Friday, June 18, 2010

Looking for Something to Do?

Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to noon -- Get up to speed on the latest greywater systems, water-saving techniques and Pasadena Water and Power rebates during a free workshop at La Casita del Arroyo, 177 S. Arroyo Blvd.

Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- A free, traditional Juneteenth Festival at Jackie Robinson Center will focus on healthy living and family fun.

Saturday, June 19, at 11 a.m. -- Deb Swartz of Old Town Cooking School will show how you to make a wonderful one-dish summer supper using fresh, California-grown ingredients during a free demonstration (you’ll even get samples and recipes). (626) 744-4066.

Saturday, June 19 -- Today’s the first day of the free Summer Reading Club for children up to age 12. With the theme “Make a Splash,” there are activities galore through mid-August including water-themed shows, stories, movies and more. Just sign up at any Pasadena public library, where children can pick up free book bags and reading records. They’ll bring in their reading records to earn different prizes every week.

Saturday, June 19 -- And today’s the first day of the free “Make Waves” summer reading program for teens! Whenever they finish a book, magazine, graphic novel or audio book, they’ll fill out an entry form and drop it in a special box at any Pasadena public library to be eligible for prizes during weekly drawings. They can also sign up for teen “camps” where they’ll learn video game animation, robotics, comic book illustration, dry photography, modern dance and more.

Sunday, June 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. -– The free classic-car show sponsored by the Pasadena Police Department will include about 100 vintage vehicles and hot rods made between 1900 and 1974.

Through June 20 -- Allendale Branch Library, 1130 S. Marengo Ave., is closed for installation of a new HVAC system. If this is the library nearest your home, the next closest locations are Hill Avenue Branch Library, 55 S. Hill Ave.; San Rafael Branch Library, 1240 Nithsdale Rd.; and Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St.

Wednesday, June 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. -– This week’s free film in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St., is “Patch Adams” (1998, PG-13), starring Robin Williams in the fact-based tale of an adult in medical school whose methods of treating the sick are not appreciated by the scientific community, although his patients think otherwise. (626) 744-4066.

Wednesday, June 23, at 5:30 p.m. -– Representatives from the Social Security Office in Pasadena will discuss benefits for retirement, disability and Medicare during a free talk at Pasadena Central Library, plus how to maneuver through the federal agency’s new website (877) 255-1508.

Thursday, June 24, at 4 p.m. -– Children will love the free Science Lab 3000: Edible Science at Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd., where they’ll create ice cream concoctions. Registration is required: (626) 744-7262.

Saturday, June 26, from noon to 8 p.m. -– Enjoy Armenian food, music, performances, children’s activities and much more at the free Armenian Harvest event at Victory Park, 2575 Paloma St.

June 28 through July 30 -- It’s summer park time! Weekdays from 1 to 5 p.m., children ages 5 to 14 will have plenty to do in safe, fun environments at six Pasadena parks for a reasonable fee: Brenner (235 Barthe Dr.), Eaton Blanche (3100 E. Del Mar Blvd.), Grant (232 S. Michigan Ave.), Hamilton (3680 Cartwright St.), McDonald (1000 E. Mountain St.) and Madison School Park (515 Ashtabula St.). Register at Jackie Robinson Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave., or at (626) 744-7532.

June 28 to Aug. 13 -- Time for swimming lessons! Register your kids ages 4 to 18 for lessons at five Pasadena public pools for a reasonable fee.

Sunday, July 4, from 2 to 9:30 p.m. -– Celebrate our freedom with music, food and fireworks at Americafest, a full day of safe and affordable activities! Adults $13; children 7 and younger free; active military personnel free (ID required).

Saturday, July 10, at 7 p.m. –- It’s international soccer with two of Mexico’s most renowned teams at the Rose Bowl Stadium: Club América vs. Cruz Azul. Ticket prices vary.

Find more community events (and add your own) here.

Pasadena Restaurant PIO

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mystery History -- Solved

Karin wins with her 10:33 a.m. Tuesday guess "The Mother Goose Pantry Restaurant on Colorado Blvd, built 1929. Nathaniel West used it as inspiration for the Cinderella Bar in Day of the Locust."

From the looks of the photo above, the proprietor had so many patrons she didn't know what to do! But I doubt she beat them all soundly and put them to bed.

Diners were seated on the ground floor and in a dining room upstairs.

The architectural style is known as roadside vernacular, which dotted the U.S. in the early to mid-20th century.

