Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What does Downey have?

McDonalds 65 years with Chris Nichols

"Paris has the Eiffel Tower. New York has the Empire State Building. What does Downey have? The world's oldest McDonald's!" So says Charles Phoenix (below in the hat), American humorist, historian, and author of Addicted to Americana. Phoenix and Chris Nichols (above), columnist at LA Magazine, were on hand to celebrate the 65th birthday of our unique Speedee and McDonald's in August (while DDP was on vacation).

Closed and nearly gone at one time, the building is restored and operational now, and even has a drive-through lane to help it stay competitive with the newer McDonald's down the street.

Happy belated birthday McDonald's!

McDonalds 65 years

Monday, September 17, 2018

Righteous and the Wicked


Another one of the bands who performed at the International Food and Music Festival in Downey was Righteous and the Wicked—a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band.

20180915_190755I just could not get enough of the stuffed animal pants.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” 
~ Plato

Saturday, September 15, 2018

International Food & Music Festival


Tonight was Downey's International Food & Music Festival. There was food from local restaurants and food trucks, craft beer and wine garden, DJ, live entertainment, on three stages, balloon artists, caricature artists, photo booth, henna artists, face painters, and more.


My favorite group this year was Masanga Marimba. They play music from Zimbabwe and more. They were awesome and fun to listen to.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Now open

New Downey Starbucks

I don't even like coffee. But I'm still excited at the opening of a new Starbucks within walking distance of my home. (I like their hot chocolate.)

According to the Downey Patriot's initial report last year, "the Starbucks will 'bring liveliness to the southwest corner of Florence Avenue and Paramount Boulevard, that does not currently exist in the area.' ...[T]he new café will benefit the entire shopping center...Traffic in the intersection will not be impacted, city officials said."

Well, we'll see about the traffic. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying my hot chocolate!

New Downey Starbucks

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Humans of Downey - Jamie

Jamie and Kristen 1

"I am like everybody else in that I am kindhearted and I think everyone wants to be kindhearted. I want to be kindhearted to everyone that needs my help. If you have a flat tire on the side of the road, need help with your bags, need help crossing the street, someone's car is stuck and they need it pushed out of the way, I will probably get out and help.

"At age 6, my family immigrated here from El Salvador. The reason we left El Salvador was because of the civil war going on there. So, when we came here, I grew up appreciating everything here and what this country offers. I appreciated what you could make of yourself and all the opportunities available. I think I am unique because I truly appreciate everything I have including this country because of what it has done for me and my family."


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Just in time to visit

Kaiser gardens 1

This tranquil setting was disturbed yesterday by an individual that thought he wasn't waited on fast enough at a Kaiser outpatient clinic. You can read about the incident here. This park-like setting is mostly used by the Kaiser staff to relax or walk and by visitors while they're waiting for things to happen inside.

My timing was impeccable yesterday. I entered as the last person they let into the hospital before it was on lockdown. I came to visit a friend that is a patient in the main hospital. When I got to his floor, I had to be escorted through locked doors to get to his room. Once there, we were told not to leave the room until the "all clear" was given.

So Richard and I talked for 30 minutes. His wife and children called to see if he was alright. Then his mom called to make sure he was alright. After an hour of all that talking plus his medication, he fell asleep. So, for the next hour and a half I read, watched the construction out the window, and waited for the "all clear." A little after 2:30, a staff member announced that the Downey Police had given the "all clear" and we could leave. When I and others got down to the main floor, the manager in charge of the main door hadn't been told of the "all clear" and she wasn't letting us out. That lasted about one minute. A large crowd was coming from outside to get back to work and visit patients and they had gotten the "all clear." I went home and had some lunch.

Kaiser gardens 2

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Good start to the day


I like eating dinner outside but I love eating breakfast outside.

The morning was quiet, except for the birds who were making sing-song sounds in the trees around me. The sun was warm and the light breeze was cool. It was a perfect way to start my day.

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.” 
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, September 10, 2018

Eggs of many colors

Farmer's market eggs

The color of an egg is determined by the genetics of the hens. The breed of the hen indicates what color eggs she produces. Of course, none of this affects the taste of these eggs for sale at the weekly farmers market. So what makes many-colored eggs so much more appealing?

Saturday, September 8, 2018

I'm still standing


I think it is so interesting that builders can leave up two walls and completely reconstruct a home, but because it technically has part of the original structure left, it will be considered a remodel versus a new build.

According to Zillow, this home was originally built in 1927 and was a total of 824 square feet—the last official remodel was in 1930. It is probably time for a facelift!

20180908_164543"May your home always be too small to hold all of your friends."
~ Unknown

Friday, September 7, 2018

Anticipation is keepin' me waitin'

Stonewood Cinnabon

Cinnamon rolls. The sight and smell of them from the Cinnabon kiosk in the center of Stonewood Center made my mouth water and next thing I knew, I was ordering several for my breakfasts the following week.

Stonewood CinnabonCinnabon was started in 1985 by a father and son on a quest for the perfect cinnamon roll. With a combination of Makara cinnamon, fresh-baked dough, and Ooey-Gooey™ cream cheese frosting, they found the combination that made the rolls a success.

I enjoyed every bite!

"Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory."
~ Gustave Glaubert

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Road rage results

memorial at fense

This makeshift memorial is for a driver that was involved in an episode of road rage. According to a neighbor, the car came down Alameda Street, it crashed into a parked car, flipped over, and came to rest after striking this block and iron fence. He didn't know if the driver was the victim or perpetrator.

I remember a cartoon we watched in driver's training in high school starring Walt Disney's Goofy. As a pedestrian, Goofy was mild-mannered and congenial. But once he got behind the wheel of a car, he became incensed with power. He alone had the right of way and every other driver and pedestrian needed to get out of his way or suffer the consequences.

Do you see this out on the road?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A meal as big as he is

squirrel on fense

I heard some chattering in my backyard recently and when I looked out the back door I saw this squirrel chewing on an avocado almost as big as he was. He ate for a few more minutes and then dropped it on the ground. He didn't bother to throw his leftovers in the trash.

I googled "squirrels in downey" and found this interesting article about a transplanted squirrel species, the Eastern fox squirrel, that is affecting the native Western gray squirrel population. I think I'm harboring a member of the invasion army.

“Sitting under a tree in a park in the summer, listening to birds and squirrels chirping while reading a good book is priceless.”
~ Charmaine J. Forde

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Don't make me boycott CVS


Question:  Have you shopped at CVS? What is up with the receipts?

This past weekend I went to CVS. I bought one item. I needed a battery for my car key fob. The receipt I received was more than half the length of my body.

I am not alone. In doing a little research, I found a Jimmy Kimmel  Live commentary on the length of the receipts at CVS.

My question now is:  Have any of you ever used one of the coupons you received on the CVS receipt?

Monday, September 3, 2018

National Night Out

Downey Night Out police horses

Back in August, Downey celebrated National Night Out with a variety of activities at the Civic Center. This was the first National Night Out for the Downey Police Department’s mounted unit, which is overseen by Captain Mark McDaniel and Detective Paul Hernandez. Mark and Paul, along with their equine partners “Captain” and “Coqueta,” posed patiently for me.

In actual practice, Captain and Coqueta don't actually do much policing. They get to come out for events like this, where they are admired and patted by both adults and kids.

In another area, the Downey Police Explorers fingerprinted kids for a National Child ID kit. Nearby, a Downey motorcycle officer showed a young girl how to use a radar gun to determine if a driver is speeding. Lots of other activities and freebies made this a fun night for Downey families.

Downey Night Out Explorers kids fingerprintingDowney Night Out speed gun

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Kids' Workshop


It is September and we are back!

I love that Home Depot has Kids' Workshops every month. This month I happened upon the projects in action.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

It's break time, see you in September!

Taking a break

We're taking our annual break this month  See you again in September!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Art in the yard


These cats were just taking in the sun late Sunday afternoon. Looking at the large cat made me wonder if he was considered a "watch" cat. He seemed to be so serene and watchful.

IMG_6163-1I love to see what people will use to add some fun and interest to their yards. Does a cat lover live here?

I have to wonder, with so many of these cats around, if that could be the reason for the empty birdcage?

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Downey Depot Transportation Center

Downey Depot Transportation Center

Across the parking lot from the brick walls lies the Downey Depot Transportation Center. I've posted a close-up of this mural before (Not just any tiled wall), but I wanted to show you the entire building this time.

The center was built at the site of the old Downey train station. (There was an unsuccessful effort at the time to save the old station as a historical building.) You can see a picture of the old station here.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

It's 5 o'clock somewhere


I went out for a drive today to find a picture for today's post—I was looking for some new yard art pictures.

