Pasadena in San Francisco


Walking last Saturday through the San Francisco Fine Arts Fair on one of the piers at Fort Mason, I heard a call directed at me through the crowd:

“Can’t ever really leave Pasadena, can you?”

It was Peter Mendenhall of the eponymous Los Angeles gallery, a version of which used to be in Pasadena, and which represents and was showing the work to the world of archetypal Pasadenan Kenton Nelson, including the painting above. “Motion Pictures,” Kenton’s next show, opens June 5 at Mendenhall, 6150 Wilshire Boulevard, Space 8.

Trip to Taco Station


I finally got over to the new Taco Station, the born-again taqueria at Chester and Green near PCC that looks so attractive with its red umbrellas when you’re speeding by.

Why would a PCC student eat anywhere else? Those chains surrounding the college? Nix ’em, kids. It’s Daisy Mint for fancy and it’s Taco Station for downmarket from now on. Don’t necessarily go for your ordinary carne asada. A little boring and saltless. But the cochinita pibil — excellent, with those purple pickled onions. And the vegetarian options are amazingly varied — none of that beans and cheese only business. The soy chorizo would convince you it was the real thing if you didn’t know. And, veggers, don’t miss the cauliflower. Nopalitos? A little bland. But nice to chow down on some cactus from time to time. The setting is delightful of a sunny Southern California noon. The thickish tortillas, the tiny kind, don’t require doubling up. Now if only a fellow could get a cold Bohemia …

A Noise Within

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Actors from the Glendale-based, Pasadena-bound A Noise Within repertory company gave a rousing reading from a variety of the classics at a get-together Sunday afternoon in actor Kathy Baker’s South Pas back yard. See my column Wednesday for details on the move to the Edward Durrell Stone-designed new home on Foothill at the gold Line terminus …

No boundaries from PUSD


This painting was included in the fifth annual No Boundaries show of art and music by Pasadena schools students Friday night on South Lake Avenue that I wrote a column about last week.

Turnout was huge and the conversation … stimulating.

Yes, “violators” could have been spelled better. Hey, the teach never claimed to be an English major …

A view of City Hall

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One of the best nighttime views of City Hall is from the rooftop terrace at the Pasadena Museum of California Art on Union. This was the other night when I slipped outside for some fresh air before the dinner for the poets who won Claremont Graduate University’s annual $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award for a mid-career poet (D.A. Powell) and the $10,000 Kate Tufts for a first-book poet (Beth Bachmann).

Colbert in 2010


Back from vacation, out of the loop and thown for a loop by this sign — blame it on gerrymandering.

Since the conventional wisdom is that Adam Schiff, the Pasadena area’s Democratic congressman, couldn’t lose his seat unless he were convicted of a major felony — just as in days of old, Carlos Moorhead, the longtime Republican, couldn’t lose the same seat — it’s hard to pay attention to who the GOP is putting up in the 29th District. Or, rather, who is putting her or himself up — the party wouldn’t put money toward a surefire losing cause.

Anyway, that’s why I thought this yard sign, which I took a picture of on my morning run today at Yocum and Parkview on the edge of the Arroyo, was some prank from Mr. Stephen Colbert, TV funny guy.

You know — just like Pat Paulsen used to run for president.

Turns out John Colbert is not joshing at all — he’s a real guy, not a funny guy, and he’s running from “the city of Altadena” — better check that incorporation status, John — against Schiff as a Rep.

Here’s some bio from his website:

“For the past 25 years, John P. Colbert has dedicated his life to serving his country and to improving the quality of life for Americans through his work, initiatives, technology and expertise.

“John was a leader of a company that specialized in putting the world’s worst criminals behind bars, including such notorious criminals as the BTK Killer and many well-known terrorists. He was the CEO of Guidance Software, Inc., which produced the materials, training and software that supported computer forensic investigations for civilian, government and law enforcement investigators. The key areas of investigative influence were counter-intelligence operations, anti-terrorism taskforces, child pornography prevention and corporate espionage and hacking attacks.”

So there you go.

Come to think of it, haven’t seen any Schiff signs in my neighborhood. Could be that this Colbert (Not That Colbert) for Congress deal is on a roll.

But if I see any Jon Stewart for Senate lawn signs, I’m gonna start believing in conspiracy theories.