RV’ers, who I pretty much envy, always organize a meet whenever they find a chance to be in the same location. So having to meet a big favorite RV blogger of mine, it was such an extreme excitement and joy for me. And for one day I also felt like I was in their click.
We met halfway between where we were from each other which is Dana Point. Well I recently broke my GPS, and I have a poor sense of direction. So when I got closer to Dana Point, this awful guy had to call her for directions. (Way to go, Rommel). She got there early, and I, on the other hand, had to be waited on. It was really my initial plan to give her a bad first impression so I can swoop in later on with my winsome personality. (For the record, I’m only kidding)
We greeted each other personally for the first time at the Ocean Institute. We saw an octopus passing from one tank to another tank through a tube. She dipped her hand to feel the starfish. There were children learning how to dissect a squid. We wander around eyeing more aquatic animals.
After that, we decided to look around the area to see more of Dana Point. We took a walk, talked trash about other bloggers (I kid, I kid), and spotted a bed of familiar birds.
She got so bored with me that she decided to just ran away from me. (I kid again)
At some point, I felt like she was thinking that I’m only trying to exhaust or test her willingness. And so I did the same thing and ran away from her as well.
We ate a nearby restaurant, talked some more trash about bloggers (I joked for the nth time), and then parted ways.
Before all these, I warned her that I might suffer a panic attack out of social discomfort. I think the only sign was that I snickered a lot. Well at some point, a homeless guy asked us for some spare change. Me and Lu looked at each other. Here we are, two strangers, only were connected through blogging and were meeting in person, and this random event occured…. Neither of us pulled anything from our pockets. Personally, there are just other ways to help these people. What I’m really getting at is I think it says a lot about how we approached each other. There was no measure of modesty, no pretentiousness, or we don’t have to act like we can walk on waters. We were in our normal selves. That’s exactly what I wanted. I have to know that I can be whacky, make mistakes, or be serious, in order for me to be comfortable around someone I just met. I’m glad I didn’t have to use a paperbag I reserved in case of palpitation.
THANK YOU, LuAnn!
Now, I can look back at Dana Point in a more distinctive way than my other California travels.
As for my Throwback Thursday picture… For your amusement ….
Me, my cousin, my father, the city mayor, some extras and my mother who was crowned Mrs. East Rembo (my hometown district) of ’91.
No, I’m not complaining. I am actually very very lucky with the weather when I travel. *Knock on wood* You see me and the weather god have a deal going on. He won’t turn on the sky’s shower. As a return, I have to share to the world the beautiful sights I see unless he interferes my ganders with bad weather.
Weather is such a worthy adversary when it comes to traveling. I hate waking up hearing that there’s rain outside that will ruin my travel plans. Great thing though that whenever I’m already out, the weather god is most of the time very cooperative with me.
But of course, even the weather god is not perfect. There are some minor hiccups.
First, I wanted to see Morro Bay Rock in a clear day…
But instead, I saw it as this …
Good thing the tree was there to help me out get a decent capture.
Fog was also covering most of the coastline that it was hard for me to appreciate it and take pictures of it. It was hard for me as well to drive California 1 as it was blocking my view. Tsk Tsk Tsk..
Some area I was still able to get a clear view…
Second… When I toured the inside of Santa Barbara Mission, initially the weather was not bad at all…
It started drizzling. You can see the ground is now wet. You can also see christmas trees on the door. I continued gazing around but stopped taking picture ’cause don’t want my camera to get wet. I didn’t get to take a picture of the little fountain and the church together.
You can read some more about Santa Barbara from my great blogging friend Debra – here. She very knowledgeable of the different missions in California.
This one is partly my fault. The hike sources clearly stated that the waterfall is usually dry and that it’s better to view after the rain. Feeling lucky and dependent of the weather god :D, I decided to hike Nojoqui Falls in Solvang anyway. You know how it turns out…
Urgh! Can you imagine that with water actually falling down!? Urgh!
So when was the time that a bad weather ruined your trip?
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I never look at the weather report whenever I’m about to travel. I basically let the chips fall where they may be, or just hope to weather god it’s rain that is falling. Since he didn’t live up to the deal on these particular days, I am, in turn, still sharing the pictures.
Halloween Extra Post:
This is from the floor of the building I stay in here in Japan. I don’t believe in ghost because I never saw one before (Duh, it’s a ghost). You can question the validity of this video but…
For one, it’s such a short and unclear appearance that if it was a made up video why not make it longer and clearer. Second, they really do keep the camera up and running there. Third, well this ine is not a “but” statement, behind the door is a mechanical door and next to it is a laundry room that it might just be some smoke coming out of the vent…
Though, you will see a thin smoke-like something that is moving. Then, you will see a footstep on the floor as if it is entering the door, and it will disappear…. Ooooh ….
Throwback pic… This next ghost happened to appear on the camera. I guess it wanted to eat the food we left on the floor.
It is soooo not me.
Unlike me, hermitsdoor managed to get clear shots of Morro Bay. Follow him to his adventures. Be amazed by his words and poetry. Get your mind running by good conversations and your eyes pleased by his photographs.
Work has been put off due to a typhoon, more like a heavy rain, and so I get the extra time to catch up and write a post.
Whenever I go take other people to places I’ve been to in California, I’m always gravitated towards touring them to Griffith Park. It’s an hour and a tad more minutes from Ventura. It’s building is cool-looking. It’s kids appropiate. It has the Hollywood sign. You get to see LA’s cityscape from the top. It has one of the best spots to see the golden California Sun. To top it all off, it’s free!
