Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bacon and Cheese

Margaret sent up the challenge: "Bring me bacon," she said, "straight from the pig."

Couldn't be easier. I applied logic and reasoned, "why, The Huntington has one of the most extensive collections of Bacon material in the world."

I figured I'd go photograph some of their Bacon. We Huntington members can drop by and do that any time we please.

Unless the Bacon is not on display. See, when the Bacon is curing, only specialists, called "curators," get to see it.

So I called. I wanted to be sure there was some Bacon in the current exhibits. It would save me a trip if there weren't. I'd just, oh, I don't know, maybe surf the web for my Bacon.

The switchboard operator didn't know if there was any Bacon on display, so she transferred me to the library. The person who answered was "only a security guard" who didn't know if there was Bacon in the library (you'd think she'd smell it), and though she couldn't transfer me she did give me a name. I called the switchboard again. The switchboard forwarded me to the person the security guard had recommended, who didn't know if there was Bacon displayed anywhere at the Huntington. She gave a snort and transferred me to someone who would know, yet didn't, and he transferred me to another department, where I got voice mail.

I wonder why they don't have a list, or a database, where employees can look up "What's Currently On Display at the Huntington." I've heard tell knowledge is power.

Anyway, I thought they should display some Bacon, seeing as they have such an extensive collection. So John and I drove down there to donate some. The Huntington thrives on donations.

I wanted a picture of the Huntington's Bacon, but it worked out okay. I've always been a bit of a ham. "Straight from the pig," Margaret said. Can you find the pig in this photo?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Presbyterian from on High

I snapped this shot of Pasadena Presbyterian Church on Colorado Blvd. from atop the Pasadena Professional Building at the corner of Madison and Union. If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you can get a better view of the cloisters to the right. You can also see the bells mounted in the slim, modern bell tower. These bells survived the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, but the original bell tower didn't. (Thanks to Elizabeth for sharing this info in yesterday's comments.)

Pasadena Heritage says the church began in 1875 in a private home; this site was purchased in 1908. But this view wasn't available until 1925 when the Pasadena Professional Building came into being.

I took several more shots, but I knew security man Ernie had other things to do, and though he was too kind to rush me I thought it best to head back downstairs to see Amelia.

Amelia's the building manager, and a fountain of facts about the Pasadena Professional Building. In order to build the eight story structure, a group of 57 doctors, surgeons and dentists formed a corporation. For a cost of nearly a half million dollars, Los Angeles architects Dodd & Richards and LA's Schofield Construction Company built to the corporation's specifications. Each office suite is different due to the arrangements made for the original occupants. Where are you gonna find that today?

Just walk into the lobby and you'll know you're in a special place.

We'll take a three-day weekend to bring home the bacon and do some other blog business, and I'll finish the tale of the Pasadena Professional Building on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Belvedere of the West

I'll get to pictures of the Pasadena Professional Building itself, but first I'd like to show you a few more shots I took from the roof. And I ought to tell you how I got up there.

The building in today's picture is Bank of the West, at the corner of Madison Ave. and Colorado Blvd. I've long admired the belvedere atop this building, which the PlayhouseDistrict tour says is on the National Register of Historic Places. See the bottom of page 2 of this .pdf for info, then print out the .pdf and keep it! No, no, no, don't thank me, thank Pasadena Heritage. The tour doesn't say what the building was originally called or who the architect was, but it does say it's a 1927-28 Italian Renaissance Revival, and there's lots of other great info in there.

I intend to get up to that belvedere some day, but in the meantime I was photographing it from the roof of the Professional Building. It started when the dashing Dr. Ferrante was examining my petite peds. (Well, okay, my pedestrian peds.) I mentioned I like the Professional Building and its 1920's style, but I'd been unable to learn much about it on the web. He said, "Go see Amelia. She knows everything."

Amelia turns out to be the building manager. I don't suppose she knows everything, but she knows everything about the Professional Building, and she's happy to tell it. While she sent for her archive file she recruited security man Ernie to guide me to the roof for a Pasadena photographer's dream. Ernie was patient, and I snapped away.

Do you recognize what's in the lower right corner of the shot? More on that, and Amelia's stories, tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Guess Where I Am

Hint: Ben posted about it recently. In fact, the very day of Ben's post, I was in the very building he mentioned, visiting the dashing Dr. Ferrante, super-podiatrist!

