24.07.2013 - 24.07.2013
L.A. is a mosaic, and Pasadena is one lovely, rosy piece in the larger picture. Here, classic suburbia meets classic Southern California. The old, mission-style buildings, the San Gabriel Valley, the grand homes and the famous flowers for which the city is so well-known all add up to one amazing scene northeast of the city of Los Angeles.
I was excited to check out Old Town Pasadena, where Colorado Blvd is particularly well-known for its shops. You will find a number of typical retailers, but there also are some good eateries, stores and coffee shops that are local to the area. Close by on Raymond Ave, I had a great time browsing Distant Lands, a store made for travelers, filled with travelogues, guidebooks, and other necessities for going on the road. Also, I had the most amazing omelette filled with apples, cinnamon and cheese at Aux Delices French Bakery & Cafe.
Just a few blocks east lies Paseo Colorado, which is basically an extension of the Old Town shops except slightly more up-scale. There is one spot here that I highly recommend checking out: the Pasadena Antique Mall. If you are interested in history and turn-of-the-century memorabilia, you will get a kick out of it. When I reached the back of the store, I was amazed to see costume jewelry and other props of famous old Hollywood stars and more recent TV shows and movies. (Actually, if you find an antique store in Los Angeles, it is probably a good idea to check it out for this very reason: close proximity to Hollywood means more likely chances of getting to see unique pieces from the silver screen up close.)
Speaking of relics, I also spent some time at the Norton Simon Museum, where I particularly admired the extensive downstairs collection of Asian art and the lovely outdoors sculpture garden (which had some Henry Moore pieces, by the way). Whenever I travel, I love to check out art museums, and the pieces often inspire me, as they did today. Afterwards (and especially on this day), I feel ready to go home and read more about eastern philosophy and abstract art.
I kept walking westward along Colorado Blvd and signs kept pointing the way to the Rose Bowl, so I figured why not go see the famed structure up close. I ended up walking north along Orange Grove Blvd and then turned left onto the residential street Rosemont. It was a great route because I got to admire the large, distinctive houses, dense trees, and of course, the roses, along the way. When I reached the end of the road at the open field, I saw the Rose Bowl straight ahead, perfectly positioned with the mountains in the background. It is one thing to see the stadium on TV during the college football game playoffs, but it is a surreal experience to view it up close.
After a wonderful, casual afternoon of wandering around the beautiful town, I left with rosy cheeks and feeling renewed from the fresh perspective. While I am in L.A. right now, I am revisiting a few long-time favorite spots, but I also am focusing on exploring new areas where I have never visited. I did visit Pasadena a long time ago, but it was nice on this day to see even more of it. More adventures to come in other areas of L.A. during the rest of the summer!