Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy McDonald Park

Weekends are wonderful and all too short. Every weekend, I need to catch up on gardening, laundry, grocery shopping, and myriad other tasks and errands. I want to spend time with my favorite people (not limited to the ones I am lucky enough to live or work with). I can choose but one or two venues from the smorgasbord of community cultural events. This Saturday was the Global Day of Action with Occupy Los Angeles. It was also Artwalk Pasadena, Taste of South Lake, Pasadena Heritage Craftsman Weekend, the Fork in the Road Forking Party, and a hundred other things I missed. I did paint in the morning at McDonald Park in Pasadena, and later I attended the Urban Rancho Sustainable Garden Party at the Lummis Home in Highland Park.

McDonald Park is in the middle of Pasadena's Bungalow Heaven. Bungalow Heaven is Pasadena's first Landmark District, and is on the National Register of Historical Places. It is a decidedly 99 percent neighborhood of small early 20th Century single family homes. The park fits well in the neighborhood. It has a playground, a single basketball court, a handball court, a softball field, really nice bathrooms, trees and picnic tables. In all truth, it's not really heaven, but it is quite nice. There seems to be a powerful neighborhood watch sentiment. I detected suspicious eyes on me -- me, middle-aged super harmless painter lady. Oh well.

I got to wondering who McDonald of McDonald Park was. My first line of investigation was the park sign, and then the city's website. No first name, just McDonald, like Old McDonald, but I didn't think that was it. I learned that the very first McDonalds restaurant was in Pasadena, but I didn't think that was it either. Here's what I finally came up with. And it's only a guess. In the 1880s, John McDonald established a real estate and insurance business in the center of Pasadena. He later was one of the founders of the first trust and loan of Pasadena. He became City Treasurer. In the 1920s he urged the approval of bonds for the civic center and for the water district. John McDonald was the Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade in 1928.

I painted this house on Mar Vista because I liked the light coming through the trees especially in the background. I didn't quite get it, but I think there's a few nice things happening in the painting. I cropped some of the left side because it was a bit eye-catching without being important. But that left the tree in the middle which isn't ideal. I think if weekends were longer, I'd be a better painter too.


  1. Nice painting. You captured the SoCal sunshine and bungalows. I particularly like the shadows of the lovely tree.

  2. Beautiful job Barbara. I have got to find time to check out that area.

  3. So many things to do, so little time to do them!
    Nice & interesting history on old McDonaled - whoever he/she was! Strange how the park & its webpage don't give a definitive answer to the identity. Do you know when the park was created??

    If I have any FREE time maybe I'll come up with something more to add to the mystery!

  4. Love the shadows - this is beautiful. I like all the paintings I haven't seen in so long. This one stopped me because of the shadows in the street.