Architecture and Urban Planning, Urban Sketching

I have to admit, I was both excited and nervous about sketching this famous UC landmark.  I didn’t feel worthy.  Sather Gate was built in 1910 in memory of Peder Sather, a benefactor of the University.  If it could speak, I imagine it could recall the events of the Free Speech Movement, the songs of graduates passing underneath it and the director’s yelling “Cut!” from the movies filmed under its arches.

Sather Gate Sketch


Sather Gate and Sketchbook

I don’t always pass by it as I walk though the campus, but when I do, I have to pause and study it.  On this particular occasion, it was the end of Spring Break and no students were around, not that it mattered to me.  😉  I hope to sketch it again from a different perspective.  I often wonder if they know what a true rite of passage they’re experiencing while attending the University.  When the students walk through it, taking their selfies in front of it, observing its awkward copper corrosion from the corner of their eyes, are they truly aware of it.

Sather Gate

Architecture and Urban Planning, Urban Sketching

The College of Chemistry is close to my office and has an inner elevated courtyard that offers a secluded vantage point from which one can see and hear all the activity below while remaining virtually unnoticed. It was mid-term week and the students were hurrying in and out of the buildings to study groups, cafes and more classes. I overheard bits of conversations that represented the social mosaic of student life. One girl cried out, ”I’m so not prepared for this test.” Another, whom I could not see, but could discern that he was on his phone, was making plans for a week of partying on the beach. There were also several conversations in Spanish, Mandarin and Russian.

College of Chemistry

Berkeley Means Chemistry

Art General, Urban Sketching

South Hall Road, Univ. of California, Berkeley – March 18, 2014. I tried to find a place that allowed me to sketch the campus tower and the students at the same time.  The long cement bench facing South Hall Road was a good compromise.  I was able to get the lower half of the tower and Le Conte Hall as well as a sprinkling of students reading, studying and conversing in the mid-day sun.


South Hall Road and Campanile

South Hall Road

Urban Sketching

I’m sure I’m not the first to have sketched the Albany Veteran’s Memorial building.  My daughter was sleeping in the car, so I took the opportunity to sketch what I could see from the dashboard.  (March 12th, 2014)


Albany Veteran’s Memorial

Story and Chai

My latest blog post in Story and chai, a creative space for readers and writers of non-majority lit, with a primary focus on Muslim narratives.

My Shelfie

Knowing They Shelf”

I’m not big on the whole selfie thing. Don’t get me wrong. I like taking pictures.  I just feel super awkward taking ones of my self and then posting them online. I guess I’m more of a loner bookworm than denizen of the many social-media sites dedicated to self-celebration. I tend to talk about what I “like” rather than share the results of the latest BuzzFeed quiz describing what cheese or bathroom I am.  But I’m also willing to give it a try.  So if taking a BuzzFeed survey is grounds for self-celebration, then here comes the narcissism… (Read more at

Knowing Thy Shelf