Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Edgewood Park, a cloudy day in June 2022

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The quintessential park – grasslands, chaparrals, Bay views

Edgewood is our neighborhood county park, the one whose trails and flora we are trying to learn by heart. It claim to fame are its wildflowers. This hike is not fun on a hot summer day, but this weekend in June, it was cloudy and not crowded, turning the hike into an unexpected summer surprise. This time, we started at the Sunset trailhead where parking is less challenging. From junction sign 21, we took the detour on Clarkia; then at 22, we got back on Sunset; at 13, we took Ridgewood; at 15, Franciscan; at 12, Live Oak; at 17, we walked up the hill to enjoy the view; and then took Ridgewood back to Sunset trail. The entire hike is a little more than 3 miles and no more than 200 ft of climb. Between junction signs 15 and 12 on Franciscan trail, there was a profusion of coyote mint. And monkey flowers were in bloom throughout.

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Written by Sachin

June 13, 2022 at 8:21 pm

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Pulgas Ridge Preserve, June 2022

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From the top of Dusky-footed Woodrat Trail

Pulgas Ridge Preserve is another beautiful open space in our neighborhood! From the parking lot, we took the Cordilleras Trail to Dusky-footed Woodrat Trail to Hassler Trail to Dick Bishop Trail to Blue Oak Trail returning back to the parking lot, a total of 3.8 miles. Elevation change is no more than 400 ft. Much of the climb up is through the woods and rather pretty. The park is dog friendly, and the dogs were all clearly excited to be there. Monkey flowers were in bloom everywhere. It does get a bit noisy for about a third of a mile when Dusky-footed Woodrat Trail gets close to Hwy 280.

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Written by Sachin

June 5, 2022 at 5:17 am

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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El Corte de Madera Creek Preserve, May 2022

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A typical view on this trail

This park is a recommendation from Peninsula Trails by Jean Rushmore, Frances Spangle and Betsy Crowder. The trailhead is about 100 ft north of the Skeggs Point parking lot. It is a wonderful park for summer. The trail we followed was approximately 4.4 miles by the park map and 6.1 miles by wearable devices. It took us through El Corte de Madera Creek trail to Resolution trail to Fir trail to Tafoni trail back. El Corte de Madera Creek is mostly redwoods. Fir trail is mostly Douglas firs and madrones. We hung about the picnic bench near the Resolution Aircraft Memorial and did a quick detour to see the Tafoni sandstone formation. Resolution trail is interestingly rocky, makes you think you are elsewhere, like in Joshua Tree NP and seemingly popular with bikers.

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Written by Sachin

June 4, 2022 at 9:12 pm

Posted in USA

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San Bruno Mountain, May 2022

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A foggy morning on Summit Loop trail, a lonely bench

The recommendation for San Bruno Mountain Summit Loop Trail came from the book Peninsula Trails by authors Jean Rushmore, Frances Spangle and Betsy Crowder. On a fogless day, you can see a lot – Daly City, Colma, the Pacific Ocean, and the Santa Cruz Mountains, San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, Oakland, Mount Diablo, and the San Francisco Bay, planes taking off from San Francisco International Airport – you can also see all this without hiking by simply parking at the San Bruno Ridge Trail parking lot.

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Written by Sachin

May 29, 2022 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Wunderlich County Park, Apr 2022

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Salamander Flat

An approximately 5 mile hike in Wunderlich County Park, starting at the Alambique Nature Trail, going clockwise via Meadow Trail, Bear Gulch Trail, Redwood Trail, and back to the parking lot via Madrone Trail. The Meadow Trail is unshaded in large parts. Alambique is dappled shade. Bear Gulch, Redwood Trail and Madrone are well shaded. Going clockwise, both Alambique and Meadow are mostly uphill. The trail starts going down on Bear Gulch and continues downhill all the way to the parking lot. At the top of Meadow Trail, there is a clear view of the Bay including Stanford campus and the dish. On a hot day, it may be easier going counter-clockwise where the uphill is cool and shaded. Jane Huber of BAHiker likes this trail in the autumn when she says that the ground is dry and the foliage is gorgeous.

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Written by Sachin

May 1, 2022 at 2:03 am

Posted in California, USA

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Jean Lauer Trail, April 2022

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The artifacts of US Air Force base visible from much of the trail

Jean Lauer trail is short coastal hike in Pillar Point Bluff County Park. It is a flat and mostly accessible trail. We went walkabout a bit beyond the main trail. Wildflowers from mustard family were in bloom.

