New Artwork at Union Station in Los Angeles

Parade artwork Union STation
This appears to me to be a representation of a parade…maybe.  It is one of many new art works lining the passage to the trains in Union Station, Los Angeles.

Yesterday (Saturday July 15) the annual Train Festival was held at Union Station.  When I arrived about 15 minutes before the Festival was scheduled to open, the lines were huge!  Easily over 300 people plus their children were lined up for the train tours.  Another 100 lined up to see the model trains.  And those lines were growing longer by the minute.

I decided to forego the Train Festival and took photos of the artwork newly installed in the triptych light boxes that line the passage between the station and the trains.

Serbian cemetary art Union Station
This artwork reminds me of the Serbian cemetary in East Los Angeles. But it may be an Armenian one.
Admiring artwork Union Station
A man stopped to admire the artwork. Sadly, most people rushed right on by.


Suburban life artwork Union STation
Suburban life, possibly in the 1970s. An image of how Los Angeles really was back then.
Palm tree art in Union Station
Palm trees lining a road to the mountains. It’s an image of how I perceived L.A. before I moved here.

The Yoko Ono Wish Tree garden in Pasadena

Yoko Ono wishing trees
Two Crape myrtles stand on either side of the main path. They’ve been designated as ‘wish trees’

Inspired by Yoko Ono, a ‘wish tree’ garden is in the heart of the beautiful Arlington Garden in Pasadena. Two Crape Myrtle trees in full mid-summer bloom are ladened with wishes from people of all ages.  Seeing the wishes I was reminded of the wishes tucked in gravestones in Europe.  I was told it was an Italian custom.

Here are some of the wishes.

Daddy's return wish
I hope her Daddy returns safely, too.
Sisters farts wish
wish for ease and joy
A wish for happiness, peace and improved health for an aunt. That is definitely a universal wish!
wish for ease and joy
Was this wish placed here by someone philosophic?
Wish for socialist government
“I wish for a socialist government’ Maybe this writer is a Bernie Sanders supporter.
wish for responsible presidenet
One of only a very few political wishes. Most are personal and about family.
Arlington Garden Pasadena
Another view of Arlington Gardens where Crape myrtle trees line the pathways. There are Adirondack chairs tucked away in shady spots all over the garden. The Arlington Garden is open to everyone. No entry fee. 

South Pasadena’s Fourth of July parade

Dad and son waiting for paradeThe South Pasadena annual July 4th parade is called the ‘Festival of Balloons’ and this year the theme was something about honoring Route 66 which ran right through South Pas.

Fourth of July pancake breakfast
All the pancakes and sausages youi can eat plus melon.

The morning began with that All-American classic: the pancake breakfast at the local firehouse.

And while it was definitely a small town event, there wasn’t even a queen or a princess or a Statue of Liberty riding on a float, although I saw one ‘Uncle Sam’ walking by.

Head to toe stars and stripes
Stars and stripes shoes. Stars and stripes hat and shirt. She was in the spirit of the day!



Instead it was dozens upon dozens of Boy and Girl Scout troops and a lot of politicians riding in antique cars.  Only one mounted  group of riders were in the parade.  From the nearby Arroyo Seco stables, they brought up the end.

Here is some of what I saw.

Uncle Sam South Pasadena
‘Uncle Sam’ didn’t seem to be marching in the parade. Maybe he was part of the entertainment at Garfield Park where the parade ended.
South Pas high school band
The South Pasadena High School marching band in their official Festival of Balloons t-shirt uniforms.
Defeating the 710 tunnel
This group was celebrating the defeat of the 710 tunnel project. After decades of local opposition Cal Trans finally gave up on digging a tunnel under South Pasadena and Pasadena to extend the 710 freeway to the 210.
Poster Contest winners in woody
There is a poster contest every year in conjunction with the parade theme. This year’s winners rode in a classic surfers’ Woody.
Route 66 float
A float! I’m not sure what group sponsored it.


Preview of Rose parade float
We all got a sneak peek of the Rose Parade float for 2018 on the side of this truck.
DUDES dancing July 4th
DUDES stands for Dads Uniting Dads for Education and Service. They danced in front of the reviewing stand.
Arroyo Seco horses in parade (
Riders from the Arroyo Seco Stables came next to last in the parade. Fire engines were last.


South Pasadena bungalow 4th July 2017
The epitome of Americana. A South Pasdena bungalow with a flag on the front porch.

The Armenian genocide memorial in Glendale under cloudy skies

Armenian genocide monument in Glendale I’ve heard it said that there are more people who call themselves “Armenians” in Glendale, than in the country of Armenia.  While that is actually not accurate (Armenia’s population is 3 million. Glendale about 200,000) it is true that people of Armenian ancestry are a dominant force in the city.

armenian woman childrenIn honor of those who died in the Armenian genocide in 1915, a memorial has been erected in the Central Paseo Park in Glendale. Here are a few photos of it.

Old woman face armenian memorial
Faces of survivors. I was particularly struck by the old woman’s face in the middle.
Four faces of Armenia
The faces of people who survived the genocide and told of what happened. The man walking on the right side of the memorial, paced around it for the entire time I spent taking photos. He gives a sense of the scale of these art works.
Armenian family 1917
The photo of lost ancestors during happier times in an Armenian town in Turkey.

CicLAvia in Glendale under cloudy skies

Central Ave Glendale CicLAvia
Downtown Los Angeles viewed from Central Avenue in Glendale during CicLAvia in June 2017.  DTLA appears closer than it actually is. 

