Friday, March 24, 2017

Someone else's treasure

Alleyway trash

There are many ways to get rid of used items. You can try to sell them online, or hold a yard sale. Sometimes, if you don't think the items are worth much, you can simply put them in your alleyway. It's surprising how often your "junk" will find its way into other hands. (And if it doesn't, you can call the trash company for a "large item pickup.")

This scene reminded me of another "alleyway" full of someone else's junk-turned-into-treasures, from my recent trip to Paris.

Paris antique shop

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It could have been worse


The bridge on Firestone Blvd. that crosses over the Rio San Gabriel River was under reconstruction for over a year during 2014 and 2015. (See our posts here and here.) The construction was completed last year.

On my way to the Costco Warehouse in Norwalk yesterday, I passed over the bridge and noticed this damage. I came back to see just how bad it was. I don't know if you noticed, but the guard rail is damaged at both ends. I'm not sure how that happened. It will have to be fixed or replaced along with the now-mangled fence that prevents cars from plunging into the riverbed below.

“Don't be very frightened, Marilla. I was walking the ridge-pole and I fell off. I suspect I have sprained my ankle. But, Marilla, I might have broken my neck. Let us look on the bright side of things.”
~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Downey is a giving community


This electrical box is just outside the Mimi's Cafe on Firestone Boulevard. It depicts the many facets of giving that the Assistance League of Downey participates in.

DSC_0438[1]The one I'm most familiar with is the thrift store on Downey Avenue. My wife and I pass by it during our evening walks. We love to see the window displays. They always have a theme and are very creative. Go and check out what's inside sometime, and then support the Assistance League by purchasing something.

We have many posts of the thrift store here.

We have also posted regarding the Assistance League's Casa De Parley Johnson here. The house was designed for Parley Johnson and his wife Gypsy. After her death in 1986, the house was bequeathed to the Assistance League.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Here comes the rain


It was on my drive home today that the rain started really coming down.

"Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain." 

~ Langston Hughes

Monday, March 20, 2017

Local wildflowers

Downey wildflowers

I always thought that if I wanted to see wildflowers in bloom in the spring, I'd have to drive for a couple of hours in any direction. But it turns out that Downey has its own patch of wildflowers, in the parkway next to an empty lot. This patch (maybe 200' long and 6' wide) is overflowing with poppies. I recognized mostly oriental poppies, and even a few of our own California golden poppies.

Just goes to show what a little rain can bring.

Downey wildflowersDowney wildflowers

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Yellow tree

Once again, bright colors and sunset lighting combined to create a stunning effect. This tree, just like the one I saw six years ago in a different location, stopped me in my tracks (or at least the nearest parking spot), so that I could capture the bright yellow blossoms against the rusty red wall.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Porto's effect


The view of Porto's Bakery from Firestone Boulevard almost any day of the week. Even with another Porto's open now in Orange County, it seems the demand still makes it worth the wait—in line, that is.

"Life is short, eat dessert first." 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Irish you were beer

Bastards St. Patrick's Day

We might not turn Downey Avenue green like the Chicago River, but there are still plenty of St. Patrick's Day celebrations going on in downtown Downey this evening. The biggest one appeared to be at Bastards BBQ, where signs of Irish green were everywhere.

Did you know, according to Wikipedia, that Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival? Even though less than 5% of California's population is of Irish ancestry, you'll see celebrations and reminders everywhere. And 83% of us wear green—or risk getting pinched!

Bastards St. Patrick's Day