Sunday, July 31, 2011

Time Out

Sitting on this bench -- perched above the 110 freeway -- reminds me a little of being in a treehouse. Find daydreams and imagination up here, leave obligations and frustration down there. (At least long enough to take in the view and catch a few rays.)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's All in a Name...

As opposed to Impertinent Cleaners & Laundry?

I've always loved this sign and the old-school vibe of the place. Now, it looks like it's undergoing a renovation. You can see the fresh, orange paint on the roof. Underneath, it now says Orange Grove Cleaners. Even if the old, blue sign disappears, this will always be Cordial Cleaners to me...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Poetry in Motion

Whenever I post a picture of the Gold Line train, I usually post a poem along with it. But today, I'm posting an entire collection of poems. I recently discovered this great blog -- a New Yorker writes a poem every day on his train commute to work -- and I wanted to share.

From west coast to east coast, trains don't just transport ... they inspire.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lonely Muscle Car...

Poor little speedster. Stuck in a parking lot on a perfect summer day. (It was still there when I drove by several hours later.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Older. (Still a Goofball.)

Shameless birthday post? Oh yeah!

Now, all of you go out and have a big slice of chocolate cake.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


In case you were wondering, I have it on good authority* that a troll lives under this bridge. A mean one. With fangs.

*Little Bit. (Hey, 6 year olds know this stuff.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Seeing Black

I don't remember seeing a black fire hydrant before. Does this mean it doesn't work? That it's only to be used by Men in Black secret operatives? That's it's just really, really hip?


Friday, July 22, 2011

Watching the Detective

It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in.
— Raymond Chandler,
The Big Sleep

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shiny Happy People

I rarely see people this pleased and content at an ordinary grocery store. There's just something about the Farmers Market that makes picking up produce seem less like a chore and more like a party.

And if you're looking for a good reason to party, last week Glimpses of South Pasadena passed the three year mark. Happy birthday to us, blog friends!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

View Without a Room

If you want to take in the view of the apartment buildings on the south end of Arroyo Drive, this is your spot!

Speaking of views, check out my column at Patch today. It should post some time before lunch.

UPDATE @ 2:00PM: Thanks to those of you who emailed me. My latest column wasn't coded to link up with my columns section over at Patch so the above link (and the one on the side of the blog) won't take you there. For now, just click on the front page of Patch and you'll find me.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Don't hate it because it's beautiful...

...we should all look this good up close!

This is the last day of Pretty Things Week -- seven imperfect pictures of perfectly beautiful things.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Orbs upon the green...

I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats, spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In their freckles live our savours.
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

--William Shakespeare
Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II, Scene i

(Pretty Things Week wraps up this weekend here at Glimpses. A few more calming shots during hectic times.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lucky Old Sun

There's not much to add to this pretty thing. Except maybe this.

It's Pretty Things Week here at Glimpses -- little bits of beauty eyed by this beholder.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bouquet by iPhone

I didn't have my camera with me when I literally stumbled over this effusion of beautiful summer flowers, but my iPhone came through in a pinch. I processed the image using the Plastic Bullet app because you can't have too much color saturation when it comes to flowers.

I'm having fun with Pretty Things Week this week. Come back every day for something lovely and uncomplicated.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunny View

Pull up a chair at my dinged-up, well-used dining room table. I just brewed coffee, but I can also put on a kettle for tea. Hell, just give me a good reason to uncork one of the dusty bottles of Bordeaux sharing space with laundry detergent and cat litter in my wine cellar. What's that you say? It's Wednesday? That's a good enough reason for me.

Sometimes the prettiest thing in the world isn't necessarily fancy but familiar. This sunny spot is always a feast for my eyes. Well, maybe not when it's cluttered with dirty dinner plates, but even then it reminds me of the gorgeousness of everyday things. In a world that disrupts and deconstructs, this old table grounds. It also offers the perfect surface for art projects and Monopoly. And every afternoon, regardless of all the dour headlines, it grabs some of the setting sun's rays and splashes them around the room as if to say, Life is golden ... just look around!

Pretty Things Week continues here at Glimpses. Consider it a "Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty" bumper sticker that I'm sticking on the Internet.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Curbside Hope

The colorful old houses along El Centro are even prettier when my favorite Gatsby car is parked nearby.

This is one of the sweetest vantage points in the entire city. Looking down this street is like gazing at an iconic image of the 20th Century American dream. It's like watching Our Town with a tall glass of lemonade next to a girl scout who is reading an old Saturday Evening Post. There's nothing snarky or ironic about this place. It's just happy. And hopeful. (You might want to click on this one to make it bigger.)

My Pretty Things Week continues. Nothing serious or startling -- just lovely little bits of eye candy. Consider it my rebellion against ugly news and humid weather.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Moon With Two Palms

Aren't you tired of the news? The summer heat? The hectic pace? The existential crises that seem to turn the background into shades of muddy gray?

Me too.

So, this week Glimpses is all about pretty stuff -- simple, lovely little details grabbed with the camera. Today, take a look at two ordinary palms topped with an extraordinary daytime moon.

