Friday, April 24, 2009

Why I Take the Stairs

I really enjoyed this post on the Old Pasadena Blog about some of the creative ways the Pasadena Museum of History shares its photo archives around town. (Love the PMH!)

The post mentions the Delacey Street Garage, and that's where I took this shot. (Love the Delacey Street Garage!)

I mean I like that you can park free for 90 minutes in Old Town. We ought to have something like that in other parts of town. It would be a boon for businesses. The city recently put in some odd sort of parking meter-type thingies on Lake Avenue south of Colorado Blvd. I stood in front of one of them with another woman one day trying to understand it and we both finally gave up. I could probably figure it out, but who has that kind of time to spend learning how to use a parking meter?

I'm probably old-fashioned, but mostly I'm just really impatient.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Booting Up is Bootless

Continuing from yesterday and the day before, this shot was also taken on north Los Robles Avenue. Every time I go by these bright berries I feel good.

I forgot about Earth Day yesterday. My little problems seem so monumental when I'm under the desk unhooking this cord from the new computer that doesn't work at all so I can reaffix that wire to the old computer that doesn't work very well.

I listened to Air Talk on KPCC. The subject was Earth Day (ah! slap on the forehead!) and a caller said we're disconnected from the out-of-doors. Her son hangs out in his room staring at his computer. No one goes outside anymore. Let's have Earth Day on a weekend, she said, so working people and school kids can go.

Good point. Pasadena's holding festivities this coming Saturday. Scroll down to Hot Topics at this link and click on Greening The Earth Day, then show up at Memorial Park Saturday for all the free, earthy fun. Earth is important--more important than our little day-to-day stuff--more important than anything, really. Think about it: where else are you gonna go?

But yesterday I forgot that and got my head stuck in unimportant issues. If my computer stops working and I can't post a picture, we'll all muddle through somehow, won't we? I need to remind myself that the world isn't falling apart--or if it is, getting my computer fixed isn't going to help.

Recipes for unsticking the brain: yard work, hanging out with neighbors, walking the dog, babysitting, lunch with a friend, giving a gift, going somewhere you've never been before, participating in an important activity with your tribe (hmm, like Greening the Earth Day). I also like a little dose of Shakespeare for unsticking, and since today is thought to be his 445th birthday and definitely the anniversary of his death, I'm unsticking with a sonnet. I love them all, but if you forced me to pick a favorite it would be Number 29.

When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And looke upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the Lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth sings hymns at Heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with Kings.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Home Shopping in History: the Swain House

There's been a lot of activity over at 1165 N. Los Robles, so before it gets snapped up I thought I'd show you another historic home. We know this one's historic because it has a plaque. See it? It's right up there by the front door. This link takes you to Zillow's page about the house, where you can see a close-up of the plaque.

The Tilghman H. Swain house was built in 1911, another jewel along lovely north Los Robles. It isn't exactly a Craftsman. It's called Chicago Prairie Style. The architect was Parker O. Wright who worked out of Long Beach and who, near as I can figure, was no relation to Frank Lloyd.

If you really want to know about this house there's a whole biography of it in .pdf. It gives information about the architect, builders and residents over the years and includes copies of related newspaper articles, permits, etc. The biography was prepared by Tim Gregory, the Building Biographer, who works out of Pasadena. I love what this guy does. For a fee, he'll research the history of your house or building. You could do it yourself, but would you?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Home Shopping in History: the Stocks Home

North Los Robles Avenue has its imperfections. It's a broad, busy street. With direct access to the police station downtown, it serves as an artery for ambulances, fire engines and police cars, all of which use sirens. And let's admit it: when you live on north Los Robles, you live on the border of a troubled section of northwest Pasadena.

But take another look at Los Robles. The shady stretch between Washington Blvd. and Woodbury Avenue teems with historic homes. The Stocks home, so historic it's featured by Pasadena Heritage, is for sale. There are actually three homes on the property, all visible from the street. I couldn't see the pool without trespassing, though, and you know I'm a law-abiding citizen.

Oh yes I am! Don't start. Go harass the Altadenahiker.

What was I saying? Oh yes. They have a nice slide show about this house over at Pasadena Heritage, so go take a look. My favorite part is the porch. I pass this house regularly, and I drool over that porch. Not literally. It's set back a bit too far from the road.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Zen Monday: #45

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, April 19, 2009

Tour Heaven and Return

This weekend's pretty much taken care of. Whatever I meant to do yesterday has been put off long enough and I have to do it today. That includes planning next weekend.

Maybe, just maybe, this will be the year I take the annual Bungalow Heaven Home Tour. It's next Sunday, April 26th. If you go, you'll get a peek inside this one, the home of Sarah Hilbert, who ought to know a thing or two about bungalows. She's even written about them for American Bungalow magazine. I'll bet you still have your copy with her article in it.

Sarah sent me an email a couple of weeks back reminding me about the Home Tour and inviting me to take a picture of her house. Her garden won the Pasadena Beautiful Golden Arrow award two years ago, which is the only reason I can think of that she didn't win it this year.

Our little Heaven is more than a local landmark. This year it celebrates placement on the National Register of Historic Places. Not too shabby, no, not these bungalows.