Beneath the Palms ~ Pasadena Town

old town pasadena shopping

In our quest to find an idyllic yet affordable place to live in or around Los Angeles, which in itself is an oxymoron, husband and I have been pondering Pasadena for the last couple of weeks and decided to take a drive there Sunday afternoon.

After a quick stop in Toluca Lake, walking through a tiny, 2 + 2 open house for $779K, {idyllic but far from affordable} we headed west back to Studio City and got on the 101 Freeway at Laurel Canyon {to the 134, etc.} towards Pasadena.

While there was no traffic, what felt like a rather long drive had only in fact been 9 minutes as far as the clock was concerned and we were only about two minutes from our final destination {we exited Colorado Blvd.}. { . . .in other words, the drive to Century City three days a week to the art gallery may not be as bad as I imagined}

Of the ten or so times that I have been to Pasadena {and the numerous times driving through it}, what I always remembered and loved was the amazing bridge you pass just before getting off the freeway. That is how I know I’m in Pasadena. While searching for an image of it just now, I found out some creepy information about one of my favorite landmarks. It’s actually called The Suicide Bridge {for obvious reasons – but click the link to find out more} …and while I am drawn to creepy things, I’m not sure how I feel about it.

photo via: here + more Pasadena history

bridge in pasadena at dusk

While driving around we definitely decided that we would look for a house as close to Colorado Boulevard as possible in Old Town. The idea of being able to walk to the various restaurants and boutiques, that small town feel, is what really draws us there. However, it looks like we may only be able to afford North of Colorado Blvd. …but South is where the neighborhoods look like movie sets. And that’s what I’m after.

south pasadena, pasadena movie houses, filming locations in pasadena, pretty house in pasadena

I’m wondering if any of my lovely readers may live in {or once lived in} Pasadena …and may have some words of wisdom for us. …Or maybe you just have some opinions {good and bad} I’d love to hear your thoughts.

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.


  • brooke

    March 30, 2009 |

    never lived in california..grew up in phoenix and then lived six years in washington state…so no advice can be given from me…but i am definitely a fan of all the green at the end of that film…and the town itself looks cute and sweet too…

  • Hanako66

    March 30, 2009 |

    I adore Pasadena…good luck with the house hunt. Now is a fabulous time to buy:)

  • The Polka Dotted Owl

    March 30, 2009 |

    Good luck with the house hunt. Pasadena is an awesome town full of historic goodies.

    I hope you can find a place there. Let us know how it goes…

  • GiGi

    March 30, 2009 |

    I lived in La Canada for 3 years when I came to Cali, & we were in Pasadena all the time. We were just up there on Saturday. My hubby still teaches at Art Center. Pasadena is amazing & beautiful. It really isn’t far from “the city” as we call it. I know you’re planning on a family so I don’t know if your thinking of schools, but you should look into that too. We went to La Canada because the school district(we have 2 girls). It is pricey as well, but you don’t need to pay for private school, before you buy always check out the local schools. Have you driven Linda Vista in Pasadena? It is story book looking. Linda vista takes you straight to La Canada.
    Pasadena in the summer is so fun. Every weekend some sort of festival going on. I’m going on & on. Let me know if you need anymore info, happy to help.

  • ~alison

    March 30, 2009 |

    I love Pasadena. However, I have coworkers that live there and the commute is WAAAAAAAY shitty. If you are not wanting to live as far as Encino, you will be crazy to go to Pasadena. Remember you drove there on a Sunday!

    What are the house prices like there? When we were looking – the prices were much higher in Pasadena than Encino…closer to the blvd.

  • Cathy Voyage

    March 30, 2009 |

    Never lived there, but I wish you good luck to find a house!

  • drollgirl

    March 30, 2009 |

    i sure love that bridge in pasadena! it is gorgeous, and every time i see it i am so happy.

    sadly i don’t know much about pasadena. except for the norton simon museum and art center.

    if you move there, make sure to have a/c. it is roasting there in the summer!

  • Diana

    March 30, 2009 |

    Old Town Pasadena is really pretty, but the drive is killer.

  • Wanderlusting

    March 30, 2009 |

    Pasadena is pretty – I much prefer it to LA but I also HATE LA (don’t shoot me, lol). That said I haven’t spent much time in either to have a valid opinion, being from Vancouver, BC and all 🙂 Either way, I like the isolation of it, even though it’s really not too far from anything ! I’m sure things will come together if it’s meant to.

    x0x0 Lusty

  • Fabi

    March 30, 2009 |

    I grew up in Glendale, so Im in Pasadena pretty often. It’s a really nice place to live – as long as you are near old town, but it can be a little pricey. The commute would also be pretty bad..driving from pasadena to century city could take you anywhere from 30-an hour at least. Good luck house hunting!

  • Tha BossMack TopSoil

    March 30, 2009 |

    Pasadena is tha shit

  • La Belette Rouge

    March 30, 2009 |

    I love Pasadena. Being in Pasadena makes me feel like I am back in the suburbs of Chicago. Love it.

