Inspired ~ Truth, Humility, Service, Gratitude, Beauty

15 05 2015

2015 AIA National Convention Keynote

Bill Clinton

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend the opening keynote program of the 2015 American Institute of Architects National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme of the convention this year is “Impact,” and all of the talks were created to underscore that theme. The featured keynote speaker was former president Bill Clinton, who was amazing to see and hear, of course. Surprisingly, I was just as inspired, and perhaps even more by the speakers that preceded him in the program, all architects, and especially Moshe Safdie. As an aside, I am not an architect myself, but I did attend architecture school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I met my husband, who is a licensed architect. We met while both serving as officers in the student chapter of the AIA, AIAS, and we first started dating at the AIAS National Convention in Chicago in 1988. So, we are grateful for the AIA and the field of architecture for bringing us together! Even though I did not end up becoming an architect I am an avid enthusiast of architecture and good design in general, and I accompany my husband to many activities, functions, seminars, and conventions. I also am a professional photographer, and although I did not specifically set out to make my specialty architectural photography (my photography hobby at the time I started my business was mostly landscape and floral photography), that’s the area where I receive most of my commissions.

Back to yesterday’s keynote and Moshe Safdie: although the talks were focused on the “Impact” of architects and architecture, the theme and inspiration could be applied to anyone in any field. How do we impact others? How does our work impact others? How do we impact our environment and the world? What is our purpose in what we do and in life? Safdie wrote a book in 1982 entitled “Form & Purpose.” He closed his talk by reciting a poem from that book. They are memorable words of timeless relevance:

He who seeks Truth
Shall find Beauty

He who seeks Beauty
Shall find Vanity

He who seeks Order
Shall find Gratification

He who seeks Gratification
Shall be Disappointed

He who considers himself as the servant of his fellow being
Shall find the joy of Self-Expression

He who seeks Self-Expression
Shall fall into the pit of Arrogance

Arrogance is incompatible with nature
Thru the nature of the universe
and the nature of man
we shall seek Truth

If we seek truth we shall find Beauty

~ Moshe Safdie

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Full of Life Flatbread, Los Alamos, California

17 07 2012

Full of Life FlatbreadChalboard Menu of the DayFront Porch Dining 1Front Porch Dining 2Indoor Lighting Detail Over the BarFresh Flowers 1
Fresh Flowers 2LGTeddy Bear SunflowerBicolored SunflowerFoodie FriendsFront Porch Dining 3
Reflecting on the GardenDelicious Salad SpecialCavalo Nero SaladSunday DriveWood Fired Local Sand DabsChalk Board Special Flatbread
Roasted Summer Squash & Eggplant FlatbreadBoth of the Daily Flatbread SpecialsHoney Pot de Crème with Lemon Infused Summer BerriesAlmond Crusted Blueberry Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Headed out a couple of weekends ago with LG and @LuvenRN to Los Alamos on another foodie adventure at one of our favorite dining destinations…….





Happy 4th of July!

4 07 2012

I always enjoy looking back on these photos from 2003 of my daughter and Pooh-Bah, the patriarch of our Pug 6-pack:

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My New Photography Web Site

20 06 2012

It’s fairly basic, but my new professional photography web site, Michelle C. Torres-Grant Photography,  is up & running!





Come along for a ride… It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

29 04 2012

“My soul blows crazy on the sails of a ~ derelict wind”~ from Good Love, one of my favorite tracks on the new CD by Lance Taylor, “American Love.”

So for the past 6 months my job has been to drive every paved, public road from Santa Maria to the Salinas valley plus up Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. I have about a week to go, and then my job assignment will be finished. Yesterday I was driving down this remote road off the Salinas valley enjoying a gorgeous spring day and listening to my singer songwriter friend’s new CD (Lance Taylor of Key West). I really love his music and new CD, “American Love!” I spontaneously decided to take this video with my iPhone as a souvenir of this fun job, and to preserve such a lovely memory. I never did see another car on this road. The video is a little shaky, because it was a rough, country road, and I was driving with one hand and holding my phone cam with the other. Look carefully, too, and you will see all kinds of critters in the air and on the road throughout the whole recording.

Check out Lance’s music on the Lance Taylor Music web site: http://www.lancetaylormusic.com/





Próxima Parada at Linnaea’s Cafe in San Luis Obispo

12 04 2012

I created a new channel on my Vimeo account with some casual recordings I’ve made of one of my favorite local bands based in San Luis Obispo, California. Although young, this group of talented singer-songwriters and musicians, draws from some of the great musical artists of the 60s & 70s as well as more contemporary artists. The styles of the music they perform vary quite a bit, so the best thing to do is just sit back and enjoy listening to a selection of their music, and you’ll see what I mean. It would be even better to see them live, and they’ve been playing around here and there in San Luis Obispo, and especially lately at the popular Linnaea’s Cafe downtown on Garden Street. In fact, Próxima Parada will be playing at Linnaea’s Cafe this Saturday, April 14 from 8-10 p.m. Their sets always (at least the three times I’ve seen them perform) include a fun mix of original songs written by Nick Larson and/or Bryson Bailey as well as some carefully chosen covers, some going back to before these guys were born!

Click here to go to the Próxima Parada channel on Vimeo.





Próxima Parada ~ “Who You Callin’?”

8 04 2012

This is a great song written entirely, lyrics & music, by Bryson Bailey. I really like the vibe of this! Apparently the band was only introduced to this as a finished song the night before this performance. I wouldn’t have guessed as everyone seemed really into the groove like they had been playing it awhile.

Próxima Parada at Linnaea’s Café, San Luis Obispo, California, March 10, 2012

Bryson Bailey (lyrics, lead vocals, electric guitar)
Nick Larson (percussion)
Myles Wittman (trumpet)
Clayton Cole (bass)

Próxima Parada ~ “Who You Callin’?” from Michelle C. Torres-Grant on Vimeo.








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