Saturday, April 19, 2008

Devil's Playground

I don't think these guys saw me take their picture. I don't think they're supposed to skateboard inside the workings of the Devil's Gate Dam, either. But the photo doesn't give their identities away.

They weren't bothering anybody and they were having a good time.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sidewalk Stamp

As I promised yesterday, here's a Pasadena sidewalk stamp. This one's from contractor J.E. Haddock in 1928. A closer view is below.

You find these around town, from different contractors. They're not everywhere, just the older neighborhoods. Further study would tell us when these were most commonly used. If you know, I'd love to get your comments. My guess would be this began after 1900 and stopped before World War II.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sensuous Curves

Rarely do I feature photos from other photographers. It's not because I don't like other peoples' photos, it's more because I figure it's my challenge to post a new photo every day. But I'm charmed by this shot by guest photographer (and husband extraordinaire) John Sandel. John is my best teacher. He's always interested in how light works with shadow. Lately he's especially interested in shooting toward the light.

I love the late-day light and shadows he captured here. I also love the lazy walk you know he's having and the air you know he feels on his face. The best, though, is that curving sidewalk. Pasadena has several of them, in older neighborhoods.

In the early 20th Century, developers in Pasadena sometimes stamped their name and the date in the sidewalks. I'll see if I can find you a sidewalk stamp for tomorrow.

Other guest photos on the blog, by Dave Thomson, can be found here and here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I'm extremely late posting today.

There's one thing I don't like about Pasadena: we have one cable company. A monopoly gets around to taking care of its customers whenever it feels like it.

When our cable isn't working, I have no online access. Satellite's an option, but it's much more expensive. I depend on the internet. Without it, I barely know what to do with myself.

Talk about a monopoly!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shadowed Balcony

I used to walk a lot in Chicago. We don't do much walking in the LA metropolitan area. (Strange, when you think how blessed we are weather-wise, and how Chicago isn't.)

Pasadena's working on it, including Mayor Bogaard's Get Up & Moving program, "a brisk walk around the Rose bowl Stadium the first Wednesday of every month at 7:45 a.m." The Mayor invites the citizenry to join him along with a special guest. Not being an early riser, I've already missed big-shot Hollywood Producer and Pasadena resident Gale Ann Hurd, who walked with the Mayor this month. I could shoot for May, but I'm not guaranteeing anything.

The other day I walked along Colorado Blvd. at the east end of town. I found shops I'd never noticed before. I discovered a pretty balcony in the shadows. There's probably sun on it early in the morning.

I may never see it in the early morning, but hey—at least I got out of the car. When you walk, you discover things.

Monday, April 14, 2008


"She was a showplace when I moved here back in 1955," said a man who spotted me taking pictures at the Food4Less parking lot. I wanted to get Cinema 21 from every angle.

The North Lake Village Business Assn. Website says Cinema 21 (originally the Washington Theater) was designed by Clarence Jay of Altadena & built in 1925 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. They also say "the building is scheduled to be renovated."

Since it was the Washington Theater, Cinema 21 has gone through several incarnations. In its later years, according to this thread, it showed Spanish films and finally adult films. By 2003, along with the theatre and (apparently illegal) shops, the Cinema 21 building housed 34 families and some toxic mold in its upper apartments. The city evacuated and relocated the people. They weren't as kind to the mold.

At the Food4Less parking lot, a security guard told me people are always poking around Cinema 21. He said a guy last week was talking about buying it to fix it up as a theatre for neighborhood kids. I hope the building isn't too far gone. Someone has already tried but the graffiti, the broken windows and the "Stop Work" order posted in the box office window tell me progress to rescue this old "showplace" is slow. Or nonexistent.

Ben, over at The Sky is Big in Pasadena, posted a nice shot of the front of the theatre back in February. I've posted a few others at Overdog. I got a bit of spam there this morning so I've enabled comments moderation for now. I'll moderate and post as quickly as I can.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Personal Jesus

Everywhere you turn in Pasadena there's a church, temple or other place of worship. You can barely go two blocks before bumping into a place where people gather to send up messages to one god or another.

I'm all for going the non-traditional route, but I don't believe a tree deserves to suffer for our sins.