Monday, May 31, 2010

to remember is to work for peace

we spend a disproportionate amount of time in the united states celebrating our violent heroes - those who have given their lives with a weapon in their hands. but what about those who have died serving peacefully?

this image was taken in hebron, the largest city in the west bank. i took this photo on our visit in 2007. it shows a christian peacemaker team volunteer, as well as a tree that was planted in honor of tom fox, the cpt activist who died in duty in 2006. you can learn more about christian peacemaker teams and how they serve nonviolently at their website.

today is memorial day. i hope you can take some time to remember all of our fallen heroes.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


there ain't no place like this place -
like this place -
anywhere near this place -
so this must be the place!

(as seen on the wall of pasadena sandwich co)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

pasadena sandwich company

it wasn't long after our arrival in pasadena that i heard about an obscure sandwich shop with random hours and giant sandwiches. every once in a while i would hear about it again (as in this recent review of la's best sandwiches), but never made an attempt to go.

meredith and i finally checked out pasadena sandwich company. as you can see from the wall menu, our choices were somewhat overwhelming. but i had heard that the best value was to go with the option "trust the cook" - a sandwich that is different every time you order it, depending on how the chef is feeling.

as you can see from the image at the top of this post, my sandwich was MASSIVE (today's trust the cook included pastrami, corned beef, turkey, mozzarella, cheddar, onion, tomato, lettuce, maybe some cabbage?, mustard, mayo, and both wheat and white bread). but unlike some food that is big for big's sake, and lacks flavor, this was a tasty treat.

meredith got the turkey supreme sandwich and was also quite pleased both with the size and the flavor. we tried the pasta salad which was also delicious - although totally unnecessary because of the size of our sandwiches. it is a very rare occasion where i go somewhere and am filled with just the sandwich without any sides.

one more time i wonder why we didn't get here sooner. however the more we travel through pasadena's culinary options, we realize just how limitless they are. you could eat out at a different place all year long, and never have to go back to the same place twice.

as usual, all of today's photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Friday, May 28, 2010

skywatching at the civic auditorium

happy friday everyone! i hope you enjoy this image of our lovely city auditorium, which i recently learned was built as part of the same project as the library and our beautiful city hall.

more skywatch friday can be found right here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

meet my friend matt

during the past two summers i've taken bike trips on the east coast with some friends from college. my friend matt has always been at the center of these trips. his love of cycling is certainly a big reason that i have grown to love riding my bike as much as i have. his photography is certainly part of the reason that started this blog.

well it turns out that matt just found out he has leukemia. needless to say, he and his family were stunned.

matt, our thoughts and prayers are with you. may you have a speedy recovery! if you'd like to follow matt's journey to recovery, you can check out the website that his family set up, right here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

standing gaurd

a row of trees and shrubs protect the one of pasadena's downtown buildings.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

philly's best

okay, yes this is a chain restaurant. something i rarely give much time to here on this blog. but the other day meredith and i were needing a place to grab a quick bite after a bike week event at central park, and we decided to head over to philly's best, located by the del mar train station. i had heard a few good reviews of the place, and figured it was worth a shot.

now i've tried cheesesteaks in philadelphia at pat's, geno's, rick's, and jim's, so i'm no slouch when it comes to what this sandwich should taste like.

i was surprised to find that this place held their ground surprisingly well! the rolls are brought in from the east coast, and the fixin's seem legitimate too. i didn't grow up in pennsylvania, so i wasn't that excited to discover that i could purchase frank's soda, or tastykake treats, but i was impressed at the lengths they went to make philadelphians feel at home.

you'll notice in the picture above that we also ordered the pizza fries - a mess of processed cheese and tomato sauce. i'm not sure what we hoped to get, but the fries were the one part of the meal that we could have done without. they seemed very processed. i'm pretty sure we'll head back if we're ever in the neighborhood.

