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Steinbeck, Salinas and Santa Cruz - Riffs and Licks
steelbrassnwood
steelbrassnwood
Steinbeck, Salinas and Santa Cruz
I spent much of the last week in Steinbeck country. Photos below, or you can view the gallery.
Vacancy Vacancy
Abandoned hotel in Santa Cruz.
Ocean Views Ocean Views
Soon-to-be abandoned motels in Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz
A restaurant on the faded, cheesy wharf.
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz
Sea lions hang out under the wharf and bark like crazy.
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz
Hanging out under the pier -- digitally zoomed photo.
Salinas Valley Salinas Valley
Castroville is west of Salinas. Kate's whorehouse was off of the Castroville Road, now Market Street.
Salinas Valley Castroville
They take their artichokes very seriously in Castroville. Seriously enough to deep-fry them.
Castroville Castroville
The real thing, growing in a field, pre-deep-frying.
Artichokes Artichokes
Salinas Valley Salinas Valley
The artichoke center of the world!
Salinas Valley Salinas Valley
A farmhouse between Castroville and Salinas.
Salinas Valley Salinas Valley
Salinas Salinas
A restored locomotive at the train station in Salinas.
Salinas Salinas
Mural in Salinas.
Salinas Salinas
A mural on the wall of the parking garage near the Steinbeck Center.
Samuel Hamilton Samuel Hamilton
The real man, Steinbeck's maternal grandfather.
Model T Model T
The controls of a Model T.
The Grapes Of Wrath The Grapes Of Wrath
The Grapes Of Wrath The Grapes Of Wrath
The article mentions a competing publication, called "The Grapes Of Gladness," about what a wonderful place to work California was.
The Snake The Snake
The Steinbeck Center is sadly short on manuscripts and letters, preferring to remember a writer through cheesy interactive exhibits. But there were a few manuscripts on hand.
Steinbeck's Passport Steinbeck's Passport
This was the one he used while overseas as a war correspondent.
Rocinante Rocinante
The original truck that Steinbeck drove around the country in, memorialized in Travels With Charley.
Rocinante Rocinante
The interior.
Rocinante Rocinante
Rocinante Rocinante
Salinas Salinas
This was the Monterey County Bank, where Kate kept her money in a safe deposit bank. It's now an antique/craft market.
Salinas Salinas
I'm going down to the Greyhound station
Gonna buy a ticket to ride
I'm going to find a lady with two or three kids
And sit down by her side
Ride till the sun comes up and down around two or three times
Smokin' cigarettes in the last seat
Sing a song for the people I meet
And get along with it all.

-- John Prine, "Clay Pigeons"

I bought this album in Santa Cruz and listened to it and a Mark Knopfler/Chet Atkins album all the way down and back.
Salinas Salinas
Steinbeck's house, now an overpriced restaurant.
Salinas Salinas
He played harmonica!
Steinbeck House Steinbeck House
Steinbeck House Steinbeck House
The restaurant's cash register.
Steinbeck House Steinbeck House
Salinas Salinas
The former Bank of Monterey, photographed from the window of the cafe that used to be Porter and Irvines, the general store where Kate shopped. The store closed in 1974.
Salinas Salinas
Salinas Valley Salinas Valley
Monterey Monterey
Monterey is a horrible tourist trap now, with Cannery Row now a strip as ugly as Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. But at least they put up a bust of Steinbeck.
Monterey Monterey
And he ... lives on.
Monterey Monterey
St Pete Beach St Pete Beach
I also spent two days in Florida for a conference. This hideous monstrosity, the Don Cesar, is pretty representative. The directions I got to the conference said to "Turn left at the big pink hotel." And driving into town I'm thinking, "Which big pink hotel?" since this is, after all, Florida. Then I come over the bridge and see this thing. "Oh, THAT big pink hotel."
St. Pete Beach St. Pete Beach
Beautiful beaches lined with ugly buildings.

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