Saturday, June 20, 2009


My young neighbor and I share a name: Celeste. She has the stronger claim on it, as it's her first name and my second one, so I let her use it.

Celeste has a new bike. Look at those white tires with the pink sidewalls! I like the little clips on the spokes, too. They make a soft buzzing noise as she speeds down the sidewalk. This is a special edition "Slumber Party" bike, with a zipper bag on the front to carry her treasures.

Celeste has been riding that thing up and down the block every chance she gets. Her brother Cesar got a new scooter. He wouldn't pose, which is his prerogative. But I'm grateful to Celeste for letting me take her picture.

A bit of business:
I'd love it if you'd read my story at the Rose City Sisters Flash Fiction Blog. It's short! Leave a comment even if you don't like the story (writers had better have thick skin). Then read the guidelines and submit your own story to the Rose City Sisters.

Did you miss out on the Eateries Handbook? Here's something I can offer all Pasadena Daily Photo visitors: a discount at Nice boots, $30 off when you enter the code PASADENADA into the box in the cart. I've checked it out and it's legit. Let me know what you think of offers like these. Good? Smarmy? More? Fewer?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Meet Stanley

Stanley and Livingstone go together, and since we visited the Livingstone Hotel yesterday I thought we'd look at the Stanley Apartments today. The Stanley (below left) is one door south of the Livingstone (below right). As you can see, Stanley looks to be in better shape right now.

Again, there's a dearth of information on the web about the Stanley. I found one review from 2003. Nice, but not nearly enough when I want to know what it's like to live there NOW! Honestly, the building looks like the lovely old Gold Coast Chicago apartment buildings I used to covet.

More information, however, is available about KC Stylist, the beauty studio downstairs. Click around and find the Hollywood stuff they've done.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Livingstone Living

Yesterday Pasadena's own Miss Havisham paid a visit to Pasadena Daily Photo to send me on an errand. Because we were discussing a favorite red brick wall, she expressed concern for a beloved old brick building, the Livingstone Hotel at 139 S. Los Robles Avenue. The poor old hotel is closed and sagging. Signs posted around it say "No Trespassing/Pasadena Police." It's enough to put our Miss Havisham in a tizzy.

To be specific: Miss Havisham said the Livingstone was "scheduled for demolition."

Then a mysterious commenter known only as "Anonymous" chimed in and said, "Please take a closer look - the Livingstone is not going to be torn down."

I love a mystery, so I took my trusty little camera and went snooping. I found workmen cleaning out the building.
Why would they bother?

There was definitely work going on inside. If they were going to tear it down wouldn't they just smash it and skip the niceties? Unless they wanted the doorknobs.

I love a good Google search, and I turned up this. Of course it proves nothing.

The Japanese restaurant in question, absolutely closed:
(By the way, if you haven't seen the updates to yesterday's post, including historical photos from Pasaden's Public Information Officer, then I suggest you scroll on down.)
Update: The Livingstone is being renovated. It is a matter of public record, it's just that the records were not easy to find on the internet.

Blogger won't load a .pdf, but the one my contact sent lists the Livingstone as a "mixed-use project, 1700 square feet retail, 34 new residential units, hotel renovation." The Stanley next door has a beauty salon on the ground floor. I'll post some shots tomorrow to show you how that looks.

The city website's Major Projects page hasn't been updated lately, but it's still interesting. Unfortunately the Livingstone project wasn't on it or it might have been easier to find.

I'm grateful to Miss Havisham for bringing this to my attention for an fun and interesting post, and to Anonymous for getting more detailed information to us.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mountain Fortress

Read the whole post to find out why I sing the praises of Pasadena's Public Information Officer, Ann Erdman. Earlier today, I posted the color photo, with the copy below:
I love this fortress on W. Mountain St. near the 210 Freeway. It houses the City Yards portion of Pasadena's Department of Public Works.

But something else was there before Public Works moved in. The security guard I spoke to said nothing remains of the old place but the wall. She thought it was once some kind of "youth facility."

Reform school?

Can't find any historical information on the web. What do you know about it? It's a gorgeous old wall.
Here's an update from Ann, which she sent after a long day of meetings:

"Here are a couple of photos that look like they may be of the same wall. The caption for the first reads 'City Yard Facility circa 1930' and the associated address is 1050 Glen Ave."
"Glen Avenue runs along the east side of our City Yards. The first listing in the Pasadena city directories for 1050 Glen Avenue is in 1938 and is listed as City Street Department Yards. If that address had any previous function before 1938, it’s not recorded in the city directories.

As I mentioned in my comment on your posting today, there’s one article (Pasadena Star-News, Aug. 30, 1939), that states:

“Because of new rulings by the Works Progress Administration, it has been necessary to re-estimate completely its prison camp and park department project it was announced today at the City Hall… The project, which was originally estimated to cost $255,480, of which the WPRA would provide $210,520 and the city $44,060, includes the following improvements: Prison camp to be located within the walls of the park department warehouse and work yard, 1100 Glen Avenue administration building; and ticket office at Rose Bowl…”

The 1938 directory lists 1100 Glen Avenue as City Park Dept Plant."
The "second" photo shows a wall shaped remarkably like the wall in my photo. I put it right under mine so you could compare the two.

Ann, I can't thank you enough. Now get some sleep.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Let's have a little contest.

Update, 10:50am: the contest is over, I have 8 winners. I think this one may have been a little too easy. Never fear, we'll do this again sometime, as soon as I have more prizes to give out.

The winners are:
Roberta M.
Cafe Observer
Susan C.
Jim O (send me your mailing address, Jim--I think I'm not getting through your spam blocker)

As (apparently) many of you know, this is the interior of Zinke's Shoe Repair on Colorado Blvd. at Madison. The earlier post is below.


Before you say anything please read the rule, because if you do it wrong you might disqualify everybody.

(A cruel authority figure once told me "wrong" is not a nice word. Just obey the rule, okay?)

There's only one rule: you must email me the answer to the contest question at the end of the post. The link to my email is in the upper left corner of the blog.

You must not answer in the comments section. The reason for the rule is I have eight prizes to give away, and if you answer in comments you give the answer away, which invalidates any answers that follow your comment.

If you don't know the answer to the question you can play it like Zen Monday if you want to. Or critique my cropping. We'll use the comments to chat about something else today.

I think you'll like the prize:
You may have noticed the link on my blog (lower left) to the Ben's post. This little booklet has a lot of stuff in it, including ads, AND discount coupons for places on Pasadena's edges that you've been thinking about trying, like Cycleway Coffee on Monterey Road, My Taco Catering in Highland Park and Larkin's Soul Food and a bunch of spots in Eagle Rock.

(The Eateries website includes a couple of my coffee shop quest posts (I'll be getting back to the quest very soon), a terrific article by Ben and the funniest restaurant review ever, written by John Sandel, aka my husband, also known to Pasadena Daily Photo readers as J+P. Deb also put up a gallery of some of my shots.)

If you're willing to share your mailing address with me (I won't keep it), send me an email with the correct answer to the contest question. The first eight emails I receive that include the correct answer win the Eateries Handbook. If we don't get eight winners by midnight tonight, we'll do another contest until I give 'em all away.


The contest question is: Where was the top photo taken?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Zen Monday: #52

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, June 14, 2009


The weeknight crowd at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at 415 S. Lake Avenue gets a sort of lava lamp movie along with their coffee and, um, light balls. The film is shown on the exterior wall of Borders, which has its own Seattle's Best shop inside. So I think they've got the caffeine covered out there on the ol' plaza.

I'd like to have those in my back yard. The light balls, not the lava lamps. Outdoor heaters, too, except aren't they big polluters? No matter. I tend to get cold when the temperature dips below 75 degrees, so no heater can help me. It's best to go inside and have my coffee by the fire.
Just the typical thoughts a girl has on a wintry day in June.

P.S. I posted photos of last weekend's al fresco art exhibit to Overdog.