Friday, March 22, 2013

Old Pasadena Food Tasting Tour
Experience the history, architecture and folklore of Old Pasadena with Melting Pot Food Tours! Colorful alleys and secret thru-ways spice up the walk as you seek out spectacular ethnic eateries and sweet stuff havens in historic Old Pasadena. Enjoy all the fascinating stories behind the foods when you explore this historic district, once just a sunny haven of colorful orange groves.

Here's what you can expect on the Old Pasadena Food Tour:

- Cafes and restaurants specializing in world cuisine (Middle Eastern, Asian, Peruvian, Oaxacan)
- An authentic Italian gelato counter
- A tea bar and emporium
- An exquisite chocolatier
- An olive oil specialty store
- A handmade soap kitchen.

Whenever possible, you'll be met and hosted by these special merchants who proudly share their incredible offerings. The tour concludes back at the original starting point. The food samples along the way are filling enough so that for most people lunch or dinner afterward is not necessary.

Additional Tour on Thursday Evenings starting at 5:30PM
(April through October and December Holidays only).

METRO DISCOUNT: Save $5 on Adult Tour tickets with your METRO TAP card.

$53 per person; $28 per child 5-12yrs
Stops include nine tastes both savory and sweet
10:30am-2:00pm SAT & SUN
(800) 979-3370

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Night with Janis Joplin

Created, Written and Directed by Randy Johnson.
in further association with The Estate of Janis Joplin
and Jeffrey Jampol of JAM, Inc.

March 15 - April 21, 2013

ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, created, written and directed by Randy Johnson and starring Mary Bridget Davies, who gives an acclaimed performance as Janis Joplin, is a full-on concert experience and musical journey into the life and inspirations of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest legends. With a voice like whiskey and a laugh like pure joy, Janis Joplin took the music scene by storm. Simultaneously rough and vulnerable, Joplin was dubbed the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, proving music wasn’t just a man’s world anymore.

ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN also shines a spotlight on the great African-American blues artists who influenced Janis’ musical style and career, including Bessie Smith, Etta James and Aretha Franklin. This new musical event includes a live onstage band and features Joplin hits and classic songs such as “Piece of My Heart,” “Mercedes Benz,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Ball and Chain” and “Summertime” – creating a compelling portrait of an artist through the words and music of one of America’s greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll icons.

“Grab your tickets NOW before they sell out… DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!” – CBS
“Exhilarating … Remarkable … A joyful ruckus.” – The Washington Post

“A feel-good, fist-pumping, must-see concert.” – Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A second chance to experience the power of her live performance” – Portland Monthly 

 "The Los Angeles Times calls ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN "electric" & proclaims it a Critics Choice!"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Old Pasadena Walking Tours

Old Pasadena Walking Tours
Pasadena Heritage members, friends and visitors will have more opportunities to tour Pasadena’s original downtown. New for 2013, the Old Pasadena Walking Tour is being offered monthly on the first Saturday of each month.

Old Pasadena has gone from drab and dingy to a shopping and dining destination but without Pasadena Heritage, it would have been demolished! When founded 35 years ago, saving Old Pasadena was a top priority. Now it is one of the finest examples of downtown revitalizations in the country. As you wander Old Pasadena with one of the trained docents, you will find many beautiful and unusual details. During the research process, it was discovered that the old alleyways had remained virtually unchanged since Pasadena’s earliest days. Some alleyways even retain their historic signs, which are protected today.

First Saturdays in 2013:
February 2, March 2, April 6, May 4, June 1, July 6, August 3, September 7, October 5, November 2, and December 7. 

BEAR BUILDING (photos below)
Located on Colorado Blvd. and Fair Oaks Avenue 
• Built in 1902, it once housed a cigar factory 
• Façade was updated in 1929 by architect Walter Folland 
• Spanish Colonial Revival, with baroque detailing such as medallions, columns, and corner towers & entry 
• Use of rounded, enlarged windows to establish the corners 
• Awnings were redone using a scrap of original fabric that was found during renovation 
• The Mecca Room painted ceiling has been restored (visit Louise's Trattoria to view)

About Pasadena Heritage
Pasadena Heritage is a nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation in and around Pasadena, California.

