Monochrome Madness 2-26: The Urban Theme

Leanne Cole has chosen that “urban” be the theme for this week’s Monochrome Madness. To me, “urban” means lots of buildings and lots of people, as opposed to “rural” — not too many buildings, not too many people. And what can be more urban than a pedestrian mall lined with tall buildings and filled with eager shoppers? We visited many cities over the world in the past few years that have major streets turned into pedestrian walkways but I decided to choose one of the first cities in Europe to do so. The city is Madrid and the street is Calle Preciados.

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Guam 2015: My Wife’s Le’le Relatives

My wife is a member of Familian Le’le, one of many matrilinear Chamorro clans on Guam. Her great grandmother was a Mendiola who married a Benavente. Her grandfather Benavente had a Mendiola cousin who married a Manibusan. Her Benavente mother grew up very close to her Le’le first and second cousins. And my wife has kept up with a lot of the Le’les in her own generation. One of her third cousins was celebrating her birthday during our stay in Guam in April and she invited us to her house for a family dinner party. And what a party! There were five generations of Le’les at the party. It was one of the most memorable events on our vacation.

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MM 2-25 Missions in Monochrome — San Carlos Cathedral: The Mission that Never Was (a Mission)

For Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness 2-25 I have decided to submit another photo in the series I call Missions in Monochrome. This cathedral that we visited recently stands at the site where Father Junipero Serra said his first Mass at the Mission in Monterey he founded on June 3, 1770. But you won’t find this church in any official list of California Missions. It’s the Mission that never was.

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Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf and Marina

We spent the day in Carmel a couple of Sundays ago and then the night in Monterey. The plan was to explore historic Monterey on Monday before driving back home. Well, that didn’t happen because I didn’t do my homework. If I did then we would have spent Sunday in Monterey and Monday in Carmel because we soon discovered that Monterey is all locked up on weekdays. We decided to hit the 1827 Custom House, probably the gem of the 40-odd buildings that make up Monterey’s State Historic Park. But when we found out it was closed along with most of the other historic buildings in the area we then strolled across the street to the Marina and Fisherman’s Wharf and that’s where we spent the rest of the day.

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Walking around Carmel

It’s about a hundred miles from our house in Castro Valley to the Ocean Avenue turnoff from Highway One to the quaint little village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, one of many scenic attractions on California’s Monterey Peninsula. A couple of Sundays ago we drove down to Carmel (just about everybody calls the town Carmel) and spent the afternoon walking around central Carmel which is basically Ocean Avenue plus a couple of blocks on either side of that main street.

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MM 2-24: A Tree and a House in Carmel

We drove down to Carmel a couple of weeks ago and during our stroll around town I came across this old tree holding up this old house. Or maybe the house was holding up the tree. Perhaps they were holding up each other. Anyway, this scene is right on Ocean Avenue, Carmel’s main street, and just a few blocks from the beach. My photo of the tree — I think it’s an old coast live oak — and house is my entry for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness Challenge this week .

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Missions in Monochrome: San Francisco’s Mission Dolores

A Spanish soldier named Jose Joaquin Moraga and a Spanish priest named Francisco Palou founded Mission San Francisco de Asis on June 29, 1776, a week before John Hancock and others signed the Declaration of Independence three thousand miles away. The first church was built of wood near a creek called Arroyo de Nuestra de los Dolores in October 1776 and a new church was constructed out of adobe bricks a block and a half away in 1791. The popular name for this new church is Mission Dolores and it is the oldest intact structure in the entire city of San Francisco. A new, much larger church was built next door when it became obvious that the original mission church could not handle the number of parishioners in post gold-rush San Francisco. This church was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1906 but the original mission church with its four feet thick adobe walls received only minor damage.

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