Thursday, April 30, 2015

Imagination vs knowledge


I was at the Downey Gateway yesterday and noticed this quote on one of the walls installed as part of the Firestone project. I thought of a relative I recently visited that is studying to get his PhD in chemistry and wondered if he would agree with Mr. Einstein.

Do you think Einstein meant it just for physics or for life in general? Have you ever noticed a real life situation where this quote was true?

By the way, what do you imagine you see just above the wall?

Humans of Downey


I [Steve] am starting a new series of photos here at Downey Daily Photos. It stems from reading a blog by a photographer in New York who wanted to photograph and document his location of 10,000 New Yorkers. He soon added quotes from his subjects to let his readers in on all these faces that were hiding their stories. He calls it "Humans of New York," and you can follow him on Facebook.

Below is my first of many "Humans of Downey." In the future I will not write about the humans, but let their quotes speak for themselves. Enjoy.

"One thing I would like to do is put criminals behind bars and help the good people out of the prison system. You know, make sure we don't put the wrong people in there. I just love law enforcement and would like to pursue that. I'd like to go through the academy again. I would like to be a detective in the future."

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Los Angeles art colony continued...

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I have been intrigued by the unique challenges and advantages of living in "the city." Visiting the Brewery Art Walk brought it all back. Here, there is a sense of community as well as each person having their own sense of "space." For the ground floor units, there is outside area that each person has made their own, some with plants, some with stuffed animals, some fruit trees.

IMG_4489 as Smart Object-1IMG_4488 as Smart Object-1

IMG_4439 as Smart Object-1_1IMG_4487 as Smart Object-1_1And then, there is the simple beauty of colors and textures and living things. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Irish invasion

Electrical box for Special Olympics

This summer, Downey will be hosting over 100 athletes and coaches from Ireland. This delegation is coming to the U.S. for the Special Olympics World Games that will take place in Los Angeles. According to the Downey Patriot, before the World Games begin on July 25, 2015, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to southern California through the Host Town program.

Mayor Luis Marquez says, "Hosting the Ireland delegation is even more special to us due to our City’s history ties with Ireland, and our Sister City relationship with Roscommon County, Ireland." Some of the activities planned for the days before the games: a welcome community concert, a private tour of the Coca-Cola bottling plant, and a visit to the Columbia Memorial Space Center.

This latest example of Downey's electrical box street art commemorates this upcoming visit.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Brewery Art Walk

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A short distance from Downey, in the city of Los Angeles, there is an enclave dedicated to artists. The Brewery Art Colony is the largest art colony in the world.

IMG_4433 as Smart Object-1Over 100 resident artists have living quarters where they can work on and exhibit their art. It is a community of artists in lofts and ground floor residences that provide amazing amounts of both light and feedback from fellow artists.

IMG_4446 as Smart Object-1_1Twice a year there is a free open house called the Brewery Art Walk (the site used to be the Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery). The Art Walk allows the local community an opportunity to experience the eclectic, artsy atmosphere.

We joined the crowds this afternoon and were not disappointed.  The artists opened their homes and studios to visitors and gave us a peek into their worlds. From sculptors to painters to metalworkers to clothing was all here.

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“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 
~ Pablo Picasso

Saturday, April 25, 2015

How much is that puppy?

Miniature Australian shepherd puppies

Puppies tend to steal the show wherever they crop up, which happens to be all over the internet. The same thing is true in the real world, where these three 2-month-old miniature Australian puppies playing in their front yard stopped me in my tracks. Who could resist?

Tony and his niece were giving the three pups and their mom some play time in their front yard. Tony owns the mom and pop dog, and he's keeping one of the puppies. The other two are for sale, and they sure are cute!

Miniature Australian shepherd puppiesMiniature Australian shepherd puppies

Friday, April 24, 2015

Street music

Street musician

At the weekly farmers market in downtown Downey, there is usually a street musician entertaining the crowd. I enjoyed this man's music very much. Unfortunately, I lost his card, so I can't tell you his name. Perhaps someone who knows can comment?

Update May 22, 2015: The musician's name is Felix Hackenberg.

Street musician

Thursday, April 23, 2015



I've seen much evidence in my tenure as a Downey Daily photographer that the people of Downey are generous people: with their time, with their talents, and with their money.

This is one example of all three types of giving. The Downey Symphony Guild raised $15,000 for the Downey Symphonic Society, which handles the business end of the Downey Symphony. These two organizations are staffed with volunteers who give of their time and talents to raise funds and spend them wisely to bring Downey and the surrounding communities the beauty of classical music.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
~ Aesop

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Is it a boy or a girl?


Recently, I was privileged to witness an interesting custom to tell loved ones the sex of an expected child. This couple had the typical doctor's visit, including the ultrasound to determine the sex of the child. But the doctor did not tell them, but instead, wrote the sex on a piece of paper and sealed it in an envelope. The couple then gave this envelope to a friend who then baked a cake with either blue or pink frosting inside.

With family and friends gathered for a revealing party, some wearing pink or blue t-shirts to state which sex they wanted the child to be, the couple cut the cake to reveal the frosting inside. I loved the sign on the table and found out that since they found out that she was pregnant, the couple had been praying this prayer with their two boys.


Their dog, Lady, was biased.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Red, white and blue

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A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of this Statue of Liberty getting a fresh coat of paint (on the right side of the yard). Here is a view of the entire front of the house.

I pass it daily on my morning walks. It always looks so perfectly maintained. As you can see, it is a very patriotic house. With the flags, the Statue of Liberty, and the color scheme, it is hard to walk by and not be reminded how lucky we are to live in the US.

“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, universal brotherhood and good will, and a constant and earnest striving toward the principles and ideals on which this country was founded.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, April 20, 2015

Just pull 'em up

Fireman boots and trousers

Firefighters must be able to respond to a call as quickly as possible, so being able to just step into your boots and pull up your pants can save critical seconds. Even when the firefighters are relaxing at the Downey Street Fair, as they were this day, they are ready for a call, just in case.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Downey landmarks

Electrical box artElectrical box art

Here's another example of the beautification of the electrical boxes around Downey. This one focuses on historic Downey scenes, and is located in downtown Downey. Sort of an electrical box version of Downey Doodle-icious?

At the zoo


Last weekend we spent the afternoon at the LA Zoo. It was a great day. It was most impressive watching this hippo interact with the zoo worker. The worker seemed to enjoy petting the mother hippo and scratching her snout. The best part was when she fed her a whole honeydew melon. It sort of rolled into her mouth. She closed her jaws and you could hear the pop of the melon being chomped!

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"Someone told me it's all happening at the zoo." ~ Simon & Garfunkel

Friday, April 17, 2015


Motorcyclist at the Rio Hondo riverbed

People enjoy the concrete floor of the Rio San Gabriel riverbed for many purposes. There are always skateboarders and bicyclists testing their skills on the dips and steep sides. I've seen dog owners  playing fetch, and I've seen the occasional horseback rider.

But this was the first time I've seen the floor of the riverbed being used as a motorcycle maneuverability course. This biker was practicing his sharp turns at fairly high speed. I didn't see him touch a single cone.

And to finish things off, he paced a biker down the riverbed for a ways.

Motorcyclist at the Rio Hondo riverbed

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The last performance


The Downey Symphony gave its final concert of the season this past Saturday. A young violin soloist, Hao Zhou, was the featured artist for the evening. His performance of Sibelius's Violin Concerto was engaging and entertaining.

DSC_0798Jess Zakira Wise was the winner of the 2014 Baton Auction and led the orchestra in Strauss's Radetzky March.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

150th anniversary


Today is the 150th anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln. He was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, just after 10:00pm, but he lived until 7:22am the next morning, April 15, 1865.

Many government offices flew their flags at half-mast today in honor of President Lincoln. Most historians and the general public regard Lincoln as one of the top three presidents. (cited from Wikipedia)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


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Pam posted yesterday about the Rio San Gabriel riverbed. Here is a view of the Rio Hondo riverbed with a double culvert that was reflected in the water. I find it peaceful to walk along the riverbed and to be able to enjoy a variety of sights. Overall, I think I just really appreciate the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis.

