Friday, April 20, 2007

Tropical Terrace

On Wednesday, my computer crashed -- hardware failure. I lost about three weeks worth of work, and had to wait for Dell to replace my hard drive before I could even make a damage assessment.

This situation forced me out of the house yesterday. I drove to Malibu, and went hiking in Solstice Canyon. In the 1950s, African-American architect Paul Williams designed a house there for the Fred Roberts family. The house incorporated many elements of the rural setting: rocks, trees, waterfalls and a meandering stream. In 1982, the house burned down and, since 1988, the remains have been a popular destination for hikers.

The easiest way to get to the ruins is by walking up the old driveway, which runs parallel to the river at the base of canyon. I was surprised at how lush and green the area was, and how quiet.

Perhaps the most striking thing about this site is a pair of structures on the west side of the river, opposite the house. On one hill stands this miniature stone temple. Opposite, there is a shrine to the Virgin Mary.

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