Saturday, May 31, 2014

Evening light in downtown

Bumblebeelovesyou girl

Yesterday, Joan posted about the wonders of evening light on nature. Tonight, I enjoyed the evening light on the buildings in downtown Downey.

We've shown you this Bumblelovesyou art before, but I enjoyed this take on it in the late afternoon sun, from the top level of the parking structure across the street.

This shot makes it look like downtown was deserted this evening, but it wasn't. Behind me, Porto's was filled with people enjoying dinner, and nearby Downey Avenue was filled with pedestrians.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Evening light

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I like how the light looks at the end of the day when the sun is low in the sky.

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"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary."
~ Aaron  Rose

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Senior Center


Following yesterday's post, I wanted to show you some of the facilities at the Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center. It is a community center for the 50+ citizens of Downey. You see here part of the pool room. There is also a computer room/library, a cafe, and lots of dance rooms.


There's also a fitness room.


And lots of friendly staff. This is Fernando and Steven. You can check out the BJR Center here. They have lots of activities designed for the 50+ crowd.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Old tree


I went over to Apollo Park tonight to see if any softball leagues were playing. There were only kid's leagues going on so I started back to my car. On the way, between some buildings, I spotted this tree. It was such a different looking tree I wanted to photograph it.

P1030614The leaves grow only on the ends of the branches in clusters. The branches are clear of leaves. Look how the trunk splits off.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day is done


The rifle salute was offered by American Legion Post 270. I'm not sure what they were shooting, but the third rifle almost looked like a flame thrower to me.

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My favorite  part of the Memorial Day Service is always at the very end, when Taps is played. The melody sounds around the cemetery as each of the three buglers echos the haunting notes. It is a fitting ending and always leaves me with a sense of sadness.

"Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.

Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
As we go, this we know
God is nigh." 
~ Horace Lorenzo Trim

Monday, May 26, 2014

Honoring the fallen

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The celebration of Memorial Day or Decoration Day has been  the custom since the late 1800s.  It isn't the celebration of a particular battle, it is a day set aside by our nation to honor the warriors who gave their lives for our country and our freedom.

IMG_6080 as Smart Object-1"We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies."
~ Moina Michael
(inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields)

The red paper poppies are distributed on Memorial Day to memorialize the sacrifices made during war, in addition to acting as a symbol of keeping the faith.

According to, there is a rumor that Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May 1, 1865, in Charleston, South Carolina, to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. The slaves dug up the bodies and worked for two weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 black children where they marched, sang, and celebrated.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kid-sized fun

Downey High School Carnival Roller Coaster

The Downey High School Carnival had fun stuff for the little kids too, whether they liked high speed or slow, or just wanted to keep both feet on the ground.

Downey HighSchool Carnival Merry-Go-RoundDowney HighSchool Carnival Game

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bright lights and heights

Downey High School Carnival

There is a carnival this holiday weekend at Downey High School. It's a fundraiser benefiting the school band and color guard.

Downey High School CarnivalWhat usually draws me in at a carnival are all the bright lights, which is why I went by there at night instead of during the day.

But what draws my daughter and so many others like her is the opportunity to hang upside down and motionless for a brief moment, before falling back toward the earth in the ride known as the Kamikaze.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hook me up

San Gabriel riverbed

Sometimes you need to look closely to identify an object.

San Gabriel riverbedSometimes you need to see it in a larger context in order to know what it is.

Sometimes neither helps. I look at these hooks and imagine boats tied up. But this isn't the kind of river where you ever see boats.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Visiting the sick part II


Yesterday I showed you Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Downey. Today, I'll show you the other hospital in Downey, Downey Regional Medical Center. It is located on Brookshire Avenue and dates back to 1920. Recently, this hospital was bought by PIH Health that operates Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier.

P1030606This wing of the hospital is important to me since it is where my first grandchild was born.

"The very first requirement of a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm."
~ Florence Nightingale

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Visiting the sick


Tonight, I visited a friend here at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Downey. It is located on Imperial Hwy and is situated on part of the old Boeing land donated to the city.

P1030609Kaiser is one of two hospitals serving Downey and the surrounding communities. It is known for its unique architectural style.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hazmat for short

Fire dept response to hazmat

I think I've watched too many episodes of "24."

How else to explain why my thoughts immediately jumped to "terrorism plot" when I heard that the driver of the big rig, now leaking corrosive fluid on Paramount Blvd, was nowhere to be found?

Fire dept response to hazmatBut really, nothing so sinister was going on. A minor accident between a passenger car and the big rig resulted in a spill of some unknown chemical and the complete closure of Paramount just north of the fire station. Because Downey doesn't have a hazardous materials (hazmat) truck, hazmat response teams from neighboring towns Santa Fe Springs and Vernon were arriving to help out.

The incident did give me an opportunity to say "hi" again to Father John, the Downey Fire Department chaplain. I first met Father John three years ago, when he was brand new on the job. He recognized me tonight and filled me in on what was going on.

After nearly five years of Downey Daily Photos, it still surprises me when we're recognized around town.

Monday, May 19, 2014

After hours

Downey Landing after closing

Downey Landing was hopping when I arrived a little before 9 p.m. on a Monday night.

But now it's 10 p.m. The storefronts are still lit, but the stores are closed, and the parking lot is nearly empty.

What a difference an hour can make.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Family customs

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We usually connect removing shoes before entering the home with a Japanese custom. In fact, the practice is common throughout Asia as well as Scandinavian countries and in Hawaii and Alaska.

Leaving our shoes at the door keeps dirt and mud from being tracked into the houses and saves wear and tear on the carpets and hardwood floors. Culturally, it is a way of showing respect by keeping the house clean and maintaining quiet as well.

