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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mystery History -- Special Edition #2



Photo #2: Where are we? And what's happening?

For this special edition of Mystery History, guesses on this blog are disqualified because this contest is strictly low-tech.

Come to my Mystery History exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of History and stroll through the 14 topics that feature photos, artifacts and back stories. 

At the end of the exhibition there is a wall with three photos and  corresponding color-coded sheets you can fill out with your best guesses for the three photos, then place them in the suggestion box.  

Good luck!



I'll take the people who win for each photo out to lunch, my treat!

I'll reveal the back story to the photo above on my blog Thursday, March 5. 

I'll post the third photo March 17 and that big reveal on March 19.

Photo #1 was revealed on Feb. 19. You can see that post here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Looking for Something To Do? Free Events Feb. 28 to March 6


Here are free events scheduled Saturday, Feb. 28, to Friday, March 6.

All events are free, so take a look -- and don't you dare say there's nothing to do in Pasadena!

Celebrate the start of youth soccer season with a parade of soccer teams plus exhibition games Saturday, Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the field at Villa-Parke.

Children and their families are invited to sing along to the movie "Frozen" (2013, PG) Saturday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library.

The 1973 film "Video Notebooks," an early work by artist and photographer Joel Glassman, will be screened Saturday, Feb. 28, at 8:30 p.m. at the Armory Center for the Arts. The film explores narration and chance, the relation of on- to off-screen space and the framed space as arena or notebook of action. A Q&A with Glassman will follow the screening. His exhibition Humdrum Poetry is on view through March 22.

The first Tuesday of every month is free admission day at Kidspace Children's Museum. On Tuesday, March 3, from 4 to 8 p.m. you and your children will explore the history and traditions of St. Patrick's Day, make colorful Irish-themed crafts and enjoy Irish folk tales (storytelling begins at 6 p.m.).


Enjoy a night of Irish culture and dance! Guests will explore the history and traditions of St. Patrick’s Day, make “Stain Glass Shamrocks,” create “Egg Carton Snakes” and pretend gold, as well as enjoy Irish Folk Tale storytelling. Free Family Night is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Michael J. Connell Foundation, and the City of Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission. Admission is free from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, performances begin at 6:00 pm. - See more at: http://www.kidspacemuseum.org/hands-learning/eventlisting#sthash.nEua8VJV.dpuf
Enjoy a night of Irish culture and dance! Guests will explore the history and traditions of St. Patrick’s Day, make “Stain Glass Shamrocks,” create “Egg Carton Snakes” and pretend gold, as well as enjoy Irish Folk Tale storytelling. Free Family Night is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Michael J. Connell Foundation, and the City of Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission. Admission is free from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, performances begin at 6:00 pm. - See more at: http://www.kidspacemuseum.org/hands-learning/eventlisting#sthash.nEua8VJV.dpuf
March is One City, One Story month -- our community reading celebration! Have you read this year's selection The Book of Unknown Americans yet?  
  • "El Norte" (1983, R) starring Zaide Silva Gutierrez and David Villapando will be shown Wednesday, March 4, at 1 p.m. on the big screen in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library. After the Guatemalan Army destroys their village, a teenaged brother and sister flee to the U.S. 
  • See a full list of One City, One Story events here.
Write your good luck wishes or thanks on a magical shamrock any day from Tuesday, March 3, to Tuesday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the courtyard at One Colorado and then attach it to one of the St. Paddy's poles.


Mezzo soprano Iris Malkin will perform Wednesday, March 4, from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. for the popular Music at Noon recital series. Feel free to bring a sack lunch.


The first Friday and third Thursday of every month are free admission days at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. On Friday, March 6, from noon to 5 p.m. enjoy the current exhibitions Armin Hansen: The Artful Voyage; Jim Morphesis: Wounds of Existence; Lars Jan: Holoscenes/Quaternary Suite as well as everything else the museum has to offer. 

You don't have to be a member of the Pasadena Senior Center to learn how to play chess there Fridays, March 6 to April 24, from 3 to 4:45 p.m. taught by a 10th grade whiz kid from Flintridge Prep! The class is open to beginners as well as anyone who wants to join and play.
 
The first Friday of every month is free admission day at the Norton Simon Museum. On Friday, March 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. enjoy the current exhibitions Human/Nature: Photographers Constructing the Natural World; Lock, Stock and Barrel: Norton Simon's Purchase of Duveen Brothers Gallery as well as everything else the museum has to offer.


