The photography of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston are on display at Stanford University until Jan. 6, 2020. (Image: Kathryn Reed)
Similar, yet different. This is one way to describe the photography of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.
Each captures the landscape surrounding them in a way that draws the eye to examine every detail. The play of light, lines and natural beauty beckon one to admire what their lenses captured. As with all great photography, it goes beyond the equipment. It’s having an eye for the subject and the patience to capture the moment.
A sampling of their works is on display in the exhibit “West X Southwest” at the Cantor Center on the campus of Stanford University.
“This installation explores how Weston and Adams expressed content and navigated aesthetics during early and formative moments in their careers. It considers how the artists sharpened their modernists visions through a selection of images created in the place that biographer and curator Nancy Newhall (1908-1947) called each artist’s ‘Paris’,” Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell, curator and director of the Curatorial Fellowship Program, wrote of this exhibit.
Adams is known for his work in Yosemite and the Southwest, while Weston explored Mexico.
Together, in 1934 they were founding members of Group f/64, a San Francisco Bay Area photography collective. They had met in the mid-1920s; then crossed paths at various times. It was Weston who introduced Adams to Death Valley, while it was Adams who showed Weston Yosemite and other parts of the Sierra.
Adams said, “(We) had both come to be sympathetic to each other’s work, though we were never on an identical wave length.”
This sentiment is obvious as one walks through the exhibit. What I learned is that in 1941 Adams was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Interior to photograph national parks, mostly in the Southwest.
Having been an admirer of Adam’s for years, it was his photographs that captured my attention the most. This exhibit includes his iconic “Moonrise” at Hernandez, New Mexico. Before reading the description for “Dune” I thought the photo was a winter scene of plants struggling to survive in the snow. Instead it is an image of White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.
With the latest trend being printing on canvas, seeing an exhibit like this makes me wonder what the future of photography will bring. To me, this is real photography and a better representation of an artist’s craft.
Exhibit is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 11am-5pm; Thursday from 11am-8pm.
Exhibit ends Jan. 6, 2020.
Cantor Arts Center is at 328 Lomita Drive, Stanford.
Trail builders in Lake Tahoe need to find other places to lay down pavement.
The West Shore trail from Tahoe City to Meeks Bay is too pretty. Too many beautiful distractions and photo ops are along this 11-plus mile (one-way) trail to keep pedaling. I felt like I was out of the saddle as much as I was in it.
In other words, planners, developers, builders, visionaries – they did their job and then some with this route. It’s perfect for walkers, cyclists, joggers, and all ages. It can be done it segments or all at once. It’s about 10-feet-wide the whole time.
Much of the north section of the bike trail is along Lake Tahoe. (Image: Kathryn Reed)
While the whole trail is not new, a significantly scenic section was completed in the last year. This is the 0.7 miles going from the south end of Sugar Pine Point State Park down to Meeks Bay Resort. By themselves those are two of my favorite destinations in the basin. The state park has a plethora of things to see and do no matter the season. The section of the paved trail that goes through the park is the densest forest area. No need to hike – just walk/ride here. Enjoy the pines, firs, aspens and junipers.
The color of the water at Meeks Bay is like no other at the lake. The aqua hue reminds me of the Sea of Cortez in Baja and the Caribbean. The water gently laps, almost to a cadence that beckons one to enter. This is one area no matter the winter snowfall where it still seems like there is plenty of beach. Such was the case this year. The white sand stretches from the land to beneath the water for as far as the eye can see.
Meeks Bay is the southern point on the West Shore trail. (Image: Kathryn Reed)
Because we were making this a round trip we didn’t venture into the water. Meeks Bay might need to be the starting point next time so we end at the beach. Sue and I started in Tahoe City based on a friend’s recommendation because of elevation gains. Most of the ride is relatively even (aka flat), but it is Tahoe and these are the mountains, so it really isn’t flat – though it is flat for Tahoe. The most significant steepness was coming out of Meeks Bay into the state park.
Starting out from Tahoe City it isn’t long before the trail dumped us into a neighborhood. It’s a short stint. This is just north of Sunnyside restaurant. The other neighborhood section is Homewood. Both are easy to navigate – and we did this on a Saturday in September.
The Homewood section was completed in 2016. This had always been the missing link for this trail system. Before the routing into the neighborhood and along a more defined trail, cyclists had been along the busy highway, in a travel lane.
The only downside to the trail is the multiple times is crosses Highway 89. There are crosswalks at most of these intersections, but drivers are not always cognizant of the two-wheelers on the side of the road or don’t simply know they are supposed to stop for anyone in a crosswalk. Flashing yellow lights at all the crossings would make it better for everyone.
Still, we always felt safe.
Even when the trail is alongside the highway, it never felt like we were in vehicle traffic. The separation is clearly defined.
