Saturday, March 29, 2008

Repo Van

I saw the Repo Home Tour bus heading east on Colorado Blvd. yesterday and had to make a quick turn to follow it. I probably looked strange hanging my camera out the window and hoping for the best. I did that because I found it shocking. Like a vulture to carrion, at first thought.

Then again, maybe not. If reasonable people can buy a home at a reasonable price in the Pasadena area, how can that be bad? It's just that real estate has been so unreasonable in southern California for so long, I was starting to get used to it.

I'd just like to make one thing clear: I do not want to see this bus on my block.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blues Alley

I've mentioned before what pretty alleys we have around here, and not just in Old Town. We have ugly ones, too, but I admit I'm a Pasadena chauvinist and I haven't photographed them. (Yet. I'm sure I will.)

I think this one, off Mentor Avenue near Boston Court, is ravishing.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Zona Rosa Caffe

The website of Zona Rosa Caffe boasts "a relaxing, unhurried and intimate experience." They mean it.

Have you ever sat at a coffee shop with your book or laptop, and soon felt like the staff (ahem) needed the table? At Zona Rosa you're welcome to linger over your coffee (imported from Mexico or Latin America, most likely). If you sit upstairs you can listen to music and examine the artwork. Outside, enjoy your conversation or the breeze.

The other day we drank iced lattes and watched a limousine wait outside the Pasadena Playhouse next door. If we'd lingered a while longer we might have seen someone get in it. It didn't matter. The weather was lovely and the lattes were perfect.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hugo Reid Adobe

I think it'd be nice to mosey across this porch and have a sit-down after a long day's ride. I'd kick the dust from my boots, politely ask the lady of the house for a glass of iced tea and drink it under the wisteria.

When this adobe was built in 1839, the lady might not have had ice. Then again she might have, because that particular lady, Victoria Bartolomea Reid, was pretty well off, seeing as she and her husband owned the 13,319-acre Rancho Santa Anita.

Right now the Hugo Reid Adobe is closed so you can't poke around inside, but you can mosey across the porch. The house is one of several historic buildings on the property of the Los Angeles County Arboretum, which totals 127 acres. Doesn't sound like much compared to the whole Rancho, but believe me, it's plenty good for a day's mosey.

Monday, March 24, 2008


My March 11th photo of North Lake Avenue showed a patch of hillside that was burned in a brush fire last August. That patch remained bare throughout the winter.

To get a different look at the burn, you don't have to go far up the Sam Merrill Trail before you face the area head-on across the canyon. The picture to the left was taken February 18th (not a good day for breathing). I took the picture below about a month later, March 17th. No doctoring, no Photoshop.

Click on the photos to enlarge them and you
can clearly see the difference between the two: we had rain. Things grew, and they didn't waste
any time doing it.

Rain could have meant mudslides in the burned area, where no plants had survived to hold onto the dirt and keep it there. The hillside could have come down onto that I-don't-know-what-you-call-it part of Pasadena's water-catching and -treating system you see at the bottom center.

But the hill held up and the brush is growing again. It won't be bright green for long, but that doesn't mean it's not healthy. Around here it's all scrub, chaparral and sage brush. By summer, the muted brown, gray and sage palette will dress the hills. Maybe that bare patch won't look so naked then.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Happiness, love, prosperity, serenity. Um...what else? Peace. Peace would be good. Understanding would also be nice, but in lieu of that I'll take tolerance. Anything else?