Shasta Calling..

This place needs to be experienced. It has to be found and felt. It’s one of the few “Places of power” on Earth (read more here).

And it’s cuteūüôāDSC01532Exactly when the above picture was taken we found a dying little beautiful squirrel on the side of the road..

Probably hit by car and left there..

2 fat merciful crows were hitting her defenseless body with their huge beaks trying to grab a bite of her tiny body.

We couldn’t let her die there. So we slowly picked her up¬†and covered in blanket.

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Our first option¬†was local “Animal Hospital”.. for a 3K-people town Mount Shasta had a pretty decent¬†one.

But when we arrived it was packed and a caring front desk young lady informed me that they had no license to deal with the “wild animals”.

Ok, our squirrel was still breathing, although it was clear she was bad.

I called local Animal Control and they said:

A squirrel? There are so many of them.. nobody’s gonna lift a finger..

and I asked:

So what do I do?

AC:

Just put her back where you found her.. City¬†won’t clean up dead squirrels..¬†

Of course we couldn’t get over the moral laws of the Universe and let her get eaten alive on a sidewalk.

So I called another animal hospital and asked them to take a look..

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She was unfixable.. so we authorized the facility to send the squirrel to eternal dream journey with no pain and no suffering.

They agreed to do it.

For $20.

Amen.

DSC01648Mount Shasta is located in SiskiYou county.

Our Russian speaking friends will probably smile now.

All the rest can translate “siski” from Russian to English to get the joke.

This town is very peaceful and cool.

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All motels are occupied by long-distance drivers and each parking lot is like a showroom of the “Transformers” movie at night..¬†DSC01757Native places are unique and emotional. Food is great almost everywhere.

But there are 3 places I need to mention here (if you ever happen to stop by the town of Mount Shasta – try them!):

1. “Hi-Lo” cafe starts at 6 AM and gets packed with locals calling each other by name pretty quickly. It’s just perfect for good breakfast:

DSC015092. French style dinner with outside patio and nuts falling from trees can be found at “Lily’s”..¬†DSC01462And 3. One of the best Indian foods I’ve ever had. “Maruti”. Just check their page on Yelp and know it’s all true.¬†DSC01729Going up to Mt. Shasta you spot local art.. just like everywhere¬†else in the world.. humans. good to know you’re still on Earth.¬†DSC01644We wanted to find a shaman or some tribe rep to do a ceremony.. but instead we met a group of paranoid activists who hiked up the Mountain, settled close to where we were hanging out and started a process of “opening a portal”.

With all the standard feathers, rocks, crystals, tree of life.. stuff.. and they all looked like possessed people of course. In a good way though.

Eventually they celebrated the fact of an “Opened Portal” in a circle..holding hands of course..

We never saw them coming down the mountain.¬†DSC01619Lake SiskiYou is just a jump away from Mount Shasta and for $1 per person you get access to a huge forest area with cabins, lake, Mt. Shasta view and fresh bear footprints making you hide all your fruit and turn your head every other minute looking for “guests”, cause you’re freaking alone on the beach:)

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It’s off season, so you could drive anything left¬†by the marine.. I picked this pow-tractor.¬†DSC01674

Later that night we hiked Mount Shasta’s urban park, which unexpectedly turned out to be a potentially dangerous walk..

We started the hike in one place and finished it in another one, not suspecting that local PD had put up pink warnings around the area just a few hours before we entered the park.

This picture was taken when these 2 walkers were still thinking they’d just had a safe park promenade.. ¬†DSC01727Mt. Shasta is a place to stop by, re-charge, take a nap, then take a deep breath, open a portal, refill your energy and move on..¬†DSC01623To Portland.

Coming up next.

 

 

 

San Franweird

DSC01417We’ve¬†spent around 2 years¬†in San Francisco before moving to LA, so I have so much¬†to tell¬†about it, but I decided to actually point out “the other side” of the city, because all the beautiful images and videos you can find online without me.

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It’s expensive.

Ridiculously expensive.

Our friends rented a 2b/2b apartment in Sunset neighborhood 2 years ago for $3,200/mo.

Now it’s going out for $5K!

I find it insulting. Tech geeks and easy money have made the city push non-tech people out of the city limits to live in places like these:

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Cheap overpriced boxes.

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When we arrived we witnessed an anomaly Р93F for 2 days in a row. Never in my memory has this city had such weather. You could tell something extraordinary was going on by the amount of people trying to park by the beach:

 

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Young San Franciscans weren’t ready and pretended to have fun at their doorways getting drunk on sheer concrete floors.. a weird local partying tradition..

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While others became dizzy and forgot things..

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Everybody was headed to the beach that day.

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And then things went down to where they have always been.

Cold.

Unwelcoming.

Foggy.

DSC01257Favorite San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge fog that most of the time ends in the middle of the bridge and you find out there was sun shining for the people of the Marine.

SF is weird.

It’s nothing like that romantic weirdness you might imagine.

Weird SF is Snobby and Cold-minded. Governed by a set of rules people created and abiding by.

And even if you’re walking your dog – you sorta feel like people are judging you for that. Despite all the peaceful image this city is known for.

Those days are over.

Now the city and its people are more into “matching the image” of a free-thinking, arty and yet hip society.

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But if you speak loud, they’ll call the cops.

If you smoke in the street – you’ll get the “looks”.

If you do anything “off protocol” you’ll be burnt alive.

We were visiting our SF friends in Sunset district at their multi-apt community and were standing by the door with bags full of food when we spotted 2 women playing with a bunch of kids. We needed a fob to get it, so I kindly asked one of the ladies to open the door for us, cause we were visiting and couldn’t get it without the key.

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Her face turned from smile to confused aggression and she said: Sorry, I can’t do that. We saw notes around here there were some security issues..”

I quickly recognized a typical San Franciscan in her and quit talking to her. Instead I had to call our friend to come down from the 8th floor to open the door. But it took him 10 minutes. Meanwhile the ladies and kids were done playing and as it was getting pretty chilly, they needed to come inside. But they decided to wait outside until we disappear, so they wouldn’t have to pass us when opening the door and looking us in the eyes.. or even worse -automatically letting us in.

Our friend came down and from elevator I saw them coming inside the lobby. It’s just ridiculous.

Other than that, construction in the city never stops.

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Parking enforcement still fills 1/4 of the city budget making SF drivers go crazy..

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People get prepared for Halloween (even tho it’s in a month) and pay¬†to learn about their destiny (with unreasonable amount of Palm readers in the city).

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And it’s almost impossible to spot people just freely wandering around the twisty streets at night. Tomorrow they need to work!

DSC01298 DSC01407 DSC01361All this makes you wanna enjoy braking at least a few rules..

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And then forget everything at a weird dinner with world class entertainment.

DSC01241I love you San Francisco.

I always will.

But I can’t help hating you for wasting your beauty trying to look, live and feel like a bitch.

Good night.

 

Mt. Shasta next.

Dead Pets in the desert

Driving East of LA you happen to see stunning places..

Only in America you can still find that “old school” spirit of freedom and cultural movement.

Along with freedom, creepy spirit flies.. certain places are odd and unwelcoming.

But they  are yet undoubtedly beautiful in their weirdness.

This time our road trip led us to Desert Hot Springs area, where we pulled over by this lone pet cemetery..

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Why we were interested in taking a look? Cause it’s located in middle of nowhere among this industrial revolution forest:

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Look at this trailer. People live in it and it’s put right in the middle of the cemetery.

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I imagine if they ever get letters from some uncle Hank from jail.. the address must be: Pet Cemetery in the middle of the desert, Trailer rd California.

But then it seems I also know where they get their food from:

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They have competitors living right next to cemetery.. a bunch of creepy truckers.

