iPhone Travelogue

London from above 7:34 AM

Farmer's field near Ditchling

Boddington Lane

The duck pond in Ditchling

Skimmia japonica

Boston airport

Gas Station in Baltimore

Leaving Baltimore

I-95 heading North

I am glad to be home again for the last couple of days of the year.


Happy Holidays

The holidays inevitably bring thoughts of my father. He spent half his life at war, first fighting the French for independence then battling his own people to defend the South of Vietnam against the Communists. In the end, he felt nothing but hatred and bitterness against the atrocities and ugliness of war. I don't know if there is ever a "just" war, but I wish more than anything else this holiday season for peace.


I heart NY

Times Square

After the rain

Gowanus Canal

Berries in Prospect Park

New York magazine is having its annual issue of Reasons to Love New York.
Among many other things, I love this city for its varied landscape, with everything from skyscrapers to wild places and all else in between, just like the crazy mix of its citizens. Somehow it all works.



It's a rainy winter day.



Me: "Where are you getting all this energy today?"
Lily: "Life."

Her happiness is very infectious.

Copenhagen Climate Summit

"Tomorrow 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency."

Editorial from the Guardian today.

The NYT is conspicuously absent from the list.


It's been a topsy turvy weekend weather wise. Friday was all sunny and mild, more like a brilliant autumn day than a day in early December. On our way to the galleries uptown Lynn and I walked across Central Park among massive trees baring their gnarly branches. The allée of American Elms looked like two rows of giants suspended in a modern dance movement, their limbs stretching and contorting every which way. We saw the Gerhard Richter show, which was such a treat. In his 40 years of painting, Richter has explored every possible genre from photo realist to abstract, something that irks many critics. The show at Marian Goodman includes some large squeegee paintings from the last decade, all of them a visual feast in colors, texture, and technical virtuosity. No reproduction can fully capture the luxurious feel of the oil paint gliding across the canvas and the subtle layering of colors in these works.
On Saturday winter announced itself suddenly, and we woke up to a freezing rain that turned into soft snow by the time we went to Lily's piano recital in the afternoon. It was dreary all day long, and we trudged around town in the damp cold. This morning, the brilliant sun returned but brought with it a biting cold air. Light pours through the windows, and silence reigns outside. The sky is clear and blue. Not a soul stirs on the street. I love mornings like this. But they never last long. The desire to hold onto to those precious moments, to stop time, is always overwhelming, like these lines from Faust express so well:

If I should say to the moment,
Stay awhile, you are so beautiful,
Then you may clap me into irons
And I will willingly perish.



My favorite hills along the highway

Highway 80 near Davis

Meyer Lemon plant

I have not lived in California for twenty years, but every time I go back, I think that I'm going home. It is where my father spent the last 30 years of his life, and being there has always meant being with him. Now that he is gone, memories of him haunt me when I'm there. The loneliness of the dark desolate road to his house is unbearable since he is no longer there waiting for me at the end. But everything reminds me of him, like the Meyer lemon plant that has doubled in size since we brought it home from Filoli Garden, the last outing my sisters and I took with our father before he died. He was so frail then, more than any of us had surmised. He was as stoic as those ancient trees that he told me he loved most in that garden. The day was as beautiful as we could have hoped for, and the garden was obligingly bursting with cherry blossoms, daffodils, and tulips. We sat silently for a while on a bench under the sun, and unbeknownst to me then, he staged the last fight for his life.