  • LiLu

    March 30, 2009 |

    The only words of wisdom I have are don’t overlook Craigslist. People put EVERYTHING on there nowadays- it can’t hurt to search…

  • rebecca

    March 30, 2009 |

    When I lived there I used to love Pasadena- and my mom and dad have great memories of it – I say go for it. Maybe it is a little vintage =) You know if it is affordable you cant go wrong in California – in fact I will have to check but I think my cousin just bought a condo there. Good luck – trust how you feel when you are there – that is what helped me when I bought

  • The Seeker

    March 30, 2009 |

    Never been there…
    Good luck with the house hunt.


  • pret-a-party

    March 30, 2009 |

    Pasadena is amazing obviously – I have friends living there and I visit often from where I am in Studio City… But the drive is hell in rush hour traffic. You’re looking at definitely over an hour each way if you’re head to Century City. But if you can finally find the house of your dreams in a quaint city like Pasadena, if I were you, I don’t think I’d mind the drive TOO much. 🙂

  • Char

    March 30, 2009 |

    all I know of Cali is limited to me flying into LAX one time and it taking 2 hours to drive to Riverside. Crazy. wishing you luck because I know in Alabama it’s a commute too in finding housing with good schools and affordable.

  • Chessa!

    March 30, 2009 |

    I always say that I could live in the burbs if I lived anywhere but in NYC. The concept of the Burbs here scare me…But if I was in LA or San Fran…really anywhere on the west coast, I would love to live in a place like this. what you’re describing sounds so wonderful. I just have this phobia of suburbs of NYC…perhaps bc I grew up there. But over there they are so beautiful and charming…I love California.

  • Little House on Green

    March 30, 2009 |

    I live in Pas, and I love it. The commute for both my husband and I is fine, he works in downtown LA and it’s just 9 miles; I work in Glendale, just 8 miles. We live close to Old Town and walk everywhere, all the time. Evenings and weekends we never drive. It is pricy here, but a lot of fun to be had! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    March 31, 2009 |

    no matter where you live, you will suck the marrow out of life (not sure whom i should credit for that, but heard it recently on dead poets, love that movie) i have lived in l.a., o.c., and currently in san diego, but i do love pasadena for its beauty and history. girl, you will make a happy home anywhere…….

  • Maegan

    March 31, 2009 |

    Pret-a-Party: I probably live up the street from you right now …lol.

    Little House on Green: Exactly what we want!!!

    Anon: I love Dead Poets!!!

    I am afraid of the drive …but from here in Sherman Oaks …{I take Beverly Glen over} in rush hour it still takes me almost an hour to go 9miles!!!

  • Violet

    March 31, 2009 |

    i lived in Dena.. love it! its one of the best city in the LA area that you can find dont pass it up… the only thing is the drive lol

    Vi from Cali

  • Pamela

    March 31, 2009 |

    it seems to be a really lovely place to live!
    good luck!

  • Summer

    March 31, 2009 |

    Oh,good luck on the house hunt.;D
    Have a great week..;D

  • Savvy Mode SG

    March 31, 2009 |

    Gal pal lives in South Pasadena and she loves the neighhood.

  • Mrs. D

    March 31, 2009 |

    $779k house? Wow!! I live in the sheltered midwest where a 3-4 bedroom home in a nice subdivision is anywhere from 60,000-120,000. But I guess the price is adjusted for the boringness of this area, lol. Good luck househunting!

  • Newlywed Next Door

    March 31, 2009 |

    Never lived in Pasadena — only downtown, Manhattan Beach, and Long Beach. But I like Pasadena a lot!
    PS- I could spend all day reading about LA history, don’t know why, I just love it!

  • Laura

    March 31, 2009 |

    I love downtown Pasadena for it’s old world charm. It is still close to enough to L.A. but has it’s own personality. Like with any town there are some sketchy neighborhoods, but the restaurants and shops are super cute.

    And this is perfect as it’s the Under the Sheets-Shhh 100th post anniversary. Yeah!

  • Tina

    April 1, 2009 |

    hah! this is my drive!! love it!

  • Toni Alexis

    April 3, 2009 |

    thats my neck of the woods! lots of amazing hiking in the mountains and waaaay cool thrift shops!

    it is definitely an oasis just 15 minutes from la!


  • Toni Alexis

    April 3, 2009 |

    oh yeah and if you can avoid 10 and 405 and use 134 and 210 your better off traffic wise :/

  • Amanda

    September 4, 2009 |

    I don’t know if you are still considering Pasadena but I lived in Pasadena and went to high school on a bordering city. Its just SO MUCH MONEY! we were looking to buy in Pasadena but we just couldn’t afford it so we are just East on the 210. San Marino is Really nice, La Canada, South Pasadena (Love Pharmacy where they have old fashioned Sodas and Ice Creams. YUM!), Eagle rock (I haven’t been here as much but I have some friends that live there and love it!) You probably know all this but I love answering to posts that I may be able to help. :O)

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