Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Settings: Part 37

It's time to put on your director's caps, people. Tell me: if this were the setting for a scene in a movie, what would happen here?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School Daze

Last week, South Pas students headed back to school. This week, I muse about it over at my Patch column. (Make sure to watch the video. You might just spot your child in it!)

It should post some time after lunch today -- unless I'm officially tardy. (Don't even get me started on how many notes my poor mother wrote to excuse me for being late to class...)

So, what do you remember most about school?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Messages Underfoot

You guys know how much I love these sidewalk scrawls. (Whenever I see this one I think it either says Rock or I Love Calvin Klein.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Faces (#7)

Well, what do you know? These faces look familiar...

I wrap up my week of street portraits with an easy shot: me and my two favorite people.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Faces (#6)

"Are you taking pictures for a newspaper?"


"A magazine?"


"Are you a well-known photographer?"


"Just wait. These pictures of us will make you famous!"

I continue with my week of street portraits -- and I have it on good authority that this one will make me famous.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Faces (#5)

We should all be this happy when we're working.

This week, I present a series of street portraits. These are the faces of our community.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Faces (#4)

It's back to school today for South Pasadena kids. Here's to the new generation.

We're a community of many different faces. This week, I present a series of street portraits.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Faces (#3)

This contemplative woman captured my attention at the Farmer's Market. She seemed lost in thought and lit from within.

I continue with this week's series of street portraits. Take a look at the faces of our community.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Faces (#2)

"You need a couple of great models?"

I'm not sure which one of these gentleman said it, but I'm glad I listened and grabbed the shot. It's grainy and overlit, but those gorgeous, megawatt smiles are worth a thousand better photographs.

I continue this week's street portrait project. Join me as I present the many faces of our city.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Faces (#1)

What is the true face of South Pas? Well, it will take a few days to show you.

This week, I present a series of street portraits from in and around South Pasadena. Join me as I look at our own reflection.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

One way of looking at it...

I figure, if you feel like you're bashing your head into a brick wall, it might as well be as pretty as this one!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tangerine Dream

I just have to thank the vintage car aficionados in our lovely town. Every time I think I've photographed all the classic cars in South Pas, I find another one. I stumbled upon this cool beauty on a particularly hot summer afternoon. It's as luscious as a dreamsicle!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

By Request

I got an email from someone wondering if I'd post a picture from El Centro, looking toward the water tower. "I've been away from home for a long time," he wrote. "I'd just love to see it."

Here you go. (Also, this.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Walk This Way

This lovely woman would probably be happier on her walk if she'd read Margaret Finnegan's Patch column City Walk. Each month, Margaret offers detailed walking directions as well virtual tours for the very best, um, street walking in South Pasadena. Check it out for detailed routes as well as witty, beautifully written observations you'll never get from your GPS.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

All You Need

People have been particularly snarky and weird lately. Have you noticed?

We could all use a little more of this.

Update: For those of you who asked about it, my Patch column didn't post until 5:00PM yesterday. Find it -- my exploration of So Pas public art -- right here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Just a Reminder

South Pasadena kids have to go back to school in less than two weeks. Get out there and grab a little more summer!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Woe is We

The pundits have decided that America is depressed. It's "Mourning in America" according to CNN. (Not to be "blunt," but I'd really like to leave a depression in the head of the guy who came up with that headline.) The right is blaming the left, the left is blaming the right while the economy sinks further into its own sad malaise. If this were an old movie, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney would be figuring out how to put on a show to boost neighborhood morale. In our world, however, everyone is just arguing with each other on the Internet.

The talking heads are right. After months and months of economic woe, endless wars, record unemployment, natural disasters and every single bit of information ever known or ever to be known about Casey Anthony -- the country is seriously bummed out. We can't even watch a sitcom without being bombarded with drug company commercials about all of the deadly health problems we might have.

We all need cheering up. This is bound to help.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mural Hipstamatic

One of these days I'm going to research the story behind this mural. For now, I'll happily use it as a subject for my favorite iPhone app.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rubble Rousing

I tried to drive up Fair Oaks to get to Shakers yesterday. I was going to photograph the finished Fair Oaks Construction Project median there. Instead, I got stuck at this corner and ended up unable to make the right turn because there wasn't enough room to maneuver around the latest rubble.

