Saturday, July 28, 2012

Baked Feet

I took this photo for no other reason but the light in the window from the late-day sun.

I got the shot yesterday--walked too far to get it, wearing the wrong shoes, and now my feet hurt. It's a good enough excuse to stay home today and write, something I often feel I don't have enough time to do. (And I always feel like I don't get enough writing done.) Boz will get a shorter walk this evening, which he won't mind. I think his feet hurt a little bit, too.

Our new neighbors move in today. Boz and I will take them some store-bought scones. (I trust our toes can make it across the street and back.) Don't scold me for not baking; nobody wants homemade baked goods from me, they taste like old sweaters, or dog feet, or the wrong shoes.

Friday, July 27, 2012


I've seen some excellent postings about the Julia Morgan YWCA. Today I'd like to direct your attention to my favorite: Pasadena Adjacent's beautiful post and video. You will not be disappointed.

Thanks for joining me during Julia Morgan YWCA Week!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I'm not trying to preach to you about the Julia Morgan YWCA (like I do about Hahamongna). I'm sure lessons can be learned from this building and its history, but I'm posting about it this week because I like the photos I took there.

I would be into urban exploration if I wasn't terrified of being caught and arrested, or even just embarrassed. UE is a sport for kids in athletic shoes and baggy pants--grown women aren't supposed to crawl around in abandoned buildings.

But I have some baggy pants. I wear athletic shoes (I have to, or else my feet hurt). And I love exploring the places society has left behind.

Not that this place will be abandoned forever. I'm glad Pasadena's reclaiming it. (Look what I found over at

It was fun taking pictures where the ghosts linger. I didn't have to sneak, I wasn't afraid of getting caught and I got to wear my grown-up pants.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Plans for the YWCA

I believe I promised more photos of the Julia Morgan YWCA.

I noodled around the web looking for information about Morgan and about the building itself. Morgan, the first female architect licensed in the state of California, created many iconic buildings (Hearst Castle is the most famous), including several YWCAs. One is in O'ahu. I found this quote on their website:

"When Morgan closed her office in 1951, at the age of 79, she had her files, blueprints and drawings destroyed because she thought they would be of interest only to her clients who already had their own copies of relevant material."

I thought that was kind of interesting.

Here's an index of Morgan's work;
A link to some photos of the exterior of the Y;
An article by Joe Piasecki in the Pasadena Star-News about how much the renovation might cost, who might do the renovating, and how the building may or may not be used.

I haven't decided what I want the building to become, have you? There's a YMCA across the street but seeing as developer money might be involved, I suppose a YWCA is too much to ask for. But it might be nice to have some chaise lounges along the hallway downstairs and a buffet in one of the large corner rooms. I would adore a garden in the courtyard, where perhaps one could get a foot rub. Most of all, though, I want an office upstairs, with a secretary provided in an office adjacent to mine. I think I'd like to be on the third floor with my window overlooking Holly Street, but don't hold me to that. Let's wait and see what I'll have to choose from.

Oh and room service! There should be room service. And, um...toga-clad waiters.

Those are my ideas. Let's hear yours.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

John and I often joke that we live in Paradise. We love our street, our neighbors. When we were shopping here we didn't know the recession was coming. We had big plans for a someday mansion, and we thought this would be our interim home. Just in case the mansion didn't work out we picked a home we could love, but we figured we wouldn't stay here forever.

During our nearly seven years here we've become friends with the people who share the block with us. We've watched their families grow. Sure, we might hear of a development on Facebook. Then we get to walk across the street and check it out for real.

Change happens, though, it always will. Over our tenure we've watched one family morph from Single Man Purchases Home to Young Couple Remodels House to Family With Two Children and this week they're Beloved Family Moves Away. We hate to say goodbye to them, yet even this loss is laced with joy. Hello to a family from the next block who went from New People with Little Girls to Dear Friends We're Always Glad to See to YAY, They Bought the House. And get this: the deal was facilitated by (say it with me) a neighbor on the block, also a good friend, who happens to be a real estate agent.

There was an early birthday party. An ice cream social. A brunch. Much goodbye-ing and also hello-ing. At the brunch, while the children played on the Slip 'n Slide and the parents chatted and drank mimosas, I was captured by a nostalgia for the very moment I was in, missing it already: I sensed the children grown and gone, the young dads already middle-aged, the moms greying, my own self bent with years, my arm hooked in John's. And I thought, I am so glad we picked a home we could love, because this is our someday mansion, and I hope we will stay here forever.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Zen Monday: #206

I'm so afraid to say anything. I don't want to influence what you say.

It's Zen Monday. Tell us what you think.


This is not about Zen Monday. Just information for those interested in Hahamongna. The deadline for public comment on the current EIR process is August 23rd. (I'd get mine in by the 22nd, if I were you.)

Please send your responses and comments regarding the scope of the EIR to:
Rosa Laveaga
City of Pasadena
Department of Public Works
Phone: (626) 744-4321
Mailing Address:
City of Pasadena
Department of Public Works
Attn: Engineering Division
100 N. Garfield Avenue
Pasadena, CA, 91101

Tomorrow night is the bi-monthly meeting of the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee. Here's the info:

The next meeting of the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee (HWPAC) will be on Tuesday, July 24th at 6pm.

Meeting location is the
Pasadena City Yards
233 W. Mountain Street, 2nd floor Training Room
Pasadena, CA 91103

I.     Call to Order

II.    Roll Call

III.   Public Comment on Matters not on the Agenda and Items over which the Committee has Advisory Authority. (Please limit comments to three (3) minutes each)

-       Regular Meeting of March 27, 2012

V.    WORKSHOP: HWP Projects (Introduced by PW Staff)
A.    Procedure for presentation and public participation for Item V - ‘WORKSHOP: HWP Projects’ (Chair)
B.    Overview of HWP Master Plan (PW Staff)
C.    HWP Related Environmental Documents (PW Staff)
D.    Active Projects of the HWP Master Plan (PW Staff)

VI.   Old Business
E.    Update on LACDPW Post Station Fire Sediment Removal Project (Information item - PW Staff)
F.     Update on the Hahamongna Multi-Benefit Project and the Hahamongna Basin Multi-Use Project (Information item – PW Staff)

VII.  New Business
A.    General Announcements (From commissioners and/or staff)

VIII. Items from the Chair
A.    Next Meeting – September 25, 2012

Thank you!
Rosa Laveaga
Arroyo Seco Project Supervisor/HWPAC Liaison
Department of Public Works - Parks & Natural Resources Division
City of Pasadena
office: 626.744.3883
fax: 626.744.3932

And don’t forget to go to these City webpages to access all documents
and the most recent information about Hahamongna!
A report by Hugh Bowles that describes the grant requirements for Sycamore Grove Athletic Field at Hahamongna, and how it appears the City of Pasadena may have falsified information on its grant application:

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I could have shown you Margaret Finnegan signing books for her fans. She signed a lot of books yesterday.

I could have shown you the people. SPACE Arts Center in South Pasadena was packed.

I could have shown you Margaret reading from her book. She read brilliantly, and now everyone is begging for the audiobook.

I could have shown you the crowd either noshing, laughing, or applauding.

But this is my favorite shot: two readers, absorbed in the blurbs on the back of The Goddess Lounge. They're about to buy a couple of copies and have them signed by the author.

Margaret Finnegan's novel, The Goddess Lounge, is on sale everywhere. If you're not sure you want to make an investment, you can read Margaret's blog for a while or check out her stories on Smashwords. Once you've done that, I think you'll be as proud to know her as I am.