Author Archive


Super King Rules

Super King Rules

Sixteen years ago, the Fermanian family opened a supermarket in an ethnically diverse neighborhood in Anaheim, and over the next few years, their low prices, good service and unusual combination of mainstream American supermarket goods and a dazzling array of international foods built them a huge and loyal clientele. In 2006, the Fermanians opened their [...]

The Little Foxes

The Little Foxes

New on the main stage at the Pasadena Playhouse is a revival of Lillian Hellman’s great play, Little Foxes. Starring Kelly McGillis and Julia Duffy and directed by Dámaso Rodriguez, the play opened on May 22 to excellent reviews from the Los Angeles Times (“the play’s social skewering remains satisfyingly fresh”) and Daily Variety (“The [...]

Purple Happy Trees

Purple Happy Trees

Just in time to brighten the June gloom is our annual explosion of jacaranda blossoms. For clean-up reasons, I’m grateful not to have one at my house, but I’m especially grateful to the neighborhoods that host them for all of our enjoyment. Here are a couple of shots from Pasadena’s Jacaranda Row, aka Del Mar [...]

Do-Good Dining — and Bargains, Too

Do-Good Dining — and Bargains, Too

Following the success of DineLA’s restaurant weeks in February, many of the restaurants in and around Old Pasadena are taking part in Old Pasadena Restaurant Week, from June 1 to 8. Not only is each place offering a good-value fixed-price menu, but each is donating ten percent of revenue to Union Station Homeless Services, whose main facility [...]

Taste of Art

Taste of Art

Worthy charity events fill up the spring calendar in Pasadena like so many poppies, and it’s hard to give them all their due. But we’re singling out one for special attention: the Taste of Art, an art-lover’s party at Gale’s Restaurant. This intensely local event started in 2007 when a group of friends having dinner [...]

The Poor Man's Hearst Castle

The Poor Man's Hearst Castle

Somehow I’d lived several decades without ever visiting Rubel Castle, or even hearing about it. And now I shall try to save you from the same fate. Way up on Live Oak in Glendora is an honest-to-goodness castle so jam-packed with sometimes-historic flotsam and jetsam that it’s taking a fleet of volunteers years to catalogue [...]

Basil Thai Cooking

Basil Thai Cooking

Few restaurant neighborhoods in the San Gabriel Valley are more depressing than the stretch of Huntington connecting Monrovia and Arcadia. You name the soulless chain, and it’s here, from Macaroni Grill to the Olive Garden. So we’re grateful to our friend Sherri (Vroman’s book buyer and avid cook) for turning us on to Basil Thai, [...]

All About Harper Lee

All About Harper Lee

Harper Lee has written only one book in her 83 years, but it was enough for a lifetime — To Kill a Mockingbird is arguably one of the all-time great American novels. Lee has led a fascinating life as far out of sight as possible, but now Kerry Madden, the L.A.-based author of several children’s [...]

A New Oak for Armada

A New Oak for Armada

While we watch the city plant inappropriate palms in the Playhouse District, we’re happy to report the planting of just the right tree on the banks of the Arroyo: an Englemann Oak, aka a Pasadena Oak. The occasion was the 68th birthday of Dave Kennedy, a longtime resident of the Prospect Park neighborhood. Dave has [...]

Party on North Lake

Party on North Lake

Altadenans will get a chance to celebrate their community this evening (Friday) from 4 to 9 at an open house sponsored by the newly formed Altadena Arts Coalition, comprising business owners on and around North Lake. Galleries, cafés and shops from New York Drive to Altadena Drive will be open late (as Petrea from Pasadena [...]

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Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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