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Written by Sachin

April 25, 2022 at 9:23 am

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Walk in the woods, Apr 2022

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Somewhere near Little Basin Road off of CA Route 236

We had intended to do the Eagle Rock trail. When we reached the designated parking, we found it closed. We walked about a bit, for a mile or so, searching for the trail, and eventually realized we were on someone’s private land. We were puzzled and decided to head out. Once we got out, we noticed a sign saying that the campground was closed due to hazardous conditions from 2020 fires. Silly us, it took us a while to realize we weren’t getting a prize here – a trail all to our ourselves!

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Written by Sachin

April 25, 2022 at 5:30 am

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Thornewood Open Space Preserve, Apr 2022

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Looking up on Bridle trail

First, we did the Schilling Lake trail recommended by POST. The parking lot on La Honda only has space for six cars and is often overcrowded on weekends, it helped us that this was the Tax weekend as well as the Easter weekend. On our way back, we decided to explore the Bridle trail. This trail is almost entirely shaded by Redwoods. Overall, approximately 3.5 miles and elevation change of approximately 400 ft. The trails go along streams and small waterfalls and could be nice, albeit cold, in winter. It had rained yesterday and portions of the trail were a little muddy.

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Written by Sachin

April 18, 2022 at 6:46 am

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Calero Park from Rancho Cañada del Oro, April 2022

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Field of vetch under an oak tree

From the same parking spot as Rancho Cañada del Oro, this 4 mile hike is through the neighboring Calero Park, following Longwall Canyon to Needlegrass to Bald Peaks trail to Little Llagas Creek trail. This is part of the POST recommended Rancho Cañada del Oro hike, with the climb going up the wrong way, on the shorter and exposed Needlegrass trail. The only shaded portion of the hike is the Little Llagas Creek trail. Top of Needlegrass has stunning views of the mountains and if one knows where to look, the view of Loma Prieta, the highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Although we were too winded to appreciate. Note to self – pay attention to trail markers next time. This time again, after the hike, we took our lunch on one of the benches on Whole Access Llagas Creek Loop Trail looking at the field of lupines and vetches and poppies.

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Written by Sachin

April 10, 2022 at 7:08 pm

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Windy Hill Hike, April 2022

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On the way down from the summit

We followed the recommended POST hike, from Spring Ridge Trail to the Hamm’s Gulch Trail, to Bay Area Ridge Trail, and the Anniversary Trail to reach the summit and a descent via the Spring Ridge trail to the Betsy Crowder Trail. We saw a number of new flower species on Hamm’s Gulch. The trail was all shaded until we reached the end of Hamm’s Gulch and then it is almost entirely exposed until Betsy Crowder trail. This direction is a whole lot more pleasant than going up Spring Ridge and coming down Hamm’s Gulch.

It is not common to have a trail named Betsy, it is named after local conservation activist Elizabeth “Betsy” Swann Crowder.

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Written by Sachin

April 8, 2022 at 12:00 am

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, March 2022

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What a beauty! This is on the Ancient Oaks Trail near Bo Gimbal Trail intersection.

Followed the POST recommended 3.6 mile trail from the Ridge Trail, to the Ancient Oaks Trail to the Charquin Trail back to the Ridge Trail. The parking lot was full and we parked by Highway 35. The wildflower season was at its peak.

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Written by Sachin

April 7, 2022 at 11:31 pm

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Rancho Cañada del Oro, March 2022

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An exceptionally beautiful park in spring.

While we had intended to do the 5.8 mile Bald Peaks trail recommended by POST, we accidentally ended up on the 4.3 mile Mayfair-Longwall canyon loop trail. The climb took us through Blue Oak woodlands. It was stunningly beautiful. Occasionally we would see signs for cattle grazing. We found ourselves discussing how the land might have been before the settlers.

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Written by Sachin

April 7, 2022 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Hiking Edgewood Park, March 2022

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Near Clarkia Trailhead

This is one of the best places to see wildflowers and it is in our neighborhood park too. We have walked this park dozens of times, from the main park entrance or Sunset trailhead, but this time we started from Clarkia trailhead. We followed Clarkia to Sunset to Ridgeview to Franciscan to Live Oak to Serpentine back to Sunset and Clarkia (23, 22, 14, 13, 15, 12, 17, 20, 22).

