Monday, May 5, 2008

Craft Store Cowboy

Pasadena's Old Town is busy on Sundays. Stores and restaurants are packed. Traffic is thick. It's hard to find a parking space.

To me, this looks more like the Old West of yesteryear than the Old Town of today. The man in the wheelchair naps in the sun on Raymond Avenue outside of Stats, a crafts and floral supply store the size of a football field. I'll tell you more about Stats some other time. It's a marvelous store that deserves its own post. Right now, I'd rather wonder about the man.

17 comments:

USelaine said...

No cowpoke left behind. I can't tell for sure, but it looks like he could be reading something. I really like this composition; the broad expanse of walls often catch my eye.

elizabeth said...

It's hard to tell- but I think this might be the guy with a big fluffy husky mix who would sing freeform to you as you walked by- "Can I get a quarter or a dime, just a little coin for me and my friend, anything you got".

I've never learned his name when chatting with him. I do know that he had some kind of surgery a year or two ago, which put him in the wheelchair until he recovered. His dog went to live with his sister during this; I don't know if it's come back or not. He's definitely not as indomitable as he was.

Bernie K. said...

Wow. Even the tree is dreaming … the shadow is its dream. In the tree's dream, its leaves rustle in exotic winds; its branches are tickled by particolored birds. There are no empty boulevards in the tree's dream, no hot stucco walls, no dozing beggars. The tree stands proud among its fellows in a forest which never knew the hand of man and its obsessive building. No rectangles or tarmac: only soft grasses and wild things. No want in the dream—only freedom.

Dogeared said...

'lo! I'm working my way through the links from this month's Numbers theme post, bookmarking all the Blogs, so I've not yet got to the P section where I'd have found yours.

Unfortunately, I'm not based in London - I was there for a long weekend, but managed to get a lot of photos towards the two challenges I participate in (12 of 12, which was on the Saturday I was here, and then Project 366, where each day of the year has a theme and you have to try and cover them all by the end of 2008). Which explains why there are a lot of London photos posted recently!

I live in Devon - home of sandy beaches, Dartmoor (Hound of the Baskervilles anyone?), thatched cottages, quaint villages, clotted cream teas and Plymouth - from where the Pilgrims set sail!). But I've got another London weekend planned for July, plus a weekend up in northern England, and at least one (hopefully a second) weekend in Paris. So lots of chance to see different places ;-)

I'll make sure to stop by your Blog and bookmark it!

Petrea said...

uselaine, thank you. That huge wall, that small man, that lone tree. Had to shoot it.

Elizabeth: yeah, it's hard to see but if you click and enlarge the photo, you can see the red bowl in his lap. I didn't notice it until I drove by later. It was empty at the time, but I assumed he'd been asking for charity.

Bernie, your poetry is always welcome here. Your tree is a good metaphor for what I imagine a cowboy wants to be.

Katie said...

I love the sun-saturated colors in this photo and how the lack of any other people or cars really focused my attention on the solitary figure. So many unanswered questions in one photo. I doubt the man wore a turquoise top to match the wall, but it goes so well!

I think I'd have a field day in Stats, being someone of a crafty sort. I'll add that to my list of places to visit in Pasadena!

Petrea said...

New photo, Katie!
Yep. If you like crafts, you'll like Stats. If one aisle doesn't have what you want, the next one will.

Lily Hydrangea said...

Petrea what gets me about this photo is the colors are so perfect & when I enlarged it I could see the shadow of the tree is actually a deep burgundy. I don't know if I have ever seen a shadow with such rich color.
To me the man looks like he found a nice place to just be. I hope he collects a lot of spare change.
I'm glad you welcome Bernie's poetry-it's quite beautiful.

Petrea said...

Lily Hydrangea: I hadn't noticed the color of the shadow. Nice of you to say. I agree about Bernie.

Bernie K. said...

I think that I shall never see
A cowboy dozy as a tree …

Oh, never mind.

babooshka said...

When I saw this in the portal Edward Hopper came straight to mind. It's such a striking image. Could easily be one of his painting, even down to the sad lone male that so often features.

Has to be enlarged to do it justice.

Petrea said...

I love you for the Hopper comment, Babooshka. I always enlarge everyone's photos. It's the best way to look at them.

I love you too, Bernie, but for different reasons.

Bernie K. said...

I know which painting Babooshka means: "Early Sunday Morning, 1930," which is at the Whitney:

www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/hopper/street/hopper.early-sunday.jpg

Miss Havisham said...

Hi Petrea!

I am told that the door is the old entrance to the trains, 1910s.

Petrea said...

Oooh, Miss H! That's a fun fact if I ever heard one. If you go inside Stats, is there any evidence of such?

Kathy said...

Babooshka's right - it's tres Hopper-esque. Great colors, beautiful shot.

Interesting that no one's wondering if it was ok to take this man's picture, but there's a debate about the wedding picture. Is it because he is so far away and probably doesn't see you? Or because he may be homeless? Again, you're in a public place and your motives are good, so I think it's fine. But it's funny that the question comes up about one pic and not the other.

BTW, I added your terrific blog to my list of local bloggers at http://www.kchblog.com

Petrea said...

Hi Kathy! Nice to see you. Thanks for adding PasadenaDP to your list.

I think the reason the question didn't come up on this photo is because the man's face isn't seen. He might be recognizable to locals if he regularly visits the same spot; I didn't know him, but elizabeth did. But without seeing his face one can't be sure, so it didn't seem so personal.