Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Day For Exploring

A confession of sorts: I lived in Pasadena for two years before I took a walk in Lower Arroyo Park and saw this view of the San Rafael Bridge. I walked in other parks, my regular places.

We have routines, the roads we always take. But the search for unique photos has gotten me out of that particular rut, at least. If you always walk in the Arroyo, I suggest you walk in Eaton Canyon today, or Hahamongna Watershed Park. Or get ambitions and try the Sam Merrill Trail.

If you can't tear yourself away from the computer (and I know how that is), I have another suggestion. Click on Pasadena Heritage and follow their instructions to send a letter to the City Council and the State Historical Resources Commission. (The deadline is March 15th.) Help put the Arroyo on the National Register of Historic Places and secure its future.

Friday, March 7, 2008


These power poles line up alongside the 134 Freeway as you head into (or out of) Eagle Rock. It's a bad idea to stop on the freeway, so I pulled off to take this photo. The poles are actually a creamy color, but the shadows were just right, or just wrong, when I took this.

More on Eagle Rock one of these days. It's Pasadena's neighbor to the immediate west, and it's got a lot goin' on.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

House Proud

When real estate agent Jeremy Hardy and his family bought the "Dayholme" it was in sad shape. Over time they've nursed it to health—repairing plumbing, replacing fixtures and remodeling. Once that was done you'd think they'd take a rest. But they followed up with the process of turning their home into a Pasadena Historic Landmark, which may have taken as much work as remodeling.

The Dayholme was built in 1921 for Clarence P. Day, a landscape engineer and contractor who developed the area around it as Eldora Park (now Eldora Road). Later, in the late 1960's and early 1970's, it became the home of Henry T. Wilfong, the first African American to sit on Pasadena's Board of City Directors.

Is discovering your home's history enough reason to go through the Landmark Process? Well, Landmark Designation could increase the home's value. And there's the Mills Act, which might help reduce property taxes. And a historic home deserves to thrive.

Plus, when you understand that the Hardy's efforts have put their home on the same list as the Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena City Hall and the Gamble House, you realize there may be another reason for all that work: pride. And you begin to understand why people care so much about fixing up their bungalows, Craftsman homes, Victorians and what-have-you, all across the historical spectrum.

My house was built in 1924. By California standards, it's an antique. I love the woodwork, the Batchelder fireplace, the old fixtures. I also love my neighborhood, my neighbors, my town... Hey! I love my home! That's another reason for going to the trouble of the Landmark Process! I wonder if anyone important ever lived here...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's All LA

Yesterday my friend mentioned the weather's been especially nice because the air is clear. I said, "I wish Pasadena was better than LA when it comes to smog, but we do get some." He said, "It's all LA."

He's right. Pasadena is part of Los Angeles. It's a separate municipality, but a Los Angeles suburb nonetheless, only a few minutes from downtown. Many Pasadenans, myself included, work in the entertainment industry or commute to other Los Angeles area jobs.

Hollywood comes here, too. Pasadena, Altadena and South Pas are often busy with TV and movie shoots. Indications in this photo are not just the advertisement for Acting Camp at the 210 Lake Avenue offramp, but also the yellow GW sign. Its function is to direct a film crew to a location. We see this type of sign here all the time.

GW might be a TV show, or maybe a new film. Any guesses?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Zinke's Drive In

Zinke's, at the corner of Colorado and Madison, is one of those businesses everyone knows. Like the sign shows, it's a shoe repair place (as opposed to a drive-in movie or burger joint). And as the online reviews will tell you, they'll also fix your purse or even add a notch to your belt. And they do it very well.

I think Zinke's has been in business for about sixty years. The neon sign, at least, was made in 1948. The other sign in the picture is newer.

According to this February 14th article about the demise of Bungalow News in Pasadena Weekly, "Plans to build a parking garage nearby at the southeast corner of Colorado and Madison Avenue fizzled several years ago...and would have destroyed two other Pasadena institutions - Zinke's Shoe Repair and The White Hut."

So the parking garage thing didn't work out, and the lot these businesses stand on is for sale. Which could mean Zinke's and the White Hut aren't yet out of danger. For now, you can still drive in and get a new notch in your belt, if your belly justifies such tightening.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday Off

You're right. I'm dreaming.

A good place to dream might be a bench overlooking the "ball field" at Hahamongna Watershed Park. I walk Boz there often but we've never seen anyone playing ball, unless you include throwing a ball for a dog.

Hahamongna was a chief of the Tongva Indians who were living here when Gaspar de Portola showed up in the late 18th Century. As his tribe became Christianized (and indentured), Hahamongna changed his name to Pascual, which means "born on Easter," or "child of Easter." I couldn't find "Hahamongna" on any of the baby names websites.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


This shot was taken underneath the onramp to the 134 Freeway that runs alongside the Colorado Street Bridge. Basically you're still in the Arroyo Seco here, but it's a secluded spot. Please do click on this one. It's better in larger format.