Pasadena, Where the Grass is Greena!
September 28, 2011 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Pasadena's visual history is digitized.

Pasadena, California, fabled in song and story, has a rich visual history from the Rose Parade to Caltech to the Doo-Dah Parade which is now being digitized by the Pasadena Digital History Collaboration, a consortium of cultural institutions, including the Huntington Library, the Pasadena Public Library and Pasadena City College.

They're asking for the public's help in identifying photos in a Flickr group.
posted by Ideefixe (15 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My hometown -- woo-hoo! I'm looking forward to giving this a much closer look.
posted by blucevalo at 10:48 AM on September 28, 2011

It's always impressive when someone can manage get a bunch of diverse institutions to pool their resources AND to put it out there on the web. A lot of institutions think history is to be hidden away and access guarded by an over-zealous sorcerer named Tim.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:13 AM on September 28, 2011

Neat! My hometown* too (I was a docent at the Fenyes Mansion when I was 13) - and I'm also excited to poke around. I'll have to send the mystery pictures set to some of my relatives who grew up in the area, see if they recognize anything.

* Technically, I grew up in Altadena. But nobody's ever heard of Altadena. Except I was at a party in Seattle last weekend and met a guy who was also from there. So that's weird.
posted by epersonae at 11:14 AM on September 28, 2011

Do you know Marty Culp and Bobbi Mohan-Culp at Altadena Middle School?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:19 AM on September 28, 2011

Doesn't ring a bell; I was at Altadena Elementary from 1983 to 1985. (On the other hand, I'm TERRIBLE with names.)

Wait... (googling) you mean Altadena Middle School in Phoenix? (This Marty Culp?) I'm not from there but from here.
posted by epersonae at 11:42 AM on September 28, 2011

neat, thanks... the kid and his wife live in Pasadena (when they aren't on location for a year at a time!).. I sent this on to them.

Pasadena is a neat place... When I'm in CA it's one of the places that feels sort of normal and comfortable.
posted by HuronBob at 11:57 AM on September 28, 2011

And, I know about Altadena, epersonae, the kid lived there for a few years.... we were able to walk from his place to the trails by the JPL.
posted by HuronBob at 11:58 AM on September 28, 2011

I also tell people I'm from Pasadena while technically from Altadena. Though I was born at Huntington so I suppose both are correct.

My dad grew up in the area, and my mom collects old photos, postcards, and ephemera from both Valleys (she grew up in San Fernando) - I can't wait to share this with them!
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:24 PM on September 28, 2011

I'm about to move to Altadena! I plan on telling people I live in Pasadena.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:20 PM on September 28, 2011

we were able to walk from his place to the trails by the JPL

...through the Hahamongna Watershed park (birthplace of the Frisbee Golf course) and up through the Arroyo Seco, no doubt. I grew up in La Cañada; no one ever heard of it, so I usually said I grew up near Pasadena.

I love those trails; there used to be lots of old mining equipment and stuff abandoned up there, but I think the last few fires have destroyed much of that. I also heart my JPL, having worked there for a while...

My favorite Pasadena thing was the "my people are the people of the dessert, said TE Lawrence, picking up his fork" sign.
posted by foonly at 3:43 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Anybody from Pasadena knows about Altadena. I lived there off and on when I was a kid and a teenager. Eaton Canyon was my favorite place to pretend I was a pioneer exploring the untamed wilds. Not sure why folks are so ready to disown it -- it's a great town in its own right. Now South Pasadena, on the other hand .....
posted by blucevalo at 8:59 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

foonly, I was so sad when they didn't recreate that after the '87 Whittier quake (photo); it was part of the backdrop of my childhood. (And the reason I have so much trouble with spelling desert vs dessert, as far as I can tell.)

I haven't been to Eaton Canyon since I was in high school! Same with Arroyo Seco; I think that's where we made a ridiculous video for a classmate's English project my senior year, featuring a "I would have got away with it too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" moment.

I really need to go home for a visit and check out all the old places, which I'm sure have changed like whoa. The last time I was there for more than a day or two (funeral, birthday party) was when my baby sister graduated from high school...and she just turned 31. Mom and sis are planning on moving to Portland in the next couple of years, so I should probably get on that. For the time being, I do still have this connection; sis is on their board, she strong-armed me into setting up their website. :)

And it's not so much "disowning" as that for most people here in the Pacific NW "Southern California" is a big amorphous blob. (Often to be prefaced with "goddamn.") That's why it was so weird at that party: happened to be talking about something else and mentioned I was from SoCal, guy said "what part?", mr epersonae said "Altadena" at the same time I said "near Pasadena", guy said "what part?" and turned out that he grew up over near Muir, may have gone to high school with my older cousins. Not something that happens to me very often, really.
posted by epersonae at 8:44 AM on September 29, 2011

And it's not so much "disowning" as that for most people here in the Pacific NW "Southern California" is a big amorphous blob. (Often to be prefaced with "goddamn.")

Yeah, I get that too -- that's true pretty much anywhere north of the Angeles Crest and east of Needles.
posted by blucevalo at 9:56 AM on September 29, 2011

I hope this is okay with the PTB=-Mr. Altadena.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:07 AM on September 29, 2011

Holy cow. Mike Manning, music guy at 9:30 mass. (I think he might even be my sister's godfather.)
posted by epersonae at 11:05 AM on September 29, 2011

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