a trip to the coast

sky and water cooper

I’m home in Tucson, back from a working vacation. I took a day in San Diego with Doriot, two days at CalTech with Andy Ingersoll and others, and two days in LA with Bill and our friends Steve and Bette.

Before I left, I caught up with my friend Susan at the little Poca Cosa. The morning light was as good as the mole; I love this place and don’t go downtown often enough.

little poca cosa with susan, photo by Kate McKinnon

Staying at Doriot’s is a vibrant experience.

Doriot may 2015

Doriot pastel May 2015 web

I did not see and have never seen this building when I was in San Diego, but only because I didn’t know until today that it existed. I’m surprised I didn’t smell it, or spot it from the air. It was done by William Pereira. I feel like it could fold up, sink down into the earth, or take off, like a spacecraft.

Maybe I saw it in a book and it was too magnificent, I had to forget it. I read that the original design was for steel framing, and they decided to go with concrete instead to save money. I’m glad that they did. This provided the architect with more sculptural options, and me with more thrills.

Geisel Library at UC San Diego, designed by William Pereira photo Darren Bradley

Happily I did find the Pacific Coast Surfliner, the excellent train that runs right up the coast, and I mean right up the freaking beach; I went from San Diego to LA in record time, and close enough to see the surf. The most expensive ticket on the train was $59; it was an excellent experience and I can’t wait to do it again. Had I known how fabulous it was I would have been using it as my personal coast ferry for years. It stops everywhere, but also not too many places, if you know what I mean. Just the essentials.

I alternated between views of the shore, and views of my books.

Surfliner to LA, it goes right along the beach

sagdeev on the train

I loved the train to Pasadena as well; it was an easy change at the LA Union Station. Too easy, in fact – stupidly  I never saw the station. It was the same on the way back in; it was too easy to pick up the Red Line to Hollywood; I will have to do more exploring next time. I know it’s spectacular.

Pasadena Train, photo Kate Mckinnon

I love the CalTech campus. I’ve never felt more comfortable anywhere, even at MIT. I look forward to spending more time there. Bill is saying yes to some future stints at JPL; I know where I will lurk.

cal tech campus cal tech 2

It was just my good luck that Hal Levison was there for a meeting, and he and I enjoyed a two hour lunch fit for royalty, guests of Andy, at the Athenaeum. Amusingly, while we were doing this, Andy was eating a sandwich and an apple at his desk. He didn’t mind. In fact, he was proud to be associated with us, uh-oh.

Hal Levison at CalTech, explaining why someone's graphic is completely sideways.

I got a photo of Andy dressed as the King Of Prussia (as inspired, humorously, by the costume of Prince Philip). He had a small role in a bawdy farce with the CalTech Playreaders, and had made up his own costume. The crown was a gold cowboy hat with the brim cut off, the bit of gold braid and sash from the fabric store. The medals were a colored strip of paper; a meticulous recreation of Philip’s array.

Andy Ingersoll as the King Of Prussia

Because they were the CalTech playreaders, and therefore hopeless nerds, I had to explain to them what might be likely to be found in the cartload of rubber goods the King ordered delivered to a comely young village housewife. All they could come up with was condoms, but a cartload seemed like an awful lot, even for a very energetic king.  I couldn’t believe that they couldn’t come up with anything else.

Me: “Andy, it’s a cartload. You are most likely having things like rubber sheets and outfits delivered. You’re freaky!”

Andy: “I’m freaky? All right then!”

After CalTech, I met up with Bill and our friends Steve and Bette, who live in the Hollywood Hills. They have a mirror in their garden that Bill and I try to get a photo in each time we are there.

Bill and Kate in the mirror at Steve and Bettes

We spent a day at the Getty, and saw the Turner exhibit on loan from the Tate, a photography exhibit, the gardens, and hundreds of astonishing pieces from their permanent collection.

Bill McKinnon at the Getty, photo Kate McKinnon

Bougainvillea towers at the Getty, photo Kate McKinnon 2015

Getty garden, photo by Kate McKinnon 2015

Kate McKinnon at the Getty, photo by Bill McKinnon May 201

A Pissaro at the Getty, LA, photo Kate McKinnon

 above, Pissarro, below, Canaletto

Canaletto, Grand Canal, Venice at the Getty, photo Kate McKinnon 2015

below, Turner, before I realized there were no photos

Turner at the Getty, photo by Kate McKinnon

And now for me, it’s time to turn my attention to the Seed Bead Summit, and the third book in the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork series; it’s a summer project and fast-approaching.

3 thoughts on “a trip to the coast

  1. Yes, the Los Angeles Union Station waiting room is not to be missed. More and more TV shows are filmed there in its beautiful space. I seem to recall clever and beautiful custom hooks set into the wainscoting, but cannot find the photo I took of them.

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