Wednesday, December 31, 2008

waiting patiently

tomorrow is the big day. we'll be camping out overnight to get a good spot for the parade. this is the corner of colorado and orange grove, where the crowds and tv cameras will be. i took this picture a few weeks ago during the massive set up for this event. hopefully i'll have lots of good pictures to share in the coming week.

say goodbye to 2008!

by the way - today is your last chance to vote for your favorite photo of the year in the poll on right the side of the blog. to check out the photos in contention, visit this link.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

downtown skyline from union station

the california flag in front of union station stands in the foreground of downtown los angeles.

can anyone fill me in on what buildings i've captured?

Monday, December 29, 2008

framing the 210

i ride over this highway every day on my way to class or work. likewise, my wife drives on it to get to work. it's noisy and sometimes congested and a part of our lives whether we like it or not. this image ended up on my camera while i tried to take a picture of something else. i like how the fence is emphasized and the highway is simply background fuzz. what does this say about me?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

l.a. grand crew 2008

last saturday i had the pleasure of participating in the 2008 l.a. grand crew, a 20 mile holiday bike ride to purchase beer at some of the areas best shops. it was organized and hosted by the guys over at the hot knives blog (pictured above) and a full review of the ride can be found here. great time!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry christmas from pasadena!

whatever your holiday traditions include, i hope today is filled with peace, love, and joy. we're on our way to pennsylvania today to spend a few days with meredith's family, but we'll be back in time for the new year and the parade. can't wait!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

all is calm, all is bright

here's to hoping your shopping is done and you can relax on this day before christmas!

also, i've put up a poll for the finalists for photo of the year. you can vote on the right side of the blog, and you can see the photos here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

trapped in suspension

do you ever have that dream where you're falling? i bet this guy has that one a lot. the civic center metro stop has several of these characters - all part of an artwork entitled "i dreamed i could fly". you can learn more about it right here. public transportation in los angeles has lots of room for improvement, but the metro train system is pretty good.

Monday, December 22, 2008

green street illuminated

the trees lining pasadena's green street are currently wrapped in christmas lights. it makes for a very mystical effect while you drive along, or in my case, ride your bike. this image doesn't quite capture the beauty the way i hoped - i may have to go out in pursuit of a better one...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

huntington hospital

pasadena's massive hospital is quite an interesting piece of architecture. not only does it have a lovely palm tree lined entryway, it also has a bridge connecting the two wings. oh, and our good friend deb works there!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

photo request #15: can you shoot rain falling?

a few days ago altadena hiker asked if i could photograph the rain we've been experiencing here in town. this is my attempt - you may not be able to see the rain, but you can see that the parking lot is wet, and the precipitation is visible in the mountains. this is about as close as we get to having snow on the ground in pasadena. gem city images had a great photo of the snow tipped mountains the other day as seen from neighboring monrovia, and two other photos of this phenomenon appeared over at mixed meters and glimpses of south pasadena.

i really like seeing palm trees and snow in the same image. as usual, photo requests are always welcome!

Friday, December 19, 2008

kaleidoscope of color

sometimes i can't believe the images that come off my camera. this is one of them, and today's entry in sky watch friday.

if you know what you're looking for, you can make out the top of the castle green on the horizon.

for other sky watch friday images, check this out!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

disney concert hall interior

on tuesday night we went to see chanticleer perform their annual christmas concert at the disney concert hall. it really was a fantastic concert. just like last week, no photography was allowed during the concert (and in fact i'm not sure i was allowed to take this picture!). the hall was pretty fantastic in terms of the design, accoustics, and just the overall layout.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

friday sky watch preview

the sky has been incredibly vibrant in pasadena lately. some cool weather has come with moisture in the air making some incredible cloud patterns and vibrant sunsets. i thought this row of palms needed their picture taken.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

storm's a comin'

it is always a troubling feeling to be out on your bike and be racing nature to get back to some kind of shelter. a photo taken in the opposite direction would have shown a bright sunny sky, but these clouds at the mountains were looming. fortunately we made it back home last saturday before this one hit (ryan and meredith know how to pedal hard).

