Edible dates hang heavy on the palm trees on Arroyo Parkway

Date palms arroyo parkway pasadena A few years ago the city of Pasadena changed trees in the center of the Arroyo Parkway, the city street at the end of the 110 freeway.  Out went the tall leafy trees and in came palms.  Date palms to be more precise.  And every year these palms produce huge amounts of dates, which, sadly, go uneaten by humans.  I think birds may feast on them.

Ripe dates on palm trees pasadena

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Women’s March in Los Angeles, January 2018

womens March L A Cheeto bandido
I think there were more anti-Trump posters this year. And quite a few signs about #MeToo and #TimesUp.  There is an auction of celebrity black dresses  from the Golden Globe Awards on ebay for Time’s Up.  

City officials and Metro were expecting a larger crowd at the Women’s March this year and it may have been true. Unlike New York, Boston or Chicago, the weather was beautiful in Los Angeles: temperature in the low 60sF and clear skies.

Here are some photos.

Womens March Power to the Polls
Already 390 women are running for seats in Congress in the election this year.  And thousands more are running for state and local offices.  
Womens March 2018 ReSister Pershing Sq
I like the play on words of “ReSister”  on this sign I saw as the Women’s March Los Angeles was getting  started in Pershing Square.

 

Womens March Native American
Dressed as a Native American, the sign reads “Women’s Justice Juarez.” There were many men at this year’s march.
Womens March Handmaid in Metro
A Handmaid in the Metro station. Things could be far far worse for women in the U.S. as the Handmaid’s Tale reminds us.
3 friends at Womens March l.a.
3 friends. 2 pussy hats. Big smiles.
Womens March 2018 City Hall (
The crowd turned this corner and began to mass in front of the Los Angeles City Hall.  I noticed a sign for Kamala Harris in 2020.  Almost everyone was more concerned with voting in 2018.
womens march 2018 New Day (
I loved the spirit of a “New Day” coming for this group. I sure hope it is!
Womens March street vendor
As always there were a few street vendors selling hot dogs wrapped in bacon. This woman seemed to have a lot of vegetables on her grill.  The sign attached to the fence behind her is apt.

Singing on a raft at Fiesta Perpetua on Echo Park Lake

Fiesta Perpetua Echo Park singer
On a raft in the lake the singer twirled a red ribbon to signal the band to begin playing and marching.

The Fiesta Perpetua on and around Echo Park lake was the brainchild of Carmina Escobar as her contribution to the huge Pacific Standard Time LA/LA.

The way it worked was this:  a woman went out to a raft in the lake and using three wooden megaphones sang to an audience of paddleboaters and people lining the walkway and lounging on the lawn around the lake.

Singer at megaphone echo park lake
Singing through the megaphones. Because Echo Park lake is in a “bowl” there were echos which added to the performance.
audience in boats at fiesta perpetua echo park
Echo Park lake has a facility for renting paddleboats and paddleboaters lined up near the raft to see and hear the performance.  Other paddleboaters followed along beside the band as it marched around the lake.

Actually, before she began to sing, a band, the Maqueos Music Filharmonica began to play and march around the lake slowly.  In my opinion, the band was the star of the performance. .

Maqueos Music band Echo Park
Maqueos Music is an academy for young musicians and this band played what sounded as if it were a traditional Mexican song.  I think the music was of Yucatan origin. Maybe

 

band at Fiesta Perpetua Echo Park
The band began in two separate locations and began to play, marching toward each other and soon merging into one.

 

Because I love Echo Park and the lake and the surrounding area are among my favorite places in Los Angeles, I’m also including photos of the area on a sunny, 85F degree Saturday afternoon in January.

Echo Park lake fountain
The fountain at the center of Echo Park lake. The park is famous for its lotus blossoms  which bloom in the north end of the lake and the Lotus Festival which occurs in July.
Fruit vendor echo park
If you’re going to sell fruit from a cart in Los Angeles, it better be organic!
Echo Park children playing balls
When Echo Park was refurbished a few years ago, a playground was added for children. Very popular!
colorful houses by echo park lake
This photo has nothing to do with the Fiesta Perpetua. It is simply of colorful homes behind the Episcopalian church facing the lake.

 

 

Decorating the Rose Parade float in South Pasadena

Woman decorating south Pasadena Float
The “body” of this float is a old time car and these two women were pasting seeds on the fender for a black accent.

The city of South Pasadena always enters a float in the Tournament of Roses parade and the float is always decorated by local volunteers.

South Pasadena Float design 2017
An artist’s rendering of what the float will look like when completed.

The location for the float is under a huge tent just off Mound St. at Fair Oaks in South Pasadena and they are still busily adding seeds, leaves and flowers.  They have only 2 more days to go. By Sunday evening they have to have the float in line for the start of the parade on Monday morning.

Man decorating hat South Pas float
A local resident adds black seeds to a megaphone that goes on the trailer behind the float. It will be added later.
Giraffe ready for seeds South Pas float (
Scaffolding surrounds the float. The giraffe which will eventually be set upright is still on its back waiting to be covered with plant material.
Paiints for south Pasadena Rose parade float
All visible surfaces on every float in the Rose Parade must be covered with plant parts of some sort: seeds, leaves, etc. Before they get pasted on, however, artists paint colors matching the flowers that will be added on top.
sycamore leaves south pasadena Float (
The brown convertible top (folded back) is covered with dried sycamore leaves. I wonder if they just wandered around South Pas and picked the leaves out of people’s gardens. Sycamore trees are everywhere.
Red beans on south Pasadena float (
Red beans are used for color on the tires.
Yellow flowers for South Pasadena Rose Parade float
Yellow flowers in these buckets will be added to the float at the last minute.  Seeds and dried leaves and dried fruits always go on first.

