Pasadena’s Orange Grove Boulevard

After the Rose Parade makes its famous right turn from Orange Grove Boulevard onto Colorado, Orange Grove continues northward, and makes its own sweep to the right to become a major east-west route north of the 210 freeway.

I heard that the liquor stores on Orange Grove open early, so I went to check it out Sunday morning. The infamous Super Liquors didn’t open ’til 7:00, but sure enough, Andy’s Liquor was open at 6:21 am:

og-andys-6-21.jpg

You can read what the Pasadena Public Health Department found on their last visit to Andy’s here.

OG Andy’s Customers

So it’s 6:30 a.m. and I’m walking up and down Orange Grove observing the activity and feeling somewhat conspicuous. I wanted to take pictures of the people I saw: guys hanging out on the sidewalk, other guys on bikes going to work, other guys in white shirts and ties walking around with Bibles in their hands, one cocaine-thin woman with wild hair walking confidently down the sidewalk, another woman selling hot tamales across the street from Andy’s (I recommend the chicken). Business was brisk.

I asked ‘Ana’ (the tamale-seller, not her real name) if I could take her picture. She said okay so I did, but then didn’t hit the save button on my phone. I returned a few minutes later to ask again, but she said no. I realized that I didn’t want to post her picture anyway. As much as I think she has a right to sell tamales, there is a public health issue with people making food in their kitchens at home and selling it on the street. Yeah, I bought a tamale, but I would feel better if she were licensed.

I found micro-graffiti.

OG crossing graf

OG pole & sign graf

There are signs of development on this stretch of Orange Grove. Literally “signs.” This sign, at the site of Teddy Choi’s long-gone Arco station, says the project would be completed in 2006.
OG Gimeli

One loud windy night at that Arco station, my wallet was stolen from my car while I stood in line to pay, chatting to a friend I’d bumped into there. Since then, I lock my car when I’m filling up–100% of the time.

A new restaurant in the works—looks like the proprietors will fight an uphill battle against the graffiti-ists:

OG restaurant soon

I finished up my walk at the corner of Orange Grove and Fair Oaks with a little Magic:

OG Magic

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7 Responses to “Pasadena’s Orange Grove Boulevard”

  1. Miss Havisham Says:

    I love this kind of embedded reporting, and you’ve got street cred.

  2. Susan Kitchens Says:

    most excellent.

  3. Aaron Proctor Says:

    You are a tough cookie, Kelly.

    People probably just thought “Why is a red-headed Cynthia Kurtz taking pictures on our street?”

  4. The Adventures of Aaron Proctor » Blog Archive » West Coast TOUGH Grrlie Blather Says:

    […] Kelly (a/k/a WCGB) recently went to a rough part of Orange Grove Blvd. on a Sunday morning. […]

  5. Jill Davis Doughtie Says:

    Great post!

  6. Aaron Proctor Says:

    After you bought the tamale, did you say “Read my fuckin’ blog?”

    😉

  7. Quote 2 « West Coast Grrlie Blather Says:

    […] One more photo from my Orange Grove expedition: […]

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