I know what you're thinking: great minds think alike. What? You weren't thinking that about the coincidence of me being in the building Ben was posting about? Oh. You were thinking you've never heard the words "dashing" and "podiatrist" in the same sentence. Whatevs.

I'm on the roof of the Pasadena Professional Building, looking west down Union Street. The Professional Building stands gracefully at the intersection of Union and Madison Avenue, just as it has since it was built in 1925 (two years before City Hall). The official address is 65 N. Madison. The building has an interesting history, some of which I learned while I was there. I'll post more about it in the coming days.

Actually, the building hasn't always stood at Madison and Union. It used to stand at Madison and Herkimer; Union Street was once called Herkimer Street. Now I know how the Herkimer Arms got its name. That's the square white building in the lower center of this photo, the only extant apartment building designed by Greene and Greene and slated to be moved to a new location in the near future. Just beyond the Herkimer, with the aquamarine trim, is the brand new David Allan Hubbard library of the Fuller Theological Seminary, another of Ben's great recent posts. Further west on Union you see All Saints Episcopal Church and Pasadena City Hall. I don't know what those two huge buildings center right are called. Does that make me a bad person? Don't answer that.

More to come about the Professional Building and its early 20th century super-doctors. They didn't fly, but they built a mighty nice building.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First Cut Contest: The Winners

We have 'em! Three triumphant winners in The First Cut Contest. It's historical!

Contest entrants read The First Cut by Pasadena author Dianne Emley, and correctly answered five questions about the novel. Their prize, which is on its way to them, is a copy of the second book in Emley's Nan Vining Thrillogy, courtesy of Dianne Emley. The book's title is Cut to the Quick and it's in stores now. The third book, The Deepest Cut, goes on sale February 24th. Dianne will be signing copies of The Deepest Cut at Vroman's on Colorado Blvd. at 7PM February 25th, so come pick up a signed copy! I'll be there taking pictures. (Or check out her tour schedule, she might be coming to your town.)

And now the winners (drum roll)! In order of receipt of entry, they are:
Katie of Katiefornia in Berkeley, California!
Keith of Gem City Images in Monrovia, California!
and Barbara who doesn't blog (oh, the sanity!) in Pasadena, California!

Here are the questions with the correct answers:
1. What word is written on the refrigerator magnet Nan receives from T.B. Mann?
2. What's the name of the nightclub owned by John Lesley?
3. What song is played at Frankie Lynde's funeral?
The Beach Boys' "California Girls"
4. What does Frankie's voice say to Nan on the CD that Emily records?
"Wear the pearls. He gave them to you. Wear the pearls."
And the bonus question, which no one had to answer but all three winners did:
5. How many times has Nan's mother been married?

Thank you to all the participants!

The only loser was Frankie Lynde, whose body was found above the stone wall beneath the west end of the Colorado Street Bridge. Good thing Frankie's fictional.

For my first such venture there was no better choice than The First Cut. What could be more perfect for Pasadena Daily Photo than a novel starring a Pasadena Police detective, set in Pasadena, by a Pasadena author? I'm extremely grateful to Dianne Emley for her participation. She's been gracious, generous and fun all along.

They would soon put Frankie's casket into the ground. Her case files would go into storage, eventually buried beneath files and more files until the case of Frances Ann Lynde was forgotten. Vining and Frankie had made the same journey. They were sisters, bound by their calling, by violence and their own spilled blood. Vining had made it back.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Zen Monday: #34

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what the photo's about.
There's no right or wrong.
If the photo evokes something in you, that's all it is.

As each new Zen Monday is posted, a label is added to last week's to identify it (if I know what it is).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Theme Day: Paths & Passages

Today's theme on the City Daily Photo Blogs can be interpreted in many ways. The Arroyo Seco is a water path - at least on some days. But with drought conditions worsening in California, we're likely to see less water traveling through here for a while.

I remember water rationing in the early 90's. It wasn't so hard. We can do it again. In fact I'm starting now. Why wait?

I'd appreciate any water-saving tips you have to share. Here's what we're doing so far: we don't pour left-over water down the drain, that's for plants or for rinsing dirty dishes. We wash full loads, of course. We never hose down the driveway (that is sooo passe). Why water the back yard? Nobody ever sees it. And here's an old favorite we can repeat together in public restrooms: "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown...

City Daily Photo bloggers all over the world are participating in today's theme day. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

On another note, today's a good day to look at the peaceful world helper,, and see if you want to participate.