Thursday, June 30, 2011

World's Saddest Bench

This poor bench depresses me every time I see it. I have been tempted to try and sit on it, just to make it feel useful! (Then again, people like me are the reason this commercial was created...)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Remembering the Rialto

Do you have a great memory of seeing movies at the Rialto? Are you free between 9:00AM and noon today? If so, swing by the SoPas Gallery and allow me to videotape a short, informal interview with you! I am collecting stories for possible use in my Patch column as well as inclusion in a longer film project to raise awareness about our beloved theater.

The Chamber of Commerce has been kind enough to lend me the use of their gallery space this morning for fellow fans of the Rialto to reminisce and trade stories while I wield my video camera. You don't have to have wild Rialto tales to tell -- although those are definitely welcome --just your memories of this wonderful movie palace and a shared hope for its return.

If you have a few minutes to spare this morning, come by SoPas Gallery at 1121 Mission Street (adjacent to the Chamber of Commerce offices) from 9am until noon. And if you are interested in adding your story to the project but can't make it today, email me. (My email link is on the right side of this blog.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The view from the water tower in Monterey Hills is absolutely amazing. (But, if you're paying attention, when you walk back to your car in the early morning sunlight you'll see these wonderful shadows from a neighboring fence. Consider it a beautiful little bonus.)

UPDATE: I got a little lagniappe of my own today. Petrea over at Pasadena Daily Photo is promoting one of my biggest causes: saving the Rialto Theater. I am doing a series of videotaped interviews to collect your memories of our beloved movie palace. Take a look at Petrea's post here and check back here at Glimpses before 9:00AM tomorrow for even more info about participating!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Caption This Photo (#68)

Nobody realized Flat Stanley had a little sister...


Okay, then. What have you guys got for this one?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pale Horse (No Rider)

Every time I stop by San Pascual Stables I have to check on this horse. I have never seen him out running around. Instead, he is always in there, staring into the light like some kind of ghostly symbol of the captivity of modern life...

(Or maybe I just catch him at the wrong time of day.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Still, it's a cool fireplace...

When I spotted this whimsical chalk addition to the old fireplace at Eddie Park, I thought it would make an interesting photo for a blog post about summer. Something about how summer is lazy and whimsical, filled with daydreaming and make believe and playtime...


With your six year old.

Your six year old who is home from school but still getting up at 6:00AM with all the energy of opening day at a cheerleading convention.

Your six year old who is convinced that playing should involve lots of running. Outside. When it's hot. With you!

So, I realized that I have nothing to say about this photo because there is NOTHING lazy about summer if you're a parent. How long until September again?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Next Door

If you drive on Arroyo just over the border into Pasadena, you'll pass by the gorgeous San Rafael Avenue bridge. It isn't as famous as the Colorado Street bridge a little farther up the road, or as meaningful to preservationists as our own Oaklawn bridge, but it is lovely in its own right. (It's even prettier at night.)

It's also a perfect subject when you pull over to check a text message on your iPhone and realize your Retro Camera app would be a nice way to capture the scene...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer's Here

June Gloom might still have a few tricks up her sleeve, but that doesn't mean things aren't getting bright and colorful around here. Check out my column today at Patch for a celebration of summer in South Pas. It should post sometime today.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy's Girl

Here's to all the superheroes, the banishers-of-closet-monsters, the knights in shining armor, the softball catchers, the backyard campers, the treehouse builders, the training wheel removers, the night-night snugglers, the storytellers, the allowance givers and the big ole softies.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

View From (Under) a Bridge

You just can't find a bad angle of the historic Oaklawn bridge -- possibly because of all those lovely curves. When Charles and Henry Greene designed this structure back in 1904, they were proud of the fact that there were only two other concrete bridges in existence in the U.S. I don't know if those other bridges have withstood the test of time, but ours seems both modern and classic. The five arches still blend perfectly with the surrounding trees.