Monday, December 15, 2008

the stuffed sandwich

located just south of pasadena in san gabriel, this little unassuming building happens to be the 9th best place in the nation to go have a beer. the stuffed sandwich has decent food, but most people go there for one reason, and one reason only - the massive selection of bottled beer.

the service can be slow, and the owner is often referred to as the beer nazi, but it is worth checking it out, simply for the experience. it is unlike any beer bar or restaurant i've ever been to.

one final thing - their bottled beer is served with a paper cup. bring your own glassware or pick something from their massive glassware selection to buy and take home.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

st. andrews clock tower in a new light

i've featured this tower before on the blog, but this is a new twist.

have i mentioned that the sky in pasadena these days has been incredibly vibrant around 5:00? i don't remember this about the sky last fall. sorry if you are getting sky overload, but afterall sky is in the title of this blog, so i guess it's fitting.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

watkin's family hour christmas concert

oh man. every once in a while you feel like you really got to witness something truly special and unique. on thursday we went down to the largo at the coronet for the watkin's family hour's annual christmas concert. it was pretty fantastic. not only did sara and sean watkins have some of their regulars from the watkin's family hour sessions (including benmont tench), but they also had several very interesting special guests like david rawlings, jackson browne, molly jenson, glen philips, and get this - john c. reilly (who read his christmas wish list while the band played charlie brown christmas music) and minnie driver!

just an incredible night of music - and all to benefit st. jude's children's hospital here in los angeles.

the photo featured today is of the stage before it all began. photography of any kind was not allowed during the concert. such a shame!

and finally, if you haven't done so already, please vote for your favorite photo of the year. it is a close race between to walk or ride and bridge from the arroyo seco. sorry about the insane amount of links included in today's post!

Friday, December 12, 2008

sunset over pasadena

took this one from above the city, up lake avenue in altadena.

for more friday sky watch photos, click here!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

it's all about framing

sorry south pasadena, here's another image of the dreaded 710 highway. another classic example of a picture i almost deleted before getting home and realizing it actually had some potential.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

climbing holly street

holly street bridge is one of the many connecting points for the two banks of the arroyo seco. if you choose to bike on this road, come from the opposite direction. it's more fun to go down hill!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

empty highways

you don't see this too often in los angeles county. a highway with zero cars on it. this is the 710, a little highway that never quite turned into what it was supposed to be. you can read more about that controversy on the wikipedia page for the 710.

Monday, December 08, 2008

over the rhine plays fuller seminary

touting last night's concert as "the first time we've ever played at a seminary", over the rhine took the stage to a packed house. playing a mix of old songs and new (and even a couple of original christmas tunes thrown in for good measure), they really captivated the crowd from the beginning of the set, to the end of their encore. another fantastic concert experience in what is becoming a string of really great shows for me. up next on our musical journey is the watkin's family christmas concert on thursday (providing we can get tickets!), followed by chanticleer at the disney concert hall next week.

if you haven't done so, be sure to vote for your favorite photo of the year right here! this photo is out to an early lead.

another side note - i'm happy to see that east of allen snagged a picture of the stealth bomber fly over that happened in pasadena yesterday!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

tournament house

it has taken me a long time to post a picture of this pasadena landmark. this white mansion is the current home of the pasadena tournament of roses. it is also a former home of william wrigley (the chewing gum man). all of which can be read about in this wikipedia article.

be sure to vote for your favorite photo of the year!

Friday, December 05, 2008

sunset sky at joshua tree national park

here is another one from our trip to joshua tree national park last weekend. this is actually looking east, the opposite direction of the setting sun. i couldn't believe the color in the sky!

this is my forth attempt at sky watch friday. you can enjoy the sky from around the world by visiting the website.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

best photo of 2008?

month's theme day over at city daily photo is "best photo of the year 2008". so i need your help. what was my best photo from this past year? here are the finalists as selected by you, the readers.

jan 21 - to walk or ride
april 2 - city hall in the evening
sept 21 - bridge from the arroyo seco
oct 19 - afternoon at the rose bowl

another one from joshua tree national park

i can't get over the physical beauty of this park. it was very different than sequoia national park or kings canyon, but it was still pretty fantastic. point the camera, take a picture, end up with an amazing shot. i hope you don't mind this little detour from pasadena.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

again, city hall at twilight

this is the image i used for my new title banner. i decided to feature it after the compliments i received after changing the banner image. enjoy!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

parrots and a crow

more from my parrot experience the other day. this tree looked beautiful in the daylight. i thought it was interesting to see this big black crow hanging out with all of the parrots. a few are almost visible if you click on this image.

