Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Building up


This property belongs to Jessie, who bought it 11 years ago. When he bought it, he had a plan to add another structure in addition to the existing one. His dream is now coming true. There are some arduous building codes he must meet before his dream is a reality, but he's ready to meet all of them knowing what the end result will be.

P1030452This rectangular hole is 5 feet deep to start. Tomorrow, the contractor will begin filling in the hole with the dirt he dug out of it. He has to compact the dirt before the inspector will allow him to build on top of the dirt. He will repeat the process on the other half of this yard the next day.

I just caught Jose, the subcontractor, before he left for the day. Everything is going as planned, he says.

"Dreams don't work unless you do."
~ Anon

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What lies beneath

Firestone bridge over the San Gabriel Riverbed

There are a lot of road improvement projects going on in Downey right now. This one, a joint project with neighboring Norwalk, involves widening the Firestone Blvd. bridge over the Rio San Gabriel Riverbed.

When the work is done (in a couple of years), you'll be able to walk or ride your bike (or wheelchair) safely over either side of the bridge without fearing all that traffic around you.

In addition, the bridge will be retrofitted to meet current earthquake safety standards, an important factor that we were all reminded of a couple of weeks ago after our recent magnitude 4.4 earthquake got our attention.

San Gabriel Riverbed under Firestone Blvd.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The un-scenic path

Bicyclist on Rio San Gabriel bike path

Downey's two riverbed bike paths provide a variety of views, some scenic, some not. This particular section of the Rio San Gabriel Riverbed, across from the dog park, is not scenic in the normal sense, but the colors and graffiti do have some appeal in the late afternoon sunlight.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Friends fur-ever?

IMG_4822 as Smart Object-1

I think this husky was feeling a little ganged-up on. He was the center of attention for quite a bit of the time we watched the dogs playing. They raced around the dog park enclosure and seemed to have fun until too many of them got too close. Then, the husky would snarl and snap his teeth at them so aggressively, you could actually hear his teeth snapping. Interestingly, he never took it any further. And, they continued to race around the yard, like everything was just fine.

Dogs will be dogs.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dog park antics

IMG_4867 as Smart Object-1_1

Late this afternoon, we went by the Rio San Gabriel dog park. There were quite a few dogs racing around the enclosure. Several of the dogs were huskies, who are so fun to watch when they are at play. I love dogs!

"A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things—a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty."
~ John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog

Friday, April 25, 2014

She said oui!

Allison's engagement party

Tonight we celebrated the engagement of Allison and Drew. Allison, of course, is one of Downey Daily Photo's bloggers and photographers.

Allison's engagement partyAllison's engagement partyIf you've followed our blog for any length of time, you'll know that we love Paris! So it was only fitting that tonight's celebration had a French theme. From quiche to eclairs to champagne and French wine, we feasted and toasted in French.

Congratulations, Allison and Drew!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Measure B


In June, the citizens of Downey will be voting on Measure B. It would change the City Charter so that to dissolve the city-run fire and police departments would require a majority vote of the City Council rather than the current majority vote of the voters.

The fire department employees want to have the city contract with Los Angeles county to provide fire and police protection. This would give them the ability to transfer to other stations within the county rather than be stuck here in Downey. Since not one fire department employee lives in Downey, this would give them the ability to transfer closer to their homes.

They say it will save the city money, which will be an easy sell to council members if it wins. I haven't seen any "vote yes" signs though, so maybe it will be defeated. I'll let you know in June.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Front yard beauty


I love it when I find my fellow Downeyites using simple and ordinary objects to decorate their yards. This one caught my eye today with the colorful fountain.

P1030445P1030446But then when I stopped, I noticed the wheelbarrow filled with blooming plants guarded by the metal sun. Did you notice the owl peeking out? The whole yard is just a pleasure to walk by.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Flipping, cutting, scooping

Burger City Grill

And now, one final view from Downey Gateway with this three-in-one picture. There's the Burger City Grill logo inside over the order counter, the colorful window display, and the reflection of the setting sun on the building behind us.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Girls' night out

Girls at Downey Gateway

Last week I showed you the view of downtown Downey from Downey Gateway. Tonight, I'm looking the other direction.

