Friday, September 30, 2011

A taste of Downey

Taste of Downey crowd

Tonight was the second annual Taste of Downey event. A couple thousand people were expected to attend on this beautiful evening, with just the hint of a threat of rain.

Taste of Downey Granata'sLast year's event was crowed into a smaller space to the point that you couldn't move. But this year was great. Over 30 vendors participated, providing the opportunity to sample great food from local restaurants. Granata's, now under new ownership and renamed Granatas and Tapas, was celebrating its soft grand opening tonight.

Taste of Downey signA new addition to the event this year was an art display featuring the works of 15 local artists, including works by all three of us Downey Daily Photo bloggers. More on that in my next post.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Slow down


At the Downey Landing last night, I almost walked onto this sign while this man was preparing to paint it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just keep writing

oops! frame

My dad saw this when we were in Michael's today looking at frames. I guess someone forgot to insert the directions in French and Spanish!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011



Last Saturday we started our day watching empty water barrels being given away for disaster preparedness (see Ready or not). We spent a while there chatting with a number of the helpers. Many of them had been there since the wee hours of the morning. I don't know this woman's name, but she was one of the volunteers for the day. She was cheerful, greeting everyone with a smile and information to help in case of an emergency. She clearly enjoyed serving.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Patriot on vacation

Patriot on vacation

One of the fun things about living in a relatively small town is that it's possible to get your picture into the local paper without doing or being anything out of the ordinary. To this end, we carried around a copy of the Downey Patriot with us on our summer vacation.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ready or not?

Downey preparedness barrels

Saturday was a busy day for events in Downey. In addition to the Downey firefighters fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (see "Big boots to fill"), the Downey Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) distributed free plastic water barrels for emergency water storage. These young guys handing out barrels are volunteers from the Warren High School Red Cross club.

The barrels were donated and prepared by the Downey Coca-Cola facility (see Things go better with...). The barrels varied in size from 15 to 55 gallons and there was a limit of one barrel to a car. I got one of the smaller barrels.

Downey preparedness productsIn addition, in the parking lot next door to the distribution location, the EPC, CERT, and American Red Cross hosted an emergency preparedness fair. I learned how (and when) to turn off the gas in case of an emergency. (Turn it off when you actually smell gas; don't turn it off "just in case," because you'll have to wait for the Gas Company to turn it back on for you.) And I learned about my embarrassing lack of disaster supplies while browsing at this and several other displays.

But at least I'll have water!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Big boots to fill


Today Downey Fire Fighters were taking it to the streets. It was the annual "fill the boot" fundraiser. The firemen spent their day at the intersection of Firestone and Lakewood. They walked out into traffic with their boots held high. Their goal was to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy.


In an interview with the Downey Patriot, fire engineer Peter Browne explained that "Downey is home to one of the nation's leading muscular dystrophy rehabilitation centers, Rancho Los Amigos, so it stands to reason that we support this cause in our very own backyard." 

Funds that are raised are used to send local kids to camp as well as fund research for the MDA. Last year this same fundraiser brought in $19,300 in a single day! I'm guessing the boots were more than half-full.

Thank you Downey Fire Fighters for all your hard work!

Friday, September 23, 2011

In the line of duty

Downey police memorial cap

Yesterday, the city unveiled a memorial to fallen police officers in front of the Downey Police Department. The memorial's plaque describes the death of Officer Wayne Presley, the only Downey officer killed in the line of duty.

Downey police memorial mourning officerAccording to the plaque:
"On the evening of April 10, 1981, Officer Wayne Presley and his partner were assisting a stalled motorist at a major Downey intersection when they were struck by a drunk driver, critically injuring one officer and instantly killing Officer Presley. He was 37 years old and left behind a wife and three children."

(On a side note, Downey Beat reports that there were 11 cars stolen in Downey on Thursday. Several of the cars were taken while Whittier Police were patrolling the city, filling in for Downey’s officers during the memorial's dedication ceremony.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thrown away love


I puppy-sat for my brother's puppy today. She is a rescue from the Downey SEAACA, our local animal services facility. Why anyone would want to throw away this sweet girl is beyond me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Rue de la blah blah blah..."

