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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
In 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.
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…
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.
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. My 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?
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.
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.