Friday, December 12, 2008

Mountian View

Climb up out of the heart of South Pas and into the winding hills above. Of course, you'll need to slow down when you drive back down Via Del Rey... how else will you savor the spectacular view? Click to enlarge the photo and look into the middle distance -- above the trees and just below the mountains you'll see neighboring Pasadena's famous Colorado Street Bridge, with the iconic Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals Building building to the right of it.

31 comments:

Eki Akhwan said...

This is a wonderful view of the velley. Is the street on the photo a residential area? Must be wonderful to live here ... (Do you live here?)

USelaine said...

That's a great vantage point. The air looks so clean! And who says LA has no seasons - look at that autumn foliage!

Tanya said...

Pretty, pretty!

Wayne said...

Just when I'd become conditioned to expect dramatic monochrome shots and creative night time shots, Socko! Powee! a dramatic vista shot.

Way to keep me off balance Laurie. BTW, off balance and unbalanced are not the same thing.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful view. I love those red trees in center of the valley and if you look close, there is a hind of red in those far hills. Very nice.

Halcyon said...

That is quite a view! Thanks for sharing.

dbdubya said...

You have just proven you're a newbie to South Pasadena, Laurie. While the official name may be the Colorado Street Bridge, locals know it as Suicide Bridge. It's Southern California's version of the Golden Gate. And although you can't see it, behind Suicide Bridge is another similar style bridge over the Arroyo for the 134 Freeway, and behind that is the Rose Bowl.

Before the Freeway was built in about 1970, to go west to Glendale and beyond you crossed over Suicide Bridge and got onto the Colorado Freeway which went all of about one mile to Figueroa Street where it dumped back onto Colorado Street in Eagle Rock. You passed the Rock, the bowling alley, minature golf course, Bob's Big Boy, and Citizen's Chevrolet before going over the hill into Glendale. It's much faster today by freeway, but I miss the nostalgia.

Does anyone know what the Federal Courthouse was before it was a courthouse? It has quite a history and has been through different reincarnations.

Great photo, Laurie, that captures the beauty of the San Gabriel mountains and provides proof that, as USelaine notes, Southern California actually does have changes in the seasons.

Yakpate said...

Breathtaking shot! The angle induces a pleasant viewer vertigo, as if we are on the downswing of a ferris wheel ride, or are flying.

Love the red mailbox flag connecting us to the red curb connecting us to the red foliage... whoosh!

sarah-jane said...

i swear im not copying you! but everytime ive written my blog, i visit your site and we have a similar theme running! nice pic tho... sj

JT said...

I think we can also see NASA's, JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in the distance. And "yes," we do get pockets of Autumn here in the irrigated desert of sunny LA. Great shot!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

This is one of my favorite city "walks" . I always take time out to catch the view of the bridge. It does bother me that at the end of the street they have a blockade to keep El Sereno citizens from passing through.

Stéphane Kardos said...

The colors are beautiful! gorgeous photo Laurie.

San Diego Farmgirl said...

Wow, what a fantastic photo! I don't know how you captured such a view, I can't take those "view" shots to save my life.

A "Chamber of Commerce" day, they call it in LA, when you can see the mountains that clearly. That's because when you can frame downtown's tall buildings against the snow-capped peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Chamber sends a chopper up to capture the image for next year's marketing pieces. LOL

ben wideman said...

Very cool shot Laurie. I love it.

Dixie Jane said...

Laurie, that shot of mountains, autumn trees, green and all that makes it a beautiful scene brought tears to these eyes. I am so glad that you are able to live in the vicinity surrounded by all of this. If only I could be near.

Zip said...

Hi Laurie, You are missing the BIG picture if you haven't been to the lookout point on Illinois St....keep going on Via Del Rey until you get to Camino Del Sol, make a right. At the top of the T-section, make a left and then an immediate left again onto Hanscom Dr. When you get to the split, hang left (Illinois St) and immediately on your left hand side you will see an incredible view.....on the north you see all of Pasadena and Mt. Baldy (on a clear day) and if you keep looking to your right, you will see Catalina Island (again, on a clear day). If you want to see downtown LA, get back in your car and instead of hanging left at the fork to Illinois, hang right to stay on Hanscom Dr and after you pass 1905 Hanscom on the right, you will see an opening to view the nice downtown LA skyline! The night time view is AWESOME!!!!