Maybe one of these days I'll actually get a decent picture of the curving, river rock benches attached to the bottom of one of the arches. I just noticed them recently, and it was like discovering a hidden Greene and Greene treasure.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hazy Days of Summer

Who else feels like they've been rushing around in a haze lately? I would write more about it, but I'm rushing around in a haze...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Yesterday, these beautiful cars brought a blast of spring color to yet another morning of June Gloom. I know they look nothing like the magical carriages described in fairy tales but, in my opinion, they blow Cinderella's transformed pumpkin right out of the water. In fact, right after these enchanting machines made their appearance, the sun broke through the clouds and gave us our first warm, summery day all month. Coincidence? Nah. Some fairy godmothers just like a little more horsepower.

(I was caught without a camera when I spotted these gorgeous things, so you'll have to settle for an iPhone shot, processed in lomography style).

Monday, June 13, 2011

(Close en)Counter

There's something festive about restaurant counters, and South Pas has a few choice ones. You'll find this one at Gus's BBQ. It's a great spot, and I can think of a few more:

The brass-fitted soda counter at Fair Oaks Pharmacy with the tall bar stools and the perfect view of all that ice cream...

The long diner counter at Shakers with old-school swivel chairs...

The antique wooden bar at Bistro de la Gare with flickering votive candles and organic bordeaux by the glass...

That's just off the top of my head. Any others that I've left out?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hardboiled Spring

Literary types love to pontificate on just why sunny, flower-filled Southern California inspired the uniquely dark stories of James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler, ultimately leading to the cinematic movement of film noir.

I say it's because June Gloom makes everything feel a little sinister.

Friday, June 10, 2011

in the sunshine of life

Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.

--Thomas Jefferson

(It's a nice thought, especially during June Gloom...)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It Could Happen

I imagine it looks like It's a Small World inside that cheerful house. And late at night, clowns go out joyriding in that car...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And Many More...

A personal message for Dixie Jane on her birthday today:

Don't try to climb all of these at once!

Happy Birthday, Mom. The sky's the limit.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Historic Beauty

It's hard to believe the gorgeous Comerica Bank Building was ever covered in weird, aqua tiles! I explore the history of this structure, along with several other notable South Pas buildings, in my column this week at Patch. (It should post sometime around lunch today.)

UPDATE: Thanks to those of you who emailed that my latest column isn't linked with the others over at Patch. I'm sure it was just a glitch in putting it up. Try this link to get to today's column. Also, for those who can't seem to find me over there, just put my name into the search box and it should bring up all my stuff. The latest Patch layout doesn't keep columns on the front page anymore.

Carry on!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Darker the bark, Longer the shadows...

The blossoms of lilac,
And shattered,
The atoms of purple.
Green dip of the leaves,
Darker the bark,
Longer the shadows.

Sheer lines of poplar
Shimmer with masses of silver
And down in a garden old with years
And broken walls of ruin and story,
Roses rise with red rain-memories.
In the open world
The sun comes and finds your face,
Remembering all.

--Carl Sandburg

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Well, I don't mind giving up the dogs and rollerskates but no tackle football or golf horses? Forget it!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

All Bark, No Bite

Take a look at the odd bark here. Is this tree cracking up? Is it an oak that has torn its sycamore disguise? Is this what happens when too many dogs mark their territory?

What is up with that trunk?!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Today is the first day of the month, and that means it's Theme Day for participating City Daily Photo bloggers. Today's theme is Under Construction.

In South Pasadena's case it might as well be called Under Destruction. The city continues to wait (in traffic) for the finished result of the Fair Oaks construction project. I'm no statistician but it seems to me that most residents disagree with the bizarre design plan of curb bulbouts, center medians and loss of right turn lanes. (Just read some of the comments from my column about this subject over at South Pasadena Patch.)

The city's merchants have taken the hardest hit as months of open trenches, detours and general gridlock have kept shoppers away from the business district. Several of the city's firefighters have expressed concern about the medians impeding ability to answer emergency calls. Handicapped citizens have pointed out that the construction has all but destroyed accessibility, possibly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Will the finished product make sense? Will it enhance traffic flow, add to pedestrian safety and beautify our main thoroughfare? That's what some city authorities have said -- the few who have actually offered any kind of explanation for this expensive project. Maybe they're right. But count me among the many who are dubious.

For other construction examples from around the world, check out examples presented by my fellow City Daily Photo bloggers. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants