Talk of Our Towns


Me & Mrs. Jones

Me & Mrs. Jones
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“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. […]

Schools Doing Their Stimulus Duty

Schools Doing Their Stimulus Duty

You’d never know we’re in a recession if you’ve cruised past many of Pasadena’s finest schools this summer. It’s been a veritable frenzy of construction—all great for the local economy, of course, and good for the students, too. Work is moving furiously at some schools, like Sequoyah and Westridge, which plan on having work completed […]

Rover Roving the Arroyo

Rover Roving the Arroyo

Our friend Bruce Moision, a JPL engineer, tipped us off that JPL/NASA is testing the latest Mars Rover, named Athlete, in the upper Arroyo– and this Rover will be roving the Arroyo tomorrow, Friday, if you’d like to go spy it in action. Here’s a photo of the Rover they’re testing; Bruce is going to […]

An Artist at Work

An Artist at Work

Thanks to Lori Webster for drawing our attention to this short video showing Altadena Ngene Mwaura, a sculpture, painter, mixed-media artist and silkscreener of very cool t-shirts. The video shows him creating a new t-shirt, from conception to final product. You’ll find some of his t-shirts for sale on Etsy; his prints and some other […]

Wandering Old Town

Wandering Old Town

Some thoughts while wandering Old Pasadena on a lovely summer Saturday afternoon: When a street parking spot opens before me on the weekend, I figure it’s a sign from God that I need to take it, even if I don’t need to buy, eat or drink anything. As much as I decry the mallification of […]

Slake Your Thirst (at Vroman’s)

Slake Your Thirst (at Vroman’s)

Everybody’s talking about Slake. Presumably everybody is reading it too—what else is one to do with Los Angeles’s very own brand new quarterly literary journal? In addition to being something of a precious object, it is full of good, interesting, varied writing. And I can say without bias that two of my favorite pieces so […]

Coffee Action

Coffee Action

Pasadena’s coffee people, who are numerous indeed, are abuzz with two new developments. First is last week’s opening of the new Intelligentsia Coffee in Old Town, in the former Wok ‘n Roll space on the north side of Colorado jus west of Raymond. A Chicago native, Intelligentsia first settled in Silver Lake, where it instantly […]

Rose Parading in Summer

Rose Parading in Summer

For us locals, the Rose Parade is pretty much a year-round event. The army of volunteers starts working on the coming year’s parade on January 2nd, float builders start that same month, and we all know it’s Thanksgiving when the stands appear on Orange Grove. For us at Hometown Pasadena, the parade starts in mid-summer, […]

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