BOMBAY BEACH, CALIFORNIA

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The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in California’s Imperial and Coachella valleys.
The modern sea was accidentally created by the engineers of the California Development Company in 1905. In an effort to increase water flow into the area for farming, irrigation canals were dug from the Colorado River into the valley. Due to fears of silt buildup, a cut was made in the bank of the Colorado River to further increase the water flow. The resulting outflow overwhelmed the engineered canal, and the river flowed into the Salton Basin for two years, filling the historic dry lake bed and creating the modern sea, before repairs were completed.
Bombay Beach is a small community located along the east shore of the Salton sea. Although still inhabited by a hearty group of residents, it has fallen on hard times and many of its vintage mobile homes and travel trailers are now unoccupied and facing the ravages of time, salty air and vandals. photo a blog bombay5.jpg photo a blog bombay6.jpg photo a blog bombay8.jpg photo a blog bombay7.jpg photo a blog bombay3.jpg photo a blog bombay10.jpg photo a blog bombay4.jpg
A Volkswagen station wagon! photo a blog bombay2.jpg photo a blog bombay 1.jpg
Tens of thousands of bleached fish skeletons litter the beach
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SIGNS OF THE TIMES

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From ancient petroglyphs to modern jumbotrons, man has felt compelled to leave a sign of his passing upon the landscape. While I usually focus heavily on neon, I also love ghost signs, graffiti and just about any other artistic mark that humans leave upon their environment, especially where it concerns commerce.
Here are a few more from our trip through Arizona and New Mexico. photo a sign blog1.jpg
Try as I might, I just can’t get away from those damn banjos!! photo a blog sign3.jpg
It is actually “Barn” Again, (In a barn) next to the Burger Boy photo a blog sigtn2.jpg
Just great vintage neon photo a blog sign6.jpg
I don’t think this development ever really got off the ground- (alongside an abandoned stretch of old Route 66) photo a blog sign5.jpg
**** note the strange little box in the right hand corner*** photo a blog sign 8.jpg
Left over from an old windmill- wish I could have brought it home photo a blog sign10.jpg
Let’s get Fluffy right over!! photo a blog sign 4.jpg
This is some great graffiti on an abandoned water tank photo a blog sign 9.jpg
I think this about says it all

SAN DIEGO DREAMING

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We recently took a trip to beautiful San Diego. While my significant other toiled away in the bowels of the city’s splendid convention center, I was left to my own devices to while away the daylight hours. The sky was blue, the temperature a soothing and constant 70 degrees, and the quality of light was a visualist’s dream. I averaged about 4-6 walking miles a day, and there was literally too much to possibly fit into this abbreviated blog, but here’s a small sampling, divided into a few brief sections.  photo a blog san diego faces.jpg
Faces were everywhere- and not just the ones on the people I met photo a blog Balboa .jpg
It had been over 30 years since I was last in Balboa Park, and it remains an oasis of beauty
and vibrant activity photo a blog sandiego retro.jpg
San Diego is in a huge boom of new building and renovation, but the remnants of an older existence are still to be found if you keep your eyes open photo a blog san diego 2.jpg
New and old architecture, side by side photo a blog sandiego water.jpg
….and of course, San Diego is a city whose livelihood and identity are linked closely to its historic status as a seaport city.

ANTIQUED

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On our recent visit in a southerly direction, through Winchester, Harrisonburg and Staunton, Virginia, we happened upon various reminders of these town’s genteel and charming pasts. While the usual strip malls, big box stores and detestable chain eateries were very much in evidence, churning out their oh, so regimented and reliably bland totems to mass consumerism, we also encountered the quaint and polite charm of a by-gone era, along with the reminders of the individual American spirit that is so often overlooked today. photo ablogold9.jpg
The Scales of Justice, Harrisonburg, VA. photo ablogold7.jpg
The DIXIE Theater, Staunton, VA. photo ablogold1.jpg
Home after a hard day’s work, Winchester, VA. photo ablogold5.jpg
George’s, Harrisonburg, VA. photo ablogold2.jpg
Cleaning up in Winchester, VA. photo ablogold3.jpg
The skies the limit in Staunton, VA. photo ablogold4.jpg
When a car dealership really meant something, in Harrisonburg, VA. photo ablogold6.jpg
Now this is a home worth coming home to!

THINKING OF YOU

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On a recent roadtrip to Staunton, VA., we came across yet another tranquil oasis and resting place of the departed on the outskirts of town. Here are but a few of the interesting bits of funerary art that helped fuel my creative mind that day. photo abloggraves2.jpg photo abloggrave8.jpg photo abloggrave6.jpg
They do love and respect their dogs down here in Virginia- photo abloggrave4.jpg photo abloggrave7.jpg
A more apt name was never seen photo abloggrave3.jpg
Crossing Over photo abloggrave1.jpg
Remember the Maine! Don’t see many of these photo abloggrave5.jpg
Knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door

THE DINER ART of MICHAEL G. STEWART

Although it seems that I am primarily a photographer, back in the day I was first and foremost an artist. My hands were permanently stained with India ink, and my second finger had a divot that took two years to regain its normal shape. While searching through some old files, I came across these examples of my old craft, and now, with renewed vigor, I hope to once again create images in pencil and pen. Enjoy! photo afbIMG_1743.jpg
The Short Stop Diner, in Wheaton, MD. Long gone, the building awaits yet another owner photo afbDSCF1704.jpg
Counterman with cigarette photo aIfbMG_1734.jpg
The Silver Spring Tastee Diner, 1985 photo afbIMG_1739.jpg
Christmas Card with The Summit Diner, Somerset, PA.

THE HIGHTSTOWN DINER EXPERIENCE

On our way to cover the NEA JazzMasters in NYC every year, the intrepid Miss Julie and I always make a point to stop along the way, take a break from the New Jersey Turnpike, and have an invigorating breakfast at the Hightstown Diner. It may not be the original, classic structure, pictured on so many vintage postcards, but it is friendly, charmingly local, the coffee is good, and the experience is what we all go to diners for! Just off exit 8, the sad and long abandoned Mom’s sits in the shadow of the new exit overpass, the reminder of tasty pancakes from my youthful trips to Maine, but an extra 5 minutes into town still yields the goods of small town eats in a wasteland of fast food franchises. Check it out, it’s a great treat! photo ablogdiner2.jpg
Long closed, Mom’s! the name said it all! photo adinerblogIMG_7005.jpg photo ablogdiner3.jpg
You gotta love the art at Mom’s photo ablogdiner8.jpg
Even though the new “Enviornmental” style facade can’t really compete with the original, it still has certain charms photo ablogdiner5.jpg
A great breakfast and never-ending coffee,with plenty of bacon  photo ablogdiner6.jpg
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We only stop here once a year, and run into this fun & friendly father and son every time! What are the chances? Dad, checking out the chicken sandwich on a diner’s plate- “Somethings wrong with that chicken!” Son “What?” Dad- “It’s DEAD!” Same joke every year, too funny.