The city of Pasadena is located northeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is the most populous city and the primary cultural center of the San Gabriel Valley. From arts and culture, shopping and dining, to recreation and nightlife, Pasadena has amazing venues to enjoy. The center of Pasadena is called Old Pasadena and it is known for its Victorian and art deco buildings, a modern Norton Simon Museum houses, notable European art, and a sculpture garden. Pasadena is also known for the Rose Bowl, a sports stadium that hosts the annual Rose Bowl football game and the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Old Town Pasadena spans 21 blicks downtown. It features upscale shops, a variety of restaurants, nightclubs, outdoor cafés, pubs, and comedy clubs. This upscale cultural center also boasts renovated historic architecture that attracts new retail stores and restaurants. Designed to be a modern urban village, Paseo Colorado is an upscale open-air mall that covers three city blocks.
The original inhabitants of Pasadena were members of the Native American Hahmog-na tribe, a branch of the Tongva Nation. The Native Americans had lived in the Los Angeles Basin for thousands of years. The native people lived in thatched, dome-shaped lodges and ate meals made of acorns, seeds, herbs, small animals and ocean fish. They made cooking vessels from soapstone from Catalina Island. The oldest transportation route is still in existence and it is cold the Gabrielino Trail that follows the west side of the Rose Bowl into the San Gabriel Mountains.
Pasadena was part of the original Mexican land grant named Rancho del Roncon de San Pascual. Before the annexation of California in 1848, the last of the Mexican owners was Manual Garfias, whose sold most of the property to the first Anglo settlers and much of the property was purchased by Benjamin Wilson, who established his Lake Vineyard property. Wilson also owned Rancho Jurupa and was the mayor of Los Angeles. He was the grandfather of WWII General George S Patton, JR and the namesake of Mount Wilson.
In the late 1800’s Pasadena gained popularity as a resort town and drew many people from across the country. Many hotels and businesses were developed over the first part of the 20th century.
The Second World War proved to be a boon to Pasadena as Southern California became a major staging area for the Pacific War. High tech manufacturing and scientific companies made Pasadena their home, a trend which continued in the decades following the war, notably with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Tetra Tech and Ameron International.
In the 1950s, Pasadena saw a steady influx of people from the Southern United States, especially African-Americans from Texas and Louisiana and began hosting a large immigrant community, particularly from China, Japan, Philippines, esp. Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Italy and Armenia, as well South Asia like India.
In the 1970′ Pasadena became a center for the arts, as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts founded in 1884 in New York opened its Pasadena Campus in 1974. This conservatory was the first school in the United States to offer professional education in the field of acting.
Pasadena has as Mediterranean climate with typically hotter summers and cooler winters than nearby coastal areas. Its location relative to the San Gabriel mountains allows a few more inches of rainfall per year than nearby areas. Pasadena experiences cooler to warm days in the upper 60’s and lower 70’s in the first months of the year with temperatures warming in April and further into the summer. By June and May, the rain is sparse. in June and Jule, the marine layer subsides as inland areas cool due to eh increased monsoon flow. Heatwaves come between July and October. The average highest temperature recorded each year i around 106 degrees, usually around mid September. By late October and November cooler weather and rain come along with the Santa Ana winds.
Because Pasadena is located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, snow is occasionally knows to fall in Pasadena.
According to the 2010 United States Census, reported population of Pasadena was 137,122.
The racial makeup of Pasadena was 76,550 (55.8%) White, 14,650 (10.7%) African American, down from 19.0% in 1990, 827 (0.6%) Native American, 19,595 (14.3%) Asian, 134 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 18,675 (13.6%) from other races, and 6,691 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race numbered 46,174 persons (33.7%). Non-Hispanic whites were 38.8% of the population, down from 70.4% in 1970.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Pasadena had a median household income of $69,302, with 13.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
The city charter specifies a city council/manager form of government. In addition to city manager, the city council appoints the city attorney and prosecutor, and the city clerk. The city manager oversees 13 departments including Water and Power and Human Services. The city has municipal operating companies including the Rose Bowl Operating Company and the Pasadena Community Access Corporation. The city is one of three city members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, which is a joint powers agency that owns Hollywood Burbank Airport.
