Friday, July 31, 2009

All Aboard!!!

Not many of us remember the heyday of Union Station. Celebrities, soldiers coming and going during WWII, regular folk...on a vacation to'd see it all if you went to Union Station and sat in the grand waiting room watching the people come and go in the 40's and 50's. Union Station, Los Angeles, was built in 1939 and is currently known as the "Last of the Great Railway Stations" built in the United States. The architects were the same that designed LA City Hall, the father and son team of John and Donald B. Parkinson and their firm. It is a combination of Dutch Colonial Revival Style, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne style.
Most of us do remember scenes filmed here from many movies and television shows...from the old black and white films to the more current films such as Blade Runner and The Italian Job, as well as the popular television series, 24. I remember going to Union Station with my parents as a young child. I remember it seeming huge and exciting at the same time. When I walked in last week, I was surprised at how normal the size wasn't the grand and spacious Union Station of my memories, instead, it was a well used and wonderfully appointed space dedicated to the smooth and comfortable travel of it's patrons. The architecture and interior design spoke of times past when beauty of design and quality of craftsmanship were paramount.
Going to Union Station is still a moment to step into the glorious past of the railways and a wonderful excursion into history...if you have a chance, step back in time and visit the Los Angeles Union Station...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

El Pueblo de Los Angeles..."where the city first began"

El Pueblo de la reina de Los Angeles sobre El Rio de la Porciuncula, "The town of the queen of the angels near the Porciuncula River" Aaron's Tour of Los Angeles - Part 1 website,

When I was a Girl Scout, growing up in Glendale, I was fortunate to have a wonderful set of leaders who took to heart the importance of teaching all of us about the beginnings of the beautiful city of Los Angeles. It's probably because Doris was the daughter of the family who last owned the Verdugo Adobe and sold it to the City of Glendale for the use as a historical park. What better way to learn the history of Los Angeles than to experience it for ourselves.
I visited Olvera Street many times with the Girl Scouts and with my family. My family always ate at La Golondrina Cafe, the first restaurant of California (and of course I continued the tradition on the day of my photo shoot, and I must say, they have very fine Margheritas!!!!). As my memory recalls (aided by an internet search of grand proportion) Olvera St. was the first plaza, or gathering spot for the neighboring ranchos. It was the site of celebrations of all kinds and of course, the location of the old Plaza Catholic Church.
Today, Olvera Street looks exactly as it did when I was a child. The surrounding city has grown by leaps and bounds, but the street still houses the many vendors and food stands that have been typical there since I first started going. You'll even see some of the same simple toys that I loved to play with, as well as maracas, sombreros, Mexican dresses of all sizes, and those sandals!!! And as you walk down the street, taking in the sights and sounds, you smell the taquitos at Juanitas!!!
And last, but definitely not least...I would have recognized his work anywhere...the murals by Leo Politi. I was blessed to have a wonderful grandmother who also was a librarian...for 52 years! As a child, she always gave us a book for Christmas, birthdays etc...and many of the ones she gave me were books written and illustrated by Leo Politi. My most treasured posessions from my childhood. Because my grandmother was a librarian, she met Leo Politi several times, and as a result, I am proud to say I have several books that are beautifully inscribed by the author himself, my name embellished with flowers and of art on their own.

Monday, July 27, 2009

San Juan Capistrano...Florals!!!

The Huntington didn't have anything over San Juan in regards to the floral displays!!! When you first walk in, the courtyard has a large fountain with some of the most beautiful lilies and lotus...then on into the main area where I found the beautiful trumpet flower and the amarylis!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The "Jewel of the Missions"

Known as the "Jewel of the Missions", San Juan Capistrano Mission is a wonderful excursion into the history of California. It reminds us of the rich cultural heritage of California. The Spanish/Mexican and Native American influences abound.
While the County of Los Angeles has deemed it politically incorrect to include the cross in the seal of the county, one can't deny the deep roots of Christianity/Catholicism in California's heritage when one visits the missions. It is a rich and beautiful heritage.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More of the Huntington...

A continuance of the Chinese and Japanese gardens as well as a respit in the coolness of the main get out of the 100+ degree heat of the day!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Lotus: "Primordial Purity of Body, Speech and Mind"...

Lovely Lotus at the Japanese and Chinese gardens at the magnificent Huntington Library...

"[edit] Lotus

lotus flower
The lotus flower (Sanskrit: Padma), representing 'primordial purity' (Tibetan: ka dag) of body, speech, and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire; represents the full blossoming of wholesome deeds in blissful liberation.[edit] Lotus"

"You must be a lotus, unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!"

Sai Baba