$12 members/$15 non-members
9:00am - first Saturday of the month
(626) 441-6333

Friday, March 15, 2013

10 Ways to eat out on the cheap.

You may not have to give up restaurants to stick with your budget -- a little planning and flexibility can make a big difference in your bill.
  • The cost of dining out
    Dining out is still considered by many to be one of life's luxuries: no prep time, no dirty dishes and no menu planning. Unfortunately, it can also be a vacuum for your monthly food budget. While the restaurant industry continues to feel the effects of less disposable income among consumers, this puts you in the driver's seat as restaurants try to gain new customers via promotions. Here are 10 ways to use their promotional avenues to save money on your next meal out.

    Dine midweek
    Stay away from dining on weekends if possible. To entice customers to dine on slower nights, many restaurants offer midweek specials that can save you up to 50% off your entrée. Typically, these specials occur on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, considered the two slowest nights of the week for restaurants

  • Early-bird specials
    Dine before 6 p.m. and take advantage of early-bird specials. While these specials are typically associated with the elderly, they are available to all customers and offered at many dining establishments. These specials are also a great way for families with young kids to save money and still be home for bedtime. 

    Dine at the bar
    A number of restaurants offer a special bar menu that is considerably cheaper than the regular menu. If you are dining alone or "with the guys," this is an especially useful money-saving tactic. Also, many restaurants offer a happy hour every afternoon, which includes drink specials and appetizer deals. 

    Have a snack first
    While this tip alone may not save you money, it will help prevent the condition of your eyes growing bigger than your stomach. Grabbing a light snack before you head out to dinner can curb the desire to order a huge meal.

    Share an entree
    Take advantage of big portions by splitting one with a dining companion. Additionally, many restaurants offer a "meal for two" special of, say, fajitas -- an order guaranteed to save you some money

    Beware of expensive drinks
    Be aware of the high costs of specialty beverages, as they can easily cancel out the savings you get from strategies like dining early, using coupons or sharing a plate. 

    Dine out for lunch
    On average, lunch menus are 25% cheaper than dinner menus. Oftentimes the lunch menu is similar, with the only difference being portion size. If you have the flexibility to dine at lunch it can save you some substantial money. 

    • Discounted gift cards
      Midpriced restaurants are becoming more and more promotional in recent years in an attempt to get customers in the door. Some chain restaurants, for example, are directly discounting their gift cards as a backdoor way of lowering menu prices. Keep an eye out for offers like a $100 gift card discounted to $80.
    Get social
    Follow the Facebook page or Twitter feed of your favorite restaurants and eateries. Many post exclusive deals and coupons, so give these social media outlets a quick glance before heading out the door.

    Use coupons
    Your ability to find a discount or coupon directly depends on you taking the initiative to search the Internet or your local newspaper, so take a few minutes to search for a restaurant coupon before dining out. After all, there's no sense paying full price on your next meal when a coupon is available for the taking. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bargains at Pasadena Museums

