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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Altadena, The Community of the Deodars

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 17, 2012 11:18pm | Post a Comment
INTRODUCTION TO ALTADENA


When people hear the disyllabic sounds, “alta” and “dena,” I would wager that most of them think of the well-known City of Industry-based Alta Dena Dairy, which was started by the three, Missouri-born Stueve Brothers in Monrovia, California in 1945. Oddly, more than five minutes of internet research haven’t helped me figure out why they named their dairy after a fellow San Gabriel Mountains community located some miles west of their hometown. Nonetheless, I based my map's "typeface" on their logo.



For a community that's never bothered incorporating, Altadena seems to have a very strong sense of pride, place and community. The first time I think I visited Altadena involved walking there from my workplace in Pasadena. Although my journey involved little more than crossing a freeway, once I arrived I felt as if, proverbially speaking, I was no longer in Kansas.


CHARACTER AND CHARACTERIZATION OF ALTADENA

Undoubtedly part of Altadena's unique vibe is owed to its particular racial and ethnic demographics. The population of roughly 43,000 people is 40% white (mostly English and Lebanese), 27% Latino (mostly Mexican), 24% black, 6% Asian – making it noticably less Asian, and much more black than most of the San Gabriel Valley. Indeed, it feels very different from most of LA. Within the community the vibe varies greatly too. Laidback, working class West Altadena feeling worlds rather than miles away from wealthy, woodsy East Altadena, which convincingly enough (for some) stood in for Beverly Hills on the series Beverly Hills, 90210. The foothill neighborhoods swing between eye-searingly dull suburbs and rustic, bohemian and slightly creepy enclaves. 

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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring South Pasadena, Where the Past is the Present

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 8, 2011 05:13pm | Post a Comment
SOUTH PASADENA

Today's blog entry is about the city of South Pasadena. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be covered, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities, vote here.


Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of South Pasadena


INTRODUCTION TO SOUTH PASADENA

South Pasadena is a small town of roughly 24,000 citizens located at the westernmost edge of the San Gabriel Valley. Situated north of the San Rafael Hills and east of the Arroyo Seco, its neighbors are Pasadena to the north, San Marino to the east, Alhambra to the southeast, Montecito Heights and El Sereno to the southwest, and Highland Park and Hermon to the west. Within its borders are the neighborhoods of Bean Tract, Downtown, Mission Street-East, Mission Street-West, Olga, Ostrich Farm and Raymond Hill, as well as the historic residential districts of El Centro/Indiana/Palm, Oak/Laurel, and Ramona Street. The demographics are roughly 50% white, 26% Asian (mostly Chinese and Korean) and 16% Latino (mostly Mexican).