Thursday, February 23, 2017

Joy Ride Through South Pasadena

Take a joyride with me through South Pas... and marvel at all the vintage cars.

South Pasadena was part of transportation history -- a destination for early rail as well as home to one of the first freeways.
Oh, and then there are the countless vintage cars...

By Laurie Allee

Spend enough time in South Pasadena and you'll notice that the Rialto, the historic buildings and the classic craftsman houses aren't the only remaining treasures of our past.  This town has more than its fair share of vintage cars.  Hang out on Mission Street on a weekend afternoon, and you'll see a promenade of enough old roadsters, coupes and muscle cars to satisfy even the most persnickety car buff.  I'm not just talking about your standard issue American Graffiti-worthy hot rods, either.  I've spotted a late 30s Peugot 402 and a 1949 Hudson Commodore -- even a mysterious black sedan that two confounded car aficionados argued about while standing nearby.  (One insisted it was an unmarked 1939 Cadllac; the other swore it was a Citreon Traction Avant.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Follow Glimpses of South Pasadena on Instagram and Twitter

Go ahead.  Be a follower.

Glimpses of South Pasadena finally has its own social media!  No longer forced to share space with my personal photos, macro shots of food and endless political retweets, this little blog finally has its own Instagram and Twitter accounts:

Follow Glimpses on Instagram

Follow Glimpses on Twitter

Now, don't ask me to sign up Glimpses for Snapchat.  I'd have a hard time putting a bee filter on the entire town.

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

South Pasadena Up Close

Historic little details everywhere...

By Laurie Allee

If you look closely at South Pasadena – and I mean really closely, sometimes with your nose right up to the surface -- you’ll find some historic little details. While much of Los Angeles (and much of the United States) has boomed with the philosophy of “New is Better” -- South Pasadena and much of the neighboring San Gabriel Valley have stuck to the idea that old is cool.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Holidays in South Pasadena

by Laurie Allee

Next week will mark 9 years since Jon, Raine and I moved to South Pasadena.  I will always remember our first Christmas in our new house.  We managed to decorate a tree and wrap presents, but 2-year-old Raine was more interested in all the new sinks she could use to "wash the decorations."  Needless to say, there were a lot of soggy bows.  (In fact, we never did turn the faucet back on in the living room wet bar.)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Craftsman Homes of South Pasadena

Take a look at some of South Pasadena's Craftsman homes

If you move to South Pasadena, chances are you have an affinity (possibly bordering on obsession) for the Arts and Crafts movement. You’ll find hundreds of Craftsman homes in these few square miles, one after another, tucked humbly under generations-old shade trees like little zen mushrooms.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Look up.

I think the one thing we can agree on about this election season is that we are all exhausted by it.  So,  regardless of your political views, let's stand on common ground together, look up, and reach for our better angels.  

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Halloween in South Pasadena

Halloween in South Pas

I get nostalgic around Halloween.  

More than any other holiday, Halloween reminds me of life's brevity.  How quickly kids grow up: last year's fairy costume doesn't fit, someone's too old to dress up like a pirate, this year the neighbor's giant blow-up monster no longer seems menacing...

Monday, October 3, 2016

Along the Arroyo Seco

Along the Arroyo Seco

The Arroyo Seco is much more than a weird concrete channel used by local skateboarders. Although the Spanish name roughly translates to “dry stream bed,” it usually flows with several cubic feet of water per second, and occasionally swells to near capacity with the runoff of an erosion-prone 46.7 square mile watershed. It starts near Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest of the San Gabriel Mountains and winds its way between La Canada Flintridge and Altadena through Pasadena, alongside the western boundary of South Pas and onward into the bigger concrete confines of the Los Angeles River north of Downtown LA. The Arroyo Seco stream assists in replenishing the Raymond Basin aquifer underlying Pasadena.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Horsing Around San Pascual Stables

Like the old west, just minutes from Downtown LA.

You'd think living next to a world-class equestrian center would be great.  But you know what it means to me?  Hearing the words:

"Can we have a horse?  Pleeeeeeeeeeeasssssse?!?!?!?" 

every single time we drive by.

San Pascual Stables is located right in the thickety brambles of the Arroyo Seco.  Specializing in Hunter/Jumper training, the riding academy and boarding facilities also host a pretty darn great kids' birthday party.  Just get ready for endlessly repeating:

 "No!  For the last time!  We can't have a horse!" 

You have been warned.

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Exploring Oaklawn in South Pasadena

Explore Oaklawn with me!

In 1904, a brand new residential development was taking shape in a peaceful orange grove at the northern end of South Pas.  Although it contained only one large oak tree, it was called Oaklawn.  "The good life," South Pasadena Realty and Investment Company promised, "is in South Pasadena."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bell Epoque

Now that the 2016-17 academic year is well underway, I thought I'd let you in on a little South Pas school history...

This gorgeous bronze bell was cast in 1889. It was the original bell for South Pasadena's Center Street School -- the first school in the city. In 1928, the bell was installed in the tower of the brand new brick building designed by Norman Foote Marsh. That building now houses the offices of the South Pasadena Unified School District, but until 1979 it was known as El Centro School.

The tower was removed for earthquake safety reasons in 1949, but the bell was saved and mounted in front of the school. For decades, graduating sixth-graders would march from the auditorium to the front lawn and strike a celebratory blow on the old bell as a rite of passage. (I have no proof, but I'll bet at least one teacher said "Don't chime in all at once!")

For the most comprehensive history of South Pasadena, you can't beat South Pasadena, A Centennial History by Jane Apostol.

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Recommended Reading List of South Pasadena Authors

I'll bet most people in South Pasadena have no idea that they are living side by side with some pretty amazing authors.  From children's books to political commentary, history to literary fiction, the scope of books penned by South Pasadena writers is vast and wonderful.

From time to time, I will highlight a few of these published works.  Support your local writer! (And when I finally finish my first novel, you can bet I'll be asking you to support me.)

Here are a few of my picks for a well-rounded Fall 2016 reading list: