Every once and a while someone asks me why I don't live in NYC anymore. Those of us from NYC will say that when you live there you have the whole world at your fingertips. Many people I know are somewhat "jailed" by the apartments they know they will never find again and they never want to live in a place where they will have to learn how to drive.
When people ask me why I don't live in NYC anymore, I think of the Headlands. I think about how it's a ten minute jaunt from the Golden Gate Bridge. I think about its Turner bigsky-esque beauty, it's quiet landscape, the rough hewn cliffs leading abruptly to the Pacific Ocean's tumultuous edge, and The Headlands Center for the Arts, an artists-in-residence center as big as my old college nestled in its hills of wild sage, Cypress and Eucalyptus trees.
I think about how I have been going to and photographing this gorgeous area since the late 1980's, and how I never tire of it. I think about how I have cooked in a kitchen designed by an artist and spent many an afternoon surrounded only by the sound of seawater and birds mating and hunting. There is also a fantastically large and imposing Youth Hostel there, just in case your art work doesn't win you a year long stay.
I don't live in NYC anymore because the seasonal fruit in Northern California is enough to twist my complying arm, but I live here because something like the Headlands is accessible all year round to anyone who stumbles upon it. (There's also a bus you can catch from SF, just in case you don't want to drive.)
Not only is Open Studios at the HCA wonderful because there are so many kinds of artists practicing various mediums, but the buildings are art in an of themselves as well. The bathroom in the main building is a functioning art installation and many of the buildings corners and crevices, staircases and ceilings, are filled with architectural details the likes of which are rarely placed in Military structures anymore. When I go to HCA I fall in love with, over and over, the surroundings, whether they be outside or in.
If you are interested in my latest photo essay, you can see the series at Flickr. As you can see, I fell especially hard for this one staircase.