Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just Call Me Sherlock

It's not like I go to Target every day. But one has occasion to stop in at least once in a while. I visit the store at 777 E. Colorado Blvd. (there's another at 3121 East Colorado). You'd think somewhere in five years of shopping one would notice hundreds of little hand prints on the sidewalk outside, and if not, one might at least be struck by the giant footprints beneath the signature "Abdul Jabbar" and the number 33.

Not I. Until yesterday I managed to walk past these prints without seeing them. But yesterday I keenly observed them, took their picture and came home to search the web for clues to their origins. Not a trace. For now, I can only make an educated guess as to what they're about.

A plaque was dedicated there on March 13, 1994 for Target's grand opening. The plaque says "Lend us a hand." Well, it actually says "Lend us a" and there's a picture of a hand. Then there are hand prints all over the place, then Abdul-Jabbar's hand prints, then his foot prints, presumably for good measure, and all this is presumably for charity. And from this I deduce we're talking the Lakers' Kareem, because what other Abdul-Jabbar would one have hired for the dedication of one's store in 1994?

Heh. See? All you have to be is observant.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Stairway to A Secret

If you're willing to get off the main path, Lower Arroyo Park will give up its secrets. Stone walls, steep trails, hidden stairways and more lie waiting in the underbrush along the walls of the Arroyo.

I've sometimes wondered if these human-made bits might be traces of Busch Gardens. The walls, maybe. Some are old, elegant and overgrown enough. But I suppose this simple stairway is too pedestrian to belong to so grand a memory.

Still, what's it doing there? Why stairs on a woodland path? Where did they once lead?

Don't answer. I prefer the mystery.


Today I welcome a new advertiser, Donna Chaney of Chaney Financial Services. See the purple and blue ad over there on the left? Click on it to set up a free consultation with Donna to start planning the life you want--not just when you get old, but right now. I know Donna personally. She's tops.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Planet Flora

My move in the late 1980's from Illinois to southern California was a culture shock so complete I didn't even recognize the vegetation. Gone were the tame, Midwestern maples, elms and simple posies, to be replaced by palm trees and flora I recognized from Dr. Seuss.

To keep my attitude positive, I decided to think about my move not as a life-changing apocalypse but as a vacation on another planet. I've been enjoying my vacation amid exotic flora ever since.

But this flower looks familiar. I remember it from Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and even Minnesota. This or its variations must be a very American plant. Not to mention the white picket fence.

I don't know plant names. I didn't know this one back in Illinois, either. I know someone will tell me it's name in the comments and I'll say thanks in advance. No matter where I see it, though, it looks right at home.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Work on the Braley Building has finally been completed after four years, during which many Pasadenish lamented the sale of this historic structure to the Church of Scientology and wondered if renovation would ever even begin. Upon purchasing the building, the Church immediately evicted long-standing businesses only to leave the building empty and waiting. Not exactly starting off on the right foot, but outsiders to this institution generally approach with mistrust, so I suspect the wrong foot was the only one to start off with.

Renovations finally began in earnest early this year. I took this shot in mid-May, grabbing a peek while the doors were open to Mercantile Place. It shows the first floor atrium in mid-construction. There, one could once find entry to the Pasadena Antique Mall, and a great little Italian restaurant where J. and I began falling in love, and a sandwich shop run by an immigrant couple who named the shop after their daughter. Apparently the the old wall clocks will be allowed to stay.

Walt Mancini's photo in the Pasadena Star-News shows a chapel. Knowing the Braley Building, I can only assume that's in the basement where the Knightsbridge Theatre once was. There I performed the Shakespearean roles of Tamara in Titus Andronicus and Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra. Fun times.

The theater company moved on to a better space before the Braley was sold. Say what you will about Scientology, but my bet is the chapel doesn't have cockroaches.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Breather

Now that it's summer, my days are filling up faster than Scarlett O'Hara's dance card. How does that happen?

It's my fault. I wonder if it's too late to learn to say "no."

I'm not the only one who sometimes feels my email owns me, or who occasionally needs to remind myself I'm in charge of my career and not the other way around.

Let's share some life tips today. Tell us what you do to whip your world into shape when it starts threatening to whip you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zen Monday: #104

Well, how 'bout that? It's Zen Monday all over again, 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 competition, no right or wrong. We're here to have fun.

I look for a photo worth contemplating or, failing that, something odd or silly. And unless I absolutely must say something I stay out of the comments box to avoid influencing the discussion. Because sometimes it's a little too close to home.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Honoring the Best in Business

Last Friday I attended the 11th Annual Women in Business Legislative Update and Awards Luncheon--not my normal milieu, as I work in the arts. But if you've been following Pasadena Daily Photo you may remember I attended a Business Boot Camp at the Women's City Club of Pasadena. An artist has to be a business person after all.

Business Boot Camp was created by CPA and Financial Planner Donna Chaney, pictured at left. At Boot Camp, women participated in bi-weekly workshops led by a variety of business leaders from bankers to entrepreneurs to marketers, and even ourselves when we had skills to share. We got so much out of it a few of us decided to nominate Donna for this year's Empowerment Award, and she got it!

Donna's unique idea, and her dedication to making the experience available, empowered many local women to start a new business, enhance an existing business or bring more viable practices to our work. Donna deserves her award and many of her Boot Campers were there to cheer when she received it.

With Donna is Tamika Farr, Executive Director of the YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley, who was honored as an Outstanding Non-Profit Executive Director. Under Ms. Farr's direction, the YWCA has expanded and increased by 20% the number of community members it serves, increased community partnerships by 50% and procured new program funding resources. I haven't actually met Tamika. She and Donna were talking, I took the photo then she disappeared. I think she likes me.

The luncheon was presented by State Senate District 21, State Assembly District 43 and State Assembly District 44 and hosted by Senator Carol Liu and Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, both of whom welcomed the huge crowd with brief speeches. I think they knew the main attraction was the awards.

25 outstanding businesswomen were honored, and it was inspiring to cheer them on and witness their triumph. One woman can do many things--build a business, build a family and/or build a skyscraper--and when a woman achieves the heights in her field it makes us all look good.