It's fun to people-watch at Downey Gateway. There are a lot of people wandering around, of all ages. These girls caught my eye because of their fun outfits, and they graciously let me take their picture.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter baskets for sale


It was late in the afternoon today, and no one was around, but the sign was still up. Guess I missed the sale!

"Easter is the only time when it's perfectly safe to put all your eggs in one basket."
~ Unknown Author

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring is sprung

IMG_4476 as Smart Object-1

My fruit trees are covered in blossoms! The flowers are blooming and it feels like spring. Just in time for Easter.

IMG_4441 as Smart Object-1"Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time."  
~ Martin Luther

"The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him."
~ Auguste Rodin

Friday, April 18, 2014

Downtown view

Downtown Downey

It's Tuesday evening, just after sunset, and downtown Downey looks quite appealing, in an old-fashioned way. Except for that traffic! This is the view from Downey Gateway, where my daughter and I had dinner that evening.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stay for the music


Tonight my wife and I went to another concert here in Downey. This time the concert was at the Stay Gallery on Downey Ave. The band in the above picture is a group called "New American," a local Downey band. Another band was to follow but I needed to get home to write this post and then get to bed. The other group is called "Fathers & Suns" and you can see their video on the Stay Gallery website here.


The audience seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Flower as art


Last week I shared some pictures of the concert held at the Downey theater. Today I wanted to share pictures of the art that was on display during the concert. It was also for sale. This red flower is three dimensional and just popping out of the canvas.


This is Bobby Rojas showing off his entry into the art exhibit. Here is the poster for his painting.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Language by immersion


One of the advantages to living in southern California is that we are surrounded by the Spanish language. Palos Verdes, Costa Mesa, and even El Pollo Loco provide us with the opportunity to learn new Spanish words without even working at it.

Of course, not all the words relate to happy circumstances. Lately, I've added these unfortunate words to my Spanish vocabulary list.

Monday, April 14, 2014

One man's trash

Castoffs in the alley

I look at "trash" in our local alleys the same way some people look at yard sales. I can't help but stop to look. Is there anything there that I can use for a plant stand in my garden? So far, I have a stool, a little table, an old-fashioned wheelbarrow, and a picturesque window frame.

People with alleys behind their houses often put large items out as trash. Eventually, they'll call the city for a "large item pickup." But often, these items disappear long before trash day, benefiting everyone.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

School daze


At USC, most of my classes are held in the Accounting Building. This is the side entrance I use each morning to enter the building. Even though it is just a side entrance, it has charm. I like the added curved windows above the door.

20140403_093502Every afternoon, we encounter a multitude of bikes that have appeared while we were in morning classes.

"I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught."
~ Winston Churchill

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tropicana dinner

20140326_192734 as Smart Object-1

We had dinner the other night at Tropicana Bakery and Cuban Cafe. My daughter ordered chicken and a salad. Not only did it have amazing flavor, it was beautiful. I love that the salad was colorful with berries and avocados. Yum!

"Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." ~ Voltaire

Friday, April 11, 2014

Puppies 4 Sale

Yard sale

How much is that puppy in the yard sale?

Yard saleWhen you have a yard sale, you want to put something front and center to draw people in. Often, it's a large furniture item. In our case, all it took was a sign--"Puppies 4 Sale."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A night at the concert


My wife and I went to Downey Theater last Saturday to see the Downey Symphony Orchestra. The theme of the evening was "World Cup Classico" in honor of the countries that will be competing in the World Cup competition this year. The guest soloist was Christopher Bartz on saxophone.

We went early to hear the music director/conductor, Sharon Lavery, give a pre-concert introduction of the music pieces that were being preformed that night.

P1030379P1030380Part of what makes the concerts possible are the many volunteers that donate their time and talents so we can enjoy an evening of beauty. Many of them work year round.