Federal and state representation
In the United States Senate, Pasadena is represented by California’s Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.
In the United States House of Representatives, Pasadena is split between California’s 27th congressional district, represented by Democrat Judy Chu, and California’s 28th congressional district, represented by Democrat Adam Schiff.
In the state legislature, Pasadena is in the 25th Senate District, represented by Democrat Anthony Portantino, and in the 41st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Chris Holden.
Pasadena is a home to many arts and cultural events.
Tournament of Roses Parade
Pasadena is home to the Tournament of Roses Parade, held each year on January 1 (or on January 2, if the 1st falls on a Sunday). The first parade was held in 1890 and was originally sponsored by the Valley Hunt Club, a Pasadena social club. By 1895, the festivities had outgrown the Valley Hunt Club, and the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the parade. The Rose Parade, as it is familiarly known, traditionally features elaborate floats, bands and equestrian units. According to the organizers, “Every inch of every float must be covered with flowers, or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds, or bark. On average a float requires about 100,000 flowers and greenery. Volunteer workers swarm over the floats in the days after Christmas, their hands and clothes covered with glue and petals.” The most perishable flowers are placed in small vials of water, which are placed onto the float individually. Over the almost 3 hours of the parade, floats, and participants travel over five miles (8 km) and pass by over one million viewers who traditionally camp out over New Year’s Eve to have the best view along the parade route.
Rose Bowl Game
The Rose Bowl, a National Historic Landmark, is host of the first and most famous college football postseason bowl game, the Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Game, every New Year’s Day. In 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the parade. In 1902, the association declared that a football game would be added to the day’s events. This was the first post-season college football game to be played on New Year’s Day and is known as, “The Grandaddy of Them All”
The legendary Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theater of California, is a member supported theater company that celebrated their centennial season in 2018. The theater puts on five shows a year.
Founded in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony offers several concerts a year at the Ambassador Auditorium and the Pasadena Pops plays at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The Civic Center also holds a few traveling Broadway shows each year.
Boston Court Performing Arts Center
Opened in 2003, the Boston Court Performing Arts Center is near Lake and Colorado. Its resident theatre company, the award-winning The Theatre @ Boston Court, presents four productions a year. Music at the Court presents numerous music concerts each year, ranging from classical to jazz. The Friends of the Levitt organization presents a free summer concert series in Memorial Park, with the 2008 summer season marking its sixth year.
Beckman Auditorium and other venues on the Caltech campus present a wide range of performing arts, lectures, films, classes and entertainment events, primarily during the academic year.
Museums and Galleries
Norton Simon Museum
The museum’s collections include European paintings, sculpture, and tapestry; sculpture from Southern Asia; and an extensive sculpture garden. The museum also has the contemporary art collection of its predecessor, the Pasadena Museum of Art, which focused on modern and contemporary art before being taken over by Simon in the early 1970s.
Pasadena Museum of History
Located on a campus of 2 acres (8,100 m2), it has gardens, a history center, the Finnish Folk Art Museum, the Curtin House, and the Fenyes Mansion, a 1906 Beaux Arts-style architectural residence and a Pasadena Cultural Heritage Landmark.
The Pacific Asia Museum
With a garden courtyard in its center, the Pacific Asia Museum features art from the many countries and cultures of Asia. The nearby Pasadena Museum of California Art hosts changing exhibitions of work by historical and contemporary California artists. The Armory Center for the Arts has an extensive exhibition program as well as serving as a center for art education for all ages. Art Center College of Design offers exhibitions at its Williamson Gallery, as well as frequent displays of student work. Pasadena City College has an art gallery that shows work of professionals as part of their annual artist-in-residence program, as well as exhibiting work by students and faculty.
The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens
With painting and sculpture galleries, the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens is adjacent to Pasadena in the city of San Marino. The innovative Kidspace Children’s Museum is located in Brookside Park.
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