Found in My Own Backyard

San Francisco’s “Hidden” Public Places, Public Art

Destination Updates
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Like any large city, San Francisco has a myriad of government owned parks and plazas that are open to the public. But unknown to many “locals” as well as visitors, are “Privately-Owned Public Open Space” (also know by the acronym, “POPOS”). The city’s Planning Department says that they are “publicly accessible spaces in forms of […]

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Off-Season in Sonoma Valley Wine Country

Destination Updates
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From late spring through early fall when the weather is likely to be warm and sunny sounds like the ideal time to visit “Wine Country” north of San Francisco. Weather-wise, it is, and that’s why during that time of year you’ll find lodgings fully-booked, restaurant reservations hard to come by, roads clogged with cars, and […]

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Finding Fine Art in San Francisco

Destination Updates
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I’m not an “Art Museum Kind of Guy.” That doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate “fine art” or “artsy-craftsy” art. I’d just rather see it in place, someplace, rather than in a stuffy old museum. But now and again, I make an exception to my general disinterest in visiting art museums, and in San Francisco, […]

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Hanging Out in “Beserkley”

Found in My Own Backyard
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“California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day.” That lyric from the Mama and Papas’ hit song, California Dreamin, could have been playing on the radio in my 1960 Alfa Romeo as I drove south from Seattle, through Oregon, and on to San Francisco at the end of 1967. Having completed Air Force “boot camp” in […]

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Finding Art and Architecture in the Napa Valley

Found in My Own Backyard
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California’s Napa Valley is renowned for the wine it produces from over 45,000 acres of vineyards and 400-odd wineries. But when visiting Napa, don’t just enjoy the fine wine. Take time to check out intriguing art and architecture at these locations. Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Dick Jordan

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Seeing Seals Saved By The Seashore

Found in My Own Backyard
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We humans feel a kinship to marine mammals: Porpoises, dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions. They’re a bit like us: Talkative, social,  solitary, inquisitive, active, and some times lazy beach bums. And like us, they’re smart. And like us, sometimes they become ill or are injured and need help. Which is when we help them, just […]

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Ruth’s Secret Garden

Found in My Own Backyard
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Motorist speed up and down busy Bancroft Road, unwittingly bypassing one of Walnut Creek, California’s hidden secrets: The Ruth Bancroft Garden. The idea for the garden might have been germinating in Ruth Bancroft’s mind back in 1971 when I briefly lived just up the road in the city of Concord. But by the time she […]

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Riding to Reno on the “Motown Snow Train”

Found in My Own Backyard
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Elvis had left the building. Followed by Martha Reeves of “Martha and The Vandellas” of Motown music fame. Then me. Over the next seven hours we sang and danced two-hundred odd miles from Emeryville, California on eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, across California’s Central Valley, past Sacramento, over the Sierra Nevada mountains, and into […]

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Cooking Up “The Big Night”

Found in My Own Backyard
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Over a decade ago, I sat through a “demo” cooking class with my wife at Ramekins Culinary School in the Town of Sonoma. It was a bit like being seated at a table near the cooking island on a Food Network TV show while Emeril Lagasse periodically shouted “Bam!” while whipping up a series of […]

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Found in My Own Backyard: Hot Escapes

Found in My Own Backyard
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Although the recent week-long heat wave that caused San Francisco Bay Area residents like myself literally and figuratively “sweating it” has ended, there’s still plenty of time for a blistering temperature encore this summer. To escape from the heat, Michael Krasny, host of KQED Radio’s popular weekday morning show, “Forum,” asked these three guests to […]

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Found in My Own Backyard: Great Photos of a Great Place

Found in My Own Backyard
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Point Reyes National Seashore is a beautiful, wild place along the California Coast, just over an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, with mountains, beaches, bays, wildflowers, trees, that is home to deer, elk, and many other animals, including the lowly garden gopher. But what sets it apart from populated areas north and south, are […]

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