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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Public Art Podcasts from CRA/LA's Art Program

Calder in Downtown Los Angeles - PaD 3/6/07The most recent issue of the ExperienceLA email newsletter highlights a series of podcasts that lead you on arts-related walking tours of Downtown LA. You can download these free shows, load them into your iPod and let them lead you on a tour of the amazing public artworks available there.

Public Art Podcasts

Ever wondered how that bizarre sculpture ended up downtown? Here's your chance to find out! Download all four FREE audio tours from CRA/LA's Art Program. Then, enter for a chance to win tickets to That Perfect Moment at the NoHo Arts Center or Kabuki: Backstage to Hanamichi at the Aratani/Japan Theatre.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Going "home" again with Ken Burn's National Parks series

A tree clings to the rim at one of the Bryce C...Image via Wikipedia

I am enjoying Ken Burn's National Parks: America's Best Idea this week. On Twitter I find myself describing it as "visiting old friends again." This is so true. While I have visited only a fraction of the National Parks I hold great memories of each visit. My wife is "done" with Grand Canyon, but each time I sit on the porch of Hermit's Rest and look out over the canyon, I feel as if I am home, Not home in some sense of a roof over my head, but "home" in the sense of a primordial feeling of belonging. Something in the canyon speaks to a very deep part of our psyche, the "lizard brain" that remains at the deep center of our evolved human minds. We all come from the earth and to the earth we shall return and the Grand Canyon reminds of the tie with great force.

Over the years we have visited many parks, including the large one in are own backyard, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. We have also been to Yosemite multiple times, including an amazing trip with some Italian relatives who braved the 6 hour drive for one night and two days in the park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Timpanagos Cave in Utah, along with all too short trips to Zion and Bryce Canyon. We made a special trip to Dinosaur National Monument, braving sub-zero temperatures to get there. Our latest National Park was the newly formed Cuyahoga Valley National Park on our recent trip back to our hometowns in Ohio.

One of the most interesting aspects of visiting US National Parks is how many international citizens visit. On a visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California we spent several hours hiking along the trial to Bumpass Hell without hearing a word of English. If only we could appreciate our own National Parks as much as people from other countries.

As my son, Joseph, grows, I sense it is time to return to our National Parks and other state and local parks, National Forests, National Moments and more. He has been added to our more recent visits and I am mapping out a whole new series of trips with him in mind. I have always wanted to visit to Yellowstone National Park and as I grow older it become more imperative that I make that trip regardless of the cost of time involved.

This Saturday, as the summer heat begins to ebb, I will get back out into the mountains by visiting Charmlee Regional Park near Malibu for a Full Moon Hike. We have visited there often to hike, hunt the St. Patrick's Day butterflies, see how fire and man have effected the property and look out into the Pacific from its high bluffs. You can join this hike, too. You'll find complete information on the web site at http://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/events.htm.

As the Fall begins, take some time to get out into nature -- out into the woods, the mountains and streams and re-engage with the world that surrounds you. I can guarantee that you will find your life lightened, your mood elevated and your world just a little more beautiful.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Spirit of the Mountains Photo Contest - October 2009

Start gathering your photos for the Spirit of the Mountains Photo Contest! Submissions accepted from October 1 through October 31. Check website for 2009 category information.

Help celebrate 30 years of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. This year’s challenge category is Memories of the Mountains–share special memories of the Santa Monica Mountains in family or historic photos.

Info: National Park Service at 805-370-2301 or www.researchlearningcenter.org/samo/photo

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