Thursday, December 16, 2010


I stopped at Vroman's yesterday. Wednesday afternoon. Middle of the work day. Parking lot packed.

This requires patience. You wait in a line of cars (you have no choice, you're stuck now) while someone backs out of a space. The line moves on and finally it's your turn, your space, the furthest one in the lot, between two SUVs, both of which were parked by people who have apparently never parked a car before. On the return trip, a monster pick-up truck follows you to your space. You try to wave him off because--well, finally he sees he's never going to fit in there and he speeds off, burning frustrated rubber.

It has begun. Christmas/New Year's time, Pasadena is a busy town.

It's good, though. Three clerks worked the back registers at Vroman's and more registers granted angels their wings throughout the store. Employees (that means "people who are employed") helped customers find the things they wanted. Commerce, in my town, in an independent book store, is just fine with me.

I'm glad to leave it to others from this point onward, though. I bought what I hope is the last Christmas present I need to get. Now I think I'll retreat to the less popular mountain trails or my favorite spots in the Arroyo Seco (far north and/or south of the Rose Bowl) until after the first of the year.

Unless someone else wants to do the driving.


Dina said...

Peaceful picture, that is.
Bon retreat, Petrea.

Margaret said...

Oh, Petrea, I just love this photo. And I love Vroman's too.

Petrea said...

Merci, Dina. I'll bet you feel somewhat the same (minus the car) when you retreat to your peaceful village on the hill.

Thank you, Margaret. I feel the same about Vroman's and I'm so glad to see the out-of-towners discover it.

Trish said...

I miss Vroman's. I've tried to explain it to people...there's just nothing like it anymore. I certainly miss those steps in this pic too! Friends used to live near the top of them and I'd wander down to get some space and air.

I've also tried to explain to folks about the hubub going on right now in the LA Basin. It is more than just Xmas, it is TOR/RB mishmash too. Not only are people stressed pre-holiday, but there are foreigners too...which make your truck/SUV thing even MORE fun. Plus the stands so there are fewer parking spaces, plus, plus, plus.

I'm with you---hibernate! Am hoping to be down for a visit after the cleanup has happened and maybe even sit on these steps!

Jean Spitzer said...

Best strategy--and a lovely place in which to hide out.

Enjoy the hikes.

karlindaadoption said...

If only we could avoid grocery shopping between now & January too. That would be perfect.

Where are those steps?

Petrea said...

Trish, it surprises me but I think people really are arriving early for the Tournament of Roses. And yes, the bleachers are almost ready along Colorado and Orange Grove. I should get some pictures of those.

There's a rope swing hiding at the top of these stairs, Jean.

Hi karlinda, welcome. I just perused your blog/site and am crossing my fingers for you! The steps are in the Arroyo just south of the San Rafael Bridge, near the San Pascual stables. If it's not South Pasadena at that point, it almost is.

Susan Campisi said...

Beautiful photo! I'll have to take Tommy there so I can tire him out on those steps.

I haven't even started shopping yet. My car broke down this week, so I've had a forced retreat.

BaysideLife said...

Those steps are indeed inviting. But what I like most in that picture are the rocks. Florida has no rocks, none, zippo. Unless of course you spend lots of money to buy them to put in your landscape.

Bellis said...

We have plenty of rocks here, that's for sure. Those granite mountains are churning out lots of them, which the rivers kindly smooth out for us.

I've walked up those steps many times and never noticed that juxtaposition with the bridge - it's a great shot.

Made the mistake of trying to park at Vroman's today, and it was still crazy. Many of the spaces are too small for today's giant SUVs, which spread out into the next space like a fat person in an airplane seat. I so envy you for having finished your shopping!

Mister Earl said...

I like the light in this photo. I cross that bridge many a time and oft, but it's usually dark and I am upon it, and don't see it.

Petrea said...

Susan! You're having a hell of a week, aren't you?

Bayside, will it help if I tell you we don't have any seashells in Pasadena?

Bellis, it turns out I forgot two gifts. I'm torn as to where to get them. Maybe I'll take a walk to Vroman's.

Time for a hike, Mister Earl.

Mister Earl said...

True that.

Virginia said...

I get a big gold Pasadena Star for recognizing this bridge.....I think. :) Anyway, this bridge with this wonderful path made me smile, P. REALLY smile. I just love it.

Steven said...

A nice peaceful photo. One thinks of Pasadena as being a hustle and bustle city. I like the gentleness of this shot. Everything has a softness to it. Even the rocks seem smoothe. The stairway invites you to explore what waits above. Can you tell I like this alot?

altadenahiker said...

On the upside, New Year's Day is the times we have the mountains all to ourselves. My favorite time of the year to take a stroll up the hills.

Petrea said...

Gold star, V!

Glad you like it, Steven.

Hiker, you're so right about New Year's day. I discovered that about Pasadena when I was living in the San Fernando Valley. I wanted to see a particular movie that was only showing in Pasadena. I came here to see it during the Rose bowl game and it was splendid. I had downtown all to myself.

TheChieftess said...

Great photo!!! And I love Vroman's too!!!

wv: Knizoo don't have a clue about this one...I just like it!!!

Christina said...

The warm afternoon light on the steps and bridge is just gorgeous.

Petrea said...

I would thank you, Christina, but I had nothing to do with it. It's just a beautiful spot on a lovely day.