Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Afternoon with the Queen

No, not Elizabeth and her corgis.  And not the new shiny-haired forerunner, Catherine, either.  This particular Queen may be far under the radar but she is way hipper, keeps funner company and is infinitely more likely to have hallucinogenic fungi within her possession.  She is Queen Califia, a mythical Amazon warrior queen, whose legend is tied to that of an island replete with gold and other riches.  One version of the story has the Spaniard, Hernan Cortes going in search of this island and instead finding himself in the land that would eventually bear her name: California

Today, this lady bad-ass has been immortalized in the center of a befittingly trippy sculptural garden which was financed and created by Niki de Saint Phalle, a woman whose work I've featured here before (in Switzerland and Nice).  For reasons that no amount of googling has revealed, the French-born Ms. de Saint Phalle chose to tuck this dreamscape in the middle of a municipal park in the aptly named city of Escondido, California.