Friday, July 15, 2016

South Pasadena Portrait

Take a look at the faces of South Pasadena

One of the things I love the most about my 116-year-old house is the large beveled mirror above the mahogany built-in.  There are a few dings in the frame, but the mirror is crystal clear, and the bank of nearby windows offers the kind of soft-glow lighting that makes every day a good hair day.  In the century since my home was built, a lot of people have looked at themselves in that mirror.

So how, exactly, has South Pasadena's reflection changed?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mayberry Noir

"It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in."
--Raymond Chandler

Come prowl around South Pasadena after dark with me...


Want to leave a comment?  Head over to the Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forum and start a conversation!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Everyday Miracles


It's hard not to get caught up in the horrors of recent news.  I find my solace and inspiration in the ever-changing sky.  Clouds part.  Darkness turns to light.  

And for a few brief moments every day, it's magic hour.


Want to leave a comment?  (Come on.  Don't be shy.  I can see you thinking about it...) Head over to the Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forum and start a conversation.  (Or just say hello!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Explore South Pasadena's Historic Buildings

Then and now...


The Los Angeles region doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to preserving landmarks.  Despite the efforts of dedicated preservationists, many architectural wonders have been lost to the wrecking ball.  The Richfield Tower, The Brown Derby, The Garden of Allah, and The Ambassador Hotel are just a few of the historic structures that have been demolished in the name of progress.  (Many South Pasadena residents were worried that our very own Rialto Theater would meet the same fate.  Luckily, for now, that disaster seems to be averted.)

You won't find points of interest once the last art deco tile or Spanish arch has been hauled off to a landfill -- a parking lot here, a nondescript office building there.  What's left behind is a creeping blight of utilitarian sameness that has earned Los Angeles the title of "Strip Mall Capital of the World."  We've gained a lot of dry cleaners and nail salons, but we've lost a lot of our history and perhaps more than a little of our soul.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The South Pasadena Festival of Balloons Fourth of July Parade is Coming!

Buckle up, vintage car afficionados, and take a sweet ride in the South Pas 4th of July Parade

From the 7:00AM Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast to the 9:00PM South Pasadena High School Fireworks Show, July 4th in South Pasadena is jam-packed with all-American, small town goodness. There are many great things about the day's events, but I'm partial to the parade.  (It starts at 11:00AM downtown on Mission Street.)  Take a look at my video above for a vintage car lover's dream array of sweet rides, all gussied-up-for-the-4th.

Click here for a complete schedule of all the activities.

The only thing better than watching the parade is marching in it!



Want to leave a comment?  (I know you do.  I see you lurking.)  Head over to the Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forum and start a conversation!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Take a Joy Ride Through South Pas

Buckle up, and go for a ride with me...

I see a lot of vintage cars cruising around South Pasadena.  They always remind me of our place in Southern California's transportation history.

I wrote all about it for Patch a few years ago.  You can read the article here.

Want to leave a comment or say hello?  Head over to the new Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forum and start a conversation!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beautiful Decay


I have always looked upon decay as being just as wonderful and rich an expression of life as growth.
--Henry Miller

Want to leave a comment? Head over to the Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forum and start a conversation!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Walking South Pas

This little guy is ready to walk all the way to Santa Monica...

Los Angeles has a reputation for not being terribly pedestrian-friendly.  While I certainly can't deny the reality of Southern California's car culture, I do think that much of LA's walkability is underrated.  South Pasadena offers a great little pocket of strolling splendor.  Besides the abundance of neighborhood sidewalks, there are great paths to hike around the stables, golf course, Lower Arroyo Park and skate park as well as rumored steps up the hillside in Monterey Hills.  (I haven't found those yet!)

And the bonus: you can walk over to your bike, get on it and ride along the Arroyo up to the Rose Bowl loop.  You can also walk over to Mission Station and hop on the Gold Line.  (I love to go to downtown LA and have drinks at this place.  No designated driver, cab or Uber necessary ... just feet and rail.  Take that, NYC!)

Last year my family took the train to Union Station, where we then took Amtrak to Santa Barbara for our vacation.  Imagine that: a SoCal vacation without a car.)

By the way, longtime readers will wonder about the little white dog in the photo.  Meet Rocky!  He's the newest addition to the Allee family.  He has already (literally) left his mark all over South Pasadena.

Check out this current exhibit of Car-Free Photography at the South Pas Library!

I see you lurking, people!  Head on over to the new Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forum and start a conversation!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Keeping up With Gus's BBQ

Gus's regulars will recognize this sign from the back room wall...

LA Eater recently featured a fantastic article about South Pasadena's very own Gus's BBQ, and they even included the above photo of mine.

Jon and I have a joke that if it hadn't have been for Gus's, our family might have starved when Raine was a barely-sleeping toddler.  We still have a collection of their plastic kiddie drink cups with lids, just perfect for car rides.  (Thanks, Gus's!) 

One thing the LA Eater article doesn't mention is Gus's utterly amazing wait staff.  Not only are these people super friendly and awesome at remembering weird menu requests or modifications, but they always have recommendations for people with food restrictions and they never, never, never freak out when your kid throws her plastic kiddie cup to the floor.  At least not in front of the customers.

I've included quite a few pictures of Gus's over the years.  Check them out here.  And check out Gus's menu and take-out/catering options here.  (The restaurant may be over 70 years old, but it's technologically hip.  You can order online!)

Want to leave a comment -- or wax rhapsodic about Gus's cornbread?  Head over to the new Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forum and start a conversation!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer is Here...


...and it's particularly fun to spend it at Orange Grove Park.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Gated Grandeur


This mysterious gate leads to a Florentine palazzo-inspired mansion designed by Reginald D. Johnson and built in 1916 as a winter residence the distinguished John S. Tanner of Chicago.  (How could Mr. Tanner ever go back to the hectic windy city after spending the holidays strolling around this dreamy spot?)

Known for years as the Tanner-Behr house, it was later dubbed Villa Arno by another owner, referring to both Italy as well as to her husband Arno Behr.  (I personally call it Villa Incognito, for obvious reasons.)

Want to leave a comment? Head on over to the new Glimpses of South Pasadena Forum and start a conversation.