The latest version of CicLAvia, the open road bicycling event for everyone, seemed less crowded than previous ones. Maybe some people went to the ResistMarch in West Hollywood.

Mom and daughter CicLAvia
A cute little device for bringing a toddler along to the CicLAvia!

Or perhaps they were going to the Dodgers game near downtown. Or maybe it was an illusion created by the overcast skies.

I ended up spending more time photographing an artwork memorializing the Armenian genocide in a Glendale park than taking pictures at the CicLAvia.  I’ll post photos of the Armenian memorial tomorrow.

Two women CicLAvia Glendale (
Two women on the nearly empty Central Avenue in Glendale. They were happy and enthusiastic.


Murals and Marches in downtown Los Angeles

Mural by Brantley DTLA
This wall had a mural on it back in 2008 which was painted over. Since then the wall remained blank.  Earlier this year this new bold mural by Hebru Brantley went up next to a parking lot near Second and Broadway.

On my way to the Bread Festival (see previous post) I came across a brand new mural near Second and Broadway and saw 3 other huge murals by the time I reached the Grand Central Market.  I love the murals on walls around the city and still miss seeing the Old Lady of the Freeway mural on a building next to the 101 freeway just north of downtown. It was painted out decades ago when the new owner of the building declined to pay an annual royalty to Kent Twitchell who painted the mural. Twitchell has since recreated an Old Lady mural on a wall at the Los Angeles Valley College, but it is slightly different. The old lady looks much more assertive in this new rendition.

But I digress…

Mural on parking structure 219 Broadway
This mural is actually a relief sculpture on the side of a parking structure.

Across the street from the new Brantley mural is an older mural that appears to have been sculpted into the wall of a parking structure when it was built.

As I walked along Broadway I came across 2 huge murals that, to judge from the art style, must have been done in the 1980s.

Then, arriving at the Grand Central market I saw a very vocal anti-Trump demonstration going on. For the first time I heard chants of “Lock Him Up” from the crowd marching up Broadway.  It was a smallish march, fewer than a thousand people I guess.

So here are some photos of this trip to downtown Los Angeles.

1980s murals DTLA
2 old murals on the wall of a building in downtown Los Angeles.  The mural on the right appears to be one of the many murals around Los Angeles created for the 1984 Olympic Games.
Anti-Trump ralley June 3
The crowd was shouting “Lock Him Up” as they marched up Broadway.
Having fun in DTLA
This little boy on his battery operated cart was tooling around the sidewalk just having fun.

The Bread Festival fell flat but ole for the mole!

Avocado Toast Clark Bakery
Poverty looms ahead for Millennials who buy Avocado Toast, according to a millionaire. Sorry about the quality of the photo; I shot this pix through glass.

At the annual Bread Festival at Grand Central Market in downtown L.A. I finally saw the food that Australian millionaire Tim Gurner claims is driving Millennials into poverty and stealing away a comfortable future home for them. It is Avocado Toast. This version was created by Clark Street Bakery, as was the more photogenic ricotta toast set beside it.  Ricotta toast Clark street bakeryMy reaction was to agree with Gurner.  Why buy it? It’s easy peasy to make at home and the money saved can go toward a down payment on a house. Right?

Margaret Greenwood Jams
Jam-maker Margaret Greenwood

Anyway…overall, the Bread Festival was disappointingly similar to last year: only a handful of bakeries and a couple of jam makers. One of the jam makers is Margaret Greenwood who makes a formidable, if very expensive, Meyer Lemon and Ginger jam.  After tucking my annual purchase of a jar of jam in my purse, I decided to explore GCM for changes.

The first thing I noticed was that the entire GCM was uncomfortably packed with people, many were waiting in lines 30 to 50 people long in narrow aisles to place orders at various food stalls. That’s silly!  There are too many other places with amazing food in downtown L.A. to waste time waiting in lines that long.

Horse Thief BBQ
Dining at the Horse Thief BBQ next door to the GCM on Hill St. in DTLA.

In fact, right next door to GCM is the Horse Thief BBQ where diners ate under the shade of old trees. I haven’t eaten there, but the Horse Thief BBQ has a good reputation, BTW.

Okay, rather than ranting on about the crowds, here are a few photos, including one from a new food stall that sells delicious Mexican moles–a sauce that is so complicated that I would never even try to make it.  I bought some based on a little taste and the recommendation of a fellow shopper.

Mole at Grand Central Market
I brought home a small container of the Mole Oaxaca negro. It is not clear to me whether this food stall is a smaller version of the old chile-seller who had been in the market forever. I couldn’t find that old stall, but came across this one with 2 women behind the counter. Family members? Unrelated?
Family lunch at Grand Central Market
A typical family group having lunch at GCM on a Saturday.
Three workers
These three men seemed to be throwbacks to another era when GCM was quiet place to have lunch. They are definitely not part of the Millennial cohort crowding every aisle.
La Huerta candy store
A stall with a wall of candy has been added since I last visited GCM. Candies, dried fruits, snacks by the dozens. It’s called La Huerta.


Pigs head grand central Market
Outside the Broadway entrance to GCM is this tall metal sculpture with a pigs head on it. Is it a new symbol of the market? A bike stand? Or simply public art?  Oh, there was a anti-Trump demonstration happening on Broadway.  I’ll post about it tomorrow.