A California condor downtown and a bird sanctuary in Silverlake

Rowena reservoir bird sanctuary

The Rowena Reservoir in Silverlake has been designated as a bird sanctuary, so taking walks around the edge of the “lake” is not allowed.  There are, however, sidewalks outside the high fence around the property.

My route to the March for Science on Saturday took me first to the Silverlake/Los Feliz neighborhood and then on to downtown and a walk down Hill Street passing by Angels Flight.

In Silverlake the Rowena Reservoir is gradually being converted into a wild bird sanctuary.  No longer are open, uncovered water reservoirs allowed in Los Angeles and to comply, the water department has, for several reservoirs around the city, added a cover below the usual water level, then added more water on top.  The result: the reservoir looks the same as before and the water supply is protected.

Later on my travels to downtown Los Angeles, I noticed a new statue beside the stairs leading up Bunker Hill beside Angels Flight.  It is a statue of a California condor perched on a battered retaining wall and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there a couple of months ago when I walked up the stairs to the top.  Here is a photo of it.

Condor statue at Angels Flight

A California condor statue on a retaining wall at the foot of Bunker Hill beside the Angels Flight entrance on Hill Street.

Angels flight car

A car for the Angels Flight “railway”, the shortest train line in the world. It has been closed for a couple of years, but is rescheduled to open again in September according to Mayor Garcetti.

Tens of thousands at the March for Science L.A. and the signs were witty!

I am just going to post photos with captions for the March for Science in Los Angeles.  They are more or less in the order I took the photographs.  Starting with the tin foil hat ladies…

tin foil hats science March

The award for the best use of tin foil–well, aluminum foil–goes to these two ladies who were seated outside the Grand Central Market. Foil hats obviously create spelling impairment!

flower hat for bees science march

The Bee Lady has to win a prize for one of the best hats at the March for Science L.A.

dinosaur poster Science March

Home made dinosaur poster for March for Science L.A. Almost all posters were home made.

Superior genetics ha ha

Guess who thinks he has superior genes?? Pres. Bannon! Ha Ha Ha!

naked don in handcuffs

Almost naked Donald in handcuffs. He definitely needs to get more exercise!

Renewable sun

A colorful sign for renewable energy.

giant pink science puppet

Science as a gigantic Pink puppet? This couple came near the very end of the hour long march. I’m not sure what inspired this outfit.  Later: I learned that the pink lady is Princess Bubblegum and she is a scientist on a series called Adventure Games. Learned something new!

Carnegie Science

Making their way home were two real scientists. Many marchers like me were simply supporting the sciences.

Blue skies o9ver Los Angeles

In the 1970s when I moved to L.A. this sky would have been dingy hazy brown. Thanks to decades of EPA regs. the sky in L.A. is now blue! One other thing: unlike the Women’s March, there were no helicopters hovering over the Science March. That object in the sky is an ordinary blue helium filled balloon that someone released.

Young folk dancers, cowgirls and mariachis at the Blessing of Animals

young fokloric dancers 2017

Folk dancing starts young. I would have loved to wear a costume like that when I was a little girl!

Los Angeles would not be Los Angeles were the Mexican folk dancers to vanish from public events.  Like the balloon sellers and street hot dog sellers they are part of the fabric of the city.  So, of course, at the annual Blessing of the Animals there were young folk dancers in brilliant color costumes dancing on the bandstand in the center of the Plaza.

(If you have come across this post, please check the two previous posts for other photos from the Blessing of the Animals which takes place every year in Los Angeles on the Saturday before Easter.)

folk dancers at blessing april 2017

Folk dancers waiting to go onstage at the Blessing of the Animals 2017.

cowgirl dancers Blessing 2017

These cowgirl dancers performed to western dance music. A nice change of pace.

photographing the mariachis

Photographers were everywhere including this one taking a shot of two mariachis.

Spanish language book truck

This Spanish language book truck was up from San Diego for the event. The books are for sale.

Piano player Union Station

As I was going through Union Station on my way home I stopped to listen to a man playing the piano. He asked me to sing an old Lionel Richie song, but I laughed and told him I couldn’t carry a tune.  He played the song anyway and I listened as did the man on the left. This piano is available to anyone who wants to play it, night or day, in Union Station.


Aztec Fire Dancers perform at the Blessing of the Animals celebration

red black feather dancer olvera st

The red and black feathers on this man’s dance costume were as dramatic as his dancing.

I love the unexpected things I find in Los Angeles.  I went to the annual Blessing of the Animals in the plaza by Olvera Street and who should be performing but the amazing Aztec Fire Dancers.

Aztec girl red top

Not all costumes were elaborately beaded. This dancer’s outfit was a tank top, black shorts and a piece of skulls head fabric that is easily available around L.A. She did have great ankle rattles, however.

The dancers gathered at the foot of the statue of Carlos III, the Spanish king who authorized and financed the founding of L.A.  in 1781 and waited until all the prayers were said by Archbishop Gomez before they launched their show. (Several children’s dance troupes also performed but I will post about them tomorrow.)

Coming in June at Olvera Street: The Fiesta of the Flowers.

Carlos III statue Olvera Street

Before they began their performance, the Aztec Fire Dancers gathered at the foot of the statue of Carlos III of Spain.

Aztec ankle rattles

Ankle rattles for an Aztec Dancer. The troupe’s name is ‘Aztec’ but these rattles could be part of many native American dance costumes.

Aztec Fiire Dancers red feathers

The plaza was packed with spectators for this high energy group of dancers.

Aztec dancers Olvera St plaza 2017

Some of the costumes were incredibly elaborate beaded creations like this green one in the center.



Aztec dancers in procession

Some of the dancers were in the religious procession lead by Archbishop Gomez for the Blessing of the Animals. All religions are welcome at this event.

