Sunday, July 31, 2016

Downey Daily is taking a break

Downey license plate

After almost seven years of posting a picture a day of Downey, we at DDP are ready for a break. (Today's post is our 2,402nd post since we started in 2009.) So we've decided to take off the month of August. This will give us a chance to get some new inspiration and build up our backlog of Downey photos.

We'll still be posting the occasional Instagram photo to our Facebook page (without our usual editorializing). Other than that, we look forward to seeing you again in September!

~ Pam, Joan, and Steve

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dogs of Downey - Chico


We've been posting our Downey pictures for a little over 6 years now and I have to admit, sometimes I struggle to come up with new material. However, one of the blogs I have followed on and off for quite some time gave me inspiration—Rivera Dogs. So, as I meet some of the interesting dogs in Downey, I will share them and give you a little introduction.

IMG_8800-1This cute boy was hanging out last Wednesday night at Furman Park. He was clearly enjoying the orchestra providing our weekly "Concerts in the Park." I believe his name was Chico (unfortunately my phone—where I made all my notes about my new little friend—took a swim), so I hope I'm remembering correctly.

He is about 4 years old and was adopted from SEAACA. He is obviously pampered and if you attend the Wednesday night concert next week, I'm sure you will find him chillin' between his owners on the "lawn."

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sunsets and yard art

Sunset through yard art

This picture combines three of my favorite photo subjects: yard art, sunset, and trees. Many of these globes and lanterns hang from the lower branches of this tree. I imagine that once it's fully dark, the candles will give off a soft glow that's perfect for those sitting underneath.

The tree is one of those wiggy tree types whose branches seem to squirm around everywhere—what I like to think of as a Medusa tree. The branches and leaves are airy enough to allow the sky with its pink sunset clouds to show through beautifully.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Practice, practice, practice


For the first time, I played a round of golf at Los Amigos Golf Club in Downey. It is just down the street from Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. I was pleasantly surprised at the layout. It has spacious fairways, which are important to not-so-good players as myself. I would recommend you check it out some time. Here is their website.

As I was waiting to tee off on the first tee I noticed this young boy and his grandfather practicing in the sand trap. The boy was practicing getting the ball out of the sand and up onto the green. From what I saw, he was very good. The grandfather was practicing smoothing out the divots the boy's club and golf shoes were making in the sand.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pokemon Go!


When my wife and I go out for our nightly walk, we often pass by this area of Downey. It's the area just outside the police department.

DSC_0632At first we thought the younger set had found a new hangout. But everyone was on their cell phone. Then we found that everyone is looking for Pokémon monsters. You can learn more about the game everyone is playing here.

They even have people riding around to plant eggs of the monsters so they can pick them up later.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

His bark is worse than his bite...


Still exploring the back streets of Downey, I came upon this yard that was filled with more unique yard art. I actually found myself half expecting the tree to talk to me. You have to admit, it looks like he has something to say.

"Be like a tree:  stay grounded, connect with your roots, turn over a new leaf, bend before you break, enjoy you own unique natural beauty, keep growing!"

Monday, July 25, 2016

Raising the flag

Patriotic mailbox

Tonight's drive through the back streets of Downey was all about discovering new examples of yard art. This home had many examples, of which only a few show here. But what caught my eye was the patriotic mailbox. Whether the little red flag is up or down, this flag is always raised.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

This old house


I like that Downey still has old homes like this one. Built in 1906, it has such character. It is always my hope that older, historic homes like this one will be maintained. Somehow it feels like it adds dimension to our city to have preserved some of these homes.

The City of Downey website talks about turn-of-the-century Downey as the center of business and social life of the area. I wonder what it would have felt like to walk in the neighborhood back then.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Forever home

Petsmart adoptions

This little fellow (the puppy, not the boy) found his new forever home today, courtesy of Cathey's K9 Rescue and PetSmart.

Petsmart adoptionsCathey's K9 Rescue has been finding forever homes for lost, surrendered, or abandoned dogs since 2003. Since that time, they've found new homes for over 30,000 dogs.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Improved outdoor dining

La Barca patio

Several years ago, several of us tried out La Barca Grill and Cantina's new outside patio for dinner (see Outdoor dining). Dinner was good, but the ambience of the outdoor patio, right next to busy Paramount Blvd., wasn't very appealing.

But that's all changed now, with the addition of a covering and some really cool landscaping. Even unfinished, I wanted to go sit in this area just to enjoy my surroundings. I can hardly wait to try it again!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lemonade stand


When my wife and I got home from our evening walk in downtown Downey, we were greeted by this flyer on our front door. The neighbor's two boys are having a lemonade stand tomorrow, Friday, in their front yard. You have to admire their industriousness.


Time passes so quickly and children grow so fast. We have watched these two handsome young men grow up. It is such fun but, "Don't blink."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Always in bloom


I work in my garden a lot during the spring to get a variety of blooms during the spring and summer. Most of my plants are currently either already done blooming or they are coming to the end of their blooming cycle. That's why I love finding a plant that just keeps on blooming during the year.

DSC_0618As I go on one of my many different trails through Downey, this bush I almost never see without some yellow flowers showing. Beautiful!

What are your favorite blooms?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Plant your own garden


This yard made me smile. Initially I thought about drought tolerance, but there is such a fun explosion of color here. And there is something to be said for immediate gratification. No waiting for a bloom...instant flower, instant color.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sunset skyline

Los Angeles skyline

Well, it wasn't the clearest of skies tonight, but it's always fun to see the sun reflected in the LA skyline.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sustainable gardening

SoCalGas Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden

Back in 2012, I noticed a new garden being planted at the Southern California Gas Company. In the four years since, those baby plants have grown into a beautiful sustainable landscape that flourishes even in our current drought conditions.

The garden uses a drip watering system that is smart enough to adjust for weather conditions all by itself. And in spite of desert-like conditions, there are lots of flowering plants to add to the beauty.

Take a walk through this garden some time, and get some ideas for your own garden!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Someone used to play here...


On 3rd Street as you leave the downtown Downey area, there is this vacant lot. It has been vacant for as long as I can remember, but recently I noticed this tire swing hanging from a tree in the lot. Who used to play there and when? It just kinda makes you wonder.

"Even as I travel the cities, I'm more at home in the vacant lots." 
~ Bob Dylan

Friday, July 15, 2016

The best days of my life

Downey Twilight Summer Concert

The summer concert series at Furman Park started a couple of weeks ago, and I made it by there this week for the second concert of the summer, featuring  Knyght Ryder.

With classic rock tunes from the 80s and 90s, such as Bryan Adams' "Summer of '69," the band had the crowd (young and old) hopping. It was fun to see so many people out and enjoying the music!

Downey Twilight Summer Concert

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Out with the crowd


As Downey residents gather each Wednesday at Furman Park to listen to that week's featured musical group, they find that they are surrounded by neighbors and friends. Two of those neighbors that joined the crowd this past Wednesday were Downey Councilman Fernando Vasquez and his wife, Donna.

He was enjoying the concert when I came forward to ask him some questions. He knew me right away as being a part of Downey Daily Photos, which is very special since we have only met once at a previous public event. I am sure he meets hundreds of different people in his civic responsibilities and yet he remembered me. It's probably not that special, he seems to be one of those people that remembers others. But it made me feel special. You can read a fuller bio of Councilman Vasquez here.

Do you know your representative in Downey government? Mine is Sean Ashton.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing


I went over to the Wednesday night concert at Furman Park this evening to see if there were any worthwhile pictures. My eye was caught by the endless dirt that has now taken over a large portion of the park. The part it has taken over is right where the crowd gathers to listen to the concert. As you can see, not many people bring their blankets anymore to sit on the grass, since there isn't any. Everyone is sitting in chairs now.

DSC_0629I was told that because of state-mandated restrictions, the city can only water the grounds at the park for 4 minutes per day for 3 days each week in the summer. It drops to twice a week in the winter. That's not much water. And, it doesn't matter if it's new water or recycled water. It's still 4 minutes per day for 3 days per week.

But part of me is wondering, why is the land just past that trailer in the background covered with green grass? While this portion is covered in dry dirt. Maybe this part's 12 minutes per week is being given to the grassy part. Just a thought. Here is another one, why not have the concert on the grassy part of the park?

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Finding flowers


It seems that the plumeria around Downey have all bloomed at the same time...except at my house. So I enjoy them on my walks around the neighborhood and dream of someday when mine will bloom.

"There are always flowers for those who want to see them." 
~ Henri Matisse

Monday, July 11, 2016

Trees for dummies?

