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May 13, 2022

Photo Essay: Meow Wolf's Omega Mart in Las Vegas Claws at Modern Consumerism

One of the new arrivals to Vegas since my last visit in 2019 was Area 15...

 
...with its outdoor event space and sculpture garden and multiple immersive, interactive attractions indoors.

 
Its centerpiece is the Las Vegas installment of Meow Wolf—an expansion of the Santa Fe immersive art collective founded by Emily Montoya and Benji Geary.

May 12, 2022

Pandemic Reflections: My Body Is My Own

The last two years have been so crazy, we're still making sense of them. They probably won't make much sense to any of us for decades to come. 

But very early on, it became clear that one of the silver linings of mandated "social distancing" was the fact that I got my personal space back. 


May 11, 2022

Photo Essay: A Special Makeup Effects Creator's Own Museum of Monsters

Most of the times I've been to Boulder City, Nevada, it's been for ziplining or something related to the Hoover Dam

 
But this time around, I managed an early morning visit to the railroad museum (photo essay forthcoming)—with just enough time to visit Tom Devlin's Monster Museum before returning to Vegas. 

May 08, 2022

Photo Essay: Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' "Flights of Fancy" for Spring

While other casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip may be focused on recreating the opulence of ancient Greece, Rome, or Venice, approximating stereotypical Paris or New York City....

 
...or meeting the ever-changing expectations of "luxury"... 

 
...the Bellagio creates immersive, botanical experiences for each season in its 14,000-square-foot Conservatory.

May 07, 2022

Photo Essay: Tracking Down Del Taco's High Desert History in the Mojave

Driving east down Main Street in Barstow, California—taking a short detour on my way to Vegas last week—I spotted a sign advertising "The Original Del Taco Barstow," since 1964. 


April 24, 2022

Photo Essay: The Only Museum Devoted to President Abraham Lincoln West of the Mississippi

Every year in February around the commemoration of President Abraham Lincoln's birthday, I've wanted to visit the only museum west of the Mississippi dedicated to him for its annual open house. And every year, I've had something else to do (or just haven't wanted to make the 72-mile drive to Redlands, California). 

 
Somehow it hadn't occurred to me that the Lincoln Memorial Shrine would be open the rest of the year—or that I could visit anytime I wanted. 

April 20, 2022

Photo Essay: The Fraternal Origins of Hollywood Forever's Masonic Lodge

At the Santa Monica Boulevard entrance of Hollywood Forever (formerly known as Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery when it was first established in 1899) stands what today serves as the cemetery's administration complex.

 circa 2020

But it has far more esoteric origins. 

April 19, 2022

Photo Essay: Santa Barbara's Lil' Toot, the Little Tugboat That Could

I hadn't been to Santa Barbara since February 2019—and upon my return visit last week, at the top of my list of things to do in the area was to ride Lil' Toot

 
It's a little boat with a big personality—one that serves as a water taxi between Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara Harbor. 

April 18, 2022

Photo Essay: An Alpaca Visit Worth Waiting For

A couple of weekends ago, I decided to spend nearly four hours driving from Los Angeles to the East County San Diego backcountry to visit an "Alpaca Haven in the Hills"—Hazard Alpacas in Jamul, California.

 

April 17, 2022

Video: Avoiding Regret on TV Talking About Surfridge Ghost Town, Next to LAX

I always really enjoy the opportunity to share my discoveries with a wider audience—and sometimes beyond the written word, like at speaking engagements or via television appearances.

It feels like an opportunity to connect on a more personal level. 

And it gives me an excuse sometimes to return to a favorite spot—like Surfridge

Screenshot: Fox 11 Los Angeles