Posted in Around Town

Not Your Momma’s Northwest Pasadena 2

In my Northwest neighborhood, when you want to get rid of a large (but still useable) item, you put it out on the parkway – that area between the sidewalk and the street. Yeah, it may be a little tacky, but useable items disappear overnight.

Earlier this year, I got rid of two wooden lawn chairs using this very method. They needed a good cleaning, but they weren’t broken. They were gone the next morning.

Last week, I put out the base for a full size bed. Not a box springs, just a wooden box covered in thin polyester. It was not stained; it was not broken. You wouldn’t want to sleep on it, but you could put a mattress on top of it in lieu of the mattress-on-the-floor routine.

The next morning, it was still there. Panic. I says to meself: Even if I can get this thing in the car, where am I going to take it? I gave it one more night. Still there.

I wised up and put it on Craigslist under the “free” category. Early the next morning, I heard a truck roll up. I grabbed the camera…

truck takes bed base


Then I got this in the mail:

nymnw notice of violation

Yep, I got written up by code enforcement. Once they see something planted on your parkway that is not going to grow there, they give you a week to get rid of it.

The photo above shows my 2nd notice. Code enforcement sent the first notice via registered mail, return receipt requested, at a cost of $5.41. I had to go to the post office to pick it up, so I actually got the 2nd notice first.

On one hand, it’s nice that code enforcement are doing their job, because trash dumping has been a problem on some Northwest streets—and not just neighbors trying to get rid of stuff. I’m talking about trucks driving in from elsewhere to make a deposit and then scurry away (back to Altadena some say, but I don’t want to enflame that old internecine strife).

On the other hand, this is one more clue that low-income people have had to move out of Pasadena. I have no doubt that five years ago it would have disappeared overnight. Ten years ago, I could have knocked on the door of my neighbors and offered it to them. But those neighbors are gone now.

Now my neighbors drive late model vehicles and have planted their parkways with drought-resistant ground cover. Good for them.


Section 8 in Pasadena update: The last open enrollment period was October 1, 2002 – July 15, 2004. The last of those applicants are now receiving housing.