Saturday, June 30, 2012


When the original Zinke's shoe repair was torn down at Madison and Colorado, an old sign was revealed. How fitting that it's for a "time shop." Helen's? I couldn't find anything about it on the web. This might be a question for the archives at the Pasadena Museum of History.

Zinke's has moved to a new location, a mini-mall at Locust and Lake, and that's not a bad thing. By the time it was torn down the only traditional thing about it was the sign (and perhaps the vintage tile).

Other Pasadena traditions we adore, however. Take Doo Dah, for example. It can't disappoint because you never know what to expect. For example, would you expect the venerable Pasadena Museum of history to host a retrospective exhibit about the Doo Dah Parade?

Well, such an exhibit is in our future (we know what to expect from the PMH, thank goodness), and tomorrow between 5 and 8pm there'll be a party at the museum to celebrate. You can go. A host of past Doo Dah queens will be there and the current queen, Patrizzi Intergarlactica herself, wouldn't miss it.

Put on your Doo Duds. Help the museum fund-raise. Go mingle. It's tradition.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Birds Like the Stars

Last weekend's Knowledges at Mount Wilson Observatory was an ambitious exhibit of contemporary art, the Saturday portion of which sold out--okay with me, as I'm past my staying-up-late days. Because the exhibit was scheduled for the entire weekend, Bellis and I drove into the mountains on Sunday to see it.

Bellis and I especially liked this (plexiglass?) sculpture with three chambers: a lower, clear chamber, an upper chamber containing a complicated birds' nest, and a slim, top chamber with an inch or two of water in it. From one angle the sun shone through, from another you could see the solar telescope framed in the bottom chamber, from another angle, the bird's nest literally disappeared. From every direction, something new happened. Unfortunately, the piece wasn't labeled.

After deciding we liked the work very much, Bellis and I went on to walk around the Observatory. It looked like a lot of the works had been removed, but a trip to Mount Wilson is never wasted unless the place is closed, and even then you've had a relaxing mountain drive. A few interesting pieces remained, but I'd have been fine with it even if our plexiglass nest holder had been the only one still there.

Unfortunately, the brochure listed the artists but not their works, making it impossible to identify what works there were, as very little was labeled. But this is the first time they've done anything like this at Mount Wilson and I hope they do it again. I think it was pretty good for a first try. 

On our way out we stopped to visit our favorite piece again. By this time the sun was playing with the water in the top chamber. Hot yellow! Sugar pink! Searing blue! Bright green! Depending on where you stood you'd get a different flash of color, and we exclaimed like kids at the Fourth of July fireworks. "Ooh! Ah! Amazing!" We were thrilled with it; we kept moving around to all sides to see what it would do and where the sun would go. Oh! And how did the artist make that nest disappear?

A young man sat nearby taking pictures. So we asked, and yes, he was the artist. Otherwise I would not be able to tell you that this magical work is called "The Birds Like the Stars," and it was created by Claude Collins-Stracensky. I think he enjoyed our exclamations. It's art, of course, and as Collins-Stracensky hadn't declared his presence he could just as easily have overheard criticism. He said that's part of the fun. What a pleasure it was to meet him, and to be able to tell him honestly how much we liked his work. But he already knew that.

"This is a place of magic," the brochure says. They got that part exactly right.

(LOOKY! Pasadena Adjacent went Saturday night!)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Commute, 10

It wasn't the first time I'd recognized one of Kevin McCollister's stark visions of night-time Los Angeles, but it was the first time I could place it, and the first time I had in my possession the day-time version.

Don't stop at one picture on Kevin's blog (as if you could). His is a wicked, daring eye, addicted to LA's particular brand of noir.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In a Cabin in the Canyon

What would I do in my remote canyon retreat? If I had one to retreat to, that is?

Not much. Not much at all.

What would you do in yours?


An informational meeting will be held tonight about the sports field, new trail and disk golf course at Hahamongna Watershed Park. 

I've just read a fascinating report by Hugh Bowles questioning the legitimacy of Pasadena's application for grant money for this field. I've attended a lot of meetings about Hahamongna and I, too, question the legitimacy of the city's application. It appears obvious that the application does not fulfill state requirements and that the state's granting of the money violates its own rules for doing so.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at Pasadena City Yards, 233 W. Mountain Ave., Pasadena, 2nd floor Large Conference Room. There's plenty of parking, so come on down!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tony Minutelli and Chefs Center of California

When I learned that my friend Tony Minutelli was baking at Chefs Center of California I began to salivate--not only for the treats he makes, but for an opportunity to find out more about Chefs Center from an insider.

Tony bakes gluten-free pastries for Lisa & Mo, Inc., a small company that sells in some high-end spots. I can tell you from personal experience that these pastries are not at all what the uninitiated might expect upon hearing the phrase, "gluten-free." In the picture, Tony displays freshly-baked avocado cupcakes topped with nuts and chocolate chips while I try to take pictures without swooning over the aroma. Tony says Lisa & Mo is all gluten-free and mostly organic, "where it counts."

Chefs Center of California is a program of the Episcopal Housing Alliance and Economic Development. Around here, if you want to make food to sell you have to make it in a Health & Safety-Approved kitchen. Such a facility isn't always affordable for the up-and-coming entrepreneur. Chefs Center makes their shiny, clean, industrial kitchen available at a reasonable price. It looks like there's room in there for eight or ten entrepreneurs to be happily making treats for me at the same time. They make treats for you, too, and you can pick yours up at the Friday Food Fair and Artisanal Market Fridays from 6-9 pm, through August.

Left to right, top to bottom: beet chocolate (oh yes we had that first and yummmm), banana (I didn't expect it to be special but it was!), "just carrot," Tony said, but it was better than "just," and last, bottom right, the aromatic avocado muffin Tony was baking when I visited Chefs Center. Oh, my. I will not say "to die for" because why would you want that? Then you wouldn't be around to eat more of them. And I most definitely want to eat more of them.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Zen Monday: #202

Today is Zen Monday. This very day. We're getting good at it.

I know this one looks easy, but let's put our minds to it. What is the Zen of today's photo?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

We Are Young

Our birthday party yesterday was grand. Many of Pasadena's well-loved dignitaries were there for the synchronized cake-cutting. We had music, classic cars, booths starring local businesses, face painting--all the fun stuff.

But the star of the party was the cake. Uh, cakes. Seven cakes.

Everyone who was willing to stand in line got a piece. I'm too impatient, and I'll bet I'm not the only one.