Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Make a Wish

by Laurie Allee

I didn't notice the shooting star when I took this long-exposure shot on St. Albans Drive (aka: Christmas Tree Lane!) in neighboring San Marino a few years ago. I guess it's just another Christmas miracle...

Want to leave a holiday greeting?  How about just saying hi?  Click the Community tab at the top of the blog to start a conversation.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sunset from Monterey Hills...

by Laurie Allee

...up by the water tower.

Want to leave a message?  Click the Community tab at the top of the blog anytime to say hi or start a conversation!

Monday, December 11, 2017


I've always loved the way the Eddie Park house looks at night in black and white...

Want to leave a comment?  Click the Community tab at the top of the blog.  

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hello Neighbor!

by Laurie Allee

Just hanging out in Monterey Hills...

Want to leave a comment?  You can click on the Community tab at the top of the blog to say hi or start a conversation.  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Throwback to a Rainy Day

by Laurie Allee

Consider this my way of sending out good vibes for nature to help put out all the LA fires.  (The one in El Sereno today was awfully close.)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

People Watching in South Pasadena

by Laurie Allee

There are a lot of friendly faces in South Pasadena.  Here are a few of my favorite ones...

Join me this week as I continue to highlight favorite images from Glimpses of South Pasadena's (first) 10 years!

Want to leave a comment?  Click on the Community tab at the top of the blog.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Feeling Groovy

by Laurie Allee

It's hard to pick favorites of all the South Pas folks I've shot in the last 10 years!  This image, however, makes it into the top few.

I'm continuing this week with fave shots as Glimpses of South Pasadena approaches its 10th birthday.  Join me!

Want to say hi or leave a message?  You can always click on the Community tab at the top of the blog to start a conversation. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Favorite South Pasadena Shots (6)

by Laurie Allee

Glimpses of South Pasadena will turn 10 years old in 2018!  Join me this week as I continue to celebrate some of the people and places that have inspired me over the years.

Here, I go back to 2011 and a display of pure joy on the face of one of my daughter's classmates.

Want to leave a comment?  You can say hello or start a conversation any time by clicking the Community tab at the top of the blog.  

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sweet rides...

by Laurie Allee

You know me and old cars...

I have an entire section of my store dedicated to my vintage car shots.  There's even a calendar for 2018.  Check it out!

Want to leave a message?  Click the Community tab at the top of the blog.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

then leaf subsides to leaf

By Laurie Allee

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

--Robert Frost

Have something poetic to add?  Go to the Community tab at the top of the blog whenever you feel like leaving a comment or just saying hello.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Favorite South Pasadena Shots (5)

As I look toward Glimpses of South Pasadena's 10th anniversary next week, I've been featuring some favorite shots and narrative posts from over the years.

Some of my favorite photos are not my best technical ones.  Street photography is funny that way.  Plus, it's too hard for me to be objective -- and photography is such a subjective art, anyway. What I can say is that this particular photograph is my favorite.  It was taken way back in 2008 with an old FujiFilm point and shoot bridge camera.  (I first posted it here.)

I'll never forget the odd but wonderful feeling I had when, while having coffee and ice cream with my family at Busters, (remember Busters?!) I glanced at the large window and saw my darling little 3 year old Raine's reflection blending with the face of the beautiful, thoughtful young woman behind the glass.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Favorite Glimpses of South Pasadena Posts (4)

by Laurie Allee

In the early morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Within hours they had also attacked the U.S. forces stationed in the Philippine Islands. Five days later, the South Pasadena Review reported that Lieut. Henry G. Lee of South Pasadena was safe in Manila. Henry was a member of the 31st US Infantry Regiment, and had been posted to the Philippines in 1940.

At the time of the surprise attack, The United States was unprepared to defend the Philippines. Henry was captured when the Japanese overran the Bataan peninsula. In February of 1942, he wrote his family this letter from Bataan:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Favorite South Pasadena Shots (3) the Details

It's the little things!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Favorite South Pasadena Shots 2

by Laurie Allee

I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats, spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In their freckles live our savours.
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

--William Shakespeare
Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II, Scene i

Monday, November 27, 2017

Favorite South Pasadena Shots 1

by Laurie Allee

This shot combines several things I love about shooting pictures in South Pasadena. First of all, it's Kaldi. The historical building originally served as early South Pasadena's bank building but now offers a prime, central spot for satisfying a coffee jones while taking in a great view of the South Pasadena Public Library and Morrow Bay Fig tree. Second, it's one of those night shots that allows me to pretend I'm really a film noir cinematographer. Third, there's an old car. Even in this shot. See it?

