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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Smog

A few days ago in the comments I bragged about Pasadena's natural beauty. Life Observer cautioned me not to be too proud, saying "we up here on the street are having a harder time seeing the mountains from Colorado Blvd., the last couple of yrs."

I took this photo from near the corner of Paloma and Sierra Madre Boulevards last Saturday. I've seen the smog worse lately, with the mountains barely visible from the same spot. I'd like to make excuses, like "it's the marine layer," or "stuff gets backed up against the mountains." The latter may even be true. But should that stuff be in our air in the first place?

We share air space with Los Angeles, after all. And, as Wikipedia says, "strict regulations by the Californian government have reduced the number of Stage 1 smog alerts from several hundred annually to just a few annually." When I moved to southern California twenty years ago it was two weeks before I realized I had a view of the mountains from the window of my studio apartment. Our air is much improved since then.

Obviously we still have smog, we're not perfect yet. I'll keep my bragging to a minimum and post an unattractive picture every once in a while.

22 comments:

1916home.net said...

In the morning it does look like marine layer from our vantage points, but a couple of weekends ago I went to Lake Arrowhead and from the Rim of the World its a dark brown soup down below. YUK!

Laurie Allee said...

I thought things had improved simce I've been here, but I'd never looked it up. I also moved to Los Angeles 20 years ago. My first place was in Hollywood and there were days where even the Hollywood sign looked like it was lost in a giant smoke-filled room. Some days from the west side it was hard to see the mountains at all.

Still, these "hazy" days (who me? in denial? nah...) do make me wonder what our lungs must look like.

Laurie Allee said...

BTW, Petrea, even your "unattractive" pictures are pretty. Look at that umbrella!
:-)

Bibi said...

I used to live in L.A. Went to high school and part of college there. It was often smoggy, but I know now it's better.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Folks who lived in the LA area in the 50's and 60's say now is much better than then. Still, it seems to me that this summer is a bit worse than other summers (in this century, I mean).

Mike said...

P, it's one thing for the world to say how woonderful pasadena looks on the 1st of the yr. But, I guess we have to get used 2 you saying it the rest of "the days of our lives".

"California/Pasadena Here We Come"-Again!?

Kaleb said...

I grew up in SoPas. We had plenty of recess days where we were not supposed to run around due to the smog. We *USED* to be able to drive east on Monterey and see San Gorgonio and San Jacinto mountains on some of the few clear days we had. Last time I checked, we can't do that often. And yes, coming down the mountain from Arrowhead area it looks as bad as it actually is.

My father, one time, tried to convince me that the atmospheric issues were just FOG. I explained fog does not usually happen at 80+F degrees.

I brought my other half down for visits to SoPas often in the early 90's. I explained there WAS a Mt Wilson out there, somewhere, in the soup. Finally, 5 or so YEARS later after numerous visits, the exclamation when we crested a hill looking right AT Mt Wilson was "Ohmigawd, there IS a mountain out there!". Not that I had been lying, but that FINALLY it could be seen!

USelaine said...

kaleb - I remember days like that too. In the 1960s, it could get so bad that our eyes burned and we were not allowed out for recess. We just put our heads down on our desks, letting our eyes water. I lived in Temple City. The days were rare when we could see those mountains.

Keith said...

I can also vouch for not being able to go out for recess some days. We'd run around when we got home but have to stop because our lungs hurt so bad. Unless it was breezy, the days were sepia toned.

Christie said...

I've never really seen smog, except for one time I was in London. Here it only looks like that when it is really foggy out! I'm glad it's better!

Lily Hydrangea said...

When I leave Long Island on hot summer days & I pass by New York City, it is eerily engulfed in smog. The weird thing is, is that when you are in it, you don't see it. It's only from a distance that you can. I've heard about the smog over by you, but never imagined it to be so bad on the west coast.
Petrea, the funny thing is, today my other half was just chiding me to stop sugar coating my Long Island Daily Photos!

Katie said...

Pretty scene, even with it being a bit hazy. I think I'm willing to put up with a little smog after way too many days of fog and cold up here in the SF area. This morning I had to break out a winter coat and gloves for my 1/2 hour walk to the carpool!

Petrea said...

Oh yeah, 1916. Pea soup.

Laurie, they probably look like pea soup. You're sweet about the umbrella!

I didn't know you'd been an Angeleno, bibi. Isn't it amazing where our destinies take us?

Could be the fires up north, Grrlie? Could that smoke have made it here? Or just Gaviota? I have no clue why it's worse this year, but it does seem so.

Say it loud and proud, Mike.

Kaleb, USElaine and Keith: I wasn't here for those days, but it sounds even worse than I'd heard. And I understand there's a high incidence of asthma around here still. I'm grateful our legislature's been aggressive about this. We can't let 'em get lax about it, ever.

Yeah Christie, even if you fly over Chicago you won't see it; Chicago just doesn't get smoggy thanks to the Lake. It was a shock to me when I moved here from there.

Lily, if I look straight up the sky is blue. It's when I look forward that it looks gray/white. You know exactly what I mean.

Ah. Katie, you hit the nail on the head. I think that's why so many people come here. Despite the smog, it's toasty, sunny and splendid.

Dina said...

Smog, hmm. And what is a marine layer? I'll have to go Google that.
Petrea, bring your trowel and come see what I just posted for you.

babooshka said...

It seems with blogging you can't please all the people etc. To me it's a marvellous, but can appreciate that pollution and smog is not taht pretty an overhang. Marine layer was also new to me, but tha's what I lke to discover something today, I didn't know yesterday, and be wiser for tomorrow.

Knoxville Girl said...

It's not an isolated occurrance, unfortunately. You know the Great Smoky Mtns. got their name from the low-lying fog and haze created by humidity in an area where the air just doesn't move. Now it's caused by smog - ozone and other pollutants from carbon-burning engines. We've had "code orange" for the past 5 days - enjoy the hazy sunshine, just don't breathe the air!

The Mt. Baldy Eagle said...

Petrea, Im in love with you blog and didnt realize how much fun it is. There is so much going on east of Pasadena I thought I would try a photo a day blog out!!! Drum roll please....

http://mtbaldyeagle.blogspot.com/

-dave / 1916home

Kaleb said...

asthma...yup, you bet. I have a good case of it that the pulmonologist's first question was "did you grow up in LA or some other smog filled area?" when I was in for testing a number of years ago after a bad attack.

The amazing thing is that when I brought a car up from LA to NorCal, the smog tests here were MUCH more strict than in LA. Guess that explains why it is that usually, our "spare the air days" are either on REALLY hot days or such as the last month+ when we have had smoke from fires covering the area.

Keep taking great pix!

Petrea said...

Dina, I checked it out. You know I love your job!

Babs: marvelous maybe, but unhealthy.

KG: I'm glad we're not the only ones. Does that make me a bad person?

Mt. Baldy: check it out! I made a couple of comments. Congratulations, you're officially insane!

That's interesting, Kaleb, I hadn't realized our smog tests were any different. How can you tell?

Lily Hydrangea said...

Oh I'm so glad to hear the positive feedback. I have this idea that some day I will spend part of my life living on the West Coast! Ahh, I can continue my dream...I feel better now.
; )

Kaleb said...

The cost was nearly double than a test I'd paid for in LA---even at AAA and the description and what they did was different. Been a while, so I don't remember the specifics. I recall the guy saying something like "we don't want to turn into LA, so our tests are more difficult, you DO like seeing Mt Hamilton here, don't you?". ;-)

Don't know if this is STILL the case as we have not had to smog a car in over 5 years after that old car went to the car resting place and we replaced it. Later this year we'll most likely have to smog the replacement for the first time.

I'll look for more details or ask our mechanic.

K

Anonymous said...

Bleh, bleh, bleh!!!!!!!! Ugly, gross smog...it's always there and never goes away!!!!!!!!!!!! How could you people even FATHOM continuing a life in this dirt hole of a city. Sorry....it's unhealthy. Overcrowded to the max and the freeways are repulsive!! I moved to L.A. about 7 years ago and it took me this long to know the facts. Oh what time I have wasted!! But, I've seen the light and will be sure to move away from here soon! Your comments about the beauty of Pasadena are amusing...are you sure you're not thinking of a Pasadena in your own world? Haha...