Pasadena and its surrounding communities are home to a wealth of museums, and even for those on a budget, it’s hard to beat the selection. The following all offer free admission to certain groups or on certain days—and for that, we’re grateful.
Norton Simon Museum411 W. Colorado Blvd., Old Pasadena
Picture 12 300x218 Bargains at Pasadena Museums Pasadena museums free Events art  photo
Patrons at the Norton Simon
For fans of retro architecture, the building itself—a 1969 design by Pasadena-based architectural firm Ladd & Kelsey, is worth checking out. Step inside, and you’ll find works by Degas, Warhol, Gaugin, Picasso, and many other world-renowned artists. Cheaper (and closer) than LACMA, with an amazing collection, it’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts. Free parking in the museum’s lot.
Free admission for students and children. $10 for adults. Closed Tuesdays.
Pacific Asia Museum
46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena
626.449.2742, pacificasiamuseum.orgBuilt in 1924 as a residence and gallery for pioneering art collector and entrepreneur Grace Nicholson, the Pacific Asia Museum has one of the premier collections of Asian art in Southern California. The building, designed by Pasadena architects Marston, Van Pelt & Maybury, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and houses more than 15,000 objects from Persia to the Pacific Islands spanning over four thousand years. Lectures, performances, workshops, classes, and festivals are frequently offered.
Free admission the fourth Friday of the month. Daily admission: $7 for students and seniors; $9 for adults.
Pasadena Museum of History470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena
626.577.1660, pasadenahistory.orgA museum that provides fascinating insights into the history of Pasadena, from the Native American period to the present. It was voted “Best Museum” in the Pasadena Weekly 2011 Reader’s Choice awards. Ongoing events and rotating exhibits are featured. Their archives, located in the basement, and open Thursday-Sunday, are an exceptional resource for historians. (It’s where “History Buff”gets most of its photos.) Gardens are free daily.
Free admission every Wednesday to anyone who lives Pasadena or surrounding cities. General admission: $5-$8. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Japanese Garden by slonecker 1 300x240 Bargains at Pasadena Museums Pasadena museums free Events art  photo
Japanese garden at the Huntington
The Huntington1151 Oxford Road, San Marino
626.405.2100, huntington.orgThe former estate of railroad magnate Henry Huntington, this combination library, art gallery and botanic garden houses a staggering collection of rare literature, including first drafts of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, a Gutenberg bible, and even the collected papers of poet Charles Bukowski. The botanic gardens are some of the most unique in Southern California, with themed areas, such as the Australian garden, desert garden, herb garden, Japanese garden, and rose garden. Ongoing exhibits are offered. For art fans, don’t miss “Dreams, Disasters, and Reality: Goya’s Prints from the Huntington’s Collections,” running through January 9, 2012.
Free the first Thursday of every month, but you must reserve tickets ahead of time (at least two weeks in advance). No more tickets are available for Nov. 3 Free Day. Tickets for Dec. 1 Free Day will be available on Nov. 1 at 9 a.m. Admission for non-members is $15 on weekdays, $20 on weekends. $6 for children. Closed Tuesdays.
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
A sprawling 127-acre botanical garden and historical site, the Arboretum is known for its diverse plant collection, which includes many rare and endangered species. Colorful peacocks, brought to the area by Arcadia’s founder, “Lucky” Baldwin, roam the grounds. Films buffs take note—many movies have been shot here over the years, including The African Queen, and various Tarzan films.
Free on the third Thursday of every month. Daily admission: Adults $7, children $2.50.
page about Bargains at Pasadena Museums Pasadena museums free Events art  photo
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Pasadena Museum of California Art490 E. Union St., Pasadena
626.568.3665, pmcaonline.orgA relatively new kid on the block, this museum opened in 2002 and showcases California art, design, and architecture, from 1850 to the present. Current exhibitions include “Roland Reiss Personal Politics: Sculpture from the 1970s and 1980s” and “Beneath the Surface: NASA’s Juno Mission to Jupiter.”
Free the first Friday of every month. Admission: $5 for seniors and students; $7 for adults. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

7 Tech Essentials for Any Kind of Travel

I’m what you would call an International CES veteran. I’ve been covering the trade show long enough to know what kind of items I need to have on hand to get me through the long days and nights — and I’m not just talking comfy shoes.
Reporters walk a lot during the course of the day, and we carry plenty of gear. We depend on our laptops and cellphones to communicate with the rest of our team, as well as to file stories. Wi-Fi and cellular signals are also essential, but don’t always work the way they’re supposed to when there’s a lot of network traffic, so bringing backup is key.
Here are the essentials I take with me when packing for any kind of travel:


Innergie Magic Cable Trio
Graphic courtesy Innergie
One day, we'll live in a perfect world where every device will use a universal charging connector. Until then, we have Innergie's Magic Trio. It's a charging cable that provides three connectors in one: mini USB, micro USB and a 30-pin connector. This was my best friend throughout the show. I was able to charge almost all my devices with it, using either my laptop or plugged into a USB-to-AC adapter. What's more, "Magic Trio" may soon become "Magic Quartet," as the company will be adding a Lightning connector to the cable after Apple gives its approval.