Steve Buser said...

Laurie, you are right. If you don't enlarge the picture, it is hard to pick out tthose details. If you do enlarge it, you feel like you were there.

alex schaefer said...

this looks like it might be a fun spot to paint! Great photo. Thanks for your thoughtful comments about my Marlboro Lights painting. I think a good painting ennobles the subject in some way. Even if it's an old ad or an x-rated photo, there is something about it that moves you so you paint it! And if you paint it well, you might have a work of art!

Mister Earl said...

I actually knew Richard H. Chambers, after whom the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals building in Pasadena is named. Judge Chambers was originally from Arizona. He was passionate about preserving old buildings, particularly federal courthouses, and the fixtures and artifacts they contained. The story went that whenever a federal courthouse closed, Chambers would send a truck there to pick up artifacts and bring them to San Francisco.

The Ninth Circuit is one of the 13 federal circuit courts that are just below the Supreme Court. It is quite an honor to be a federal circuit judge, and many members of the Supreme Court come from the circuits. The Ninth Circuit is based in the old post office building in San Francisco, the only building to survive the 1906 earthquake. I interned there as a law student in 1980 when Judge Chambers was there. Chambers, then in his 80s, had gathered many of the artifacts that were in the building and occasionally gave tours of the main courtroom. I was able to take one of his tours. The most famous artifact that he rescued was the table from which Clarence Darrow argued the Scopes “Monkey” Trial in Tennessee in 1926.

Chambers saved many buildings from the wrecking ball by turning them into court houses. In the early 1980s he did that with the old La Vista del Arroyo Hotel in Pasadena, which became the southern headquarters of the 9th Circuit. In 1995, it was renamed after Chambers. Many of the downtown LA based 9th Circuit judges refused to move to the Pasadena building, but many did. The US Tax Court temporarily used the building in the 1990s until the downtown Roybal Federal Building was completed. I have attended several 9th Circuit arguments and Tax Court trials there.

Here is an article about Judge Chambers and his preservation efforts:

http://www.myazbar.org/AZAttorney/PDF_Articles/1208Chambers.pdf

dbdubya said...

Very interesting history, Mr. Earl. The La Vista del Arroyo Hotel was one of many luxury hotels built in the Pasadena area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Wealthy easterners traveled to the area during winter to escape the cold. One of the most luxurious hotels was the Raymond which was located on top of what's now called Raymond Hill. It burned down a couple of times in the early 1900s. The Raymond Restaurant on Fair Oaks was originally the caretaker's home. There's also an old elevated water tank that's now a residence west of Fair Oaks and north of Columbia. It orignially supplied water to the hotel.

I've heard that the hotel/courthouse also served as a hospital of some sort during WWII and for a period afterwards. It stood vacant for many years before being renovated and becoming a courthouse. It's nice to know about the man behind the saving of this beautiful building.

Mister Earl said...

Glad to be of service, DB. I love that water-tower house to the west of where the Yoga House is, and the house / apartment on the other side of that hill, which was also related to the Raymond Hotel, I think.

How long have you lived in South Pas? I've been here since '81. I'm originally from the Bay Area - San Mateo - to be exact.

Laurie may be a newbie, but she's on fire with this blog and we're all fanning the flames.

dbdubya said...

Small world, Mr. E. I lived in San Mateo from 53-56. My dad got transferred to San Francisco and San Mateo is where we lived, on Bucknell, I think. He got transferred back south and we lived in San Marino until '60. We used to drive through So. Pas. to get to my grandparents who lived in Glendale. We drove up Garfield to Grevelia to Fair Oaks. We moved to Glendale in '60. I never left that general area, so I don't live in South Pasadena, but have worked here for 7 years and have gotten to know this great little town very well.

You're right about Laurie and this blog. She doing a great job of capturing the beauty and personality of this quirky, quaint town.

babooshka said...

