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.
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!
Every winter there is ice skating in downtown Los Angeles and this year the activities for children were expanded. The temporary ice rink is set up in Pershing Square by a group that calls itself the Holiday Ice Rink, but I am not certain who brought in the bouncy-houses, miniature merry-go-round and kid-size train..
This expanding event probably does not make the Pershing Square Restoration Society very happy. They want to return the Square to something similar to its park-like original configuration over 100 years ago. Mostly it would be grass and trees and statues if they had their way. I am not sure where the urban ice skating rink would go in their plans, not to mention the children’s playground and the dog park lined with tall pink concrete cylinders and bougainvillea.
The current configuration of Pershing Square–and there have been 5 redesigns since the beginning–was done in 1993 by the famous Mexican Modernist architect Ricardo Legorreta, landscape architect Laurie Olin, and artist Barbara McCarren. And as the years have rolled by the playgrounds were added in recognition of the growing number of families living downtown. I used to favor restoration, but no longer. Grand Park, just a few blocks away, has plenty of grass and trees and some statues, too.
The new sign that greets patients at the Kaiser Permanente Optical office reads: “No Weapons Allowed”. Smoking, of course, has been banned in most California locations for years, but this is the first I’ve seen a sign about weapons.
“Too much is just about right” at the amazing, annual Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn in Riverside, about an hour or so east of L.A.
The hotel itself is beautiful, but the addition of dozens of animated characters around the building and an enormous fireworks display really pushes the Festival of Lights over the top.
Not wanting to drive out there after dark to see the fireworks, I went the day after the Festival began and discovered that the city of Riverside is a very charming place, filled with Victorian cottages, parks, interesting architecture, a museum, and even a statue of Mahatma Gandi in the downtown shopping plaza.
Don’t want to drive? You can reach Riverside on a Metro Link train (not the local neighborhood Metro Rail) from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. It takes a couple of hours on the train.
Launched 41 years ago as a send-up of the oh-so-serious Tournament of Roses parade, the #PasadenaDooDah parade has been wacky and chaotic from the start. The Briefcase Marching Band is probably the most famous entrant in those early Doo Dah days.
What struck me most as I watched in 2018 was the individual creativity — unlike the cosplay stuff that goes on at ComicCon and other similar events that Millennials adore, but are not very creative. Cosplay is just copying.
Okay. Enough of this rant. Now on to the Doo Dah parade for 2018. Oh, something happened when I was downloading my photos and I lost about 2/3rds of my photos including a couple of the Doo Dah Queen who, in the spirit of Lady Godiva, rode a white horse in the parade. Her skin-color body suit was decorated with strategically placed purple embellishments, so no shocking nudity. Other wore less revealing costumes.
Here, in no particular order, are a lot of other photos of the 2018 parade.
A close-up of the Cry Baby Buick art car. Damaged Barbies are the preferred decorative element.