Sure enough, one of the settings in "The Day of the Locust" by Nathanael West is the Cinderella Bar, shaped like the iconic glass slipper but made of stucco, where female impersonators entertain the clientele. The novel, published in 1939, takes place in Hollywood during the Great Depression. There's also a film based on the novel, produced in 1975.

And now there's a (rather tacky) collectible version of the Mother Goose Pantry.

For some reason there's not much information to be found about Mother Goose Pantry. There is conflicting information on the Internet about what year the restaurant was constructed and what the address was, but there's definitely agreement that it was built sometime in the 1920s somewhere on Colorado Boulevard.

So I turned to Dan McLaughlin, one of our crackerjack researchers at Pasadena Central Library, who looked in old city directories. These wonderful books were published for many years and can serve as a pretty good snapshot into the history of specific addresses.

Mother Goose Pantry is listed in the 1927 city directory as being at 1955 E. Colorado Blvd. So I'm taking that address as gospel. It was on the north side of the street near Berkeley Avenue, about three blocks east of Allen Avenue.

Here's a vintage menu from the Mother Goose Pantry that I found on an auction website, but I'm afraid I lost track of which one (it wasn't eBay). I wish an image of the inside of the menu had been included.

Thinking of constructing a building in the roadside vernacular style? Make sure the property's zoned for that!

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meet Phil Sanchez

Part of my role is to organize press conferences. In the council chamber yesterday, Phil Sanchez was introduced as Pasadena's next police chief. He'll begin his new duties on July 11. City Manager Michael Beck is in the background in the photo above.

After the formal portion of the press conference, Phil Sanchez took a few minutes to chat it up with some reporters, including (left to right) Dan Abendschein of the Pasadena Star-News, André Coleman of the Pasadena Weekly and Terry Miller of the Pasadena Independent.

In addition to press, there were community leaders at the conference. Here's Phil being greeted by Tanganica Turner, field representative to California Assemblyman Anthony Portantino...

...and Martin Gordon of the ACLU (that's an L.A. Times photographer on the right).

I needed to wrangle Phil for an interview outside with a TV reporter.

All in a day's work.

Photos by the mighty Zack Stromberg of the Public Affairs Office.

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win a fabulous prize!

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Anatomy of a Cake

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts is one of the institutions that cements Pasadena's standing as a bona fide college town!

A team of 14 aspiring chefs hand-picked by instructor Alicia Boada worked tirelessly under her direction for days to perfect a magnificent three-foot-tall, six-tiered cake replica of Pasadena City Hall to help celebrate the city's 124th birthday.

The final photo above is courtesy of Laura Berthold Montero; all other photos are courtesy of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Catherine Hany, communications manager for Pasadena public libraries, came up with a fun campaign to help everyone embrace the power of reading.

It features Mayor Bill Bogaard and every member of the Pasadena City Council. Posters are at local libraries.

And speaking of reading, get your children and teens signed up for our free summer reading program. They'll not only keep their reading skill levels where they need to be during summer break, they'll be involved in activities galore! Learn more here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mystery History -- Solved!

Susan wins with her 7:58 a.m. Tuesday guess "It's 1986 and the City of Pasadena is celebrating its 100-year anniversary."

In the photo above, which I converted to black and white for this posting*, a huge ceremony commemorates the event and thousands of balloons are released from Centennial Square in front of Pasadena City Hall. Centennial Square was so named because of the 100th anniversary celebration.

Here's the color photo:

Judy Kent, field representative to Mayor Bill Bogaard, served on the Centennial Committee at the time and loaned me the photo below, which she shot.

And current City Councilwoman Margaret McAustin loaned me a very nice card (cover and inside are below) thanking her for her efforts with the centennial celebration.

This post is all leading up to Pasadena's 124th birthday celebration this coming Saturday, when a special party will be open to the entire community from noon to 4 p.m. at the Pasadena Museum of History, presented in conjunction with the City of Pasadena.

The free event will offer food and fun for all ages, including a special City Hall birthday cake made for this occasion by students of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts; live entertainment by students from California College of Music; Robinson family stories told by Delano Robinson, widow of Mack Robinson and sister-in-law of the late Jackie Robinson (she'll also show precious memorabilia); family-oriented crafts workshops where you'll make a time capsule to take home; favorite foods and other treats from local restaurants; the current museum exhibition Pasadena Patron: The Life and Legacy of Eva Scott Fenyes; and much more.

Admission to the event is free! Find more information here.

Mystery History photo courtesy of whyaduck/Joe.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win a fabulous prize!

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.