Thursday, December 11, 2008

South Pas Up Close #2

It's easy to get caught up in the lovely big picture of South Pasadena: hundreds of towering trees making dappled splashes of magical California light all over some of the best examples of early 20th Century architecture. Wow, it's pretty here! But it's fun to get up close and study the elements of all that beauty. Like here with the ubiquitous river rock -- (literally) the foundation for much of the Craftsman movement. It was used everywhere in construction: in porch columns, fireplaces, fences and here in a home's actual foundation. I know there is something to be said for the simplicity of mid-century modern architecture with all those clean lines, sheets of glass and big, harmonious squares. I, however, love the tickling clutter of the early 20th Century, the puzzle of it, the wonderful blend of nature and technology/antiquity and modernity that is represented so well by the use of these gorgeous old stones.

20 comments:

Cafe Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cafe Observer said...

Didn't they get much of this rock from de Arroyo? Or, is my brain already asleep?

PS, LA i hope i don't end up in your spam catcher tonite!

Cafe Observer said...

Oh, did I hear someone say they were, "hot for dogs?" Or, am I just hearing things late at nite??

Yakpate said...

I love the color palette of this photo! It must be difficult to get sky blue, fuchsia and orange in the same shot... but then, you DO use a magic camera!

Interesting shift from the macro to the microcosm... Do faeries live among those lovely stones?

Mister Earl said...

Interesting photo, Laurie. Looks like potatoes or truffles growing.

Yesterday's Papers: Yes, Laurie, it was Mister Earl who saw "Linda Lovelace in Deep Throat" on the marquee of the Rialto in an episode of Swing Town not long ago. I did not actually see it on the Rialto as I drove by, but some people must have, and I imagine some must have wondered, although I assume the film crew was present at all times that the marquee was thus adorned.

I think I may have told the story of how I was on the jury panel for a trial of Behind the Green Door starring Marilyn Chambers in San Mateo in the early 70s. I was the first person dismissed off the jury by the DA and thereafter became friendly with the defense team. They would give me free passes to their movies and we'd discuss the First Amendment. Their lawyer would tell me various aspects of his strategy. That experience in part inspired me to go to law school.

Virginia said...

Makes me want to run my hands all over them and feeling the texture. I am "touchy, feely" I'll bet you are too Laurie-HA
V

Mister Earl said...

ROCKY HORROR ALERT: Rialto marquee has been changed. Now announces Rocky Horror on January 17.

Dixie Jane said...

It's amazing how some things that assembled are so beautiful (foundations for houses, fireplaces, walls, etc.) and close up change in character. I have a fascination for rocks and stone of all sorts, but at first glance I thought these were potatoes gone bad.

barbra said...

Hear, hear!

I love the river rock used in so many houses here. My old house had it; not my new house. Maybe if we're ever able to add a front porch...

Dixie Jane said...

But Laurie, I neglected to compliment you on this amazing close-up and the compilation of colors at the bottom of the picture. I don't know how you do it.

Petrea said...

"Ubiquitous river rocks" indeed! I think I've used that very phrase. I don't know why we call them river rocks because surely C.O. is right, they come from the Arroyo. But the old timers call them that. Thing is, the Arroyo is a river from time to time, so I guess it's okay to say so. Lovely post, Laurie.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Ooooh, I love the texture and tones - it's so visually entertaining.

Trish said...

at first, I thought I was looking at something similar to what a client had on their table. "growing" rocks, some sort of fungus type thing that look like decorated erasers in a pot. Weirded me out a bit at first.

am assuming most of the rocks in the area came from the Arroyo, the San Gabriel River (and extensions) etc. Look for a canyon or flood canal that used to be a riverbed turned into a canal & you'll find plenty o rock. Head out the 210 in the new section past the 57 and you'll see hundreds of thousands of the rocks.

These rocks are so similar, yet so varied and lovely to look at. I will always favor a foundation or wall or structure that has river rock over concrete block or other stone type.

Ken Mac said...

did you ever see the episode of Star Trek that featured the molten creature known as the Horta? dead ringer!

babooshka said...

It does make you long to run your hand over it. Love the bouncing light at play too. Interesting image.

Double "D" said...

Weather worn texture, colors blending
from one to another. Some of the ones
that protrude take on an appearance of
faces that have been confined to this wall.

I know, I know stop thinking and just enjoy
the photo. OK, I do like the photo.
Probably past my bed time.
Doug

USelaine said...

Yeah, that whole craftsman aesthetic of local materials is wonderful. Sacramento has river rock details on many of their craftsman's as well.

Laurie said...

Hi all,

Welcome Barbra!

Once again, you wonderful people make it so much fun to be a daily blogger. I thought to myself... uh oh, it's come to this, I'm posting about rocks. Then, you see all the things I see and more. Fairies, multicolored textures, light play, images of truffles and potatoes and weird fungi and confined faces and Star Trek's Horta! All wrapped up in tidbits about the Arroyo and even with a reminder about Rocky Horror!

I love you guys!

Until tomorrow...

Jutilda said...

I am totally mad for river rock. Remember our 19 foot fireplace when we lived out in the country? I love the overall roundness of the rocks, yet each one is unique and a different color. I love how during the Craftsman period, they used rocks in combination with other things, particularly along the lower areas of porch foundations and columns. :!)

Jilly said...

Love this. Could almost be a wall in the south of France set against lovely paving.