Sitting on this bench -- perched above the 110 freeway -- reminds me a little of being in a treehouse. Find daydreams and imagination up here, leave obligations and frustration down there. (At least long enough to take in the view and catch a few rays.)
I've always loved this sign and the old-school vibe of the place. Now, it looks like it's undergoing a renovation. You can see the fresh, orange paint on the roof. Underneath, it now says Orange Grove Cleaners. Even if the old, blue sign disappears, this will always be Cordial Cleaners to me...
Whenever I post a picture of the Gold Line train, I usually post a poem along with it. But today, I'm posting an entire collection of poems. I recently discovered this great blog -- a New Yorker writes a poem every day on his train commute to work -- and I wanted to share.
From west coast to east coast, trains don't just transport ... they inspire.
UPDATE @ 2:00PM: Thanks to those of you who emailed me. My latest column wasn't coded to link up with my columns section over at Patch so the above link (and the one on the side of the blog) won't take you there. For now, just click on the front page of Patch and you'll find me.
I do wander everywhere, Swifter than the moon's sphere; And I serve the fairy queen, To dew her orbs upon the green. The cowslips tall her pensioners be; In their gold coats, spots you see; Those be rubies, fairy favours, In their freckles live our savours. I must go seek some dew-drops here, And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
--William Shakespeare Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II, Scene i
(Pretty Things Week wraps up this weekend here at Glimpses. A few more calming shots during hectic times.)
I didn't have my camera with me when I literally stumbled over this effusion of beautiful summer flowers, but my iPhone came through in a pinch. I processed the image using the Plastic Bullet app because you can't have too much color saturation when it comes to flowers.
I'm having fun with Pretty Things Week this week. Come back every day for something lovely and uncomplicated.
Pull up a chair at my dinged-up, well-used dining room table. I just brewed coffee, but I can also put on a kettle for tea. Hell, just give me a good reason to uncork one of the dusty bottles of Bordeaux sharing space with laundry detergent and cat litter in my wine cellar. What's that you say? It's Wednesday? That's a good enough reason for me.
Sometimes the prettiest thing in the world isn't necessarily fancy but familiar. This sunny spot is always a feast for my eyes. Well, maybe not when it's cluttered with dirty dinner plates, but even then it reminds me of the gorgeousness of everyday things. In a world that disrupts and deconstructs, this old table grounds. It also offers the perfect surface for art projects and Monopoly. And every afternoon, regardless of all the dour headlines, it grabs some of the setting sun's rays and splashes them around the room as if to say, Life is golden ... just look around!
Pretty Things Week continues here at Glimpses. Consider it a "Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty" bumper sticker that I'm sticking on the Internet.
The colorful old houses along El Centro are even prettier when my favorite Gatsby car is parked nearby.
This is one of the sweetest vantage points in the entire city. Looking down this street is like gazing at an iconic image of the 20th Century American dream. It's like watching Our Town with a tall glass of lemonade next to a girl scout who is reading an old Saturday Evening Post. There's nothing snarky or ironic about this place. It's just happy. And hopeful. (You might want to click on this one to make it bigger.)
My Pretty Things Week continues. Nothing serious or startling -- just lovely little bits of eye candy. Consider it my rebellion against ugly news and humid weather.
I've always thought the angles of my bedroom would make an interesting picture, but I never got around to taking any shots. This one came about by mistake. I hit the shutter button shortly after I downloaded the latest update for my iPhone Retro Camera app.
Don't worry, I'll get back to posting lovely images of Craftsman details, heritage trees and sweeping views from the water tower. But for now, take a look at this odd little corner of town I found the other day. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious about what's behind those doors...
Encased in chicken wire, the Rialto awaits its fate. Will it join the list of other beloved movie palaces that have been saved and transformed into thriving entertainment centers? I explore this question in my Patch column this week, including a 12 minute video of interviews with others who love the Rialto as much as I do. It should post sometime this afternoon.
If you are in South Pas and you are reading this at any time on July 4th, then I have one thing to say to you:
What are you doing on the computer? You're missing out on South Pasadena's biggest day of the year!
Today is the 2011 4th of July Festival of Balloons -- a red, white and blue extravaganza that could have been planned by Uncle Sam himself.
It all starts at 7:00AM with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at the firehouse at 817 Mound Avenue. ($7.00 per person, kids 6 and under eat for free!)
Opening ceremonies follow at 10:30AM at the South Pasadena Library Community Room.
The famous Festival of Balloons Parade starts at at 11:00AM at Diamond Avenue and Mission Street. This year's parade theme is "Democracy, a Marathon of Freedom." I have no idea what that actually means but I can promise it will include a whole lot of balloons, streamers, flags and really cute kids waving from wagons, vintage cars and homemade floats.
The parade ends at Garfield Park, but the fun will continue there all afternoon with games, square dancing, food and general 4th of July merriment. (Don't forget sunscreen!)