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Written by Sachin

March 26, 2022 at 7:12 pm

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Hiking Huddart Park, March 2022

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Huddart Park is a lovely park for picnic and the wooded trails are great on a summer day. The trails are uneven dirt trails, but in Redwood forests, trails are always easy on your feet. At this time of the year, the streams carry water and delicate green ferns grow by the trails. We did a short hike around the Zwierlein picnic area following Crystal Spring Trails, Canyon Trail, Campground Trail and Dean Trail (from marker 21 to 17 to 13 to 15 to 24 to 19 to 17 and back to 21).

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Written by Sachin

March 26, 2022 at 10:04 am

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail, March 2022

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Quintessential view from this trail. There is no beach access.

We ended up going all the way from one end to another and coming back. That made is a nearly 7 mile hike, near all flat and nearly all exposed. We started on the north end. There is perhaps more place is sit at the northern end, so if doing a picnic lunch in the middle, it might make more sense to start at the south end.

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Written by Sachin

March 21, 2022 at 5:58 am

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Hiking Pearson-Arastradero Preserve, March 2022

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A beautiful oak on the Paseo del Roble trail near Arastradero lake

Our intent was to do the recommended 3.7 mile scenic loop recommended by POST, but we ended up going a little longer. We first did the Redcap loop trail. Then we went on to Juan Bautista de Anza Trail to Meadowlark Trail to Acorn trail to Arastradero creek trail to Paseo del Roble to Wild Rye trail before descending back to the de Anza Trail. The parking lot appeared quite busy on the weekend!

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Written by Sachin

March 21, 2022 at 5:42 am

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Visiting Bair Island, March 2022

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Happenstance view at the start of the walk, three teams competing.

Bair Island is only a few miles from home. There are public parking and restroom facilities at the Bair island trail entrance. It is a flat, exposed trail, about 1.7 miles one way going to Middle Bair Island observation deck. Most of the path is along highway 101, so there is some white noise. There is excellent bird watching opportunity all throughout. The observation deck away from the highway and is quieter.

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Written by Sachin

March 21, 2022 at 4:36 am

Posted in USA

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Sequoia Audubon Trail, Feb 2022

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At the start of the trail

It was a delightful 1.5 to 2 miles roundtrip trail along the marshes. It was an absolutely gorgeous day by the beach when the inland was cloudy and cold. We took our binoculars to watch the birdlife and found some common Canadian geese. January and February had not seen much rain this year after a lot of rain the previous two months and as a result, some of the vegetation had started to dry out already. There were a lot of cattail. A few of the yarrows were in bloom, but plenty were getting ready. There was not much shade along the way, and it was surprisingly warm.

There is parking right at the start of the trail, but south Pescadero beach is perhaps a better spot to park if combining with picnic lunch. At the beach, you will see people fishing and there are a number of benches to enjoy the ocean view.

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Written by Sachin

March 20, 2022 at 6:59 pm

Visiting Ano Nuevo SP, Feb 2022

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An elephant seal family with a male, eight females and eight pups (seven seen).
A lone seal hanging out, they often use their flippers to move wet sand on themselves.

Año Nuevo State Park is one of the largest elephant seal rookery. It is a short walk, about 1.5 miles roundtrip, but set aside 2 hrs because it is really fun to watch these seals when they do decide to move. As per the docent, the best time to come here between December and January, especially the days where it is wet and clammy. There is a lovely picnic area right at the entrance and plenty parking.

Written by Sachin

March 20, 2022 at 6:40 pm

Posted in Bay Area, California, USA

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Hiking in Uvas Canyon, Feb 2022

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At the start of the waterfall loop

We had intended to do the 3.5 mile waterfall hike as per POST recommendation but ended up taking the detour up to Knobcone Point which added an additional 0.8 miles to the total. When they say steep, they mean steep. We practically crawled up to Knobcone, but the reward was a lovely picnic table where we had our lunch. I enjoyed the flatter contour trail part of the hike where the air smelled of California/mountain laurel. Much of the hike is shaded, the ground is packed dirt and also steep downhill on Alec Canyon.

Written by Sachin

March 20, 2022 at 12:45 am

Night sky in Joshua Tree NP

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We started the year 2022 with trip to an old favorite, Joshua Tree National Park. If there is a national park, that feels personal and accessible, this is it. You can stop anywhere, walk anywhere and scramble up any rock. So it feels. It is perfect in the winter when it rains elsewhere. Best night sky is perhaps the month of September when JT hosts night sky festival, however, for those of us who live amidst light pollution, a sky where you can see stars is perfect anytime of the year. The photos below are from a small stretch between Quail Springs and Hemingway between 9 and 10 pm. We didn’t really have appropriate winter attire, so we were rather cold, but the photos were well worth it.

