Skip to main content

"The Lonely Victorian"

click on pic to enlarge
Residents of the Historic Mission District of Riverside, CA, can't help noticing this stunning Victorian at the foot of Mount Rubidoux -- the last home along a dead-end drive leading to a popular trail head up the mountain.  I couldn't help noticing it either the other day.  Pretty hard not to, as it stands in stark contrast to the rest of the residences in the area; an upscale enclave comprised primarily of well-manicured Craftsmans and bungalows with huge wrap-around porches and hanging plants, or homes replete in decorative detail with the district's locally famous Mission-style architecture, inspired by the nearby Mission Inn and the many, mini-cathedrals, that orbit it.  Of the dozen or so shots I took of this house, this is the only one that came out half "right".  Half right, that is, in what I was angling for.  I wanted to eliminate all the arid, stereotypical Southern California elements from the scene as best I could -- the cactus, palm trees, desert landscaping (all of it, of course, cropped just out of sight) -- so that the picture of the mansion could possibly pass for some palatial east coast estate.  Alas, if the grass in the foreground wasn't so dry, just a bit greener, the photograph might've fooled anybody ... Still, this is not the sort of mansion one expects to witness passing by on any given day in Southern California's mostly culture-less and ubiquitous suburbs.


Rebecca Glenn said…
Just loving all the photos! You on vacation (or maybe a staycation)?

Popular posts from this blog

A Brief introduction to the Novels of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas

The majority of the material for this post is taken from Contemporary Novelists, 3rd Ed., Edited by James Vinson, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1982

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (1914-1987)

There's only eight books of K.A. Abbas cataloged in LibraryThing (five or six different works).  He's virtually forgotten in the United States, though still revered in Indian literary circles.

On highbrow literary critics in India, Abbas said they "have sometimes sneeringly labelled my novels and short stories as 'mere journalese'. The fact that most of them are inspired by aspects of the contemporary historical reality, as sometimes chronicled in the press, is sufficient to put them beyond the pale of literary creation.

"I have no quarrel with the critics. Maybe I am an unredeemed journalist and reporter, masquerading as a writer of fiction. But I have always believed that while the inner life of man undoubtedly is, and should be, the primary concern of literature, thi…

Guest Post: Farewell to Manzanar reviewed by Mac McCaskill

"Mountain now loosens rivulets of tears.
Washed stones, forgotten clearing."
 —Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

When my father was a boy, he learned that he’d been adopted by the man whom he’d thought was his father. Digging through a dusty trunk in his attic, he found legal documents that gave him the name he wore and the father he knew, but also uncovering an origin that had been hidden from him.

His mother was, by all accounts, a volatile woman — her siblings called her “the hornet” because her sting was quick and painful. She was a hard woman, and reticent to either acknowledge or divulge anything about his biological father. Over the years, he eventually learned from other relatives that she met Mr. Black — it was his name, but also a metaphor for much more — in a late 1920’s dance hall. He left her pregnant, taking whatever money he could get his hands hand on when he went.

Late in his life, after his mother died, my dad started quizzing other relatives for information about Mr…

Guest Post: Play It As It Lays reviewed by Joseph Brinson

You know, I began a try at this review writing about Iago in Othello and the nature of evil.

And about ennui and apathy.

And that the answer is: nothing.

And how I felt deep empathy for Maria.

And then I deleted it all.

This is my review: This novel depressed the fuck out of me.

That, and giving it four stars, should sum it up.

Joseph Brinson (a.k.a., "Quixada"), a poet and a longtime online pal, made me fucking howl when I first read his deadpanned piece on Play It As It Lays years and years ago.  Yes, it is brief — yet is playfully, skillfully thorough. His homage still slays me today.