South Pasadena has a lot of children. At a glance, this place adds plenty of demographic support to the recently reported American baby boomlet. I don’t know official South Pas numbers, but if you go by Baby Bjorn, stroller and big wheel sightings: our town has about umpteen bazillion kids.
As one of the rug-rat set myself, I think it’s pretty wonderful. This is a spectacular city to settle down and raise a child. The schools are some of the best in Southern California. The town itself looks like it could have been rendered by Tasha Tudor or Eulalia Banks . My little daughter finds a potential playmate every time we go outside for a walk. But what’s really nice is South Pasadena’s sense of balance. It’s not that kid stuff eclipses everything else. Nope. It’s all included together in a city culture that encourages family togetherness without forgetting that adults need choices other than Build a Bear or Chuck E. Cheese and that children might be less obnoxious if they hung out with adults more.
I think Jerry Seinfeld is the one who said, "there is no such thing as fun for the whole family." (Anyone who has a kid will laugh at this joke.) Life in South Pasadena may not definitively prove him wrong but it weakens his argument. Most cafes here have menus with chicken tenders or a grilled cheese sandwich thoughtfully placed among the goat cheese salads and portabello mushroom pasta. On Mission Street there is a toy store, a children’s furniture store and a kid’s party store. Not to worry, there are also two excellent wine shops and a couple of galleries. Something for everybody. Balance. Adult stuff, kid stuff, and not a Chuck E. Cheese in sight. .
Here are two little South Pasadena kiddos I spotted dancing at the concert in Garfield Park. They weren't far from the guys in yesterday’s post.
In December of 2007, after many years on the west side of Los Angeles (and at least a third of those years spent stuck in traffic on Pico Boulevard) my family settled into a happy little house in South Pasadena. This daily blog covered over 4 years as I put down roots in my new home town. While I no longer blog daily, I add new posts every month.
For over 4 years, I presented a picture a day from South Pasadena, California -- an incorporated city within the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. All photos up to November, 2008 were taken with a Fujifilm Finepix E900 camera. I added a Fujifilm Finepix S2000HD megazoom in December 2008, a Nikon D3100 in 2010 and a Lumix DMC-DS8 in 2011. I shot with them all. In August 2010 I joined the iPhone camera craze and sometimes included pictures captured by my phone. I regularly cropped images and used basic editing software to adjust the brightness, intensify the contrast, and increase color saturation. Other than that, all images came straight from the camera with minimal alteration. (If I couldn't have done it in a darkroom, I wouldn't do it with a computer.)
The bigger picture:
Consider it a love letter to the place I call home.
You can click on any picture to see a larger version.
All photos and prose on this blog copyright Laurie Allee. Reproduction without written permission is prohibited. (Plus, it's really uncool.)
May, 2016: Thanks to the dedicated group of you who have continued to email me about resurrecting Glimpses, I am back! Check weekly for new posts, and be sure to visit the brand new Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forums and start a conversation.
July, 2014: It's been a long haitus but I'm ready to get back to my blogging roots! My new blog LA: Otheris officially launching in September. This blog will be very similar to Glimpses, but will include all of Southern California as a subject, not just my beloved back yard. I am also going to post a few video pieces as well as still photography, which will be cross posted on YouTube. (And, of course, there will be my usual commentary.) Also, as much as I loved daily blogging, I've got too much on my creative plate to keep it up at LA Other. Less is more, right?
Thank you Charlie's Coffee House for hosting my photo exhibit, South Pas: Observed. From October 2011 through January 2012 my pictures graced the walls of the best place in town to get a cup of coffee!
Read the nifty story on photo bloggers Petrea Burchard, Ben Wideman, Kat Likkel and little old me featured in the September, 2011 issue of Pasadena Magazine.
Novel lovers, look out! Everybody's favorite San Gabriel Valley daily photoblogger Petrea Burchard takes us on a journey back to King Arthur's 'hood in her wonderful debut novel Camelot and Vine. (If you don't fall madly in love with her smart-ass narrator, you definitely deserve to be put into an iron maiden.) Be sure to keep up with Petrea at her legendary blog, Pasadena Daily Photo, AKA: Living Vicuriously.
And while we're on the subject of great takes on old themes, be sure to pick up a copy of Margaret Finnegan's delightful debut novel, The Goddess Lounge -- undoubtedly the kookiest, most wonderful riff on Homer's Odyssey ever written. Margaret never ceases to inspire and make us laugh at her blog Finnegan Begin Again. Her book is magical, silly, smart and a wonderful love letter to the all the goddesses among us.
Kevin McCollister of East of West LA blows our minds with haunting images of Los Angeles. But since we can't put his blog on our coffee table, we can buy his fantastic book. I believe Kevin's images truly capture the quixotic and often heartbreaking soul of LA. Don't take my word for it, see what The LA Times had to say.