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Is Altadena Changing? (Discussion)

Several new planned restaurants, a supermarket, and a farmers market seem to be pointing at change in Altadena's future. Is it the right kind of change?

Maybe it is a coincidence but it sure seems like a lot is going in the right direction lately in Altadena for people who want a more robust local business community.

The evidence:

  • A is in the works near the intersection of New York and Allen.
  • An could be opened at the northeast corner of Altadena and Washington.
  • A wood-fired pizza cafe and bar that is planned to eventually open at the former site of the Gallery at the End of the World may still be a ways off, but has at least advanced to the point where it has a Facebook page under the name 'Bar Altadena.'
  • A at the intersection of Lincoln and Figueroa, though so far, the company operating it has not come forward to identify itself.
  • The Altadena Farmers Market is set to start up May 30 with a and .
  • The half-built vacant commercial lot at Lincoln and Altadena has .

It is these types of changes that has the new market manager for the farmers market .

Of course, some people have said either in the or on this site, or elsewhere, that they prefer a quieter community, so there may be some not eager to see all of these changes.

We're curious to know what you think: are these positive developments for Altadena?  Is this enough change or just a good start for more changes down the road?  Or would you prefer to the community to stay the way it is?

Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Chris April 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM
altadena is not much like downtown portland; it's much more similar to the east side. the best of the newest east side neighborhoods in portland are wholly similar to altadena. in fact, i think altadena as a whole may be bigger. that notwithstanding ... there is nothing standing in the way of altadena emulating some of the better qualities of a walking area like sierra madre. if a few places opened up and became popular (unless the same jerk who called to report the food truck night tries to stand in the way of this movement), i think we'd see some amazing changes.
Chris April 21, 2012 at 05:57 PM
"What a shame to look at storefront churches as a negative, but they they do seem to populate in poorer, higher crime neighborhoods as a fleeting sign of hope." these are the fast food for those with a surface understanding of religion. we need a moratorium on storefront churches.
Chris April 21, 2012 at 05:57 PM
well put, man!
Chris April 21, 2012 at 05:57 PM
we need more people like you! :)
Dan MacPherson April 22, 2012 at 01:53 AM
I loveAltadena and have been here for 50 years. I do not care for the crime. Lincoln and Altadena Drive seems to be the epicenter. I shopped once at Super King and witnessed a very angry male shoving and threatening customers. The management did nothing, and was polite to this man as he left. I will never go back. Talk about hurting business. Sorry. It takes more than a new store. Get the crime and criminal element out. Dan
Altadena Resident April 22, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Dan, I agree with you 100%. It will take more a few trendy restaurants to change the environment here. I do enjoy Altadena at times. The homes are beautiful, but there are a lot of scummy areas here filled with the scummy element. I dont think they are ever going to leave anytime soon unless there is some real investment made. The fact that most of the people in this discussion are so afraid of the chain stores and not of the fact that there was a body burning in the middle of the street says it all to. Someone wrote above how lucky they feel that we escaped the disaster of old town Pasadena. That just floored me. I would love to have just a little bit that. To be able to walk down Altadena and Lincoln at night and not worry about getting robbed... For beer none the less.
terry Morris April 22, 2012 at 08:09 AM
I made that comment in a discussion about the changes that may be happening in the business districts of Altadena. It was not in a discussion about crime in Altadena. There is a comments section at the bottom of the piece written about that news story. I was very surprised to read that they had no idea how it happened or why after reading the comments about it in this discussion.
Revvell April 22, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Really? From where, Lisa? Do you think anyone from neighboring cities will be coming to Altadena to bring noise, traffic, nuisance and people? They have their own stores. They wont be coming here.
terry Morris April 22, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Hi Revvell- the Urban Farmers market drew in people from as far away as Santa Monica. I think there were a thousand people at the last one. The Elves Faire at Pasadena Waldorf Schools draws in about 5ooo every year. I think a lot of people will come here if there is a good reason. But I think you are right they won't drive here to go to yet one one more Trader Joes.
Revvell April 22, 2012 at 04:26 PM
That's what I'm talking about, Terry. This big fear of having a decent shopping experience such as TJ's, Sprouts, etc. for us, here in Altadena.... Lisa says she likes having the farmers' markets, etc. and yes, that's where people from other places come from ~ the "noise, nuisance, traffic and people", NOT from a store that's already in every town/city around ~ almost ~ except ours.
Kelly April 22, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Did those of you who are complaining about the crime and gang "element" not do any research before moving to Altadena? There have been gangs in Altadena as far back as I can remember (graduating from Blair HS in 1990) and I'm sure further back that that. That being said, it's hardly Compton peeps! A few more shops and restaurants isn't going to draw hordes of people, most people don't even know where Altadena is, nor is it going to drive out the "element" (seriously, is that code for "black"?!) nor would I want it to! I for one love Altadena because it's not a cardboard community, it's diverse and I enjoy learning things from people who aren't just like me. I would also enjoy a couple more local places to spend my hard earned dollar...bring on the pizza joints and the indian restaurants. Would love a Trader Joe's a someplace to get coffee that has ample parking.