I'm spending this week with some of my favorite Glimpses photos. Some things deserve a second (or even a third) look!

Want to leave a message? Click on the Community tab at the top of the blog to say hi or start a conversation.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Clouds and Golden Light Above South Pasadena

by Laurie Allee

I can't resist sharing another moody, magical November sky...

Want to leave a comment? Click on the Community tab at the top of the blog anytime you want to say hi or start a conversation.  

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving Sky

by Laurie Allee
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South Pasadena skies have been ridiculously dramatic lately!  (I have another one here, too.)

Want to leave a comment?  Click the Community Tab at the top of the blog anytime to start a conversation or just say hello.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Black (and White) Friday

by Laurie Allee 

The autumn clouds have been great lately for some serious sky drama.

Want to say hi or start a conversation?  Click the Community tab at the top of the blog anytime to leave a message.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Talking Turkey

by Laurie Allee

It's funny to think about the things that end up as traditions. I seriously doubt the Pilgrims put little marshmallows on top of their yams but a Thanksgiving table today hardly seems right without them, right? They flavor our memories, along with green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and the never ending argument about which is better -- cornbread dressing or breadcrumb stuffing. And at our house, no Thanksgiving would be complete without hand-shaped turkey cookies.

In fact, making and decorating sugar cookies spans all holidays around here...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lovely Decay

by Laurie Allee

"The Buddha knew one thing science didn't prove for millennia after his death: Entropy increases.  Things fall apart."  --John Green, Looking for Alaska

Have something to add?  Go here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Palm Fronds Noir?

Why not?

Want to leave a comment? You can always click on the Community tab at the top of the blog to say hi or start a conversation.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

South Pasadena: Movie Backlot

I remember watching movies set in neighborhoods with Craftsman houses nestled into tree-lined streets and wondering where IS that?

Turns out, a lot of those films were shot in South Pas.  While some people might be annoyed living among so many film and TV productions, I think it's fun to be a small part of the dream factory.  (Plus, it's kind of exciting to see your street in a Steve Carrell movie...)

I've only gotten a few checks from a studio in the almost ten years I've lived here.  One was merely for using my driveway to stage equipment for a CSI shoot down the street.  Thanks, Hollywood!

I put together the above video a few years ago, so it is missing quite a few productions.  (In fact, I've barely scratched the surface of South Pas film and television history.)   I think I might need to make a Part 2.  

Want to leave a comment?   You can always click on the Community tab at the top of this blog to start a conversation.  

Saturday, November 18, 2017

South Pasadena Retro

Music:  Days by Bears

No matter how I shoot South Pasadena, my photos always look nostalgic.  So why fight it?

Here are a few of my favorite views from over the past (almost) ten years -- all dressed up in a digital photo album.  

Want to leave a comment?  You can always click on the Community tab at the top of the blog to say hi or start a conversation.  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Art in Unusual Places

Whoever did this must have been inspired by the official South Pasadena Utility Box Art project!  I think this is fantastic.  Let's turn all utilitarian objects into works of public art!

By the way, the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) is hosting a box art artists and sponsors party tomorrow, November 18th.  Learn more and purchase tickets here.

Want to leave me a message or start a conversation?  Click on the Community tab at the top of the blog anytime you want to reach out.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wild Neighbors

Just a few of the wild creatures we share space with in South Pas.  Here are a few more.  And even more here.  And, heck, this from nearby.  (And this guy who just thinks he's wild.)

Got a wild story of your own?  Tell me here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Self Portrait... Noir

I'm back on the prowl for night shots.  Stay tuned.

(For more of my dark prowling, check out the video below...)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Horse Watching at San Pascual Stables

I'll admit it: sometimes I pull into the San Pascual Stables parking lot just to look at the horses.  Can you blame me? 

I've taken a lot of photographs at the stables over the last ten years.  Take a look at the video compilation below...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Messages (1)

Thanks for the reminder, South Pas wall!