Blessing the Animals with a much much smaller crowd in Los Angeles

lizard blessing of animals

In addition to this lizard gaily decked out in a red ribbon, I saw a couple of snakes and a very small iguana to represent the reptile world of animals.

The Blessing of the Animals in the plaza at Olvera Street is an old tradition in Los Angeles that goes back 87 years.  When I’ve attended in the past, the whole area has been packed with people and their pets.

This year there was a much smaller crowd lined up for Archbishop Gomez’s blessing.  It was shocking how few were there. Where were they? At the anti-Trump tax march a few blocks away?

at union station

Anti Trump tax protesters waiting for the Metro at Union Station.

Perhaps some pet owners were at the march, but I suspect the smaller attendance was due to fear of ICE. (That’s the Immigration Control people for those of you reading this outside the U.S.)

Anyway…here is some of what I saw.  There will be a post about the Aztec dancers tomorrow and later this week, a post about the children dancing.  There was a lot going on Saturday!


On another topic: this coming Thursday, April 19th, the day after tax day, my best-selling guide, Working After Retirement, will be on sale for 99 cents on Kindle,  Nook,  iTunes, and Kobo.

flower crown on dog

I think I may have taken a photo of this woman and her dog a few years ago. The dog with a crown looks familiar. As I looked around and saw so many women wearing flower crowns I realized that Frida Khalo got it right. We should all wear flower crowns! Oh, if you are a Khalo fan there is an exhibition of photos of her at MOLAA in Long Beach.

Roses and superman blessing of animals

Green park benches had been lined up all over the waiting area for people and their pets. Most of the benches were empty. There were so few people with their pets–so surprising! Happily Superman and a woman with a red rose crown brought their two dogs.


mariachis blessing animals

Of course there were mariachis! The procession begins with the priests and Archbishop. They are followed by the cow and other farm animals owned by one of the Olvera St. merchants, then come the merchants, their families and, next, the entertainers. After that the blessing of pets by anyone who wants to participate in this event.

cow blessing of animals 2017

The cow that lead this year’s Blessing of Animals procession was a new mother which, we were told, was restless because she had been separated from her calf.


goats blessing of animals 2017

Goats and their escorts–young ladies in colorful clothes.

carriage blessing animals 2017

Daughters of Olvera St. merchants arrive in a cheerfully decorated carriage. They carried the bunny rabbits as usual.

Aztec dancers in procession

Even the Aztec dancers who performed in the Plaza lined up for the Archbishop’s blessing. More about them tomorrow.

Archbishop Gomez blessing animals Olvera St

Archbishop Gomez reading a prayer for the occasion. In front of him is the cow that lead the procession.

Go to ‘Le Reyn’ for delicious banana bread, a vegan ‘burger’ and an oddball interior

LeReyn interior

Someone has a sense of humor at Le Reyn. The signs on the walls will make you laugh and certain things, like the green and yellow plastic Christmas garland wrapped around a pole, add to the oddball image of this coffee shop.

When writing a review of a restaurant generally one shows photos of the food.  Well, I forgot to take pictures of the banana bread French toast  and vegan burger that were served at our table at Le Reyn coffee shop on North Lake in Pasadena, but–trust me on this–the food is  delicious and substantial. All American favorites like eggs, bacon, pancakes (enormous pancakes!), French toast, pork chops, french fries, burgers and more are on the menu.  No one in the kitchen appears to be experimenting with kale or quinoa or other so-called power foods.  The creativity at Le Reyn is expressed in the interior design of this neighborhood favorite. (And the reviews on Yelp are glowing.)

menu le Reyn Pasadena

What to eat? In addition to a large menu there are the specials on the wall.

car license wall le reyn

This wall of license plates greets you when you enter Le Reyn from the big parking lot behind it.

painting LeReyn coffee shop

On the back wall are these paintings with no identifiers. Art? Decoration?

The Frank Romero retrospective at MOLAA hits all the high points

Going to the Olympics mural Frank Romero

The ‘Going to the Olympics’ mural was painted on side wall of the 101 freeway in downtown Los Angeles and is probably Romero’s most viewed work. Thousands see this mural every day and have since the 1980s when it was painted.

In his long career Frank Romero has gone from being a young artist who was part of the landmark exhibition, ‘Los Four’,  the first significant show of Chicano art at LACMA to a major international figure in the art world with his work owned by the Smithsonian.

The retrospective currently at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach covers the entire spectrum. Full disclosure: a Romero work on paper hangs in my living room.

Here are a few of his works at MOLAA now.  My photographs do not really do them justice. The show closes on May 21st.

Romero self-portrait

The self-portrait of the artist as a 75 year old man. (That’s his age now.)

Frank Romero painting

At the entrance to the exhibition is this painting of a neon-lit car and palm trees–the ultimate Frank Romero image.  Note the dog in the back seat, looking very wolfish.

The Death of Ruben Salazar

The Smithsonian Museum owns this famous Romero work entitled ‘The Death of Ruben Salazar.’ Salazar was a journalist for the L.A. Times killed during a protest march in 1970 in East L.A.

Romero police brutality

One entire gallery in this retrospective is devoted to Romero’s paintings about police brutality, especially against members of the Mexican-American/Chicano community in Los Angeles. This painting captures a moment of police activity near Echo Park.

Los Angeles Burning Frank Romero

This very Japanese looking painting was done right after the riots in 1992. I remember that he said he went to the top of the Hollywood Hills and looked down on the city as it burned.

dog painting frank romero

Dog images recur in Romero’s paintings and over the years the dog images have changed from angry, wolfish and muscular to soft and relaxed. A comment on Romero himself?