Thursday, June 30, 2011
Side Street Madonna
The stretch of Orange Grove Blvd. between Los Robles and Fair Oaks has Mexican restaurants, a Latin grocery, a hair salon and more. People live here, work here, get stuff done here. It's all a bit tattered--the only shiny thing besides the church is the new plant nursery on the corner of Orange Grove and Marengo. There's always a lot going on.
Google's street view photo, showing the north side of Orange Grove between Worcester and Marengo, must have been taken before I moved to Pasadena. The photo shows small homes. Now it's all storefronts.
The side streets go north and south into the neighborhoods. Just north of Orange Grove on a street called Worcester, a faded Madonna waits and watches in a meditative pose. I've driven by many times, and didn't notice until I finally stopped that she has little plastic stars glued into her thick, chipping paint. Someone must have thought the stars had value; many of them are missing.
Art like this abounds in Los Angeles, where Catholic Latin America makes its second home. Altadena Hiker did a couple of posts a while back featuring photos of murals along a downtown commute. East of West L.A., is always finding urban religious icons with which to haunt us. (Just look under "previous posts" and click on what intrigues you.)
Some of Pasadena's hidden treasures are more hidden than others.