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

Ride on the Wild Side


Cue soundtrack...


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

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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Homes Sweet Homes


I've been charmed by the homes in South Pasadena ever since my husband and I actually bought one of them and moved here 8 years ago!  I made the video above several years ago, highlighting some of the varied and beautiful houses around town.  I've been busily shooting more home pictures, so there will be a Part 2 video coming very soon.

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

Monday, June 13, 2016

Storybook House


Every time I think I've found a favorite house in South Pas, I find yet another one that I adore.  This one is right out of a fairytale, don't you think?

I'm in a South Pasadena Home Tour kind of mood these days, so look for more shots of picturesque homes.  It's no wonder so many film crews shoot in and around our city.   Here's my highlight reel of famous South Pas film and TV production settings:



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

Friday, June 10, 2016

When a Utility Box is More Than Just a Utility Box


Have you wondered why all the utility boxes in downtown South Pas suddenly transformed into colorful works of art?  We have the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) to thank for repurposing the dull box surfaces into whimsical public art pieces.  Here's a quote from SPARC about the project:

Traffic signal boxes, usually painted drab grey or green, have been enhanced and transformed into creative artworks in many cities around the country. The City of South Pasadena, in its update to the Strategic Plan has identified Art and Culture as one of its goals going forward. One of the recommendations was to include more public art throughout the City. As a result the City awarded SPARC funding to support the creation of the first ten (10) boxes.  The first boxes have been completed and this is Phase II, which includes an additional 10 traffic signal boxes.

Keep a look out for new boxes to be created in Phase II.  And if you are an artist with a perfect idea for a box, you can submit your proposal.  The deadline is June 24, 2016. ( Learn more and download an application here.)

I can't pick a favorite box among those in the collection, but the one above makes me smile every time I walk past it to go to Wells Fargo or Starbucks.  (For those of you wondering about South Pasadena's fascination with ostriches, here's a little history.)

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan (and member!) of SPARC.  The group's mission statement sums it up well:

SPARC promotes the arts in order to recognize local artists as a rich resource within our city and build appreciation and understanding of the value of the arts within the community.

SPARC is not only about public art projects, but also visual art exhibitions, music and dance events, as well as much needed school and community arts advocacy. A bonus? SPARC has some of the most fun, wine-filled soirees you'll ever attend.  If you're an artist, writer, filmmaker, musician or just all-around lover of the arts, I encourage you to join us.

I'll showcase more of the boxes here soon.  In the meanwhile, here's a map of where to find them around town.

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

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

So Many Parks, So Little Summer...

Kicking it at South Pasadena parks...

When Jon and I moved to South Pas 8 1/2 years ago, our daughter -- who many longtime readers still think of as Little Bit -- was only 2.  That meant many, many, MANY sunkissed afternoons spent in local parks.  

Of all the choices in South Pas -- from the newish playscapes at Lower Arroyo to the vast, green goodness of Garfield -- I was partial to Eddie Park.  Little Bit is 11 now,  and totally over "the park with the outdoor fireplace and the good slide," but occasionally she will still appease her mom and go there to kick around a soccer ball.  (Before wanting to head home to play Minecraft.  Tweens!)

Eddie Park is a quaint, quiet Marengo neighborhood park with a stretch of grass just right for tossing the frisbee or having a picnic.  It rests on the lawn of an elegant, moody old house that looks like it should be inhabited by the ghosts of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.  Go there for a charming little hideaway picnic or, if you have a 2 year old, a good slide.

For a peek at all the other parks in South Pasadena, check out my video above.

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

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mission Station


I haven't taken the brand new Expo Line from downtown LA to the beach yet, but I'm already an old fan of South Pasadena's Gold Line which now goes all the way out to Azusa and will eventually end up in Montclair.  I can't resist taking pictures whenever I wait at Mission Station.  Those columns!