Thursday, August 25, 2011

HIDDEN GEMS

A photographer I greatly admire relayed a story about his profession's calling.  A hired photographer claimed there were no photos worth taking at the appointed site.  The client was furious and insisted: It is the photographer's job to produce images where there are none.  (What say you photographers in our midst to this?  Also, check out the images at Rodney Smith.  His work is terrific, and his writing is as inspired as his photography.)

I faced the opposite of this situation last week while strolling through Carmel-by-the-Sea.  Every corner had hidden gems.  It was a feast for my eyes.  You could randomly train your lens in any direction.  I wonder if you will find Carmel as beguiling as I did?

If you are free, come follow me to "this kingdom by the sea" ... (Dear me, that doesn't sound like Annabel Lee!!)

A secret garden
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA



Another secret garden
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Carmel-by-the-Sea boasts charming Inns at every turn.  This one, Lamp Lighter Inn, had cottages with whimsical names like Hansel and Gretel or Blue Bird Cottage.

Lamp Lighter Inn, Carmel-by-the-Sea
One of the many Inns we walked on the way to Carmel Beach

Carmel's early Spanish heritage is evident in some of its architectural details, like the use of Spanish wrought iron works for this church lamp.

Spanish iron lamp in Church
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Modern Carmel, by contrast, seems to have a fascination for all things English!  Consider the Tea Rose -- if you long for lost traditions, like drinking infusions from floral china rather than a paper cup.



Even Elizabeth Bennett is equipped to furnish Mr. Darcy's Pemberley directly from Carmel.  I sometimes wondered if I was in California or in a quaint, English village instead.




The Hat Shop was my favorite little shop.  I wandered in, could barely make it back out, and finally had to revisit hours later!  My exit featured a ribboned straw hat on my head with English top hat and fascinator in tow.  This shop was lined with antique touches like a motoring helmet with goggles and a Remington type writer.

The Hat Shop
The chest on the right was teeming with colorful fascinators!  I got a feathered one.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Motoring hat and goggles (not antique) at The Hat Shop
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

The main streets were lined with luxury boutiques.  Yet, I was drawn more to the designer Consignment Shops which entailed meandering through little lanes.  Treasure-hunting eventually uncovered a leather bustier vest for me.


Mon Amie Designer Consignment Shop
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Carmel patrons come in many sizes, and the Lilliputian set certainly had their share of European fashion.  The window displays in this Italian children's boutique were just darling.  I wish they carried the stuff in my size!


I Pinco Pallino
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
I Pinco Pallino
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

It wasn't all about shops.  Our biggest surprise was when Ocean Avenue was shut down for a vintage car festival.  We were trying to get to the Beach but were blocked at every turn.  This called for a change of plans and we decided to enjoy this gathering of motor enthusiasts instead.


Concours on the Avenue
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

I know very little about cars but there were some impressive specimens out there.  They ranged from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang era motors to sports cars like Steve McQueen's in "Bullitt".  I leave you all to identify these autos' pedigrees since I am out of my depth here.


Concours on the Avenue
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
Concours on the Avenue
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Then of course, Carmel is incomplete without a stop at Pebble Beach and its golf course.  It is also home to 17-Mile Drive which I pictured in a previous post, Rugged Beauty.


Bougainvilleas at the Shops in Pebble Beach
Carmel, CA

This time, we were not surprised to find more vintage cars parked by the Lodge at Pebble Beach!


Vintage cars parked outside The Lodge at Pebble Beach
Carmel, CA
So, that wraps up our wanderings on foot in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  It's back to real life now, but it is nice to think back on secret gardens and other delights from last week.

Are your summer holidays winding down too?

Tiger Lily Florist
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA


All Photos: The Foolish Aesthete

31 comments:

  1. oh, i love old doors as in the first photo...especially when they are a bit mismatched.

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  2. looks like an absolutely marvelous place!!wish i were there!
    rodney's photography is sheer genius..his perspective omg!!

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  3. WOW,I am so impressed about this pictures!!!The doors in the 1st photo is amazing!Great place,thanks for sharing!

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  4. Everything looks so beautiful!! like a dream! The hat shop looks pretty amazing! Have a nice weekend. x

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  5. beautiful! the third picture from the bottom is my favourite.

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  6. Very true - beauty is in the eye of the beholder (i.e. the photographer). Wonderful photos... I always wanted to visit Carmel, now even more!

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  7. Love it! Oh, it reminds me of the book and movie the secret garden :D
    Like your blog :):)

    http://spliffedcookies.blogspot.com/

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  8. Sounds and looks amazing! Small boutiques (my favourite!) and vintage cars? Absolute Perfection!

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  9. Thank you for sharing so much beauty. Beauty shares multiplies...
    Much love, my dear friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  10. Love all your pictures! Sounds like a great summer trip!

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  11. it really looks like taken from a movie... have a great weekend!

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  12. Carmel looks like such a beautiful place. I'm just craving the seaside. Happy weekend to you too! The theatre I work for is hosting a music festival tomorrow night so for the first time since maybe April i am having a Saturday night off! Can't wait. I'm gonna get into all sorts of trouble!

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  13. So pretty! Now I want to go to all of these places!

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  14. Wonderful, like a little dream world. I'd love to go on a stroll around there.

    As to your question, I think the client just picked the wrong photographer for the job. Yes, there is always something to see to take pictures of, but every photographer has a certain way to see things, it's own photographic languague. So this photographer was simply the wrong choice for this job. For example, I dislike it to photograph people, while the Photodiarist excels at photographing people.

    Thanks for stopping by, following and your nice comment. Enjoy your weekend.

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  15. Fantastic shots! I love how you describe Carmel as being a photo in every angle. The hat shop looks so alluring! I look forward in seeing your fascinator in a future post! the Citizen Rosebud

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  16. I love these pictures! Photography really opened my eyes for details, and now I find hidden gems everywhere, It is great!

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  17. These pictures are fantastic!!! LOVE that door. Beautiful and oh so vintage. And that pink tutu ballerina outfit is precious.


    GTBB,
    http://badjoan.blogspot.com
    http://cookingjoan.blogspot.com

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  18. Amazing photos.. I want to go now and stop at all these shops..

    Love! ~Angel

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  19. Unluckily fornme yes! Ia mabck home too!
    Carmel is really lovely. I adored it and you took beautiful pictures!
    Xx
    http://dontcallmefashionblogger.blogspot.com

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  20. Ooooh I made a lot of mistakes while writing, sorry about that:-((

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  21. I like so much this blog.
    I´d like you check out mine.
    http://paquetevistasbien.blogspot.com

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  22. love the pics! love the third one! :)

    http://pinklemonsorbet.blogspot.com/

    Meena ♥

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  23. These are wonderful images from Carmel. The colour just sings. Rodney Smith is a brilliant photographer. I love the surreal nature and fun he has with his work. I wonder what the subject was that his client wanted him to photograph. Xxxx

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  24. @Fashionistable - R. Smith's story was about a famous LIFE photographer whose assignment was to take a portrait in an airfield. It is interesting to note that even celebrated LIFE photographers occasionally fail to do inspired work! xxx

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  25. I am always delighted by your photographies! I loved to hear about your holiday with more details. mine are done too and I took some photos too that I'll post very soon. :)

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  26. Love the photos! Thanks for shareing! ;)

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Dear Fellow Aesthetes, I love hearing your thoughts. I think the other readers find them valuable too! Much love xxx

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