A day of Bach at Union Station and it’s free

Two women standing beside me in Union Station wondered how anyone could afford to put on 10 hours of amazing performances of Bach’s music with no admission charge. Well, the answer is that this annual Bach blowout is sponsored by the City of Los Angeles, which has deep deep pockets.

While Bach is ok, I wish they would do a 10 hour Mozart Festival. Hearing the Magic Flute performed in the Historic Ticketing Hall would be beyond fantastic!

There are many other events coming to Union Station including Jazz on April 6th. You can read about them here.

Play ball! And play catch at Dodgers Spring Training in Phoenix

This was the first Spring Training game I saw: Dodgers vs. Angels.

My seat at the Dodgers/Angels spring training game in Tempe was in the same place as the best seats in Dodger Stadium: close to First Base where much of the real action occurs. And it turned out that foul ball after foul ball after tossed-by-a-player ball ended up in our section. Here are photos of three of the “fan-catchers” at the game.

This guy sat next to me and while I ducked and held my hands in top of my head he reached up and caught a foul ball. He lives in Phoenix but has friends in L.A.
Woman with a ball at Dodgers spring training
After the guy in the red shirt took his baseball and went home, this man was sitting beside me and he,too, caught a ball. This ball was thrown into the crowd by a player. Sorry, don’t remember which one. Nice tats.
The woman is holding this ball, but the half-hidden man seated to the left in the LA cap actually caught this foul ball. It was a pretty grey-haired crowd at the game. Everyone enthusiastic and chatting.
Dodgers and Angels play ball in Tempe az
Great day to watch them play baseball. Dodgers won 6 to 4.

Never rains in California…except in winter

Even though the local weather people didn’t tell us, this must be an El Nino year. With this current storm system, a “pineapple express” is bringing in rain from the tropics and the total rainfall will be close to double the amount we normally get by this time of year. The worst of this storm is supposed to be in my neighborhood in about an hour.

rainstorm in California on Feb 2 2019
Looking north through my livingroom window towards the San Gabriel Mountains, which are invisible in the rain.
The same view as above but taken from outside on my balcony. The San Gabriels are still invisible. The little tree on the lower right is a Eureka lemon tree . It used to be taller than the roof on the right, but has died back during the recent drought years.

Decorating the South Pasadena Rose Parade float

In keeping with the “Melody of Life” theme for the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade the city of South Pasadena is entering a float called “Three Little Birds”. Volunteers were busy decorating it in a huge tent on Friday and will continue over the weekend.


If you are interested in seeing the progress of the South Pasadena float as it is decorated you can park on Fair Oaks just north of the 110 freeway exit. There is a large sign on Fair Oaks showing the location.

A follow-up after the Rose Parade. The South Pasadena float was behind the big one that broke down and sadly, the “Three Little Birds” float did not show up on the TV broadcasts of the parade.

decorating the South Pasadena Rose Parade float
This float is being decorated from the top down. Two women add red roses to the guitar body while a man indicates color blocks on the lower part of the float. In the initial drawing for the float the body of the guitar is shown as brown but these roses are definitely very red.
Thousands of red roses are already attached to the “drum” that will be on the float. The musical notes are covered with seeds. By the time the float is ready to roll out of the tent and uphill to the parade route in Pasadena, every visible inch of the float will be covered with natural materials.
It looks as if they are using brown-dyed pampas grass to decorate this red bird. Every inch of it will be covered with natural materials before it goes on the float and joins the parade.
This year there seem to be more tropical flowers being used on the South Pasadena Rose Parade float than in previous years.
tropical flowers for South Pasadena float 2019
Buckets of flowers in vibrant tropical colors were lined up outside the tent waiting for volunteers to add them to the float.
But it isn’t all flowers. These cauliflowers were being prepared to go onto the float.
Two people preparing the yellow cauliflower while other people unload the truck filled with other additions for the South Pasadena float.
Women attaching kitty litter to a panel that will be the sign on the front of the Three Little Birds float.
Once a year this huge tent rises in a park along Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena. Almost all the other floats are built and decorated way out in the barns in Irwindale and I am not sure they encourage visitors out there. On the other hand it is easy to park on Fair Oaks, just north of the 110 freeway exit and stroll over to see this float. There used to be a couple of float barns actually in Pasadena, but they have been closed.

Ripe dates on palm trees on Christmas Day

No snow on the palm trees or freezing, snowy weather in Pasadena or Los Angeles on Christmas Day. In fact the date palms planted along the center of Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena are bearing fruit. No doubt the birds and other critters love this!

While there is no snow in the L.A. area, in the nearby mountains all the ski and snowboarding resorts are open for people who want winter cold.
A close up of the dates ripening on the palm trees in Pasadena.
Not far from the palms, the leaves of the Liquid Amber tree turn yellow then red in November and December in So California. The Liquid Amber tree is also known as the American Sweet gum tree. In the front are South African aloes which bloom in mid-winter, bringing color to otherwise dull, all green gardens.  Lots of sunshine, of course.