Riding through the forest of Sugar Pine Point State Park. (Image: Kathryn Reed)
At times the trail is right along Lake Tahoe, other times it is on the mountain side of the highway. It crosses Ward, Blackwood and General creeks. So many photo ops, especially next to the lake. It was all so visually stimulating that I cannot recommend a favorite section.
There’s even a bicycle campground closer to the Tahoe City end. A lone tent was set up.
While it is a multi-use trail, e-bikes are not allowed. A couple repair stations are set up — good if you need to add air or make some adjustments to your bike. There are even large trail maps in case you need to know where something is.
Here is a map of the trail, which will help you decide where to start if you don’t want to do the whole thing.
If libraries are a gift, then the Little Free Library movement is like the icing on the cake.
It has been 10 years since Todd H. Bol started the concept by placing a tiny library outside his Wisconsin home as a tribute to his mom who had been a teacher.
A tiny library in a South Lake Tahoe, California, neighborhood has two shelves full of books. (Image: Kathryn Reed)
He wanted to share books with others. To make it easy, free, no need for a library card, no questions asked. People could take any book, or even more than one. The idea was others would leave a book, maybe return the book they had taken after they were done with it.
It was so successful in Bol’s neighborhood that he started to give them away to family and friends. The concept spread rapidly. Bol began to envision these tiny libraries being more than a regional phenomenon. He and friend Rick Brooks used philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who built 2,509 libraries from 1883-1929, as an inspiration. They did even better.
Today, there are more than 90,000 little free libraries in every state and in 91 countries.
In 2012, Little Free Library became a nonprofit. People don’t have to belong to it to have a library. A useful tool on the website is that it has a map of libraries, making it easier to find one.
Each library seems to have its own personality, with some owners adding personal flare. Most are about the size of a fancy dollhouse. They are essentially a tiny house for books.
While I have never taken a book from one of these libraries, I have deposited books. Quite a while ago I stopped keeping every book I ever read. Having downsized my possessions in 2018, I own even fewer books. Being able to repurpose the ones I’m done with feels wonderful. Even the books I didn’t like, well, ideally they fall into the hands of someone who will like them.
On the website, Bol says, “I really believe in a Little Free Library on every block and a book in every hand. I believe people can fix their neighborhoods, fix their communities, develop systems of sharing, learn from each other, and see that they have a better place on this planet to live.”
One day I’d like to have a little library outside my home to share with my neighborhood – wherever that might be. For now, at Casa Luna where I live part time in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, there are a couple shelves of books open to Airbnb guests. It’s fun to see what they take and what they leave.
A tortilla with fish. There had to be more. This couldn’t be all there was to a fish Taco in Mexico.
The waiter saw the puzzlement on our faces and smiled. I’m sure he said something in Spanish that none of us understood. He pointed to the center of the restaurant. Ah, that was the answer we needed.
Al pastor tacos are being made in Guadalajara. (Image: Kathryn Reed)
This is how they do it in Mexico. Most often the “extras” are self-serve either at a communal assembly area or toppings are brought to the table.
This first encounter was when Penny, Tim and Laura came to visit me in Todos Santos last October. None of us knew this is how things are done in Mexico. We were in La Paz after a day at Balandra Beach. Once we figured out what to do, Tim and Penny had some special looking tacos.
Fish tacos reportedly were first created in Ensenada, Mexico. Ralph Rubio is credited with bringing fish tacos from Baja to the United States in the 1980s through his San Diego restaurant Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill.
While Mexico is the birthplace of the Taco, the dates, whereabouts and specific circumstances are debated.
This food item is so popular that Oct. 4 is National Taco Day in the United States. The event has its own website. Figures from the site say that people in the U.S. ate more 4.5 billion tacos in 2018. (For comparison, 50 billion hamburgers are consumed in the U.S. each year.)
The website goes on to say, “The word taco is the Mexican equivalent of the English word sandwich. The tortilla, which is made of corn or wheat, is wrapped or folded around a filling that is generally made of spiced proteins – beef, pork or fish.”
Potato tacos are a vegetarian option at Chill N’ Grill in Todos Santos. (Image: Kathryn Reed)
I’ve never seen a hard taco shell in Mexico; that seems to be a U.S. creation. Taco shells in Mexico are always soft, with diners usually having the choice between corn or flour. A variety of meats are often on the menu, but never have I seen hamburger meat like what one would find in the United States. White onions, cilantro, lime and salsa are staples for toppings in Mexico.
Another popular tradition is al pastor tacos, which is pork cooked on a spit. It reminds me of when I was in Greece and gyros would be available on the street corners; only there the spits were lamb.
On occasion I have been able to find a vegetarian taco in Mexico. At Chill N’ Grill in Todos Santos they make a potato taco which is really good. All the fixings came on it; which considering it’s a gringo restaurant makes sense. The restaurant even has Taco Tuesdays.