Saturday, April 4, 2009

Penny For Your Thoughts

I first posted about Penny For Your Thoughts on June 1st of 2008, when the City Daily Photo bloggers' theme day was favorite local shop. I adore this store; there's no other place like it.

Originally, the shop was run by two sisters. Now one has withdrawn and the other, Millie Wheatley, is the main operator. The store is loaded with eclectic vintage funk and locally-made products: beautiful and trendy hand-made clothes, gorgeous seashell mirrors, and imaginative jewelry by Zoe Kanemitsu, who was running things when I was there yesterday. I was happy to hear from Zoe that PFYT was busy last Christmas, when so many retail stores had their worst season in history. That's got to be due in part to the unusual stock and good prices, as well as the delightful people who run the place. It all makes for good atmosphere.

Making the place more unique than just the stuff, at Penny For Your Thoughts you can take a break from browsing and sit down to have a sandwich, a coffee or a locally-baked cookie, right in the middle of the store. The cookies are baked by Karen Hirsch of Apron Strings. I'm a big Karen fan; she walks her dog Gracie out at Hahamongna and she's fab. She also makes the adorable aprons they sell at PFYT. (Is there anything this woman can't do? Apparently not. She's going to be teaching a bread baking workshop at Penny For Your Thoughts on April 18th from noon to 3:30. You can either get over to the store and sign up now or wait until I post about it, but class size is limited so ya takes yer chances.)

I wasn't shopping yesterday, so I sipped a cup of coffee and sat in a comfy chair while reading my book. The music was quiet and the vibe was calm, oh yeah. Oh! Oh yeah! Hey! Next time I'll set up my laptop and work on a writing project, so I can properly report back as part of the Coffee Shop Quest!

I can already tell you PFYT is going to be the one to beat.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Eagle Rock

I freely admit that the first time I saw the Eagle Rock I thought it got its name because it's shaped like the head of an eagle.

It doesn't take long to find out that the Eagle Rock is named for the shadow cast by the formation in the upper center of the rock, which looks like an eagle with outspread wings. (I still think the rock looks like an eagle head but that either makes me crazy or makes the name doubly appropriate.)

Eagle Rock is also the name of the Los Angeles neighborhood that shares part of Pasadena's western border. To get there, all we have to do is drive or bike west on Colorado Blvd. for a few minutes. Eagle Rock was once its own municipality, incorporated into LA in 1923. The pre-incorporation City Hall and Library still stand on Colorado Blvd.

It's a funky area, with mostly independent businesses—coffee shops, clothing stores, restaurants, and the president's Alma Mater. I'll head over for a new installment in the Coffee Shop Quest one of these days.

Wikipedia's article about Eagle Rock has a photo taken from almost the same spot where I took this one. Their pic shows a deer in the bushes (it'll give you some scale) and a lot of dirt in the foreground, where now there's a lot of asphalt.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


The answer is: Kids, babies, dads and dog butts.

The question is: What is a neighborhood when moms aren't around?

Ah, but the real question is: Who dressed herself today?

If I had her wardrobe I'd have chosen the same combo. Fortunately for my neighbors, there's no risk of that.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Theme Day: Yellow

The first of the month is theme day for City Daily Photo bloggers (of which there are now a whopping 933). As soon as I heard the theme was "yellow," I began seeing more yellow cars, signs and neon than I'd ever noticed before.

You'd think such a broad theme would be simple, but cars, signs and neon are too easy. But when J. and I visited the Norton Simon Museum on my birthday, I caught a glimpse of this man in his yellow jacket and knew I had my shot. I was an April fool, however. The painting behind him isn't yellow. It's called Buffalo Blue, by Norman Zammitt.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in today's theme.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hometown Pasadena

John and I fell in love with Pasadena at first sight. For our first Christmas here I found the perfect gift for him at Vroman's: a book called Hometown Pasadena. Editor Colleen Dunn Bates had gathered some of the best talent in town to help put a lot of information into a small, friendly volume. It was a guide to entertainment, restaurants, sports, surrounding communities, architecture, schools--pretty much everything going on in the San Gabriel Valley. It even contained a section entitled "Cemeteries We Love."

John was thrilled when he opened his gift that Christmas morning--almost as thrilled as I was when I opened mine and found the copy of Hometown Pasadena he'd bought for me. We kept them both.

One of the advantages to living in Pasadena is it's possible to cross paths with locals you admire. So you can bet I was delighted when I met Colleen Dunn Bates this past January. She's interesting and fun, like her books. She's also got what John calls "about twenty brains." You'd need them, to do what she does. Besides Hometown Pasadena (now available in the new 2009-10 edition), she's also editor and publisher at Prospect Park Books, which has eight books in its stable so far. Colleen also heads up Hometown Pasadena's website, which debuted its new look yesterday. I have no idea how she packs so much information into a site that's classy, well-organized, and constantly updated.

I'm very excited that Hometown Pasadena is currently featuring an interview with me. I've just gotta toot that horn because it's such an honor. In a way I feel like I've come full circle. Life has many circles, I suppose, and I'm grateful for this one. So I'd like to thank Colleen and send you all over to Hometown Pasadena to click, comment, and enjoy.

(Photo: a view of Macy's on Lake Avenue.)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Zen Monday: #42

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what the photo's about.

As I post each new Zen photo, I'll add a label to last week's to identify it if necessary (and if I know what it is).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bloggers Rock

Yesterday's San Gabriel Valley Blogger potluck was a success! Not that I'm the least bit surprised, considering the people involved.

Organized by Timothy Rutt of Altadenablog, Karin Bugge the Altadenahiker, Susan C. of Open Mouth, Insert Fork and Cancer Banter, and Debi of Altadena Daily Photo and Altadena Above It All, the potluck attracted many interesting dishes, including this giant cookie contributed by Michelle Mills, a.k.a. Mickie, who blogs at Diary of a Doo Dah Queen and Mickie's Zoo. Here, Mickie and her cookie pose with Timothy.

Mickie said she had to spell the word "blogger" for the cookie decorator, who had never heard of a blogger.

Kelly of West Coast Grrlie Blather wondered aloud if any of us had encountered, uh, disrespectful reactions when people found out we were bloggers. If I've gotten those reactions I was ignorant of them (blissfully so). And speaking of ignorance, someone who disdains people because they blog surely doesn't understand what blogging is in the first place.

I've found the San Gabriel Valley blogging community to be fascinating, diverse and welcoming. I've found the global blogging community to be all of the above as well. Blogging has opened up my world in ways I never knew possible. What are your thoughts about blogging?

Here's Kathy's post about the potluck at the KCHblog. I'll add more links as I find them.
Tim posted a video, apparently shot while I was in the bathroom.
A lot of fun shots at Cafe Pasadena, including Boz's glamor pic.
Altadena Hiker has added another photo.
This just in: Pasadena PIO's post.