Have you noticed the skies around here lately? Wow! Mother Nature has been getting her creative freak on with beautiful, ever changing results. For anyone who thinks Southern California skies only offer images of smog and chem trails, here's a little evidence to the contrary.
"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor..."
You'll find these metal things on concrete benches and curbs all over the San Gabriel Valley. They are placed to discourage skateboarders from using public spaces as ramps. Yeah, the idea is kind of a buzzkiller, but I can see the point. Besides, skateboarding wouldn't be nearly as punk rock if it were accepted everywhere!
Establishment-placed anti-skateboard thingiemabobs may serve the purpose of restraining our rambunctious teens, but they also give us an example of lovely design. We're surrounded by elegant, everyday objects like this, but probably don't take much time to notice them.
Larry Wilson wrote a great piece on two South Pasadena designers responsible for some of the objects we use and take for granted every day. I had long known that Henry Dreyfuss -- creator of the iconic Honeywell home thermostat and one of the world's most famous industrial designers -- called South Pasadena home until his tragic death in 1972. Larry points out that another designer, Henry C. Keck of Keck-Craig, also hails from our fair town. Read all about Keck's contributions to utilitarian design, as well as a few tidbits from his self-published memoir, in Larry's column here.
There was a perfect 1940s green roadster driving right here. The blue sky! The pink tree! Those fluffy white clouds! It was a picture made in heaven and I could not stop smiling. I couldn't tell the model of the car because I was trying to keep one hand on the road while using the other hand to grab at the Lumix in my purse in a mad scramble to capture the moment. The roadster sped up and just as I was about to, um, ease through the stop sign, I noticed one of South Pasadena's finest in my rear view mirror.
He was not smiling.
Needless to say, I missed the roadster. So, just use your imagination.
Sometimes I swear I have an art director who goes ahead of me and sets up perfect scenes like this one. I couldn't resist a little iPhone filter magic. Here, I just pointed, shot, and processed the image through the MoreLomo app. (You all know how much I love the free spirit of lomography!)
Just heard about an event of note:
Everyone head over to our pal Pasadena Adjacent to learn about a fun Garvanza area party/fundraiser TONIGHT! Benefits go toward filmmaker Jake Gorst's production of a documentary about Antonio Corsi, one of our region's weirdest and coolest characters. (He was an early 20th century art model, a silent film star and a true bohemian. Learn more here. )
I literally stepped on this yesterday while taking a walk near the Arroyo Drive overlook. I couldn't decide if I was inspired or depressed by the fact that I stumbled over someone's positive reminders. (Maybe he/she didn't need them anymore?)
South Pasadena photographer, AYSO soccer ref and all-around great guy Michael Newman passed away suddenly on March 30 from a brain aneurysm. He was 61.
I only recently met Michael at a South Pasadena Arts Council membership drive. We talked about photography, about the importance of art in everyday life, about how technology was shaking things up and how fun it was to be a part of it.
I wish I'd been fortunate to have more than one conversation with him.
My heart goes out to his wife Margo and their family, and also to the many, many others who loved him. He will be missed.
Today is the first of the month, and that means it's Theme Day for participating City Daily Photo bloggers. Today's theme is Cobblestones.
Well, everyone here knows that the San Gabriel Valley might not be awash in cobblestones but it is (literally) built on river rock! Here, we have a detail of my 112 year old home's original river rock foundation, built with stones dragged from the nearby Arroyo Seco.
The City Daily Photo website was hacked last month, and our wonderful hosts there are still trying to make their way through the mess left behind. Since participating bloggers can't post at the main site, we have brilliant Julie, all the way over at Sydney Eye, to thank for putting up this Theme Day blog to see the all the other Theme Day contributors.
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.
My New Blog Launching 2013
Check out my multimedia column archive: Views from the Front Porch
Published at Patch.
Find Me Elsewhere...
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.