The City of Downey is located inside the triangle formed by the 605, 5 and 710 freeways, in Angeles County, California and few miles North of the newer 105 Freeway. I chose to move here, for that very reason: the closeness to all these crossing freeways. You see, around here, cars are not a luxury item unless one wishes that in a car but, as so well described by Raymond Chandler in the introduction of his book ‘The Big Sleep‘, an indispensable and sometimes ONLY means of transportation, the main tool of a bread earner.
Yes folks: people spend more and more time in cars, commuting (while attending to all sorts of other daily activities, more or less distracting to other drivers) and over ever larger areas to work. It is true that there are some buses and trains: But if you look in any newspaper’s Employment Section, you’ll see that 90% of job opportunities require their employees access to a car as condition for hiring.
I would like to share with you some photos taken here in Downey and never published yet:
Inside Downey City Hall, there is a planter, with a full-grown tree, receiving direct daylight, and creating a distinct atmosphere of natural environment: it is peaceful, and warm enough to invite one to seat and call a friend, about having procured the permit for a weekend ‘Garage Sale’, or may be one for a room addition to the family home. I enjoyed taking this photo for the mingling of natural and spot light. The shades are not too bad either.
One more thing: the air conditioning works well, so if you find yourself in Downey, on a hot day, this would be a place to ‘chill’ or ‘take off the heat’, just enough to allow a new load of the heat outside upon leaving the city hall. There is a refrigerated water fountain too.
The next picture shows the same environment from the same station, at a right angle to the right: You can see the skylights, and the row of spotlight fixtures, the Official city Seal and motto ‘Future Unlimited’
The next picture represents the glass showcase in which the Time Capsule is kept (it is at the right in front of the adjacent wall made in part of a shatter-proof large glass panel.)
Now: Imagine yourself walking ahead toward the main entrance, taking a moment to glance at the plaque on the wall on your right, just before entering, walking ahead to the counter to pay, let’s say, the water bill, while asking yourself what the city employee, watching you from the second floor will think about your picture taking spree.
You are turning about, and acknowledge the tree planter and the woman talking on the phone on your left and the showcase on your right; 15 feet ahead of you, high on the brick wall hangs the city Official Seal, you cannot help but repeat in mind the line you just read (Future Unlimited), and walk off, through the main door.
I hope you have enjoyed visiting as much as I enjoyed taking the pictures.