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MAPPING L.A. > Verdugos


Tell us what Pasadena means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?


To Karen, I don't think it matters where Pasadenan's travel per se because from what I've seen, actual Pasadenan's are relatively insular. What does matter is where everyone else come from and the rest of the SGV frequents Pasadena quite often to obtain what places like SoPas and Alhambra don't have. By contrast places like Glendale grew in their own valley and are sufficient enough to have their own sphere's of influence. Despite growing up west of the Arroyo Seco, I was more often in Arcadia than Glendale.

— Matt
October 19, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.

You all are bunch of snobby intellectual lefties...

I like it.

— happy
June 29, 2012 at 1:43 a.m.

I wonder how many people who insist that Pasadena is "totally" San Gabriel Valley ever go east of the San Gabriel River. I'd call our region Verdugo/Arroyo. I agree that Pasadena should be seen in terms of smaller neighborhoods. It's possible that East Pasadena does feel more like SGV. I've lived here since 1968 and wouldn't choose to live anywhere else. We have a responsive city government, municipally owned utilities, diverse population, wide choice of cultural venues and proximity to those of LA, tree-lined streets, the mountains, and a climate influenced both by coastal and inland winds.

— Karen
May 1, 2012 at 9:23 a.m.

NW Pasadena is a ghetto complete with young men hanging around on the corners all day and night and packs of loose dogs running through the streets. During the 4 years we lived there, we heard gunshots down our alley, had our property tagged numerous times, saw men and women physically fighting on the streets and suffered police harassment. We've recently moved and I am so grateful that I won't have to raise my child in that hell hole.

— GladToMove!
November 3, 2011 at 8:20 p.m.

Who are you people? who live in pasadena now.. I can trace my family history all the way back to the 1700's and now I look at my beautiful city and I don't reconize it anymore nor do I know who all these yuppies are. WAAAAAAAAAAA!

— Andre Salcido
September 29, 2011 at 10:35 a.m.

The Times information would be incredibly useful and revealing if Pasadena was broken out by areas. There is a huge difference between NW Pasadena and SE Pasadena. Northwest Pasadena, for example, is a federally designated enterprise zone that is challenged by high poverty and active gangs. The LA Times did a great job with the many areas of South Los Angeles, and it should do the same for Pasadena.

— Tony
August 30, 2011 at noon

Beautiful, early century charm, charming bungalows, lots of trees, not as congested as L.A. Good services, lots of culture, pleasant weather, lots of Trader Joes and other wonderful shops such as SuperKing in Altadena. Diverse, lots of intellectual stimulation (such as Caltech offerings), and conscientious about the environment

Bad: Charter cable! The most horrendous cable company I've ever had. People are a little less sophisticated than those in L.A.

— HappyPasadenaResident
January 29, 2011 at 8:24 a.m.

I love living in Pasadena! Let me count the ways:

-Unique and significant architecture of all styles.

-An abundance of mature trees.

-Great museums and cultural centers.

-Colleges, including Art Center and Cal Tech.

-Friendly neighborhoods.

-Open spaces for lots of outdoor activities (Rose Bowl, Kidspace, Parks, Aquatic Center).

-Ethnic diversity is cherished (topped only by Altadena).

-Great shopping, including well priced antique stores.

-Amazing selection of locally owned restaurants.

-A well run city government with the most beautiful City Hall I've ever seen.

-And best of all-our MAGNIFICENT San Gabriel mountains.

— Jeannine
October 3, 2010 at 9:23 p.m.

Pasadena is unquestionably the cultural and economic center of the San Gabriel Valley. I like the idea of dividing the larger cities of LA County, inlcuidng Pasadena further by neighborhood given that Pasadena is anything but homogenous.

— Matt
August 30, 2010 at 6:38 a.m.

I agree Pasadena is definetley in The San Gabriel Valley, It is the DOWNTOWN for the sgv

— lucy
August 26, 2010 at 8:43 p.m.

