Saturday, April 30, 2011

all that is good

Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Ever had one of those weeks...

...that feels like nothing but Mondays? A week where by Friday all you want to do is unplug, unwind and undo the kinks in your back and brain?

Well, then. This picture is for you.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Unexpected Blooms

There are several little details about South Pasadena that I hope never change. I'm not talking about huge, important things like the parrots or the old buildings. I'm talking about the little stuff like the squeaky, century-old chairs at the library, the headless statue on Arroyo, the cockeyed lamp on the gate in Oaklawn and this ridiculously wonderful pink lawn. Every spring I wait for it to erupt and when it does it always makes me happy to be alive.

There are many other, more traditional heralds of springtime -- plenty of jasmine, roses and bees -- but this giant pink swath is like calliope music outside the symphony hall.

Don't be so serious, it says. Have a little fun!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'll bet he thought about it...

I have passed by this corner for years, hoping to get a shot of a kid with a skateboard underneath that sign. If ever there was a spot screaming for a little gleeful breaking of rules, this is it. For those of you who don't know South Pas, this is a skateboarder's dream hill: a giant megaramp with a beautiful curve. At the bottom of the hill you'll find the South Pas skate park.

But today's picture isn't the ultimate payoff I was hoping for. This nice young man didn't even hesitate, not once, in his careful stroll down toward the park. Not once did he drop his board, cock his head and think about ignoring that buzzkill of a sign. Not once did he glance around to see if anyone was watching.

I was watching. I watched as he dutifully walked, with that nice board and helmet, until his head was out of sight. As a law-abiding mom, I appreciate his caution, good sense and respect. But my rebel soul hopes he carved the last bit of that steep hill, and maybe caught a little air at the bottom.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

South Pas People

The 2010 Census results recently became available. Want to know more about the demographics of South Pas? I did. And that's what I feature in my latest column and video piece up at South Pasadena Patch.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Something for Nothing

One of my home's previous owners planted these roses in the front yard. Despite my absolute neglect, continued bludgeoning from Little Bit's soccer ball and a most unseemly bit of abuse by a local tom cat, the roses bloom with a vigor unrivaled even by the most pampered of Huntington Garden's posies.

I figure, if a rose goes to all that trouble to show off, the least I can do is take its picture.

Friday, April 22, 2011


You will find this marvelous tree in the center of Camden Court. The circle of benches beneath it offers a grand place to sit and sip coffee for a few minutes -- especially if your kid wants to eat the sugar cookie you got for her at the McDonalds drive-thru when you picked up your coffee, and you've got a brand new car that you don't want junked out by cookie crumbs.

Good to know, right?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Caption This Photo (#60)

I know I've counted on your captioning skills a lot more than usual lately, but this one leaves me without words...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Afternoon Noir

It was a cool day and very clear. You could see a long way -- but not as far as Velma had gone.

--Raymond Chandler

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

by strange unexpected acts...

"I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures. "

--Jack Kerouac
The Dharma Bums

Friday, April 15, 2011

Toyota Farm to Table Tour

Yesterday, the South Pasadena Farmers Market played host to the Toyota Farm to Table Tour. The Tour has been bringing together chefs and farmers all over the country to celebrate local growers and regional cuisine.

Nine of our region's most beloved chefs teamed up with area farmers to create free samples of everything from curried cauliflower to strawberry shortcake. Here, coolest of the cool Chef Kyu Yi (back row, center) and his awesome crew serve up delicacies from Gus's BBQ.

Update: You can see a few of my shots of the Raymond's chef Tim Guiltinan at the Toyota Farm to Table Blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011


For those of you who don't know about South Pasadena's dirigible history, check out this post. Everyone thinks the technological advancements of our generation would make Victorian heads spin. Sure, we've got supercomputers in our phones and cars that go from zero to sixty in less time than it takes to put away our supercomputer phones...

But they rode around in blimps! For fun!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Springtime for Detectives

I know, I know... this one should be shot in high contrast black and white to give it the full noir treatment it deserves. But that tree! Those clouds! Even Marlowe took his girl flowers for a Sunday drive...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

in the open air...

The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is
not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me?
Do you say Venture not--if you leave me you are lost?
Do you say I am already prepared, I am well-beaten and undenied,
adhere to me?

O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you,
You express me better than I can express myself,
You shall be more to me than my poem.

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv'd in the open air, and all
free poems also,
I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever
beholds me shall like me,
I think whoever I see must be happy.

--Walt Whitman

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Break Sky

Kids are out of school this week in South Pasadena. Little Bit and I spent a fair amount of time the other day looking for animals in the clouds. (You can't see it here, but for a few moments that one on the lower right looked just like a turtle.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The preschoolers playing at Eddie Park the other day were sweeter than new spring flowers. And speaking of sweet, new spring flowers ... let's take this moment to congratulate our pal San Diego Farmgirl on the birth of her beautiful baby boy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mighty Wind

Next time you're having coffee at Charlie's, be sure to look up. You'll be amazed by the largest, most elegant ceiling fan you've ever seen. (Too bad it's saddled with this name.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


There's a big movement among those born and raised in the digital age to unplug each day and enjoy REAL things. Like trees.

Naturally, this digital addict couldn't resist capturing them with the iPhone and blogging about them. Aren't they beautiful?

And speaking of unplugged activities, Mister Earl let me know that he found a framed drawing yesterday that looked too nice to have been cast aside. check out his blog if you lost your work!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shop Fair Oaks

The businesses on Fair Oaks have been seriously hurt due to the construction project. Some of them will no longer be there by the time the project is finished. What nobody has explained to me is how this plan is going to help our city. I've heard talk about how it is "necessary." (Why, exactly?) I've heard that the design will assist traffic flow. (By cutting it off?) I have heard that the business district will prosper. (By virtue of dying and going to business heaven? Because so many people will want to visit South Pas to get stuck in traffic and look at new street lamps?) I've heard that "we have to go through with the plan," which reminds me of a doctor telling a patient "we have to finish the treatment prescribed" which looks okay on paper but is, in fact, killing the patient.

Several decades-established businesses have already lost their leases. Countless employees have lost their jobs. This is not some abstract idea of economic challenge -- this is the wholesale destruction of our business district. Where is the leadership to rethink this project? At this point, the city is landscaping a yard for a house that is uncontrollably burning to the ground.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Today is the first of the month, and that means it's Theme Day for participating City Daily Photo bloggers. Today's theme is Edges -- which is a perfect excuse to post this picture from the South Pasadena Library. I always marvel at the sharp corners of all those beautiful columns and carvings. (Looking up to the edge of the sky ain't bad either.)

For a world of Theme Day interpretations, be sure to check out my fellow bloggers. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants