Saturday, May 16, 2009

Altadena Party Night

Altadena did indeed have a party last night. I did indeed go. I did (indeed) have such a good time that I'm too tired to stay up and write about it right now. I have lot of pictures I want to show you and I will indeed do so in the coming days.

I have loved Altadena since John and I discovered it in 2001 (it had been there a long time, but we hadn't bothered to look). Last night I discovered things about Altadena that had been there all along, but I hadn't bothered to notice before. I discovered new things to be excited about, too.

I'll tell you more about it when I get some rest, but I imagine by then the other bloggers will have beat me to the punch. That's all right. As long as you know about it it's fine with me. Don't miss out on all the fun like I did all this time. There's too much good stuff in Altadena. Indeed, you must bother to look.

Bill Westphal's lovely pics are on Tim Rutt's Altadenablog today.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Home Shopping in Space

A Greene & Greene house on the market is news. These babies aren't available every day. And this one has added cachet, because since 1985 it's been the home of the Planetary Society. They're selling it now but they're not in a hurry. You know, time is relative.

This L.A. Times article sports a lovely photo of the facade and gives atmospheric descriptions of the interiors. It also tells a brief history of the house. When it was built in 1903 it had a Colorado Blvd. address. It was moved to its current location on Catalina Avenue in the 1930's. (It's generally worth it to move a Greene & Greene rather than tear it down, or so I've heard.)

The Georgiana Rodiger Center shares some of this space (and it's a whomping huge space). I suspect the site is zoned for offices, so the new owner may not get to live here. But hey, lately Pasadena real estate's been revolving around multi-use properties, so perhaps there's a chance.

The Planetary Society was founded in 1980 by, among others, astronomer Carl Sagan. (I can still hear his voice describing "billions and billions" of galaxies.) The Society is dedicated to "exploring the solar system and seeking life beyond Earth." An interesting cluster of folks, no doubt. Their website is fascinating. They even have a blog.

When I first saw the sign in front of the house I thought, "these are the guys who messed with Pluto." But they're not. These are the guys who messed with Pluto.

Update: Marie Taylor, the RE agent selling this lovely building, added a comment to let me know the advertised price was incorrect. The asking price is actually $2.1 million and, contrary to the article, the sellers are motivated! If anyone would like a tour or would like to know more about this historic Greene & Greene building, call 626.285.2532.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I drive by this place a lot and it cheers me up even when I'm already ecstatic. I finally got a chance to take a photo when there was actually a parking spot in front of it the other day. It's on Fair Oaks, just south of the corner of Esther Street.

I was in a hurry so I snapped my shot and didn't go in, but now that I've surfed the web and figured out what Tostilocos are, I have to go back.

Check out a new blog in town with a positive attitude, Pasadena Updates With Brigham Yen. It seems this here town has its share of boosters.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Altadena Party Down

I don't get out much after dark so I'm no expert on night life. But I think we can all agree that Altadena is not known as a party town.

The Coffee Gallery stays open for live music in the back room. The Rancho Bar stays open for - well, for being the Rancho Bar. And...what else? Most nights Altadena's downtown is a sleepy place. That's the way we like it.

But this Friday night, May 15th, downtown Altadena (there's a downtown?) is gonna stay up 'til 9:00! Yes, I said NINE O'CLOCK! Don't call the cops because they'll already be there. From 4-9 PM it's an open house of the North Lake Avenue Business District between New York and Altadena Drives, sponsored by the Altadena Arts Coalition, "a coalition of local artists and business owners dedicated to improving Altadena's economy and culture," so says their flier.

The flier also promises an art opening at the Coffee Gallery, an antique car show at Ronnie's Automotive, twenty minute portraits at Altadena Junction and more. Webster's will be open in all of its parts, and rumor has it that Amy's Patio Cafe will be open for dinner (like I said, that's a rumor--hope it's true).

Oh--and I'll be there. Several bloggers have been invited. Confirmed blogger attendees include Debbi of Altadena Above It All and Altadena Daily Photo, Karin the Altadena Hiker, Tim of Altadenablog and Susan C of Open Mouth Insert Fork and Cancer Banter. (If/when I know of more I'll post them here.)

So I'm excited to be going out after dark. In Altadena. Heck (or should I say shucks?), I have a feeling that once us bloggers get loose up there, Altadena's going to be famous for its night life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Margot the Fabulous

Today is a special day in my family because it's the anniversary of the birth of my sister Margot. Margot's not a commenter here and she doesn't check in often, but in case she happens by today I've got a little something for her.

Margot arrived in the world auspiciously. Not only did Mother's Day land on the day she was born, but our mother won a car that day, too. Yeah, an actual car, new and everything. (And just as the birth of a person like Margot only comes around once, that never happened again either.)

I chose this photo for Margot's birthday because the statue is graceful. I haven't found its name or that of the artist, but it's poised at the Huntington Gardens and it might be Diana the Huntress. See, by day Margot's a happy librarian in the Dallas, Texas system. But by night she is Margot, Fabulous Glamorous Ballroom Dancer Extraordinaire! The first time I watched her dance, her grace moved me to tears.

So here's what I have for Margot: if and when she comes to visit me in Pasadena we're going ballroom dancing, and she has her pick of where we go. We could try the Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association, where they have all kinds of classes. And not far away in Alhambra there's Ballroom Dancing-LA, where they even have classes for kids. Or there's the Rose City Ballroom, also loaded with classes, and twinkling with a Hollywood connection.

Or we can try them all. Happy birthday, Mo!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Zen Monday: #48

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 Monday photo, I'll add a label to last week's to identify it if necessary (and if I know what it is).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Mother Department

Motherhood was never for me. I knew from a young age that it wasn't my choice. I've known people who were not meant for motherhood but went ahead with it anyway, a sorrow for them and their kids to struggle through.

But I've found something in my neighborhood I never thought I'd find: children who enchant me. Just the other day I came out on my porch to find this batch had lined themselves up to have their picture taken. (Apparently word has gotten around that Petrea likes to take pictures.) I snapped a few before they realized I'd started, so they're just waiting here, not posing yet.

These small individuals are just like every other individual, which is to say not one of them is like anyone else. Each of them is a special heart, a special brain, a unique person preparing to contend with the world.

John and I have always said we "lucked out in the neighbor department" in Pasadena. Good people on all sides. That includes the children. Gee, I wonder where they get that?

Not everyone is meant to be a parent. Some of us are perhaps meant to be those people down the block who let folks act silly at their house.
I don't regret my choice not to have kids. But I hasten to add, I'm thrilled with our choice of neighbors.

I also lucked out in the mother-in-law department. Phyllis welcomed me from day one. I love how she has advice on hand if I need it (and I do need it), but she never forces it on me. She's fearless, too: she forges ahead with projects that interest her, art forms she wants to explore and technology she wants to learn. Nothing stops her. Here's my favorite picture of John's mother Phyllis, aka Diva:
It wasn't taken in Pasadena but on Whidbey Island, Washington. Phyllis had organized a family reunion there to honor her mother. That reunion brought together a family that had been scattered for years. I like this shot for a couple of reasons: partly because John and his father confer in the background, but mostly because Phyllis takes her place in the foreground, and in her family, as matriarch.

Happy Mother's Day.