Posted in Let's Get Visual

Help Keep a Family Housed this Holiday Season

Easter update: Many, many thanks to all who donated to this effort. We raised $1,955.00 – a mere $45 from the goal of $2,000. The family still has their rental house and they are doing well. Thank you!

Happy Holidays and Welcome to those who have arrived here from Indiegogo. For those who’ve landed here from elsewhere, I’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign to help a family keep a roof over their heads this holiday season.

You can read about the campaign here: Help Keep a Family Housed this Holiday Season. The short version is: Family breadwinner with health problems without paid sick leave equals financial disaster and threat of homelessness for said breadwinner and her children.

Donors to the campaign have the option to claim a Perk. This campaign is offering photographs by Timothy Down, photographer and motion picture location specialist. All photographs are printed on quality photo paper and are suitable for framing.

Below are images of the Perks available to donors of “Help Keep a Family Housed this Holiday Season.”

1. Planet of the Apes Location – (Trona Pinnacles) – For a $50 donation to the Indiegogo campaign, you have the option to receive one of the following six images. If you have a strong preference for a particular image, leave a comment below and we’ll get in touch with you via e-mail.

Trona Pinnacles 1

Trona Pinnacles 2

Trona Pinnacles 3

For a donation of $75 or above, choose one of the following images:

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach, California

Mojave Desert Railroad Crossing

Mojave Desert Railroad Crossing, California

Butterfly In The Sky

Butterfly in the Sky, Los Angeles, California

Mars Attacks 1

Mars Attacks, Owens Dry Lake, California

________________________

All photos by Timothy Down.

Thanks for looking!

Posted in Let's Get Visual

Art Appreciation

I’ve just discovered Niki de Saint Phalle. Love her version of The Three Graces:

trois graces

Photo courtesy of Arts Observer.

More Niki de Saint Phalle goodness via Arts Observer here.

These sculptures were a temporary installation, placed by the National Museum of Women in the Arts as part of the the New York Avenue Sculpture project, which is “…the only public art space featuring changing installations of contemporary works by women artists in Washington, D.C.”

Yay for public art!

But wait – there’s more. Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Escondido is Niki de Saint Phalle’s only American sculpture garden. It’s been closed since last year for repairs, but it will be open this Saturday, 11 October 2014. Details here.

Posted in Let's Get Visual, Travel

Sonoma County: Freestone and Bodega

I don’t always trust what I read on TripAdvisor, but I do consult it when traveling.  The Scout is busy in Sebastopol, CA this weekend, and I was curious what TripAdvisor would say about this bastion of all things local, organic and yummy.

Image

We drove out to Wild Flour Bakery in Freestone, and yes, the scones are well worth the short and beautiful drive.

Image

The town of Bodega (not to be confused with Bodega Bay) is a few miles down the road from the bakery.  Both towns were principal locations for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

Here’s the school:

Image

The church adjacent to the school:

Image

Bodega recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Birds, and the Bodega Country Store was well equipped with all things Hitchcock and bird-y.  (I guess they didn’t want to call it Bodega’s Bodega.)

IMG_1541

IMG_1539

IMG_1546

IMG_1542

IMG_1549

My favorite Hitchcock is Rear Window, but The Birds gets full points for being enduringly creepy.  The homage to The Birds carried on by the Bodega Country Store has it’s own creepy factor, but tinged with humor.  Tippi Wine, anyone?

IMG_1537

Posted in Let's Get Visual, Life, Pasadena

Lincoln Avenue Nursery

I have known for a long time that the previous owner of my house was also the owner of  Lincoln Avenue Nursery.  I stopped at the nursery once years ago on a rainy day, but I didn’t stay to look around.  Since then, I have driven up Lincoln Avenue about a zillion times thinking to myself, “I want to stop in there one of these days.”

Last Sunday was One of These Days.  Last Sunday, I stopped. I walked through the whole (huge!) property. As Ferris Bueller says, “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

From the nursery’s web site:  “In 1923, a Japanese family bought the nursery. Ms. Mary Takemura’s mother ran the business.”

I live in the house that was owned by Mary Takemura’s mother.  Her surname was Matsuzawa (I wish I knew her first name).  When Mary and her sister sold the house after their mother died, they sold it with everything left in it except for their mother’s clothes—-the furniture (I’m still using the dining room table and the sideboard), the dishes (I regret getting rid of them), and the stuff in the drawers.

Yes, I still have some of the stuff that was in the drawers.  I use the tacks once in a while.  The Antiobiotic Candettes container holds 3 razors and 2 3-inch sewing needles.  In case I ever need them.  I didn’t know/remember that the bathtub caulk was still in the drawer.  That’ll get tossed today.

I couldn’t get over the size of the nursery’s property.  There are tens of thousands of plants, trees, shrubs, and succulents there.

I felt like I was at a micro version of the Huntington.

Mary Takemura died in January 2011.  From her obituary:

…She was a lifetime resident of Pasadena and is survived by husband Henry (married 62 years), with whom she ran Lincoln Avenue Nursery for more than 50 years; daughter Joan Takemura (David) Johnsen; and sister Ruth Sumiko Matsuzawa Ikeda.

Mary graduated from high school at Gila River Relocation Center, studied 2 years at Wooster College, Ohio, and graduated in 1948 from UCLA with a degree in Psychology. She was also an artist and worked at drawing, painting, making pottery and calligraphy.

I never learned about the Japanese Internment in school.  I learned about it when I moved to this house, built just after the war.  Built just after internment.

I wish I had contacted Mary before she died.  I would love to hear about her life, about her mother’s life, and about her father.  I feel connected to this family–when I go out to the lemon tree in the backyard and pick a lemon; every year when the cherry blossom tree in the front yard blooms.  And every time I need a 1/2 inch tack.

Posted in Let's Get Visual, Life

Lil’ Rex

First I found his collar in the backyard – “Lil’ Rex” and a phone number. I returned the collar and met his owner who mentioned that all three of his cats, Lil’ Rex, Big Tex, and Spanky, spent the majority of their time in our yard (which he dubbed “Shangri-la…for Cats.” The Scout started feeding Rex tidbits from the barbecue. No, no, no, I said. He’s going to be here all the time. But furry tiger-looking things have a way of making sure their needs get met, and Rex knows how to work the meows and the purrs and the stretches that say, “Surely you see how beautiful and talented I am, especially compared to my brother Big Tex who is too stupid to get over here and eat your food.”

I’m terribly allergic to cats.  But I let Rex sit on my lap and scratch him under the chin and talk to him like he’s a dog. I don’t think cats care for verbal niceties, but Rex puts up with them. Afterward, I walk to the washing machine like an arthritic robot and remove all my clothing. In the shower I hose off like Meryl Streep in Silkwood.

He looks like a lovely ampersand to me.

Beau chat