Saturday, October 25, 2008

Palm Reading...


In Following the Equator, Mark Twain came up with the absolute best description of a palm tree. He wrote that a palm is "nature's imitation of an umbrella that has been out to see what a cyclone is like and is trying not to look disappointed."

Here are a bunch of the big, wild beauties lining Stratford Avenue, near Garfield Park.

18 comments:

Jilly said...

I love Mark Twain's description and love this avenue of palms too. How lovely. Many of the palms in the south of France are being attacked by some insect - forget the name now - so hopefully we won't lose them.

Sally said...

Hi Laurie, They're beauties. And Mark Twain had a lot of humorous things to say about a lot og things and places! Did you know he visited Australia?

You kight find this article interesting:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/book-reviews/the-wayward-tourist-mark-twains-adventures-in-australia/2006/11/13/1163266443462.html

a review of the book he wrote on his Australian travels!

USelaine said...

Streets lined with the same kind of tree make such a nice effect. It magnifies whatever the form is, and brings unity to the place.

Virginia said...

L,
Wild beasties is perfect. Never thought of it that way . Great shot. South Pas needs to pay you for this one.

Yakpate said...

Laurie, are these the Canary Island date palms that the City of Los Angeles is letting die out? They are infected with a fungal disease almost impossible to stop because it gets into the soil. City planners are replacing these palms with oaks, sycamores and other species that are actually native to Los Angeles (the date palms were imported over a hundred years ago,)

I am one of those Angelenos who can’t imagine my city palm-free. When my family tries to persuade me to move back to Louisville, I always decline with an explanation that I can’t live in any climate that doesn’t support palm trees… and the big date beauties like those in your photo are my favorite.

Here’s praise for palm trees from Neil Diamond, who sang about LA as a place where “palm trees grow and rents are low.”

So much for the low rents. But if palms ever die out in LA, now I know I can enjoy them in South Pas!

Dixie Jane said...

Beautiful picture, Laurie. I love seeing these en masse green umbrellas. Brings back memories of where I grew up. That would be the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, right near the Mexican border and South Padre Island. My love for tree climbing found me going up the only available tree where I lived. It was a palm tree and I fell out on my back. It is no wonder that my mother sometimes called me, "monkey." And it is also a wonder that I didn't break something. Thanks for a wonderful start to my day.

Mister Earl said...

Networking in real life: Today there is a big block sale going on on El Centro. The "junk" from all the people who live in those big wood houses from the early 1900s is out in the front yards. I was driving by early this morning to look for the not-well-heeled stable when I happened upon the sales. I was talking to a lady with an old gray house from 1903 and she told me her daughter lived in the "Pumpkin House" a few doors down built in 1905. That's the house featured in your September 30photo "Paging Norman Rockwell" with the green Model A Ford.

I went down to the Pumpkin House and spoke to the lady and told her I saw her post about her house on Laurie's blog.

Then I went next door where Linette, the daughter of the man who owns the green car was selling some Fitzgerald and Hemingway. I told her about her dad's car being on this blog. She was excited and said she'll tell him about it and was sure he'd like it.

She had a collection of Hemingway short stories so I told her about the time when I was in high school and they handed out that very book to us. One of the stories, Up in Michigan, had been cut out. So of course I went down to the library and read the story that had been censored. If they had just passed the book out and not assigned Up in Michigan, I never would have read it. But by cutting it out, they guaranteed that I would read it, and that I would remember and tell the story over 40 years later!

Now about the poor-man's stables, Laurie, if you go down Monterey to the new stop light at Arroyo Verde and turn left in front of the long-abandoned Gino's Restaurante, and go down the hill, you'll see a fairly new condo complex on your right, with a gated drive just below it. The stables (I assume they're still there) are down that drive, behind the condo. You can't see them from the street anymore, but you can see some horse trailers parked in the park there next to the 110 freeway.

Speaking of trailers, if you continue down Monterey almost to Hermon, there's an old trailer park on your right. I think it's still inhabited. There was an article about it in the LA Times a few years back.

Webradio said...

Hello Laurie !

Mark Twain ? Good for reading...

You have a nice avenue near You...

Goog photo...

Have a good day !

altadenahiker said...

Mr. Earl, what a great report on an interesting morning! That's the stable, all right. And I also hunted down that mobile home park a couple of years ago after the reading the article. Who would think a mobile home park could look quaint -- but it does.

Wayne said...

Any day now I'll be rummaging through the closet looking for my gloves and scarves. Way to rub it in Laurie.

Mister Earl said...

Thanks, AH. Your comments are always intriguing!

Saretta said...

Those are, indeed, lovely specimens. The ones here in Molfetta don't look quite that healthy. But, you know how it is, Italians always say everything is BIGGER in the US...

Thanks for your good wishes for my son's health. I really appreciate your concern! We should have some news Monday evening.

babooshka said...

Gotta love Twain. Wiser than the hills. This could be my local park. It has a palm tree lined walkway. Have to capture that, hopefully as fine as this gorgous shot.

Kim said...

Virginia is absolutely right on this one, Laurie. This is a stunner. And I love what US Elaine has to say about the forms of the trees in repetition. I had never thought of it before, but this is SoCal's version of the shady lane in other American towns where the arches of trees meet at the center and form a canopy. But in SoPas, the sun is NEVER denied the right to ride down the middle of the street. It just gets and honor guard :-).
Hope you have a great Sunday with your sweetie and the kids!
-Kim
Seattle Daily Photo

Cafe Observer said...

Stratford Ave - i know it well. Even know sum folks who live/lived there. Just drove by 2 nites ago. And, I'm not even a Southern Pasa! In fact this must be looking south.

Are you happy with out this pic turned out?
I wunder if these palms are dying too.

Cafe Observer said...

Editors note:
2nd 2 last sentence should read as: Are you happy with how this pic turned out?

Ok, my lights are just about turned out.

Laurie said...

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for stopping by my palm extravaganza!

Jilly, so nice to see you!

Sally, thanks for the link. I do remember that Twain traveled there but I have not read his writing from there. Another book to add to my Amazon shopping cart "Saved for Later" section.

Elaine, I agree. I'm usually a catch-all, wilder-the-better gardening type but there is something peaceful about all these palms.

THank you, Virginia!

Yak, I wish I knew the details about the tree illness affecting palms. I, too, can NOT imagine palm trees disappearing from the LA landscape.

Dixie (mom!) I laughed when your little granddaughter said "I'm going to climb that palm tree just like GeeGee did!"

Mister Earl, I'm so sorry I missed the big sale!!! I would have loved to have wandered along and talked to everyone. That's so cool. Thanks for telling us about it. ANd thanks for more destinations to explore...

Bonjour webradio!

Altadenahiker, I'd love to check out that mobile home park. There is one in Santa MOnica that is right out of a movie. Wait a minute, I think everything is right out of a movie...

Wayne, it gets cold here, too! Um, kinda. I mean, like we have to wear a jacket at night. Sometimes... (ducking)

Saretta, welcome! I'm still thinking about your sweet boy and hoping for great news.

Babooshka, I really hope you photograph Ramsey's palms. I'm sure there are some amazing stories to go along with them. (I'm convinced Isle of Man is Fairyland!)

Kim, thanks! We have a lot of traditional tree lined streets here, too -- it's one of the most tree-ish places I've ever seen, actually. Pasadena is as well. But these big palms are something special, aren't they? I love your description. From now on, these palms are the sun's honor guard!

Howdy Cafe! I'm happy with this pic -- but also unhappy because it still doesn't really capture how amazing it is to stand there under those trees. By the way, I met your friend Kim the other day at the South Pas Chamber of Commerce! She's a doll and your ears must have been ringing as we talked about you.

Thanks, everyone, for another great set of comments. You are wonderful. Til next time...

Laurie said...

oops, Cafe, I meant your friend LIZ! I guess I need sleep, too!