Week 195: Pasadena South of Colorado

December 01, 2019

Great L.A. Walks: Strolling Pasadena Greenery, 3 miles

Nippy air and slippery roads to snow-capped mountains made it a good morning for a city hike. Barbara and I chose Charles Fleming's February 9, 2018 L.A. Times park-themed hike through an old section of Pasadena below Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, founded in 1874, has a wealth of historic places on the National Register and one major yearly event. As we exited the 210, surprise! The viewing stands along Orange Grove Blvd are already up for the 2020 Rose Bowl Parade. We parked near Raymond Avenue at Green Street, named for George Gill (G.G.) Green, the turn of the century entrepreneur responsible for at least two of Pasadena's multiple landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places. The biggest and most visible is the Hotel Green/Castle Green built across from the old Sante Fe RR station. Across the street, Central Park, a mid-city step into nature with a croquet field and a lawn-bowling field. (Lessons for the interested.) This whole area has a turn-of-the-century feel, with some buildings dating back to the 1800s. From Central Park we walked down Fair Oaks stopping to peek in the windows of antique shops. Right on California Blvd. for a few blocks to Singer Park, a small, 2.9 acre, neighborhood park, but, oh, what a neighborhood. Blocks of Craftsman homes, each unique, many sheltered behind quarry-stone walls. Our next stop, our third visit to the 3-acre natural wonderland named Arlington Garden, created in 2005 on grounds that used to be a Caltrans storage yard. Step inside and escape—the orange trees were filled with fruit, fat squirrels hopped from tree to tree, and the wishing trees were filled with wishes. We hung our wish on a tree for luck then left for the most charming Marengo Avenue. Groups of small bungalows circling courtyards interspersed with spectacular Craftsman houses, many now small businesses. We passed another G.G. Green landmark house, and then the 1897 landmark Evanston Inn. From there, back to Colorado Blvd. for coffee, mocha, and maaaybe a little bit of Holiday shopping. 

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