Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clock tower


Okay, so it's not "Back to the Future" or anything, but I really like our clock tower that stands in front of the 105 freeway on ramp on Lakewood.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Neon nights


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.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Downey Billiards


Most nights this place is really hopping. Over the weekend I drove by and couldn't believe how crowded it was—every table was taken.

Tonight, it is quiet with just a couple of guys
shooting pool.

I have to admit, it kinda made me think of the
movie "The color of money" with Paul
Newman and Tom Cruise. I guess I don't
get out to many pool halls.

But, the lights are fun and it has an old-world

Monday, September 27, 2010

Flower power

Flower market

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.)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Veggie tales

Downey fruit market

At the Downey Farmer's Market that is held on 2nd St. every Saturday, it might be the bakery that pulls at my pocket book, but it's the colorful veggies that bring out my camera.

Downey fruit marketDowney fruit market

Of course, once in a while, it's not just the colors that draw the eye.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fairy tale ending


I'm a sucker for a happy ending and I love fairy tales. Everytime I walk past this doorway, I sigh at the sweet sentiment of  the sign over the door. I sincerely hope they do live happily ever after...


Friday, September 24, 2010

Hands of a working man

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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.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Form without function

Downey Dog Park

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.

Arbor Dog Park Seal BeachArbor Dog Park Seal BeachSecond, 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.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Neighborhood watch

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"If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around." ~Will Rogers

This is my neighbor's dog, Lola. Lola is ferocious. I've seen her maliciously murdering an ant. Beware of all tiny creatures while around her.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Doors


I love doors and this is one of my favorites. I pass this door often as it is in my neighborhood. I like that the family has added all the succulents to fit the style of the house and the door.

“There are things known, and there are things unknown, And in between are the Doors.”
Jim Morrison

Monday, September 20, 2010

When the sun doesn't rise

Riverbed at sunrise

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.

Not what I expected. But worthwhile anyway.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rocking in black and white

Black rocking chairs

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.

Click here for other front porch rockers.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Man's best friend


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...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sun spots

Classic Plymouth coupe

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.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Riverbed secrets


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.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rest in peace


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.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"A sign of our times"


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.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Both sides of the fence


This fence is for when you can't decide which side of the fence to plant yourself on.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Two-car garage

Garage doors

I bet when the house was built in 1921, this two-car garage was considered a luxury.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mixed messages...


Walking through the park, I came across this sign.  It reminded me of the song: "Signs, signs everywhere a sign."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Where does the rain go?

Harris Meadow and Pond

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.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dangerous games

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We take great risks to get these pictures.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One man's trash...

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One of the pieces of discarded bottles lying along the railroad tracks caught my eye.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ice cream at the park


I was at Rio San Gabriel Park watching the light fade thinking how 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!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Gold-plated fountain?

Downey Landing fountain

The fountain at Downey Landing is a pretty typical fountain — until you happen to pass it at sunset.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Stained glass

First Presbyterian Church of Downey

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.

First Presbyterian Church of Downey bellI 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.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

He was a skater boy...


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!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Watch your step


Sometimes you just wish you could ask...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The night goes on


Another look at Imperial and Lakewood during the night shift.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another dog


This puppy is obviously adored, as she should be, and is, of course, very much part of the family. She was being held more than she was being walked.