 

 

Tented barn South Pasadena Rose Parade float
Many floats are built and decorated in huge permanent barns in Irwindale. South Pasadena’s “barn” is a huge tent which comes down after the parade.

Christmas in colorful Chinatown is a Los Angeles tradition

Main plaza L.A. Chinatown 2015
Quite a few of the buildings in the heart of old Chinatown have been painted colorfully for decades. This photo was taken in 2015..  The “After” photo, taken in 2017,is below.

In the melting pot that is Los Angeles two local holiday food traditions stand out.  One is eating tamales during the Christmas season which obviously is inspired by Mexico and the many Mexican restaurants around the city.  Even one of the local fast-food hot dog chains offers tamales during the holidays.

The second tradition is going to Chinatown to have dim sum (Chinese bite-size noodle/pastries) for mid-day dinner on Christmas Day which seems to have originated in the Jewish community.

Blossom apartments chinatown (
This new apartment complex called Blossom seems to have inspired other building owners in the area to paint bolder and bolder!

Other people, including my non-Jewish family, have begun doing Christmas-in-Chinatown, too.  No long hours in the kitchen and no leftover turkey for us!

So if you decide to visit Chinatown for dim sum (or any other reason) and haven’t been there recently, you will see color gone wild on buildings around the area.  I think that the new Blossom Apartments next to the Metro station instigated the painting craze.

See more photos of Chinatown here.

repainted building chinatown
This is the “After” version of the photo at the top of this post. I loved the many shades of green that it had originally, but this color combination of yellow and deep blue-ish purple is interesting, too.
Hot yellow building chinatown
The bright yellow color on this brand new apartment building located on an alley hurts your eyes it is so garish. It is the latest addition to colorful buildings in Chinatown,
Building in Chinatown 201
Tucked back in an alley, the colors on this building are favorites of mine. I’ve always loved Chinese red. And those fake palm trees are a perfect L.A. touch.

 

This building painted mustard gold with red pillars has been around for a while.
Pink building on plaza chinatown
Another building  has colors inspired by Mexico, rather than China.  Located on the main plaza it has been the brightest, most colorful building in Chinatown until recently.
Woman and god in Chinatown
If you go to Chinatown on Christmas day you may not be able to find this altar which is hidden inside the Swap Meet building– which really isn’t a Swap Meet, BTW.  All the little shops carry new  and very inexpensisve merchandise from China.

 

A Christmas Concert at the Pasadena United Methodist Church

Christmas concert at United Methodist Church
Attendance at the Christmas concert was larger than usual. The concerts are free.

On every third Saturday at 4 p.m. there is a free concert at the United Methodist Church on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena.  Cellists, pianists, singers, organists and, for the Christmas concert, bell ringers of all ages–all drawn from the congregation of this church.

Organ at United Methodist Church
This beautiful organ is at the center of church.  This photo was taken in November.

The church building is quite beautiful and the organ magnificent.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to capture the amazing stained glass windows, but , take it from me, they are gorgeous.

United Methodist Church Pasadena
Pasadena was founded by a group of Methodist farmers from Indiana and their city plan called from a church at 1 mile intervals throughout the city so no one would have to walk more than a half-mile to church on Sunday.
Homeless person by United Methodist Church
Before Ronald Reagan became President homelessness was not a major feature of America. As I was walking to the front of the building, I came across a homeless person nestled up against the church wall.

 

Learn how to Curl, go ice skating, take an “angel” photo at Pershing Square in #DTLA

Angel Wings Pershing Square
Backdrops painted with “Angel Wings” are showing up everywhere. This is at Pershing Square next to the ice rink. There is also a set of “Angel Wings” for photographs a few blocks away in the Central Library downtown.

Perhaps it is too early in December, but there were almost no Christmas decorations, no jolly Santa Claus, and no carolers in Pershing Square — unlike other years.  There weren’t even a lot of children skating on the ice rink.  It really did not feel very festive.

Learn to Curl Pershing Square
The Winter Olympics are in February and, no doubt, the interest in the sport of Curling is rising. Curling classes will be held December 17 and January 14 at the Pershing Square ice rink..

There was an “angel wings” backdrop for people to use for photos, however.  And interesting signs announcing that Ice Curling lessons are coming soon and so is Broom Hockey.  To learn more about this, go here.

Now for some musical trivia.  Singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell once wrote a song about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot.  Well, that parking lot, formerly the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic until the building was demolished decades ago, is now becoming a high rise tower across from Pershing Square.

Okay. Here is what I saw:

Ice skaters with penguins
Children learn to skate using “penguins” to keep their balance. There were few skaters on this Saturday morning, but perhaps it was too early in the holiday season.

 

Joni Mitchell's paved parking lot
Formerly the home of the L.A. Philharmonic, then for decades a parking lot, now  this space is becoming a high rise. I wonder what Joni Mitchell thinks of this.