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This dog family was probably shot all together to make Thanksgiving dinner..

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I know I’m being creepy now.. so here’s a picture of a sweet dog grave to rebuild my reputation.

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Overall this place looks like this

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And here’s some guy’s house standing¬†on the other side of the “death road” you’d probably want to spend a night in.

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OK, we’re outta here.. San Francisco is the NEXT STOP!

 

Hollywood Forever

Perfect for the dead. Pretty cool for the alive.

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We’ve always loved hanging out at cemeteries. Especially the ancient ones..

Hollywood Forever is a mix of modern graving techniques¬†and mid-age visual concepts. From what we’ve seen around 70% of all graves were in Russian. Mostly Jewish and Armenian people.

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The cemetery is rich and the landscape is definitely beautiful. It overlooks the Hollywood sign if you take the main entrance path.

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There are 4 main points of interest. I gave them my own names and maybe there are more of them as well, but this is just how I understood the cemetery:

1. The “Land Graves”. Tombstones on acres of green beautiful land with peacocks and squirrels walking among them.

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2. “The Lake”. Very positive lake in the middle of the land of the dead.

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Right by the lake the only celebrity tomb we spotted was this one..

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3. “Ash House”. Burnt remains of hundreds or maybe even thousands of American dream seekers who shaped this city before us.

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When you sit down for a quick second.. you start noticing things around you living their own lives even in a slow-mo place like this. I noticed this was the only tree that was literally bleeding next to this standalone grave.. Speaks for itself.

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This lady is probably in her late 70’s.. she parked her still shiny bloody-red 1989 SL 550 with Montana license plate by the entrance of the “Ash House”, all wearing gold and diamonds, slowly passed by us and entered the building.. the next thing we heard was loud cutting-through sound of her moving a floor-scratching armchair towards one of the “Ash panels”, where I suppose someone she cared about¬†was buried.. she just sat there.. staring into nowhere.. it was a complete art scene.

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Then a woman and¬†man quickly sneaked into one of the “Ash House” hallways holding some sheets of paper with numbers.. probably looking for a spot where someone they knew was buried. In a few seconds we saw them standing in front of one of the vaults while she was loudly reading some prayer and he standing with his head down..

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Inside the “Ash House” there was a David Lynch style room.. it had 4 floor-to-ceiling walls with little cells containing remains of people and material world things they owned.. like photographs, packs of cigarettes and personal belongings. many kid cells.. unfortunately.

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We spotted beautiful mosaic walls, cemetery streets named after the dead, weird doors and more..

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4. “The Funeral House”. I guess this name is pretty common and I didn’t make it up. I’m not certain if it’s OK to say “we were lucky” to spot a real funeral that day, but if you look at death the way I do – then it’s a Win-Win situation: the dead person was¬†lucky to transform into new energy and we were lucky to spot a rich Hollywood funeral with dozens of latest luxury cars parked around the Funeral House with all wealthy and sleek grandmas and grandpas slowly walking in and out..

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It was a great day at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Definitely won’t leave you emotionally untouched. In fact, I felt hungry at the end of the day there and we went to “The little next door” to enjoy some fine French cuisine and an intellectual conversation about the Hollywood Forever experience.

OK, we need to get going now.. the World of the Alive is waiting.

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Italian feast.. Zeppole, Dry Martini and Basketball.

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Yesterday we finally went to check out Famous Italian Feast of San Gennaro! http://www.feastofla.com/

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It was what you would expect from a fair.

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Performed by world famous “Dry Martini”..DSC00587

GAMES

 

Played by professional athletes..

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and Food..

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But we actually came here for Zeppole!

 

Too hot. needed to blow inside the bag.. wanted them desperately.. got 24 pieces.. enough to make your butt hemispheres stick together for good..

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and some photos to feel the vibe..

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Video of a gorgeous romantic couple dancing like BOSSes to follow..

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It was fun. We’ll be back.

Peace.