Saturday, July 26, 2008


It's Saturday, time to head out to the Farmer's Market at Victory Park, more specifically in the parking lot at Pasadena High School.

You know the bread guy? He's got some black netting around his booth to keep the hot sun off the freshly-baked breads. He's a joker. I hear him while I wait in line for fresh fish. He tells the little kids there's magic in the cookies. He tells the ladies that, too, but I don't think he means the same thing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Andrews' Italian Cousin

Despite the striking tower (pictured yesterday), my favorite architectural feature of Saint Andrews Catholic Church is this rounded projection which (since I've never been inside) I presume to be at the back of the nave behind the chancel, where the altar might be. (Here's a church diagram.)

Sure enough, the Roman church said to have inspired this one has a feature very much like it. Not only does Santa Sabina have the same arched windows, but the stone is also of a similar hue. (Click on the Santa Sabina link to see a photo of the Roman basilica. The photo below is of the Pasadena church.) The Roman basilica, built in 432 AD, has some nice pock marks that ours doesn't have. I'd like to stay around a few hundred years and see ours do some graceful aging.

The only unfortunate thing about the local building I can see, architecturally speaking, is that the rear of it is crowded against the funeral home. You can't get a good look at the back. But I suppose that has a convenience all its own.

Saint Andrews Catholic Church: the Tower

The tower of Saint Andrews Catholic Church, built in 1927, is one of Pasadena's most-photographed landmarks. Ben has a very cool shot of it, which I hesitated to link to because I mentioned in the comments I thought it was part of the funeral home next door. Well, that was back in the days when I wasn't perfect.

Wikipedia's article about Saint Andrews says "The architect, Robert Montgomery, and the church's pastor, Msgr. McCarthy, both traveled to Italy studying early Byzantine architecture to find inspiration for the new church." They found inspiration in Saint Sabina's basilica in Rome, which was built in 432 A.D. A photo I'll show you tomorrow bears a good resemblance.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Looking Up

In yesterday's comments about smog, Lily Hydrangea said "when you are in it, you don't see it." Here's an example of the truth of that statement: a photo taken just south of the corner of Walnut and Hudson a few days ago.

Congratulations to Lily on her recent good press for Long Island Daily Photo!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


A few days ago in the comments I bragged about Pasadena's natural beauty. Life Observer cautioned me not to be too proud, saying "we up here on the street are having a harder time seeing the mountains from Colorado Blvd., the last couple of yrs."

I took this photo from near the corner of Paloma and Sierra Madre Boulevards last Saturday. I've seen the smog worse lately, with the mountains barely visible from the same spot. I'd like to make excuses, like "it's the marine layer," or "stuff gets backed up against the mountains." The latter may even be true. But should that stuff be in our air in the first place?

We share air space with Los Angeles, after all. And, as Wikipedia says, "strict regulations by the Californian government have reduced the number of Stage 1 smog alerts from several hundred annually to just a few annually." When I moved to southern California twenty years ago it was two weeks before I realized I had a view of the mountains from the window of my studio apartment. Our air is much improved since then.

Obviously we still have smog, we're not perfect yet. I'll keep my bragging to a minimum and post an unattractive picture every once in a while.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bridge Night

One night each year, Pasadena Heritage invites everyone in town over for bridge. Colorado Street Bridge, that is. They shut down traffic and from dusk 'til long after dark, Pasadena parties all across its favorite icon.

There's food, entertainment, more food...John and I first walked from one end of the bridge to the other (as did many people) to case the joint first and see what our choices were. We settled on beer from the Craftsman Brewing Company, which was so delicious that—well, let's just say "settled" is absolutely the wrong word; and barbecued pork sandwiches from Big Mama's Rib Shack, which were so delicious that—well, let's just say now I know why Mama is so big.

Various local organizations were there to show off not only what they do but what they contribute to Pasadena. We visited the Pasadena Heritage booth to thank them for the party. They've been instrumental in helping to preserve much of Pasadena's heritage, including important structures such as the Herkimer Arms and the very bridge on which we were standing. We even stopped by to visit our favorite heroes at the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team booth, which was being personned by the very team member who experienced her first rappel while I photographed it July 10th.

I'm not sure who worked harder last night: the barbecue servers or the guys pouring the beer or the security guards or the musicians or the volunteers from various organizations. But they all made it a great evening for those of us who didn't do a darned thing but enjoy it.

Hey! There's a new blog in town. Check out Laurie Allee's Glimpses of South Pasadena. A beautiful addition to the SGV blog family.