Monday, September 14, 2009

Classic Stories

South Pasadena's historic old mansions exude a kind of early 20th Century literary quality. Can you sense it? There is a narrative to these homes. They read like pages out of America's personal memoir.

Or maybe I just tend to romanticize things.

Still, it's hard not to think of The Great Gatsby when I look at a place like this.

There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and he champagne and the stars.

Can't you just imagine it in this house, too?

On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before...

13 comments:

Judy Williams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy Williams said...

Oh yes!! What a perfect quote from Fitzgerald's most noted novel. I can just imagine the bustling about, behind those walls, and the clinking of glasses and trays in the yard behind. Houses such as these are an entity all their own.

(I wish we could edit comments without deleting them. I misspelled a word.)

Sharon said...

I just spent a week in my home town Quincy Illinois, a city full of old historic homes that are unbelievably beautiful. I know exactly how you feel. Strolling the streets and taking pictures I almost felt like I was stepping back into another era.

altadenahiker said...

Of course, quote me Fitz and I'll follow you down any garden path. Oh, and what a gorgeous door.

Yakpate said...

Is it an optical illusion, or is this house painted violet? It reminds me of another famously-quoted line: "Too much of a good thing is wonderful!"

Mae West, I think, but correct me as needed.

dbdubya said...

My favorite Mae West line: When asked by an interviewer if she smoked after sex, the grand lady West replied, "I never thought to look."

I like the stair-step windows next to the front door.

Mister Earl said...

Champagne, stars, Rolls-Royces... I have a Penguin pocket book of the Great Gatsby that I bought at Moe's Books in Berkeley in 1967. I bought it because the cover is a star-filled night sky with champagne glasses and a Rolls-Royce flying through the sky with tails, like comets. I bought it for the cover, pure and simple.

Hilda said...

It's a beautiful home! And I just love the wooden entrance and the narrow windows on the left.

Dixie Jane said...

One does not often see a grand violet house. Yes, The Great Gatsby. I can just see Daisy flitting about, fanning herself and drinking lemonade. Or is it champagne? I would love to see inside. Magnificent front entryway.

Bellis said...

What a lovely house! It's not one of those threatened by the 710 freeway, is it? I'm glad that project's vanished below the surface.

Laurie said...

Thanks for all the comments today, people. The violet cast on the house is a bit of a trick of the light. It's a wooden house, but the stain definitely has lavender undertones.

Til tomorrow, everyone...

Heidi_H said...

its one of Greene and Greenes earliest works.

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