Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Shadows

20180717_204904-1

20180717_204754
I'm not in Downey right now. I am in Hawaii. And, I am always on the lookout for interesting shadows. These palm shadows are right in the heart of Waikiki, where the beach meets the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The resort lights cast an interesting set of shadows on the beach.

“My life is like a stroll on the beach...as near to the edge as I can go.”

--Thoreau


Monday, July 16, 2018

Bloom where you're planted

Flower

I'm not sure how the seed got dropped under the water meter cover in the first place. Or how the tiny seedling found its way up through the one small hole in the cover. But it is tenacious! It's even managed to bloom where it's planted.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Skyline view

IMG_6133-1

Downey is only about 13 miles from downtown LA. And if you can find a high enough spot, you can often get a pretty good view of the LA skyline. This night the sky was starting to turn gold and there was a haze over the city, but somehow it was still a compelling sight.

"It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream." 
~  Bernard Williams

Friday, July 13, 2018

Flower child

Flower child yard art

This little corner flower garden brought a smile to my face. The two ladies dressed in fashions from a century ago oversee all these blossoms surrounding their "flower child" work table. And if you look closely, you can even see Ariel the little mermaid peaking out from behind the picket fence.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Awe moments

DSC_0808

I know that we've shown sunsets before. And I know they're not unique to Downey. But sometimes they are so beautiful, they are such an "awe" moment that I just have to share them.

I was going back to my car from last night's concert. Most of the time I either walked southward but with buildings on my right or I walked eastward. When I got to my car, I needed to turn and look west to check for traffic. That's when it struck me, the awe moment. There in the west, the sun was setting and producing this beautiful sky. I hope you got to see it on your own. But if you didn't, I'll share mine with you. Isn't it awesome?

Why do you think we are so enthralled with sunsets? It's just light from the sun refracting off clutter in the atmosphere that stimulates nerve cells in our eyes that are then interpreted by the brain. And yet, we love watching them. The beautiful colors. The movement of the sun's disk getting closer and closer to the horizon. The constant change of hue and brightness.

"When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

More music in the park

DSC_0796

This week's presentation at the Twilight Summer Concerts was "Suave the Band." They performed a variety of different music genres including jazz, rock, swing, and Latin. You can learn more about them here. The park was packed with avid music goers.

DSC_0797DSC_0805

DSC_0800DSC_0799DSC_0801

There were plenty of dancers and lots of food to make the warm summer evening a pleasant event for the whole family.

Next week's concert series continues with the Downey Symphony.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Patriotic yard art

IMG_6129-1

We just celebrated the Fourth of July, and there is still a lot of patriotic yard art around town. These are a couple of the houses that I pass on my way to work each morning.

IMG_6125-1"True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth . . .  
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, July 9, 2018

A little sunshine

Agapanthus in sunlight

I often pass this bed of agapanthus flowers without giving them a second look, but the other day, they really stood out with the afternoon sun highlighting them from behind.

"Sunshine is the best medicine."


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Heat wave!

IMG_6112-1

We are used to warm summers in Downey, but the weather this weekend has been almost unbearable! Friday showed to be 106 in Downey. That is much higher than normal. In fact, according to Intellicast, it was the hottest July 6th in 26 years! Prior to last Friday, the all-time high of 98 degrees was recorded in 1992.

IMG_6117Other record highs reported on Friday:  Van Nuys Airport (117 degrees), Burbank Airport (114), UCLA (111) and Santa Ana (114). I guess I'm glad I live in Downey. 106 doesn't sound so high when you compare it to 117.

To stay safe, drink plenty of water—avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol—stay in the shade and just relax!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Private park

Centerpointe development landscaping

Many of the units at the new Centerpointe development on Paramount Blvd. are done now. The outdoor areas and this private park are landscaped and ready for entertaining (residents only, of course).

Centerpointe development landscapingExcept for the back areas, where construction and landscaping are still in progress. It takes a lot of containers to turn an empty lot into a green area.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

What could happen?

DSC_0794

My wife and I often walk along this wall of trees. It is a good blocker of the Lakewood traffic noise and more pleasant on the eyes than the industrial buildings that line Lakewood Blvd. Last night, though, a portion of the trees were set on fire. The Lakewood Health Center that is just the other side of these trees had to be evacuated while the Downey Fire Department put out the flames, made the scene safe for the residents to return, and investigated the cause. A lot of illegal fireworks were going off last night. Read about the Fire Department's actions here.

DSC_0786

This is what it looks like today. It doesn't stop much of the traffic noise anymore.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Celebrating Independence Day

4 and under bouncer

This year's July 4th block party had four different bouncers for the kids to celebrate Independence Day. There was this one for the 4-and-under children that is a water slide with a pool at the bottom. Two other slides for the 12-and-younger crowd and a giant water slide for anyone that wanted to try it.

DSC_0775

Lots of food and beverages were served during the afternoon. After dark, the celebration turned to fireworks. Families gathered together to let the children experience holding a various-colored lighted stick.

DSC_0777

The big kids (adult men) light bigger, brighter, and more exciting fountains. One family went to a fireworks stand and bought the rest of their inventory (well over $1,000). That's the residue of the excitement on the street below the fireworks platform. The crowd was entertained and the celebration was complete.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Beautiful but deadly?

IMG_6077-1

I love angel trumpets and have been amazed as to how easy they are to grow and propagate. These flowers are so beautiful and exotic, I have maintained them in my yard ever since I was given a cutting from a friend. However, I was in for a little bit of a rude awakening when I looked them up to write about them for this post. Who knew they were toxic? Evidently every part of this plant contains dangerous levels of poison that can be fatal if ingested.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica:
All parts of angel’s trumpets are considered poisonous and contain the alkaloids atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. Ingestion of the plants can cause disturbing hallucinations, paralysis, tachycardia, and memory loss and can be fatal. Various species were used both ritualistically and as an herbal medicine by indigenous peoples and their shamans, particularly in the northern Andes.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Support your favorite cause

Rose float fireworks stand

It's July, so it's officially fireworks fundraiser season. The fireworks stands are all open now, waiting for the onslaught. This stand in front of the Ralph's market is sponsored by the Downey Rose Float Association.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Burning the midnight oil

20180630_214911-1

We are only a few days away from the Fourth of July and fireworks stands are set up all around Downey. Driving past this stand, I saw this group who almost looks like they are out camping, I have to imagine each of the stands have groups camped out to watch over the them at night.

It wasn't midnight when I took the pic, but it made me think of the phrase to burn the midnight oil. I was curious to know where the phrase came from so I looked it up in Wictionary. The phrase originally referred to the act of burning oil in lamps for light and safety. This group definitely had everything well lit, but I hope they don't have to stay awake all night.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Decorate it (part 3)

Cowboys yard art

For my final post of this decorated house, these cowboys stand watch out front. (At first glance, they make me think of Picasso's Three Musicians. Don't ask me to explain it, they just do.) It amazes me somtimes just how creative some people can be with scraps of metal!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Driveway art

DSC_0769

I was looking for another example of Downey's yard art when I came across this driveway. I have never seen a driveway created with so many different materials.

DSC_0768

The apron is made of white rocks surrounded by a wooden border. The drive consists of two rectangles of concrete, three rectangles of dirt with a thin layer of tiny black gravel on top. I thought it was very inventive and practical. Although, you'd better make sure you keep on the concrete on rainy days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Natural yard art

DSC_0760

In the beginning of the week, Pam showed you some interesting yard art she found in Downey. Well, on my ride home I came across this tall forest of sunflowers that someone used to decorate their front yard.

I have always loved sunflowers with their bright yellow petals and large seed area. They really do look like a sun.

DSC_0761

And I love their seeds.

"A sunflower field is like a sky with a thousand suns.”
~ Corina Abdulahm-Negura

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Welcome to Downey

IMG_5999-1

I like the new Downey sign on Firestone. Anchored with the line of palm trees, it looks impressive. However, I did just realize that it doesn't actually say welcome to Downey—I guess it is more of a sign that announces you are entering the city. Is a welcome implied? I do have to say I miss the old welcome to Downey sign that actually did welcome you to our city. "Welcome to Downey—Future Unlimited."


Monday, June 25, 2018

Decorate it (part 2)

Alligator yard art

Yesterday's yard art was all about the tree. Lower to the ground, there are creatures—from the partially submerged alligator ("alligators have wider, U-shaped snouts...") to what looked to me like a garden version Nessie. the sea serpent of Loch Ness fame.

Nessie yard art

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Decorate it (part 1)

Tree yard art

At DDP, we appreciate distinctive yard art. So I had to stop when I saw the variety of decorations at this house.

It starts with the tree. Once you start hanging a decoration or two, what's a few more? This tree is covered with unique and interesting decorations and chimes. (I can relate—I have my own tree at home that's covered with more clocks than are technically necessary.) With the chairs that have been placed strategically below, it's the perfect setting to relax and listen to the music in the gentle afternoon breeze.

"If it doesn't move, decorate it." 
~ Sandra Boynton

Tree yard art

Friday, June 22, 2018

The other kind of golf

IMG_20180622_201445

Yesterday I posted about Rio Hondo Golf Course and its beauty. It is a lush and tranquil 18-hole golf course in the heart of Downey. There is another kind of golf that we here in Downey can enjoy and it's located just over the Downey/Norwalk border. It is the Golf N Stuff Miniature Golf facility. They have four 18-hole courses and a variety of other amusement rides and games.

IMG_20180622_200636

The grounds are well kept and make the game pleasant and fun for everyone. The patrons were of all ages this Friday night. We saw lots of families.

IMG_20180622_200628

This lady was the winner in her foursome. She had three hole-in-ones during the night.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Longest day of the year

DSC_0755

Today, June 21, is the summer solstice. The sun is at its furthest north latitude journey. It will now start heading back south. This means that today was the longest daytime of the year. And what better way to utilize all this daytime but to get off work and get over to Rio Hondo Golf Course. They have special prices in the evening right now that allow you to rent a cart and play as many holes as you can get in before dark. What better way to spend one of these beautiful Southern California evenings.

"Golf is a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment and bad arithmetic." 
~Author unknown

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Forever young

IMG_6054

The Twilight Summer Concerts in the Park have started. Tonight Atlantic Crossing, a Rod Stewart tribute band, performed many of Rod Stewart's favorites.

As I watched and remembered how much I love Rod Stewart's music, I realized that no matter how old he is, for me, Rod Stewart will be forever young.

IMG_6035"May the Good Lord be with ya down every road you roam
And may sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from home
And may you grow to be proud, dignified, and true
And do unto others as you would have done to you
Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you'll always stay
Forever young (forever young)
Forever young (forever young)"

IMG_6049IMG_6057

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Take me out to the ball game

IMG_6003-1

It is baseball season and evening at Rio San Gabriel Park is brightly lit for a local ball game.

IMG_6029A group of small boys had their own game off to the side.

"We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing."

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sunset over the library

Downey City Library sunset

This picture combines some of my favorite things—books (the Downey City Library was a favorite destination when I was a child), sunsets (our crazy weather these last few days has made for some colorful ones), and wiggy tree branches silhouetted against the sky.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Cuban fusion

20180616_183830-1

I discovered a new cafe in Downey—CaƱa by Tropicana Cafe. It is located on the corner of Firestone and Old River School Road.

20180616_181959-120180616_185453-1They serve Cuban fusion and the menu choices make it really hard to decide what to eat. I ordered a couple of the sliders and a side of yucca fries. Here is a picture of the Ropa Vieja slider with some of my fries. Dinner was amazing.

"I am not a glutton, I am an explorer of food."
~ Irma Bombeck