Joan at Mimi's

Mimi's Cafe seemed to be the perfect setting for our Paris trip planning. A meeting in the French-iest restaurant we can find in Downey, lists of everywhere we want to go in Paris, and a bed full of maybes and definites of clothes. My life is surrounded by our trip to Paris in October. Funny how we have been planning this trip for around six months and we'll only be there for a week...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A time to remember


Tonight I went to the Downey Cemetery. I wanted to get pictures at sunset of this lovely setting. It is a beautiful cemetery and gives a sense of the history of Downey. So many of the grave markers date back to the mid-1800s. I was surprised to see fresh flowers on this grave stone from 1919.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Downey on Facebook

Downey news on Facebook

I've recently become addicted to following the Downey news through a couple of Facebook pages. It's a great way to keep up with local community events (that is, more stuff to take pictures of for Downey Daily!).

The Downey Beat, founded by Ben Baeder, is a new site that provides "deep, constant news coverage of Downey and its surrounding communities."

The Downey Patriot newspaper has been around for years, but I only recently discovered its Facebook page. I have to confess, I've never been fond of the newspaper format, so I really only started reading the Patriot regularly after they ran a story on Downey Daily. So I'm really enjoying getting their daily updates on Facebook.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fleeing to temptation

Cold Stone ice cream

I've been dieting, fairly successfully, for about nine months now. But the thing that always trips me up is ice cream, especially Cold Stone Creamery—the ultimate ice cream experience.

Cold Stone mixSo, the question for today is this. Did I end up splurging at Cold Stone tonight because I went to Downey Landing in search of a picture? Or, did I go to Downey Landing tonight in search of a picture because I wanted to splurge at Cold Stone?

"Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos."
~Don Kardong

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The milkman really delivers


Growing up in Downey, we were all aware of Rockview farms. Since we were only about a mile from the dairy, I remember a group of us frequently riding our bikes to the dairy to watch the cows. I even remember getting our milk delivered by the Rockview milkman. Well, there are no cows there now, just the processing plant. But I was intrigued to learn that the milkman is not a thing of the past. Rockview still delivers! And, according to their website, the delivered milk hits your doorstep only about 48 hours after milking.

The family-owned and operated dairy has been in business since 1927. They are one of the last dairies in the state to own their own cows and process, package, and distribute their own milk.

Click here to visit the Rockview Dairies website.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Signs of the times


These signs tell me that flu season is approaching. Like the first day of school, it means that summer is over and fall is nearly here.

They also made me stop and think. When I was young, you got your shots at the doctor's office. And you deposited your paycheck at the bank. Now, you can do all that, and more, at your local grocery store. (I know this has been around for a few years—but then, it's been a few years since I was young...)

For my international readers, do your grocery stores provide more than groceries? Or is this just an American custom?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Maybe someday


It seems weird to be taking pictures of other cities but when I went to Glendale this last week, I couldn't help but wish we had somewhere like this to hang out in our own town. Shops surround the park with gorgeous apartments on top of them. The lights and water and jazz music was incredibly peaceful and beautiful. An ice cream shop on the corner provided the perfect ending to the night. The whole place looked thought out and well developed. Well done Glendale.


What do you think?


It's a funny feeling, being asked your opinion from a total stranger. But it happens a lot in this town. Usually it's just a glance looking up from the shoe mirror under the bench with a question of, "Do you think these looks good?" Today however, we were asked our opinion about some shoes, and another pair, and another color, and another size... We were this woman's personal shoppers in that aisle. It was fun for a while but I definitely decided I never want to do that for a living.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Autumn colors


Walking along the riverbed I noticed what an interesting color the water was. It looked like autumn. And, there were some fun striped birds who were not put off by the color and were having a quick drink. If you zoom in, you can see one of the birds posing for me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Red white and blue

Downey 9/11 Program girl with flag

More from yesterday's 9/11 program and concert at Furman Park.

Downey 9/11 Program flag salute Downey 9/11 Program flag corpsman Downey 9/11 Program audience
The Downey Police and Fire
Honor Guard posted the flags.
Hospital Corpsman Third Class Eric Rogers, home temporarily while recovering from injuries sustained while on duty in Iraq, led the flag salute. Sheila Jacobs sang our National Anthem, joined by many in the crowd.

