“Just keep right at the fork in the road”

Driving down Pasadena Avenue in South Pasadena a couple of weekends ago, we noticed an unusual sight. There was literally a fork in the road.

On Pasadena Ave.

I’m not so curious about why the fork is there or even who put it there. I love the whimsy of it all. Reminds of that scene in The Muppet Movie. I hope it withstands all this wind.

Here’s a closer look:

It's a big fork
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Education rallies planned today

This morning, I was greeted by news cameras at my kid’s school. There was a podium set up near the drop off location with people giving speeches about the $18 billion cut in education funding by Sacramento. This was all a lead-in for today’s planned statewide rallies protesting these cuts.

There are many rallies happening throughout Southern California, should you wish to lend your voice in support:

LOS ANGELES REGIONAL MARCH/RALLY
4 pm Assemble at Pershing Square (5th & Hill) in downtown L.A. March to the Governor’s office (300 Spring St.) for 5 pm Rally.  Contact: Marla Edy (UTLA) 213-305-9310 or Blanca Castaneda (CFA) 626-379-7380.

“Unite for Public Education: Stop Layoffs, Fee Hikes, Cuts to Education & Community Services.”
3:45 pm gather at CSU Northridge Sierra Quad • 4:15 pm March • 5 pm Hands around CSUN • 5:30 pm Rally at Sierra Quad.

LONG BEACH – “Long Beach Unite for Education” rally, 4:15 pm at Wilson High School Gymnasium, 4400 E. 10th St., Long Beach. Speakers from CFA, Teachers Association of Long Beach (K-12), Long Beach City College. Music by Tom Morello, The Nightwatchman.

CSU NORTHRIDGE — CFA faculty plus student groups will host a regional march. 3:45-5 pm. Sierra Quad. See details in regional listing above.

UCLA – 4:30pm Rally at Bruin Plaza

Organizers also ask that you call your state legistlator (1-888-268-4334) to voice your concerns about these budget cuts

Welcome to the BrowHaus

I’m often reminded that many things in Los Angeles are specialized, but it took ducking down a side alley in Pasadena to make me realize just how specialized things had gotten.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the BrowHaus.

I couldn’t help but wonder what was next. Perhaps a spa specializing in massages for your elbow. The right one.

Santa Claus Came to Town

With nothing to do and two small children, we decided to give them their first ride on the Metro today. It was also my husband’s first time, which made it even more special. We boarded the Gold Line in Chinatown and wound up at Hollywood & Highland to take pictures of the tourists.

Waiting for the Gold Line from Union Station, I heard sounds of shock through the crowd. It was Santa Claus!

Santa Claus with my kids
Santa Claus with my kids

Needless to say, they were both thrilled beyond imagination. Santa asked them if they liked the gifts he got them. They both showed him their new watches. My daughter asked him why he didn’t eat the gingerbread house and he said it was because it was too pretty. Great response as earlier in the day she said it he didn’t eat it because it was ugly.

Thank you, Mr. Claus for capping a perfect day for my kids.

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Capitalism at work

Heading into the parking lot of the Food4Less on Huntington Drive, I spied one enterprising guy selling Christmas trees out of a U-Haul. The truck, as you can see, is half full, so he must be doing brisk business assuming a full truck this morning.

Congratulations, sir!

The night we went roller skating

Growing up, we used to go roller skating every Saturday morning, easily until I was 17 or 18. I don’t know when I stopped going roller skating, but I did. Attempts to get friends to reclaim a lost activity didn’t end well. In other words, most people flaked rather than join me for a session at World on Wheels.

What I’m saying, is that it had been eons since I’ve hit the boards. I took my family on the Friday after Thanksgiving. To this day, I’m still trying to figure out how that happened. All I know is that I was having a nice conversation with my 6 year old daughter and next thing I heard coming from my mouth was, “So, we should go skating tomorrow.” Wait? Why did I say that? What the hell were we talking about?

Unfortunately, my daughter can fixate on a ‘maybe’ or a ‘should’ like nobody’s business. Yes. That meant we were definitely going. Fine. I could use the exercise. Right?