SAVE THE DATE!

Cristina Henriquez, author of this year's One City, One Story novel The Book of Unknown Americans, will join Library Director Jan Sanders Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m. in The Forum at All Saints Church for a discussion about her experiences writing the book. 


ArtNight Pasadena is Friday, March 13, from 6 to 10 p.m. when 17 local arts and cultural institutions will open their doors for free and shuttles will take you door to door at no charge.


Photo credits: Image Kid, Frozen Official Facebook Page, Armory Center for the Arts, Kidspace Children's Museum, Pasadena Public Library, One Colorado, Iris Malkin, The Creators Project, The Chronicle, Norton Simon Museum, Texas Standard, ArtNight Pasadena.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

One Night Only


Last night was the members only reception at the Pasadena Museum of History for my Mystery History exhibition and Dan McLaughlin's Pasadena Pursuit exhibition. 

It was so nice to see Jim Laris, former owner and publisher of the Pasadena Weekly, there as well as so many other friends and fellow bloggers!


I had three additional Mystery History photos on display -- one at the check-in table and two at the bar -- and visitors were encouraged to answer the two important questions for each: Where are we? And what's happening?


More than 100 people came for the event, and it was really fun to award prizes right there on the spot and explain the back stories for each of the photos.

So where are we in each of these photos? And what's happening?

In the top photo, shot by Pasadena Star-News photographer Walt Mancini in 1986, children climb the Ant Wall at the original Kidspace Children's Museum inside the McKinley School gymnasium where it was located for 20 years before moving to the former Fannie E. Morrison Horticultural Center at Brookside Park. See my Dec. 13, 2012, blog post here.

In the second photo, shot circa 1917, the first dedicated Pasadena City Hall, at the northeast corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Union Street, is all decked out with patriotic decorations and messages during World War I. See my June 25, 2009, Mystery History blog post here.

In the third photo, shot in 1973, two men work on the construction project for Ambassador Auditorium. I never did a Mystery History blog post that was specific to Ambassador Auditorium but I did include a photo and information in my Mystery History post about the former Ambassador College campus where the auditorium is located. See that March 13, 2013, blog post here

Dan and I had a great time greeting guests to our exhibitions, speaking about our work and awarding prizes for our respective one-night-only contests.


The exhibitions will be up until March 29.



Many thanks to the Pasadena Museum of History and Wendy Anderson.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Looking for Something to Do? Free Events Feb. 21 to 27


Here are events scheduled Sunday, Feb. 21, to Friday, Feb. 27. 

All events are free, so take a look -- and don't you dare say there's nothing to do in Pasadena! 
The 33rd annual Black History Parade and Festival Saturday, Feb. 21, will begin at 10 a.m. at Charles White Park in Altadena and end at Robinson Park in Pasadena where a festival will continue until 4:30 p.m.

The second annual Pasadena Author Fair Saturday, Feb. 21, from 10 a..m. to 2 p.m. at Central Library featuring more than 50 San Gabriel Valley authors will include readings, panel discussions and more.

In celebration of Chinese New Year, children are invited to learn simple calligraphy, make a craft and see a traditional lion dance Saturday, Feb. 21, from 3 to 4 p.m. at Hastings Branch Library.

The renowned Argus Quartet will perform Saturday, Feb. 21, at 4 p.m. for the popular Third @ First concert series.

The opening reception is Sunday, Feb. 22, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Offramp Gallery for "Sampled," an exhibition of works by 10 artists who work in a variety of media including sculpture, photography, painting and more.  

An LA Opera community educator will take participants through Gioachino Rossini's comic opera Il Barbiere di Seviglia (The Barber of Seville) Monday, Feb. 23, at 1 p.m. at the Pasadena Senior Center. Determined to win the heart of the beautiful and strong- willed Rosina, Count Almaviva enlists the help of the wily barber Figaro to steal her away from the lecherous Dr. Bartolo. You do not have to be a member of the Pasadena Senior Center to attend.

The exhibition "Like a Cow Visiting a Butcher Shop" featuring paintings by Mario Ybarra Jr., Pasadena City College's artist in residence, will have its opening reception Monday, Feb. 23, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Art Gallery at the PCC Center for the Arts (Building CA on this map).

Jazzy Ash & the Leaping Lizards will provide family-friendly fun as they perform music from New Orleans Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 3:30 p.m. at Santa Catalina Branch Library.


