4th Annual Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival

These photos were taken Sunday, March 15 at the 4th Annual Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival, which was held in the southeast corner of Columbia Park in Torrance. The free, family friendly event was sponsored in part by the City of Torrance, the North Torrance Homeowners Association, the Torrance Sister City Association, Torrance Craftsmen’s Guild, and Soka Gakkai International-Buddhist Association for Peace, Culture and Education. Entertainment was provided by Susan Mann’s Wahine Ilikea Dancers performing Polynesian dances, O-Edo Ichi-Za performing traditional Japanese fan dances, and Myo’on Taiko drumming. There were also several food trucks available and one of them even sold Japanese food. There were booths with arts and crafts for sale by the Torrance Craftsmen’s Guild.

Columbia Park has over 110 cherry blossom trees that were donated by Soka Gakkai International-USA. The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the cherry blossom symbolizes hope, virtue and new beginnings while also representing the fragility and the beauty of life. It is a reminder that life can be very beautiful but that it can also be tragically short. I think one of the most surprising things about yesterday’s event is that even with the extremely odd [non]winter we had, the trees still knew what weekend they needed to bloom for us. Continue reading

If it’s too loud you’re too old? Maybe not.

Every once in a while I write an article that I know ahead of time is going to upset some people; I am relatively confident there will be those that are not going to like this article. I am okay with that and apologize ahead of time if you don’t approve of my thoughts.

A couple months ago, at a Torrance City Council meeting, there was a topic of discussion regarding a free “summer” concert series that runs from January through October on Saturday evenings from 6:00-9:00 PM at the courtyard on Cabrillo by El Prado. Since the event is sponsored by BFD Buffalo Fire Department and The Depot restaurants and the owner, Chef Shafer, is known for his support of local charities it was pretty open and shut as to whether or not the City of Torrance would grant Shafer the permit he requested to hold these concerts.

When it came time for public comments there was one gentleman that lives somewhere in the courtyard complex and he came complaining about the noise. Naturally, Shafer had the deck stacked against the guy as he had customers come in and talk about how much they enjoyed the concerts. What I found odd was the one young lady that said she lived a couple blocks away and could hear the music, but wished it was louder so she could hear it better. Continue reading

Fiesta Floats of the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade

It is New Year’s Eve, and the time is up for the preparation of the floats for the 126th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade with will begin at 8:00 AM on January 1, 2015. I began my day by heading back out to Irwindale and Fiesta Parade Floats, the leading award winning float-builder in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

I lucked out today as I happened to arrive at Fiesta Floats after they had begun removing some floats from the building they were built in, giving me the ability to take some photos without dozens (or hundreds) of people vying for position to take their photos. If you have been following the progression of the float construction you can see that the Torrance entry dedicated to hometown hero, Louis Zamperini, came out very nice. It will be one of the first floats in tomorrow’s parade. Continue reading

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