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Friday, March 27, 2015

Looking for Something to Do? Free Events March 28 to April 3


Here are free events scheduled Saturday, March 28, to Friday, April 3.

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

The Pasadena American Little League season kicks off Saturday, March 28, at 9 a.m. at Hamilton Park with plenty of great baseball, food trucks, the Easton Bat trailer, former L.A. Dodgers player Jay Johnstone and much more.  

Students in grades 6 to 12 will showcase their intelligence and creativity during the Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center.

March is One City, One Story month -- our community reading celebration! Have you read this year's selection The Book of Unknown Americans yet?  
  • A community book discussion is scheduled Saturday, March 28, at 10:30 a.m. at Hill Avenue Branch Library.
  • A community book discussion is scheduled Saturday, March 28, at 11 a.m. at Linda Vista Branch Library
  • Learn about citizenship and immigration programs Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library
  • One City, One Story art and short story contest winners will be announced Saturday, March 28, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library.
  • See a full list of One City, One Story events with more details here
Gifted young musicians will perform Poulenc's Sextet for Winds and Piano, Beethoven's Adelaide Op. 46, Cohn's Aria for Winds (world premiere) and Thuille's Sextet for Piano and Woodwind in B Flat Minor Sunday, March 29, at 2 p.m. at Shumei Hall.

Dr. John Mulcahey, a Carnegie Observatories staff scientist, will explain how Carnegie astronomers and their colleagues are combining observations across the electromagnetic spectrum to help solve the mysteries of the universe Monday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. at A Noise Within. Arrive as early as 6:45 p.m. for refreshments and to claim your seat! 

 
A special live broadcast Wednesday, April 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Crawford Family Forum at Southern California Public Radio will celebrate Larry Mantle's 30th anniversary hosting Airtalk on KPCC Radio. RSVPs are required.

The silent adventure film "The Black Pirate" (1926, NR) starring Douglas Fairbanks and Billie Dove will be shown on the big screen Wednesday, April 1, at 1 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library. Seeking revenge, a young man joins the pirates responsible for his father's death.

During a presentation titled "A Molecular Arms Race: The Immune System Versus HIV" Wednesday, April 1, at 8 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium (building 91 on this map) Pamela Bjorkman, professor of biology at Caltech, will explain her lab's efforts to modify natural antibodies using molecular engineering so HIV someday will be powerless to mutate against them.

 
The first Friday of every month from noon to 5 p.m. is free admission day at Pasadena Museum of California Art (also the third Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.). On Friday, April 3, enjoy the current exhibitions plus everything else PMCA has to offer. 

You don't have to be a member of the Pasadena Senior Center to see "Boyhood" (2014, R) there starring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke Friday, April 3, at 1 p.m. Filmed over the course of 12 years with the same cast, the film tells the groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a boy named Mason.


The first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. is free admission night at Norton Simon Museum. On Friday, April 3, enjoy the current exhibitions and everything else the museum has to offer.



Photo credits:  Pasadena Public Library, Cultural News, International Business Times, Southern California Public Radio, United Artists, US Edu Guides, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Norton Simon Museum, Westside Today,

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Looking for Something to Do? Free Events March 21 to 27


Here are free events scheduled Saturday, March 21, to Friday, March 27.

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

Hope Demetriades will be on hand at the opening reception for her exhibition The North Stars: Canonizing the American Abolitionists Saturday, March 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley.

The Crown City Symphony will perform Mozart's Overture to "Don Giovanni," Weber's Preciosa Overture and Gounod's Ballet Music from "Faust" and will be joined by soprano Sunjoo Yeo who will sing arias by Puccini, Bellini and Gounod Sunday, March 22, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Pasadena, 75 N. Marengo Ave. 

In celebration of the Persian New Year, Norooz Pasadena will feature an authentic Persian tea house, traditional Haft Seen table, live entertainment, children's activities and more Sunday, March 22, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Pasadena Church of the Nazarene, 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. 
March is One City, One Story month -- our community reading celebration! Have you read this year's selection The Book of Unknown Americans yet?  
  • A community book discussion is scheduled Monday, March 23, at 11 a.m. at Lamanda Park Branch Library.
  • A community book discussion is scheduled Monday, March 23, at 3 p.m. at Fuller Theological Seminary. This discussion will be presented by Dr. Juan Martinez, the seminary's vice provost and director of international programs.
  • "The Visitor" (2007, PG-13) starring Richard Jenkins and Haaz Sleiman will be shown Wednesday, March 25, at 1 p.m. on the big screen in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library.  An economics professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young immigrant couple living in his apartment.
  • A Spanish-language book discussion is scheduled Wednesday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m. at Mothers' Club Family Learning Center. This discussion will be presented by Latino Heritage Association and Pasadena Latino Coalition.
  • A community book discussion is scheduled Thursday, March 26, at 4:30 p.m. at San Rafael Branch Library.
  • A special presentation titled "To Make the Unknown Known: Stories of Struggle and Hope from the Immigrant Journey in California" Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Central Library will feature personal testimony from four notables in the Hispanic and Asian communities.
  • See a full list of One City, One Story events here
Veteran Los Angeles Times reporter David Pierson, who headed up the former Pasadena bureau before reporting from Beijing, will share his four-year experience as an Asian American L.A. Times journalist in China Tuesday, March 24, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Pasadena City College's Harbeson Hall (HH on this map). The photo of David and me above was shot in Beijing in 2010.

