Thursday, December 18, 2014

Landscape art

DSC_0066

There is some new art on the Downey landscape. I found it on the corner of Paramount Blvd. and 3rd Street, just across the street from the Rives Mansion and just outside of The Downey Brewing Company.

DSC_0062The assignment was to paint something cultural of Downey. This depiction of the music that can be heard in several eating establishments and on the roof of certain parking lots in Downey is a great selection.

20141213_115330This is Candace and Kyle, the artists that captured one cultural aspect of Downey.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas at Knott's

DSC_0105

The Knott family moved to Buena Park in 1920. Walter Knott developed the boysenberry shortly after. Knott's Berry Farm has been a standard for Downey residents to have an amusing day of going back in time. Back to the old West.

DSC_0107

The above steam engine was used in the California desert in the 1800s and was brought to Knott's Ghost Town in 1941.

DSC_0108

This is what it looked like before it came to Knott's.

DSC_0113

Knott's has always celebrated the handcrafted arts. During Christmas they set up the Craft Fair with many handicrafts on display for sale. We visited Cris at this Christmas ornament shop where she will hand print any name and sentiment onto your ornament.

We then topped the evening off by splitting a chicken dinner at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner restaurant, which has been serving those chicken dinners since 1934.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Garden gates

IMG_1921 as Smart Object-1

There are a number of backyards that border Furman Park. Most of these backyards have their own unique gates that open up into the park. I thought it would be fun to do a series of some of them. Having a gate that opens up onto a park makes for a serious garden gate.

IMG_1924 as Smart Object-1"Every exit is an entrance somewhere else."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Puddles

Furman Park puddle

The new walking path at Furman Park, made of decomposed granite, drains quickly after each rainstorm. But this area right next to the path, which will eventually contain some outdoor workout equipment, doesn't. Surrounded by a nice concrete curb, it collects the rain into a very nice reflecting pool.

All we need now are some geese.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Star light, star bright

Downey Christmas Tree Lighting 2014Downey Christmas Tree Lighting 2014

Last week was the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at the Downey Civic Center. (It's during the holiday season like this, when there is so much going on, that I'm grateful that DDP is a blog and not a newspaper that is required to report events when they happen!)

As usual, Santa was there to listen to the kids' Christmas wishes, there was a field of snow to play in, and there were lots of blow-up decorations for family pictures. It's a time when the entire town can join in on the fun.

Downey Christmas Tree Lighting 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The signs of Christmas

IMG_1966 as Smart Object-1

It is that time of the year—December. The night air is cooler, it's "winter" in California. That also means it is time to decorate for Christmas. I love Christmas decorations, they seem to add such dimension  and color to our daily lives. It makes everything sparkle and focuses our attention on the season.

IMG_1972 as Smart Object-1As we wandered along the canals in Naples, each of us appreciated the beauty and creativity of each house.  There is something magical in the lights and the colors.

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
~  Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hark, the herald angel

IMG_1965 as Smart Object-1

Walking along the canals in Naples, you find images of Christmas everywhere. Somehow this angel made me think of Gladys Herdman in "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." It's one of my favorite Christmas stories. It is a heartwarming tale about six problem kids who get involved with the annual church Christmas pageant.

The Herdmans had never attended church and didn't know the Christmas story. Their involvement in the play changes them and many around them. And one of my favorite parts is at the end when Gladys (the angel of the Lord), who is never quiet, loudly announces:  Hey! Unto YOU a child is born!

”Good news from heaven the angels bring; 
glad tidings to the earth they sing: 
To us this day a child is given, 
To crown us with the joy of heaven.” 
~ Martin Luther

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Traditions

DSC_0019

I think Christmas traditions are an important part of the Christmas celebration. They give one a sense of being grounded in something greater than one's self. This roller coaster has been a part of the Naples Island tradition for over 50 years. People who have seen it expect to see it each year. It takes commitment. It takes patience. And I think it takes love for others to share something of yours year after year.

DSC_0020

Thank you Miny and Fern for sharing this tradition with us.