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Old 01-15-2010, 05:59 PM
 
49 posts, read 166,853 times
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Thinking about the Pasadena/South Pasadena/San Marino/La Canada areas as potential neighborhoods for our first home purchase. I lived in Pasadena as a bachelor 7 years ago, I liked the area but always felt it was geared more towards young families with children. Well, I am at that point in my life now, so I am trying to get my wife familiar with those areas. I love the neighborhoody feel of the area, the public schools in most of that area are near the top of the rankings, and compared to Brentwood, where we rent now, I can buy alot more house with my dollar there then I could in Brentwood/Bel Air/Santa Monica/Pacific Palisades/Westwood.

One of the issues that is becoming more important to us is diversity, and trying to find neighborhoods in LA that would provide diversity and semi-decent public schools (at least a good public elementary school).

I'm Armenian, my wife is Jewish. Based on what I have seen, the Pasadena surrounding area is basically devoid of having a meaningful Jewish community. Quite honestly, the dominant groups I have seen are either WASPs or Asians. If anyone can claim otherwise, I would love to get feedback.

That being said, I can't stand Glendale, lived there for 2.5 years, it feels like I was living in an Armenian bubble. I felt overwhelmed by the high concentration, plus I wasn't too fond of the area in general.

So basically, it seems the areas which would provide a "healthy mix" of diversity and have some ok public elementary schools are basically the Valley, near or below Ventura Blvd. Seems to be the only area where one might find a Zankou on one corner, and a Jewish deli on the next corner. I am also hearing that certain areas of Burbank are very nice and have decent public schools as well.

The west Valley (Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Encino) seem to have a reputation of being more "family friendly", while Sherman Oaks and Studio City seem more young and hip, with closer ties to Hollywood, the entertainment biz, etc.

I have heard that Woodland Hills is great except for the heat during the summer. But in looking at houses, there seem to be some pretty amazing properties near the WH Country Club, similar to the houses I have looked at in the Bel Air/Bev Hills Canyons (except WH is 30% of the price of Bel Air). Are the LAUSD school options on WH, Tarzana, Encino decent?
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:18 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,744,640 times
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There's a Jewish community in Pasadena. Not huge, but it's been there a long time (the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center has been around since the teens, I think) and you certainly wouldn't be the only Jew in town. Pasadena also has a large Armenian community (5th largest in California; behind LA, Glendale, Burbank, and Fresno), and of course a large Hispanic (mostly Mexican) population. There are some more segregated neighborhoods, but in general I'd say it's actually a great option for a good mix of diversity and semi-decent public schools.

As far as schools, PUSD doesn't have a great reputation, but there are some excellent schools within the district. There's a strong group of local PUSD parent activists who are working hard to make the schools better, and there's been a great deal of community support. With all the outside resources like the local museums, schools like Caltech, etc., there's major potential. Check out the Pasadena Educational Foundation for more information.

San Marino is very WASP and Asian (mostly Chinese), and South Pasadena is so to a lesser extent.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
16 posts, read 47,353 times
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What I can add to uptown_urbanist's comment:

Pasadena is among the most diverse cities I've been in, but there are significant differences in racial/ethnic differences from neighborhood to neighborhood. I personally would avoid Pasadena if I had school-age kids because of the public schools. If I were rich, no problem, since there are so many private schools.

Your perception of San Marino as a WASP/Chinese haven is spot on.

I haven't come across that many Jewish people in the San Gabriel Valley in general. Definitely more Armenians than Jews.
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:11 PM
 
99 posts, read 476,737 times
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Pasadena is quite diverse racially & economically. It's not as Jewish as West LA. Pasadena is quite WASPy in that it's still big on debutante balls and benefits and there are many houses on the national register. You won't find all of the teardowns & 'Persian Palaces' you'll find in West LA. San Marino is the most expensive of the three and is overwhelmingly Asian, primarily Chinese. I'm not sure you'll get much more for your money here. The town has a lot of ordinances & it's very tasteful. La Canada would be the whitest of the three areas. More expensive than Pasadena as a whole, but Pasadena has large expensive areas.

As for the rest of your post, you seem to be all over the place & contradicting yourself.

If you're worried about the void of a meaningful Jewish community in the San Gabriel Valley, you should stay in West LA. You want diversity, but not too much Armenian Glendale and not too WASPy Pasadena ? Again, stay in West LA. The real issue isn't doesn't seem to be diversity. It seems to be, "Where can I find a more affordable West LA?"

