We are blessed with so many splendid beaches in California. Up and down the coast there are a myriad of coves and expanses; small beaches and large. Pictured here is Dillon Beach in Marin County located near the mouth of Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay is home to a thriving oyster industry - take time out to enjoy the fruits of the sea at Hog Island Oyster and either stay at a private residence in Dillon Beach or nearby Olema and dine enjoying the old world chic of the Sir and Star at The Olema. Then there's the miles of pristine coast at Point Reyes National Seashore to explore and the drive on Highway 1 through Bolinas to enjoy. Nearby, don't miss the Audubon Canyon Ranch where the snowy egrets nest en masse - a magnificent sight to witness
This is the lovely Nuruosmaniye Mosque in Istanbul. It fairly glows, it's white marble walls punctuated with paned windows, allowing sunlight into the sanctuary. Nuruosmaniye means "the light of Osman", named so after the sultan who completed the building in 1755. This 18th century mosque is considered a masterpiece of Baroque Ottoman architecture. The "mother" and architectural inspiration for many mosques like this, is Hagia Sophia, built in the 6th century as a Christian Greek Orthodox Basilica. Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul has a long and fascinating history being at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, a nexus of commercial, cultural, artistic, diplomatic and religious systems
I'm crazy for basketry, it's a practical artistic tradition I love; all the more so with the jaunty tassels and tufts shown above! Considering African arts, I can't help but think of the incredible inspiration the sculptural arts, in particular were, for many European artists early in the 20th century. Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin, on and on, found awesome expression and freshness in the arts of non-western cultures. They filled their studios with art from around the world. Shown here, at the Pompidou Center, is a display of objet from Andre Breton's studio, which included oceanic art. Outside the Pompidou, is Atelier Brancusi, given to the State of France with the condition the studio be re-created as found the day the artist died. Look at his magnificent work and you'll see the influence of African art as well
The rose garden at the Santa Barbara Mission, pictured above, is a beautiful, beloved place for picnics, weddings and walks. Another glorious rose garden of sorts, is that at La Sumida Nursery on Patterson. La Sumida is a Santa Barbara tradition, and I've known the business my entire life yet somehow I wasn't aware of their spectacular rose assortment. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of roses there; bushes, arbors, standards, espalier. Reds, pinks, whites, yellows, oranges, etc.etc. Two tones, full bodied, flat, fragrant and not. It is a such a visual treat and the best part is you can take these roses home with you! We are blessed with the Santa Barbara Rose Society and of course the gardens at Rose Story Farm as well!
There is something beguiling about an empty stairwell; an invitation, an air of intrigue – what's beyond that corner, who is up in those rooms above? Glancing at these stairs I can't help but imagine a 17th century contessa, draped in silk, lace and baroque pearls climbing the stairs to the "primo piano" to hear a new form of music, opera; this was the era it was created. This image was taken at the beyond-exquisite Palazzo Lomellino in Genoa – with very limited access I only saw the atrium, courtyard, and nyphaeum, so next time would plan an entire trip around their open day – the first Saturday of each month. Meanwhile their beautiful website and virtual tours must suffice – a glimpse into another time and space.