From Quail Springs Parking Lot. This is a single long exposure, otherwise unprocessed.
On a dirt trail right before Hemingway, coming from the West Entrance. This is a different night compared to the previous image. Night sky was cloudless. This is a single short exposure but otherwise unprocessed photo. The glowing tip of the rocks is from a car passing by on the Park Boulevard.
From the same dirt trail and the same night as the previous photo. This is stacked but otherwise unprocessed. You can see the linear trails from flights.

Written by Som

March 19, 2022 at 8:51 pm

Posted in California, USA

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Inspired by something I heard on “the 11th” – An attempt at exhausting a photo

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To tell you this story, I have to go back a few weeks. I heard this podcast titled Exhausting A Place, on “the 11th”, and it got me thinking about possibilities of a place. In this episode, three people spend several hours just sitting in one place, observing and recording. A cemetery in Virginia, a cafe in New York and a plaza in Mexico. The episode is inspired by the book An Attempt At Exhausting A Place in Paris, “what happens,” as the author Georges Perec puts it, “when nothing happens.” While I found the idea intriguing, I could not convince myself that I knew how to exhaust a place, not even my little 12×12 patio with a single maple tree and two loungers. Then nothing happened.

Then a few days later, on a busy weekend afternoon at my grocery store parking lot, I noticed a sign I would normally not notice. On top of a familiar sign that threatens towing all unauthorized vehicles, I noticed some stickers. Anthony Bourdain’s face was one of them and it was he who grabbed my attention. I took a photo because I could not make sense of the collection of stickers. And that started a journey. A journey that I am calling An attempt at exhausting a photo.

Aside from Anthony Bourdain’s photo, it had three stickers, one was partially covered up. One said, “FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE AND LET IT KILL YOU.” Another said, “ATTENTION DEFICIT ORDER PODCAST” and the final one that was partially covered up, read, “A FEELING OF SADNESS THAT ONLY BUS STATIONS HAVE”. I did find myself curious. Were they related in any way to each other? Were they related to Bourdain’s photo? If the owners of the stickers were saying something, what was it? This was my neighborhood grocery store, so chances were, these are my neighbors. As I root, I find myself increasingly fascinated by those who are around me.

Find something you love and let it kill you: After some rummaging about the internet, I found that the quote is misattributed to Charles Bukowski, a German-American poet.

“My dear,
Find what you love and let it kill you.
Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness.
Let it kill you and let it devour your remains.
For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.
~ Falsely yours
― Charles Bukowski”

Maybe Bukowski didn’t write these few lines, but the words seem to convey the meaning of the line. He appears to be a controversial persona, but apparently Bukowski often spoke of Los Angeles as his favorite subject. LA is my favorite subject too, particularly when discussions focus around film noir or mid century architecture or the golden California light or Mexican food.

It turns out that the quote should be attributed to humorist, novelist, singer, and songwriter Kinky Friedman instead (see link to Quote Investigator). Kinky’s biography is so long that it needs an intermission (bio by Michael Simmons). He loves mysteries by Agatha Christie. I love mysteries by Agatha Christie.

A feeling of sadness that only bus stations have: This is attributed to Jack Kerouac as part of a longer quote “The floors of bus stations are the same all over the country, always covered with butts and spit and they give a feeling of sadness that only bus stations have. – On the Road”

OK, this quote is something I can relate to, or rather, not relate to. When I first came to US, now more than a quarter of a century ago, Greyhound buses felt safe and affordable. An experienced driver would navigate the snow and rain while one took a nap or looked out the window. And it was a chance to see people who you wouldn’t see otherwise. At the bus station, I remember experiencing possibilities of a space shared with strangers. Last time I read Kerouac was decades ago. So, I have decided it is time to reread him again. Exploring around, I found at least one writer who champions the bus as a window into America’s soul (link).

Attention Deficit Order Podcast: Here is how the creators describe the podcast – “This is a free-thinking, pot-smoking, media-loving podcast, based out of California. We watch and rate a ton of movies, tv shows, and video games. We also talk comics, books, technology, and whatever else catches our attention.”

