Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What do Candlestick Point and Providence Mountains have in common?

They are in danger of soon closing.

Candlestick Point: This park offers beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay, with picnic areas, fishing (including two fishing piers) and hiking trails (including a fitness course for seniors and a bike trail.) The park has an area popular with windsurfers.

It's fairly evident that most of my news comes from Facebook. I don't read newspapers and I only read blogs about The Mission. I was horrified (and inspired to keep more up-to-date on general California news) when a friend posted this message:
What's that now? China Camp is closing? I then go to click the link and discover 70(!!) state parks looking at closures in the state of California. Naturally I skim the astonishing list for my favorite parks to make sure they're safe... they're all doomed. All of them. This is outrageous! Though I agree with my friend's statement that he doesn't want to pay $10 to "look at some trees and shit," I do believe it's a better option than losing the parks all together.
[see the list for yourself]

Plumas-Eureka State Park
my mother and I
My family and I go camping here every year. Every year. We've hiked to all the lakes in the area, rode horses on the Pacific Crest Trail and met people that have been mauled by bears since their journey from Mexico to Canada. We've watched a friend catch his first fish here. I realized my boyfriend wasn't the person I wanted to be with while here. I crashed a couple parties here. I learned to play several card games here. I learned how to make a grilled cheese over an open flame here. It's another home for me.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park
I live walking distance from this park. Growing up, we took field trips here and I got to spend my first nights without my parents, near my peers. I had my first kiss here. My second birthday. My cousin's first birthday. I learned to ride a bike here. I still ride my bike here.

Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
My sister and our god-niece
The water is perfect! We love this spot. It's a nice mid-point between our family in Arcata and us in San Francisco.

Tomales Bay State Park
I have many friends that live on Tomales Bay. I know all it's quirks, and many of it's treasures. It sits directly atop the San Andreas fault, which lends to some beautiful landscape centered around the gorgeous bay inlet. Ducks, kayakers, and seals alike love this area. I've been meaning to go kayaking here at some point soon.

Devil's Slide (Grey Whale Cove State Beach)

I saw my first ever whale here. I haven't seen a whale in a few years, so I should probably go back here before it's erased from the preservation system.

In the spirit of getting to school on time for my final, I shall quote the synopsis of a few more parks:

Fort Humboldt State Historic Park

Located on a bluff overlooking Humboldt Bay, this old military post was established in 1853 to assist in conflict resolution between the Native Americans and gold hungry settlers. Brevet Lt. Colonel Robert C. Buchanan was first assigned to protect settlers on Humboldt Bay. His orders were to establish a post in the vicinity of Uniontown.
Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park
The temple is the oldest continuously used Chinese temple in California. On display are art objects, pictures, mining tools, and weapons used in the 1854 Tong War. This Taoist temple is still a place of worship and a fascinating look into the role played by Chinese immigrants in early California history. The temple was built in 1874 as a replacement for another that had burned. In an effort to preserve this important part of California's Chinese tradition, the temple became a part of the California State Park System in 1956.
China Camp State Park
The park has 1,640 acres of natural watershed along the shores of San Francisco Bay. Features include an extensive intertidal salt marsh, meadow and oak habitats, that are home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, squirrels and numerous birds. 

Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve

The reserve was established to preserve the spectacular "tufa towers," calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water.

There are plenty more parks in danger of losing their state park status. Parks I don't have personal relationships with, but deserve a fair fight none-the-less. If you're feeling activist-y after all that, join me in fighting for the state parks by filling out this form to email our governor and make him consider reevaluating.

p.s. all these state park closures would put a HUGE damper on Geocaching!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2011 Summer Music Festivals

(I bet you were expecting a post about Bay to Breakers, huh?)

Tis the season for festivals!

Health & Harmony 2010

Yes, I realize I’m a little late on this one, what with Coachella and Bamboozle already done and over-with. In my quest for the best festival of the year (and my options among venues in San Francisco, Austin, and Chicago) I’ve compiled a spreadsheet (yes, I said spreadsheet. I'm extremely organized when it comes to the most unnecessary shit) containing all the bands I give a shit about playing at all the festivals anyone gives a shit about in the continental US. I even included Coachella and Bamboozle for comparative fun. It seems to me (out of the festivals that announced their line-ups already) those in Chicago or Manchester, TN areas are the most fortunately located. Of course if I were to consider Milwaukee, I’m 99.99% sure Summerfest will, once again, host the largest amount of attendees at any given festival this year, what with their KILLER line-ups and 2 whole weeks of festivities. 

my spreadsheet of festivals

Is this all gibberish to you? I assure you, you’re not alone. Up until about an hour ago, I was under the impression that Coachella, Sasquatch, Outsidelands, SXSW, Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza were the only large-scale music festivals in the US. Goodness, I was sorely mistaken. How many of these have you never heard of before?

