Wednesday, June 30, 2010

jessica fischot at levitt pavilion

for meredith's birthday, we packed a picnic dinner and met up with some friends for a tuesday outdoor concert at levitt pavilion

we had a fantastic time lounging on the lawn, enjoying food and friends, and the beautiful music from jessica fichot - an artist who draws on her french, chinese, and american background (and also sang songs in russian and arabic!).

check out her music.  it is fun and funky.  we were all pleasantly surprised!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

happy birthday!

today is my wonderful wife's birthday.  last year on her birthday i posted that i was excited to spend another year with her.  we had no way of knowing that we would be parents by the time her next birthday rolled around.  it has been a blessing to continue to experience married life with her, and now parenthood too.

happy birthday!

Monday, June 28, 2010

the pasadena way

this tower and beacon is located just outside of the pasadena police department.  i don't have any information on its significance (maybe pasadena pio can help?), but in the cement in front is this line (and barely noticeable at the bottom of the above photo) -

"the pasadena way"

a quick search of the city website directed me to the city police department's list of values, which are known as the pasadena way.  i don't know much about our community's cops - i've never had any contact with them in fact - but if they live by this code of conduct, they must be a top notch group!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

cd sunday: dave matthews band's crash

the second installment of my top 20 favorite albums brings me to another old favorite.  this album entered my collection at some point in high school.  my good friend jeff plays the drums and bought dmb drummer carter beauford's under the table and drumming dvd.  i had always dismissed dave matthews band for their jam band image, but after watching that dvd i was mesmorized both with beauford's drumming, and the music that they were creating.

Crash Into Mejeff recommended that i get this album first, and it wasn't long before i bought all the dmb albums i could find.  but crash remained one of my favorites.  for starters, this is one incredibly talented band.  they are doing stuff on this album that just wasn't done at the time it came out.  they were writing clever and creative music that included strings, and a sax, on top of the traditional drums, bass, guitar, and each were so gifted.

my first roommate in college showed me that during their heyday, you were either a lover or a hater.  i the former, he the latter.  he couldn't understand how anyone could like dave matthews band.  maybe it is too technical?  maybe they lack the radio hit formula?  maybe some of the songs go on too long?

whatever the reason, i loved this album from the get go.  songs that still stand out to me are "let you down", "tripping billies", and of course "cry freedom" came in to new light after my trip to south africa.

i'll be back next weekend with more of my top 20 favorite albums of all time.

1. u2 - the joshua tree

Saturday, June 26, 2010

cd saturday: u2's the joshua tree

my best friend mike is currently taking a journey through his cd collection.  his music reviews have inspired me to start a new series here at the sky is big - my top 20 favorite albums of all time.  over the next several weeks, on any given saturday or sunday, i'll give a short review of a favorite album of mine, as well as a corresponding photo that i have taken that fits with the album of choice.

The Joshua Treetoday's image represents what i believe to be one of the greatest albums of all time.  u2 has long been one of my favorite bands, and this might be their greatest work.  i was not yet 5 years old when it came out in 1987, and it wasn't until i was much older that my friend phil introduced me to this collection of songs.  i purchased it first on vinyl in a yard sale, and then it was one of the first cds i ever bought for my sizable collection.  i even had it stolen in south africa and then was given to me by a friend who graciously passed on her copy.

while the album contains a plethora of songs that any casual u2 fan has heard - "where the streets have no name", "with or without you", "i still haven't found what i'm looking for" - it also has incredible songs that never made it big.  songs that have deep dark imagery, like "running to stand still" or "exit".

it wasn't until i listened to this album on my ipod while wandering through joshua tree park a few years ago that this album really exploded to life.  i can't quite explain the feeling of hearing an album in the perfect setting, but it ended up being pretty magical.

this album has always been a favorite of mine and i'm sure it always will be.  stay tuned for the next album review.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

indoor fountain along lake avenue


the other day i walked in to this group of shops along lake avenue and discovered this indoor fountain and spiral staircase.

i never would have guess it was here.  it just goes to show that there are still many things about pasadena that i have yet to discover...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

baby's first baseball game

this weekend we visited some friends from college in phoenix.  this meant fun times with old friends, as well as a chance to take our 2 month old daughter to her first baseball game.  it also meant that i crossed another ballpark off my lifetime ballpark quest (see my full list right here).

the hometown diamondbacks beat the hated yankees 10-4.  the evil empire gave up 5 runs in the first inning!  needless to say, i need to go to more yankee games with my girl.

fun times, but it is good to be back home after a long weekend away.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

which way is up?

these squirrels seemed to be using this tree as their own playground, but i had to chuckle at the image they created when one went up, and the other down.

Monday, June 21, 2010

clune's pasadena theatre at one colorado

i've walked through one colorado many times before, but it was just recently that i noticed the faded lettering above the outdoor movie screen. has this "advertisement" always been there? was clune's an actual historic theater in old town?

it appears i need some help from pasadena's historians on this one...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

the sandwich

it wasn't long ago that i posted this photo and lamented that i had never been to the historic philippe's restaurant for a french dip sandwich. as you can see from the above photo, that was remedied.

meredith's parents were in town for a visit, and so when we picked them up from union station i suggested we take the short walk to this place. it was pretty wonderful (if not a little over-priced). i'm not sure what they put in their mustard, but it made the sandwich irresistible. i ordered the beef, but you also have the choice of turkey, lamb, or pork.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

international festival at jpl

on thursday, some friends invited us to attend jpl's international festival - an event organized annually for employee family and friends.  if you ever get an invite, don't pass it up!  a free night filled with cultural music, dancing, and more food than you can eat from all corners of the world!

Friday, June 18, 2010

1000th post

i snapped off this photo of the 1000 santa maria valley steam engine on a recent visit to travel town. turns out it is a perfect photo to put on the blog for today.

this is the one thousandth posting on the sky is big in pasadena. in some ways it seems like a very long time since post number one. over 50,000 visitors have checked out this blog in that time! but in other ways, it feels like just yesterday i was starting this blog as a creative outlet during my three year program at fuller seminary.

our three year projected time line for life in pasadena has quickly turned in to what looks like four and a half years (maybe more?). who knows how long i can keep this up. it has been a fun journey so far!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

canadians at a ballgame (year two)

my beloved toronto blue jays were in san diego this week for a series against the padres.  since i had missed seeing them on this year's trip to anaheim, i decided to round up some friends for a trip to petco park.  i was joined by my friend peter (on the right) and my canadian friend adam - who you may remember from last year's trip to angel stadium.

the padres have an interesting promotion right now to get fans to fill out all-star voting ballots.  if you take the time to fill out 50 ballots, you get some kind of padres souvenier.  unfortunately by the time i filled out all 50 ballots, they had run out of the give-away item.  seeing that my 50 ballots were filled out with entirely dodger and blue jay players, it didn't really help the padres players anyway.

the jays ended up winning the game 7-1 behind some great pitching from one of my favorite players, starting pitcher, ricky romero.  coincidentally, we ran in to a big group of his supporters after the game.  who turned out to be friends and family members who asked if we'd like to meet him.

seriously??  of course we would!  somehow we got to the family/player meeting area and met up with the game winning pitcher who was kind enough to take a picture with three guys who really didn't belong there!  it was - to say the least - an incredible way to end the day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

for shame!

almost two years ago i posted this photo on my blog. anyone who lives in pasadena knows where the a-american storage co. sign is located, and understands that it is something of a landmark.

yesterday kat over at pasadena 91105 and beyond (one of this area's many fantastic daily photobloggers) posted this alarming image. yes, the sign has been covered up by a run-of-the-mill public storage advert.

not cool. no word yet if this is only temporary. let us all hope that it is!

thanks to kat for today's image.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

tarantino's pizzeria

the other night we sampled this green street pizza joint with some friends. needless to say, i forgot to take a photo of the beautiful pizzas before we had devoured a good majority of the slices.

we had been hearing about this place almost as long as we've lived in pasadena (everyone always reminds us "be careful if you go - it is cash only!") but for some reason we never tried it. maybe because it is a little off the beaten path, or maybe because we rarely walk down green street when we're hungry. but whatever the reason, we should have been there a long time ago.

the pizza was wonderful, and the waiters were friendly. despite the tiny space, they were willing to accommodate two young couples, each with a baby in tow. it might just be my new favorite pizza place in the 'dena.

Monday, June 14, 2010

old town details

this corner has been home to several restaurants in just under three years of our life in pasadena. for that reason, i rarely take much time to even look at this building. it is possible that ix tapa will break the trend and become a lasting presence in old town, but i can't be sure about that.

so the other day as i walked by, i happened to look up. and as it turned out, this building has quite a crown! the masonry and decoration on the top few feet of this building is incredible. all of the mediocrity on the ground floor has prevented me from ever looking too closely, and as it turns out i was missing out on something pretty special.

click on the image and take a look at the top. you'll see what i mean! do any locals know if this building has a name?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

ladyface alehouse and brasserie

new breweries keep popping up in the greater los angeles region all the time. ladyface is located a little out of the way for those of us in pasadena - located out in agoura hills - but if you are in the area, it is worth checking out.

they have a lovely menu featuring french and belgian inspired pub fare, as well as an excellent variety of beer styles brewed on the premises. as you can see from the above photo, i was happy to sample all nine on tap - including a special release called "off the rails" their tripel aged in oak barrels and then dry hopped on whole leaf hops. it was pretty tasty!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

waiting for summer music to begin

is anyone else patiently waiting for pasadena's outdoor summer concert series to begin? okay, maybe not waiting quite as patiently as this guy is, but the warmer weather we've been having is making me think more about this amazing aspect of our town.

i'm getting excited!