We spotted an astronomer who was preparing his telescope out in the middle of the park’s ground. He was fixing to locate Jupiter. And we got the chance to see it up close through athe telescope. He even said that it is visible with the naked eye. Problem is, you just need an expert who know where and when this grand planet is going to be at.
Jupiter is 2.5 larger than the rest of the planets combined. It’s circumference is 11 times bigger than the Earth. That’d be a lot lot lot of places to travel to if it was livable.
Can you stomach this side trip?
When I was driving back from up North down to Ventura, I was in a sticky situation of whether to stop here or not.
Somewhere near San Luis Obispo’s Mission is … dum dum dum … Bubblegum Alley. That’s right! Two walls filled with sticky and icky bubblegums glued to it. The amount of rain we have here today amounts to nothing compared to all the saliva grossly welded into those walls.
More disgustingly so is how people stick other more repulsive, ghastly stuffs to it.
PARENTAL GUIDANCE is advised.
Did you see it? A real yucky and ew moment.
That’s it for the first Throwback Thursday and the second Side Trip post. I’ll leave you with this FB throwback picture.
The boy ended up to be a stud afterall.
102. Let me introduce to you magiecrystal, a true travel writer. Though her hometown is San Francisco, she goes out travelling to different parts of the globe. Check out her seasoned explorations from the sweltering heat of Asian countries to the cold winter in Paris. Her Spain posts are my favorites, but you got to see her California post Yosemite, the Girl Next Door.
One of the awesome things of being in California is the opportunity to experience stars and glamours. That’s it, the entertainment media. I have never really exploited it nor have shown much of it throughout this blog. Well now, I am enthusiastic to present to you a minute museum that showcases props and costumes seen from WB TV shows.
Here’s what we do. I won’t put any caption and just let you see if you recognize any of the paraphernalia and clothings they exbihit in Paley Center of Media.
This next one, I’m sure Jo Bryant of Chronicles of Illusions will be pleased to see …
My favorite is their set pieces of the sitcom FRIENDS. WEEE!!! I get to see Central Perk!
If you’re a big fan of the show, see if you can remember which episodes these appeared in.
The outfits …
Paley Center for Media is located in Rodeo Dr. where you can also visit California’s version of Rome’s Spanish Footstep. Look for free one-hour parking around the area. The entrance to the museum is $10. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 12 to 5 pm.
How did you do at the TV knowledge? Did you get bamboozled?
I thought I’d make a collection photos first before I bid sayonara to this land of the setting sun.
Well here’s the deal. I started writing, and I was mumbling and babbling so much cliche’s about my stay here in California adding excessive buttery words on how much I love it. Screw that :D. I’m gonna make it simple.
- Black’s Beach/Gliderport in La Jolla, San Diego -
- Ocean Beach, San Diego -
I did have options – roads, birds, people, trip highlights, flowers or trees. But in the back of my mind, ever since, I always planned to come to this point and gather all my shots of California sun. I knew this is good enough to show the culmination of my stay here in California.
This is the very first one that I got proud of…
- Channel Islands, Ventura -
Since then, I always make sure to catch the sunset during my travels. I really set it up to stop at a beach or high areas before the sun goes down.
- Half Moon Bay -
- Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California -
- Tamalpais State Park in San Francisco
- California coast/Highway 1 -
Believe you-me, I have chased the sun before and came out empty handed. It’s okay. The golden California sun, to me, is always worth the wait.
Last Call …
- La Jolla, San Diego -
Whenever I travel, I always like knocking out two (or more) birds in one stone (what a morbid idiomatic expression!). That isn’t seem to be the case with me and Monterey, Ca. Whenever I hit the road, I never had a concrete plan on my stops. Maybe I stop by Half Moon Bay. Maybe it’s time for me to hit Morro Bay. Maybe a quickie in Carmel will do for my travel fix (awful euphemism, Rommel, way to go). Monterey Bay seems to be always drawing me in whenever I pass by its sign when I approach the peninsula. And everytime, it’s as if Monterey teases me into just hitting one major spot at a time so I can come back to it again. The first time was the best aquarium in by book, Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The second time, returning back South, I went to the California’s lesser-known Old Fisherman’s Wharf.
Last month, I hung out at Pacific Grove and the pier.
Other than parking fee, time and a little bit of gas, I definitely have no problem with Monterey Bay reeling me in all the time. I know there’s plenty more to explore there. Maybe I hit the non-touristy areas. Maybe I’ll go seek a hike there. Maybe actually get to a water activity. Whatever it is I do or go there, the case won’t be just maybe’s, I’m certain that I’ll have a great time for Monterey, California never fails to mesmerize me ….. each time.
My weekend with Marilyn and the rest of Palm Springs was kind of a shoot from the hip, spontaneous runaway act. It’s just that I had a choice to either mope around or go somewhere for 14 days. I got out of the house and, with zero plan in mind, I started driving.
I took the road by surprise and the road ended up surprising me.
I only figured I’d avoid the heat in “high desert” and so I went during winter season. I didn’t dream of White December. However, the Aerial Tram in Palm Springs ascended me with an elevation of 8,516 feet. Ahoy! I was standing on the snowcapped mountains I used to only stare at from the windows.
I was then greeted with forests of palm trees in a place named Palm Springs. Fancy that!
During my weekend with Marilyn and the rests of Palm Springs, it was really the time where I think of something deeply – travel is fun and being confined inside a square is not. I urge everyone to just Nike do it from time to time.