What? I live in Pasadena?
At the end of 2014, let's say it was late October, I had a living situation that...well...it wasn't working anymore. I'll just leave it at that. I needed to move out of there. My agreement/lease was ending at the end of the calendar year anyway, exactly on December 31st, 2014. Despite other bills or goals on the to-do list, it was quite clear what the month of November was going to be about, "save up for a new apartment." I set a target dollar amount and just went to work.
Again, at the end of the calendar year I needed to be out. An added wrinkle to my timeline was that I was traveling to Atlanta for a few days for Christmas. Successfully find an sign the lease on an apartment in Los Angeles between the week of Christmas and New Year? Ha! Good luck. I realized that I needed those keys in hand before leaving for Christmas. By the first week of December I was ready to apartment hunt and by the second week...done. A Christmas miracle.
My search took me to a few places in Hollywood and Koreatown, but in the end, unbeknownst to my original instincts, I landed just northeast of LA proper in that little old town called Pasadena. Before moving there, Pasadena felt like this foreign and mysterious land. I had once been for the Make Music Festival, but otherwise, I never really went up there. I'm not sure how many times/where else I mention it in this blog, but I had been an Uber driver for a while in LA and anytime I drove to Pasadena, there was this internal "ohhh and ahhh" about it. So clean (no offense LA), so walkable, so friendly. At the time I was living in Glendale/Eagle Rock so it wasn't too much of a stretch to move there, but I just didn't think of it as a real destination or possibility. Pasadena always felt like a maybe.
But alas, on December 18th I was opening the door to a quaint studio just two blocks away from Colorado Blvd. I went away for Christmas, as planned, returned to California, and tied together the last few details of my old place and officially moved into the new. As New Year's Day approached, I started to feel a sense of awe. "Oh that's right. THE ROSE PARADE HAPPENS IN PASADENA."
I was now living in the town where a New Year's Day, national tradition took place. Not only did I live there, but I was within walking distance of the parade route, again just literally two blocks down the road. Unreal. At the time, I was still working at a part-time job out in Burbank, and on January 1st, I happened to be working the 11am shift. It was no matter as the parade began somewhere in the AM around 7-8am. I walked down the street, camera in hand, to Colorado Blvd and of course there were folks already camped out, but luckily I found a decent vantage point for the route.
It was a great morning. I didn't grab a program or know everyone or everything that was happening and part of the parade. I remember Oregon playing in the actual Rose Bowl game, so their cheerleaders and mascot were proudly in the route, also that season's Bachelor, Chris Soules rode a float and regally waved to the crowed. Overall, I just soaked in the atmosphere and moment and got a few shots: