Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bookish

Today is the first of the month, and that means it's Theme Day for those of us who belong to the City Daily Photo blogging community. This month's theme is Books, which is a candy/Christmas/winning-the-lottery/finding-the-fountain-of-youth/everybody-gets-a-pony kind of theme for me, given the fact that I am a complete and unabashed bookworm.

When we moved into our house last year, the previous owners left us a small stack of books about South Pasadena. Today's picture comes from a South Pas city guide from 1904. Most of Los Angeles paved paradise, replaced orange groves with strip malls and freeways, and surrendered much of its history to stay ever-new. South Pasadena, however, has held fast to a principle of preservation. When I thumbed through this book, I was struck with how South Pasadena retains much of the charm, close community and small-town delight those city planners wrote about 104 years ago. If someone stumbles upon an old copy of this blog in another 100 years, I hope he or she has a similar experience.

Make sure to check out the varied Theme Day posts by other city photo bloggers (and book lovers) around the planet.

20 comments:

Mister Earl said...

"How to reach South Pasadena." I bet the people spearheading both sides of Measure SP would like some advice about that.

Only 7 cents from Downtown? I'd gladly trade my TAP card for a commutation ticket.

Last night was a treat. Went to see Mercy and the Merkettes at Cafe 322 in Sierra Madre. Costume party and all. In the afternoon, I bought my mask at Would You Believe? Haven't seen this great group in about 15 years, and like South Pasadena, they've barely changed.

A little band that I'm in will be playing there this Wednesday, the day after election day from 8-11. You can either celebrate or take a break from your packing for Canada!

Hilda said...

Lovely! You not only posted a photo perfect for theme day, but you also showed just how much you love your city! I think that's just beautiful.

Laurie, thank you for your visits while I've been busy with my sister and nieces! I really appreciate it. They left at noon today so I'll have time to be a virtual tourist again — maybe it'll arrest the depression I can feel beginning to kick in.

Tanya said...

Happy Theme Day! I love your photo and that was so cool of the previous owners to leave that treasure of books for you!

Virginia said...

Mister Earl, your band sounds great. Oh we'll all be celebrating....that the political nightmare is finally over. Whew. I can hardly wait.

Laurie, I knew this was going to be a good one from you today. I was right. Love reading some of the text. Your town sounds like a wonderful place to raise a family.

Snapper said...

Beautiful image for the theme day. I always forget about those! Maybe next month...

Cheers!

ft. lauderdale daily photo said...

What a fun thing for the previous owners to do for you. I love old books, especially older nonfiction how-to publications. They provide a wonderful snapshot of an era gone by. Great post for theme day!

Wayne said...

And Laurie didn't expurgate the naughty bits either.

I used an inflation calculator to find the value of 7 cents in today's money. The calculator only went back to 1913 but the conversion came out at $1.55. Today, I think it cost $1.25 to ride from Union Station to South Pasadena. This is the bargain of the century.

In Vancouver the cheapest adult cash fare is $2.50 and we have the worst transit system in Canada. A similar trip in Vancouver would cost $3.75 cash fare.

You've got me all worked up Laurie.

Anonymous said...

I love books, maps, libraries, too.

Jilly said...

Love, absolutely love, your description of books as Theme Day. I'm with you in total agreement! Love your choice. That beautiful old print. Just adore books like that. Great post and a lovely photograph.

Petrea said...

A perfect choice for today, Laurie. I know you're a book lover. It must have been a thrill to find those books in your house. The woman we bought our house from sent us a book about our neighborhood! You've given me an idea for a post...

USelaine said...

What a perfectly thoughtful and generous thing for the previous people to provide! Talk about winning a youthful candy pony! Or something like that...

Cafe Observer said...

I tried to warn you about "Halloween: de South Pasa Way"

L, I hope put down the candy long enuf to pick up the camera to shoot some trick or treaters.
You could've written a book on your 1st Halloween in the South of Pasadena.

btw, we dogs don't mind helping you with any candy leftovers you may have.

Sharon said...

What a great book to have. I love reading old travel guides. It's amazing the things you can find that still exist in one form or another.

Thanks for the beautiful comments on Phoenix Daily Photo. There is something wonderfully comforting about holding a book.

Kelly said...

Very clever shot, Laurie! What a great book to have as a resource!

Yakpate said...

Laurie: I am struck, as your blog evolves, by your love and respect for the past. Because you dramatize ties to the past so effortlessly, I also am beginning to appreciate it more. It is as if you have tied it with shiny ribbons that flutter and wave at us through the years, reminding us of the value of origins.

Great job on your blog, and a beautiful photograph, too. Why does golden yellow always remind us of yesterday?

Laurie said...

Hi everybody!

This has definitely been my favorite City Daily Photo Theme Day thus far. I now have seven MORE books added to my Amazon shopping cart -- darn you highly literate bloggers with your interesting book shelves!

Mister Earl, congrats on your gig! Those of you with no kids -- or with great babysitters available in a few days time -- head out to Sierra Madre and give our South Pas musician some twist and shout support!

Hilda, I went into a funk when my sister and nephew left after their visit this summer. :-( I wish someone would hurry up and figure out how we could instantly teleport to visit our loved ones! (Virginia would be in trouble -- I'd keep showing up at her door wanting to go out to lunch at one of those great Birmingham cafes!)

Wayne, I'm fascinated that you could figure out the actual cost in today's dollars. I should look up what the land cost then and you can tell me if it really was a deal or not...

Anon -- whoever you are -- you gave me a map I had been trying to track down. What are you, psychic!? Thanks so much! I can't believe Los Angeles sold out its amazing rail line. I believe they sold to Firestone and Standard Oil... somebody is bound to know this here...

Yak, I don't have any illusions about the past. I'm so grateful to have progressed past the horrors of the "good old days." I'm well aware than my husband's Japanese family would have probably been denied mortgages here a century ago -- and were held in camps half a century ago. In 1904, my value as a woman would have been tied to my husband, to my ability to bear children. But I certainly appreciate the shoulders on which we stand, and all the dreams and hopes that have come before us. Not to mention the gorgeous architecture and attention to design. I think it's so important to honor and build ON from our history, not just tear down and start over. Or something like that, anyway. I'm inspired by all that has come before me, and I love to have reminders of it where I live and work. It keeps me grounded -- but it also gives me ideas for new things.

Maybe it's just all those little Halloween milky way bars giving me a sugar high.

Thanks for the thoughtful and kind words, everyone. I'll see you tomorrow!

Webradio said...

Nice book in this photo...

Have read all the books in Your home ???

ben wideman said...

Very cool shot!

Tash said...

what a beautiful page. lovely, thoughtful post, Laurie.

Zip said...

Hi Laurie, Did you pick up your copy of the history of south pasadena this saturday at the SP Library Community Center? This book is awesome!