December 9, 2012

Must-Know Modern Homes: The Gamble House

December 6, 2012

The Future of Neighborhood Markets

The recent news about the Fresh and Easy market chain's withdrawal from the U.S. came as hardly a surprise.  Since the British supermarket giant, Tesco, established a presence here five years ago, their Fresh and Easy concept has struggled with attracting and maintaining shoppers and turning a profit.

I've shopped at the Fresh and Easy located at the corner of South Lake and California a couple of times and have found it to be both convenient and a decent alternative to Trader Joe's (still my favorite) and Whole Foods.  Concentrating on this store alone, I feel it would be a loss to both the South Lake neighborhood and Pasadena in general if it was to close (if you remember, this location used to be a Wild Oats store, which itself struggled because of competition to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market).  The future of this location will eventually be determined from the sale of the company and new owner.  Yes, there's a Pavilions across the street, but comparing Fresh & Easy to them is not really fair.  If I wanted to need to fill an empty kitchen, yes, I would go to the larger format grocery store.  But if I need to buy just a few things or make a quick trip to fill a missing ingredient then Fresh & Easy did the trick.  And judging from some some of my trips here there are many others who do the same thing.  Also, the fact that Peet's is right next door also helps me knock two birds with one stone. 

Whether this particular location is profitable or not, I don't know.  But I think it fills a niche here in Pasadena and hope it will survive.

December 3, 2012

Holly Street Christmas Lights Proposal

4th Street, downtown LA
For the last couple of years these amazing lights have been installed above 4th Street between Spring and Main in the Old Bank District in downtown during the Christmas season.  This area of downtown just gets prettier every year during the holidays as it becomes more gentrified.  The pictures do no justice--you really have to take a stroll (maybe during the next art walk) to really appreciate how beautiful these lights are.  Imagine if this was set up along Holly Street from Fair Oaks towards City Hall here in Pasadena!  Pasadena Public Works and Street Maintenance should really look into this.  What do you think?