A Walk in Old Pasadena

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It was a beautiful, sun-drenched afternoon. Perfect Southern California weather for February with temperature in the mid-70s and lots of people, shiny cars, and architecture from the early days of California were on display.

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Kongo joined others from his photo club to explore Old Pasadena, an interesting mix of period architecture, sidewalk cafes, shopping, bars, and parks. It’s a revitalized area that’s home to CalTech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, among other high tech institutions, but the monkey couldn’t stop the lyrics to the Beach Boys hit, “Little Old Lady from Pasadena.” from rattling about his simian brain — “She’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard …”

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The heart of Old Pasadena is centered on Colorado Blvd and includes about a six block area packed with eateries, Thai food, galleries, museums, really cool-looking apartment buildings and more Thai food. Cruising the boulevard in your fancy car is pretty much a thing in Southern California where seeing and being seen seem to be major pastimes.  Don’t bring your clunker here and the monkey felt guilty for not having his car washed before showing up so he ended up parking a few blocks down from the center of everything.

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Architecture lovers will go gaga in this area. The detail work on the old buildings, the art deco flair, and the excellent state of preservation are everywhere.

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This area is great for people watching. There’s a lot of people for one thing and in Southern California there is such a diverse mixture of people doing their thing that you can’t help but stare. Plenty of characters converge here.

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Andy Warhol did his West Coast debut here and the neighborhood retains an artistic vibe that continues today. The area was declared an historic district in 1980 but construction in the area continues with large building cranes growing over the skyline.

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It’s a great place to spend an afternoon, get something to eat, flaunt your fancy car or just  take in the ambiance.  You can get there on Metro from LA or take the Colorado Blvd. exit off the 210 Freeway.

Travel safe. Have fun.

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