Author Archive


The Westin Pasadena

The Westin Pasadena

Still called the “Doubletree” by locals, this upscale hotel has been through a few owners but now seems well settled into life as a Westin. It is centrally located in downtown Pasadena, a block from City Hall and a short walk to Paseo Colorado; Old Town is several blocks to the west. It has all [...]

Occidental College

Occidental College

Okay, so it’s not actually in Pasadena, but since Oxy is just a few miles west in Eagle Rock, it might as well be. Many of its faculty live in Pasadena, its alums are all over town, and when students want fun on a Saturday night, they head for Old Town. One of Southern California’s [...]

Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard by Marriott

This hotel is ugly on the outside but handsome within, especially the modern-Craftsman-furnished lobby and bar. The location is great—it’s on the edge of Old Town across Fair Oaks from Parsons, and you can even walk to the Rose Bowl. It’s not cheap—we’d rather spend a few bucks more to stay a couple blocks east [...]

Hilton Pasadena

Hilton Pasadena

A standard business Hilton, this smallish hotel is well located withing walking distance of Paseo Colorado, the Convention Center and the Civic Center. On the down side, the pool and restaurant are basic, the bathrooms are small, and the windows are sealed shut. On the up side, the beds are good, the workout room is [...]

Bissell House

Bissell House

The grand old house is from the Victorian era, but the kind owners were wise enough to eschew oppressive Victoriana for the interior decor. Instead they opted for an appealing mix of dark woodwork and cheerful floral fabrics in the common areas and a not-too-frilly femininity in most of the five bedrooms (the Prince Albert [...]

The Saga Motor Hotel

The Saga Motor Hotel

Our favorite budget (i.e less than $100) hotel in town, the Saga’s got it goin’ on, midcentury-modern-wise. It’s a classic 1950s motel, but unlike most in the region, it’s been carefully maintained without losing its ’50s charm. Heck, there’s still real Astroturf around the pool! Located across the street from Pasadena City College, the Saga [...]

Sheraton Pasadena

Sheraton Pasadena

Tied to the spiffy new Convention Center, this low-lying Sheraton has two things going for it: really comfortable beds and a convenient location in the Civic Center hub, an easy walk to the shops, theatres and restaurants of the Paseo Colorado, and a bit longer walk (six to ten blocks) to the Playhouse District and [...]

Art Center College of Design

Art Center College of Design

This 80something-year-old institution is one of the world’s leading schools for product, graphic and transportation design, as well as fine art, advertising and illustration. It’s most famed for its automotive program, students of which have gone on to design such cars as the PT Cruiser and the Volkswagen Bug. But Art Center grads are responsible [...]

The Rose Parade

The Rose Parade

It’s pretty much impossible to envision life in Pasadena without the Rose Parade. Even parade-hating grinches have to deal with it, because the hullabaloo is so pervasive. Construction begins on the grandstands in the fall, and you can’t get into the Old Town Ralphs without negotiating the risers. Local high-school girls swarm the Rose Queen [...]

Pasadena City College

Pasadena City College

Originally called Pasadena Junior College, this exemplary school began in 1924 on the site of the original Pasadena High School, which later moved to East Pasadena. The alum roster is impressive indeed for a junior college, including teacher Jaime Escalante, author Octavia Butler, rock star Eddie Van Halen, filmmaker John Singleton (who took his first [...]

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Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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