Sunday, February 28, 2010

FYI — Golf 'N Stuff is not in Downey

Downey's eastern border
Today I want to talk about Downey. Or more precisely, Downey's borders. I've lived here all my life. I thought I knew where Downey starts and ends.

Tonight I spent an hour or so taking pictures of the lights and rides at Golf 'N Stuff. It wasn't until I got home and tried to locate Golf 'N Stuff on the map that I discovered that it's not in Downey. It's in Norwalk. The filming of Karate Kid at Golf 'N Stuff? That was Norwalk. And the Target across the street? That's in Norwalk too.

That's why today's picture is a page out of the Thomas Brothers Guide showing the eastern border of Downey. You'll notice there's this funky triangle area where Downey juts over the 605. But at Cecilia and Wilderness Park, it juts right back over to the San Gabriel River, where it stays firmly put.

Bumper carsIf you're interested, the RamRodders at Golf 'N Stuff were having a great time. In Norwalk.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Raindrops keep falling . . .


"No individual rain drop ever considers itself responsible for the flood!"

The weather has been so crazy today, I felt obligated to take a picture of the rain. It was magical to notice the effects of each rain drop on the pooled water on the back patio.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What the hay?

Bale of hay

Last month, my neighbor set his Christmas tree and his other bulky Christmas decoration (a bale of hay) out for trash pickup. Calsan will pick up trees during most of January, but they never promised to pick up hay, so there it sits.

I never knew that grass grew from hay.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Something for everyone

downey daily photos 054

At the Downey Landing, going from Lakewood Blvd. to Bellflower Blvd. and Stewart and Gray Rd. to Alameda St., there are places for everyone, including the family member with four legs and a taste for every leaf fluttering by his feet. There is even a bathroom for him (note: yellow object in foreground) and a cleanup place for you (note: green object in background equipped with all necessities).

For more information on the Downey Landing, click here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This old arch

This arch served as the main entrance for the Downey Grammar School from 1916-1956 and for the first Downey City Hall from 1957-1984. It was moved from 8524 Second Street to this Civic Center location on December 6, 1984, and was refurbished and preserved. (As seen on a plaque at the arch.)
The arch sits behind the Downey Police Station.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"And a fence around every tree. . ."


I'm sure the planners who designed Downey Landing were thinking about 'Lady and the Tramp' when they 'fenced in' all the trees.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Downey any more

Monkey in a tree

I glanced up yesterday while ordering some fast food, and saw this monkey hanging from a palm tree.

We're still in southern California, right?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Moravian Church of Downey

Moravian Church of Downey

The beautiful sky today and the late afternoon sun combined to make the Moravian Church belfry a beautiful sight.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Downey River Walk

Lately I've been walking along the Rio Hondo riverbed. It's a nice trail with lots of bushes and flowers that make it seem more like an actual path following a river and less like a cemented waterway. On my last trip I noticed how many different modes of transportation were visible as I ambled along. It got me thinking about the whole idea of the journey versus destination.



"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
— Ernest Hemingway

Friday, February 19, 2010

Amazing Technicolor dream-curtains


The curtains in this house always make me smile when I pass by. They also make me wonder what the rest of the decor is in the living room.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Where the sidewalk ends


With all the construction going on in Downey, I thought I would show the people behind some of the work. Here, the men are smoothing out the concrete sidewalk and creating rivets so the seeing-impared can tell where the sidewalk declines and the curb ends. They even offered my hand print and name in the cement.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Ashes of Lent


Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the start of the Catholic season of Lent. The Catholic church on the corner of Downey Ave. and 5th St. was just getting out of Mass as I passed by so I stopped to take a couple pictures of our modern day homage to the season. Not exactly understanding the entire meaning of the ashes on the forehead, I went home to research.
"Putting a 'cross' mark on the forehead was in imitation of the spiritual mark or seal that is put on a Christian in baptism. This is when the newly born Christian is delivered from slavery to sin and the devil, and made a slave of righteousness and Christ (Rom. 6:3-18)." Origin of Ash Wednesday

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Forty seven years and going strong


For almost 50 years, Donna's Cleaners on Stewart & Gray Road has served Downey. The owner, Donna, is 84 years young and still works every day. She is one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet.

CRW_5706I've gone to Donna's Cleaners since I was small. I went there weekly with my Mom for as long as I can remember. Donna, always smiling, greeted us by name.