The Greenest Fastest Mile Race begins promptly at 5:00 at the South Pasadena Library. If you're not running, head on over to the South Pasadena High School. Gates open at 4:30PM for food, picnics on the basketball courts, water games and entertainment. Remember, if you are bringing chairs, make sure they are "track-friendly" with no sharp or pointy legs. (If your legs are sharp and pointy, that's cool. Just don't wear heels that might damage the track.)
The fireworks show will start at the high school field at 9:00PM. Tickets are available for $7.00 at the Pancake Breakfast and Garfield Park in the afternoon or $10.00 at the gate.
For more information, call 626-403-7240. Or, just step outside and join the city-wide party.
Hidden in the shadows behind those Colonial Revival posts is a Georgian carriage house designed in 1914 by noted architect Louis DuPuget Millar. The carriage house was part of the bigger "La Wilinda" estate owned at one point by Charles Horace Barker of Barker Brothers furniture.
To be honest, I've never noticed the house, but that little sign on the curb always made me wonder about the story of the place. I never expected it to be a story about furniture tycoons. "La Wilinda" sounds like something magical! I expected a story with references to Shangri La or Camelot!
Then again, maybe Barker Brothers Furniture gave a certain Lion and Witch their famous wardrobe...
Those things are interesting, to be sure. But then again, there are the quiet little things that happen around us every day. Take a look at this mom and daughter sharing a meal on a sunny, summer afternoon. It's such an ordinary scene. It's not Wagnerian. It doesn't require interpretation or explanation. It's just life. Andrew Wyeth might have painted this scene in rich browns. Mary Cassatt would have illuminated the faces of the mother and child. Cezanne would probably have focused on all those plates of food...
I had a photography teacher in high school who used to say, "Don't look too hard to find a subject. Let a subject find you. Let one sneak up on you in a familiar form and when you look at it, you'll see it in a new way."
Although we all nodded when he said it, my classmates and I weren't really sure what it meant. (One of my friends said it just meant that our teacher was a leftover hippie who had read too much Tao de Ching.) I think I might understand it now, though. He was talking about finding art in the ordinary. There's plenty. In life, every function has beautiful form. We just need to pay attention.
Today is the first day of the month and that means it's Theme Day for participating City Daily Photobloggers. Today's theme is The Color Green.
South Pasadena is fairly keen on green. I could have shown this house. Or this one. Or this car. (I could have even shown this robot.) But when it comes right down to it, the greenest green in our city is the green from all of the beautiful trees. The ones along the Arroyo are particularly hypnotic in the summer sunshine.
In December of 2007, after many years on the west side of Los Angeles (and at least a third of those years spent stuck in traffic on Pico Boulevard) my family settled into a happy little house in South Pasadena. This daily blog covered over 4 year as I put down roots in my new home town.
My New Blog Launching 2013
Check out my multimedia column archive: Views from the Front Porch
Published at Patch.
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Thank you Charlie's Coffee House for hosting my recent photo exhibit, South Pas: Observed. From October 2011 through January 2012 my pictures graced the walls of the best place in town to get a cup of coffee!
Read the nifty story on photo bloggers Petrea Burchard, Ben Wideman, Kat Likkel and little old me featured in the September, 2011 issue of Pasadena Magazine.
For over 4 years, I presented a picture a day from South Pasadena, California -- an incorporated city within the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. All photos up to November, 2008 were taken with a Fujifilm Finepix E900 camera. I added a Fujifilm Finepix S2000HD megazoom in December 2008, a Nikon D3100 in 2010 and a Lumix DMC-DS8 in 2011. I shot with them all. In August 2010 I joined the iPhone camera craze and sometimes included pictures captured by my phone. I regularly cropped images and used basic editing software to adjust the brightness, intensify the contrast, and increase color saturation. Other than that, all images came straight from the camera with minimal alteration. (If I couldn't have done it in a darkroom, I wouldn't do it with a computer.)
The bigger picture:
Consider it a love letter to the place I call home.
You can click on any picture to see a larger version.
All photos and prose on this blog copyright Laurie Allee. Reproduction without written permission is prohibited. (Plus, it's really uncool.)
Run, don't walk to the nearest bookseller and pick up a copy of Margaret Finnegan's delightful debut novel, The Goddess Lounge -- undoubtedly the kookiest, most wonderful riff on Homer's Odyssey ever written. Margaret never ceases to inspire and make us laugh at her blog Finnegan Begin Again. Her book is magical, silly, smart and a wonderful love letter to the all the goddesses among us.
Kevin McCollister of East of West LA blows our minds with haunting images of Los Angeles. But since we can't put his blog on our coffee table, we can buy his fantastic book. I believe Kevin's images truly capture the quixotic and often heartbreaking soul of LA. Don't take my word for it, see what The LA Times had to say.