Ride to the Roses

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Taking a ride on the Metro Gold Line in Little Tokyo Wednesday, Rose Princess Tenaya Senzaki (left) and Rose Queen Evanne Friedmann share a laugh with members of the Los Angeles Kimono Club: from left, Hayahiko Takase, Fumi Akutagawa and Yaeko Hosobuchi. (MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)

By MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS
RAFU STAFF WRITER
The rainy, chilly morning Wednesday made Rose Princess Tenaya Miyoko Senzaki’s first hope for the new year a no-brainer.

“I hope the first day of 2011 is sunny,” said the 17-year-old Pasadena High School student, who along with Rose Queen Evanne Friedmann and five other princesses will be up bright and early Saturday morning for the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Senzaki, Friedmann and Princess Michelle Washington joined Metro officials, Little Tokyo leaders and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry at the Gold Line station in Little Tokyo to remind the public to use public transportation to get in and out of Pasadena for all the New Year’s festivities.

All Metro trains and buses will provide rides for free from 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 through 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, and 24-hour Metro Gold and Orange Line service New Year’s Eve for those attending the events in Pasadena.
“It’s exciting to me that we are able to stand here and promote the use of the Gold Line for people who are planning to go out that night, or that day to go and see the parade,” Perry said at a news conference held at the Little Tokyo/Arts District station. “Take the Gold Line. It’ll make your life easier, you’ll have a lot more fun, it’s safe and clean and easy to use and easy to understand.”

At the Little Tokyo/Arts District station, Councilmember Jan Perry, right, urges riders to use Metro to travel to New Year’s Day festivities in Pasadena.

As she represents Little Tokyo on the City Council, she recommended revelers park in Little Tokyo, have some dinner and shop there, then hop onto the Gold Line to make their way to Pasadena.
Senzaki, who was selected from more than 1,000 entrants to serve as a member of the 2011 Rose Court, said she has fond memories of Little Tokyo around New Year’s.

“My grandparents used to bring me here and they would treat me to mochi — that’s my favorite,” she recalled.
A couple of months ago, Senzaki had no idea that she would not be engaging in her usual New Year’s activity, camping out with friends along the parade route on Colorado Boulevard. This year, her pals will be cheering her as she rides past them on one of the beautiful, flower-laden floats.
Senzaki will also be too busy with her official duties to take part in her family’s traditions to welcome 2011.

“I’ll be sad to be missing mochi and ozoni in the morning,” she lamented. “I’ll probably eat it when I get home, if I’m not too sleepy.”

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