Monday, August 31, 2009

San Diego's Santa Fe Depot

Public architecture performs a high-wire act on our nerves. When a public building is beautiful, it can lift our mood on a bad day. When I lived in Philadelphia, I walked through its magnificent City Hall almost every day. The building's grace and grandeur helped me feel wealthy. Sadly, when a public building is ugly, it can drive one to despair. 

While riding the coaster train with my son Max, we enjoyed snacks at the lovely Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego, California. Its architecture is influence by Spanish missions and the Mediterranean climate of San Diego. You can find out about the history of the building here

The interior looks very much like a church, and this association is reinforced by the Santa Fe Railroad's logo, a cross inside a circle. This symbol is repeated often in the details and the light fixtures.

The building retains a calm atmosphere, and also traces of history. I like to imagine the people who passed through this room in the early 20th Century. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Images from Southern California

We spent most of the month of August in Carlsbad, California. It's on the coast, a half-hour's drive north of San Diego. This is the part of California the Beach Boys sang about. When I first heard their songs, I was living in the Texas panhandle, so I could only imagine their beaches, palm trees and surfers. All these years later, the songs feel right on target, to a surprising degree.

Even though we were temporary residents, the neighbors in Carlsbad welcomed us. Max rode his bike and made chalk drawings with his friend Nicho on the warm summer nights.

Instead of writing more, I'll post additional photos to give you the flavor of our time in San Diego County.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Coaster Train with Max & Misa

My son Max loves trains. Wherever he goes, whatever he sees, his big question is, "Where are the train tracks?" This week we took Max on a train ride along the coast of southern California. It is a great joy to travel with a child who is excited.