Pasadena – June 16, 2010

A you may surmise, I was in Pasadena today.  But first, I feel I must comment on the quality of radio in this town.  There are an enormous amount of drivers, and enormous amount of commuters, ergo an enormous amount of captive audiences.  And there are two “rock” stations that place pretty much exactly the same thing (in fact I have been flipping between the two of them only to discover they were playing the same SONG once, and it wasn’t a new release).  One of the stations’ tag lines is “We Play What We Want” and I suspect “We” are a bunch of 45 year old bong huffers who allocate about 3 spots a month for new releases (which they play the bejesus out of) and the rest is from whatever Cheetoh encrusted album they pull off the rug.  I have heard “Beth” by Kiss about four times since I got down here, which is about four more times that I have heard it since some wag slapped it on the turntable some 30 years ago.  Some of it is funny as hell, but really.  Whitesnake?   Duran Duran?  Any 1980’s band’s eponymous first album?  Sheesh.

Anyway.  I was in Pasadena today.  Pasadena is clean and pretty and wealthy and nothing bad ever happens in Pasadena.  I took some pictures, but basically all you need to know is the stores are like this:

There is an excellent tea shop

And I ate THIs fabulous meal which is … wait for it… a smoked salmon club.  With bacon.  On home baked bread with a little mayo and home made chips.

Snap!

Anyhoo, one really good reason to go to Pasadena is the Norton Simon Museum.  It is quite small and very manageable in terms of seeing it in a day (don’t try this with the Louvre, or the Met, or the Prado.  You will pass out from crucifixion overexposure alone in the case of the latter).  They have a smallish collection of 19th & 20th century art. Pretty much one each of the biggies, (Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Cezanne, Klee, Picasso, Pissaro, Matisse, Renoir, Seurat, Rousseau).  Not many really iconic ones, but some.

The do, however, have a whack of Degas, both sculpture and painting.

I love this one – remind me of me after my recent bouts of cake consumption.

The lower level is devoted to asian art and sculpture, much of which can be found in reproduction form at your local gardening centre or head shop.

And all the female sculpture had magnificent breasts, despite a palpable lack of support garments.  Genetic, perhaps.  Then again, I suppose they are all supposed to be goddesses …

There is also a lovely sculpture garden with a cafe which I will share with you later.

One parting thought.  I scooted into a bakery to buy a cupcake and was served by what looked like Lisa Loeb’s evil twin.  Which got me to thinking – why is the twin always evil?  I think I myself have pretty much got the malcontent angle covered – does that make ME the evil twin?  Would I have a twin somewhere that would be known as the Perfectly Nice Twin?  The Socially Well Adjusted Twin?  The Possibly Cherubic Twin?

Just a thought.  That’s what happens when you combine smoked salmon, bacon, and cupcakes.

Nashville tomorrow.  Yipes.

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