Pictured: Cherry Blossom Festival flowers in Monterey Park

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Monterey Park’s 14th annual Cherry Blossom Festival on Sunday featured cultural dance and music performances, along with an appearance by a world champion sumo wrestler.
Above, performers from the traditional Japanese dance group Fujima Kansei line up for a portrait during the festival in Barnes Park.
More photos after the jump:

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Scenes from the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market and Farm to Table Tour

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The South Pasadena Farmers’ Market hosted Toyota’s Farm to Table Tour yesterday, and acclaimed local chefs got in on the act.
L.A. culinary icon Susan Feniger of STREET was something of a headliner for the event. Feniger — and eight other celebrated area cuisiniers — partnered with local farmers and vendors to design complimentary tastings for visitors.
All the small-bite dishes were created using using fresh produce from the market.
The nationally touring Toyota event supports the farm-to-table movement and local, sustainable food.
Nicole’s Gourmet Foods of South Pasadena presented an arugula salad, seen at top, with ingredients from Pudwill Berry Farms, Living Lettuce Farms, Bernard Ranch and Healthy Family Farms.

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Rose Magazine design issue arrives Sunday, introduces the 2011 Jewels of Pasadena finalists

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Our May-June issue arrives Sunday on Star-News subscribers’ driveways and doorsteps. Non-subscribers can pick up a copy of the paper at stands and look for the magazine inside.
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Some highlights:
  • Meet the finalists for our Jewels of Pasadena: Women of Distinction Awards gala.
  • Tour the guest house of the Showcase House of Design. You’d never guess from the post-design photos that this space was recently a dilapidated stable.
  • Take inspiration from our four, featured “Great Spaces,” including a modern, eclectic English Tudor in Altadena; a spacious South Pasadena creative hub; a Pasadena artist’s converted industrial loft; and a classically breathtaking Greene & Greene home overlooking the Arroyo.
  • Get to know a student and graduate of Art Center’s environmental design program who are improving the human experience.
  • Dive into the history of Southern California architecture at Heritage Square Museum.

Parking space as commentary at Art Center’s Hillside Campus

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39794-RBLOG-SEEN-SECTIONHEADER.jpgLiteral street art alert! Leave it to the pavement at Pasadena’s Art Center to get all sassy on us.

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Some faculty and staff parking spots at the Hillside Campus have new, playfully irreverent descriptors attached today. “Cat lady,” “jaunty,” “balding,” “sensible shoes” and “name dropper,” are among the tags.
A post on the school’s Dotted Line blog suggests the display might be part of a mystery student’s project. (Banksy 2.0?)
The open attitude toward creation is refreshing and indicative of an art school with this for a mission statement: “Learn to create. Influence change.” Rather than chastising any “vandal,” the cheeky, maybe-guerilla artwork gets a thumbs up and some public praise.
“It’s pretty fun working at an art and design school,” Lara Warren, Art Center’s editor of online communications, notes in the blog post. Color us jealous.
See the slideshow on Art Center’s Flickr feed.

(Photos courtesy Lara Warren / Art Center College of Design)

Your guide to Bring Your Own Wine Wednesdays in Pasadena

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Through August 31, participating restaurants in Pasadena are offering corkage-free Wednesdays. The Bring Your Own Wine (BYOW) Wednesdays program is sponsored by the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, and it aims to drum up dine-in business for local eateries on what is a traditionally slow night.
On the way to a mid-week dinner, pick up a bottle or two, and start with these general pairing suggestions from Monopole Wine boutique owner Peter Nelson. (Prices are approximate and subject to change and availability.) Plus, read more about Monopole after the jump.
  • English cuisine
2004 Chateau Larruau Margaux, $32.99
2008 Domaine Fouassier Quincy, $17.99
Bring to: Beckham Grill, 77 W. Walnut St., Pasadena, 626-796-3399, beckhamgrill.com
  • Mexican/Spanish/tapas
2008 Tres Ojos Calatayud Old Vines Garnacha, $7.95
2006 Colina Verde Rioja, $14.99
2009 Trajarinho Vinho Verde, $9.99
2009 Vionta Albario Ras Baixas, $13.99
Bring to: Bar Celona, 46 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-405-1000, barcelonapasadena.com