Friday, June 11, 2010

bafana bafana - skywatching in south africa

way back in 2003 i had the privilege of spending several months in the beautiful country of south africa. today south africa will be showcased as the first game of the 2010 fifa world cup kicks off. the host country "bafana bafana" will be taking on mexico in the first game.

ke nako, it's time.

more skywatch friday as usual, can be found right here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

beach baby

my sister was in town, so we packed up the family and gave our baby her first beach experience. i think she had fun, although she didn't open her eyes much. it was too cold to stick her feet in the ocean for the first time, so that experience will have to wait.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

jonathan broxton vs. albert pujols

one of the best power hitters in the game faces the dodgers best power pitcher. fortunately for dodger fans, last night the pitcher won the battle, striking out pujols on a check swing (on broxton bobble head night i might add).

the dodgers beat the cardinals 1-0, and moved ahead of the padres for first place in the national league's western division.

oh, and i think there was a basketball game last night. at least i think that's what these people were watching in the dodger stadium concourse...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

big city hot dogs

one of old town's newest fast food eateries is big city hot dogs. as the name implies, they specialize in dogs in the style of several of america's hot dog loving cities (chicago dog pictured above). the menu lists a variety of topping options with city flare.

we were happy with our order, but nothing was particularily spectacular about our time there. our dogs were steamed (or boiled?) and i always prefer if they are grilled. aside from that it was a fun place to eat a quick lunch.

a side note - a google search comes up with zero hits for an actual business website. do these kinds of start up businesses think they can exist without getting their cyberface on? i can't fathom thinking this way.

Monday, June 07, 2010

the pasadena public library

it has been a while since i've featured our beautiful library facade on this blog. while showing my sister around town, i was struck by just how beautiful it is.

so today you get to see what i saw. i hope you enjoy!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

university of pheonix

pasadena is a college town.

aside from pasadena city college, caltech, fuller theological seminary, san francisco theological seminary, the art center college of design, le cordon bleu college of culinary arts, and pacific oaks college (did i miss anything?), it is also home to a branch of the largest school in the country, the university of pheonix.

are there any classes held there? does anyone know? i assumed that ALL courses were online until i visited the wikipedia page where it mentioned that they have learning resource centers across the country. hmm...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

photo request #25: longhorn sheep and city hall

a while back my friend tim told me i need to get a picture of this ram with city hall in the background. i mumbled something about the lighting never being good in that alleyway, and i could never get the ram and the dome of the hall to look good together.

this one is for you, timmy. hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 04, 2010

the seafood grill

before i begin this post, i must give a tip of my hat to brigham yen's blog, that alerted me this week of the grand opening and 50% off celebration happening at pasadena's new seafood grill.

we were able to visit yesterday and found their menu to be filled with fresh seafood delights. meredith ordered the grilled mahi mahi, and i went with the fried calamari. neither of us were disappointed, and because of the 50% off deal for opening week, our bill came to only $9. i had forgotten to take a photo of our plates before we started eating, so the serving sizes are a little off from what you actually receive.

if you have some time, wander down to old town and visit the place! it was filled with happy customers when we were there, and i'm sure many of them will be returning to sample something else from the expansive menu before this week's discount has finished on saturday.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

heavenly bungalow

our friends matt and shawna are moving away from pasadena and so they passed on this box of cards containing 50 city walks around los angeles. we decided to start close to home and discovered that there was a walk in bungalow heaven. i snapped this photo on that walk.

this house is considered to be an excellent example of the craftsman style, and is perfectly californian with the tall palms and blue sky.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

the baseball road trip of a lifetime

two nights ago, i had the privilege of attending the dodgers game in which the home team celebrated with a walk-off win, courtesy of a balk thrown by the diamondbacks.

although this would appear on the surface to be similar to the many dodger games i've attended throughout the last three seasons, this one was a little different. you see, i had the pleasure of attending the game with navin vaswani, who is currently in the midst of the baseball road trip of a lifetime.

the dodger game was his 27th different ballpark this season, with only san fran, oakland, and seattle left on his list. it was great to hear his stories and compare his impressions of the various parks with the few that i've been to, as well as share memories of my own ball park journey from last summer.

finish strong, navin! great to meet you.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

june theme day: funny signs

i must admit - this sign is not located in pasadena. in fact, very far from here. it is actually located somewhere beside the sea of galilee in israel/palestine. but when the theme of the day is funny signs, i think you can all agree - this one deserves its day in the spotlight, regardless of where it is located.

i took a picture of this sign back in 2007 when we visited toured israel/palestine.

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