Saturday, June 14, 2008

Market Day

We're off to the Farmers' Market this morning. In the Los Angeles area we have them year 'round, and they're hugely popular. There are three Certified Farmers' Markets in the Pasadena area alone: Saturday at Pasadena High School, Tuesday at Villa Park, and Thursday evenings in South Pasadena.

There are other farmers' markets, not certified. I wondered what the difference was, so I did a little research and found out that a certified farmers' market is part of a statewide program approved by the County Agricultural Commissioner and the Health Department. Farmers selling there must have a Certified Producers Certificate from their local Agricultural Commissioner verifying they grow the items they sell. This means when I buy a basket of strawberries from a booth at the market, the person I pay probably picked them. Or her brother did. Or her dad.

I have my favorites, people I buy from regularly: the middle-aged gent with the elderly hands who sells potatoes, onions, garlic and carrots; the handsomely weathered Frenchman who makes the most delicious organic cookies, granola and scones you ever tasted; the always-smiling, dark-haired lady who sells the freshest fish ever, wielding a knife like the pro that she is. And there's always something new to try, someone new to meet.

Yes, fish and granola at a farmers market. Cheese, too, and bread, and amazing guacamole, and...Oh yeah, vegetables and fruit! It's peach season! I gotta go!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dogs Dig It

If we weren't such a litigious society, I might have been allowed inside the fence at I Dig My Dog. But I understand. Even if you love dogs as much as I do, feeding-time rush can be intimidating. But I witnessed no dog fights, no biting, nor did I hear a snarl, even when a herd of dogs charged the gate, all ready for dinner.

I Dig My Dog is a cage-free boarding, training and day-care facility for pooches large and small (separated size-wize for safety). Added luxury: the bone-shaped swimming pool (not too deep), so California pooches can splash around to their heart's delight. They can also lie about in the shaded areas, or they can just sunbathe.

Full disclosure: though I had stopped in the adjacent shop to buy treats, Boz is not a customer. He's a fan of water, but not of crowds. But it looked to me like these guys were having a rousing good time, and getting plenty of lovin' in the process. (Click on the photo to enlarge it and catch the love scene in the background.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Colors: Lincoln Avenue Nursery

My front yard's been looking drab. I wanted some color to punch it up. We've got several good nurseries to choose from in Pasadena. I like every one I've been to, each for different reasons. Here's why I like the Lincoln Avenue Nursery:

First, it's in a house! Well, it's actually bursting out of a house. Plants on the steps, pots on the porch, bags of potting soil stacked up beneath the windows...

Second, it's got history. According to owner Ramon Franco, the original owners were a German family who built the house in 1903 and stayed for twenty years. I'm not clear on whether or not they had a nursery (Franco is, but I didn't write it down), but the family who came next definitely did. They were of Japanese descent, and for two generations they ran a nursery out of the house at 804 Lincoln Avenue until they sold it to Ramon and his wife Teresa five years ago.

Now the Franco family (son Juan works there, too) nurture plants and customers alike. It's a busy, friendly place.

Other reasons to like the Lincoln Avenue Nursery are the huge variety of pots, plants and garden decor scattered about the big lot. It's just plain luscious. (Hmm. Oxymoron.)

I was looking for color for my front garden. I certainly went to the right place.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I first photographed this building back in March when it was for sale. It's a simple but pretty structure.

The new owner has set in motion the process of remodeling. I found him there the other day and he allowed me to take photos. He told me it's a bow truss building, which you can see in the photo below (click to enlarge). It was designed in 1947 by architect Kenneth A. Gordon. "The industrial windows, brick facade and character of the building will be maintained as the building is renovated into four private office and retail spaces," he said. The architects are Section F, a New York firm, and DU Architects of Venice, California. It should be all finished by mid August.

I found all that information to be really interesting. I love architecture and construction, even though I don't know much about either subject. Maybe it's because things like flooring go in last, but everything about the building had me looking up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Burlington Arcade

Pasadena's shopping is world class. I'd like to do more shopping. I really would. I'd like to go out at least once a week and buy stuff, just because. I don't, because I'm what you call a middle-class American. So when I get into the shopping world I take pictures of it, kinda like a tourist. Wow! Will you look at that? They got all kindsa stuff! Jeez Louise!

This is the Burlington Arcade at 380 S. Lake Avenue, which houses varied businesses such as Heavenly Yogurt & Juice Bar, Kimono no Kobeya women's apparel and Dickson Chiropractic. (I was actually shopping at the phone store next door, which isn't as photogenic.)

I like the pink and blue, and the flags are a nice touch. Plus there's another one of those red British phone booths (sans phone). While nosing around on the web, I found mention of this arcade and booth on a blog. Yeah, Pasadena's on TV and in movies from time to time. More reasons to take pictures of it. Kinda like a tourist.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Zen Monday: Park It Here

Good morning. Had your coffee? This is the parking structure on Hudson just south of Walnut.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Arroyo Skate-o

Lower Arroyo Park was a beautiful place to be as the sun was sinking yesterday. We headed further south than we usually do, beyond the San Rafael Avenue bridge, past the stables and into the northwestern reaches of South Pasadena.

We were soon stymied by a bridge (San Pascual Avenue, maybe?). We could have continued, but we needed to cross the Arroyo and it's all cement there, so we turned back. There are places where people with decent shoes can climb it, but probably not dogs with stitches (see yesterday's post).

A long-term effort is underway to get rid of all that cement and restore the Arroyo Seco to its natural state. Some of that has already been achieved, but there's still a long way to go. In the meantime, some folks manage to make do.