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.


This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

8 thoughts on “Not Your Momma’s Northwest Pasadena 2

  1. It is indeed vexing, how will you put up with cleaner neighborhoods and increasing home owners’ equity?

    PS is the mattress still available?

  2. So is the city reading the “free ads” on Craigslist?

    Funny story about your post. Across the street from where I lived in Pasadena a few years ago, someone left a TV outside on their parkway.

    So – I went on Craigslist and put an ad in the free section – saying that someone across the street from me left a TV outside on the parkway, blah blah blah..

    I went out for a cigarette a few hours later and saw a similar truck to the above picking up the TV.

    I wonder if the people who live at the residence got fined.

    And, City of Pasadena, if you’re going to surf Craigslist, it least go to the right part of the site to bust people:


  3. I live in Altadena on the “right” side of the track (east of Lake), and you’d be amazed at how many neighbors (including myself) use the “come and get it” disposal method.

    It’s exciting when you see the person taking the item. One time I left a deteriorating wicker love seat. A well-dressed woman in a brand new Volvo station wagon strapped it to the roof of her car. I asked her what she planned to do with it, and she said that it was going to become a backyard planter. I told her that I also had a chair, and she came back later for it.

  4. Pasadena has an entire team of code enforcement officials driving through the neighborhoods searching for violations. They are forced to drive the neighborhood streets because there is way too much road construction going on in the downtown area. Nothing moves.

  5. a) What does the section 8 thing mean? Was there an end to accepting applications in 2004?

    b) Your lawn and parkway looks just like mine, dry!

    c) I plead guilty to my own dumpster diving. I once furnished an entire house elegantly by shopping the back alleys of Arcadia and Beverly Hills.

    d) My neighbors work for the City of Pas and leave their trash cans and broken furniture around in their front yard all week long. Those are the perks, I suppose.

    e) The chief of police is also the city manager. Pasadena is militarized. Does anyone care? (did he go to USC?)

  6. This is not endemic to northwest Pas. Just take a drive down Corson Street some time. (I was going to call it “middle-east” Pasadena, but that might offend.) The bad part about Corson (and Maple too), is that people leave their crap across the street under the Magnolias. No code enforcement notices to worry about then.
    And where I’m from, we call a “parkway” a “boulevard.”

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