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.
A Volkswagen station wagon!
Tens of thousands of bleached fish skeletons litter the beach
Category Archives: Architecture
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
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.
Try as I might, I just can’t get away from those damn banjos!!
It is actually “Barn” Again, (In a barn) next to the Burger Boy
Just great vintage neon
I don’t think this development ever really got off the ground- (alongside an abandoned stretch of old Route 66)
**** note the strange little box in the right hand corner***
Left over from an old windmill- wish I could have brought it home
Let’s get Fluffy right over!!
This is some great graffiti on an abandoned water tank
I think this about says it all
SAN DIEGO DREAMING
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.
Faces were everywhere- and not just the ones on the people I met
It had been over 30 years since I was last in Balboa Park, and it remains an oasis of beauty
and vibrant activity
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
New and old architecture, side by side
….and of course, San Diego is a city whose livelihood and identity are linked closely to its historic status as a seaport city.
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.
The Scales of Justice, Harrisonburg, VA.
The DIXIE Theater, Staunton, VA.
Home after a hard day’s work, Winchester, VA.
George’s, Harrisonburg, VA.
Cleaning up in Winchester, VA.
The skies the limit in Staunton, VA.
When a car dealership really meant something, in Harrisonburg, VA.
Now this is a home worth coming home to!
THINKING OF YOU
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.
They do love and respect their dogs down here in Virginia-
A more apt name was never seen
Remember the Maine! Don’t see many of these
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!
The Short Stop Diner, in Wheaton, MD. Long gone, the building awaits yet another owner
Counterman with cigarette
The Silver Spring Tastee Diner, 1985
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!
Long closed, Mom’s! the name said it all!
You gotta love the art at Mom’s
Even though the new “Enviornmental” style facade can’t really compete with the original, it still has certain charms
A great breakfast and never-ending coffee,with plenty of bacon
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.
THE FACES OF NEW YORK
On a recent visit to New York City to photograph the National Endowment for the Arts JazzMasters awards, I was fortunate enough to have a few minutes of down time to wander the nearby streets of the city. Although the sidewalks and streets bustle with the swirling masses of humanity, and every face is a new and interesting study in the massive diversity of human-kind, in this instance I chose to train my lens on the fascinating and never ending array of faces that reside on the facades of the buildings surrounding Central Park West. Here is a small sample.
It was a rare day in Washington, D.C. The fall air was cool and crisp, the sky was a clear, deep shade of blue, and the rumble and static of the voices from Capitol Hill was muted and the desire to commune with nature and enjoy an afternoon of tranquility seized my very soul. Where to go? Why, the cemetery beckoned, of course, and having neglected the famous gentle hills of Congressional Cemetery, in the shadow of the ever popular D.C. Jail, we set off for a stroll through the tombstones of the famous and powerful. Unlike nearby Oak Hill or Rock Creek cemeteries, Congressional is sadly lacking in unique or interesting funerary art or style. These are, after all, politicians, and this is one of the few places in Washington where the pol’s are silent, but so much like their living counterparts, they still do nothing. Which came first? A fitting tribute to the concept of term limits, it appears that many past Congressmen lived short lives, 35-45 seems about average in many cases, so perhaps our contemporary politicians could take a cue from their forefathers!
No humility here
Muted and classic architecture of death
Congress is in recess- The remains of Congressmen past
A beautiful fall day in Washington – an opportunity for reflection
The other side of America- A stunning totem pole in Washington’s Congressional Cemetery
We can only pray that our elected officials will finally grow up, act like adults, and try to work for the betterment of the country
THE COLO MOTEL
Out along the Lincoln Highway, about a half an hour’s drive from Ames, is the little crossroads community of Colo, Iowa. On our recent cross country odyssey, in route to Bozeman, Montana, we had the good fortune to stop in at the Colo Motel and Niland’s Cafe. A lovingly restored gas station, bus stop, motor court and Cafe, this oasis stands as a beacon among the corn fields and silos, within earshot of the cross country freights that sing their lonesome songs late into the night. The owners and workers here are friendly, outgoing and treat you with all the care and love that is normally reserved for long lost family. If you’re ever driving across Iowa, pull in, have a milkshake and give yourself a rest before hitting the highway again. You’ll be glad you did!