Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering Manuel

I came across this image of the Garfias Adobe while getting ready for our portion of the Pasadena Digital History Collection exhibit. The adobe was located on the southern end of the arroyo - just across the South Pasadena border.

Don Manuel became the first person to own the property under U.S. patent. His wife Luisa, was a daughter of the owners of the Avila Adobe - located on Olvera Street in Los Angeles.

Luisa gave birth to their son, Manuel E. Garfias, at the adobe.

This tiny bit of history is shared because the Garfias family was among those living in the Pasadena that were affected or connected with the U.S./Mexican War and the Civil war. Battles and strategies of each of these wars took place in Southern California. It is important to remember those like Manuel E. Garfias who died elsewhere and then were returned home to be buried.

Image - Pasadena Museum of History

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Guidelines, all around

Read Hector Tobar's column, "Some guidelines on how to be a true Angeleno" in the L.A. Times. That, of course, got me wondering, so what might those guidelines be if we were talking about Pasadena or the SGV?

Living in NW Pasadena, almost SW Altadena, it would include not looking three times at horses on the street. In my mind, it would also include being aware that a significant number of folks, almost all Mexicanos/Mexican Americans lived in Chihuahuita.

What might be included in your list? I've included a link to Mr. Tobar's original column.

Manuel Contreras - unknown boy and girl in costume, 1940s Chihuahuita,0,2276248.column

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vacation chores

Just around the corner - a trip to Yellowstone - so there is a lot of shopping to be done. Because I'm not used to a lot of outdoor trips there was a need to buy some things to make sure I don't freeze.

Here is the new shirt that was bought.

Wool, colorful, and just the right size. I also have some new boots for light hiking. And socks for the boots. Thermals that match are ready to be packed.

This next week I've some weeding to be done.

The house needs to be vacuumed. Pills set for critters.

And this little bit of paperwork to be done.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Daniel Catán

Opera. If you say the word to many folks they'll automatically respond that they don't like it. It doesn't seem very real. I can understand that. We all have our preferences when it come to art.
But often these are the same folks who will flock to see pirates in mascara, people chasing mummies, and/or 19th century ladies swooning in movies and in plays.

To appreciate opera takes the same sort of suspension of reality and the ability to absorb yourself in the mood and music of the moment.

Daniel Catán was a Mexican-born composer whose operas "Florencia en el Amazonas" and "Il Postino" were produced by L.A. Opera. His unexpected death shocked the world of opera. You can learn more about his life via the links below and there will be two programs where you can hear some of the beauty he created.

Today, Sunday, 4 p.m. May 22 concert at Occidental College's Thorne Hall, Santa Cecilia Orchestra will present music in honor of Catán, including Silvestre Revueltas’ "La Noche de los Mayas" (The Night of The Mayas). Tickets might, underline might, be available.

Tomorrow, Monday, 6 p.m., May 23, LA Opera will remember his life and legacy at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
The program on Monday is free and open to the public.

Los Angeles Timesán-honored-los-angeles-opera.html
Photo: Catán at work during rehearsal for the world premiere of "Il Postino" at L.A. Opera last September. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Friday, May 20, 2011

Perhaps we'll see you...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Celebrate Our Elected Women Past and Present

I really enjoy groups whose names tells a good part of the tale. The National Women's Political Caucus is one of those groups. Simply put the group is organized to support women who are running for office - at the local, regional and national level. The held their 33rd Annual Champagne Brunch this last weekend. While there are a couple of women who have been elected who are not a part of this picture, it somehow feels reflective of the stats that still are out their regarding women and Latinos/Latinas in office, especially locally.

There are 17 women of 100 members in the Senate and 72 women of 435 members in the House of Representatives. There are 2 Hispanics in the senate and 24 in the House of Representatives. If greater diversity brings opportunity for more creativity and problem solving then there are lots of opportunities to be made and taken in the future. And as long as that is the case there will continue to be a need for groups such as this and the need to support their work.

Monday, May 9, 2011

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Saturday was a day spent mostly outside of Pasadena. James wanted to go to Union Station for the National Train Day in Los Angeles. I wanted to return to LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes - to take my time and absorb the site and the information inside.

The first time I walked through there was a lot going on and it was clear that I wasn't going to really be able to judge what I liked best or what I might wish to be different. And there is always a part of me that wants to see what might be adapted for use here in Pasadena. Our histories and our experiences are unique to our geography and our peoples, but the dynamics were set within a shared historical context.

On a personal note I especially wanted to explore the Calle Principal section on the second floor. It turns out it is among other things, a series of shops with opportunities for interactive exploration that is set in the 1920s. Music, pharmacy, grocery store can be explored. I like to think of it as kinesthetic history. History that is taught and experienced at a more visceral level.

The photo shop held a box of props including this hat and these glasses. James took this picture which I modified to give it more of a look of the era.
I took this picture of one of the displays partially because of the architecture that is evident in the street lamps and fences. Partially because this was a photo from the past of the city I called home for the first part of my life. And partially because that boy in the picture could have been my father. He was born in 1912 in Los Angeles and grew up not far from the Calle Principal.
His love of that city and the stories of his youth planted the seed that keeps me looking for the stories of Pasadena and the community whose stories continue to grow in number and in detail.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An Evening at the Danzon - our fundraiser

5:00 - Dance lesson - Rose City Ballroom
6:00 - Dancing, hors d'oeuvres, and cocktails
6:45 - Recognition of honorees
7:00 - CAVA

Pasadena Senior Center
85 East Holly Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

Tickets - $60.00
1946-1954 era attire encouraged.