Dan MacPherson April 22, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Kelly? Research? As far back as you can remember? There were no gangs in Altadena when my father brought our family here in 1959. Nor anywhere else. No research was needed. It was not a perfect world then either, but I do not see it getting better. Far from it. Terry, Can you not understand how crime might have an effect on the business climate in Altadena? The two are intertwined. And so are many other issues which are touched on in this blog. I'm not trying to hijack your thread. I love Altadena, and have for many years. I'd like to see some changes too. Just not the ones I am seeing. Would you like me to spend some of my hard earned money in Altadena? I hope the owners of Kings Market are reading. Once is enough. I will never go back there. Never. Sorry. Dan
Lisa Hastings April 22, 2012 at 08:48 PM
@ Kelly. The gang bangers in Altadena just happen to be black. Concern about this "element" has nothing to do with race. It's a culture problem--gang culture. Your excuse that this is not Compton and that the gang culture has been around for a long time is even more reason to send the message that this culture is not welcome in our community.
Dan MacPherson April 22, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Actually, the activity I have seen IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD has been Latino on Black. However, please don't interject "the race card" to make your point. My personal experience has been that these are children, or teenagers for the most part. I agree with Lisa that it is a culture. And, undoubtedly, is is worse, much worse elsewhere. We are still relatively fortunate. Want it to stay that way. How can I help? VBW to all Dan
Nico April 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Sorry you got spooked by an argument at the market. Don't go to South Pasadena then, cause I witnessed a beating by three men against one in the parking lot of the OSH.That is one nasty parking lot and there are lots of confrontations there. I still go back there, because I realize that this is a big city, and there are all types of people everywhere. You really should give Super King another chance, as you are more likely to be injured by a granny pushing her cart over your foot than by a fracas.
Altadena Resident April 23, 2012 at 01:09 AM
@ Kelly: My definition of the element: 1. If you're buying a 40 ounce in the middle of the afternoon, you're the element. 2. If you're trying to buy it with food stamps, you're the element. 3. If your landscaping includes cars on your lawn, you're the element. 4. If you stack boxes and crates outside your home, you're the element. 5. If your 1200sq/ft home has 15 people living in it, you're the element. 6. If you're the guy blasting that heavy bass from your car and rattling the pictures on my wall in my home, you're the element, and I wish I could throw a grenade in your car. 7. If you're 16 years old with 3 kids collecting welfare, you're the element. 8. If having babies to remain on welfare is your career path, you're the element. 9. If you're the one who set that body on fire in the middle of the street, you're the element. 10. If you're one of the people in line for medical marijuana, you're the element. Black, white, hispanic, asian, or extraterrestrial, if you fall into one of these categories, you guessed it, you're the element.
paco April 23, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Honda should have rethought naming one of their models "Element".
terry Morris April 23, 2012 at 04:52 AM
In my opinion, this discussion is taking an uncomfortable direction. I think I am out...
Dan MacPherson April 23, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Nico? Thats interesting. Whose statistics are you quoting? did I say anything about an argument? Dan
Dan MacPherson April 23, 2012 at 07:33 AM
My apologies, Terry. VBW Dan
Revvell April 23, 2012 at 11:22 AM
I shop at Super King (is that where you're talking about?) almost every week and have never seen anything happen there. If one time spooked you ~ well, you spook easily. I don't know why you hope the owners are reading this. They can't do anything about what you saw. You can find that kind of thing at some point pretty much anywhere you go. To not go because of one incident? Well, your choice, of course.
Revvell April 23, 2012 at 11:25 AM
How can you help? Same way I keep telling people over and over ~ join the sheriff's station as a Volunteer on Patrol (VOP).... be the eyes and ears of the deputies. When you see something call it in. Just being out there will stem many of the things that are going on with the gangs and burglaries. Capt. McClean's vision was to have VOP in the street 24/7.... help make that happen ~ that's how you can help.
Dan MacPherson April 24, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Revvell (and Nico) I never said I was spooked. I was angry, and I don't like being angry. The "gentleman" in question should have been escorted (thrown) out of the store. Or arrested. Instead they catered to him. There was no argument. He violently shoved an innocent customer in front of his wife, then threatened him. You want to talk race? Yes it was racial. The threatened man backed down of course. Who wouldn't have? except an armed guard. Yes, the owners could do something to prevent this sort of thing from happening. Happens all the time? in your world maybe, not mine. You and others on this blog are full of contradictions. You want to shop there? By all means do so. Friendly neighbors and wonderful people? I DON'T THINK SO. Dan
Altadena Resident April 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Right on Dan.
Revvell April 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM
First of all Dan, I didn't say it happened all the time. I said, you can find it at some point, anywhere you go.... you just don't happen to be there when it does. ONE TIME you were! And, yeah, you may have been angry and, another used the word "spooked" so, to me, being spooked means, you wont go again. No one "made" you angry ~ you chose to be angery and you choose not to go again... so be it. What "should" have happened, in your view, didn't so, you chose to be angry about it and never go back. Again... so be it. For me, fewer people shopping at one of my favorite shopping places. For the record, I never mentioned race. Funny how, out of all the times you could have gone there, ONE TIME you witness an altercation and choose to never go again. As I said, yes I DO shop there. I don't concern myself with others around me. I'm like a rat in a maze. I go there, ignore the folk, get my shopping done ~ and leave. Done! Revvell (or, whatever my real name is)
Dan MacPherson April 24, 2012 at 05:44 PM
No, whatever your name is, Kelly made the reference to race. Angry is not always a choice. I replied to a recent column where a woman was horrified that someone would choose to open carry an (unloaded) firearm in this town, where there are nothing but wonderful people. The King Market incident is the one I mentioned but there have been several more, all recent, all prior to the burning incident. The fatal shooting on Palm, Another at Loma Alta park, still another at Lincoln and Altadena (the second in several years), a shooting outside a liquor store on Fair Oaks, and another on Hammond. A local resident (Yours truly) chased by a car load of teenagers after having the unmitigated audacity to pass them while they were engaged in cruising a rival's house on Casitas. An attack at 7-11 where the attacker, unprovoked, tried to attack us because we locked our car. Calls to the police unheeded. Possibly why a caller reported a gun in the hand of an attacker when there was none. The police will not respond otherwise. This has been my experience. Yours has obviously been different. so now you are telling me I am wrong? Well at least to your credit you didn't call me a racist. I will take your advice and attempt to be a VOP. Up until it doesn't work. For now, I close. You've all heard enough from me. Now hopefully you know why. and yes I still shop at 7-11. The people there are very nice and I support them. so long for now. Dan (my real name) MacPherson
terry Morris April 24, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Logging back in. Maybe it all comes down to expectations. Personally, I have lived in a lot of big cities, and have traveled to even more. Incidents of crime have existed since the beginning of time. London of the early 19th century was totally crime ridden, people took their life into their hands walking down the streets, 18th century Russia or France? And pretty much any place in the world in the 20th and 21st century has had lots of criminal activity. Turn of the century New York had a huge gang problem, although they were not black or Latino. But they certainly existed and did some really horrific things. Still do in most of the world. So I guess that I, personally, expect some of this as just part of the human condition. I refuse to let it spoil my life or my view of my community. I take the good and the bad, keep my wits about me, play things as safe as I can without crippling my ability to enjoy life, and then get on with the business of living. I really love Altadena. It is unique and beautiful. I like the diversity, and when house hunting we have steered clear of pristine, homogeneous arras, because that is not what I came here for. I guess I could have moved to Encino, not sure about their crime rates, but it just doesn't appeal to me. Too bland and white bread for my tastes. So, going back to the beginning...I am thrilled that there are business people here who are seeing what I see in Altadena, and are willing to invest in it. Gotta start somewhere.
Revvell April 24, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Well said, Terry and I agree. What is it we focus on? I see the "negatives" of living here.... I am a VOP and I do volunteer for the sheriff's station. I get to meet the people first-hand who complain and whom are the complained about. It is what it is, no matter where you live ~ And, I CHOOSE to live in Altadena because of the diverse culture, because of the sense of community, because of people like Terry; because of my neighbors, black, brown, Asian, gay and straight. "Attempt" to be a VOP? Either you is or you ain't. Angry is always a choice and, if you choose to be angry, then choose to use it as fuel for change. And yeah, my name IS Revvell. There's one who reads here who keeps saying "whatever your name is" which is why I put that. Inside "joke." My question for you Dan, how did all these incidents you mentioned actually affect you? Personally? I'll bet, if you didn't read the blogs or the listen to/read the news, you wouldn't even know about them. I know about them, I work with and support those who are working to alleviate the issues and, you know what? They've not affected my quality of life here in Altadena even one iota! Because of certain circumstances, we may be "forced" to move and, again, you know what? The ONLY places we are looking? Altadena! Revvell
Dan MacPherson April 25, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Sorry Revvell. I disagree. To each his own. emotions are not choices. I live in the neighborhood. It does affect my quality of life. I don't as a rule read this blog.I have on occasion. You are welcome to your opinions, as I am to mine. Good day to you. Dan
Lori A. Webster April 30, 2012 at 08:44 PM
A concern mentioned more than a few times as community members try to vision progress for Altadena and voice the need for a town center is that we are so spread out. Part of the solution would be to take a look at what other towns/cities have done when faced with a similar dilemma. I found this article that's very interesting: http://www.goupstate.com/article/20120429/ARTICLES/204291029/1083/ARTICLES?p=4&tc=pg

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