Downey 9/11 Program band Downey 9/11 Program young girl
The concert featured the band "Yard Sale." The music was enjoyed by young and old.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

First responders

9-11 10th Anniversary Flag of Heroes

Today is 9/11/11. Ten years after the terrorist attack of 9/11/01. Today at Furman Park, Downey celebrated the first responders.

9-11 10th Anniversary firefighters
Firefighter Wai Lee in front of
his fire truck displaying the motto
"We will not forget you."
We honor the first responders to the World Trade Center, many of whom lost their lives when the towers collapsed. The Flag of Heroes lists all of the first responders who lost their lives. Lonnie Croom, Downey's Fire Chief, said that since 9/11, fire stations have adopted the motto "We will not forget you."

But we don't just look back. Looking forward, we honor today's first responders—the firefighters, police, and emergency technicians who daily risk their own lives to help keep us safe.

Thank you!

9-11 10th Anniversary Downey firefighters
Downey firefighters
9-11 10th Anniversary Downey police
Downey police

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Art on the Vine


We had a great turnout for the second "Art on the Vine" which featured two local artistis, Rocio Alejandra Garcia and Carlos Durazo.


For the musical component, we enjoyed Sax Serg Music. It was another great night to appreciate some amazing talent, chat with locals, all while enjoying a good glass of Cabernet.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Think before you drink

A glass of wine

A beautiful summer evening, dinner out with friends, a glass of wine...sounds great, doesn't it? But not if you're pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant.

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her unborn baby. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong disorders, known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation in the United States, yet it is 100% preventable.

Today is FAS Awareness Day. The first FAS Day was celebrated on 9/9/99.  This day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol.

To read about how FAS has affected my daughter's and my lives, read Downey mother and daughter reflect on FAS Awareness Day from today's Downey Patriot. To learn more about FAS, see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's web page on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs).

And remember to protect that baby!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lake Hollywood

hollywood resevoire

When Downey was first being developed, the city would flood every year, ruining crops and orchards and even the downtown buildings. The two rivers that border the East and West sides of Downey fixed the problem with run offs and drains. The Hollywood Reservoir, shown here, and others like it, run along the river's path and are dammed up for the local area's needs. I was told by a resident that the locals call the reservoir "Lake Hollywood".

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fortune Yum Yum


We are always trying to go to new restaurants and I somehow always forget my camera when we find one we like. I pulled out my iPhone for this one because it was just that good. It isn't exactly a hole in the wall but I don't think it is a chain either. It's called "Fortune Inn" in Glendale, about 10 minutes north of Downey. The service was excellent, food superior, and prices were less than I expected from that area and ambiance. All in all, I'm ready for my leftovers that are sitting in my fridge as I type. I'll just have to wait till tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beelieve it or not


Another Bumblebee image! I'm always on the lookout for more pictures from street artist Bumblebee. They are usually found on the sides of abandoned buildings, and they are always engaging and a little sad. According to Bumblebee, his paintings reflect his message of  innocence and coming of age. The bees represent vulnerability.

For more Bumblebee pictures, see a previous post from last June. Or click here to see our first set of Bumblebee sightings.

P. S. If you want to go by and see this one, it's on Firestone Blvd. on the side of the vacant storefront next to Steve's Locks.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day celebrations

Labor Day 2011 at Furman Park picnic

Today is Labor Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1894. Most Americans celebrate the day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of American workers, by not working.

Labor Day 2011 at Furman Park badmintonThis Labor Day, in spite of our rather odd weather (we had a thunderstorm last night—what's up with that!), Furman Park was filled with people celebrating their day off from work. From picnics with lots of food to spirited games of badminton and three-legged races, everyone was having fun!Labor Day 2011 at Furman Park lunch

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Whetting the appetite

Construction fence Downey Gateway

On Friday, I showed you a temporary fence that leaves you wanting to know more. Today, I want to show you a construction site that's supplied the answers.

The Downey Gateway is a new development on Firestone Blvd. near downtown Downey. It is part of the effort to revitalize the downtown area. And lo and behold, it has a huge sign letting you know exactly what's coming!

And it looks like food, food,and more food—along with an open area in the middle for strolling, sitting, or just watching the people.

Can't wait!