Tree carving

At a loss for words (or initials)? A dozen captions came to my mind when I saw this tree carving recently. Let's call a spade a spade? Back to basics?

Suggestions welcomed!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Promenade envy

Long Beach Promenade

I spent this afternoon in Long Beach at the Long Beach Promenade. It is all the things that the name suggests: a pleasant car-free path to walk or bike, lined with restaurants and green spots, and overlooked by apartment balconies. All the things that our Downey Promenade isn't—at least, not yet.

Long Beach Promenade

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Day is done


The end of the day is so peaceful. The light begins to fade and the shadows grow. We were walking in the area of downtown Downey and as we circled around one of the little residential streets, you could see just a little piece of St. George Greek Orthodox Church towering above the houses on this block. It made for a pretty evening scene.

Day is Done

Day is done,
Gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Friday, July 8, 2016



This office building in the forefront burned a couple of years ago. Just recently, some kind of work has started—whether it's demolition in preparation for a new building, or clearing out the burned areas so that reconstruction can start, I can't tell. Whichever, it's another sign of the ever-changing landscape of the city.

Meanwhile, across the street, another project is in a new stage of development. Here, the old Gallatin Medical Group buildings were torn down quite a few years ago, and the lot has stood empty ever since. Finally, construction has been started on the first few of over a hundred new town homes.

Starting from scratch, or fixing up what's there—what's common to both is that nothing ever stays the same.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Big boys' toys


I've always been drawn to construction equipment. I think it has to do with the sheer power of each machine. This crew was laying cable for AT&T. They had to break up the concrete sidewalk, then dig holes in the dirt underneath, lay the cable, then put it all back together.

DSC_0613I've broken up concrete using a sledge hammer and I've dug trenches using a shovel. But if I had this machine, it would have taken me a fraction of the time, I would have had fewer sore muscles and probably no blisters.

Just look at this big boy's toy. It's just my size. If I had this for my own, I'd hire myself out for practically nothing. It would just be fun to tear things apart, to dig holes and to push dirt around.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Going green


This is the bike rack at the Los Angeles County Office of Education, LACOE, where I work. They have a program to reduce the number of single-driver cars that come to work each day. The program pays people to carpool, take public transportation, walk, or ride a bike to work. I live 1.5 miles from LACOE and so six years ago I chose to ride my bike each day to work. Ninety percent of my job is sitting at my desk so the exercise in the morning and evening feels great.

I love riding my bike. LACOE paying me to do it is just a bonus. In fact, I rode my bike to work for a couple of years before I found out about the rideshare program. But I'll take it. They pay me $1 per day I ride and $15 extra if I ride 15 or more days within the month.


With all the advances in bike technology, why can't they make a more comfortable seat?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

If you only knew the power of the dark side...


Maybe I have just seen Star Wars a few too many times. But, as I was getting on the freeway the other day, I glanced up at the truck in front of me and I had to do a little double take. What I "saw" was a bunch of junked robots...droids heaped up in the back of this innocent-looking truck. It was like seeing the the junk traders in the desert.

"These aren't the droids you're looking for." 
~ Obi-wan Kenobi

Monday, July 4, 2016


4th of July corn on the cob

The 4th of July is all about celebrating our independence and freedom—and for most of us, the celebration involves traditional American food such as fresh corn-on-the cob. Here, we're teaching the next generation the joys of celebrating!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The big bang theory

Buying fireworksBuying fireworks

When you're shopping for fireworks for tomorrow's 4th of July celebration, the "big bang" package looks pretty exciting. But for most of us, reality sets in and we settle for a sampling of the simpler options.

Join us tomorrow night for the really big bang show at Downey High School!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

New uses


I like new uses for old things. These ladders came from the alley behind our, I guess that makes me a dumpster diver of a sort. They were castoffs, something a neighbor had no more use for. But I just thought of the possibilities of how they could help in my garden. And, one of the nice benefits is that they are portable. I actually move my garden around because most of it is above ground.

"There is no such way as "away". When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere." 
~ Annie Leonard 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Honk if you love fireworks

Downey Rose Parade Fundraiser Fireworks

I read this week that eighteen service clubs and non-profits have been granted permits to sell legal fireworks in Downey. This one is sponsored by the Downey Rose Float Association, which raises funds all year long to support Downey's entry into the annual New Year's Day Rose Parade.

Downey Rose Parade Fundraiser FireworksSo get out and support your favorite group this year, at least with a "honk."