I had been in the pool right before I left and my hair was still wet and dripping on my back, so I decided to squeeze out some of the water. My hand closed around a clump of hair by my pony tail and as I began to squeeze, I felt a large beetle stuck to my hair. Of course, I freaked out and flicked it out of my hair without any thought other than getting it as far away from me as possible. It whizzed away, but then I was driving in an enclosed car with a hissing iridescent beetle—somewhere unknown—I could hear him, but not see him. Needless to say, it was an interesting drive as I looked for a new picture, and I could not relax until I finally found him, pulled over, and managed to get him out of the car!

Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I thought that after those moments with the beetle, I was ready for a nice cool glass of wine. After all, it is 5 o'clock somewhere!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Brick walls

Brick and stairs

Brick is not the most common building material in southern California. This is partly because of our weather—brick holds in heat, which isn't as useful in our climate as it is elsewhere. But it's also because brick isn't very stable in an earthquake, which we have a lot of. Today's building codes require that brick be reinforced with rebar (whether on new construction or retrofitted), which makes it much more expensive than wood. But...brick is common in this little row of old retail buildings along Firestone Blvd.

So why this picture? I like the look of brick and I like vintage buildings. This also is the back of the old Sears catalog store, where I got my first part-time job years ago, so there's a bit of nostalgia thrown in.

"There's a certain nostalgia and romance in a place you left."
~ David Guterson

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Digging holes


In the back of the Kaiser Permanente Hospital, there is a lot of construction going on. They have torn up the parking lot. This machine is drilling very deep holes. This new tower expansion will add 96 beds along with updated technology to the campus, according to the Downey Patriot.


As you can see from the picture above, they have long cylinders of rebar ready to drop down the holes and then fill the holes with cement.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Last summer concert of 2018


So, Downey's Twilight Summer Concert Series is over for this year. It ended with the Lindy Sisters, who are an Andrew Sisters tribute band. The 1940s swing era group kept the audience entertained with classic hits like "In the Mood" and "Rum and Coca-Cola." See their upcoming events, history, and songs for sale here.

DSC_0847They certainly had some of the audience up and swing dancing.

“Don't breathe to survive; dance and feel alive.”
~ Shah Asad Rizvi

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ivy tree


I saw this tree as I was driving by the other evening. I wonder how long it took for the ivy to cover it so completely.

I also wonder if the owner of the home noticed the ivy as it was growing and kept intending to trim it until it was too late.

Monday, July 23, 2018

In memory of...

RIcky Galvez electrical box

Downey Daily has been posting about painted electrical boxes ever since we spotted the first one by the city library, but I only recently learned more about the program. According to former Downey mayor Mario Guerra, the city implemented the program to paint and beautify the various power boxes throughout the city and later extended it to let organizations, non-profits, and even families sponsor a box.

This box is the second of three boxes sponsored by the Guerra family. It honors fallen Downey Police Officer and Marine Ricky Galvez, who was killed in 2015.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Summer evening fun


Today was a beautiful day and there were a lot of people hanging out at Rio San Gabriel Park to enjoy the evening. Some people chose to relax and some chose to play.


“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” 
~ George Bernard Shaw

Friday, July 20, 2018

Keeping hydrated

Dog walking at farmer's market

On my walk around the weekly farmer's market, I noticed lots of people stopping for a break of one kind or another. Jason and Vanessa were enjoying their drinks in the shade while giving their pit bulls Cora and Spartacus a water break.

Cora is friendly and playful and enjoyed my head scratches. Spartacus, a little bit older and a little more reserved, just kept a close eye on me. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018



At each of the Twilight Summer Concerts there are several Downey booths to promote various Downey associations. This is Nellie, Emily, and Ashley, who are helping visitors learn about volunteering for different activities in Downey. There is the 6th annual Downey Dia de los Muertos Art Festival coming up in October. Volunteers are also needed to help at the different shows and concerts at the Downey Theater. You can contact them at Boxoffice2@downeytheatre.org.

When you stop by their booth next week, register for a chance to win two tickets to the upcoming "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer." I won last year and took my grandson. We both loved the show.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” 
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Downey Symphony 2018


This week's attraction at the Twilight Summer Concert was our own Downey Symphony. I loved the Star Wars music by John Williams. I always enjoy watching the percussion section. They have to be so precise in their timing, even though there are lots of interludes of silence for them. They also have to be well versed in multiple instruments.

IMG_20180718_192656The symphony is financially supported by the Downey Symphony Society. They are having a fundraising barbecue on August 14 at Rio Hondo Event Center. Contact Katie Hare, 562-861-8507, for more information. The Downey Symphony presents three public concerts during the 2018-2019 year. Check them out here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018



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.”