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.”

Monday, July 16, 2018

Bloom where you're planted


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


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


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


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.



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


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!


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?


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.