Tenor Mark Goodrich will perform Wednesday, March 25, from 12:10 to 12:40 p.m. for the popular Music at Noon recital series. Feel free to bring a sack lunch.


Children 7 and older will learn about Piet Mondrian and make a craft inspired by this famous modern artist Wednesday, March 25, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Children's Story Room at Central Library. Sign up at the Children's Desk or call 626-744-4027. 

Steve Scauzillo, environmental reporter for the Pasadena Star-News, will moderate a panel discussion, hosted by the Sierra Club Forest Committee, on the future of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Wednesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. at Eaton Canyon Nature Center.  
 
Larry Wilson, public editor of the Pasadena Star-News and artistic director of LitFest Pasadena, will discuss the dialect in literature and its effect on the societies and cultures we create Wednesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in the Makineni Library at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Teens are invited to discover their creativity through writing by observing with their senses Thursdays, March 26 to April 23, from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at Hastings Branch Library. RSVP to 626-744-7262.


The Pasadena Community Orchestra will perform Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, Beethoven's Triple Concerto and Beethoven's Prometheus Overture Friday, March 27, at 8 p.m. at First Church of the Nazarene, 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.



Photo credits: YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley, Crown City Symphony, Norooz Pasadena, Pasadena Public Library, Orange County Register, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Huffington Post, Pasadena Community Orchestra

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mystery History Solved! -- Special Edition #3


There were three correct guesses out of the 70 or so placed in the suggestion box for Mystery History photo #3 at the Pasadena Museum of History, so Laura Verlaque and I used a very scientific method to choose one.

Geoff Meehan is the winner!

In this May 8, 1903, photo, the community stands ready to welcome President Theodore Roosevelt to Benjamin D. Wilson School*.

Located at the southeast corner of Walnut Street and Marengo Avenue, it was a high school from 1892 to 1903. Here's how it looked without all the festoonery:



Newspapers throughout the land were reporting on the planning of Roosevelt's Great Western Tour during which he would visit states from Kansas to California, including a walk through Yosemite with John Muir.  


When Pasadena community leaders learned of the upcoming tour, they sent a specially made key to the city along with an invitation to visit this community during his travels.

From the Feb. 28, 1903, New York Times:
President Roosevelt today received a valuable invitation from the citizens of Pasadena, Cal. What its exact value is has not been made known, but it is worth a good deal, for it is in gold. The invitation, which was handed to the President today by Representative McLachlan of California, asks Mr. Roosevelt to visit Pasadena on his coming trip to the West. It is in the form of a key of solid gold, and around the stem of the key is a splendidly engraved crown.

The key is emblematic of the key of Pasadena, and the crown is emblematic of the Indian name for Pasadena, "The crown of the valley." Pasadena is located at the head of the San Gabriel Valley. The invitation is extended by the Mayor and business officials of the town. The key is four inches long and is a good representation of the mammoth keys of the olden days. It is attached to a small piece of native wood that lies in the bottom of a specially made box. The box is of orange wood, with hinges of gold, and gold trimmings at the corners. A gold plate in the centre is inscribed as follows:

"Presented to Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, by resolution of the citizens of Pasadena, Cal., Jan. 6, 1903."

On the inside of the lid of the box is the following inscription:

"Pasadena. Greetings to our President."

Then follows a formal invitation for a visit, signed by W.A. Heiss of the City Council, and members of the trade organizations of the city.

Most of the invitations received by the President have met with the reply that the matter would be taken under consideration. The President, however, was so much pleased with this invitation that he directed Secretary Loeb to arrange for a stop in Pasadena in May.
On the way to Benjamin D. Wilson School, the president's coach came down Marengo Avenue, which was decorated with a huge, elaborate arch of lilies and tall wooden posts with palm fronds and wreaths on them.


 Then, when he arrived at Wilson School, a rose-strewn walkway had been laid down for him.


And here's the man himself, giving his speech, no doubt saying "Bully" to this taxidermied grizzly bear!


You can read his speech here.

After the speech, he went to South Pasadena for a visit with former first lady Lucretia Garfield, widow of President James Garfield, and lunched at the Hotel Raymond.

Roosevelt was a passionate conservationist. While in Pasadena, he was taken to the Arroyo Seco  where he famously declared his support to Mayor William H. Vedder for the movement to keep it as a natural park: "Oh, Mr. Mayor, don't let them spoil that! Just keep it as it is."

That was just the momentum that was needed, and within eight years the City of Pasadena began acquiring acreage in the Arroyo Seco.

You know I can't miss the opportunity to show you Mayor Vedder from the Hall of Mayors, right?


My Mystery History exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of History has been open since January and will close on March 29. If you haven't seen it yet, please come by!

On Tuesday, March 31, we'll be back to Mystery History business as usual on the Ann Erdman blog!


Many thanks to the Pasadena Museum of History, Teaching American History, Pasadena Public Library and yours truly.

*Benjamin Davis Wilson, for whom this school was named, was more popularly known as Don Benito. He was a major landowner in the greater Los Angeles area, including Pasadena, where he lived at his vast Lake Vineyard property (Lake Avenue was originally named Lake Vineyard Street). He later became mayor of Los Angeles and was the grandfather of General George S. Patton Jr. Mt. Wilson, Wilson Avenue and Don Benito School were named in his honor. The current Wilson Middle School was named for President Woodrow Wilson.