Pasadena Beautiful at 50

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It was indeed beautiful at La Casita del Arroyo last week as Pasadena Beautiful celebrated its first half century.

But it’s always beautiful in the little Myron Hunt-designed fancy shack on the east bank.

I wish I had a fireplace as big as the arroyo stone one there. I wish I had a fireplace!

Mary Lois Nevins, below, recalled the early days of the outfit when she and her late husband Dick, one of the real tree-shakers of PB, would plant saplings all over town, a canopy we are enjoying today.

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For information on joining, go to www.pasadenabeautiful.org.

The fungus federation

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All this soft rain — just as much as we usually get at this time of year, but much more spread out — is perfect weather for not only all the plain-wrap mushrooms sprouting up from my lawn, but for this shelf fungus — if I remember the term correctly from mycology class in collge — growing on a tree around the corner from my house, on Madia Street. Gorgeous stuff. Wonder if you can saute it? Never even think of ingesting same without consulting the deep fungal texts.

Zocalo Speakeasy for JGo


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The dancers were getting down for a cause Saturday night in the lovely, steamy, cavernous halls of downtown L.A.’s Union Station.

But the cause wasn’t your average homeless youth home, not that there’s anything wrong with housing homeless youth.

It was food writer Jonathan Gold’s annual bash benefitting Zocalo , the literate and political web site that serves as a place for intelligent conversation for Southern Californians.

Good food and better drink was the watchword. As I write in my column for Wednesday, Jervey Tervalon ‘splained to me the zeitgeist: in this auteur cocktail era, bartenders are the new rock stars. A kind and lovely woman I walked in with, Courtney Lynch, pointed with pride to the hottest bartender of the L.A. moment, Eric Alperin of the speakeasy hidden behind Coles, the Varnish, and beamed: “That’s my boyfriend!”

Ronald McDonald on the Arroyo

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Hundreds of supporters turned out Saturday night at the Rosey Bell-chaired annual fundraiser for Pasadena’s Ronald McDonald House at Phaedra and Mark Ledbetter’s Greene and Greene on the edge of the Arroyo Seco.

The couple has added this infinity pool to the property, with this view of the Colorado Street Bridge.

It’s the most spectacular Arroyo view in the city — and one of the greatest houses in the world.

Great cause, the house for cancer patients’ families across the street from Huntington Hospital. To help support it, go to www.pasadenarmh.org/volunteer.htm.