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

Inspiration



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:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

South Pasadena: City with a View

A little city with big views...

If you looked in the skies above South Pasadena in the fall of 1913, you might have seen aerialist Roy Knabenshue's amazing dirigible.  Sailing over 800 feet in the air, the flying machine thrilled locals.  For a whopping cost of $25 a ride, a brave traveler could experience what the press reported as "a daring adventure with spectacular views!"

Knabeshue, the first person to fly a dirigible in the United States, certainly knew he had picked a crowd-pleasing location.  The majestic San Gabriel Mountains were nestled in a lush, green valley.  It was an ideal setting to conduct pleasure flights for "brave gentlemen."

But ladies insisted that they be included, too...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Musings for a New School Year

My, how they've grown...

It's back to school time. Most of South Pasadena's kids are putting their noses to the grindstone in SPUSD's public schools. Others are attending private progressive schools like Waverly, Waldorf and Sequoyah or the highly academic Polytechnic. Some are in charter schools. A few are homeschooling. A few are even unschooling. But each child is preparing for a future we all hope is bright, happy and prosperous...

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Post for Fellow Treehuggers...

Trees, trees and more South Pasadena trees!

I want to thank readers Johnny and Greenman for emailing me after yesterday's post on the library tree.  You guys asked if I had any video slideshows of my many (many!) tree pictures?  I aim to please...

But before you click on the above video, I am reminded of my very favorite South Pasadena tree story:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

South Pasadena Family Tree

Ever wonder about the history of the majestic Moreton Bay fig tree outside the South Pasadena Public Library? It certainly seems primordial -- like a remnant of our earth's distant past. My daughter  once said that she thought the tree surely must have been around when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Even though I could imagine generations of pterodactyls making nests in that beautiful tree, I knew it wasn't that ancient. But I was genuinely surprised when it was revealed a few years ago that the tree is barely 100 years old...