by gwen harlow


Farmer’s market

Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Alameda, recipe | 0 comments

May 10: Farmer's market

3 lb. fava beans
1 garlic
1 onion
3 lb. potatoes
2 red pepper

5 lb. tomatoes
2 lb. zucchini
3 baskets strawberries
1 bunch thai basil
1 baguette


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Fourth of July friends

Posted by on Jul 8, 2010 in Alameda, holiday, photo | 0 comments

It is so exciting to see people you know in a parade.

Our neighbor Carrie is active with the Alameda Small Dogs organization. They host a doggie costume parade at Halloween that is not to be missed.

Alameda Small Dogs and our neighbor Carrie

The guy who lives down the street is always walking the route with his bagpipe.

Bagpipe neighbor

Gloria and her family own Acapulco restaurant.

Gloria, another Quintero, and Frank

but we really know her and her husband from karaoke at Lemon Tree and Clubhouse. That’s where Chad got started singing.


Rick is in more bands than I can name. You can see the Frisky Frolics, who sing songs from the 1920s-1940s or thereabouts, pretty much every week at Speisekammer or Julie’s.

Rick Quisol / Alameda Theatre / Frisky Frolics

I didn’t know this guy before, but I waited almost the entire parade for someone to come around handing out miniature American flags.

Finally! someone handing out miniature american flags!

Dr. Porter, thanks for the flag. You are my newest friend!

Miniature American flags for all!

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Fourth of July bicycles

Posted by on Jul 7, 2010 in Alameda, holiday, photo | 2 comments

The town I live in has a big 4th of July parade every year. It’s fun to watch all the decked-out two- [and sometimes three-]wheeled contraptions cruise by.

Bike lady

Westside Baptist Church

Temple Israel #2

Girl scout scrapers

Spangly bike girls

Scraper scraper!

Victorian scraper

Bike couple

Bicycle #92

Bike: green

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Transamerica sunset + headshots at Crown Beach

Posted by on Apr 28, 2010 in Alameda, photo | 3 comments

It is freakin’ WINDY today. I continued census training today on the base, which is this big swath of concrete on the end of the island, which allows the wind to sweep right across at maximum velocity and I rode my bike there and home for lunch and back and home again for a total of 8 miles, pretty much all against some serious gusts [there were points when I could’ve strolled faster than I was pedaling, no joke]. It’s kind of a long walk, especially when I have to be there so early, and I like the option of riding home for lunch, but it is supposed to be windy again tomorrow, so I’m debating…

Chad and I went over to the beach at sunset — the other day I noticed that the sun is setting directly behind the San Francisco skyline if you are along Shoreline near Dead Man’s Curve [this is my own little joke — there is this almost-90° curve which is relatively harmless because 1. the speed limit here is 25 mph and 2. even if you flipped, it would be onto the nice flat stretch of sand, and actually that happened a couple years ago, someone took the curve too fast — they were probably going 30! — and rolled over onto the sand. No injuries, minimal damage.] and I wanted a shot of that, and Chad had been asking for headshots. The kite surfers were flying across the waves and the sand was pelting us in the face and my right ear is still ringing but it was worth it.

Greetings from Alameda

That little sliver through the setting sun is the Transamerica Pyramid, and if you look hard, you can see parts of both the Oakland-Bay and Golden Gate Bridges.

The headshots came out great [this is my choice for the final — straight outta the camera! How awesome is that? I am never this pleased with any of my photos] and I love-love-love this outtake. It makes me think of Steinbeck, through I’m not sure why.

Chad, reminds me of Steinbeck for some reason

[and that is what’s going on in my creative space — photos.]

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Spring at the duck pond

Posted by on Apr 27, 2010 in Alameda, photo | 1 comment

I think I’ve mentioned that I live near the beach and like to go over there as often as possible. The beach is part of a regional park and includes small and bigger dog parks [where I met up with some friends the other day — so many cute doggies!] and a duck pond [which is surrounded by a dozen different kinds of wildflowers right now]

Purple #1

and a big park-type park where the ground squirrels sprawl all over the grass on warm days and come right up to you if they think you might give them a treat [don’t! they’re adorable but an ecological invader — they use up all the resources that are needed by the native wildlife].

April 23: Oh hai! don't feed me!

I wore the vintage dress I bought at Blue Rectangle. It was an as-is piece and the front seam was split but I figured it was an easy repair. I had a really hard time sewing it up because the fabric is so old and worn and my stitches kept pulling right through, but I eventually got it done. I wanted to give the dress a short test run near home to make sure the seam wasn’t going to split wide open if I wear the dress on a longer day trip. Nothing cuts a day short like having your ladies exposed!

The threadbare dress

So I put the dress on, biked around the park, played with the dogs, then sat on the beach and read for an hour, and it held up just fine, which I guess means the dress is ready for a full-fledged picnic or day at the ocean.

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today, by the bay

Posted by on Apr 17, 2010 in Alameda, photo | 0 comments

i went to the beach and it was FANTASTIC. the tide was super high, i sat on the little landing strip of beach [seriously, it’s about 5′ wide right now, edged with all the flotsam from last week’s storm] and it was warm enough to remove my jacket.

i sipped my iced coffee, read the weekly, wrote a journal entry for the first time in ages and ages [i have been more diligent about the hardcopy daily 5s]. thought about where i can cajole chad into going tomorrow [forecast temperatures]:

santa cruz [76]
capitola [70]
monterrey [63]
bodega bay [61]
guerneville [63]
gold country [70]
maybe point lobos or even big sur if we could get up early [65]

so santa cruz or jamestown.

i forgot my camera so i will share one of my old photos of Crab Cove that is similar to today’s vista:

I'll have the usual

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Nada, nada, nada

Posted by on Apr 13, 2010 in Alameda, photo | 1 comment

Busy bee, lots and not much going on.

Tomorrow night is The Wizard of Oz at the local theater. Too bad the glittered shoes I made for Halloween fell apart, but I’ll probably throw on the gingham if it’s not too cold.


Which it might be, it’s been unseemly cold here lately — low 40s every night, my friend in San Jose had HAIL yesterday morning. Which is kind of getting me down, I am dying to wear my skirts and flip-flops and break out of all the constricting layers of sweaters and just let my skin BREATHE.

Also tomorrow is my return to painting after spring break, especially exciting after seeing Geninne’s The Process. How gorgeous is that? I’m going to water my acrylics way down tomorrow. I’m still working on the succulent flower, though if I was starting the project right now, I might work from my photo of some freesias I got at the farmer’s market last week, I really like how the bokeh here already looks painted.

Freesia #1

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Art + design at the Alameda Antiques Fair, March 2010

Posted by on Mar 11, 2010 in Alameda, photo | 2 comments

Horsies!Slavegirl from Cracked #2

Cave-men and Sambo

Rad!Will fight for Tarrytons

Loescher ladyAirbrush girl

Penthouse & Playboy

Ice Cream: It's Good for You!Sad clown

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Alameda Antiques Fair, March 2010

Posted by on Mar 10, 2010 in Alameda, photo | 1 comment

We went to the Alameda Antiques Fair on Sunday [following the afore-mentioned encounter with a delicious almond croissant]. It was brilliant out and we saw many wondrous things, including:

Rue du Canal

Le Pois botanical educational print

Letters, white and green

Letters, white

Dress #2, shoulder

The one I am kicking myself for not buying

Stag lady

Bakelite baubles

I am still beating myself for not buying that perpetual calendar. I can’t remember the last time I felt this much non-buyer’s remorse.


There were several other people there, taking photos, too:
Printer & Piemaker: Full Speed Ahead and Notes from the Point, March 2010
Poppytalk: This Week from Lisa Congdon: Collector’s View
heart on my sleeve: Alameda Flea Market

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The week in review, how’s yours?

Posted by on Mar 8, 2010 in Alameda, photo | 0 comments

How was your weekend?

My last week has been:

Coffee & craft with J. at the café, then Chad and I came back that evening for Tuesday Night Music Club — The Harkenbacks, who do old-timey americana, were there for the first time since last year. They’re one of my favorite bands around — the singer has such a true voice, just so beautiful and warm. You can check them out here.

If you are around this coming Tuesday evening, you should totally swing by Julie’s for Four Shillings Short. We caught them a couple months ago and I can’t even begin to describe them except to say they are Seriously. Come hang out.

Roman Holiday at the Alameda Theatre on Wednesday — they do a weekly classic movie on Wednesday-Thursday and we go pretty regularly. I’d never seen this one. WOW. I never really got Audrey Hepburn before — I mean, she’s pretty great, I just don’t feel the unadulterated adoration some folks seem to — but she is a straight-up pixie in this, as charming as Amélie. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. Gregory Peck’s a total hottie, too.

Craft night at Julie’s, then my sister arrived on her bike and we went to Juanita’s.

I don’t remember what-all except Chad DJed and I stayed home and made jewelry [I try to go out and support him but LORD it can get boring hanging out for 7 hours while your boyfriend is up on top of a pool table totally concentrating on his music]. I caught up on some TV — the best part of the Jim and Pam baby episode was Jim diapering the cat. That made me giggle something fierce. PARKOUR!

Chad and I went to the Farmer’s market, got some challah and I picked up the movie passes I won from a recent market raffle. Then we sat on the sidewalk at the café, where I had a lovely americano and my first almond croissant in decades. Seriously. I worked cafés a long time ago and got completely disgusted with croissants in general, almonds in particular. I don’t know what moved me to try one again yesterday but I am glad I did because it was delicious. Sitting on the sidewalk in the sun talking about who-all-knows-what with my handsome boyfriend picking at a croissant felt very cosmopolitan. Oh la la!

Last night was the big Alameda Idol final competition. Chad sang “Night and Day”, which I have been thinking was just — not big enough for a contest. Not enough bang at the end. But he got up there and blew the roof off the sucker. It was gorgeous and he was just dreamy singing it, he wandered around working the crowd, came over and kissed me, then gladhanded the old ladies in the corner, their eyes lit up like schoolgirls’. He got best male, and my friend Jen, who has the pipes of a barge [e.g. they are HUGE], got best female and best overall for her rendition of Björk’s “Oh So Quiet” and girlfriend CRIED. It was really sweet.


Gary and Tim and I stopped by Wescafé and I had another almond croissant. We went to the Alameda Antiques Fair and saw all kinds of things.The main reason I wanted to go was the guy with the insanely huge space and all the super-organized boxes of everything you can imagine — I wanted to get more of the watch faces he has that I used on this necklace for other projects.

January 6: What o'clock

But he was not there. I did, however, score a box of vintage necklaces, some with those bumpy old beads [they look sugared, I don’t know what they’re called] I’ve been looking for. What’s funny is I thought it was a box of broken pieces but when I got home and cracked the box open, it turned out to be full necklaces, working clasps and all. I’m still probably going to take most of them apart but there are a couple I’ll probably keep for myself. I’m wearing one now.

I also got a glass palette that I can use in class.

And I am slightly sunburnt and very sleepy.

Get up on time and go work out! I mean it, Gwen!

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Three Things Friday

Posted by on Mar 5, 2010 in Alameda, garden, our new home, photo | 1 comment

Three things I am in love with right now:

#1: my BLINGtastic camera necklace

#1: my BLINGtastic camera necklace

I’ve been forgetting to take a shot of this for ages, I bought it at the cutest little shop here in Alameda (To Herb With Love at Oak and Encinal) back before Christmas and I wear it almost every day. harpy owns a similar one, her lovely polaroid reminded me.

#2: surprise flowers

#2: surprise flowers

My friend brought her son over to pick some lemons [still going strong, give me a holler if you want to come pick some up] last week and surprised me with this enormous, gorgeous bouquet of birds of paradise from her garden.

#3: daffodils from TJs

#3: daffodils from TJs

You know it is spring when these babies show up. $1.29 for a bunch of ten, which is just enough to surprise my daughter and make myself happy, too.

Vintage milk bottle scored for practically nothing from Muse Reuse on Webster almost immediately after I decided I really need a vase that isn’t meant to hold an enormous birthday bouquet.

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365: More sunsets!

Posted by on Jan 30, 2010 in Alameda, photo | 1 comment

So here’s the deal. I am trying to do the 365 photos but it has been 100% cold and 90% gloomy the past couple weeks and it is about all I can do to drag myself outside for a walk at sunset, which is about the only time you can get any light, when the sun drops below the clouds for a few minutes before disappearing behind another bank of them. I am almost thinking about doing 365 sunsets but that is probably far more than I commit to.

I figured I would take this opportunity to tell you more about where I live.

January 28: Another day, another sunset

There are two places I usually do on my walks, one is I turn right at the end of my front walk and head over to the Bay Trail [which is a decades-long project to create a designated walking path around the entire bay, I remember my dad being excited about it and talking about one day, one day, when I was a kid] path that takes me down to Crab Cove, where there is a small beach, then a long beach, and a duck pond, and also a Foster’s Freeze [ice cream and fried food with c. 1970 orange-toned booths. The fries and malts are tops.]. The small beach is my favorite place, if you go at mid-day even on nice days there is a good chance you will have it to yourself.

It’s a bird refuge, too, so there are usually zillions of waders and diggers etc. this time of year. I keep forgetting to bring my zoom so you can’t see them too well in any of my photos.

Bay view window #85

The other one is turning left at the end of my walk then going up 3rd Street onto the artificial point that leads out along a marina. The northern side of this point is undeveloped and there’s a small path you can walk along. There’s a nice view of San Francisco [we’re directly across the bay] and the big ships that dock for repairs on the retired naval base. There are also several tiny beaches but I have been scared to explore them since Chad pointed out the giant cockroaches scurrying around on the rocks.

San Francisco and the Hornet

That long black thing is a breakwall, it’s lined with old falling-apart cyclone fence, there are usually a couple people out on it fishing. I walk over there sometimes, too, and don’t know why I don’t more often.

Also, note the giant bank of fog. That is when I laugh at the people who live in The City, because over here we get 15 minutes of sun while they are running around in the middle of an ugly cloud.

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