Thursday, September 21, 2017

Humans of Downey - Connie

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"I'm the same as everyone else because humans are all one. It doesn't matter what race, religion, sexuality, we're all just humans. I'm the same as everyone here tonight because I love being with people, watching what people are doing, how they are reacting and interacting with others, just like the police officers that are standing watch over there. I'm the same as everybody else because I love being part of this community. As a parent, I'm the same as everybody else in that I want the best for my children.

"I'm different from everybody else because being a widow, I have to be both to my children, both mother and father. I understand that life isn't easy. And even though my children are now adults, I still see them as my children. When they were growing up I think I pushed them a little harder than most parents, because I was a single mom. Knowing that life is rough, I tried to prepare my children for that reality. That makes me different than others. Having raised my children as a single mom, my outlook on life changed over the years. I had to become independent and not depend on another like when there are two parents. I think I became stronger as an individual though."

~ Connie

PS I interviewed Connie at Downey's International Food and Music Festival.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Humans of Downey - Robert

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"I'm the same as everybody else because I'm human. And just like many other people, I'm a parent. I have a six-year-old little girl, Sophie. I show my child love just like other parents. Every day I tell her that I love her and I hug her. I support her by always complimenting her.

"I am different from others because I'm disabled. The left side of my body is paralyzed. The paralysis was caused by a stroke. I cope with my disability by directing my anger at myself because I know that I caused my stroke. I'm also unique from others in that I try to be more creative than others. More creative by the way I use my mind. I'm always thinking of ways to improve things. I used to write but my mind isn't the same now and so I don't write like I used to."

~ Robert

PS I took Robert's picture and interview at the International Food & Music Festival last weekend.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Kitchen garden

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From blossom to fruit—in this case, vegetable. This is my cucumber vine. I love growing fresh veggies in my kitchen garden.

20170804_173543_001The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.
~ Alfred Austin

Monday, September 18, 2017

Dance the night away

Downey International Food and Drink Festival

There were three stages for music performances at the Downey International Food and Music Festival this year. At each one, people were dancing and swaying to the music (in this case, The Little Mermaid's Under the Sea).

Downey International Food and Drink FestivalAnd it wasn't just the crowd enjoying the music. The musicians also looked like they were enjoying themselves.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Photo ops

Downey International Food and Music Festival photo op

Today was the Downey International Food and Music Festival. Preparations go on all day for the food trucks, live music, festival attractions, face painters, and a beer and wine garden.

One of the popular attractions is the photo op with the D-O-W-N-E-Y letters, where everyone enjoys having their picture taken.

Downey International Food and Music Festival signDowney International Food and Music Festival flags

Friday, September 15, 2017

"The Boat"

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Tonight, dinner was at La Barca Cantina and Grill. I had chicken in mole sauce, it was quite yummy.

20170915_192030_001The patio dining was much improved over the previous outdoor setting. The experience was a little loud with a live band and roaming musicians. But for me, it is all about the food.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”
~ Luciano Pavarotti

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Humans of Downey - Ernesto

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"When I was younger, actually in middle school, I had a passion to serve, to help others. Sometimes it was fixing someone's bicycle or washing a car. Whatever the situation was that someone needed help, I wanted to be the one that helped them. I think I have a servant's heart. That translates into customer service. This cafe gives me the opportunity to serve Downey, to give back to my hometown.

"I think my parents were my model for helping others. My parents helped me to become more social. To be able to talk to a stranger and make them feel like I was their friend. They helped me see school as a positive thing and to get out of my social shell. They had multiple lunch trucks and I got to see them enjoy serving others. The look on their faces when they made others happy by meeting their needs was an inspiration to me. I wanted to smile because I had met someone's need."

~ Ernesto

DSC_0542PS Ernesto and his wife are owners of the newly opened Chocolate Covered Cafe here in Downey, 12250 Paramount Blvd. This is one of their creations, a S'more shake.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A blue wall

Blue Wall

My wife and I were out for our nightly walk on August 11 when we noticed this message being projected onto a wall of Downey City Hall. We inquired about Corporal Hano at the police station. They told us he was injured in an electrical explosion during a training exercise in South Gate. You can read about it here. The picture in the article is of Corporal Hano receiving an award for saving the life of a child that had fallen into a pool. You can read about that here. I haven't heard how his recovery is going. But having worked in a hospital, I know that burn injuries can take some time to recover. I'll investigate and let you know later.