Belkin Surge Protector
Graphic courtesy Belkin
The press room can get pretty packed with reporters trying to work and charge up their devices at the same time. I never travel anywhere without my Belkin minisurge protector. It provides three extra outlets and two USB ports; this came in handy when there was just one open outlet left where I was sitting; I was able to plug in and add two more devices, as well as two items that charged via USB. Then, someone next to me asked if he could add his brick to mine — we created quite the tower of power (pictured above).

Photo by Mashable

Extra Power

Graphic courtesy MyCharge
The only device that lost power more than I could find locations to charge it was my iPhone 5. While it provided great, fast coverage and took almost-postworthy pictures, I had issues with running out of battery power halfway through each day. Our team was using GroupMe to communicate, and we sent a lot of texts throughout the day. I also checked my calendar frequently to see where my next event or meeting was. I found myself one evening leaving my phone to be charged at the one booth I found that had a Lightning charger. To avoid this from happening again, I started bringing the MyCharge with me each day. It provided an extra charge to my phone during the day via a USB-to-Lightning cable that I brought with me. If I had events late into the night, I could always charge up the MyCharge off my laptop, so if I needed it again, it would be available.

Getting Around

Antler Transair
Graphic courtesy Antler Luggage
I’m sure everyone whose toes I ran over hates me, but I’ve learned over the years, I can’t carry it all. I use a wheelie-bag to navigate the packed halls, and while it sometimes makes it difficult to get through the crowds, I don’t know how I would make it if I had to carry everything I bring with me each day — not to mention the things I collect throughout the day. Knowing I have the rolling bag also makes it easier for me to throw in those chargers and extra batteries because I’m not worried about the added weight.


MiFi Liberate
Photo by Mashable, Charlie White
Wi-Fi in the press room can either be fabulous or useless. You never know. And companies don't usually provide Wi-Fi during their press conferences, so if you want to tweet out the latest news and send your material in, you need a mobile hotspot. I was using AT&T’s MiFi Liberate with speedy LTE, which never failed me once the entire time I was there. I only needed to remember to keep it charged, and it provided access when I needed it, whether in the press room, a crowded conference or on a shuttle bus from the hotel to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The other lifesaver was an Ethernet-to-USB adapter for my laptop that doesn’t have a built-in Ethernet port. Others on my team didn't have this, and when the Wi-Fi failed, as it often does, they were out of luck — or signal.
Another option in that situation would have been the TP Link Portable Router. If you have just one Ethernet line, you plug it into the tiny router which then becomes a hotspot. Up to ten people can then log on to its password-protected signal and share the connectivity.


Plantronics Crossover USB Headset
Graphic courtesy Plantronics
Chatty airplane seatmates and the need to focus on work require a good set of headphones. A solid pair will help drown out the noise around you so you concentrate on getting some writing done. On this trip I took along the PlantronicsBlackwire 700 Series USB Headset, because not only can I hear the interview audio I’m transcribing from my computer, they also pair to my cellphone via Bluetooth. That way, if I receive a call or text from someone on my team, I don't miss it because I'm submerged in silence. I can simply hit "answer" and the call will be routed to the headphones.

Keeping it Clean

Graphic courtesy Toddy Gear
I often find myself trying to write a quick post while I'm grabbing lunch or a snack, resulting in sticky keys. Or my cellphone screen gets smudged from being pressed up to my cheek during a call. For those situations, there are Toddy Wipes. They're funky colored microfiber cloths. They come in a variety of vibrant, designer patterns, and they're washable, reusable, and have an antimicrobial coating to keep germs and bacteria from spreading.