Monday, May 24, 2010

one more from the tour of california

the tour of california concluded yesterday with michael rogers (who was pictured in yesterday's post) hanging on for the victory. this shot is of a racer tearing around the corner in front of the beautiful disney concert hall.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

amgen tour of california

the streets of los angeles were packed with cycling fans yesterday as stage 7 of the tour of california rolled through town. people came out in droves, lining the route of the individual time trial. although he wasn't the fastest in today's stage, michael rogers (pictured below) finished in second place and held on to the golden jersey as the leader of the race.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

the tour of california rolls in

coincidentally, bike week pasadena is happening during the amgen tour of california cycling race. pasadena has been a host city in the past few years, but unfortunately construction on highway 2 changed this year's route, bumping our fine city from being included.

have no fear cycling fans, because we are still within a short distance of catching some of the tour. downtown los angeles is the host for this year's individual time trial portion of the race. while it isn't quite as convenient as pasadena's rose bowl, it will still be really fun to watch each rider barreling around the los angeles course.

it is taking place today at 1pm, and i'll be there with the camera at the ready. look for reigning champion, california's levi leipheimer (above photo from last year's time trial), to challenge for the lead after today's stage is finished. levi currently sits in fourth place.

Friday, May 21, 2010

bike week pasadena - 2010

in case you haven't noticed, bike week pasadena is in full swing. this annual event is a great time to get out on your bike and enjoy the city from two wheels. events are planned until the 22nd. check out the full details at their website.

last night i attended a presentation called "pasadena and the bicycle: a historical romance", which was held at the pasadena museum of history (my first time there). it was a fantastic event, opened by mayor bill bogaard and filled with historic details about cycling in pasadena. very informative and fun. plus, the event had some great food, new belgium beer, and a raffle in which i won a new cycling jersey! all in all, a fantastic event!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

move the game!

next year's major league baseball all-star game is scheduled to be held in arizona. while normally i'd be excited for the fans of that great baseball state, some recent political decisions in arizona have inspired a campaign to have the 2011 all-star game moved to another location.

last sunday a few of us got together after church to show our support for this movement, and you can too...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

phở sure!

last week we finally made it over to the reyn - pasadena's only diner/vietnamese restaurant.

yes, you heard me.

from the time that they open in the morning until 3pm, the reyn serves as a classic bacon and eggs diner complete with 60s throwback decor. come 3pm, the menu shifts to entirely vietnamese cuisine - specializing in bowls of fantastically prepared phở. it was really a fun experience, and while i'm not an expert in this kind of food, i found it to be very tasty. my bowl came with a side platter that included sprouts, fresh basil, jalapenos, and a wedge of lime - all used to tweak the flavor of my bowl to my liking.

fun times for sure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

a little slice of canadiana

even though the sport i love the most is baseball, i do have a soft spot for hockey. i have many pleasant memories of saturday night games of pick-up hockey at the stouffville arena, and before that, long games of pond hockey with friends.

it has taken me almost three years to visit pasadena's ice skating center and i have no good reason why. maybe because living in the land of sunshine makes me forget about winter sports. maybe it is because it is tucked away behind the city auditorium, or that the area it is located in has been under construction almost as long as we've lived out here.

regardless, there is no excuse for a canadian boy to have taken this long to show the inside of the one local rink. stepping inside did make me a little homesick...

Monday, May 17, 2010

leslie knope and ron swanson in pasadena

it was just a few days ago that i mentioned that the nbc sitcom "parks and recreation" uses pasadena city hall for their exterior shots. well as it turns out, they use pasadena for a little more than that. thanks to a twitter tip from pasadenapio, i was there to capture some of the action of some filming for a future episode.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

nibble bit tabby brewery

yesterday was a landmark day for los angeles craft beer culture, as nibble bit tabby brewery officially opened for business. i went down for the ribbon cutting event and was happy to find a small crowd ready to welcome them in to their new home. the brewery is located in an industrial part of down town los angeles, and are hoping to be part of the rejuvenation of that fascinating neighborhood.

aside from being an interesting name for a brewery, nibble bit tabby specializes in brewing traditional ales in small batches. their first (and currently only) offering is an irish red ale, and it is perfectly executed. they manage to fit a decent sized brewhouse into a tiny little space. i can't wait to see what they brew next.

the above photo shows head brewer brian lethcoe (on the left) chatting it up with some of the crowd who had gathered to celebrate the opening. it has taken a long time, but brian is finally living out the dream of owning his own brewery.

