Monday, January 18, 2010

The Gate House (Monochrome Monday)


Harden Gatehouse - Portuguese Point (Private Property), 17 January 2010

The author Joan Didion lived in Palos Verdes in the '60s... for a month, and I believe it was at this gate house. She evokes images of the place in her memoir of loss (both her husband and their daughter died within a year of each other), The Year of Magical Thinking: "… One day I would notice a familiar stretch of coastal highway in a television commercial and realize it was the gate house, on the Palos Verdes Peninsula at Portuguese Bend, to which John and I had brought Quintana home from St. John’s Hospital.… Neither the house nor its gate could be seen in the commercial but I experienced a sudden rush of memories: getting out of the car on that highway to open the gate so that John could drive through; watching the tide come in and float a car that was sitting on our beach to be shot for a commercial; sterilizing bottles for Quintana’s formula while the gamecock that lived on the property followed me companionably from window to window. …"

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19 comments:

Regina said...

Love the ivy on the gate.
Great angle and shot!

magicpolaroid said...

wow really nice building and shot!

Aileni said...

Amazing foliage.

Eleonora said...

Thanks for the story behind this amazing entry.

Ciao
Eleonora

Bibi said...

Thanks for showing this. I read the book, and was very touched. Lent it to a friend...didn't get it back, but will get another copy.

This photo is best in bw!

brattcat said...

This is a beautiful place, shot beautifully by you, and then enhanced by the Didion quote. Nicely done, Tash.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Thank you for the photo and the Didion passage. Her words capture your photo in a whole different light.

Virginia said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing the text as well.
V

Lori Lynn said...

It looks fabulous in monochrome. I lived across the street (and up the hill) from 1993-2001.
LL

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

It was you that suggested that book to me. This is a hard confession for me to make but I think the internet has reduced my concentration to that of my cat. I made it maybe a third of the way through (and had checked it out twice).

Really, I want to go back to finish that book. After the death of my best friend I went through a period of magical thinking

(great interview with Joan Didion on Charlie Rose)

Clueless in Boston said...

Interesting gate house with all the ivy. Nothing like that here in New England. The photo looks like it could have been taken in the 1920s. Well done.

Cezar and Léia said...

It's so interesting and your picture in B&w is wonderful, great choice!
Léia

*** please dear Tash, forgive my absence, We were travelling again during this weekend!Surprise! :)

Tami said...

Seriously lovely!

awarewriter said...

This shot is great in B&W. Joan Didion's words always move me.

Paula said...

I think I've read every Didion book but this one. I think I was afraid to read it, that it would be too painful. The funny thing is, I think I have a copy of it somewhere - or did. Seeing this strikes me as quintessentially Californian - to an outsider that is, and I think that's what I always got from her

Annie said...

Her words make this gate positively haunting. Well done.

Rebecca said...

What an impressive entrance!

Cy said...

Beautiful shot. For what it is worth, they used the gatehouse (as well as the property) as the entrance to Santa Rosita park in 1963's "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", a movie that I watched way to many times as a child. If Joan Didion's world intrigues you, check out Zuma Canyon Orchids.

sarah c said...

Nice to see it. Gatehouse went with my step grandfather's family the Hardens' California estate