There are so many quirky little details I’ve come to love about South Pasadena. You know what I’m talking about — the wonderful minutia of this place, the bits and pieces that make our particular tapestry into a comfy sort of security blanket.
There are lovely little details like the way pigeons always congregate on the street lamps at Fair Oaks and Monterey. (Start noticing it! It’s like they all got a memo.) There may be a few counter-culture birds lingering in other spots, but the main perch action during the day is always at the Fair Oaks/Monterey intersection. I notice those birds every time I stop at that light, and they always make me feel better. I know they’re hanging out up there, like they always do. It’s as if they’re saying go ahead, move along, we’ve got things covered here.
There are other little details like the way the library is never actually silent because the chairs — those fantastic, old chairs — are so creaky you can hardly shift positions without announcing your move to every other creaking patron nearby. It’s wonderful, really. It never ceases to make me giggle and elicit glares from serious South Pas students who ensure that our school district scores high on standardized tests. They don’t seem to notice cricket-hum of all that constant squeaking. Maybe it is as familiar to them as it is to me.
These are the little details you wouldn’t know by simply passing through. But they’ve become dear to me as I put down roots in this place and, who knows, leave my own weird little marks here.
The lamp in this picture has been crooked since I can remember. Sometimes I drive by just to make sure it’s still crooked. I think of it as my own crooked touchstone, and it always seems to set me straight when I need to feel grounded. If the homeowners ever get around to fixing it, I might just have to come by in the night and tip it back to this position.
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