Well, we went and while I was still rusty; not trusting myself to skate backwards like I used to, it was a ton of fun. I got home, still sweaty and exhilarated and posted to Facebook something like, “OMGOMGOMG I just went roller skating and it was, like, totally a lot of fun. WOW!”

Most of the people who responded to my post went to school with me. We all grew up in La Puente, Walnut or West Covina. We all remember our days spent at Skate Junction. It was imperative we relive that as soon as possible. So a meetup with quickly cobbled together.
Continue reading “The night we went roller skating”

LADWPs Festival of Lights is upon us

The "Candy Cane Wreath" light displa...
Image via Wikipedia

In just a few short days, the annual LADWP Festival of Lights will kick off. with Bike Night. On December 3rd from 5 – 10pm, bike riders will have the streets to themselves.

New this year will be walking only nights. With the stated purpose of  ‘going green’, these nights run Dec. 4th – 17th.  Walking festival-goers can park in the LA Zoo parking lot. On Dec. 11 – 13th,  a Family Mini Fair intended to educate and celebrate the eco-friendly evenings.

The regular drive-thru nights begin on Dec. 18th and run until Dec. 30th. It’s free and is open 5 – 10 pm.

If you finish up at the lights early, Travel Town has Train Rides to Santa on December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, and 16 through 23 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The train rides are $7 per person.

*****

Griffith Park
4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Los Angeles CA 90027

Travel Town
5200 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles CA 90027


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Complimentary Admission to MOCA Nov. 15 -20

moca_heart_uMOCA is celebrating their collection of Post War art in Collection: Thirty Years of MOCA by offering free Museum admission November 15th through the 20th.

The installation will showcase art work from over 200 artists with the years 1940 – 1980 displayed at MOCA Grand Avenue and 1980 to the present at The Geffen Contemporary gallery.

On November 19th, you can hear Two Artists Perspectives of Los Angeles in the 70s.

Join William Leavitt and Allen Ruppersberg, both of whom are featured in Collection: MOCA’s First Thirty Years, for a conversation with independent curator Carole Ann Klonarides about the experience of making and presenting work in the 1970s. This event is hosted by X-TRA, Los Angeles’s longest running contemporary art journal.

The talk is free to attend.

LADWP offers FREE Landscape classes

LADWP is offering its customers free landscape classes focused on using ideal vegetation for our climate. The California Friendly Landscape Workshop will show you how to choose the right plants and conserve water in Southern California.

Workshop Dates and Locations:

Saturday, November 7 & Saturday, November 21
Downtown Fashion District -1350 S. Wall Street, Los Angeles 90015

Saturday, December 5
Harbor City – 24901 Frampton Avenue, Harbor City 90710

Class sizes are limited, so you must RSVP immediately.

Shadow play

Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only person who ever has noticed the large ‘Jesus Saves’ sign downtown. When I point it out, people often ask me how long it’s been there. I shrug. I have no idea. Seems like forever to me. It stands out to my eye, but I guess to others it’s just more sight pollution; one more ad, one more neon sign.

Today, while walking down Broadway, I saw it from a different angle. The sun hitting the sign was too perfect not to capture. (It looked better in real life, trust me.)

'Jesus Saves' from Broadway
'Jesus Saves' from Broadway

As I walked on south, I turn around to shoot more photos of my beloved Eastern building. Imagine my surprise as I noticed the shadow of the sign on the adjacent building.

'Jesus Saves' shadow
'Jesus Saves' shadow

I am not a Christian, so this is more luck of the time of day for me. But for the lady at the bus stop who saw it when I pointed it out to my husband, it seemed to mean a lot to her; like she needed it.

Oct. 18: Pumpkin Festival at Cal Poly Pomona

The annual Pumpkin Festival at Cal Poly Pomona opened today. I grew up going to the pumpkin patch at Cal Poly, but haven’t been there since ’97. Things have changed in the past 12 years and only for the better.

The festival has stuff for kids, such as face-painting and pony rides. Besides, you can’t beat $5 pumpkins. Granted, it was a bit hot today and they could have used more shaded areas, but I’m sure funnel cakes, roasted corn and $1 bottles of ice cold water will make up for that.

You can also hit up the Kellogg Farm Store for larger ($7) or smaller ($3) pumpkins. Make sure you bring a wagon or wheelbarrow. It’s a hike back to the parking lot. You can see more photos here.

