Saturday, February 16, 2008

Artistic Nature

Someone at Hahamongna Watershed Park can't help being creative, and I know who.

Every time Boz and I walk there we find a new, precarious structure that delights us—well, they delight me. Boz has other uses for these temporary works of art. And anyway, pretty much everything at Hahamongna delights him.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Sight for Sore Eyes

Oh, you've just got to click on this picture and look at it close up. Pasadenans will recognize this right away.

This is the faรงade of Linden Optometry on Colorado Blvd., a sprawling frame and lens store. Once you've had your eyes checked, you can select from a seemingly endless selection of frames. They do a huge business, garnering mixed reviews. I'd give them a good review. My husband and I have been there twice and gotten good service both times. Regardless of what's inside, the exterior of the building is a stunner.

I haven't been able to find any history of this building online, although I'm sure there's plenty of information about it at perhaps Pasadena Heritage, or some other worthy organization. If we're lucky, City Spokeschick will check in. She knows everything.

A bit of an afterthought: It helps to put it in full context.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Valentine

City Daily Photo bloggers around the world celebrate love today. I celebrate, too. Pasadena's loaded with romantic spots—restaurants, galleries, gardens and more.

My sweetheart and I began falling in love in Pasadena at a theatre that's no longer here and at a restaurant that's also gone. Neither of us lived in Pasadena then, but we liked coming here. On our first Valentine's day together, after all the shops were closed, we held hands for the first time and walked along Colorado Blvd., ignoring the chill in the night.

We've been in love with each other, and with Pasadena, ever since.

At the same moment I took the above photo, my sweetie snapped the photo below with his cell phone. Our little friends prove that sometimes your Valentine is your best friend. Or your best friend is your Valentine. Or both.

It's chilly in Pasadena again tonight. A good night for a walk, holding hands and ignoring the cold.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Spring in One's Step

Beyond the JPL campus you can head into the mountains and discover trails leading to campgrounds, old ruins and more trails. You could probably hike to Alaska if you wanted to, but hey--plan ahead.

By now the person who lost this shoe at the west end of Altadena Avenue has gotten a new pair and resumed hiking. The shoe has been there for at least a year. I wonder what brand it is? It's holding up pretty well.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One City, Many Stories

With one of the best independent bookstores this side of the Mississippi, a popular annual city-wide reading program and ten library branches within the city limits, Pasadena is a reader's paradise. In this town, you can buy or order just about any book you want. If you'd rather check it out, there's a good chance you'll find it at the Pasadena Public Library branch near you. Lazy? Stay home and look it up online.

On days like this you might want to enjoy your book outdoors. These palm trees grace the facade of the Central Library at 285 East Walnut Street. Grab a cup of coffee and sit on the patio at Central Grounds. You can see the trees from there if you can get your nose out of your book.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ladies Only

Men, here's a place you may never get to see. Pasadena women: do you know it? If not, I recommend you check it out. (As always, click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Here are three clues:

1) It's on Green Street.

2) All items on the rack behind the poorly hidden photographer are marked down.

3) You'll rarely find yourself alone in this room.

I await your guesses in the comments section. I'll bet it won't take long. This spot is hot, even though men aren't allowed.

added 2/13: Of course it's Rag Time on Green! A spot too popular to be a secret.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ancient and Accepted Riddle

The Sphinx at Thebes posed a riddle to travelers and killed them when they got it wrong. This sphinx, at 150 N. Madison Avenue, made me stop on the way to an errand today. Wait a minute! Have I not been on this block before? What is this place?

Carved into the facade of the building was the answer: the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

I was still stumped. So when I got home I looked it up on the web. I read the Wikipedia article about the Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite, and though it was in English I didn't understand it. All I got out of it was that it's a branch of Freemasonry. I was still stumped. I found the website for the Pasadena Branch, which was more enlightening. They've been in existence since 1895, and are now housed in this beautifully restored 1925 structure. They do the things that Freemasons do, but they do them in the way of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

Which means I'm still stumped.

This much I know: they have a Childhood Language Center, "committed to providing quality services to young children with speech and language disorders." And it's free.

So I haven't figured out the answer to the riddle of this sphinx. But whatever the Scottish Rite is, I'm thinking it's a good thing.