Cannery Row in Monterey is an interesting place to sketch, and I’ve had my eye on this building above for a few years now. This ramshackle former gallery sits right on the waterfront, grizzling in the Ocean fog, timbers presumably shivering. I got out one afternoon while other family members tried to take an afternoon nap (not an easy task given the noise of seagulls and traffic), and sketched down Cannery Row.
This end is closer to the Aquarium, and is a tourist-trap mecca. Signs everywhere offer quotes from Steinbeck to people who go, ah yeah, must read that book some day, get an idea of what it was like, and then never read it, because they don’t really need to know what it was like beyond what the signs in the street tell them (that would be me, then). I can imagine the smell and the noise and the seagulls following trawlers because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea, and I can say it probably isn’t too different from today, except the smell is more likely to be chipotle grilled popcorn or something. Still it’s fun, and not quite as trashy as Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf pier (popular with pelicans and parolees on the day I went there). I’ll keep going back.
Finally, of course, a fire hydrant. While sketching this, a group of young men stopped to look at my sketchbook, and one of them, a black lad decked out in hip-hop gear, was so impressed he said, “Man, you got a motherf*#*#r’s details, man!” I cracked up; that was hands down the best compliment I’ve ever received. Especially for drawing a fire hydrant! And so, I went and met the family for a cold ice cream and a hot brownie. I do love Monterey. We go there every year.