Dedicated to classics and hits.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Oh, Pasadena: 12 HOURS IN PASADENA, CA.

Gamble HousePhotograph by Niels Wouters.

   Day two of our two day Memorial Day road trip took us back into the Los Angeles basin, over the Grapevine and into Pasadena, where we were to take the Gamble House tour.  The Gamble House was designed, and built by the brothers Charles and Henry Greene, generally considered to be the foremost representatives of the so-called "Craftsman" architecture movement in the early 20th century (the Gamble House itself was built in 1907.)  In my personal taste, I, along with my wife, have moved to  more modernist taste (big windows, large rooms, open spaces), from the period when we were Craftsmen enthusiasts, and the ways in which the Craftsman vision of living space differs from the modernist conception were well apparent during the Gamble House tour.

   There are many, many, many interesting observations to be made about all the sentences above, but "12 HOURS IN PASADENA" isn't really enough time- suffice it to say that you buy your tickets in the gift shop, 0-30 minutes in advance, and the tour takes a little more then one hour. Ladies: leave the spike heels and wedges at home or you will have to wear booties

   Pasadena is chock-a-block with Museums, making a day trip from anywhere in the Great So-Cal Metro an easy and rewarding treat.   Two museums that I didn't go to but would have, the Norton Simon Museum and Pasadena Museum of History are a five minute drive away.  I did get to see the Pasadena Museum of California Art ("PMCA")  The PMCA was located literally a block from our hotel, and featured to graffiti based exhibits.  It very much reminded me of the downtown San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art ("MOCA")  One of the exhibits had different artists "reimagine" letters of the alphabet graffiti style.  Another focused on the Clayton Brothers.  The only observation I have to make about this exhibit is that one of the works was described as being "On Loan From the personal collection of David Arquette and Courtney Cox."

  The final exhibit was a more straightforward graffiti exhibit involving the transition from wall art to "studio" art. It was a winner- should tour or will be touring I hope.  It was called: Street Cred: Graffiti Art From Concrete to Canvas, and it runs till September.  Worth checking out.  Read the hyper linked recap if you are down.

  The downtown Pasadena area is a  mixture of college town/yuppie shopping district/business district.  Within three blocks of one another you can see a legit art house flick at Laemmle Playhouse 7, unlock your frat boy Four Square badge at the Paseo Colorado,  or cash a check at the killer  modernist 60s Bank of America building:

Bank of America

  We stayed at the Westin, a clean, efficient business hotel with a great location and comfy rooms.  Ordering food on a day when they had three weddings going was probably a mistake, but for what it's worth, our super expensive bar appetizers sucked so bad it was embarrassing for the hotel.  We practically cringed.  We also embarrasingly ate at a California Pizza Kitchen- we didn't want to drive for dinner and the local choices were mall stalwarts like Yard House, ethnic restaurants with mediocre reputations and second-tier modern dining.  Pasadena is more about culture then nightlife.

No comments:

Blog Archive