Saturday, April 12, 2008

Eaton Canyon Path

What is it about a path that's so enticing? Why am I most interested in paths that lead to ends I can't see?

I'm also drawn to photos of pathways, and when I'm out with the camera I can't resist trying to get the shot. Eaton Canyon Natural Area's got a million of 'em, and their Earth Day Festival is today.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Snail Trails

I'm forever stopping to take pictures of things I spy on the ground. These photos don't usually make it to the blog, with good reason. Frankly the ground isn't always that interesting to other people.

You might have to click on this photo to get the effect of the delicate, silver trails on the sidewalk in the foreground. I know snails make them because I've seen them in action. I don't remember seeing snail trails anywhere else but in southern California.

John and Boz usually move on if I take too long shooting. I could post an entire series of photos of the ground, with my two guys moseying off into the distance.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wealth and Convenience

Pasadena's big on walking tours. Yesterday my friend and I strolled through one of the mansion districts in San Marino, our sunny neighbor to the south. Even a fierce look from a palace guard couldn't have soured our fun.

O! San Marino! Home of the Huntington Library and Gardens! Need I say more? Well, maybe a little.

When I have a mansion it'll be in San Marino, because there I'll have more room and more privacy than in Beverly Hills. I'll have access to the Old Mill, the new library and Lacy Park. And did I mention the Huntington?

And the height of all mansion conveniences: I'll have Pasadena right next door.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Intimate Opera

Okay, right off: no ghosts. Nor did I sneak a photo last night (because, as Letty from Ararat mentioned in yesterday's comments, I'm a piker). This is the salon at the Fenyes Mansion where, 100 years ago, Eva Scott Fenyes held entertainments, and where last night a more modern group of Pasadenans (Pasadenyites?) were entertained by the outstanding Repertory Opera Company.

I'm not a qualified opera critic, but I'm qualified to know when I've enjoyed myself, and I had a wonderful time at Music in the Mansion. I've seen/heard the LA Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which is truly grand. But to hear Puccini's "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" sung in the intimacy of a room like the Fenyes salon is a rare experience. A powerful voice quickly fills a room like that, then it has to go somewhere. So it fills the listener, brimming up through the body and pushing out through the tear ducts.

And if the Puccini doesn't get you, Rossini's Cat Duet will.

They're going to have two more concerts: May 6th (take your mom for Mother's Day) and June 3rd (what the heck? take Dad).

At intermission, we ate chocolates and sipped champagne while mingling with the performers and other audience members in the dining room. The chandeliers glowed. The mansion was briefly ours.

Update: per Jeannette Bovard, Media Consultant at Pasadena Museum of History: "Information from the Collections Department at the Museum states that the owl was stuffed by Dr. Adalbert Fenyes. One of his many hobbies was ornithology."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ghost Photos

I posted the other day about the Fenyes Mansion at the Pasadena Museum of History. I liked the idea of "Music in the Mansion," a series of opera concerts performed in the Victorian rooms of this 102-year-old Pasadena treasure. It's the type of entertainment the mansion's first owner, Eva Scott Fenyes, enjoyed. I find the idea haunting. In a good way.

Letty from Ararat Daily Photo (that's Ararat, Australia) entered a comment on that post: "Can you sneak in and take some secret photos? Go on - I dare ya!" From what I know about Letty she wasn't kidding. But I'm too chicken, plus my cat burglar outfit's at the dry cleaners'. But the Museum staff were nice enough to invite me to tonight's kick-off concert, so I'm gonna go hear me some opera singin' and I don't have to sneak!

If they let me take a photo (and if it's good enough) I'll post it tomorrow. And there will be photos of the mansion's interior in the future, that much I can promise. I'm told there are ghosts in the mansion. I don't believe in ghosts, but I'd love to capture one on film anyway.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ubiquitous, Too

An article in Pasadena Weekly last fall recounted complaints of Pasadenans plagued by helicopter noise. Indeed, sometimes I think the only thing more ubiquitous here than helicopters is river rocks. Yet the police only admit to 7 copters in the local fleet. It just seems like more because they're LOUD.

Those airborne officers have a job to do, and they've got the stats to prove the copters help them do it. We could get quieter helicopters, but the price tag's pretty hefty.

And even then, there'd still be traffic copters, and the Altadena Mountain Rescue copters (I think those are the orange ones), and the copters that land at the Jet Propulsion Lab from time to time (bringing dignitaries or scientists or
whoever gets flown privately to JPL), and the water-dropping copters in fire season, and...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Gold for a Gray Day

It's natural to love green when you live in a dry climate. We gorge on it when we can. We had rain this spring so it's very green around Pasadena right now, and I've posted a lot of green photos lately. But I mustn't overindulge.

Today it's cool outside, and the sky is gray. A little shopping might be in order.

I like Antiques on Fair Oaks: great selection and no snobs. They answer your questions but don't hover. And last time we were there they gave me a cup of coffee to sip while I shopped. (Imagine! I could've spilled on grandmother's velvet!)

When you're finished at Antiques on Fair Oaks you have only to step out the door to continue shopping. The strip along Fair Oaks south of Del Mar has several wonderful antique shops with a wide range of prices. We've seen everything from authentic Craftsman chairs in perfect condition, to smaller items one could call mere second-hand junk. All of it we wanted, some of it we bought (guess which).