Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mind if I ask, who does your landscaping?

Boz tried to chat up a rattlesnake on our evening walk yesterday. I wanted a photo, but cooler heads prevailed and the snake refused to pose. So I thought I'd show you a photo of his yard.

The law says I can take a picture of your yard as long as I take that picture while I'm standing on public property, and as long as I don't use ladders or telephoto lenses or extraordinary measures to go peeking over your hedge or into your windows.

Until we came along, that rattlesnake was sunning himself right in the middle of the path. I'll bet he thought we invaded his privacy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

983 Too Many

If you live in Pasadena you probably already know about Union Station Homeless Services. Here's a branch of Union Station I happened on the other day: the Euclid Villa Transitional Apartments. I didn't know what it was at the time. I thought it was a pretty house, and I could tell from the signs on the porch that it wasn't a private home. I took a picture, came home and looked up the address.

According to the website, families living there "pay 30% of their income for rent, while gaining the skills, stability and confidence they need to secure permanent housing."

You can't learn everything from a website, and homelessness is a complicated issue. But that sounds sane to me. A homeless person who ends up at Pasadena's Union Station is lucky, if you can call that lucky.

In searching for other organizations in Pasadena that serve the homeless, I found the Ecumenical Council's Friends In Deed. Their site says, "The official homeless count of 2008 in Pasadena found that 983 homeless adults and children live on the streets on a given day." This tells me the homeless percentage of our population is low compared with Los Angeles, for example. But one homeless kid is one too many.

It's our town. These are our neighbors. What other organizations do you know of that serve Pasadena's homeless?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Some Definitions, Kinda

As long as we're on the subject of the Pasadena Public Library and its coffee shop, Central Grounds, I thought I'd post this shot I took while waiting in line for my coffee the other day. Central Grounds is located on the east patio of the library and as you can see, the patio's open to the sky.

Kinda the definition of a patio, really.

That black-shrouded, sad-looking corner of a building beyond the patio roof is just about the same spot at which I was gazing when I took this photo. I like the shot. But the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse is not the most popular edifice in town. Perhaps its current face-lift will make it more attractive.

Kinda the definition of a face-lift, really.

I wasn't able to find out anything about the construction on the web. The current job might not actually be a face-lift. When I was there to snap this shot, a man on the construction crew said something about it having more to do with securing the facade to the building than making it pretty.

Like, keeping the facade from falling off? I guess that would keep the streets safe.

Which is kinda the definition of a courthouse, really.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I've been taking a vicarious vacation on Turquoise Diaries lately because Aysegul's visiting the most glorious places. Yesterday she said she loves Ghost Whisperer, which was shooting at the Pasadena Public Library last Friday (see yesterday's post). So for Aysegul, here's a shot of the library's main hall, in case it shows up on Ghost Whisperer.

Something I recently discovered about the main hall: you can drink your coffee in there! I KNOW! (Oops. Shh. I mean, I know! I was shocked!) I've visited the library's coffee shop many times. Central Grounds is outdoors on the front patio. It was the first stop in my quest for the perfect coffee shop in which to write (a quest I promise I'll take up again.) But it wasn't until last Friday, when it was nine million degrees out, that I discovered I could buy my coffee at Central Grounds and take it inside to the air-conditioned comfort of the main hall. (I'd make the main hall #10 in The Quest if I didn't think it was cheating.)

You may not drink your coffee in the stacks. You may not have it in the computer room or the study rooms or beyond the reference desk. Only in the main hall. But click on that picture and enlarge it. Isn't that a nice place to plug in your laptop, drink your coffee and write?

Lovely as it is, I don't suppose Aysegul would trade places with me. Not even for a glimpse of the Ghost Whisperer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


In comments July 17th I mentioned I was "coming to you from the Pasadena Public Library," where a crew was shooting scenes from Ghost Whisperer.

Many Hollywood productions use filming locations in Pasadena, South Pasadena, Altadena and the surrounding area. Our parks and institutions stand in for places all over America and Europe. The Ghost Whisperer crew is in town so often they've probably all given in and bought property here.

The shoot itself was inside at the northeast end of the building. I didn't see any of the performers. I'm a performer myself and I respect their workspace, so I didn't try to get near the set. But even on the outer edges of the shoot, where I could glimpse lights and crew, I was asked not to take photos.

They asked nicely, so there you have it. I'm sorry I didn't get you a picture of a crew guy in a tool belt. I think a lot of us would have enjoyed that. But I did get this pic of some of the essential equipment outside the library's back door.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Zen Moonday

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

Zen Moonday tell me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hot Jazz

I'm one of those people who almost always needs a sweater in the evening, so I treasure these summer nights when I can be sleeveless outside. It's hot during the day, but to me it's worth it to have evenings when I don't shiver.

Here's a good way to spend a couple of hours on warm a Sunday evening: the Playhouse District's 6th Annual Free Jazz Summer Concert Series, Sunday nights, 5-7 pm in the courtyard at Vroman's.

I took this photo last Sunday, July 12th. Nick Mancini's Quartet was scheduled, but this was definitely a trio. So if you're particular about which group you're going to see I recommend you give a call first (there's a number listed at the link). Otherwise, just go. The music's going to be good, and you'll get to sit outside without a sweater.