Talk of Our Towns


Back to School: The Questions

Back to School: The Questions

“Miss, don’t you ever get mad?” “Miss, does a crime record hurt you for college?” “Miss, you’re wearing different shoes! Does that mean you got a place to live?” Every day students ask me the unexpected. Every day I answer as honestly as I can. We’re in our fourth week of school. The familiarity of [...]

To Grow or Not to Grow, That Is the Question

To Grow or Not to Grow, That Is the Question

It’s a conundrum that Tevye would appreciate: On the one hand, growth brings jobs and much-needed tax revenue to Pasadena. On the other hand, it increases traffic. But on the other hand, mass-transit-adjacent growth helps reduce our dependence on the car and is better for the environment. But on the other, other hand, thoughtless growth [...]

Profile of a Sierra Madre Character

Profile of a Sierra Madre Character

While catching up on the last few months of Los Angeles magazines recently, we came across a wonderful profile of Cynthia Abernethy, the queen of L.A. estate sales and a longtime Sierra Madre resident. Most of the sales she runs are here in the San Gabriel Valley, which article author Dave Gardetta says are better, [...]

A Taste of Old Pasadena

A Taste of Old Pasadena

Take a timeout from the “what to have for dinner” game of indecision and attend the 19th annual A Taste of Old Pasadena—there’s no need to choose, because you can have it all. The $25 ticket allows tastes from more than 30 of the best restaurants in Old Town: everything from Thai to Tibetan, Italian to [...]

All Hail the Trail Tenders!

All Hail the Trail Tenders!

Every fall I get inspired to start hiking again. That’s because the days get cooler, the skies get bluer, and the San Gabriels just seem more inviting than in the heat of summer. True, we never really got the heat of summer this year, but nonetheless, fellow Hometown Pasadenan Mel Malmberg and I felt the [...]

Lovin’ Levitt

Lovin’ Levitt

We showed love to the Levitt Pavilion concerts by throwing a few bucks in the donation bucket every time we attended a concert this summer, but now that the season has ended, we wanted to shout out some love for one of the greatest gifts to the region: Free concerts, five nights a week, in [...]

Three Cheers for Hyperlocal!

Three Cheers for Hyperlocal!

“Hyperlocal” is one of the buzz words du jour, the new hope of battered journalism everywhere. We’re doing it here in Pasadena for arts, community, culture and food; Altadenablog is doing it with real hometown devotion in Altadena; and now comes Alhambra Source, a most impressive new site. In fact, it’s the most impressive hyperlocal [...]

Me & Mrs. Jones

Me & Mrs. Jones

“She bore her burden because she did not wish to be a burden.” I’m paraphrasing from an Isaac Bashevis Singer short story, “The Washerwoman.” It’s one of those anthology selections for ninth graders that kids never take to, a story that eventually resounds for those who live long enough to have the stuffing kicked out of us a few times. The titular washwoman is a birdlike Gentile who launders for wealthier Jews in an early 20th century Polish shtetl. Her frail build belies tenacity and pride in her lowly occupation—an occupation both arduous and invisible. I guess I’d call it a story where stature trumps status.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Big in Japan

Frank Lloyd Wright: Big in Japan

As our regular readers are no doubt already aware, Frank Lloyd Wright’s La Miniatura (aka the Millard house), up in Prospect Park, is for sale. As you can see in that post, it’s a beautiful, beautiful house, the first of Wright’s experiments with so-called “Mayan-block construction.” Even after the asking price fell over $2.7 million [...]

What They Did This Summer

What They Did This Summer

Volunteering at the zoo seems like it would be one of those fun, easy ways for teenagers to do their community service. But volunteering at the L.A. Zoo is a very serious commitment, requiring extensive training and a whole lot of hours over a two-year period. So it attracts the best and brightest of L.A. [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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