Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hens Do Have Teeth

I like the funky outdoor seating at Hen's Teeth Square. On a warm day these stools are taken up by diners munching on chicken and/or tacos. But the weather was chilly the day I took the picture.

For some strange reason I didn't go across the street and get a shot of the whole place. (Maybe I was cold.) But I did go upstairs in the rear building and get this:
It gives you an idea of the setting and architecture of of the place. It's that California Spanish look that so many modern southern California buildings try to emulate. Or imitate. But this is the real thing. If you visited early yesterday you might want to look at yesterday's post again. A couple of commenters offered information that I took the liberty of adding to the post. It turns out Hen's Teeth Square is historically and architecturally significant.

I'll go back and get that full frontal exterior shot ASAP. Hen's Teeth Square warrants it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Mural Wasn't Hard to Find

Hen's Teeth Square is a small shopping center nestled where Los Robles Avenue meets Woodbury Road. Pasadena comes to one of its northernmost points there; Altadena is across the street.

The square offers the popular Puebla Tacos #3, where the staff is really sweet, Pollos Puebla (possibly owned by the same folks?) and a little market, and it looks like a new, hip clothing store is going in. Plus bunches of other stuff, according to the sign.
I've never been able to figure out exactly where the police hole up in there. But the place is bigger than it looks.

I recorded a voice-over yesterday at the PCAC studios. I'll tell you more about that very soon.

I did a little research on the mural, which faces the rear parking lot. Supervised by a teacher named Alex, students from Pasadena High School's Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA) painted the mural in 2004 and/or 2005 (hey, these things take time). Go to Alex's AngryBee website and click on the bee to see a video about it. More shots here. I'm pretty certain Alex is Alex Schultz, the only teacher named Alex listed on the PHS VADA site. (Keep reading.)

The mural gives the idea of Hollywood coming to Pasadena. At the west end you see the green Hollywood hills. At the east end a production crew shoots in Pasadena's own TV studios at Hen's Teeth Square.

It must feel pretty good to drive by something of permanence that you contributed to your city.

Update from Roberta Martinez: "It is Alex Schultz. He is a teacher and a gentleman." Roberta says in an email that he and Brooke Kent head the Graphic Arts at PHS. "They are great role models for the students. They and the other teachers on the team are truly dedicated. At the end of the year there is a closing 'ceremony'. The students typically produce a video/slide show that reviews their year. These are wonderfully independent, thoughtful, and kind kiddoes; not saccharine, just basically sweet."

Another update, this one from Thal Armathura:
"Hen's Teeth Square, 2053 - 2057 North Los Robles, Pasadena, designed by architect Theodore Pietsch is a designated Pasadena landmark and is reputed to be the first corner drive-in market shopping center in the country, built in 1930. There is a similar corner market scenario recreated at the Petersen Auto Museum at Wilshire and Fairfax, Los Angeles. Hen's Teeth Square is a monument to our car culture and the cornerstone of our local historic district. The name Hen's Teeth Square is original to the development and does reflect the rarity of the time of a corner drive-in shopping center."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Home Shopping in Julia's Neighborhood

Just one little block east of the famous house we visited yesterday I spotted this one for sale. There was a "Sale Pending" tag attached to the Sotheby's Realty sign on the lawn. So if you want this house you may have to get lucky, or at least hurry.

Take a look. What do you think? I'm already remodeling in my mind. I like the light, but the cement out back has to go. I'll have my office on the third floor at the back...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Street View: Julia Child

I hadn't known until the popularity of Julie and Julia that Julia Child was born in Pasadena. Commenter Markowsky mentioned her childhood home on another post. He quotes this link describing House and Garden's Book of Houses: "Of interest is the house Reginald Johnson designed in Pasadena for John McWilliams Jr. McWilliams was a Pasadena pioneer and the father of Julia Child. This was her family's first home, located at 625 Magnolia Avenue, Pasadena."

Markowsky looked up the address on Google. He said, "it appears to be an apartment complex at the intersection of California and Magnolia." I love Google, but knowing that Street View is one area where Google isn't perfect, I had to see for myself. There is indeed an apartment building on the corner, but 625 is a large and lovely house, and it's pleasant to imagine Julia McWilliams growing up there.

And Google does come through with an interesting excerpt from Appetite for Life, the Biography of Julia Child, by Noel Riley Fitch. (Thanks to Lori Lynn of San Pedro Daily Photo for pointing me in that direction.) I also found the commenter who sent me searching. He turns out to be Michael Markowsky, an innovative and talented Canadian artist who has lived in Pasadena and exhibited at Pasadena's Armory Center for the Arts.

And this tidbit: the post referred to exists no longer, but look at the comments. I wonder who winky_the_tinkler is?

Really. Such interesting people pass through Pasadena. I imagine the people who currently live in the house sick and tired of being so interesting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Theme Day: Waiting

The first of every month at the City Daily Photo blogs we play variations on a theme. This month's theme is "waiting." I had planned a different photo but when nosing around through my stuff last night I came across this sorry pair.

I don't know about your dogs, but Boz and his friend Sprocket can't seem to amuse themselves. They're always waiting for a human to come along and entertain them. I can't remember if I was coming or going when I took this but from the looks on their faces, I must have been going.

To see how other City Daily Photo Bloggers around the world (over 1100 now!) interpret today's theme, click here to view thumbnails for all the participants.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Zen Monday: #74

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what I think the photo's about. I also stay out of the comments box for most of the day, to avoid influencing the discussion. I look for a photo worth contemplating or, failing that, something odd or silly.

As I post each new Zen Monday photo I add a label to last week's to identify it if necessary--if I know what it is.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last Day, November 2009

I can't fool you. It's not the last day of November. But tomorrow is Zen Monday and I'm not about to mess with that.

So to continue our experimental monthly look across Johnson Field, let's see if anything's changed.

Hmm. Looks like the Psychocross fanatics got their rudders stuck.

I kid. The local Cyclocross riders train here sometimes. They're nice. Insane but nice. Dog-friendly. Could be a little freaky if you're on horseback. But there's room for everybody.