I think I could probably fit my island in this whole scene. Always a sense of well being knowing mountains aren't too far away, and of course a bridge.

Mister Earl said...

DB - I know Bucknell. I went to high school and elementary school right nearby. Did you go to Baywood? Do you remember any of the names of people you knew? I was 5-8 in 1953-1956. I actually started at Baywood in '56. Went to Meadow Heights from '53-'55. Write to me at misterearl@gmail.com

For those of you looking in, famous products of San Mateo include Merv Griffin, NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swan (whom I saw play when he was in high school), New England QB Tom Brady, and guitarist Neal Schon (Journey, Santana). In the musical A Chorus Line, the first dancer to introduce herself says she's from San Mateo, California.

Jutilda said...

I love the building way in the background and the beautiful fall colors, which I wouldn't expect for Southern Calif. Something about the speed limit sign too. I don't know what it is about it, other than the fact that it starts a pattern of rectangles (mailboxes, glass windows in the garage doors, the doors themselves, et al). :~)

Trish said...

mister earl beat me to the punch on the hotel.

The first thing I noticed was a) I grew up in the Altos de Monterey, I know exactly where this is and b) she took a picture of Kenny Lee's house---at least when we were growing up in the Altos!

Hascom and Illinois (aka Elephant Hill) are not streets for the faint of heart. Am assuming Zip grew up on or near Hanscom. Somewhat like going up or down St Albans-----don't take an 18 wheeler there. If you look north off of Elephant Hill you'll see the house I grew up in, assuming the trees haven't grown up too much. If you go Alta Vista and wander around, you can find some nice shots into Pasadena off the hill north. You can also roam the hills my godfather rode his horse on as a child.

Another good shot off the Altos is to turn around from this shot, go back to the stop sign at Flores de Oro, turn left. Turn right at the next street, Camino Lindo. Snake around on Camino Lindo, past Alpha (tho it does have some nice shots) to Camino Verde and go a few feet down. All of these, again, need clear shots, but you can get some nice shots into LA from there...not as pretty as Pasadena, but nice nonetheless.

and now, you've had a tour of the Altos and good places to take shots on a clear day. I have to say, those don't come often---it took almost 5 years of visits when I brought the spouse for a visit to SoPas before we saw Mt Wilson. The shock was palpable---there IS a mountain out there! Not that I was not believed, but I think the picture in the mind was that of a hill, not mountain.

Vanda said...

What a great view. I envy the people who live there.

Cafe Observer said...

Wow, what a clear day.
What smog? Not here!

On a clear day you're even able to see 21 4ever, & see if this dog is in your spam catcher.

Laurie said...

Hi everyone,

First of all, I have to say that I met the wonderful Petrea from Pasadena Daily Photo today, in person. Petrea's blog inspired me to start GOSP, and I'm so happy that I can call her not only my fellow blogger, but my friend. Oh, and she really is one of the nicest and at the same time coolest people I've ever met -- and I'm talking that Steve McQueen-doesn't-even-try kind of cool. If you don't already read her blog, you should. She really understands South Pasadena's big sister city to the north.

Now, onward to today's conversation... Wow, kids! Who needs the library when I have historical geniuses like you around!? Dbdubya, welcome to the research wing of Mister Earl and Trish -- Zip, too, on occasion! I'm so lucky that you guys fill in the gaps for me.

JT is right, we can see JPL here, too. I just get caught up in the bridge (I can't bring myself to call that romantic old beauty Suicide Bridge!) and the courts building.

I'm so glad you noticed the foliage. (We have autumn! We really do!) Seasons are more subtle here, but they are here. ALthough San Diego Farm Girl (or was it Yak?) would say that the four seasons in So Cal are Fire, Mudslide, Earthquake and Summer...

Thanks for all of this great information and conversation and, as always, thanks for so many kind words. Til tomorrow...

Tash said...

I LOVE THIS SHOT! One of your best, Laurie & that's though to do (better yourself, that is! The curve in the road, the hills, the landmarks! Wow.

Laurie said...

THank you so much, Tash!