Leaving the shoes outside is also symbolic of leaving the world outside. In removing your shoes, your body lets your mind and spirit know that you are transitioning from work and other concerns to the sanctuary of your home. That idea appeals to me. Our homes should be a sanctuary, the place where you are yourself and at peace.

“Home is the place where it feels right to walk around without shoes.”

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Late afternoon sun

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It was the end of the day and the light was nice. It was casting long shadows. I am not sure what this shadow looks like, maybe a bird's beak... I just really liked the image of the shadows on the wall.

"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see."
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Good and old

Downey homeDowney home

A lot of Downey homes were built in the 1920s and 1930s. One of the things that I enjoy about these homes is that no two are alike. Each house has its own distinctive style and charm.

"He who loves an old house never loves in vain."
~Isabel La Howe Conant

"It's not good because it's old, it's old because it's good."
~ Anonymous

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A nature walk


As a follow-up to last week's post regarding Rio Hondo Golf Club, I thought I would show you more of the golf course. This is the eighth fairway.

Part of why I love golf is that for a couple of hours I get to experience the beauty that is nature, albeit man-planned. The last time I played here a flock of geese flew in and rested in this pond. Can't get that on a baseball field or bowling alley.

P1030595It's a great place to enjoy some friend's company while relaxing in God's creation and having a little friendly competition. Try it sometime.

"Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies."
~ Bobby Jones

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Downtown Disney eating


On this hot May evening, Downey was over 100 degrees today. We went 20 miles south of Downey to Downtown Disney to celebrate our friends' daughter coming home for the summer. They chose for us to meet at Tortilla Jo's for dinner.

What a great place for a celebration. The staff is very friendly, the food was excellent, I had the fajita burrito, so big I brought half of it home, and the atmosphere was south of the border Disney. This is Maria and Teresa, above, making fresh tortillas for us.

P1030587These guests are celebrating the "Hat Lady's" birthday out on the second floor balcony.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Extensive remodeling required


I used to marvel at the absurdity of leaving a single piece of a house standing, when obviously the entire house is being torn down and replaced. But then I was told that California building codes consider this to be a "remodel" rather than new construction, apparently with less stringent requirements or lower costs.

I guess if it could save me a lot of money, I could work around an old chimney, too.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Stars with a scent

Jasmine house

It was a couple of weeks ago that I first noticed this house covered with star jasmine blooms. But it was only this morning that I made it by there in the morning to catch the sun on the flowers.

According to Wikipedia, the star jasmine " widely planted in California... It gets another of its common names, "trader's compass", from an old Uzbekistan saying that it pointed traders in the right direction, provided they were of good character."

But the best thing about being surrounded by all this jasmine is the scent.

"Jasmine is just the most delicate and beautiful scent."
~ Natalie Portman

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Rock climbing fun

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One of the activity booths at the Kids Day event was a rock climbing "wall."

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

27th annual Kids Day

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Today was the 27th annual Kids Day, "building healthy youth." Located at Apollo Park, carnival games and information booths were set up around most of the park. Downey police and the fire department were on hand to participate and provide demonstrations. There were tons of children roaming the park and they seemed to be having a great time. All in all, a beautiful day to celebrate kids.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Stained-glass windows

Stained glass windows

This house, with its multitude of stained-glass windows, is always fun to walk by. Of course, it's more beautiful when lit up from inside at night, but that's not when I happened to have my camera handy.

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Golf lessons


My wife and I went to our first of six Thursday night golf lessons at the driving range at Rio Hondo Golf Course tonight. Downey sponsors the lessons so they only cost $60 for all six lessons.

P1030573This is Scott, on the right, the local PGA teaching pro at Rio Hondo. He is an excellent teacher and has improved my game so that it is even more enjoyable to play. He starts out with a group lesson on a single fundamental of the swing. He then has the class practice the fundamental and watches each student looking for problems. He then gives each student an exercise to correct their problem and watches to see how they implement the exercise. He is always encouraging and works within a student's current abilities.

P1030569"There are only two things you can do with your head down - play golf and pray."
~ Lee Trevino

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Back to school


One characteristic of Downey, besides our people and our businesses, is our schools. Downey Unified School District is an award-winning district in both sports and academics. The Cross Country team of Warren High School just brought home a CIF championship. This is the district headquarters.

P1030566This is the back side of the district offices.

There are thirteen elementary schools, four middle schools, three high schools and one adult education school that make up the DUSD. My children went through all 12 grades as Downey Unified students.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Field of dreams

Baseball field at Rio San Gabriel Park

With all of the wedding prep and cleanup leading up to last weekend, my backlog of Downey Daily photos is nearly exhausted. It's a good thing that I took a lot of pictures the previous weekend at Rio San Gabriel Park and the nearby riverbed. Hopefully, life returns to normal now and this is the last you'll see of the park for a while.

There's no one on the field on this Saturday evening. In its emptiness, it reminds me of scenes from the movie Field of Dreams. But I didn't wait around to see if any mythical baseball heroes showed up.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Looking in from the outside

Starfish Sushi

Starfish Sushi is one of the new restaurants in Downey Gateway. I'm not a sushi fan, so I found the view from the door more appealing than actually going inside. But I've heard they've got great sushi. Really!

"Just roll with it."
~ Anonymous

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Riverbed at dusk

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We were walking along the Rio San Gabriel riverbed a week or so ago as the sun was low in the sky. The light was so golden and pretty. This part of the riverbed always seems so picturesque, but it's still hard to "look past" the cement walls.