Monday, April 30, 2012

Goldberg Park

The Milton and Harriet Goldberg Park is located at the corner of Sunnyside and Ramona.  According to, Goldberg Park, which was dedicated in April of 2008, was the first park opened in Sierra Madre in over 30 years. 

The Goldbergs, who were among the founders of the Sierra Madre Community Nursery School, had owned the property for many years.  Local children often played on the empty lot, and the couple chose not to build on it because, as Mr. Goldberg is quoted as saying "Children need space, time and love." 

After the Goldbergs passed away, their children felt that it would be approriate for the land to become a park.  Ultimately, the city sold the land that the Nursery School sits on to the school, allowing funds to purchase the Goldbergs' property and create the new park.  The bench in this photo contains the quote:

"Children need space, time and love."
~~Milton Goldberg

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Stars Were Aligned

Earlier this week, I posted about some filming taking place in Sierra Madre, for the TV show "Touch." I also mentioned that I got brave and stood around watching the process.  Well, the next day I really got my brave on.  My friend and I were in front of Corfu Restaurant, where a crew member told us that the Big Star would be passing by shortly. 

That moment ended up stretching out for an hour or so, causing us to possibly qualify for Stalker Status.  But it was worth it, because I got this picture, and a brief 60 minutes of standing around later, we each got our pictures taken with him.  Then, we headed off for our walk (our original purpose for being in town), as pleased as punch. 

The next day, stories circulated that after filming he went down the street to The Buccaneer, played pool, and even bought drinks for people.  I missed all of that.  But we'll always have Corfu.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Lunch" at Dinnertime

This is the "Lunch" Salon.  It's located at 65 N. Baldwin, just below The Four Seasons Tea Room.  It's been a salon as long as I've lived here, but I hear it was once a clothing store called "Conglomeration." 

Originally, though, it was the home of Mr. William Robinson who, according to the "Sierra Madre Vistas," came West to Sierra Madre, from Lowell, MA, in 1884.  Mr. Robinson was a friend of Nathaniel C. Carter, the founder of Sierra Madre, and decided to move here after a winter visit with Mr. Carter the previous year.  

Mr. Robinson built this house for his family, but reserved one room for a Post Office, and the town's first grocery store.  Where you could buy supplies for your dinner, or your "Lunch." 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Three Dog Day

This shot is, admittedly, a bit blurry.  I did my best, but these three beauties were just too happy to sit quietly for the picture.  The more we tried, the more excited they got.  It doesn't get much better than this.  It was a perfect day, and everyone was outside, having fun.   This was the second group of three dogs I came across on a walk last Saturday - Sierra Madre is a dog's town, for sure.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bailey Canyon

Bailey Canyon, originally homesteaded in 1875 by R.J. Bailey, has a rustic-but-beautiful picnic area, Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park.  It also contains the trailhead for Bailey Canyon Trail, a rugged trail with varying destinations, including a small waterfall.

MacCloud Saddle is at the one-mile mark, and at the 2.2 mile mark is the Old Foundation.  This is the ruins of two cabins.  I read online that they were built in 1910, by students from Throop Polytechnic (the previous name of Pasadena's CalTech).  Does anyone have any more information about this?

For an even more challenging hike, you can continue up the trail as far as Jones Peak (named after Sierra Madre's first mayor), at 3.3 miles.   At 4.1 miles, Bailey Canyon Trail meets up with the Mt. Wilson Trail. 

However, none of the above-mentioned destinations were necessary for this photo.  I took it from the parking lot, about a one-mile walk from the center of town.  You can take a car too, which may or may not be cheating.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A "Touch" of Excitement in Town

On my way home last night, I had some trouble driving down my chosen street, due to there being a film crew, trailers, equipment, etc., lining both sides of the road.  After slaloming through, I discovered that the filming seemed to be set up right where I get my car serviced, at Sierra Madre Independent Honda Service.  Pulling into the parking lot, I saw my mechanic, Chris, watching the goings-on. He said that they were filming "Touch," with Keifer Sutherland.  (Chris also mentioned that Keifer, a smoker, was inside Chris' shop earlier, and needed to put out his cigarette.  Rather than just dropping it on the floor and putting it out, he put it out on the bottom of his shoe, and then put it in a trash can.  Sounds like a decent guy!) 

Having lived in this area my whole life, I've come across filming a lot, and I always think it's exciting.  But, being a major do-gooder fraidy-cat, I've never ventured very close.  This time, as usual, I was quite worried I'd get kicked out, but I did finally walk over to take a closer look at the filming.  What a fun time!  They were setting up a scene to be filmed in the Village Auto Clinic.  (This seems to be a popular Hollywood filming venue - It was on "Glee" awhile back, among other things.) 

The Village Auto Clinic family was there this evening, and they were nice enough to put up with me hanging around and taking photos.  It was a fun opportunity to get to meet some nice people.  We all practiced saying "cut" a few times (quietly of course).  The crew didn't seem to mind my taking photos until I took one during the actual filming.  But, the crew member who asked me not to take it really couldn't have been nicer about it.  Apparently, photos are a problem, even far away and without a flash. 

I took this photo just after a scene "wrapped." (Like that?? One hour in Hollywood, and I'm using the lingo.) The brick building to the right of the Village Auto Clinic is Sierra Madre Independent Honda - the crew took down the sign for the filming.  Also, nearby, they had placed gas pumps, as well as gas signs.  One gas sign showed today's prices, and another had prices around $1.00.  I imagine that this apparent Auto Fuel Time Travel will be relevant, once we see the show. 

Although this area looks chaotic, the whole thing  ran like clockwork, and once they said they were finished for the day, they cleaned up and vanished inside of 30 minutes.  Amazing!  Oh, and if you do watch the show, keep an eye out for the red Mustang (1967 or so).  It will not disappoint!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Garden Work

I love how this garden is set up. So pretty! And see the little vehicle in the middle? It gives "working in the garden" a whole new meaning.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Visits From Princess Margaret and The Queen

The British Home in California, was founded by a group of British women, affiliated with the Daughters of the British Empire, and formally opened by Sir John Adams, Consul General of Great Britain, in September of 1931.

My mother and I are Anglophiles.  On several occasions, we have stayed up all night to watch royal wedding celebrations on television: Charles and Diana, Andrew and Fergie, Edward and Sophie, William and Kate/Catherine, and even Charles and Camilla.

In 1967, Princess Margaret, sister to Queen Elizabeth, visited the British Home in Sierra Madre. I, at the time, was about 6 years old, and didn't yet know Sierra Madre existed.  Additionally, on a rainy day in February 1983, Queen Elizabeth visited the British Home, and reportedly greeted every one of the residents.  Again, I was nowhere to be found.  But, oh, what I would give now to have been there then! One can only hope that William and Catherine will do the right thing, and come to visit our local Brits.  And soon!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tea for You and Me!

The Four Seasons Tea Room is amazing.  My family has had a couple of showers here (the ladies-celebrating kind, not the get-clean kind).  The tea is good, the sandwiches are great, and the scones...  Well, their Absolute Awesomeness cannot be exaggerated. 

The Four Seasons seems to have been a house in a former life, and includes two nice rooms, as well as a patio.  Would love to know the history of this building.  It's truly like a mini-vacation each time you go.  Meanwhile, I have to stop writing, because I think I need to make myself a cup of tea.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I'll Take Mine To Go Please!

If I'm not mistaken, this is an olive tree, with an orange sitting on its branch.  To be more accurate, a half-eaten orange.  Maybe it was too crowded for dining in the orange tree, which is only a few yards away?  Or maybe someone just wanted a change of pace.  Either way, he didn't seem to finish his meal.  Maybe his lunch hour was over.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Monastery Statue

Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center was established in 1926, as a men's retreat.  The monastery and retreat facilities grew over the years, but the monastery was destroyed in the 1991 Sierra Madre earthquake, and subsequently demolished.  In 1999, a Monastery Memorial Garden was dedicated in place of the destroyed monastery building.  While the retreat center itself has a capacity of 110 people, more than 10,000 people visit the retreat center and grounds annually, including men, women, couples, and high school students, as well as those coming for other special events. 

This statue sits at the Sunnyside entrance to the grounds.  Although you can't see the statue quite clearly, I think the shadows from the tree make it more dramatic.  And of course, those mountains don't hurt things, either.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Now, THAT is a Tree!

This is a picture of a Live Oak tree.  One tree.  This is not actually the entire tree - there is more to the right of this, but my camera couldn't capture the whole thing. 

From what I understand, this is the tree that was pictured in the 1950 book, "Annals of Early Sierra Madre," and it was thought to be 600-800 years old at that time.  Not much else to say, really, is there?  (Okay, there is one more thing. Coooooool!!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Coffee With Mr. Nosey

Meet my co-editor, Spencer. As a resident of Sierra Madre, I'm thinking he can qualify as a Seeing Sierra Madre daily photo entry.*

We adopted Spencer from the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society in March of 2011. At that time, he was almost a year old, and had been with them from when he was just a few weeks old. Spencer is undoubtedly the happiest and most mellow cat I’ve ever been owned by. He is Pure Joy. Like the Golden Retriever of cats.  He enjoys playing fetch, and will bring toys to you in the night so you can throw them for him (this can sometimes disturb the human sleep cycle, but who could turn down that face?). They obviously took very good care of him at the Humane Society, until the time when we went looking for a cute orange kitty, and there he was.

As you can see from this picture, and as an added boost to the ego, Spencer finds everything I do truly fascinating. Therefore he spends most of his time near me (at least when he’s not eating, which is astonishingly often). When I am at the computer, he is either on the desk in front of the monitor, or on the chair (if I’m not fast enough). Much of my blogging-time is spent standing up. This is why I have given him an editorial position. He’s just lying around anyway. Might as well put him to work.

*Thank you for indulging me.  I will do my best to keep Spencer-related posts to a minimum.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good Things Come in Threes

You can't live in Sierra Madre for long without acquiring an appreciation for architecture.  There's something for everyone here.  Last week, we walked down a street with three houses, one next to the other: Craftsman, Victorian, Mid-Century Modern. Yep.  Good things come in threes. This Craftsman home has a nice set of three things going.  Mountain background, green grass and a generally peaceful ambiance.  It's a winner.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm So Glad They're Still Doing This!

As we came around the corner, I resisted the urge to jump in.  Then, I beat down the resistance and gave it a try, but something felt wrong.  My friend and I discussed the rules for a bit, and we think that this version is slightly different than when we were kids.  Any thoughts?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ascension Church

This is a picture of some of the grounds at the front of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, which was given Historical Landmark Status in 1971.  The church, originally built in 1886, was destroyed by an 1887 windstorm and rebuilt in 1888.  According to a Wikipedia article, the architect, Ernest A. Coxhead (1863 - 1933), was born and studied in England.  He ultimately moved to California where he was the semi-official architect for the Episcopal Church, and his focus, in the earlier part of his career, was on Gothic style churches.  After the death of his contact at the Episocpal Church, his focus switched to residential design, and he was involved in the emergence of California's Arts and Crafts style.  He lived in Berkeley, California until his death.  Many of his buildings, including residential buildings, public/commercial buildings, and churches, can still be found in California.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wednesday in the Park

Just after Wednesday's rain, I stopped at Sierra Vista Park for a minute, thinking I could get a pic of the empty park.  But if you look in the background, you'll see there were people everywhere.  (...and the parking lot reflected a similar situation...)  I guess a bit of rain can't keep people from little league practice, or just enjoying a nice park.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Please. Follow the Rules.

As you hike down Mount Wilson Trail, you will come to this sign, pointing the way down the right path.  But yet, the people on the sign are going the other way.  These days, even the Painted People are rebels...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mountain Lions, Bobcats, "Big Cats" - Oh My!

We saw this sign while out for a walk a few weeks ago, up near the monastery.  I do love kitties, so I'd like to tell you I wasn't completely freaked out by this, but that would be a lie...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Never Missed a Single Game

Although this appears to be a picture of the baseball field, I think the main character here is the tree.  I'm so glad that it made it through Windstorm 2011.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

No Junk Mail Here

If I were the letter-carrier, putting mail in this box would be the very best part of my day.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hotel Shirley

The Hotel Shirley building, built in 1911, was restored to its original glory in 1998.  This building has seen a lot - the red car (and its sad demise), a lot of 4th of July Parades, and the start and finish of many Mt. Wilson Trail Races. 

This photo took awhile to take, as the place where I was standing is right near a crosswalk.  My kind and friendly co-citizens kept thinking I was trying to cross the street, and I kept waving them on.  After a few embarrassing misinterpretations of my purpose for standing there, I finally got the photo!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

HoPpY EaSteR

This photo was taken at Leonora Moss Floral Design, in Kersting Court.  You can always count on their mother-daughter design team to provide a fun and interesting display, whatever the season or reason.  Kinda gets you in the mood for an egg hunt, doesn't it??

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


March 25th, 2012, brought the Wistaria Festival to Sierra Madre.  The annual festival celebrates Sierra Madre's Wistaria (as it's spelled here) Vine.  The plant, according to this article by Phyllis Chapman, of the Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce (found on the Sierra Madre News website), was purchased in a one-gallon can for .75 in 1894.  It currently covers over an acre, and has been named by Guinness as the world's largest flowering plant.

Since March 25th was also my dad's 90th birthday, we were busy celebrating elsewhere, and missed the festival, and the Main Plant.  But I did manage to catch a shot of this beautiful specimen, just a day or two before. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

April Theme Day

As a new member of the City Daily Photo Blog community, I wanted to take a crack at the Theme Day for April, which was "Cobblestones."

This was taken from one of the bridges over the stream in the Sierra Madre Canyon.  See the river rock at the bottom, and on the sides? River rock is the closest thing to cobblestones that I've seen in our neck of the woods.  It's gorgeous, and there's a lot of it!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beginnings and Endings

In late February of this year, our community lost one of its treasures, the largest of the beautiful California Pepper Trees in Kersting Court. The tree had to be removed, due to safety concerns.  According to the Sierra Madre Patch, it is is believed to have been planted in 1887. 

On January 2nd, after we rode over to the Rose Parade, I parked my bike and took a picture.  I just recently discovered that the Pepper Tree was in the photo, and thought it might make a fitting beginning to this blog.