Monday, December 01, 2008

december theme day: circles/spheres

this stained glass window is in a small chapel at my church. i attend pasadena mennonite church which meets in the pasadena church of the brethren building. mennonite churches are usually pretty plain buildings - not lavish or adorned with traditional religious icons. i guess our church is unique in that sense, probably because it wasn't built by our congregation.

the image includes several christian symbols - the greek letters 'alpha' and 'omega' which symbolize the beginning and the end, the crucifiction cross, the bible, a palm branch which is symbolic of peace and the coming of christ, and a star of david.

anyway, here's a plug - if you are looking for a church to worship at that places a particularily strong emphasis on peace and non-violence, social justice issues, systemic and social issues, and how essential all that is to being a follower of christ, come check us out! also we're a pretty relaxed group with lots of kids, young families, and students. dress is casual.

there are 175 blogs participating in today's theme day. you can check them out below!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Sunday, November 30, 2008

bullet the blue sky

the day after thanksgiving we took a trip to joshua tree national park. it was my first visit to god's country, and we had a great time bouldering and hiking around where the streets have no name. i also made sure to take the time to sit back and listen to u2's the joshua tree album on my ipod.

for those southern california bloggers looking for a place to take some pictures, head to joshua tree and just point and shoot. it's almost impossible to take a bad shot here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

oh what a thanksgiving!

from plates piled high with food, to hanging out with old friends, it was quite an amazing day. sky watching took priority yesterday, so that means you get thanksgiving images two days after the event.

most of the people around our table were fellow emu alums - some from the local area, and others who were visiting from other parts of the world. isn't that what thanksgiving is all about? spending time with loved ones and eating great food.

Friday, November 28, 2008

sky watch friday (take 3)

pasadena isn't known for it's vivid sunsets, but lately we've been getting some incredible ones! this was right at the tale end of one the other week as it set on holly street and first baptist church.

check out sky watch friday today for more views of the sky from around the world!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

another picture of my new friend

boy, do i ever love my new bike. i know being a show off isn't exactly a desirable quality, but i can't help myself! not sure if i've ever listed the specifics of this bike, but they can be found right here. this image is on the los robles overpass which is on top of the 210.

just one of the many things in my life i am thankful for. happy thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

goose island bourbon county brand stout

okay, i know a pasadena blog should be showcasing pasadena's beer. maybe a pint of something awesome from craftsman brewing. but i don't have the ability to have kegged beer in my fridge (craftsman doesn't bottle their beer yet), so i have to buy from out of town. this recent selection from goose island (chicago) was so impressive i had to pull out my camera and take a picture. if you like big dark stouts, this one should be on the top of your must have list. those who are curious can ask me where i found it.

oh, and if you are wondering how a seminary student thinks he can mix beer and theology, it is quite simple. i think they mix quite well! did you know that one of the highest rated beers on is made by trappist monks in belgium?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a pandemonium of parrots!

i've posted about pasadena's green parrots before, but until a few days ago i had never seen a flock as big as the one i found on sunday. i found them while riding my bike north of orange grove on los robles.

the first image seems like that parrot was almost posing for me. second was part of the flock in flight, and the third is a good example of how packed together they were in those trees!

oh, and did you know that a flock of parrots is called a pandemonium?

