It is a Double-header this weekend in Pasadena: the Alien Con is at the Convention Center and across the street dozens and dozens of chalk artists are creating works on the Plaza at Paseo Colorado. And it was very crowded on Saturday!
I went at noon on Saturday and most of the artists were just beginning. First they drew an outline of the picture they planned to create, then painstakingly started to fill in with removable paint and chalk. It all gets power-washed off the plaza on Tuesday. Here is some of what I saw in 2018.
Charles Lummis was quite a guy! Adventurer, author, editor of the L.A. Times, cross-country hiker, archeologist, photographer, and founder of the Southwest Museum.
He was also somewhat infamous for the parties he held at his home, El Alisal, in Highland Park. You can see my post about Lummis ‘s home here.
Now, almost a hundred years after his death, he has become the namesake of a celebration of life, fun, music and art in the Arroyo in northeast Los Angeles. Here is a link to the Lummis Days organization. I understand that the Arroyo Arts Collective also helps with this event.
On Sunday I came across the official parade for Lummis Days after visiting the Southwest West Museum‘s pottery exhibition. Parade participants gathered in front of the museum entrance, then marched to Sycamore Grove Park where a concert and puppet show were held.
I only stayed for the parade and here is some of what I saw.
Both Pretoria, South Africa and Brisbane, Australia are noted for their streets lined with Jacaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia). In both cities the trees have bloomed within the last couple of weeks and now Pasadena’s Jacaranda are in full flower. Here are two views of the purple flowering trees along Del Mar in Pasadena, taken from the 3rd floor parking lot of Trader Joe’s.
The 7th LitFest Pasadena is being held this weekend in the Playhouse District. One of the most provocatively titled events on the schedule was “Politicians That Read: The Books that Motivate”. Obviously, with a title like that Trump was not invited to join the panel which included Congressman Adam Schiff, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and, as a last minute addition, Congresswoman Judy Chu. There were, however, quite a few Trump jokes!
Schiff revealed that he was inspired to go to law school after reading “To Kill a Mockingbird”. His young dreams were to be another Atticus Finch. He also mentioned that he reads biographies and science fiction. No books about impeachment, he added.
State Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who represents Glendale, confessed to a love of science fiction. She especially recommended the works of China Mieville.
Mayor Tornek brought a rucksack filled with books and his own brand of humor about reading them. He categorized them as books he would never read, books other people thought he should read, books he reads for professional reasons, and–lastly–books he has read for pleasure. He told the audience at Vroman’s bookstore that he was taking the books in the rucksack to the donation box at the Pasadena Public Library after this event.
Congresswoman Judy Chu talked mostly about politics and discrimination. If I remember correctly she mentioned “Farewell to Manzanar”, the book about the Japanese-American internment camp during WWII. She said she puts all her books on a Kindle so she can carry them with her wherever she goes.
Now for all you booklovers out there, especially those who spend time thinking about the future of the world, I recommend “A Sea of Rust” by C, Robert Cargill. He writes of the world where humans no longer exist and robots are discovering unpleasant truths. Great book!
I watched the live stream on the NASA website until the actual launch at 4:05 a.m. and then rushed out to my balcony armed with my old camera and looked West. The Pacific ocean is about 65 miles west of Pasadena and the flight path was supposed to be along the coast. Less than a minute later a red dot rose up in the distance. And less than thirty seconds after that it disappeared from my sight behind a towering eucalyptus tree on its way to Mars.
Back in the late 1980s and 1990s when the Metro system was being built in Los Angeles, the city went all out for art. In the stations built since then there is still art–usually modest tile panels–but nothing quite as extravagant and amazing as the artwork in the Red and Gold lines. The artists back then were given almost total freedom to do what they wanted with very generous budgets.
The Civic Center Station in downtown L.A. is probably most famous for its “flying men” sculptures suspended from the ceiling. There are also dozens of tile mosaic murals lining the walls upstairs in the station, but I suspect many people walk right by them as they rush to the trains or to the street upstairs. They were designed by Faith Ringgold and produced by artisans at Mosaika Art and Design in Montreal.
So here are a few of these many glass tile mosaics. Because L.A. is such a sports town–8 professional sports teams here–I picked a few sports murals to show you. But there are others–especially musicians and dancers–in the Civic Center Station.
On my way to an art/music festival at Grand Park I came across this couple having their wedding photos taken in Union Station. A few of us watched, but many other people simply walked by, each involved with his/her own life.
I love the fact that the bride is wearing an elegant beige gown. Before Queen Victoria got married in a white gown brides did not wear white. I wish more brides would give up that 200 hundred year old custom and start wearing colors again. Another argument against white bridal gowns: in some parts of the world white is the color of mourning.