I feel better already...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Abstract by iPhone

I've always thought the angles of my bedroom would make an interesting picture, but I never got around to taking any shots. This one came about by mistake. I hit the shutter button shortly after I downloaded the latest update for my iPhone Retro Camera app.

I love happy accidents.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Corridors To Another Dimension? (Probably just storage...)

Don't worry, I'll get back to posting lovely images of Craftsman details, heritage trees and sweeping views from the water tower. But for now, take a look at this odd little corner of town I found the other day. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious about what's behind those doors...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Accidental Self Portriat

While I was recently shooting this beautiful old Chevy, a man passing by stopped and took a long, wistful look.

When I look at an old car like that," he said, "I see myself."

Me too. (I'm right there in the hub cap. See?)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Parade View

Watching the South Pasadena 4th of July Parade is pretty great ... but marching in it? Unforgettable.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tarnished Treasure

Encased in chicken wire, the Rialto awaits its fate. Will it join the list of other beloved movie palaces that have been saved and transformed into thriving entertainment centers? I explore this question in my Patch column this week, including a 12 minute video of interviews with others who love the Rialto as much as I do. It should post sometime this afternoon.

Monday, July 4, 2011

South Pasadena Festival of Balloons

If you are in South Pas and you are reading this at any time on July 4th, then I have one thing to say to you:

What are you doing on the computer? You're missing out on South Pasadena's biggest day of the year!

Today is the 2011 4th of July Festival of Balloons -- a red, white and blue extravaganza that could have been planned by Uncle Sam himself.

It all starts at 7:00AM with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at the firehouse at 817 Mound Avenue. ($7.00 per person, kids 6 and under eat for free!)

Opening ceremonies follow at 10:30AM at the South Pasadena Library Community Room.

The famous Festival of Balloons Parade starts at at 11:00AM at Diamond Avenue and Mission Street. This year's parade theme is "Democracy, a Marathon of Freedom." I have no idea what that actually means but I can promise it will include a whole lot of balloons, streamers, flags and really cute kids waving from wagons, vintage cars and homemade floats.

The parade ends at Garfield Park, but the fun will continue there all afternoon with games, square dancing, food and general 4th of July merriment. (Don't forget sunscreen!)

The Greenest Fastest Mile Race begins promptly at 5:00 at the South Pasadena Library. If you're not running, head on over to the South Pasadena High School. Gates open at 4:30PM for food, picnics on the basketball courts, water games and entertainment. Remember, if you are bringing chairs, make sure they are "track-friendly" with no sharp or pointy legs. (If your legs are sharp and pointy, that's cool. Just don't wear heels that might damage the track.)

The fireworks show will start at the high school field at 9:00PM. Tickets are available for $7.00 at the Pancake Breakfast and Garfield Park in the afternoon or $10.00 at the gate.

For more information, call 626-403-7240. Or, just step outside and join the city-wide party.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

La Wilinda

Hidden in the shadows behind those Colonial Revival posts is a Georgian carriage house designed in 1914 by noted architect Louis DuPuget Millar. The carriage house was part of the bigger "La Wilinda" estate owned at one point by Charles Horace Barker of Barker Brothers furniture.

To be honest, I've never noticed the house, but that little sign on the curb always made me wonder about the story of the place. I never expected it to be a story about furniture tycoons. "La Wilinda" sounds like something magical! I expected a story with references to Shangri La or Camelot!

Then again, maybe Barker Brothers Furniture gave a certain Lion and Witch their famous wardrobe...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Art in the Ordinary

Art is filled with grandiose things: a divine finger touch, a goddess emerging from the sea, awe-inspiring mountain shadows, epic human drama rendered in black and white, epic human pain brushed in vivid colors...

Those things are interesting, to be sure. But then again, there are the quiet little things that happen around us every day. Take a look at this mom and daughter sharing a meal on a sunny, summer afternoon. It's such an ordinary scene. It's not Wagnerian. It doesn't require interpretation or explanation. It's just life. Andrew Wyeth might have painted this scene in rich browns. Mary Cassatt would have illuminated the faces of the mother and child. Cezanne would probably have focused on all those plates of food...

I had a photography teacher in high school who used to say, "Don't look too hard to find a subject. Let a subject find you. Let one sneak up on you in a familiar form and when you look at it, you'll see it in a new way."

Although we all nodded when he said it, my classmates and I weren't really sure what it meant. (One of my friends said it just meant that our teacher was a leftover hippie who had read too much Tao de Ching.) I think I might understand it now, though. He was talking about finding art in the ordinary. There's plenty. In life, every function has beautiful form. We just need to pay attention.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Color Green

Today is the first day of the month and that means it's Theme Day for participating City Daily Photobloggers. Today's theme is The Color Green.

South Pasadena is fairly keen on green. I could have shown this house. Or this one. Or this car. (I could have even shown this robot.) But when it comes right down to it, the greenest green in our city is the green from all of the beautiful trees. The ones along the Arroyo are particularly hypnotic in the summer sunshine.

For more interpretations of the color green, be sure to visit my fellow City Daily photobloggers. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants