From South Central with Love

Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you are a visual person. I certainly am.

With Instagram, Twitter and everything in between, we are the recipients of  eye candy on a daily basis. Photos and inspiration come in hot and usually with little reading. And I just started a blog.. Great..

ruthie sommers red library

My favorite chair in my library. I spend half as much time in here as I did three years ago.















Gardens at Courances Chateau I collect photos like these. Just in case I have a place to build this one day? Not..








Carolyne Roehm- This photo reminds me of an incredible children’s book-The Curious Garden by Peter Brown as seen below.




Pretty, chic, gorgeous are all words sitting on the tip of my tongue waiting to  be used on anything from a kitchen sink to a piece of fancy art.  I like pretty things, from topiaries to bed spreads. I live in an over stylized Pinteresty world and I enjoy it. Little did I know, my search for a new pound puppy would lead me down a colorful path of inspiration.

South Central Los Angeles is a hop, skip and a jump from my bucolic neighborhood. The gorgeous green lawns trade places with yards littered with grocery carts. Riots , poverty and crime are words that are synonymous with this area more than beautiful and chic.

With every drive, my eyes were opened to something new amidst the decrepit buildings and baron yards.  At 7 am I had a glimpse of the elderly grandfather watering his petite garden patch that was as colorful as children’s book. I discovered a tiny house painted a shocking magenta pink crawling with blooming soft blush roses and neon colored bougainvillea.

The touch of people, the human touch on so many of these houses screamed “Look at me in a different way”.


The neatly swept brick path speckled with garden statues and gnomes felt cared for with love. One porch was barely visible from the street as it was covered in a riot of planted ferns all in painted pots.

What a wonderful break from what is becoming the norm to me on the internet.   Cape Cod styled kitchens, food so glorious that it should not be eaten,bedroom canopies that rival those of Marie Antoinette. My idea of pretty has become fairly unrealistic.

The time I spent in South Central had an impact on me . Not only the long and surprising drive but the people I met along the way. While I touched several furry friends, the people at the shelters touched me.

Leslie, the supervisor, has a favorite dog named Michael that she named after an angel. She takes him out everyday and showers him with treats when she can.

John, the cop, drives the streets of downtown LA in search of dogs that are abandoned. He started his own rescue and had just carried in two dogs that were pushed out of a car.


Here is the cop with the dog rescue. He had seen this dog pushed out of a car. Don’t worry! This will have a happy ending because of his kindness.


Leslie and Micheal.










This is Destiny. I almost fell over when she told me her name. I told her I knew it! She had an amazing gift and this is where is she is needed. We laughed and laughed.










I needed this change of scenery. Those bright orange shutters and hot pink house will probably never make it to a Pinterest page. And I am not sure when I will connect with Destiny any time soon.  But I feel richer than I do surfing the net or sometime chatting about mundane topics.  This was a new kind of beauty. And one that I have been missing in my life.

And now, I have a new puppy, many new friends at the animal shelter and a new view.

Below are some moments that remind me of my journey .  The black and white photography came from a fantastic book called The Americans, photographs by Robert Frank and paintings from my favorite artist, Edward Hopper. 10119918_1_x-Custom robert-frank-the-americans-american-flag-covering-windows


By Peter Brown

By Peter Brown





I hope you can find beauty and inspiration today in some unsurprising places.

PS-This has a happy ending but get out the tissues.







4 thoughts on “From South Central with Love

  1. Kim Wheeler (@NorCalStyle)

    Loved this! So true about seeing beauty where you least expect it. Great message here. Take time to look beyond your computer and your own neighborhood! Thank you for posting the dog video too. What an inspiring post! Just finding your blog and really enjoying it.

    1. ruthiesommers Post author

      Thank you so much ! I have found writing to be so helpful. I am having one of those days and this reply made my day.Really , it did. Something going on with Mercury this week. Time to breathe and enjoy the day!

  2. Anne {Almost Home}

    Loved this. Such a good reminder to look for the real kind of beauty that surrounds us each day and to step away from fixating on the perfectly curated beauty we see on Pinterest and social media. Your blog is a breath of fresh air 🙂

    1. ruthiesommers Post author

      Thank you. And now I go back to pinning away. Ahh.. it was a moment! I will say it was amazing to start to connect to all these little houses. We have an idea that we are better off sometimes verses families that have two families living in two rooms.. Well, space wise we are but I saw all these people on the street, laughing, cooking out in the parks, going to Church and being together, more than I think we do sometimes. I love an eye opener.


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