First of all, Bill, the many "seedy" neighborhoods that "drag" down Pasadena are aesthetically rich, registered historically landmarked areas full of impressive architecture whose residents take extreme pride in their community. No city is for everybody, but Pasadena is very close. I grew up here and the diversity found here is some of the most profound in the country. From whites to blacks to latinos to asians to armenians the sense of community is strongly spread all around. MOST of those south of the 210 are just visiting anyways as most whom live north of the 210 know where the true heart and character of Pasadena lies. From Old Town to the Rose Bowl to the old neighborhood of baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson and even further north to NASA's Jet Propulsion Labratory to the mountains and back down to CalTech every single part of this city is reflection of the pride of its residents. Every year thousands of residents come out for the Black History Parade, the Doo-Dah Parade; tens of thousands for the Rose Bowl game, and hundreds of thousands for the Rose Parade. Pasadena has hosted the World Cup, the Super Bowl, and numerous awards shows. With the addition of the Paseo Mall, the Gold line light rail and the continued development of buildings and businesses throughout the city, Pasadena is the perfect place for young, urban, professionals to inhabit when they make their cross-country trek to chase their dreams on the streets of Los Angeles. Its all the same to them, but the real residents of Pasadena know the difference and value of their city.

— DN
July 24, 2010 at 4:48 p.m.

Pasadena's totally SGV...

— jd
June 13, 2010 at 3:17 p.m.

I'm peripatetic, to say the least. I've lived in LA County since 1977 and have never lived in one place longer than 5 years; my average is 2 to 3 years. (And this is both as a home-owner and a renter.) So I've lived all over LA County from Koreatown to Calabasas, from Beverly Glen Canyon to Altadena. But no place in So Cal has proven as prefect a fit for me as Pasadena.

"Small-town City" is how I'd describe it and that's a great match for me. What I like most is the large population of middle-class and upper middle-class African Americans and the other mixes of cultures and races. I have never felt out-of-place or any sort of racial tension. I often shop in the poorer areas surrounding Lincoln Blvd and am always welcome. I also really enjoy living in a city with a large student population. The mix of the economically struggling (PCC) and the wealthy (Cal Tech) is also a nice stew.

This "Verdugo" business, though, is total BS. We are the cultural and educational center of the San Gabriel Valley.

And I don't understand this North of- South of- the 210 divide that others here are talking about. I live on a residential street south of Colorado Blvd. that is solidly middle-class. We have professors, roofers, writers, and government workers living on my street both as home-owners and renters. Sure, just south you'll find San Marino and its imposing manses but not every neighborhood south of the 210 is by any means well-off. And north of the 210 you'll find tons of wealthy families living in Arts & Crafts splendor.

If it weren't for the heat I'd say Pasadena is the perfect place to live in Southern California. But let's just keep this between you and me...

— Clifford
June 7, 2010 at 7:31 p.m.

If this is truly going to be a mapping of LA neighborhoods, then Pasadena (and many other cities) need to be broken down by neighborhood. No one thinks of Pasadena as one neighborhood. Probably the same for Glendale, Burbank, etc.

Responding to the comment about helicopters: The police go wherever there is trouble, which happens more often N of 210. But once my friend was groped by a jogger on the street is a tony area of SW Pasadena, and the cops had a chopper out looking for the jogger almost immediately. I was impressed. :-p

— John
June 7, 2010 at 7:22 p.m.

responding to the first comment - there is more crime north of the 210 fwy that is why there are police, "helicopters buzzing" often times. and that is a good thing that the cops will shut down streets, "at the drop of a hat" b/c that means they are doing there jobs to control the crazies and violent hoods. at least the police have a 100% apprehension of homicide suspects here. it would be a much better city but its dragged down by many seedy neighborhoods (and politics thereof) north of the 210 fwy. most everybody that lives here and pays property taxes understands this.

— bill
June 7, 2010 at 2:37 p.m.

Pasadena has a big wealth divide that shows in these data. The number of households with incomes of well over $100k does not match up with the average household income, which is just about at the mid-point countywide. There are rich and poor and not much of a middle class. Check out the school data to prove it -- public John Muir has a state score of 1/10, but the City also is home to Polytechnic, a standout private school for those who can pay. Unfortunately, the city government treats the wealthier folks south of the 210 better than those in the north and especially northwest areas. I never see the police helicopters buzzing the treetops of South Orange Grove Blvd., but the cops will close streets at the drop of a hat in Northwest.

— Cecil
June 7, 2010 at 9:29 a.m.

Pasadena should definitely be included in the San Gabriel Valley region. Who has ever even heard of "the Verdugos" as a region? When you enter Pasadena on the 110 north or the 134 west, the signs say entering San Gabriel Valley. Pasadena is also considered the main political, cultural, and commercial hub of the SGV.

— Chris
June 7, 2010 at 6:49 a.m.


is a city in the Verdugos region of Los Angeles County.
This neighborhood includes Unincorporated Pasadena in its area and statistics.
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Pasadena is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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