A Walker in L.A.: Alley Girl - CityThink - Los Angeles magazine

A Walker in L.A.: Alley Girl

Exploring the reclaimed back passageways of Old Pasadena

Smith Alley and Union Street, Pasadena

Where are the best alleys in L.A. is something you're probably not asking yourself on a daily basis. But if you head over to Old Pasadena, you'll find some truly beautiful specimens, like this one I strolled through over the weekend. Pasadena's made a concerted effort to reclaim these forgotten public passageways for walkers. Most people have experienced them as a patron of one of the cafes and restaurants that use the extra space for al fresco seating. But I like to wander them like some kind of urban maze. Here, I get a completely different experience of the local architecture, viewing the monumental buildings backwards on a quiet, shadowed path. Only a few feet from the bustle of Colorado Blvd. I feel like I'm a world away.


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