I was in South Pasadena recently. The weather was sublime. The traffic was horrible. While there I managed to visit an old acquaintance from when I lived in Pasadena, a long time ago. Before I was married. Oh, my gosh. In the 70s.
He is a businessman with many interests, but more importantly he is an artist. He paints landscapes and then he builds landscapes! Many years ago he bought a fabulous property in South Pasadena and began what may prove to be a lifelong project.
He paved the driveway with bricks. Not just bricks, which is a chore all by itself, but a collection of manhole covers in artistic shapes.
I can't imagine he had a pattern to go by, so I can just see him surrounded by bricks and manhole covers and setting and resetting them in delightful designs.
He lined the entire, very long and steep, driveway with retaining walls that are pieces of art.
There are designs and mosaics and pieces of rock and bricks and tiles in fabulous shapes.
He built in benches to enjoy the views of his fabulous gardens.
The most amazing thing is the dragon.
He built it using tiles, bricks and rock and I don't know what all.
First imagine the work that it took. Then imagine the artistic eye that could collect all these things and put them together to delight the eye. And be functional, all at the same time.
There are stairs built into the sides of the hill that go to places he built just for someone to visit.
He is still working on it. Like I said, a lifelong project.
And then there is his house. A Craftsman? Perhaps Greene and Greene? I don't know, but it is fabulous, also. The walls are covered with art and everywhere you look, you can see something extraordinary.
You say you like crown molding? How about this? Can you imagine what it would cost to reproduce today?
Can you imagine building a form to pour the concrete and then breaking up tile to make the perfect mosaic?
His home is in the middle of a bustling city, yet it is private and serene. It is truly a hidden gem and I can imagine future generations of people marveling at his talent and vision. It is a future museum in the making.
The gardens are lush. They filter the sunlight and perfume the air. They are also a lifelong project. Gardens like these take a long time to perfect.
I want to take my sister there as this is the kind of thing she would love to do, on a much smaller scale. I would like to take everyone to see it. But then he would never get anything done and I don't think he would like that.
He has a lifelong project to work on.