Want to leave a message of your own?  Click the Community tab at the top of the blog.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Charlie's Coffee House

I came across this photo on an SD card in a camera bag I'd forgotten about.  It's from Charlie's Coffee House -- my absolute favorite place to get coffee in town, and not just because of this.  I've taken a lot of pictures in and around Charlie's over the years!  I think this one, however, is my favorite one:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Rite Aid Mural: Another Great Example of South Pasadena Public Art

Walking into Rite Aid is great.  For the last few years, patrons of the drug store have been greeted with this gorgeous mural painted by Carolee Merrill.

I still remember when the dark walkway felt distinctly more noir:

Concrete Ideas

This is my second favorite concrete doodle in South Pasadena.  My first?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Working it Out...

These two South Pasadena parrots had been having quite a squabble.  The one on the right had been chasing after the one on the left for most of the morning.  The one on the left had no problem divebombing and pecking the one on the right.

After about twenty minutes of talking it out on this palm frond, they seemed to patch things up.  Whew!  I hate it when the neighbors fight.

You can always say hi or leave a comment by clicking on the Community tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Treehugger's Paradise in South Pasadena

Trees, trees and more South Pasadena trees!

We all know that South Pasadena has a lot of gorgeous old-growth and heritage trees.  But did you know that our city is part of Tree City USA?  South Pas meets the program's four requirements:

1. A tree board or department 

2. A tree care ordinance

3. An annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita


4. An Arbor Day observance and proclamation.  (I'll admit, I've never officially observed Arbor Day.)

Tree cities not only look better than their more sparse cousins, they enjoy things like better storm water management, energy savings and increased property values.  As an unabashed treehugger, I agree that these are all good things.  But I think I'd love trees even if they offered nothing of tangible value.  Come on... they're beautiful, lush trees! What more do you want?

Before you click on the above video compilation of South Pas trees, I am reminded of my very favorite South Pasadena tree story.  I've told this one before, but it's worth a repeat:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

South Pasadena Abstract #7

"The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real." -- Lucien Freud

(Or, the more drinks you have on Mission Street, the more artistic each venue becomes...)

Feel like getting real?  Talk to me.

Monday, November 6, 2017

South Pasadena Abstract #6

Zoom into the puddle near Trader Joes ... tune in to a parallel universe!  The last few days have been all about finding abstract art in unlikely places.  (Like the gutter.)

Want to leave a comment?  Feel free.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

South Pasadena Abstract #5

"Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes."  --Arshile Gorky

With your eyes you see autumn leaves from a tree on the Arroyo Seco.  What does your mind see?

(Tell me here!)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

South Pasadena Abstract #4

Yesterday I found optimism in a door.  Today, I find an abstract image in my own vintage lace curtains.

What did you find?  Tell me about it here.

Friday, November 3, 2017

South Pasadena Abstract #3

Okay, so this might not be technically abstract, but file it under modern, which is close.

I love the South Pasadena Craftsmans and Victorians ... but the mid-century modern homes in Monterey Hills are also wonderful.  These ginormous doors really sum up that middle of the 20th Century optimism, don't they?

I'm all about finding art in the ordinary, people.  (And optimism in doors.)

Feel free to leave a comment here.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

South Pasadena Abstract #2

River rock as modern art?  Yes!  At least that's what I see when I focus closely.

Everyone who lives here knows that the San Gabriel Valley it is (literally) built on river rock.  Here, we have a detail of my almost 118 year old home's original river rock foundation, built with stones dragged from the nearby Arroyo Seco.  There are hundreds of similar river rock foundations holding up my friends' and neighbors' houses, but no two are exactly alike. 

Stones as foundation, shapes as foundation of art, art as foundation for expansive thought... now you see it too, right? 

Want to add something?  Go here.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

South Pasadena Abstract #1

I feel like looking at things in the abstract this week.  Art is everywhere if you just know how to frame it.

(I found this as an entryway to a house in Monterey Hills.)

Want to say hi?  I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Enchanted City... South Pasadena Halloween Views

I hope my South Pasadena friends and neighbors have stocked up for the Halloween trick or treat onslaught!  This is one of my favorite video compilations from several years ago.  

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...

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Week of South Pasadena Noir #7

"It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves." --Carl Jung 

I've had fun looking through my lens darkly this week!  Tomorrow I'll repost my favorite South Pasadena Halloween video.

Want to leave a comment or start a conversation?  I'd love to hear from you.   

Friday, October 27, 2017

Week of South Pasadena Noir #6

"Deep into that darkness peering, long ago I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before..." --Edgar Allen Poe

Still feeling a Halloween vibe?  I'm wrapping up my latest noir week tomorrow.

