Saturday, August 16, 2008

On-Air Advertising

Is Linens 'n Things going out of business everywhere? From the looks of their website my guess would have been that it's just the one on Lake Avenue in Pasadena and another in Glendale. Oh—and one in Racine, Wisconsin.

But it's everywhere . In bankruptcy since May, Linens' n Things is closing 59 stores so far.

Guys have been standing out on Pasadena street corners for months now with those big arrow signs touting the going-out-of-business sale. They flip the sign or wave it, or stand holding it while listening to their iPod. (I was an awful waitress but I think I prefer that to sign-holding.)

I understand there are only a couple more days left in th Pasadena store's life. Not much merchandise left either, but at 95% off how picky are you gonna be?

post updated with bankruptcy information at 11:20 a.m.
post updated with "Surrender Dorothy" by Palm Axis at 5:10 p.m.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Tempting, aren't they?

But I wouldn't dare.

These berries strike me as just the thing a wicked witch would use to lure Hansel and Gretel down the path and deeper into the woods. "Oooh," the witch would say, "delicious, aren't they? So sweet and jooooseeee." And poor Gretel would stuff her cheeks. She wouldn't know they were poison berries. By the time she was dizzy and sick to her stomach it would be too late, she'd be in the witch's cabin, hidden away on a hillock in the Arroyo SecoI mean the woods—where most people don't even know there's a cabin at all.

Hansel had better enlist all his handsome prince friends to help him find her, or he's going to have to walk the dog by himself from now on.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jupiter Moon

Thanks to JPL and Caltech, Pasadena's full of rocket scientists. There's one living across the street from me, a handsome guy who rides his bike to work and has better things to do than answer my questions about the sky. So when I want to know what's going on up there I check Stardate.

You'll have to click on this photo to enlarge it and see the giant star near the moon. It's been out for a while now. I figured it probably wasn't a star. Sure enough, it's Jupiter. Stardate says, "Even through the lunar glare, binoculars should reveal Europa and Jupiter's three other big moons. They look like tiny stars lined up quite close to the planet -- worlds with their own intriguing stories."

I don't have binoculars, but maybe you do. Get them ready. Jupiter will be out again tonight over your rooftop and mine.

View to a View

In another life I would have studied architecture. Maybe I'll do so yet in this life. I know a building can make a person feel many things: intimidated, safe, wealthy, poor, lonely or loved. Great cathedrals stir our hearts. Halls of justice hush our voices. Ancient ruins wake us to our dreams.

Pasadena City Hall offers serenity. I don't know how a structure can do that, but again and again I find it to be true. When City Hall was designed in the mid-1920s by the architectural firm of Bakewell and Brown, they did several things to create serenity. One was to make the building symmetrical, which soothes the senses. Another was to build a courtyard and add a fountain and benches, making a cloistered garden for contemplation and quiet.

Then they created views. No matter where you look, they've placed something there for you to see. At every angle there's a beautiful scene, a "photo op," if you will. I return again and again to take pictures; it's hard to take a bad one of the place. But the photos aren't the only reason I go.

(Check out Pasadena PIO for archival shots of City Hall's construction.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Never Too Old to be Hot

In contrast to yesterday's post, here's a shiny 1937 Chevy pick-up I saw at the Farmer's Market a couple of weeks ago. I'm no expert; the only reason I know it's a 1937 is because it says so on the special license plate designating this as an antique vehicle.

Good or bad, cars are part of southern California life. If you believe the tale told in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the driving lifestyle was a conspiracy forced onto this region. Now, in the face of diminishing oil reserves and rising prices, we're scrambling to build a public transportation infrastructure that can support our urban sprawl. But contrary to what yesterday's post might have you believe, we do love our cars. Our hot, dry weather facilitates a long and happy life for a well-kept antique.

Speaking of which: a self-portrait.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Zen Monday: Real Men Love

Zen Monday is the day you tell me what the photo's about, rather than me telling you. My desire is to provoke conversation.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Grass is Always Greener

I know I'm not the only one who likes to walk around the fancy neighborhoods and dream.

I've always done it. In my Chicago days, while living in a studio apartment on Wrightwood near Clark Street, I loved driving the Oak Street curve and gazing at the gorgeous nineteenth century apartment buildings, wishing for an invitation into their glowing warmth.

In my early soCal time I had a small apartment in North Hollywood. I quickly discovered the Hollywood Hills, then Beverly Hills. Soon I began to waste gallons of gas, gawking along on those curving streets. An open gate was always a bonus, allowing me a peek.

Here in Pasadena we have our wealthy neighborhoods, our old money houses, our mansions. I walk the neighborhoods now—to enjoy them more, take pictures, save gas. And something else is different. It's not that I don't dream; it would be nice to be wealthy. But then again, I'm happy where I am. I've worked hard to get here.

John and I often enjoy a glass of wine on our front porch in the evening. Sometimes a young person strolls by with a dreamy gaze, and we know.