Tag Archives: architecture

Donostia–San Sebastian

san sebastian

Town Hall

We made our second trip to Donostia/San Sebastian yesterday.  The first time we went was our first day in Spain, and I was too exhausted to really enjoy it.  When we returned yesterday I was really hoping for magic.  Parking was very hard to find, so the forty-five minutes driving around searching took a bit of the excitement away.  But we were happy once we found a lot on the far east side of town across the Urumea River.

Our walk started there, on the boardwalk of La Zurriolo, where most of the surfers congregate.  There is a great long boardwalk that runs the whole length of the city.  From La Zurriolo we walked around Mount Urgull, past the aquarium, all the way to La Concha and Ondaretta beaches.  The walk was a great way to enjoy the views from the coast.

We walked inland to the old quarter, but after so long in the country, the city that is San Sebastian felt frenetic.  Too many people, too many cars, too much construction.  While I loved many of the buildings, the city didn’t produce the relaxing atmosphere rich with Basque cuisine that I was looking for.  So I did what any rational person in my situation would do–head straight for the capital of soothe–Getaria, the epicenter of Txacoli winemaking.

donostia building

One of my favorite buildings I spied on my walk

building faces

Look at the faces!

building tilework

Blue and gold–one of my favorite color combinations

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Big Persimmon Go Plop

I grew up in a small one-story craftsman style house in Los Angeles.  The garden was L-shaped and wrapped around the house.  Outside my bedroom window was a brick patio.  Above the brick patio was a large mature persimmon tree.  Every year the fruit would ripen, get heavy with juices, and fall to the hard brick patio; Big Persimmon Go Plop!  My brother and I would say each time.  The fruit would splatter everywhere and its sticky sweetness would attract flies.  There was a less that pleasant odor that accompanied the plethora of rotting fruit, too much falling too frequently to keep clear from the patio.  My mother would pick hundreds of persimmons each year with our tall fruit picker.  The picker had a wire basket at the top with wire fingers that grabbed and broke the fruit off at its stem.  We had one that looked like this:

We had a few other vintage style pickers too that are too old to appear on google image searches.  My mother would fill dozens of brown grocery bags and try to pass the things off as presents to little avail.

A few years ago I noticed mention of persimmon (especially the Japanese varietal) on some menus and noticed that somehow, along with the slow food movement, persimmons were coming into vogue.

Here are a few I found in the blocks surrounding my craftsman house in Rockridge.  Even though I hated them as a child I have a strange fetish for them now–at least seeing them.  I still wouldn’t eat them, but they look beautiful ripening on the tree.

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Friday Arrangement

After a long week at the office all I want to unwind is an hour or two to do some FABULOUS arranging!  I had such an urge yesterday I cannot even tell you!

This is what I came up with:

As we all know, our country has hit tough economic times.  I challenged myself to make a totally fabulous arrangement that would cost me next to nothing to make (at least for me to produce given my personal horticultural resources).  I would sell this arrangement in Rockridge at Bloomies for $45 (including cost of the container, not including tax).

What’s in it: 1 stem Lemon Leaves, 2 stems Camelia leaves, 2 stems rosehips, 5 garden roses (these retail in Rockridge at $17.50 for 5 stems).  Of this list, only the rosehips were purchased at retail.  The rest is from my garden.  

Another view is at right.

I took this one because I wanted you to be able to see the container, also from my personal collection, a mason jar.  It’s great to use different unexpected containers from around the house.  It can be very charming.

You also get a little peek into the interior architecture of Rockridge.

In spite of a fear of redundancy, I just can’t HELP myself from including the second picture at right too, which is only ever so slightly different from above.  But aren’t the roses just too gorgeois? I just want to EAT them!

The roses are from my favorite bush I have.  It’s been in the front yard forever probably, at least long before we bought the house. In terms of blooms she just produces and produces.  She’s like a good Catholic woman; she just keeps popping them out!

Below is the gorgeous afternoon light coming in through the window in my front door.  I just couldn’t resist!!!

(And in the picture below hat amazing pink bud in the front is a Lemon blossom…smells soooooo good!)

 

 

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Inspiration

My friend just started working for this architecture and design firm in Stockholm

Check out: Summer Houses: Skargarden: Archipelago House, Stockholm.

Stockholm Archipelago: 10, Rockridge, 1.

Sorry Rockridge.

I’m also loving:

Private houses: Vasteras: Villa Pa Tido-Lindo, Vasteras.  Those windows really soothe me.

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