The next time to see the orchestra perform live is at the summer concert series at Furman park on August 6, 2014.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Break by the breakway

photo 1

Have you ever just thought, "I need to get out of here and take a break!"? I do. A lot. And a great place to take one of those well earned breaks is down by the beach. Downey is close to a lot of beaches but by far, my favorite is Palos Verdes near Point Furman Lighthouse. The scenery is so calming and you can see for miles.

photo 2

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Child's play

Play houses

This front yard was deserted, with no kids in sight. But I'm sure that this yard art, this cozy little neighborhood set on a winding brick pathway, is evidence of kids at play.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
~ George Bernard Shaw

Monday, April 7, 2014

Environmental asphalt

Kelterite silos

I've been taking a different route home from work lately, and these huge silos glowing in the evening sun keep catching my eye. They are the tallest structures in the area, and even more so with the flag waving up on top.

I've shown you these silos before (The asphalt business). At that time, I thought this was CEI Enterprises, because that is the logo on the other side of the silos. But now I know, this is Kelterite Corporation.

Kelterite is an environmentally clean asphalt producer and seller for the area. This facility features six, 300-ton, asphalt storage silos, made by CEI. (There's another row behind these three.)

So, now I've taken a picture of both sides of these huge silos. Wouldn't it be interesting to see what actually goes on there?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

American Sweet Gum tree

IMG_3107 as Smart Object-1

I have seen these trees all my life and somehow never wondered what they were. These trees are all over my neighborhood.

IMG_3108 as Smart Object-1After taking these pictures, I decided to do a little research. The American sweet gum tree was originally named for the amber-colored sap that was scraped from the inside of the bark to produce a chewing gum-like substance.

Native Americans and pioneers used the sap for a number of medicinal purposes. The seed pods you see clinging to the branches and on the grass are sometimes called gumballs. I just know them as something to be avoided, cuz they hurt when you step on them.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

"The City"

image as Smart Object-1

I was on my way home from school on the 10 freeway (about 10 miles from Downey) a couple of days ago when it started to rain. The light had such an odd quality. The buildings looked bright and bluer than usual. I shot this really quickly with my cell phone, not knowing if I had even aimed it straight. But when I looked at it later at home, I liked the image. It is as if this big group of clouds has converged on the city. There was thunder, even though I didn't see the lightning.

It reminded me of an Irish blessing I read some time ago...

"May God give you...for every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer."

Friday, April 4, 2014

The day after

Burned office building

There was a two-alarm fire Wednesday night, just a few blocks from my home. It took the firefighters several hours to put it out, and the building is a total loss. The building was home to a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, and a few others. Fortunately, the fire occurred during the night, when no one was there.

Burned office buildingSince the fire occurred at night, no one had the opportunity to think, "What should I grab? What can I carry out?" Instead, these business people arrived yesterday morning, to wait until everything was under control.

The accountant, above, is standing as close to his old office as the authorities will allow him. According to his daughter, he had his business in this office for 25 years. Now, he's waiting while those working inside pass out what's left—his files, his computer hard drive, anything else that can be salvaged for another day.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The boys of summer


The Warren High School freshman baseball team practices at the Discovery Sports Complex each afternoon. I stopped by today and reminisced about my days playing high school baseball. The team was practicing rounding first base when I caught this speedster.


P1030370Boy, did I want to pick up this glove and start playing catch. I knew I'd throw my arm out though and the owner would think I was trying to steal it anyway, so it was probably a good thing that I didn't.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Unexpected rain


I was going to take some pictures of the Warren High School baseball team practice this afternoon, but I got there too late. I had just gotten out of the car when it started to rain. The players wasted no time getting off the field, collecting their gear and heading to their vehicles. The reason I didn't think it would rain while I shot some pictures was that the storm cloud covered only half the sky and I was under the clear half. We drove home without any pictures, so I decided to show you this view of the storm. The sun is shinning through the clouds and it's still raining.

P1030360But looking the other way gave you a view of a rainbow.

"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow."
~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The archives

Gate shadow

Now and then, night rolls around on my second or third Downey Daily of the week, and I find I have no pictures. No time last weekend to find something fresh and new. Nothing left over from recent outings. So I dive into the archives, hoping to stumble across something interesting about Downey.

Well, every town has its shadows, so there's nothing unique to Downey about this one. But I like shadows, especially the long early morning kind where the shadow is so much bigger than the thing itself.

I hope you enjoy it too.