******

There is also an Insect Fair going on at the Student Center (see photos).  So be sure to check that out too. Entrance to the Insect Fair is $6 adults, $4 students and children 3-12 years, 2 and under are free.

Parking: FREE
Admission to Pumpkin Festival: FREE
Pumpkins from the patch: $5 each ( beach ball size) or 5/$20
Insect Fair: $6 adults; $4 students and children 3-12 years; 2 and under are free!
Petting Zoo $1/person, $.50 for cup of food for the critters

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A review on RACE

Race exhibit image

Last weekend, we went to see the new exhibit, Race: Are We So Different? at the California Science Center. On FriendFeed, I posted some quick thoughts on what I saw, but wanted to let the exhibit soak in before I wrote on it. I do not know how much of what I saw was colored by being black or that I was raised around people from all over the world or just by the fact that I’ve lived most of my life in Los Angeles.

On my first quick walk-through of the exhibit I was overwhelmed. There is a lot of information; lots to read, several videos and interactive media to play around with. The exhibit is very American-centric and seems to be geared toward black/white or white/Asian experiences.  The information on the Science Center’s website doesn’t quite prepare you for what you will actually see.

RACE explores the science, history and personal experiences of race, helping us understand what race is and what it is not. The exhibit provides guests the opportunity to think and talk about one of our nation’s most challenging issues and encourages us to rethink our assumptions of race and human variation. Through multimedia, interactive exhibits and imagery, RACE gives guests of all ages the opportunity to think and talk about a topic that touches our lives daily.

I don’t know that the exhibit itself, is actually useful or educational. As I mentioned in my FriendFeed post, my husband (he is Eastern European) said “This exhibit should be titled ‘White People are Bad’.” I didn’t understand what he was saying and I still don’t get it. From an historical context, I guess that could be construed. I teased him saying he was getting defensive. He said, “I’m not from here, I don’t have these hang-ups.” But just from our conversation, I decided to watch the handful of white (looking) people at the exhibit. Continue reading “A review on RACE”

Sept. 27th: Wiggle Waggle Walk in Pasadena

wigglewagglewalklogo If you are a dog lover and have the need get some exercise, Sunday will be the Wiggle Waggle Walk in Pasadena hosted by the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA. The 1th annual fundraiser will take you on a walk around the Rose Bowl. The event, which runs from 8am – 2p, will feature various pet contests & demonstrations, many pet-friendly vendors and a Family Fun Fair.

Join thousands of animal lovers at the 2009 Wiggle Waggle Walk to help the more than 12,000 animals Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA cares for each year. Gather your family, friends, co-workers and canine companions. Collect donations and enjoy a scenic walk, jog or stroll of 1 to 3 miles around the Rose Bowl.

All fundraising information can be found on their website.

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Grand Avenue Festival Canceled for 2009

logo_GAF Last night, I learned that this year’s Grand Avenue Festival is on hiatus so that the organizers can do some restructuring. From their website:

The Grand Avenue Partners, the association of organizations responsible for the annual Grand Avenue Festival, have decided to place the 2009 festival on hiatus and direct their collective efforts on assessing needs and possibly re-inventing the festival for 2010 and beyond.

Many of the Grand Avenue-based arts and cultural institutions featured in the Festival will continue to offer low-cost or free programming on Saturday, September 26, 2009 as well as offer ongoing community programs throughout the year.

A shame, to be sure. It’s is always nice to be able to wander Grand Avenue and take in performances from The Colburn School on over to the Cathedral. There were activities for kids, from creating art to making music and of course, all the food.

In fairness, last year’s event wasn’t exactly a fun time.  It was ridiculously hot, but no shade available. This led to the indoor events being overcrowded.  Many vendors neglected to show up, so there were many empty booths. Not to mention that despite all of the food vendors, there was no place for people to sit and eat. I can only hope that they event organizers are focusing on fixing these problems.

As for events this weekend, a quick glance at the calendars show only paid events. I’ve contacted people at some of the facilities and no one has any knowledge of free or ‘low-cost or free programming on Saturday, September 26, 2009’. I’ll update once I get more information.

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