i was pleasantly surprised to meet the owners of the soon to be opened, ohana brewing company who were on hand for the occasion. after eagle rock brewery, and nibble bit tabby, they will soon become only the third brewery operating within los angeles city limits. you can read an excellent article about their new venture, right here.

glad to meet you guys, and good luck on your future endeavors!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

mcc relief sale in upland

i grew up going to mennonite relief sales. in fact, i was born on the day of our local sale. "what is a mennonite relief sale?", you might ask. well, these events take place across the country in regions that have a sizable population of mennonites. they are organized to raise money for mennonite central committee - the global mission and relief agency of the mennonite church.

i've been to these events in southern ontario, virginia, northern indiana, and yesterday for the first time, southern california. certainly southern california is not a place most people think of when they hear mennonites, but we exist. and apparently, we also have relief sales. the one in southern california is a little smaller than the ones i grew up going to, but it still has all the essentials - a quilt and antique auction, fantastic home cooked food, and wonderful baked goods. the benefit of this particular sale is that the international migrant community adds a wonderful culinary touch to the festivities.

for those who might want to check out this wonderful event, it continues today. you can find more details at the event website - right here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

a tasty skywatch friday

the other day while sitting in class, i got a text message from a friend that said simply...

"dumpling truck on oakland"

i was thrilled. you see, oakland cuts down through fuller's campus, and it was getting close to dinner time. while pasadena boasts a growing number of food trucks, for some reason, few venture to fuller seminary (maybe seminary students are too poor for the gourmet food truck revolution?).

so after class, i headed over to check out the dumpling station food truck. dumplings come with a variety of fillings and can be ordered steamed, pan fried, or deep fried. in addition to dumplings, the truck offers a variety of other side dishes including garlic wasabi fries (i'm still mad i didn't try those). i ordered the beef kimchi dumplings and the pork sage dumplings - both pan fried. they were excellent! the food was ready quickly, and the service was very friendly.

it seemed like they were getting a decent amount of business from the fuller crowd. i hope this is a sign of things to come!

more skywatch friday can be found right here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

down in the depths

yesterday i said that i was done with pictures from our city hall tour, but i couldn't resist showing you one more. this image was taken on our ride down into the city hall basement. this old otis elevator is beautiful - carved wood, intricate ironwork - and of course that meant an excited group of camera-ready bloggers.

by the way... did you know city hall has a basement? or that it stretches beneath the entire inner courtyard?? i did not, but now i do!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

one final classic shot

i have plenty more wonderful images from our tour of city hall, but i'll save those for another time. i'll conclude this series from our afternoon with the public information officer with a classic shot of the exterior - most recently featured in mainstream media as the exterior of the supposed "pawnee, indiana" city hall in the nbc sitcom, parks and recreation.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the clock at city hall

another image from our lovely city hall tour. there is so much going on here - the original clock, the beautiful arched ceiling, the stonework, the columns... so much to look at.

for the most part, our beloved public information officer kept us totally enthralled - a difficult thing to do with 20+ free-spirited bloggers. a sampling of which appear below...

Monday, May 10, 2010

can you name the bloggers?

as we walked around on our city hall tour (see yesterday's post for more details and links to some other bloggers who participated), i tried to get some city hall photos that actually had people in them. however in classic blogger fashion, no one is looking at the camera. preferring of course, to keep their identity hidden from their adoring fans.

bonus points if you can list the website of each blogger pictured.

on a totally unrelated note, i'd just like to give a shout out to my best friend mike. he is currently going through his cd collection, documenting his feelings and reactions to each album - at almost an album a day pace. i'm totally biased, but i think this is one of the coolest blog ideas i've ever seen. check him out right here.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

blogger tour of city hall

in case you didn't already know, pasadena has one of the greatest public information officers of any town in the world. what makes ann so great? well for one, she has a fantastic blog where she fills people in on what is happening in pasadena, fascinating historical details about our amazing city, and even a "mystery monday" series where you can win pasadena related prizes.

ann invited local bloggers to join her this past saturday for a tour of our beloved city hall. over the next few days i'll post some images from our afternoon together. it was wonderful to finally meet some of my favorite bloggers face to face.

not to give too much away, but you can already read a full review of the day over at chris and kevin's blog. gina just chimed in over at mendolonium. mr. earl has some photos up from the day. irena's real estate blog is getting in on the action. the fabulous chieftess chimes in. our wonderful p.i.o. has her own review of the day.

i will use this space to add more blog posts as they appear (and please send me a link to yours if you don't see it here).