El Cholo, 958 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, 626-441-4353, elcholopasadena.com

IX Tapa Cantina, 119 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-304-1000, cantinaixtapa.com
  • French/California bistro
2008 Domaine Anne Gros Bourgogne Rouge, $29.99
2009 Domaine les Gryphees (Pierre Durdilly) Moulin–Vent, $19.99
2009 Francis Blanchet Pouilly-Fume, $21.99
Bring to: Cafe Bizou, 91 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-792-9923, cafebizou.com

Green Street Tavern, 69 W. Green St., Pasadena, 626-229-9961, greenstreettavern.net

The Terrace at The Langham Huntington, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, 626-585-6218, pasadena.langhamhotels.com
  • Italian cuisine
2004 Prunotto Barolo, $53.99
2007 Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico, $12.99
2008 Cascina Degli Ulivi Gavi, $16.99
Bring to: Celestino Ristorante, 141 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena, 626-795-4006, calogerodrago.com

Villa Sorriso, 168 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-793-8008, sorrisopasadena.com
  • Eclectic
2007 Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir, $41.99
2007 Dierberg Syrah Santa Ynez Valley, $31.99
2006 Ici/La-Bas Chardonnay Victoria Elke Vineyard, $27.99
Bring to: Elements Kitchen, 37 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, 626-440-0044, elementskitchen.com

Technique at Le Cordon Bleu, 525 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-229-1377, techniquerestaurant.com
  • Japanese
Tozai Snow Maiden Junmai Nigori Sake, $13.99
Watari Bune Junmai Ginjo 55, $36.99
Bring to: Japon Bistro, 927 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-744-1751, japonbistro-pasadena.com
  • French/Japanese fusion
2009 Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg, $32.99
2005 Domaine de Vieux Lazaret Chteauneuf-du-Pape, $42.99
Bring to: Maison Akira, 713 E. Green St., Pasadena, 626-796-9501, maisonakira.com
  • Steak
2007 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Revilo, $84.99
Bring to: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 369 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-583-8122, ruthschris.com

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Pictured: Skies were gray, but they’re not gray anymore

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Staff photographer Walt Mancini captured a panoramic view, above, of Pasadena yesterday with overhanging clouds, emerging blue skies and the statuesque San Gabriels in the background.

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An even-more-surreal scene-setter comes in this second image of the sky reflected in the windows of the Jacobs Engineering building on Arroyo Parkway, while a Metro Gold Line train passes.
Click the images to enlarge.
(Photos by Walt Mancini / Staff)

Drink it up: San Gabriel Valley watering holes on Jonathan Gold’s ‘Best Cocktails’ list

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The latest L.A. Weekly roundup of “L.A.’s Best” by Pulitizer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold targets the 55 best cocktails in the region. The Pasadena-based writer places a couple San Gabriel Valley institutions on the list. Here’s what he had to say.

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    Flaming Honey Bowl (for two)

“What’s in a Flaming Honey Bowl? Who knows: Rum, apricot and a splash of Coke, says the menu, and who are we to argue? But it’s served in a wooden salad bowl, the straws are as long as your arm, and it comes with flaming croutons.”

Find it at: Bahooka (seen above and at right), 4501 N. Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead, (626) 285-1241, bahooka.com
  • Daily Double
“The bar these days may not be as classic as one might prefer — they have discovered pomegranate martinis, Key lime martinis with whipped cream, and elderflower liqueur — but it is still thrilling when the waitress asks if you’ll be having a regular-sized drink, or want to upgrade to the Daily Double.”

Find it at: The Derby, 233 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, (626) 447-2430, thederbyarcadia.com
  • Medicina Latina
“Medicina Latina, the invention of the peripatetic bartender Marcos Tello, follows him around like a faithful pup. … But the cocktail seems to be at its most potent where Tello’s tracks are the freshest, which means for the moment, you should be seeking your Medicina Latina at 1886, the sleek new cocktail bar tucked into the rear of the Raymond Restaurant.”

Find it at: 1886 at the Raymond Restaurant, 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, (626) 441-3136, theraymond.com
The whole story, for your responsible consumption, is here.

(Staff file photos)