CRW_5707Greg, Donna's grandson, now runs Donna's Cleaners (with Donna's daily help). It's heartwarming to see this family business endure. Thank you Donna, for your years of gracious service.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Going postal


According to,
In 1653, Frenchman, De Valayer established a postal system in Paris. He set up mail boxes and delivered any letters placed in them if they used envelopes that only he sold. An enemy put live mice into the letter boxes and ruined De Valayer's business.
IMG_1141The post office boxes at the main branch of the Downey Post Office cover two entire walls. De Valayer would be amazed by today's postal system.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Rings on Piano
King and Queen of HeartsCandy Hearts

No matter where you are, who you are or are not spending this day with, no matter how you say it or who you say it to, this day is full of love. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Speedee McDonalds



The oldest operating McDonalds in Downey opened in 1953, when hamburgers were 15 cents and fries were 12 cents! Before Ronald there was Speedee!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy birthday Mr. President

12 16 09_0112
black girl

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."
Abraham Lincoln

Our history defines our future. One of the most influential people in our Nation's history is Abraham Lincoln. He was for equality and honesty and unity. Generations will still be honoring him long after we are gone. I wonder if he knew just what a legacy he would be leaving for us.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A mechanic you can trust

Steven Luzzi Automotive

I don't know much about cars, so it's important to me to have a mechanic I can trust. I've been taking my cars to Steve at Steven Luzzi Automotive, on the corner of Paramount and 2nd St., longer than I can remember. Of course, it wasn't always called Steven Luzzi Automotive. Until last year, when he changed the name of the business 18 years after buying it, my friends and I called it Pardella's. (In fact, for the longest time, we thought his name was Steve Pardella.) Thanks, Steve Luzzi, for taking such good care of me and my cars!

Steven Luzzi AutomotiveSteven Luzzi Automotive

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just playing

downey daily photos 074
My mom and I went on a walk this morning with Kodi and we couldn't help but get smiles and shouts from people wanting to pet and play with Kodi. This little guy however, couldn't decide if he wanted to play or run away from Kodi, so he hid behind the pole. Of course, he ended up petting him, then playing with him, then deciding he wanted a dog.
South side of Stewart and Gray between Lakewood and Brookshire

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Expect the unexpected

I do not expect to see barbed wire in Downey. To me, this is something you see on a ranch or a secured compound.

CRW_4931Somehow I forget LA is in a basin. It is so rare I see the mountains, I forget they are there!

I would never expect to come across a coyote wandering through town.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Reading corner

Downey library

Wandering the children's section of the Downey City library reminds me of all the children's books I loved (and still love) to read.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV Sunday

Super Bowl XLIVSuper Bowl XLIV

Whether you go out or stay at home, even non-football fans like me know that today is Super Bowl Sunday.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Downey Camera


The old entrance to Downey Camera (on Firestone) is still visible on the back side of the building (of course I worked a little photoshop magic to help it show this clearly).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chain link view

Chain link

I've been out of town for a few days, so today's photo, from along the train tracks, comes from a couple of weeks ago when it wasn't raining.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

One big soccer ball

Furman Park, Baseball field, while on a picnic.

DSC_0737 DSC_0738

I know during the course of this blog's life, Pam, Joan, and I have done multiple shots of the Downey parks but I guess we can't help it. There are so many different things going on that every shoot is different. This one happened on accident when Kodi (the dog) decided to interrupt a nearby pickup soccer game to chase the ball. On coming closer to the ball, however, he realized how big it was and quickly got out of its way. The boys had to play with him for a while till he got up his little nerve to actually tackle the giant. When he finally did, he couldn't get enough.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Just outside


DSC_0670I was planning on figuring out a picture to do while sitting on the comfort of my couch surrounded by Kleenex and juice and a blanket wrapped around my legs. I've thrown it off at least a dozen times getting too hot to handle its weight.

And then I looked outside. And though my body forbade me and begged me to lie still, my heart drew me outside to the still leafless trees and the bright sunny sky. The first signs of spring are bubbling up from the greenery surrounding my house. It was too beautiful to just stay in.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tis the moon


“There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the
dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable

-Joseph Conrad

Last night as I was pulling into the garage, I saw this eerie image of the moon peeking through the neighbor's tree. The moon conveys such beauty and mystery to me that I couldn't resist trying to capture it in some way.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's the lights that pull me in

Tropicana Bakery and Cuban Cafe

Tropicana Bakery and Cuban CafeIn the morning on my way to work I don't even notice the Tropicana Bakery and Cuban Cafe on Paramount Blvd. But on the way home, as twilight sets in and the lights come on, everything is different. With its bright lights and cheery green kitchen area, the bakery looks so inviting I just want to go straight in and get dinner!