Photo Essay by Olivia Reivas
Photo Journalism with Mary Weber
On the corner of Vineyard Avenue and Conata Street, hidden in the hills of Duarte, lies a blue stucco house where I have lived the past nineteen years. I have explored all the parts of the town, from the serenity of nature up in the hills to the bustling life below. The mornings consist of brown bears and their cubs roaming the dark paved streets and deer walking through the green grass stopping to eat soft rose petals from my garden. During the dark hours of night, the stars vibrantly shine over the entire town. I have become fond of nature’s beauty and the calm lifestyle of my town compared to that of the cosmopolitan city. Now as a college student, reminiscing on the town I grew up in, it has made me appreciate every little aspect and moment of home. Over spring break in March, I was fortunate enough to spend the entire week with my family and capture the moments that make my home remarkably beautiful.
As the sun rose in the East, it marked the beginning to an eventful day that would grasp every aspect of my adoration for my home. The day began dressing my baby cousin Lydia who I have watched grow through photographs and videos from miles away when I am not home. My grandmother and I took her to the local park, beach, and the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden during the day. As the evening came around, my parents arrived home from work and my younger sister finished her day at high school. As a family, we drove to Pasadena, the City of Roses, and ate at our favorite taco truck. On the way home, we stopped at our favorite ice cream place Afters. The day was eventful and remarkably beautiful.
Leaving home is unavoidable, and in my case, as an out of state college student, there is no escaping it. Whether I can accept the fact or not, it is bound to occur. Waking up to the sight of mountains and the sound of my dad playing Vicente Fernandez’s music as he cooks in the kitchen, will no longer be an everyday thing. However, when I am fortunate enough to visit home, I am able to experience the serene lifestyle I am accustomed to. The warm southern California sunrise warms my town and marks the beginning of a new day, a new opportunity to make more unforgettable memories. Duarte, California, the place I call home, is the town I shall always hold dear to my heart and treasure the moments I spend hidden in the hills soaking in the sun and overlooking the city.
1 Hidden in the hills, the neighborhood that I call home overlooks the city.
2 The Staples Center, seen driving on the 110 freeway, is home to many sports teams and concerts are held there as well. The construction in the background showed the nonstop growth and improvements that are being made to the Downtown Los Angeles area.
3 During the early morning, Lydia Cruz enjoyed her time exploring the Monrovia Park while she carried around her red egg and stick that she had found.
4 At the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, in Arcadia, the flowers and trees in the Japanese Garden created a beautiful scenery.
5 A peacock at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden opened its large train to boast its colorful feathers that are used in mating rituals and courtship displays.
6 The waterfall at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden was flowing with water. It is one of the major attractions in the Japanese Garden.
7 The waves washed upon the shore at the Huntington Beach. The surfers patiently waited in the ocean to catch the waves as they picked up.
8 The sun began to set and cast its shadow upon the Rivas household.
9 My family, from left to right, Cruz Rivas, Beatriz Rivas, and Mylene dela Rosa waited for their tacos that they ordered at their favorite taco truck in Pasadena.
10 Afters, known for their unique and colorful ice cream flavors was packed with customers during the evening in Pasadena.