April 10, 2021

Photo Essay: Camp Iron Mountain, The Best-Preserved WWII-Era Training Camp in Gen. Patton's Desert Training Center

About 50 miles west of the Arizona border, 32 miles north of the town of Desert Center...

...north of the juncture of Highways 62 and 177... one of the best-preserved sites of General George S. Patton’s training efforts in the high desert during World War II. 

April 09, 2021

Photo Essay: An Easter Sunday Celebration at West Hollywood's Historic St. Victor Catholic Church

I'd been meaning to swing back by St. Victor Catholic Church in West Hollywood during the pandemic to document its stunning stained glass windows and mosaic mural—but somehow, even with so much more time on my hands, I hadn't gotten around to it yet.

I hadn't been to mass there since Christmas 2019—but then again, my formal church visits are usually few and far between. 

I'm much more likely to go to any church for some quiet reflection on a solo, unceremonious trip. 

But then Easter rolled around and, well, what better time? 

April 07, 2021

Photo Essay: A Sun-Soaked Stay at a Modernist Hacienda in Borrego Springs

The first time I stayed overnight in Borrego Springs, it was at Palms at Indian Head—a Mid-Century resort palace that still captures my imagination and draws me to visit, even if I haven't booked a room there. 

Since then, I've gone camping in the park, stayed in a tipi in Ranchita, slept on a military cot on my friend's porch in a windstorm, partied hard at the Warner Springs Ranch, and tried out Mid-Century motel life at Stanlunds Inn (the former Guppy Motel) in Borrego.  

But there's only one place I've returned to for an overnight stay while visiting Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Boynton's Hacienda del Sol. 

April 03, 2021

Photo Essay: A Sugary Walk Down Candy Lane

Just in time for the Easter candy eggstravaganza, there's a new walk-through interactive experience at the Woodland Hills mall...


April 01, 2021

Photo Essay: The Retirement Ranch of An Oil-Employed Fossil-Finder, W.W. Orcutt

At one point a few years ago, I'd set off to visit and document all the historic ranges in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and its environs.

But somehow after 10 years in LA, I still hadn't made it to Orcutt Ranch.

Maybe it's because its name didn't carry the same weight for me as "Paramount Studios" or "Lake Enchanto" or "Gillette" (of the razor empire). 

Its namesake, William Warren (W.W.) Orcutt, was a SoCal oil geologist and Union Oil exec whose name is less recognizable to us today than perhaps it was in his heyday. (Or, at least, to me—a California transplant.)

March 27, 2021

Photo Essay: The Delightfully Uncrowded Bloom at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego hasn't had a "superbloom" since Spring 2019—but I still wanted to go check it out this year, just in case I could find some blooms.

March 23, 2021

Photo Essay: The Agricultural Beginnings of a Classic Car Collection

The Motte Historical Museum in Menifee, California had its grand opening in 2013, after being founded by John Victor and Evelyn Motte through their estate.   

The Mottes are one of the oldest pioneering families in Riverside County's Perris Valley, not too far from Temecula. They established Motte's Romola Farms in 1910—and in the 1940s, Frank, Charles, and John Victor partnered up to create the Motte Brothers agricultural enterprise.

March 22, 2021

Photo Essay: Inside 50 Years of the Walt Disney Archives, After a Yearlong Wait

I don't post a lot about museum exhibits that aren't permanent—mostly because most of my posts have a long tail of readership, and I think it's frustrating to come across something that closed or moved on months or years ago.
But this time was different—because although I'd been to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California before for great events and exhibits, this latest show really knocked my socks off. 

March 21, 2021

Photo Essay: Noshes and Late Nights at Canter's Deli on Fairfax

The Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to groovy and historic coffee shops to visit—from Norm's on La Cienega to Swinger's Diner on Beverly and Dupar's at the Original Farmers Market

But Canter's on Fairfax—at the edge of the nationally-landmarked Beverly Fairfax Historic District, one block north of Beverly Boulevard on Fairfax Avenue—holds a special place in my heart, as it's located in a former movie theater.