Quote the raven: Nevermore!  Quote you?  Go here and say what you will.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Week of South Pasadena Noir #5

"The two elements the traveler first captures in the big city are extra human architecture and furious rhythm.  Geometry and anguish."  --Federico Garcia Lorca

Feeling dark and mysterious yet?  I'm heading into Halloween with some noirish delights this week.

Have something to add?  Leave a comment here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Week of South Pasadena Noir #4

"No object is mysterious.  The mystery is your eye."  -- Elizabeth Bowen

It's a black and white world of South Pasadena mysteries this week, folks.  Check in for a daily dose of Halloween eye candy.

Want to leave a message?  Go here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Week of South Pasadena Noir #3

"I must go in.  The fog is rising. " -- Emily Dickinson

I'm in a Halloween mood this week, everyone.  Check in daily for a little bit of black and white spookiness.

Want to say something?  Click here.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week of South Pasadena Noir #2

"It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch." -- Raymond Chandler

Stay tuned this week as I get in the mood for Halloween with a little South Pasadena noir.

Have something to add?  Leave a comment here.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Week of South Pasadena Noir... #1

"There are things known, and things unknown.  In between are the doors." -- Jim Morrison

I'm in a spooky mood leading up to Halloween, people.  Check in this week for a daily trick or treat featuring darkness and light.

Want to leave a comment or say hi?  Click here.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Thanks for the Request! Links to All Glimpses of South Pasadena Videos

South Pasadena Neighborhood Views

I received a great email from long-time reader Sally wanting to know how to directly access all of my Glimpses of South Pasadena photo slideshows and videos.  Thank you for your interest, my good pal Sally!  In case there are others who would also like access to all of the videos:

Here's a link directly to my YouTube Channel.

In the meanwhile, click above for a video of some of my favorite South Pasadena neighborhood views.  

Stay tuned for more! (I know, I know, I've been promising extended video interviews and documentary-style pieces for almost a year now.  Don't rush me.) 

Want to leave a message or start a conversation?  Perhaps link to one of YOUR videos?  Head over to the Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forum and do just that.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Noir in Daylight

It's really hard to pick a favorite of all the old cars I've captured in South Pasadena over the years, but this one is definitely up in the top ten. Okay, in the top twenty. Oh, who am I kidding? I love them all.

Want to leave a comment, introduce yourself or start a conversation?  Head over to the Glimpses of South Pasadena Community Forum and do all three! (It's always available as a tab at the top of this blog.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Quantum Mechanics ... and the South Pasadena Farmers Market?


Schrödinger said it was the defining trait of quantum theory. What is it? It’s that quirky talent discovered by quantum physicists whereby a weird telepathic link allows teeny tiny subatomic particles to mysteriously influence each other’s properties even if they are very far away from one another. These particles are linked together -- or entangled -- so that one can't be sufficiently described without a full mention of its counterpart. In fact, you can instantly influence the properties of a particle on the opposite end of the universe by merely nudging its entangled twin. Some say the power travels at millions of times the speed of light. Even Einstein was baffled. He called it too spooky to be real.

Okay, so I can’t really get my head around it either.

But it gets me thinking…

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Great Reads by South Pasadena Authors

Intense reader.  Happy Dog.
It's time for another round of Let's Read Books by South Pasadena Authors!  From children's books to political commentary, history to literary fiction (and even cookbooks!) the list of books written by South Pas writers is long and varied.  Here are my reader picks for Fall 2017:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

South Pasadena Historical Buildings

Then and now...

The Los Angeles region doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to preserving landmarks.  Despite the efforts of dedicated preservationists, many architectural wonders have been lost to the wrecking ball.  The Richfield Tower, The Brown Derby, The Garden of Allah, and The Ambassador Hotel are just a few of the historic structures that have been demolished in the name of progress.  (Many South Pasadena residents were worried that our very own Rialto Theater would meet the same fate.  Luckily, for now, that disaster seems to be averted.)

You won't find points of interest once the last art deco tile or Spanish arch has been hauled off to a landfill -- a parking lot here, a nondescript office building there.  What's left behind is a creeping blight of utilitarian sameness that has earned Los Angeles the title of "Strip Mall Capital of the World."  We've gained a lot of dry cleaners and nail salons, but we've lost a lot of our history and perhaps more than a little of our soul.

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!  You can always access it in the Community tab at the top of the blog.

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.