Monday, November 24, 2008

city hall in twilight

it's been a while since i featured an image of our beloved city hall (you can see some past images here). the other night the sky was vibrant as the sun was setting, unfortunately i was out on my bike without a camera. i raced home and got it, but the sun was mostly gone by the time i started snapping pictures. this was one of the last i took. i thought it might turn out too dark, but in the end i think it turned out really nicely.

my new blog title banner is from the same photo shoot, a little earlier in the evening.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

crime scene at lucky baldwin's

lucky baldwin's is an english pub just down the street from the castle green (with one of the best beer selections in pasadena i might add). which is why i was surprised to see a van with ncis printed on the side. the crowd of people and trucks full of equipment confirmed that the tv show ncis was filming an episode in pasadena.

a cool aspect of living in pasadena is that the city posts any filming activity on their website. so if you want to do some star searching, you just figure out what is filming, and where it's filming at.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

hanging out with our friends in nickel creek

i'm on an amazing streak of great concerts right now. on thursday we went down to l.a. to check out the watkin's family hour. those nickel creek fans out there may recognize sara and sean watkins - two of the three members of the band. they put on an amazing show most thursday nights when they aren't out there touring the country. a little bit folk, a bit rock, a bit blue grass, and a lot of awesome! largo at the coronet has a tiny back room that holds about 5o people when they pack in tight. the band when we were there consisted of sara on fiddle and vocals, sean on guitar and vocals, a piano player, upright bass player, and steel guitar player. i only recognized 3 songs, but had a big grin on my face the entire time.

the above picture is of (from left to right) our neighbor alan, sara watkins, sean watkins, and our neighbor jon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

say goodbye to the castle green (day 5)

one final image from the castle green. no friday neon today, or even friday sky watch (you can see past entries by clicking on the posted links). we'll take a break from those things to give one final look at the castle green.

you can learn more about this building by checking out the website and wikipedia entry.

keep those photo requests coming!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

introducting castle green (day 4)

for those fortunate enough to visit the castle green, the architecture stretches all the way out to the street to greet your arrival. this gazebo like structure showcases the castle green name, and gives a great lookout post for those wanting to do a little people watching.

for more info on the castle green, check out the website and wikipedia entry.

update: thanks to mr. earl for pointing out that this used to stretch across the road to a second building!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

introducing the castle green (day 3)

the building is different from almost every angle including this corner that looks almost like a castle turret. as you can see from the hanging palm branches, it's almost impossible to get a good glimpse of the hotel without some of the gardens creeping in.

for more info on the castle green, check out the website and wikipedia entry.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

introducing the castle green (day 2)

much of the exterior of the castle green is hidden by massive trees and hedges. the picturesque architecture peeks between the greenery from perspectives like this one.

for more on the castle green, visit the website and wikipedia entry.

Monday, November 17, 2008

photo request #12: the same thing posted from several different perspectives (take 2)

some of you may remember my first attempt at photo request #12. well, it turns out the requester (my good friend deb) wasn't entirely satisfied with an event being the used as the subject for their photo request. something about that not being what she had in mind.

needless to say, i cannot leave a loyal reader unsatisfied, so we'll try again. i decided to pick a subject that would give me a variety of photo options and ended up deciding to take a closer look at the castle green. one of pasadena's iconic landmarks - and somewhat surprisingly, a building that has never been featured on the sky is big in pasadena.

so hang on to your hats, because this week i will take you on a tour of the exterior of this impressive building. you can read all about it at the castle green website, and it's own wikipedia entry.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

ironically god is love

my fellow blogger petrea over at pasadena daily photo, tipped me off to a huge rally happening yesterday in opposition to the recently passed proposition 8 (details on the proposition can be found here). to me, it is fascinating that people protest a democratic decision that has already been made, but when political decisions happen about human rights, people need to speak out. for those who are interested, pasadena's voting public did not vote in favor of prop 8.

the homosexuality debate was not decided on november 4th, and yesterday's protest did not solve the issue either. regardless of your stance (and i'm continually shaping and reshaping my opinion), it seems that dialog is the most important thing to do. eliminating constitutional rights in california seems to do more harm than good - at least in my humble opinion. i attend a school and a church that are both "officially" opposed to practicing homosexual lifestyles, yet healthy creative debates are happening between the members of both organizations. it's small, but i like that.

for those interested in getting a taste of two contrasting theologicial positions on the issue (and more specifically from a mennonite church perspective), this book co-authored by one of my former professors is a fantastic place to start.