Incidentally, this rubble comes from the demolition of the new crosswalks that were all improperly installed. (I might ask why they didn't demolish the adjoining new traffic-blocking, pedestrian-endangering, cyclist-unfriendly bulbouts while they were at it.)

Oh well. At least that new streetlight is pretty.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Friend of the Rialto

Everybody, meet my friend Escott O. Norton. Escott is one of the founding members of Friends of the Rialto -- a group instrumental in revitalizing our beloved Rialto theater back in the 1980s. You can learn about his work with the theater in my recent Patch video Remembering and Imagining the Rialto.

Escott shares my vision of a restored Rialto. He recently set up a Friends of the Rialto Facebook page for those who are dedicated to the cause. Please check it out for some wonderful Rialto stories and photos as well as updates and breaking news.

Helping bring back the Rialto is not the only cool thing about Escott -- he's also a City Daily Photo blogger. Be sure to check out his beautiful work at Eagle Rock Daily Photo.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Look! Pretty!

Your faithful blogger is under the weather and completely unprepared for this post. Talk amongst yourselves!

Monday, August 8, 2011


The recent hazy sky put on a nice show with the sun. I tried, but didn't quite capture all the drama.

(For more drama, check out these absolutely stunning recent sky shots from Shanna over at View. )

Saturday, August 6, 2011


"We never grow tired of each other, the mountain and I."

--Li Bai (701-762)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Well, it IS in the eye of the beholder...

The list of Fair Oaks Construction project snafus keeps getting longer. The bulbouts have disrupted traffic. The asphalt won't hold up to heavy street usage. The concrete crosswalks poured over the asphalt were not installed properly have already cracked. Local businesses have downsized -- or shut down. The new medians in the center of Fair Oaks make it difficult for fire trucks and other safety vehicles to quickly respond to calls. Limited access to stores and offices during months-long construction has discriminated against citizens with disabilities -- possibly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But, hey! The new street lamps are kinda nice! Too bad they didn't replace all of them. The combo of old 70s lamp posts interspersed with faux antique ones gives the street a kind of thrift-store sensibility.

The picture above was taken this week on State Street, outside of OSH. I wasn't sure why the project needed to put medians in this stretch of road. It is already bordered by a bushy retaining fence, and the street itself acts like an extension of the 110 freeway on ramp. Nevertheless, part of the funds went toward installing this new median and filling it with plants. The official word used was "beautification."

Yeah, right.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

a time of pause

And it is summer, glorious, deep-toned summer,
The very crown of nature's changing year
When all her surging life is at its full.
To me alone it is a time of pause,
A void and silent space between two worlds,
When inspiration lags, and feeling sleeps,
Gathering strength for efforts yet to come.

--Amy Lowell

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Settings: Part 36

It's been a really long time since I've put you guys to work. (I was just waiting for the right photo.)

So, put on your director's hats and tell me: If this were the setting for a scene in a movie, what would happen here?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Good Eats

Need a healthy dose of old-school diner goodness? Shakers is the place. In a world that changes so fast it gives you whiplash, Shakers is a wonderful constant. It's like South Pasadena's home base where you can go to regroup, relax and cure what ails you with a heaping plate of eggs and hash browns.

I was doing just that this past weekend when I asked the waitress about another South Pas staple restaurant, Wild Thyme. It's owned by the same family who brings us Shakers as well as Central Park Grill in Pasadena. Wild Thyme is being renovated and will reopen with a new name and a new menu. I was told it's going to be called Canoe and it will serve Hawaiian food. I'm not sure what Hawaiian food is exactly, but I'll give the proprietors benefit of the doubt. They haven't let me down yet. (Although, I'm going to miss Wild Thyme's Italian chopped salad. Sigh.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wish You Were Here

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

There are a lot of postcard-worthy spots around South Pas. This overlook from Arroyo Drive is one of my favorites. Looking west toward the setting sun feels like staring into opportunity. (It's hard to believe the urban swell of metropolitan Los Angeles stretches out behind those hills.)

For other postcard shots from around the world, check out what my fellow City Daily Photo pals have come up with. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

For a look at some of the little details we love about South Pas, check out my latest column at Patch. It should post sometime this afternoon.