LA: Pooch Paradise?

What does everyone expect to see a lot of in Los Angeles? Celebrities, beautiful homes, freeways, expensive cars, immigrants, yoga studios?

Well, there’s certainly all of the above in L.A. so, no surprise there!

What I didn’t know was that L.A. had such a huge dog population. It is estimated that there are 367,000 privately owned dogs in the City of Los Angeles. So, just about everywhere you go, there they are, those sweet, silly, adorable creatures. Hiking up mountain trails with their owners, playing with kids and socializing with their ‘peers’ in the parks, shopping with their moms (yes, many stores here are pet-friendly), or sitting next to their owners in outdoor cafes, pooches seem to rule in L.A.

I love dogs so that is just fine with me. And ever since I got here, whenever I see people walking their lovely pooches, which is every time I step out of the house, I have the urge to get a dog of my own.

Unfortunately, while many lucky dogs have loving families and live great lives, an alarmingly large number of homeless dogs end up in shelters and are eventually put to sleep. In spite of efforts to educate owners about the need to alter their animals, dog overpopulation is a growing problem in the city. And this is not just an L.A. problem. According to Spay USA, each day 10,000 humans are born in the U.S. and each day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. As long as these birth rates exist, there will never be enough homes for all the animals.

I hope Angelenos tackle this problem so that L.A. continues to be a pooch paradise because they sure bring a lot of joy and a great vibe to the city!


“In Wonderland” at LACMA

The exhibition In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – LACMA, is one of the best I’ve seen in many years.

In Wonderland features the work of some fifty women artists from around the world who are active in North America. It includes works by famous Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo, and María Izquierdo, and paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography and film by Dorothea Tanning, Kay Sage, and Louise Bourgeois among many others. This is definitely a must see.

LACMA has a number of other interesting exhibits, including California Design 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way” and “Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings” but if you must choose only one, definitely go see In Wonderland.  Here are some pictures of this fantastic exhibition:

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Los Angeles’ Coral Trees

I love driving along San Vicente Boulevard between Brentwood and Santa Monica, with the beautiful coral trees that adorn its entire five-mile stretch, from the western edge of the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus to the coast in Santa Monica.

I recently learned that this species of coral tree is original of South Africa, and that the trees along San Vicente Boulevard have been there since 1950. I also learned that in 1966 the Los Angeles City Council declared the coral tree the city’s official tree, and in 1976 the San Vicente stand was declared a city historic-cultural monument. A very well deserved honor.

Since early February the coral trees have started to bloom and I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like when they are all in full bloom. I hope they don’t disappoint me…

For now, here are a few photos of the San Vicente trees taken over the past four months.

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Beautiful Sunsets

I read it somewhere that the Santa Monica pier is one of the ten best places in the world to watch the sun set.  I believe that’s true. In the past few months I’ve watched the sun set in Santa Monica many times and have taken photos while on my late afternoon walks along Palisades Park.

Here are a few of my photos of Santa Monica’s beautiful sunsets.

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