Classical cellist Sarah Rommel will perform Wednesday, Feb. 25, from 12:10 to 12:40 p.m. for the popular Music at Noon recital series.

"Now, Voyager" (1942, NR) starring Bette Davis and Paul Henreid will be shown on the big screen Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library. A spinster is driven to a nervous breakdown by her mother, recovers with the help of a psychiatrist and falls in love with a married man on an ocean voyage.
i
For 500 years the existence and contributions of African descendants in Mexico have been overlooked. Dr. Gloria Arjona will present a discussion titled "Black Mexica" Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library.



Photo credits: Pasadena Independent, Pasadena Public Library, Metro News, Argus Quartet, Offramp Gallery, The Metropolitan Opera, Pasadena City College, Passim, Sarah Rommell, Library of Congress, Trip Down Memory Lane,

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mystery History -- Solved! Special Edition #1


Bill DePoto's guess, "Construction of Christian Science Temple, South Oakland Ave.," that he placed in the suggestion box at the Pasadena Museum of History was correct and he wins the fabulous prize for Mystery History Special Edition #1.

In the 1910 photos above and below, construction of the First Church of Christ, Scientist is in various stages at the southeast corner of Green Street and Oakland Avenue.


The church cost $100,000 to build. It was designed by architect Franklin P. Burnham of Chicago, who also designed the Georgia State Capitol, Carnegie Art Museum and the Riverside County Courthouse

In 1903 Pasadena's burgeoning Christian Science community built its first church at the southeast corner of Colorado Boulevard and Madison Avenue:


 It was expanded in 1905:


1905 was also the year the land at Green and Oakland was purchased. After years of fundraising drives and proposals from various architects, Burnham was hired and construction began in 1910. It was completed the following year. 


The church had the largest number of square feet of any building in Pasadena at the time. It was designed to be completely fireproof and was topped by one of the earliest examples of a reinforced concrete dome.

Nearly a century after this church was built, structural work revealed the need for a large-scale seismic upgrade. The project team, led by Architectural Resources Group, analyzed the building’s condition, installed  a major structural system that is virtually invisible, and restored historic finishes. And they did it all in 18 months with a budget of only $3.5 million, without disrupting a single church service.

The retrofit and restoration project received the prestigious Preservation Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy in 2009.

The church today at 80 S. Oakland Ave.:


Pasadena's rich history includes incredible architecture of churches throughout the community, past and present.



Many thanks to Pasadena Museum of History (Benshoff Collection, #14), Los Angeles Conservancy, Architectural Resources Group, Univerity of Southern California and Pasadena Church of Christ, Scientist.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mystery History - Special Edition #1


Where are we? And what's happening?

For this special edition of Mystery History, guesses on this blog are disqualified for the first time ever!

So what's the contest and how can you win? It's highly low-tech.

Come to my Mystery History exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of History and stroll through the 14 topics with photos, back stories and artifacts.

At the end of the exhibition there is a wall with three photos and corresponding color-coded sheets you can fill out with your best guesses for each of the three photos. Just place your guesses in the suggestion box. It's that simple!

I'll take the people who win for each photo out to lunch, my treat.

Good luck!



I'll reveal the back story to the photo at the top of this post on my blog Thursday, Feb. 19, including the name of the winner.

I'll post the second photo March 3 with the reveal March 5 and the third photo March 17 and that reveal March 19.

Monday, February 16, 2015

PLOM (Poor Lil' Ol' Me)


A virus invaded my upper respiratory system more than a week ago. It knocked me on my you know what and I'm beginning to come out the other side, but man oh man it has been a challenge.

I've been having my own private PLOM party.

Some thoughts about the past few days (besides the fact that being sick sucks):

* I don't ordinarily watch TV for hours on end, but being a couch potato has been a natural necessity. There has been one particularly bright light: I happened upon the 2006 documentary "A Man Named Pearl" on some channel way up in the triple digits on the lineup.



It's a look at a guy who worked very hard all his life, then picked up landscaping as a hobby and became a self-taught master topiary artist, overcoming racism and naysayers all along the way. Why didn't I know about this film before?

* Merrilee Fellows and I have been friends for more than 10 years. She works for NASA and we first got to know each other when we, on behalf of our respective agencies (mine being the City of Pasadena), were very busy communicating a big groundwater cleanup issue to the public. Now she spends a lot of time at NASA research centers and launch sites.