They publish weekly and have over 500 podcasts. I picked “S22E22 Wolf Beatles Moon Party” to listen to – season 22, Episode 22 in Year 22. When they finally get started, they want to talk about the movie Moonfall but instead play Whitey on the Moon, suggesting that the spoken word poem should have been part of the movie. I had to look up the poem and its context and then was reminded by a recent Jon Stewart podcast “Jon talks with Dr. Mae Jemison: The first black woman in space”, where Dr. Jemison talks to Jon about how space is for everyone and not just the billionaire boys’ club. The second movie they talk about is The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert. They played a number of Beatles songs. Their recommendation, if you like Beatles, watch it, otherwise it sucks. A little afterwards, they did a voice over on Halo The Series official trailer, almost made me wish I was an eleven year old boy. Over the course of the hour long podcast, they refer briefly to The 355, The Tender Bar, The Afterparty, The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window and a few more.

Overall, this podcast delivers what is promises, free-thinking stream of consciousness. For the listener, maybe influence of pot will help join the free-thinking spirit.

Anthony Bourdain: And thinking of Bourdain, I only feel gratitude. I really appreciated his comfort on the street, with strangers, with the new.

Written by Som

March 3, 2022 at 6:23 am

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Adapting to the pandemic

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The year 2020 can be best described as being stunned – the political, and social turmoil were bad enough but then a war with the virus started. The year 2021 has been about settling in for the long haul. Now that we are approaching 2022, omicron has raised its ugly head. There is no adapting to the multitude of losses that has happened and will continue to happen. Instead, I wanted to take a moment to remember the good moments.

We were six months into remodeling when the pandemic started. Despite all the challenges, our team brought us to the finish line in a timely manner and we were glad to be back in our own space. The new facets of the old house kept us occupied for most of 2020.

The pandemic has turned cooking into a therapy. We celebrated anniversaries and birthdays with homemade cakes and multi-course meals. Like many others we took to baking sourdough loaves too. We have taken up Ottolenghi with a new vigor and each week focuses on one of his cookbooks.

Alice Medrich’s Oat and Rice flour cookies with cardamom (Flavor Flours)
Ottolenghi’s butternut squash, orange and sage galette
Ottolenghi’s beetroot, caraway and goat cheese bread.
Cardamom Cake From Niloufer Ichaporia King (via Food52)

The new trees, planning, sourcing, acquiring, placement, have taken up most of my free time. The courtyard got a Japanese maple. Coming from the nursery, it was all wound up in a narrow format, I added some training weights to spread it out a little.

When the tea tree went into bloom this spring, I stood under the tree and heard the buzzing of hundreds of bees. The tree and I have spent 7 springs together, but the pandemic allowed me the time to explore a little.

Inspired by memories from home, I start nurturing a baby moringa tree. It is now out of the pot and in the soil, but still not out the woods yet. I wonder if it will make it. In hot and humid climate of India, these trees grow up large and with ease. On my visits to India, we have to convince someone to climb their local neighborhood tree and get us some leaves. I have been turning them into south Indian’s style spiced powder – oil roast leaves, dry roast lentils and spices and grind together.

Our plum tree decided to bear 40 lbs of fruit this summer. The fruits ripen about the same time, so two weekends were spent furiously jamming, and fermenting.

The new shower with its gorgeous tiles is a joy to behold. Who says money doesn’t bring happiness!

We also planted some Grecian bay leaf trees. I will never have to buy bay leaves again. And the aroma is divine. I am letting the leaves air dry and it helps retain the fully depth of the green color.

Prior to the remodeling, we had a lot of rose bushes. These bushes had to be taken out. We put in a couple of thornless climbing yellow roses only to have them badly infected and then spending nearly the entire 2021 trying on a variety of fungicides. Fingers crossed!

Last but not the least of the noteworthy has been Einstein’s Tomb by Lebbeus Woods. The exhibition was running at SF Moma the day one of us was scheduled for vaccination at the nearby building. The tomb is a theoretical construct, a proposal for a celestial cenotaph (an empty tomb/monument for a person buried elsewhere), for physicist Albert Einstein. More here. Now if I were Elon Musk or Jeff Besos, this is precisely what I would want for my afterlife.

Einstein’s tomb (1980) by American architect Lebbeus Woods (1940–2012)

Written by locomotoring

December 6, 2021 at 12:49 pm

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2019, the year that flew away

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2019 is the year that I learned that orchids can bloom for an year. It was a seemingly ordinary orchid from the neighborhood Whole Foods. I had brought it home right before mom and dad’s trip in Sep 2018. The photo on the left below, in full bloom, is from Nov 2018, and the one to the right, with a single remaining flower, is from July 2019. Alas, I don’t have the skill to re-bloom my orchid.

