a daily photo from Southern California's little town in the big city
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
In 1904, a new residential development called Oaklawn was taking shape on the north side of South Pas. The wide, tree-lined streets and sweeping Arts and Crafts showcase homes called for a unifying design in the neighborhood's lines of demarcation. The area was within walking distance to the famous Raymond Hotel -- a stomping ground for the rich and mighty -- and potential Oaklawn residents were tempted with promises of the good life in this "Suburb de Luxe." Advertisements for the neighborhood described it as a place "for those who want the best in every particular."
Apparently, that included walls and gates.
South Pasadena Realty and Improvement Company hired the firm of Greene and Greene to create the prestigious development's entrance gates and surrounding fence. The result? Clinker-brick platforms set with handpicked stones from the Arroyo and embellished with rustic timber, tile roofs and artisan-crafted wrought iron. The gates-- and the corresponding stone pillars on the surrounding walls -- seemed to encapsulate the Greene and Greene aesthetic, right down to the tapering boulders at the base and top of each pillar. As you can see by today's photo, the portals have weathered the last century well and are largely unchanged today. (Trust me, the gate on the other side of the street looks just as wonderful.) The good life, indeed.
(You can take a look at the original Greene and Greene design plans here. For more on Oaklawn, check out this article from American Bungalow Magazinehere.)
In December of 2007, after many years on the west side of Los Angeles (and at least a third of those years spent stuck in traffic on Pico Boulevard) my family settled into a happy little house in South Pasadena. This daily blog covered over 4 year as I put down roots in my new home town.
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Thank you Charlie's Coffee House for hosting my recent photo exhibit, South Pas: Observed. From October 2011 through January 2012 my pictures graced the walls of the best place in town to get a cup of coffee!
Read the nifty story on photo bloggers Petrea Burchard, Ben Wideman, Kat Likkel and little old me featured in the September, 2011 issue of Pasadena Magazine.
For over 4 years, I presented a picture a day from South Pasadena, California -- an incorporated city within the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. All photos up to November, 2008 were taken with a Fujifilm Finepix E900 camera. I added a Fujifilm Finepix S2000HD megazoom in December 2008, a Nikon D3100 in 2010 and a Lumix DMC-DS8 in 2011. I shot with them all. In August 2010 I joined the iPhone camera craze and sometimes included pictures captured by my phone. I regularly cropped images and used basic editing software to adjust the brightness, intensify the contrast, and increase color saturation. Other than that, all images came straight from the camera with minimal alteration. (If I couldn't have done it in a darkroom, I wouldn't do it with a computer.)
The bigger picture:
Consider it a love letter to the place I call home.
You can click on any picture to see a larger version.
All photos and prose on this blog copyright Laurie Allee. Reproduction without written permission is prohibited. (Plus, it's really uncool.)
Run, don't walk to the nearest bookseller and pick up a copy of Margaret Finnegan's delightful debut novel, The Goddess Lounge -- undoubtedly the kookiest, most wonderful riff on Homer's Odyssey ever written. Margaret never ceases to inspire and make us laugh at her blog Finnegan Begin Again. Her book is magical, silly, smart and a wonderful love letter to the all the goddesses among us.
Kevin McCollister of East of West LA blows our minds with haunting images of Los Angeles. But since we can't put his blog on our coffee table, we can buy his fantastic book. I believe Kevin's images truly capture the quixotic and often heartbreaking soul of LA. Don't take my word for it, see what The LA Times had to say.