Another look at Downey's nightlife... shooting almost directly up was necessary if I didn't want any heads in the picture. It was so crowded. It always seems to me that Downey doubles its population at night.
My favorite thing to buy at the Farmer's Market is a bunch of fresh flowers. These are my favorites. (I got a lot of complaints about yesterday's post, so I feel I must make amends and show more of what's good at the Farmer's Market.)
One of the hardest working men I know daily gets up at 4 something in the morning to go to work mowing the lawns of houses all up and down LA and her surroundings. When he has a spare moment, you can find him working tirelessly on his own project right here in Downey.
A couple of months ago, I was excited to read that Downey was creating a dog park. This week, I stopped by the location, at Rio San Gabriel Park, to find that it is almost complete. But—it wasn't quite what I expected.
A dog park provides features that ensure the safety of both the dogs and the people outside of the dog park. Sadly, I don't think that the Downey dog park is accomplishing this.
First, every dog park I've seen has been surrounded by a 6' chain link fence. The fence around the Downey dog park is 4' high, and the chain link doesn't extend to the back side of the dog park that parallels the riverbed. In addition, the nice shiny new benches have been placed right next to the 4' fence—the perfect stepping stool for the dog who can't quite jump the fence on his own. And the low fence and lack of chain link in the back are an invitation to the many kids at the park who don't know enough to stay away from strange dogs.
Second, every dog park I've seen has double-gated entry and exit gates. A double set of gates, like this one at Arbor Dog Park in Seal Beach, is essential to prevent dogs from getting out of the dog park and escaping into the main part of the park.
By their very nature, dogs are excited to greet each other. Imagine several dogs waiting at the gate for the newcomer, instead of the one shown. Now imagine trying to ensure that your dog and all of these other dogs don't get out the gate while you're going in!
Sadly, I don't feel that I can take my dog to this dog park. He's a runner, and if he gets out, he'll be gone. This would be heartache for me, but even worse, it could turn into a tragedy if my dog causes an injury to someone in the park!
At a minimum, we need the following changes:
Double gates for all entry/exit areas.
Move the benches away from the 4-foot fence.
Put up signs warning everyone to stay back from the fence. (This is in lieu of 6-foot fences and chain link all the way around.)
If you're a Downey resident and you'd like to see these issues resolved, get involved. Contact Desi Alvarez at the Downey City Hall at 562-904-7246. According to Mr. Alvarez, part of the issue is financing. So if you're willing, let him know that you can help raise the necessary funds. Let the City know that you want a dog park that is a true value to the residents.
I can hear it now — "Not another riverbed picture!" But I have an excuse. Really!
I'm taking a photography class, and the first week's assignment was to use light to express your subject in the best possible way. So I got up super early Sunday morning and headed off to the riverbed to catch the sunrise.
But there was no sun. Instead, there was this other-worldly mist rising off the water, and beautiful white birds (someone will have to tell me what kind) winging their way through it.
Some new rockers have popped up in my neighborhood recently. Part of this house's recent facelift included a new black door and these matching black rockers. They give this house a rather stately old-fashioned look, especially in the late afternoon sunlight.
While walking along the riverbed one afternoon, we came along side a yard with some vicious sounding dogs. As we approached closer to the area, this is what we saw. This guy actually looks like he's smiling. Hard to resist a smiling dog...
I don't know much about cars, but a few Google image searches (and the hub cap) lead me to believe that this is a 1930s or 1940s Plymouth coupe. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)
You know what I love most about classic cars like this? They're always so-o-o shiny! They always catch the sun and look like they're having a grand old time. I don't think even a brand new car is as shiny as a well cared for classic like this one.
Apparently, the riverbed on the west side of Downey is perfect for an afternoon bike ride, a lazy stroll, or a beautiful photo shoot where the weeds become beautiful grasses and the background enchanting.
This is the old road way in the Downey Cemetery. Although the trees have overgrown the road, making it difficult to drive down, the view is beautiful. One of the most peaceful places I've ever seen. I can't believe it's right in the middle of bustling streets and a freeway and shops.
Unfortunately this billboard is a sign of our times. It is a reminder of the financial crisis many homeowners in our community find themselves facing. I see more and more signs on front lawns that indicate the properties are bank owned, many of them big, new houses that were newly built.
I was surprised to see the reverse side of the same billboard. Obviously, this is a very different picture...just in case someone out there is ready to spend over $3 million to buy the house of their dreams in Downey.
When I went to Warren High School, this corner held tennis courts. A few years ago, Warren underwent a fairly large building program, including a new football field, a soccer field, and new tennis courts on another part of the school grounds. And for a couple of years, this corner was nothing but a sunken dirt hole.
It turns out that this dirt hole has a purpose. When it rains, the runoff from all of the paved areas drains into it, returning the rain into the ground (and hopefully eventually back into our water supply). It was ugly, but its heart was in the right place...
Now, several years later, with some landscaping, a walkway, and some benches, this dirt hole has been turned into the beautiful Harris Meadow and Pond.
I was at Rio San Gabriel Park watching the light fade thinking how beautiful.it looked. It's my favorite time of the day. I love when the shadows are long and the light takes on such warm coloring. It just doesn't get better than this... then here comes the ice cream cart man.
I don't know about you, but ice cream makes everything better!
I often pass the First Presbyterian Church of Downey. With its large entryway, many archways, and bell tower, it's a very appealing building. I like these stained glass windows from the outside — I can only imagine how beautiful they are from the inside.
I know the church has been there for a long time, but the only date information I could find is on the bell here. McShane Bell Foundry has been making church bells since 1856. This one was made in 1890.
The Warm Up. Today we took a late bike ride back to Rio San Gabriel. We came across a guy who was skating down the side of the riverbed to gain enough speed that he could jump using the ramp you see in the above picture. After a couple of "dry runs", he was ready for the real deal.
Here is the lift off.
This is catching air while he "flies" across the little section of river that runs through.
It wasn't a pretty landing, but he did land it...sans skateboard!