All Good Festival
Austin City Limits
Health & Harmony
LA Rising
North Coast
Outside Lands
Sunset Strip
Treasure Island
Voodoo Experience
Wanderlust (California)
Wanderlust (Vermont)

How do they come up with all those names? There are plenty more, but those were the most, shall we say Coachella-esque of them all? Who knows if that makes any sense... So I went through each festival listed above and have selected a few winners: Bonnaroo, Summerfest, LA Rising, Lollapalooza, and North Coast. In stead of talking about the ones I’m disappointed in (Health & Harmony, ACL, Wanderlust), let’s stay positive and glorify the ones that make me consider finding myself a sugar-daddy to finance my musical rendezvous. I shall list my highlights in alphabetical order by priority (mine, of course) 1, 2, and 3. Skip to the bottom for my notes, if yall give a crap :)

June 9th-12th
Manchester, Tennessee
The Black Keys
Buffalo Springfield
Florence + the Machine
Gogol Bordello
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Lewis Black
Mumford & Sons
Pretty Lights
Amos Lee
Arcade Fire
Beats Antique
Black Uhuru
Chiddy Bang
Cold War Kids
Neon Trees
Portugal. The Man
Scissor Sisters
The Strokes

June 29-July 10th (closed July 4th)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Black Keys
Florence + The Machine
Goo Goo Dolls
Maroon 5
Britney Spears
Dropkick Murphys
George Clinton
Katy Perry
Kid Rock
Meat Loaf
Alkaline Trio
Amos Lee
Ben Harper
Blue Oyster Cult
Cage the Elephant
De La Soul
Def Leppard
Finger Eleven
Hollywood Undead
Kanye West & Kid Cudi
Los Lonely Boys
Michael Franti
Michelle Branch
Neon Trees
Owl City
Panic! at the Disco
Rise Against
Sara Bareilles
Sick Puppies
Stephan Marley
Taking Back Sunday
The Bravery
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Third Eye Blind
Toby Keith
   +lots and lots more

LA Rising
July 30th
Los Angeles, California
Rage Against the Machine
Lauryn Hill
Rise Against
Immortal Technique

August 5th-7th
Chicago, Illinois
City & Colour
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Lykke Li
Nas & Damian Marley
The Pretty Reckless
Flogging Molly
Foo Fighters
Kid Cudi
Manchester Orchestra
Pretty Lights
The Kills
Beats Antique
Cage the Elephant
Cee Lo Green
Cold War Kids
Crystal Castles
Death from Above 1979
Portugal. The Man

North Coast 
(line-up not fully announced yet)
September 2nd-4th
Chicago, Illinois
Gogol Bordello
Daft Punk
David Guetta
Fatboy Slim
Pretty Lights
Steve Aoki
Chemical Brothers
Major Lazer
Of Montreal

It has become evident that my biggest goals this year (aside from ending world hunger) are to see The Black Keys, Gogol Bordello, and Rage Against the Machine. I’ve obviously got my favorites that keep popping up at almost every festival around this year (City & Colour, anyone? Dallas is making his rounds!), and it’s also come to my attention that there are a shit-ton of artists and bands that I have never heard of but should scope, mostly because I keep seeing their names on every festival line-up as well. Who is Skrillex? Best Coast? There were a few other bands I’m taking a mental notes of just because they have glorious names: Rad Bromance, Reptar, Disciples of Christ, The Durdens, Hot Buttered Rum, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Dangermuffin, G. Love & Special Sauce, Surgeons in Heat.

Summerfest has by far the longest list of bands I’ve ever given a shit about, a ton being from my Middle School days: Third Eye Blind, Britney Spears, Dropkick Murphys, Meat Loaf, etc. This would probably be my best and only excuse to ever want to be in Milwaukee, which I’m sure is why they’re so keen on keeping up this festival year after year. I haven’t done enough research into it to find out how it all began, but I do know that it consistently has been the largest music event in the states by attendance. Am I the only one that didn’t know it existed before today?

Bonnaroo has the largest concentration of bands I’ve been passionate about over the past year or so: Bassnectar, The Black Keys, Buffalo Springfield!!!, Florence + the Machine, Gogol Bordello, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Lewis Black (one of my favorite comedians), Mumford & Sons, and Ratatat. Man, if Rage Against the Machine were doing this festival, I’d make the trip to Tennessee for this in a heartbeat. I’d still consider it if I weren’t signing up for classes in Austin during the same weekend. 

In conclusion, I probably should be moving to Chicago in stead of Austin, judging by the combination of  line-ups at Lollapalooza and North Coast (and the fact that they call themselves the friggen North Coast makes me chuckle).

Enjoy your Summer of Music, errbody!

Health & Harmony 2010

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Neil Krug & Joni Harbeck

Dangerous Beauty, you are irresistible

This beauty comes from a collection of photography by Neil Krug. It is widely known how addicted to StumbleUpon I am, and this gem is among the results I came across tonight.
Pulp Art Book- the multi-media collaboration between photographer Neil Krug and model Joni Harbeck - has become a virtual sensation online, and is now the subject of the artists’ first monograph.

This book is something I must add to my Amazon wish list, for it is full of unbelievably gorgeous women I have found myself pining over for the past hour or so.

All the works have the same model: Joni Harbeck, and are photographed by her long-time lover (and now husband) Neil Krug.
'Pulp Art Book: Volume One' is an LP-sized hardcover book, split into several vignettes ranging from a spaghetti western theme to a Bonnie and Clyde revival and to the struggles of a 1950s housewife. These series tell the story of each character, and will be expanded in subsequent volumes

Will somebody please buy me this book? And there are a few 48x48 prints I've got my eye on, so y'all might just want to drop me 10k for my satisfaction. Treat your eyes to some well deserved candy:

The book is hardcover, 72 pages and 12x12" at $50.
Preview it here
Buy it here
View/buy prints here