Roll up your windows and lock your doors! Even our beloved, beautiful Pasadena has its spots to avoid.
These are areas you need to to steer clear of, or at least to turn your car radio up for.
A TASTE OF THE VALLEY IN PASADENA – ROSEMEAD BLVD
This area is noted for the frequency of police helicopters hovering over the 7-11 on Colorado Blvd.
The picture above was taken during a bright, sunny day, proving that a cloud of dirtiness, “bad LA” vibes hangs over the Rosemead area. Note the proliferation of tacky billboard signs, lack of trees, and aura of general aesthetic malaise that hangs over the scene. But, like Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, we shall continue on into the Darkness.
Again, the scene above could be from any number of bad Los Angeles cities…places like The Valley (what’s up, Van Nuys), Azusa, and Glendale south of the 134 come to mind. Wouldn’t you agree? Note that even the cars in the picture above probably have that bad window tinting which, 13 months after being applied, turns purple and full of air bubbles.
But we must interrupt this reverie and continue on…
Ah, the tried and true landmark of the depressed and unsuitable Los Angeles neighborhood…the Payday Loans franchise, charging extortionate interest rates to the ignorant and desperate. And this franchise is complete with oil stains and sign grime. No doubt the patrons of this establishment sport 10 year old Hondas complete with bullet hole stickers, and a neck tattoo in gothic letters, to boot.
So why have we come to Rosemead area at all? Can’t one just ignore this spot, and act like it never happened? Let’s roll on…perhaps the answer is right on the next block…
Ah yes, The State Of California Department Of Motor Vehicles. Enter in, and the scene appears like a re-enactment of Ellis Island, with enough bureaucracy and third world style line-waiting to make the original seem enjoyable. Like Death and Taxes, it is difficult for the proper Pasadena resident to avoid this unpleasantness. Goodbye, Rosemead!
THE TRIANGLE OF SOCIALISM
The Triangle Of Socialism is a tight, unlucky area on Mentor Avenue, running from the 210 freeway on the north end to Union on the south. Like a triangle, the subscene is divided into three nefarious landmarks:
TRIANGLE POINT NUMBER ONE: THE SALVATION ARMY CENTER, MENTOR AVE
The Salvation Army has a large “center” on Mentor Ave, and provides the local residents with a nice dose of drug addiction and car window smashings (spark plugs work the best).
You will recognize this otherwise unremarkable, boring structure only by the sketchy crackheads and middle aged alcoholics that are staging a permanent camp out/party on scene. Here’s what it looks like, on any given day:
Like Woodstock, but without the music or idealism. Don’t worry! We are safely ensconced within our automobile. Let’s learn a little more about the local culture…
A man in the foreground ponders the meaning of life while his companion fiddles with a piece of brillo pad and a glass pipe. At least we know where our tax dollars are going. Someone please remind us why we go to work again?
TRIANGLE POINT TWO: PERPETUAL CAMPOUT BEHIND RALPHS ON LAKE AND WALNUT
Much like a wolf sensing food miles away, the Pasadena Snob can sense signs of An Area To Avoid. Shopping carts sporting bags, blankets and beer. No further analysis needed.
But still, the philosopher will ask himself, how does the economy operate within the Triangle Of Socialism? How does the system sustain itself? Barter economy? Lottery winnings? Hard work and savings?
Ohhhh, right. Here’s how it works:
1) The cans and bottles are picked from the dumpsters of the surrounding residents.
2) The recycling kiosk behind the Ralph’s on Lake provides the spending money for beer and crack from said cans and bottles.
3)The Salvation Army provides the enabling in the form of “cots and a hot”.
Rinse and repeat. An efficient system! We are sure the local residents who choose to go to work appreciate it.
Note that this gentleman (above) is the same gentleman seen basking on the lawn three pictures above. Quod erat demonstratum.
THE AXIS OF THE TRIANGLE: SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE ON MENTOR
Lurking just south on Mentor, south of Walnut we find the very cornerstone, as it were, of the whole Triangle Of Socialism…
The picture above is best viewed while listening to the song “First Of The Month” by Bone Thugz and Harmony.
CORNER OF FOOTHILL AND WILSON: SOON TO BE FEATURED ON COPS
EXHIBIT A, YOUR HONOR: AMIGOS BAR
Shady characters lurk around the doorstop, smoking in between shots and/or beers. Researchers who have actually entered the place give reports of a dimly lit aura of vague haunted looks, parolee edginess and general sketchiness.
And immediately next door to Amigos we find…
EXHIBIT B: LIQUOR STORE ON COLORADO NEXT TO AMIGOS
I don’t think anyone named “Pat” works there anymore. This is a good liquor store to visit if you need to brush up on how to flash the latest gang signs or feel like watching someone pay for a bottle of cheap vodka using only nickels and pennies.
But, for now, let’s call AAA and ask them to us whisk away from these undesirable areas. Put them out of your mind. Like any victim, it’s best to just move on.
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