Saturday, March 6, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

My friend dropped me off in Old Town Thursday because I had time to kill between meetings and I was going to annihilate that time in a coffee shop. I planned to show you that shop as a revival of my Coffee Shop Quest. But the shop (Seattle's Best on Raymond) had apparently bit the recession dust some time ago (I'm so out of it) and my friend had driven away.

I generally don't fret at happy accidents. This is why I always have a) book; b) laptop; or c) a camera with me. Thursday I had all of the above.

I thought I'd try the Fuller Seminary Bookstore coffee shop (Coffee By the Books), so I started walking. If I hadn't I never would have come upon the buildings at 159 N. Marengo Avenue where this sculpture by Billy Al Bengston (called Puka o ka moku (Port Cochere)) draws you down the passageway, making you feel like Alice just after she sipped the "Drink Me" potion.

Here's a detail of half the sculpture.

The sun was setting so my pictures are a bit dark. But look down the passageway: what's that blue thing?

More by Billy Al Bengston. This one's called Pua'l wai (fountain).

If I hadn't been walking I wouldn't have known about the art, or about the walkway that cuts through from Marengo to Memorial Park. Honestly, did you know? Am I the last one to figure this out?

By the time I got to the Coffee By the Books it was two minutes 'til closing. The place is too small for setting up my laptop and sitting anyway.

Friday, March 5, 2010


The League of Women Voters, Pasadena Area is sponsoring a free public forum tomorrow called Access to Impact: Using Open Government to Create Change. The keynote speaker is a woman named Hedab Tarifi, who was raised in Kuwait and who, according to the press release I read, "knows what it is like to live under a tyranny and closed government." The information goes on to say she "relishes the transparency of government in a democracy. But she also knows citizens need to know how to access information and put it to work to improve their communities."

A panel of experts from media, libraries and government will discuss the challenges and dangers of information gathering.

I put off posting about this because I didn't have the right photo. This is, after all, a photo blog. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I thought I should have a photo of a government building--no, a library--no, a school--no, a courthouse--no--

Then I realized we're talking about transparency in government here. We're talking about democracy and freedom. We're talking about a lack of tyranny and there I was, running around tyrannizing myself. So I banished the little despot and set myself free to post any damn picture I wanted to.

"Access to Impact: Using Open Government to Create Change" is scheduled for Saturday, March 6, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena. The forum is free. An RSVP is requested at 626-798-0965 or

Spanish translation will be provided.

Monica Hubbard updates: "Thanks, Petrea. If people call the League office by noon today 626-798-0965 they can get their RSVP in. Or e-mail Should be an interesting morning. "

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eternal Love

The final resting place of Henry Edwards Huntington and his beloved wife Arabella Duval Huntington is one of the most romantic spots in the Pasadena area. Yes, I'm speaking of a grave.

The mausoleum, designed by architect John Russell Pope, is called "a Greek temple dedicated to eternal love." Pope used a similar design later for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Arriving here at the end of a long alley of trees, I am stricken not with sadness but with the beauty of love. How lucky the Huntingtons were to have found each other and to have lived out their lives together. Karin Bugge, the Altadena Hiker, is a docent at the Huntington Library and Gardens. She tells the Huntington love story best. It is a must-read.

If I must die someday then John must, too. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love him every bit as much as Henry loved Arabella. We're as lucky to have found each other as they were, and as happy to live out our lives together. I would like to be buried with my beloved (that would be John) in a spot like this. By that I mean a spot of our own choosing--a private one that has meaning for us, and will commemorate our love for all eternity with a big, honking monument.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Romantic Spot

You will take your lover's hand and pass through this old, iron gate.

You'll walk together along this quiet road.

When you reach the end you'll stop and think more deeply than you have before (as another couple did a hundred years ago on this very spot) about what it means to live your lives together.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Zen Tuesday: #8

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. But this is Zen Tuesday so the rules are even fewer and farther between.

Say what comes to mind. That's what we're here for today.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Theme day: Passageway

This is one of my favorite passageways in town. It's at the Huntington Library and Gardens, so hidden from the main part of the gardens that for several years I didn't even know it was there. On either side of this alleyway are some of the oldest original orange groves in the San Gabriel Valley, part of the ranch acquired by Henry Huntington over 100 years ago. Not for tourist eating!

Later this week I'll show you where the passageway leads. In the meantime, tomorrow we'll attend to Zen Tuesday.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Last Day, February 2010

Johnson Field, 2/21/2010

Here's my most recent shot of our Last Day location. As an experiment, we've been checking in to this spot monthly since last September to view the subtle (or not) changes to one spot over a one-year period. To see all the Last Day posts so far, click on the Last Day Project label below.

The photo is representative of Pasadena's weather this weekend: cloudy and wet--though believe it or not, not quite wet enough. We've had more rainfall this season than in recent years but the drought's still on.

We've got some catching up to do. If the rain keeps up like it was today, however, I believe we can do it.