Saturday, May 08, 2010

taco station on green street

after hearing glowing reviews from two of my favorite local bloggers - pulled porker and brigham yen - i had no choice but to venture to this fantastic little taco stand that just opened on green street. i've often admired this little gas station. in fact, it has been featured before on this blog.

well, i'm going to have to agree with my fellow bloggers. while the tacos were a little on the small side, the flavor was spectacular! i loved the fresh corn tortillas, and the pickled onions on the marinated pork taco were amazing. i'm really happy to see that this little quaint part of pasadena has a vibrant new life.

Friday, May 07, 2010

extra-special skywatch friday

this photo was taken from the hospital window on the day that our daughter was born. a rainbow is a special thing here in california (regardless of any religious symbolism) and we were extremely happy to have one in the sky on our daughter's birthday.

more skywatch friday can of course, be found right here.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


another photo from the fabulous doo dah parade. i've seen this cat before. it must be an annual entrant into the foray.

by the way, if you haven't already, check out ray schiel's fantastic video tribute to this year's parade.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

more from the doo dah parade

i feel like this image could easily qualify for petrea's zen monday photo series - you tell me what is going on in this image!

classic doo dah parade fun.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

2010 doo dah parade

despite a new location, time, and day, this year's doo dah parade appeared to go off without any major problems. this event is an artistic reaction to the over-the-top rose parade. instead of immaculate parade floats, hand decorated cars, trucks, and even a motorized couch. instead of marching bands, heavy medal on the back of a truck. instead of beautiful choriographed dancers, a group dedicated to dancing to michael jackson's "thriller" over and over and over again (photographed above).

i had fun walking up and down the route, snapping off pictures as i went. the shift from old town, to farther down colorado seemed to create a more more festive atmosphere - if not a little cramped.

did anyone else make it to the parade?

Monday, May 03, 2010


our daughter was born on april 20. i knew she'd come at some point during the end of april or beginning of may, so i pre-arranged the whole mosaic park series so that when she came, you wouldn't miss a single day of this fascinating blog!

but now she's here, and she deserves her own blog post! we love our little girl, and she already has her mom and dad wrapped around her little finger.

oh, and if you're wondering about her name, we've decided to refrain from using it on this blog. but if you are close to us, or are my facebook friend, you should already know it anyway. if you're in the dark and are dying to find out, send me an e-mail and i'll see what i can do.

by the way - i did manage to make it to this weekend's doo dah parade. i'll post a few photos later this week.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

pasadena's newest theater

the mosaic park sign series is in the rear-view mirror. are you still following the sky is big in pasadena?? thanks for sticking with me!

arclight cinemas recently transformed the theater complex at paseo colorado into one of their marquee upscale theater-going experiences. thanks to a heads up over at hometown pasadena, i was able to snag a media pass to check out what they had done with the place.

yes, the movie was free, and yes they did butter us up with plenty of free hors d'oeuvres and popcorn, but never-the-less, we had a great time. the theater now offers plenty of legroom and wider armrests (something a big guy like me appreciates), and the picture quality was excellent. seating is reserved - you select the seat you want when you buy your ticket - and the theater is staffed with ushers to make sure that no one is talking on their cell phone or disturbing the other movie-goers.

the full bar was not yet up and running, but we were able to try a beverage from their excellent coffee bar.

even the pricing is not as outlandish as i was expecting (approx. $11-$15, depending on when you go and whether you qualify for a child or senior discount). certainly this isn't like going to the $3 theater down the street, but for the extra money you do get a wonderful movie-going experience. the re-decorating is really very tasteful and the atmosphere is certainly more on the date night side of things rather than the teenage hang-out, at least compared to the former tenant.