We started a remodel of our home this year, and a large part of the design has revolved around maximizing the view of our neighbor’s majestic oak. To me, the process of remodel feels like trimming a tree and grafting new branches. New spaces will presumably create new possibilities.

Prior to the start of the remodel, we snuck in a quick trip to Philo in Anderson Valley. Nothing special, just a get away from the internet. It reminded me of the trip to Tokyo, the trees around the cottage were buzzing with the sound of cicadas. Those of us who live in California are spoiled by our microclimates. We go away for an hour or two, and we might as well be thousands of miles away. The first week that we had moved into our temporary abode, a mere mile from home, we were graced with visit from a curious deer family who live in the abutting hills.

The remodel is a mental tether, so travel is limited. We managed to squeeze in a quick trip to India at the peak of summer heat when mangoes are at their sweetest. My husband enjoyed his first taste of palm fruit, aka Talshansh in Bengal. He has always enjoyed the Bengali mishti version of the fruit called Nolen gurer Jalbhora Sandesh with fresh jaggery liquid on the inside and soft fresh cheese on the outside.

My grandmother’s home has been turned into a vocational training school. Over the last 5 decades, many wonderful memories have been created there. I remember the rangoon creeper (Madhumalati in Bengali) that surrounded the windows of the guest bedroom on the second floor. The intensely scented flowers attracted honey bees by the day and fireflies danced around the bed at night. Intense thunderstorms during monsoon nights were mesmerizing. Grandma would light sandalwood incense, kindled by coconut coir, in a genie lamp and walk about the house in the evening to shoo off mosquitoes. The mosquitoes inevitably came back, but the smell of incense lingered late into the evenings.

Many decades ago, the surrounding land was a charming small village abundant with ponds and trees.  The house was surrounded by beetle nut and coconut trees. And grandma would invariably ask someone to harvest while we were visiting and we would watch with our pounding hearts as the harvesters would free climb the tall trees. Ladies of the house would gather around the freshly harvested beetle nuts and indulge in their addiction before starting coconut grating marathons that would eventually turn into sweets for the kids. The rooftops had their own dedicated activities, from drying clothes to sunning pillows to drying lentil wadis. I remember my mother and grandmother, both drying their long  abundant hair in the warm afternoon sun during winters.

I particularly remember the polished cement floor of her master bedroom. It was a seamless geometric pattern in pink and cream. I try to imagine the skill and patience it would have taken to put together a continuous seamless block of cement with a wonderful geometric pattern. The end product was a floor that was buttery to touch and on hot summer days, we would lie down on the floor and listen to radio plays. We have been eyeing some of the handmade tiles from Heath and Fireclay for our home and I am grateful that these artisan tiles are still around.

When we left for India, we had a lot of green unripe fruits on the plum tree and came back to ripe ones. Based on a recipe from The Noma Guide to Fermentation, husband salt fermented the plums. We put these plums in everywhere we could think of, they turned out to be delightful in sauces – pasta with a hint of warmed and crushed black walnuts, thinly sliced fermented plums, tossed with garlic-y olive oil or truffle oil and lightly showered with lemon zest.

2019 was also special in that we were transported for a day to France. De Young museum organized an exhibition of nearly 50 paintings by Claude Monet, the final phase of his career when he was inspired by his own garden at Giverny. It was nearly as spectacular as a visit to Musée de l’Orangerie. Alas, thinking about Paris reminds me that there will be no more sunsets from the top of Notre Dame.

In 2019, we discovered food from Mexico City at our doorsteps! Since the first tentative taco, we have tried Huarache and Gordita. If you are in Redwood City, don’t forget to pay Los Carnalitos a visit and get cuitlacoche if it is on the menu.

Welcome 2020. I hope it doesn’t fly away like 2019 did.

Written by locomotoring

January 5, 2020 at 10:36 pm

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Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze

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Casteel is an accidental finding. A recent trip to Cantor, where I go for a quick fix when the right half of my brain needs nourishment, revealed the young artist, Jordan Casteel. Cantor is staging her west coast debut and first solo museum show. The collection is eye catching with its larger than life canvases and their vibrant colors. But then you start seeing the loving details in portraits of everyday people. Here are couple of my favorites from the collection.

Fatima 2018

Galen 2 2014

Written by locomotoring

November 30, 2019 at 8:38 pm

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