Monday, May 23, 2016

Window art

Window art

Although there is some yard art in this scene, it was the window art that caught my eye. I'm guessing that a teacher lives here. Clearly, there are some pretty fun ideas for schoolroom bulletin boards on display here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


The Promenade at Downey sign

As you drive by Downey's newest shopping center, you'll see the tall sign that lists some of the stores that are part of the center. At the top of the sign is a logo—"Pd" surrounded by stars. It's only if you drive into the parking lot, near the base of that sign, that you see that "Pd" stands for "The Promenade at Downey."

A promenade is a leisurely walk, typically in a public place. The name conjures up images of strolls through appealing settings. So far, there's not much evidence of this, but with many areas not developed yet, maybe I'm expecting too much too soon.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Rainbow lagoon

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There are definitely advantages to having to visit Hawaii for business. One of them is the sheer beauty of my surroundings. On my evening walk, I rushed down to order garlic shrimp from the Gilligan's Island Shrimp Truck, which closes at 7pm. I hurried past the people enjoying the end of the day along the beach, intending to get back to my room while my food was still hot, I was in a hurry.

But, I couldn't resist one last look at the lagoon as I rushed past. I was so glad I did. I had missed this beautiful rainbow streaking across the sky. It made for a magical evening and made me realize that my dinner being hot wasn't so important after all.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The giant sand dune

Malibu sand dune

About 90 minutes up the coast, in the northern part of Malibu (that is, past all the celebrity estates), there's a giant sand dune. To give you an idea of the size of this single slope of sand, look closely at the center of the picture above. You'll see the small speck that is my daughter.

Malibu sand duneThe dune used to be deserted, but in recent years, it's become a popular spot for kids young and old. You can climb to the top, then run (or roll) back to the bottom.

Advice from a sand dune

Soak up the sunshine
Stay loose
Keep moving
Embrace winds of change
Make positive ripples
Don't get carried away
Show your true grit!
~ Ilan Shamir

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Humans of Downey - Mario


"I came from Cuba when I was six. Our family was fleeing Castro's communist take over of Cuba during the first Freedom Flights. But during that time of travel with my family, I knew I was loved by my parents because of the way they protected me. We were rich in Cuba and poor when we arrived in America. Then we worked hard to make it to middle class. I never had a doubt about their love.

"My first experience of puppy love was in high school. But it is a different experience when you are in love as opposed to being loved. I've been blessed with my wife. I've been married 30 years and known my wife 35 years. That love that comes with the comfort and knowing that you are going to spend the rest of your life with one person. Knowing that person is always there to share your dumbest moments, your funnest moments. It's great to have someone else to look at the world with. I'm truly blessed.

"Now, every person I meet, I try to give the other person a sense of comfort. A smile is a very easy thing to give so with every relationship I have I want them to have a sense of comfort when they are with me. I want them to know that there is nothing behind what I do."
~ Mario

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Humans of Downey - Haley


"One of my earliest experiences of success was when I was in high school. I was a swimmer and water polo player at school and then I got my first job at Blizzberry on Florence Avenue. They noticed my commitment to the job and so they promoted me to assistant manager while I was still just 16 years old. This early success affected my later decisions. One example is during the summer of my senior year I was working long hours. There were nights I wouldn't come home until 11:00. I thought, 'I'm a teenager, I shouldn't be working these long hours.' I thought about that and how I needed to remember I'm still a kid, I don't need to work this much. I need to have some fun in my life also. So that early success taught me to have balance in my life.

"When the manager asked me to work more hours, I felt obligated to work as much as they needed me to but at the same time, there was a struggle involved. It taught me to focus on my own self while reaching for higher goals. It's hard to say 'no' when you're asked to take on a challenge. You think, 'Well, I've done a good job before and now they want me to do more,' and you want to prove to them you can do it or you feel an obligation to continue to work hard for them. So, yes, it's hard to say 'no.'

"Sometimes, especially because now I work for my dad, you bring work home with you, and I work in the political world also so your job never ends. So, there are times you try to find the right amount, you try to find your own time away. But as a young person, the expectations are very high, especially in the political world, that you should be working 24/7. So, I don't think I have the ability to say 'no' yet because I'm still a young person and there are very high expectations. I just don't think I've reached the highest success yet that I can say 'no.'"
~ Haley

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Love locks...again

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I was on an evening walk in Waikiki, heading back to my hotel when I noticed this lock on a fence. It made me smile. Shades of past visits to Paris and this tradition of placing a lock (typically on a bridge), although here on a fence. It seems the tradition continues.

"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead."
 ~ Oscar Wilde

Monday, May 16, 2016

Safe and secure downtown

Police in downtown Downey

All this Friday evening activity in downtown Downey calls for a police presence that wasn't there five years ago. Of course, this presence is slight—a police car parked down the street, and somewhere a uniformed officer quietly patrolling the streets.