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Viva El Monterey

1 Jul

“The nature of parties has been imperfectly studied. It is, however, generally understood that a party has a pathology, that it is a kind of an individual and that it is likely to be a perverse individual. And it is also generally understood that a party hardly ever goes the way it is planned or intended.”

Cannery Row
John Steinbeck

Monterey, California. Wine country. Steinbeck country. Big Sur country. Gastronomic and topographic goodness. Before arriving in Monterey, I had heard tons of stories about how beautiful it was, how chic and how quaint. What I hadn’t remembered was that one of my favourite authors, John Steinbeck, once called Monterey home. That undergrad degree in English obviously did a lot.

After landing and driving around, namely to Salinas and San Jose, I could completely see George and Lennie roaming around and trying to stay out of trouble. And not succeeding.

BFFs Emily Barrick and Sophie Sanna take me on a drive up the coast on Highway 1. This is Big Sur country. We go through Pfeiffer National Park, past some really cool cliff-clinging architectural phenomena. And by the way, these are homes, not museums. When I ask who the hell lives here, Emily informs me that it’s the newly wed and the nearly dead.

Along this drive is Bixby Bridge. You’ve seen this bride in any road-trip-gloriyfing, patriotic ad about America. Sadly, however, I may ruin this bridge for you forever. It’s the suicide method of choice for many a local resident. Ruined. You’re welcome. Let’s hope the beauty compensates somewhere in the infinite beyond where bridges are buried.
Bad energy or not, the drive along Highway 1 is one of the things to see before you die. A decadent coastline, with jagged edges and breaking waves.

Steinbeck book cover. ‘Nuff said.

Me and one of the smaller redwoods. Yeah…

The Bashness Part II

18 May

More on the best reason to visit Treasure Beach in May…

The scene of the crime.

Jack Sprat restaurant, aka the liming spot, the ramping shop, the meet and greet, the support system, where it’s at.
Wayne Arnold, Ibo Cooper and Seretse Small et al playing semi-acoustic versions of the lyrics of Beres Hammond.
Vintage Calabash.

The Calabash booths amid the ever-present throng of customers. I bought books instead of earrings and very cute dresses.
Author Xu Xi recounting tales of a middle-class upbringing in Hong Kong, about not realizing her maid had a family until much later than is logical, about the Hong Kong vs English version of the warning about the door opening as the metro approaches the station. Reminds me of the good times in China. Ahhhh…..

The crowd and the view.

Niece extraordinaire, Isabel. Doesn’t she look like she would dive off a change table just to spite the changer? There’s a hint of Garfield in this picture that isn’t sitting well with me.

Heading out of town had its own share of sights…

The notorious pepper shrimp from Middle Quarters.

This young one doesn’t realize how close it came to being road kill. [No animals were harmed in the making of this post.]

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