Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bozzy: the Musical

See me
Feed me
Touch me
Need me

(Murphing and lyrics by the Poo)

Add yours in the comments, if you like.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Comfort Zone

It's good to get out of the same old neighborhood, to test the waters, or the coffee, somewhere else.

So my friend and I visited Cafe de Leche in Highland Park, our sunny neighbor to the southwest. It's a good spot for a cup of coffee anytime but especially in the late afternoon, when the sun sets opposite this broad window.

I haven't spent much time in Highland Park but I like the feel of the neighborhood. It reminds me of my Chicago days. That's probably because I was hip and young when I lived in Chicago, and Highland Park has a hip, young vibe.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

No Build Anywhere

Hey kids! Let's put on our poodle skirts and saddle shoes! It's the 1950's again and Caltrans wants to build a freeway!

Let's go Retro!

"Stop 710 through San Rafael area."
"Stop 710 Through Avenue 64."

I'm pretty sure you'll find similar wording on signs in El Sereno, South Pasadena, and Highland Park. Perhaps Caltrans thought they could divide and conquer, but folks are wising up. The sign I saw today at the 134 San Rafael Avenue off-ramp said, "710 NO BUILD ANYWHERE.

I took the above photo facing north on Avenue 64 at 5:09:46 pm on August 15th. That's rush hour on a Wednesday. Obviously we're getting along fine without a 710 freeway extension and the Pasadena City Council seems to agree. That's because this freeway extension, so close to the Arroyo Seco (where the Rose Bowl stadium sits), would ruin much more than Avenue 64. Pasadena property values? Not!

Even our State Assemblyman doesn't want this thing. Nobody wants a 710 freeway extension except shipping companies, and they don't live here.

But seriously, folks, is Caltrans really considering a freeway? Are they really not talking about a faster, less-polluting, light rail system for transporting goods from the port of Los Angeles? Is everybody who works at Caltrans still rolling their non-filter cigarette packs up in their t-shirt sleeves? Wearing coonskin hats? Combing their hair into a ducktail while they shake their hula-hoops?

What century is this?

If you'd like to add your voice, you can join the No 710 Freeway Extension Facebook Page. Please feel free to leave other links and suggestions in the comments.

And speaking of outdated schemes: tomorrow is the last day for public comment (until 5pm) regarding Pasadena's "Multi-Benefit/Multi-Use" Project Initial Study (aka, "building a soccer field in Hahamongna watershed"). Here's a toolkit to help you register your comments. It takes only a few minutes and your words matter.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

PMH Super Twofer

Two new exhibits at the Pasadena Museum of History are well worth your visit.

You're going to love the enthralling Pacific Electric Railway, Then and Now, an exhibit of memorabilia and "then and now" photos based on the book by Steve Crise and Michael Patris. Crise took the exquisite "now" pictures with more than expertise: he added care and wit. Not satisfied to simply position his camera to correspond exactly with the "then" photos, Crise went to the trouble to take his photographs at the same time of day so shadows would correspond. He added witty touches as well, even waiting for the time on a clock to be the same in one photo as it was back then.

Oh and note the detail of the train crossing gate above. A delicious touch.

Tasty in a whole different way (like a banana split with a whiskey chaser) is What a Long, Strange Trip it's Been: 35 Years of the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. Just across the hall from the trains you'll find photos, costumes, signs, and uh, stuff, collected from past Doo Dah Parades. I wish my photo of the crowns of past Doo Dah queens had worked! That is some fab headgear.

Doo Dah is our own mini-Burning Man, Pasadena's hand-made, knee-jerk reaction to the Tournament of Roses. There may be other events like it, but they probably haven't had a lot of museum coverage. Bravo to the PMH for proclaiming Doo Dah as part of Pasadena's history, which of course it is. My only concern is the exhibit may legitimize Doo Dah, and I would hate for that to happen.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Seeing Theater in Sierra Madre

I had tickets to see Incident at Vichy at the Sierra Madre Playhouse the other night. John is in pre-production and can't tear himself away from the desk. I knew who I wanted to invite in his stead: Adele of Seeing Sierra Madre: One Photo at a Time.

Sierra Madre is a charming corner of the San Gabriel Valley. Adele is excellent company. My friend Karyn O'Bryant is a fine actor and so is everyone else in the cast of Incident at Vichy (that's one reason why it was a Critic's Choice in the Los Angeles Times). Add them together and it was a great evening.

Across the street from the Playhouse there's this cocktail joint called The Buccaneer. You can see the Playhouse marquee reflected in the window. Adele and I didn't go in because we were both tired, but the place has a reputation for fun. Snotty Scotty and the Hankies play there, so I don't know what more you could ask.

Sierra Madre is Adele's territory (not that any of us are territorial around here), so I'll let Adele give you the pic from the theater (doesn't Karyn look marvelous?). But we had such a good evening. Many, many thanks to Karyn and the cast and crew of Incident at Vichy and the Sierra Madre Playhouse.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Zen Monday: #210

Welcome to Zen Monday. It's the day you write the copy instead of me. Tell us, in your heart of hearts, what the photo means to you.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I wished I'd gotten to the center of the walkway to take this photo. Symmetry, you know. It's so pleasing to the eye. But a moment is a moment, it fleets, and you don't always have the chance to position yourself perfectly for it. You raise the camera (or the baseball bat, or your hand) and you click (swing, grab). A sideways catch is better than no catch at all.

And a garden is a garden. Even a manicured one gets a little wild. No matter how much you trim and mow, it's the fringes that tempt.