Saturday, February 6, 2010

Vestiges of Deco Glory

I took the liberty of brightening the rainy sky in this shot so you could better see the art deco glory of Angels School Supply at 606 E. Colorado Blvd. Perhaps it's better known to old-timers as United Artist's Theatre. Clifford A. Balch designed the building for the firm Walker & Eisen. It opened in 1931-32.

I love I read every word of their page about this building. Even better: I clicked on every link. And most of those links are photos.

Here's the theatre in the 1940's. Cool cars.
This one's earlier. Probably closer to when the theatre opened. More cool cars.
At some point, at least as early as 1961, someone thought it would be a good idea to cover the entire facade in aluminum siding. Sexy, huh?
Here's how that looked at night. (I had to throw that in. Me and the Zep. Wait. Hey! I was actually at that concert. At least as far as I remember.)

So anyway.

I haven't been inside Angels. That will change. Someday soon my camera and I will go in pretend search of school supplies and see what vestiges of art deco glory we can find.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cold Faithful

I spotted this pair outside Zeli Coffee Bar on one of our rainy days a couple of weeks ago. I don't think the dog was cold, really. He had on his fur coat. But you wouldn't have caught me sitting outside that day.

We're expecting more rain today and tomorrow. Maybe thunder and lightning on Saturday. I hope so. We can always use the rain. And having grown up in the Midwest, I miss a rousing thunderstorm. Generally, though, California dogs aren't crazy about them.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Superfluous Detail: Celebration in Cement

Well I've had enough nature for one week! I need something urban, thank you very much.

This building on East Colorado Blvd. is empty right now. What was it--Aardvark's? Does anyone remember?

I don't think this is a historical structure. I believe this superfluous detail is a recent addition. But I could be wrong. Tell me I'm wrong.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'll Wear Daffodils in My Crown

daffodils grow along an old fence at the Hahamongna Annex

Monday night I went to my first Pasadena City Council meeting. Because so many of you commented on Monday's post, where I expressed concern for the fate of the Hahamongna Annex, I thought I'd report back.

Everybody won!

That's the gist of it. Everybody got some of what they wanted. Nobody got all of what they wanted. In other words, democracy worked.

With 35 people asking to speak on the Hahamongna issue, Mayor Bogaard asked the public to refrain from speaking if someone before them had already made their point. I'm sorry to say there was an awful (and I do mean awful) lot of repetition. But the mayor, known for being a gentleman, kept the meeting moving and pretty much kept commenters to the time limit. (One of those commenter occasionally comments here--Laurie Barlow. Check out her well thought-out post on the subject at The Greensward: Civitas. She's in my blogroll, by the way.)

I was impressed with the City Council. They listened to the Staff presentation and public comments and asked good questions. There are some very sharp people on the Council. And here's the best part: they included almost all reasonable public requests in the plan.

I know. The mind boggles.

There's still a "bikes only" path in the plan. (For now.) I don't want it. But this isn't about what I want or don't want, this is about what the majority of people want. Democracy worked this time. When the bike path comes up for review, maybe we can try a different governmental system, such as Petrea As Queen.

Something else you should know, by the way: it took from just after 7:30pm to 11:15pm to resolve the Hahamongna issue. Most of the people clapped, got up, put on their coats and bumbled noisily out of the room, not noticing the small group that stayed behind: the City Council. With more items on the agenda, for them the night was young.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Zen Tuesday: #7

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. There's no right or wrong. It means what you think it means, or what you want it to mean.

Zen Tuesday--ah, hell, I don't know. It's up for grabs.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hahamongna Watershed; Theme day: Wood

We interrupt Zen Monday because of an important issue on the City Council agenda tonight. I promise we'll have Zen Tuesday tomorrow. (Hey, maybe I'll find Zen at City Hall!)

Item 6. on the City Council agenda is "Public Hearing: Adoption of the Initial Study and Approval of the Hahamongna Watershed Park Master Plan Addendum for Hahamongna Annex."

If you've followed this blog for more than a day or so you know that to say Hahamongna Watershed Park is close to my heart is an understatement. It's practically my muse.

The plan has benefits, including improved facilities for the Rose Bowl Riders. There will also be a nature center, but if you ask me, introducing nature via a "nature center" is a sure way to teach people that nature is boring. (Oh well. At least the kids get a field trip--that is, if there's any funding for field trips. But that's another post.)

Other parts of the plan are more complicated. I can't explain it because I don't understand it. Apparently there was a road in the original plan. Upon public outcry the road was taken out of the plan and everyone thought things were fine. Nobody wants a road through what is a bit of Eden in the city. But one group, Friends of Hahamongna, fears that the language in the plan is too vague, leaving in the possibility for a road.

I've read this stuff. The language is indeed vague. As I said in last Thursday's post, I wish people would write these documents in English. Whether it means "road" or not, I don't know. I'll have to go to the meeting and listen to what everyone has to say because on this subject I have only questions.

The plan is clear, however, that a large number (some say about 70) of trees will be removed from the park--not necessarily invasive trees, just non-native trees that support wildlife--when we've just lost 250 square miles worth of trees just north of Hahamongna in the Angeles National Forest. (See Altadena Hiker's take on the subject, also Laurie Barlow's post at The Greensward: Civitas.)

That's a long way around to today's City Daily Photo blog theme day, "wood," a lot of which will be chopped down and mulched in the implementation of this shiny plan.

I think we can compromise. If it's really, really necessary to remove those trees I'm sure someone at the meeting can explain why. Then perhaps we can remove them in a few years, once the mountains have regrown some habitat.

John, Boz and I have taken so much pleasure in the open space of Hahamongna. The park belongs to us, just as it belongs to everyone. It does make me nervous that people who don't use it are about to vote on its fate. I hope they've taken the trouble to go there, take a long walk and enjoy the serenity of an hour away from the city's clamor and agitation before they decide to turn it into the more of the same.

The meeting's at 6:30; Item 6 will be heard at 7:30. When I called City Hall I was told citizens are free to skip the first part and come at 7:30. Read the info. Come, speak up, or just be present. City Hall, room S249.

To see what other City Daily Photo bloggers do with today's theme, click here.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Last Day, January 2010

Johnson Field looks green after rain, doesn't it?

I took this photo January 23rd. At left, John and Boz face off. At right, a father and his kids play ball. It was inevitable that the twain should meet.

After I took the shot I walked to the drinking fountain and met Jodie, the mom of the ball-playing family. We had a connection: she's the photographer and blogger at The Four Seasons, another Pasadena blog (we have a plethora of great blogs and bloggers in Pasadena). Not only that, Jodie's husband Steve is THE Steve--you know Steve, right? No? Well, Steve had extensive information for me about my Woodbury Creek post, and as a born and bred Pasadenamanian he's loaded with local lore.

We have such cool people here. I love that I photographed this meeting just before it happened. To compare Last Day photos, click the Last Day Project tag below.