Saturday, February 2, 2008

Poppies at Parsons Plaza

Here's one of those places I drive past regularly, but rarely notice. (If we walked more often in southern California, we'd see more.) But flowers recently popped up on the plaza and I couldn't help but notice the place.

The flowers looked inviting, but a big, white office tower shadowed the plaza and a guarded lot was the only place to pull over. I waited until the weekend when there was no guard, to park in the driveway and get a photo.

So here's the plaza of the corporate headquarters of Parsons, 100 W. Walnut. From the "about Parsons" link on their website I learned Parsons was founded in 1944. It's a management, engineering, and construction company, and it's 100% employee-owned. I'm impressed by that. But that doesn't begin to tell you everything about them. The list goes on and on.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Theme Day: When You Think of Pasadena....

The Daily City Photo Blog community is having a theme day. "When people think of my city..." Each blogger interprets the theme and posts a photo.

I didn't manage to get it together in time to participate officially. Check out The Sky is Big in Pasadena, our other local daily photo blog, because Ben did manage to get it together in time. On his blog you'll also find links to the other participating blogs.

So my theme post is unofficial. I asked online friends around the world what comes to mind when they think of Pasadena. These answers always came up: the Rose Parade, the Rose Bowl Game, Arts & Crafts or Craftsman design, and old money.

Hmm. Combine those into one photo? Italianate design doesn't count as Craftsman, but as the former home of William Wrigley Jr. (of chewing gum fame) and the current home of the Tournament of Roses, the Tournament House fulfills the other requirements.

I highly recommend you browse the City Daily Photo Blog website, and give yourself a world tour. I find these sites enlightening, enriching, and more than a little addictive.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


We're standing on what the Thomas Guide calls the "Mount Lowe Mtwy." I don't honestly know what a Mtwy is. Mountainway? Sure, why not?

It's almost sunset. We're looking south and slightly west. Directly beneath us is Altadena; beyond that, the Glendale hills. Downtown Los Angeles rises in the distance (click on the photo to enlarge it).

Electrical towers carry their gracile cables across miles of these mountains. Our local trails meet up with them from time to time. Maybe the Mtwy is there so the towers can be serviced. In turn, it serves an uplifting purpose for a hiker who needs peaceful break from town.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Rose Lady

I met this lady today while I was poking around the Tournament House taking pictures. She didn't want me to publish her name, but didn't mind her photo being taken. And she was proud of the garden. Tournament House, once the mansion of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., is Tournament of Roses HQ.

Roses aren't in season, but they need year 'round care. (At the Tournament House, they must look their best!) Today the Rose Lady was pruning the tree roses under the pergola. She said they were a bit ragged, but I couldn't tell.

The Rose Lady told me it's the job of the Pacific Rose Society to care for the Wrigley garden. As a member of the Society, she has worked in the garden for 21 years. It's a volunteer position, but the person in charge has to be a knowledgeable pro. The Rose Lady is the go-to gal.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

City Hall

Pasadena's City Hall has been impressive for over 80 years (it opened in December of 1927). Since its recent retrofit and clean-up job, it positively sparkles.

$3.5 million bought some fancy materials in 1927. They used Alaskan marble to make the stairway treads, wrought iron for the balustrades and cast stone for the wall ornaments. And did you know that the dome, which is red fish-scale tile, was originally multicolored? I learned that from reading this. Oh yes—and within City Hall is a cloistered courtyard garden with a baroque fountain. You can bet there'll be more pictures to come.

Throughout history, edifices such as this one have been built to impress—perhaps even to frighten. When you approach an entrance like this one, you know you'd best behave.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Known for Our Architecture

It might surprise you to learn that across the street from this gem is a lovely, new-looking church. You might also be surprised that this "building" is on the main drag, Colorado Blvd. Yep. Rose Parade route. Bet the TV cameras missed this view. (Double-click to look at the posters close-up. Cigarette packs with sharks!)

From the looks of the lot, soon this will all be a memory. The empty house behind it is enclosed by the same chain-link. It appears a tear-down's a-comin'.

Pasadenans would say this photo's not fair. They'd be right. In recompense, I promise to put up a shot of at least one gorgeous local building this week.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chess in the Park

A perfect day for a book and a fireplace.

This checkerboard table and chairs sits in the Lower Arroyo Park, across the wash from the parking lot.

I didn't take the photo today. I'd say I didn't want to get my camera wet, but the truth is I didn't want to get me wet. I haven't seen rain like that in a long time! Good for us!