"Beauty is truth - truth, beauty - that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."
~ John Keats

Monday, April 13, 2015

Graffiti dam

Graffiti at Rio Hondo riverbed

I know it's graffiti and therefore to be discouraged. But sometimes, I just find it to be very picturesque.

“It's a very frustrated feeling you get when the only people with good photos of your work are the police department.”
~ Banksy

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The street fair

Downey Street Fair

Yesterday was the annual Downey Street Fair, with a record-breaking number of vendors.

Downey Street FairThere were community services on hand such as police and fire, public works and trash pickup. (We asked Calmet why they were there, because, after all, you don't typically have to sell people on getting their trash picked up. But it turns out that Calmet sponsors a lot of city events. Who knew!?)

There were lots of goods to buy, from garden decor to sun dresses (below). And lots of food to try out.

The most interesting food booth, to me, was the Me So Korny booth (right), which sold nothing but roasted corn, on or off the cob. I watched this man stripping the  corn off ear after ear in two quick passes.

Downey Street Fair

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Simple beauty

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I love that there are varieties of flowers along the river walk that follows the Rio Hondo river. I couldn't resist the beauty of this single flower that kind of stood out from the rest.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting — a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fashion versus function

Tennis court resurfacing

The tennis courts at Furman Park have been closed for resurfacing for a couple of weeks now. I didn't see much progress until the last couple of days, when the colors were added.

Concrete courts such as this one used to be painted in colors to mimic natural courts: brick red to mimic the clay of the outer court, and grass green for the inner court. The courts here at the park, originally built in 1970, used those same colors.

But most pro courts are now blue. Initially, the trend may have started as a mere marketing gimmick, a way of branding a particular tournament. But players and TV producers alike soon discovered that blue (and purple) created a lot more contrast against the yellow tennis balls. So what started out as a fashion statement soon turned into a win-win situation for everyone.

And that, I assume, is why the Furman Park tennis courts are now a bright blue.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter traditions


Easter is full of traditions in every house that celebrates it. Even when I was a kid, somebody hid painted hard-boiled eggs for us to find.

Some kids are a little young to appreciate the significance of the Easter egg hunt, but the parents do and so they continue the tradition to show that they will teach their children the meaning of the tradition. And sometimes, that's just to have fun.

DSC_0804Before you have the Easter egg hunt, though, you have to have the Easter egg painting party. I can remember using that same wire holder when I was a kid.

DSC_0811And then there is the tradition of the Easter dinner. Usually held with lots of people and lots of food.

What traditions did you do for Easter?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lunar eclipse


This past Saturday, all of North America, including Downey, was privileged to watch one of those spectacular events of nature that happens only when everything lines up just right. The earth lined up just right between the sun and the moon so that the earth's shadow covered the moon, i.e. a lunar eclipse. You can read about it here. I shot this picture at around 4:30am, just before full eclipse.

The next lunar eclipse will be later this year on September 28. A partial solar eclipse will take place a few weeks earlier on September 13.


I thought I would show you what the eclipse looked like when you take the picture without using a tripod to hold the camera still.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lady Liberty

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Almost five years ago, we posted about this cottage. This woman keeps her yard perfect with little touches of red, white, and blue colors. Tucked away in the corner is a small Statue of Liberty that is lit up at night. Today as I passed her, she was touching up the paint. It is a small thing, but I was pleased to see it being done.

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty".
~ John F. Kennedy

Monday, April 6, 2015

Catch me if you can

Skateboarder at the riverbed

The skateboard from my post last week belonged to the sister of yesterday's biker.  She also wanted to try out the ride down the long hill.

But it's nice to know, if you have to bail out at the bottom, that your dad is waiting to catch you..

Skateboarder at the riverbed

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Up a hill, down a hill

Bike rider in riverbed

Personally, I like to ride my bike on flat surfaces. Uphill is too much work, and downhill is downright scary. But kids don't seem to share my preferences.

The bike and skateboard from my post last week belonged to a brother and sister. This young boy loved the challenge of the ups and downs in the riverbed that's adjacent to Rio San Gabriel Park.

Bike rider in riverbed

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Day is done

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The end of the day brings both closure and a sense of a new beginning...a new adventure is about to begin.

"Focus on the journey, not the destination."
~ Greg Anderson