Saturday, April 26, 2008

Unsafe House

We heard the sirens at night. The next day my husband found the address in the newspaper. Feeling like a news hound, I took my camera.

I parked on the shady street and began shooting pictures of the old Craftsman home with its typical front porch made of river rocks. The cyclone fence had obviously been put up overnight.

Within moments, the insurance adjusters and contractors approached me one by one. They'd been waiting in their cars. Was I was a family member? Could I give them the business? When I told them I was taking photos for my blog, they gave me their brochures. Legitimate businesses, every one of them. Each of those people was doing their job, just trying to make the deal.

What I learned: be ready for this before it happens. Make sure you have enough coverage. And if it does happen, you might want the help of a licensed claims adjuster. It's not necessarily in the best interest of your insurance company to pay you top dollar. At least it's worth looking into.

I'm not a news hound. It's a shock to see a burned building, especially a home.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Safe House

For a couple of years now, the fate of the Herkimer Arms has been hotly debated. The only apartment building designed by the famed Greene and Greene architects, poor old Herkimer was destined to be either moved or demolished, and it sure looked like it was going to be the latter.

At the last minute, Heritage Housing Partners and saved the day. The building will be moved and converted to condos - expensive ones. According to some, that was the only way to pay for the project. Fine, I say. Better than tearing it down. I think plenty of folks around here will pay good money to own a piece of Greene & Greene.

Then again, we have yet to see what depths the California housing market can reach. But that's another story.

Kudos to Pasadena Heritage for keeping the spotlight on this and other endangered structures, and to Heritage Housing Partners for being the deus ex machina.

Thanks to Ben for asking in the comments section: for now, you can still see the Herkimer Arms at its original location, 527 Union Street.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dog Imitates Art

The first time I posted one of these outdoor artworks, I left the sculptor anonymous. Now it can be told: it's Leo Snider of Coventry Landscape Company in La Crescenta. He's participated in the Showcase House of Design, had his work published in Sunset Magazine and even Better Homes and Gardens and he still doesn't have a website. He doesn't need one.

Like me, Leo walks his dog (Snoopy the beagle) at Hahamongna Watershed Park. Leo doesn't intend to landscape the wilderness, it's just that he's an artist. River rocks and driftwood suggest further shapes to him and he's one of those people who can't help being creative.

Plus he has to keep himself busy while Snoopy hunts lizards.

Boz is creative, too. I called and called, trying to get Boz to move out of the picture. But he insisted on completing the shot for me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pasadena Image Printing Image

I pulled into the parking lot behind the national chain copy shop, resigned to copy 100 resumes at an exorbitant fee. Then I spied it: two doors down, a banner flew above the rear door of a smaller shop, advertising copies at half the price of the chain.

So I gave Pasadena Image Printing a try. As it turns out, This "small" shop is not so small. They do a booming business in all things print: letterhead, billboards, posters, mounting and more. The staff is professional—you won't find pimpled goth kids here, earning their nose-piercing money. Joseph, the tireless owner, always wears a crisp shirt and tie (and seems to work a 24-hour day). Laura (kindred spirit and graphic designer supreme) created beauteous business cards for me. I'm handing them out by the handful.

And the glass on the self-serve machines is clean. The little things mean so much.

I've never gone back to the chain.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Page 94 Girl

This man is reading a magazine. Pasadena Magazine, to be specific.

A magazine is like a blog, except it's not backlit. That's why this man is sitting in the sun. (Actually, it's more like a whole website, except you can read it in a coffee shop even if you don't have a laptop and they don't have wifi.)

What is he reading about? Why, Pasadena Daily Photo, of course. He's riveted on Page 94 where there's a teeny weeny blurb about this here blog that even includes one of my photos.

Oh no, I'm not bursting with pride or anything.

The May issue of Pasadena Magazine is on the stands. It's absolutely gorgeous. I left a few copies out there for you, but you'd better hurry up because I'll be out today buying more. (Tip: the newsstand price is steep but the subscription price is very reasonable, so since every single issue is fabulous, go ahead and subscribe!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Climb This

This is something you don't see every day in your neighborhood. Well, I don't. It's a climbing wall, delivered to your home for your party! The teen equivalent of a bounce house!

This one comes from Gold Rush Mobile Rock Climbing. (I couldn't load their website,, but found info here. Head on over and get started with the liability paperwork!)

Many thanks to these nice fellas for letting me take pictures.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


The San Gabriel Valley blogosphere is alive and kickin'. Area bloggers got together Saturday for a picnic, organized by Miss Havisham (thank you, dear Miss H!). Once again, guest photographer John Sandel took the photo, because I wanted to be in it.

It was loads of fun. The group was diverse and by no means complete (there are hundreds of blogs around here). You can agree or disagree with them (I do both), but that's the beauty of the web: there's room for everyone. (Let's keep it that way.)

Not everyone wants to be identified, as you can guess by the picture, so I'll list their blogs alphabetically. Bloggers: out yourselves in the comments if you so desire, and if I'm missing your blog address, please let me know so I can add it here.

It was a great pleasure meeting you all. And to those who didn't make it, you were missed!

Eye Level Pasadena
Frazgo Meanders
LA Times Pressmens 20 year Club
Mickie's Zoo
Miss Havisham's Tea Party
Not Exactly Rocket Science
Palm Axis
The Adventures of Aaron Proctor
The Real Zajac
West Coast Grrlie Blather