Archive for the ‘Pasadena’ Category

Lincoln Avenue Nursery

17 May, 2012

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.

Black History Parade 2012

18 February, 2012

Happy 30th Anniversary to Pasadena’s Black History Parade.

The bands played…

The politicians waved and smiled…

Mayor Bill Bogaard

Pasadena’s City Council District 1 Representative Jacquie Robinson

I was busy talking to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena) when he went by—more on that later

State Assembly Member Anthony Portantino, with a bold wardrobe choice—a John Muir HS cap

There were smiles all around

Lady Edna Bluain, honored by the Jackie Robinson Seniors.

Denise Jones of the Pasadena Deltas

There were drummers…

and the Pasadena Cowgirls…

There were celebrities…

Willard Pugh, who played Harpo in The Color Purple

Walter Richards on the right.  Didn’t catch the name of the young man on the left (but if you know, please leave it in the comments)

The Buffalo Soldiers

The kids

the youth

the Masons

the Real Ryda’z

and the Way of Life Car Club

Back to Rep. Adam Schiff—-I said hello and then pointed out that he had a hard act to follow, since his car was right behind the one carrying the Los Angeles County Foster Mother of the Year.

She is a real hero.

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the parade a successful one.

Hahamongna: You Cannot Be Serious

7 July, 2010

The majority of recent housing development in Pasadena has been about getting people into high-density structures near public transportation. Take the Del Mar Gold Line station, for example. If you draw a half-mile circle around the Del Mar station, you’ll see how much new (and pricey) housing has sprouted up within walking distance.

I suggest that Pasadena uses the same logic when it comes to building soccer fields. Let’s put them in neighborhoods where people can walk or bike to them. Let’s make soccer fields accessible to families who may not have a car for every driving-aged person in the house.

The field at the north side of John Muir High School has been used for soccer for a long time. Why not develop that into something permanent? What about other schools? Other sites nearer to where people live?

Taking a relatively pristine natural area, an area contiguous with the Angeles National Forest, and paving it over with a parking lot to serve a soccer field makes no sense. The area is a natural watershed—let’s keep it that way.

Did you know that JPL is a Superfund site? Here’s the web site. They are working with the City of Pasadena to build a treatment plant “to help restore lost water resources to that community and to help remove groundwater chemicals originating at the site of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.” This is yet another reason to keep the Hahamongna watershed free of any further development.

Read more from my compatriots. I’ve tried to include links to the relevant posts:

Altadena Above It All – Cha cha cha!

Altadena Hiker – Let It Be

A Thinking Stomach – Something Precious

East of Allen – Keep It Natural

Finnegan Begin Again – Hahamongna Watershed Park

LA Creek Freak

Mendolonium – Hahamongna

Mr. Earl’s Musings – Words will not be minced!

My Life with Tommy – Hahamongna: Wisdom & Gift

Pasadena Adjacent – Hahamongna

Pasadena Daily Photo – Hahamongna Blog Day

Pasadena Latina

SaveHahamongna.org

Selvege – Hahamongna Blog Day

The Sky Is Big In Pasadena – Hahamongna Blog Day

Wanted: Court Jester

4 August, 2009

City of Pasadena position available: The Court Jester is a journey-level professional position designed to highlight absurdity and make frank yet witty observations about civic life in the City of Pasadena. (more…)

Obon Festival in Pasadena

18 July, 2009

Call me old fashioned, but I do enjoy my local Obon Festival. The Pasadena Buddhist Temple is holding its Obon this weekend (Saturday and Sunday)—details here.

The best teriyaki chicken east of the international dateline is being prepared right now. Thanks to a mild on shore flow, the whole neighborhood smells like teriyaki. If you’ve never seen taiko drumming in person, it’s worth stopping by. They have bonsai and ikebana on display, and there are karate and aikido demonstrations. We may even see the return of the Elvi dancers.

obon 2008

Photo courtesy of this site.

You can see my photos of last year’s Obon here.

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Did you see Sandy Banks piece, A lesson in Senate hearings, in the LA Times today? Here’s a quote:

“Over the course of my career as a journalist, I have learned that people can see the same set of facts differently. That doesn’t mean they are racist or stupid or hard-hearted,but that their unique experiences have primed them with particular expectations, fears, and sensitivities.”

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I’m going to repeat myself. “I have been a contributer to Pasadena’s Political Underbelly but have not posted there recently. Even though I am a contributor, I don’t have the ability to delete or edit posts written by others. This post (note sound of “wicked power-mad laugh”) makes that quite clear.”