The southwestern part of the San Fernando Valley is heavy on Persians and Jews... just like West LA. You *will* get more for you money in the SW San Fernando Valley, though. To that end, you've answered your own question. The SW San Fernando Valley is what you're looking for - strong Jewish presence, not too WASPY, not an Armenian 'ghetto' & more affordable than West LA.
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:37 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,414,084 times
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yes, pasadena is old money LA (thus the WASP vibe), before the jews and the entertainment industry of of the east coast even came out west. pasadena is home to much of the chandler family and has been so for generations. however, it is still LA, so there will be jews, they are everywhere here

woodland hills is a nice suburban area with probably the best shools in all of LAUSD. go to www.schoolperformancemaps.com to get an idea of how they compare to others in the city. you're also correct in how hot it gets there.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,259 posts, read 79,427,308 times
Reputation: 38626
Quote:
Originally Posted by egold70 View Post
Thinking about the Pasadena/South Pasadena/San Marino/La Canada areas as potential neighborhoods for our first home purchase. I lived in Pasadena as a bachelor 7 years ago, I liked the area but always felt it was geared more towards young families with children. Well, I am at that point in my life now, so I am trying to get my wife familiar with those areas. I love the neighborhoody feel of the area, the public schools in most of that area are near the top of the rankings, and compared to Brentwood, where we rent now, I can buy alot more house with my dollar there then I could in Brentwood/Bel Air/Santa Monica/Pacific Palisades/Westwood.

One of the issues that is becoming more important to us is diversity, and trying to find neighborhoods in LA that would provide diversity and semi-decent public schools (at least a good public elementary school).

I'm Armenian, my wife is Jewish. Based on what I have seen, the Pasadena surrounding area is basically devoid of having a meaningful Jewish community. Quite honestly, the dominant groups I have seen are either WASPs or Asians. If anyone can claim otherwise, I would love to get feedback.

That being said, I can't stand Glendale, lived there for 2.5 years, it feels like I was living in an Armenian bubble. I felt overwhelmed by the high concentration, plus I wasn't too fond of the area in general.

So basically, it seems the areas which would provide a "healthy mix" of diversity and have some ok public elementary schools are basically the Valley, near or below Ventura Blvd. Seems to be the only area where one might find a Zankou on one corner, and a Jewish deli on the next corner. I am also hearing that certain areas of Burbank are very nice and have decent public schools as well.

The west Valley (Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Encino) seem to have a reputation of being more "family friendly", while Sherman Oaks and Studio City seem more young and hip, with closer ties to Hollywood, the entertainment biz, etc.

I have heard that Woodland Hills is great except for the heat during the summer. But in looking at houses, there seem to be some pretty amazing properties near the WH Country Club, similar to the houses I have looked at in the Bel Air/Bev Hills Canyons (except WH is 30% of the price of Bel Air). Are the LAUSD school options on WH, Tarzana, Encino decent?
Of the areas you have mentioned, even Pasadena has some good elementary schools and I am a firm believer kids do well, regardles if they have parental support.

The Jewish influence, that I don't know, but our son in law is Jewish and he has many family friends who live in San Marino, his dad's old partner lived there, plus I worked with a couple of gals who lived in San Marino.

Now, I find your comments interesting, you ask about the SAn Gabriel Valley but are, at the same time talking about the SFV, which one are you really thinking about? If the Jewish influence is your number 1 concern, which it seems to be, obviously the SFV would be a better match.

Nita
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Pasadena
7,413 posts, read 7,824,032 times
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Everyone has given good\ accurate information. I live in Pasadena [the poor part of town east of Rosemead] and am Latino and feel quite at home in a city that is diverse and tolerant [like all of metro LA]. As others have pointed out their isn't a sizable Jewish presence in Pasadena & especially in La Canada\ San Marino compared to West LA\ Beverly Hills\ west San Fernando valley. So you won't find great delis like the Westside or Ventura Blvd. Also if you felt "overwhelmed" by the Armenian presence in Glendale it is less so in the San Gabriel valley. La Canada is mostly Anglo\ Asian. San Marino is mostly Asian. And Pasadena is Anglo\ Latino & the rest Asian\ Blacks. A good mix of people with great cultural opportunities, sports, shopping, clubs. It is quite a bit hotter than West LA but not as hot as the San Fernando valley.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:32 AM
 
938 posts, read 3,568,498 times
Reputation: 767
San Marino is pejoratively known as "Chan Marino"
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,739,113 times
Reputation: 17410
Quote:
Originally Posted by egold70 View Post
Thinking about the Pasadena/South Pasadena/San Marino/La Canada areas
I lived in Pasadena as a bachelor 7 years ago,
Brentwood, where we rent now,

The west Valley (Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Encino) seem to have a reputation of being more "family friendly",
Sherman Oaks and Studio City seem more young and hip,
heard that Woodland Hills is great
I have looked at in the Bel Air/Bev Hills Canyons
Are the LAUSD school options on WH, Tarzana, Encino decent?
(Realizing the original post is seven months old) Where do you work? Living in Brentwood "now", working near there? You obviously are familiar with LA traffic, yet your candidate neighborhoods are pretty spread out Woodland Hills, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Bel Air, etc.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Sth Florida Palm Bch Cty
25 posts, read 48,798 times
Reputation: 13
Smile Jewish areas close to pasadena other than the valley

My husband has a great opportunity for a career move to Pasadena. We are Jewish (kids grown), not religious but want to make friends. Are there any gated country club communities within a 30 min drive proximity to Pasadena. Not interested in living in the valley. (like the suburbs)..looking to buy a newer house under 2 mill. or rent with an option to buy to make sure we like the community. All suggestions welcomed. Thanks
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