Saturday, March 22, 2008


I don't take Boz across the dam.

Beyond the Devil's Gate Dam is a footbridge. You can walk from Pasadena to La Cañada Flintridge. Or, less intimidating, from the Dam to the frisbee golf course. Excuse me—Disc Golf Course. The world's first Disc Golf Course, to be exact.

Boz and his friend Sprocket got excited when they heard about the Frisbee Golf Course. But they aren't allowed on the course, with good reason. We told them to stay, and they did. Whew.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Bonnet

So I was up in Altadena the other day. I stopped off at Steve's Pets to pick up a chew-bone for Boz. There was some construction going on and no place to park in front, so I drove around back down Marcheta Street to that parking lot behind the store and...

Was that a dress shop? Behind the pet store? I bought the dog his bone and grabbed my camera.

Well! At the back end of a parking lot you might expect—what, resale? Oh, no no no. Clear your mind and allow it to fill with all things fancy.

If you like to dress up—and I do mean UP—Winsome's Pretty Woman is your shop. In this hiding place, Charmaine Boyd stocks sequined suits, studded denim, sparkling purses, and hats, hats, hats. Mens clothing, too. And did I mention hats? Pretty enough to wear to the Royal Ascot races.

I hadn't even known the shop was there. When I said that, Charmaine said it with me. But she likes the quiet atmosphere of her location. She doesn't care to rush her customers. They come to browse through the catalogues over a cup of coffee, consider their purchases and place special orders for Donna Vinci and Lisa Rene dresses (at the best prices anywhere, says Charmaine, and I believe her). She can get them from petites to size 36, get you alterations if you need them, and find you a fabulous purse to go with it.

And did I mention hats?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Amendment Rites

Yesterday, twice as many people as expected showed up at the corner of Orange Grove and Hill to protest five years of war in Iraq.

Grandparents came with adult children and grandchildren. Ronda (above) brought her sons. Everyone came to have their say, in hopes that we never have to attend another anti-war demonstration.

The atmosphere was more hopeful than angry. One reason might have been the overwhelming support from passing motorists; the cacophony of honking was at times almost too much.

I said "almost." This is a post I wish you could hear.

To see more photos from the event, click here. To check out Democracy for America's Pasadena Chapter ('cause they organized this shindig), click here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


On October 31, 2004, mere days before the presidential election, the Reverend Dr. George F. Regas, Rector Emeritus, gave a sermon at All Saints Episcopal Church entitled "If Jesus Debated Senator Kerry and President Bush." In it the Reverend declared such incendiary truths as, "Mr. President, your doctrine of pre-emptive war is a failed doctrine" and "...Jesus has been hijacked and turned into the guardian of privilege instead of a champion of the dispossessed." (These comments are necessarily taken out of context, so I encourage you to read the sermon. It's six pages, large type.)

Soon after the election, All Saints found itself in the international news when its tax-exempt status was threatened by the IRS on a charge of "campaign intervention." (Guess they couldn't charge 'em with "free speech.") It's a long story. To make it short: the IRS picked on the wrong church. As of this writing, the investigation's been dropped.

This garden near the cloisters at All Saints looks so serene, you'd never guess at the activism inside.

Today marks five years of war in Iraq. If you're looking for activism in Pasadena today, try the 5:30 vigil at Orange Grove Blvd. & N. Hill Ave. (wear white, bring a candle and a friend). Or if you're a desktop activist, how about checking out a blog from an unfamiliar place? Make a friend in Lahore. Or Iraq. or Iran. Something tells me this internet thingy has healing potential.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Filing Cabinet

I heard a story on the radio the other day about a town in the Inland Empire where the homeless live in an area designated for their use. But now the local government is kicking out people who can't show proof of their "connection" to the town--like a driver's license or a utility bill. The city can't handle everyone. They don't have the resources.

I know I paint Pasadena as perfect. I do that because I love it here. But like any town in SoCal, we have homeless citizens to care for. I knew about Pasadena's Union Station Foundation, an agency serving the poor and homeless. It's about a quarter mile from where I took this photo. With a bit of research I found Pasadena Social Services, which led me to this site about Pasadena's ten-year strategy to end homelessness.

To me that seems a better approach than getting rid of people by asking them into producing orderly paperwork from chaotic lives. A homeless person with a utility bill!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Clouds. Galore! Yesterday I went walking just to marvel at them. This sky is unusual for southern California; we normally don't have enough moisture to sustain much in the way of clouds. If not for the mountains, I might have thought I was in Illinois in the spring.

Then last night: wind. (Galore!) There's not a cloud in the sky today.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


The Pasadena Symphony, conductor Jorge Mester and pianist Howard Shelley staged an "open, working rehearsal of music by Mozart" Friday night for Art Night.

I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside the Pasadena Civic Auditorium but it was okay to shoot in the lobby, where this video presentation showed the rehearsal going on inside. I was disappointed, but I contented myself to photograph a particular lamp above the stairwell twenty or thirty times when I discovered I could hear the orchestra especially well while standing beneath it.

If that was a rehearsal, surely a performance will transport me higher than the stairs.