In other words, I am not Dormitas. But you knew that, didn’t you?

Fussing and Fighting, My Friend

20 June, 2009

This is the post you’ve been waiting for.

boxinggloveshanging

I have bad news. We are all racists.

I know, I know. You don’t want to be a racist (I don’t either). You think it is despicable to demean the humanity of another person, or to think of an entire group of people as inferior. Or perhaps you are a member of a group that has been victimized by another group, and you carry hate inside you, even though you don’t want to. (more…)

Mt. Wilson Solar Tower

3 May, 2009

I guess we all know it is quite impossible to keep up with all the wonderful blogs in the world. It’s a sad, but true, fact of life.

Still, I came across a blog post this morning that shouldn’t be missed. The amazing Christina over at A Thinking Stomach has posted wonderful photos and a lovely description of her trip to the Mt. Wilson Solar Tower. I think Christina is a wonderful writer. Here’s one of her photos to entice you to pop over there post haste.

c-at-mt-wilson2

Photo by Christina. Oh heck, one more photo…

c-at-mt-wilson

I’m off to think about what Julia Child and Albert Einstein might have said to each other. Thank you, Christina, for setting the scene.

Rose Parade 2009: Part Two

2 January, 2009

This one’s for Suebob:

rp09-cal-poly-float

I like this detail from the Alaska float:

rp09-alaska-detail

Frogs, I believe.

rp09-froggy-float

Some parade watchers: (more…)

Rose Parade 2009: Part One

1 January, 2009

At Del Mar and Orange Grove, I watched the last couple of marching bands assemble. Here is the City of Los Angeles band stretching in preparation for their march down Colorado.

rp09-band-stretch

rp09-band-smile

rp09-band-tubas

rp09-band-start-smile

rp09-band-major

rp09-band-master

Live music. I love it.

Parade floats in their natural habitat: (more…)

In Which I Struggle With the Season

23 December, 2008

There are so many reasons to hate Christmas as it is celebrated in these United States. The buying-ness of it all gets to me. I don’t want buying to make me happy. I don’t want things to make me happy. I hate it that our whole economy is based on consumption.

But who am I kidding? Some things make me happy. Opening a wrapped gift makes me happy. Watching someone else open one makes me happy too. Afterwards, burning the wrapping paper in the fireplace satisfies my inner pyro.

I’m as guilty as the next guy—I buy at this time of year. I do nostalgic buying, as in: “Well, I have to get something from Canterbury Records because I always get something from Canterbury Records, and Lord knows I don’t want Canterbury Records to go out of business.”

canterbury-records

Photo credit: The Sky is Big in Pasadena

Canterbury Records offers up some wonderful things. My favorites for this time of year are:

bellsofdublin

The Chieftains: Bells of Dublin

Are you about to tear your hair out of your head because you can’t stand another scintilla of tired old holiday music? The Chieftains will save you, along with musical guests Jackson Browne (The Rebel Jesus) and Elvis Costello (The St. Stephen’s Day Murders). Sample lyrics from the latter (referring to “Uncle”):

While the lights from the Christmas tree blow up the telly,
His face closes in like an old cold pork chop

See? That bit irreverence truth makes you feel better, doesn’t it?

vince-guaraldi

Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. I love the melancholy Christmas Time is Here. I love Linus and Lucy, and I dance just like the kid in the orange shirt.

By the way, The Carol of the Bells is PURE TORTURE, wouldn’t you agree? Chaney approved it for use at Guantanamo, I’m sure.

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I always miss England at Christmas. I would like to take the train to London and look at Selfridge’s windows.

hangingsanta1

Photo credit: Laura Porter

I would like to hop on a Number 15 bus starting at Marble Arch and travel through London and see the lights.

debenhams

Photo credit: Laura Porter

A few years ago, The Scout worked in London on a Marriott commercial. He had a birthday while we were there, and I bought him a flask at this very Debenhams. He likes to fill it with Patron Silver and take it to the movies. And the golf course. And the…oh, never mind.

hamleys

Photo credit: Laura Porter

Here we have the Hamley’s where I bought AP’s Tardis Piggy Bank.

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Sigh. This post was actually therapeutic for me. The photos of London helped. If you’re of the Christmas persuasion, I wish you a Happy Christmas.

UPDATE:  My friend Adela is selling her muy sabroso tamales.  If you’re in the Pasadena/Altadena/So. Pas/Highland Park area, she’ll deliver them to your house!  You can reach her at 323-691-0073.