I made a commitment on Feb. 1 to do a good deed every day this month -- 28 good deeds in a row. Merrilee kindly stepped in to be my proxy so the chain isn't broken while I'm down for the count. She has cleaned up some trash and glass on a trail at Oak Grove Park, volunteered her time to do organized good works and done thoughtful things for some people. I heart Merrilee.

* My sick body really has responded to soup and fluids and over-the-counter meds. Green tea with honey is my new best friend. Sugar-free cough drops don't make my mouth all sticky and icky. Kleenex infused with lotion is some kind of miracle.



Mucinex Fast-Max, granulated something-or-other that is mixed with hot water, tastes really vile but is a weapon of mass destruction.

* Of course this is happening when the weather has been spectacular. While a large part of the nation has been SUV-deep in snow, it has been in the high 80s here.



But I'm not able to enjoy it because my body says, "Fuhget about it...you're not going anywhere." (Photo shot with Merrilee's quadcopter!)

* Before you ask, I have everything I need, thank you. Everybody has been so kind. I live in a great neighborhood where we all look out for each other and now it's my turn to be checked in on, and so many friends have reached out via text message, Facebook and phone.



Hearing my daughters' voices through the phone from far away always provides comfort at times like these, bless them. Becky and Jessica are more dear to my heart than words can possibly express. And they love their mommy. That makes me feel better.

* I'm strong and confident when I'm well. But I'm a great big baby when I'm sick.



I just want to go out and play.

Perhaps tomorrow.


Photo credits: Doktor Spinn, IMDB, Merrilee Fellows, Mucinex Products.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Looking for Something To Do? Free Events Feb. 14 to 20


Here are events scheduled Sunday, Feb.14, to Friday, Feb. 20. 


All events are free, so take a look -- and don't you dare say there's nothing to do in Pasadena!  

A new load of garden-ready mulch from Pasadena Public Works Department street tree trimmings is now available at the southeast corner of the parking lot at Victory Park. Bring your own shovel, container and gloves anytime between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. The mulch supply is replenished once a month from February to October and is available to Pasadena residents only.


The Transcontinental Piano Duo will perform in recital Saturday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music featuring works by Barber, Beethoven, Brahms, Grieg, Liszt, Lutoslawski and Ravel.

The concert Songs About Place: Los Angeles Sunday, Feb. 15, at 4 p.m. at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music will feature four contemporary classical works by L.A.-based composers who used the city as their inspiration.


Classical clarinetist Margaret Thornhill will perform Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 12:10 to 12:40 p.m. for the popular Music at Noon recital series. She will be accompanied by Twyla Meyer on piano.

"10,000 Black Men Named George" (2002, R) starring Andre Braugher and Mario Van Peebles will be shown on the big screen Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library. Porters of the Pullman Rail Company get organized by a union activist in the 1920s.  

Brother Yusef will lead "Blues Tunes for Kids," an introduction for children to blues through singing and movement, Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. at La Pintoresca Branch Library

Residents of all ages are invited to create their own seed mosaics Thursday, Feb. 19, at 3:30 p.m. at Hill Avenue Branch Library. All materials will be provided.

The third Thursday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. in free admission day at Pasadena Museum of California Art (also the first Friday from noon to 5 p.m.). On Thursday, Feb. 19, enjoy the current exhibitions plus everything else PMCA has to offer.  

Gerda Govine Ituarte will discuss and read from her two poetry art books "Oh, Where is My Candle Hat?" and "Alterations|Thread Light Through Eye of Storm" Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at Hastings Branch Library. A Q&A will follow.  

"Maleficent" (2014, PG) starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning will be shown on the big screen Friday, Feb. 20, at 1 p.m. in the Scott Pavilion at the Pasadena Senior Center. A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land. You do not have to be a member of the Pasadena Senior Center to attend.


"Sleepless in Seattle" (1993, PG) starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will be shown Friday, Feb. 20, at 2:30 p.m. at Santa Catalina Branch Library. A widowed man's son tries to find his father a new partner.

SAVE THE DATE!

The One City, One Story community reading celebration will feature events all next month, including a community dialogue with the author Thursday, March 12.. If you haven't read the 2015 selection The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez, pick one up locally at any Pasadena public library or Vroman's Bookstore.


Many thanks to Wired, Transcontinental Piano Duo, Pasadena Conservatory of Music, IMDB, Valley News, Hometown Pasadena, Gerda Govine Ituarte, Movieme Unlimited and Pasadena Public Library.