Sunday, July 3, 2011

New East Pasadena Vons Hits Homerun

 Today I went to the new Vons on Sierra Madre and Colorado.  I like the store. I like it a lot.

For openers, samples are important in a grocery store.   That's one reason why Trader Joes on Rosemead has been a favorite.  In fact, around our house, TJ's is called "Samples."    But, frankly TJ's samples have gotten a bit tired.  Well, they had better take note -- the new Vons knows how to do samples!  I had eight different samples including New York steak, sushi, chicken enchiladas, fresh pineapple, chips and salsa, jambalaya and more.   My recommendation is to find the meat department for the steak -- it was really good.  

But, most of all, I like the design.   I like the respect paid to our most dominant scenic asset -- the San Gabriel Mountains.    The main Vons building is set back from Colorado and has as a central design feature a see-through arch that highlights the mountain views.  This building was very plainly designed with the mountains in mind. 

Care to preserve and emphasize mountain views should be a signature design element for any new East Pasadena development.  Too often building design ignores mountain views.   For example, just east of the new Vons on Colorado is a hulking multi-story storage/office building that was built-to-the-street and obliterates mountain views.  And the Sierra Madre Villa metro station seems to go out of its way to block mountain views.

Hopefully any new building in East Pasadena will follow Von's example and give due respect to our mountain views. Great job Vons!      

Above is a little reminder that the mountain views from Sierra Madre Blvd. can be spectacular.   The photo above is a winter-time shot taken a few blocks north of the new Vons.

Now, the new Vons has rooftop parking, which is convenient.   But it also provides unimpeded mountain vistas.  In the short time I was in the parking lot I saw one photographer shooting toward the San Gabriels.

I'm sure I'll be back to this store.  


Petrea Burchard said...

That's just what I was thinking--I want to go there just to park and shoot photos.

altadenahiker said...

I want to go there just to eat.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

You're stating an argument I'm fully behind. It's bothered me for sometime now; these multi-floor structures Pasadena is plopping all over the place. Especially vexing is that they're done so on east west streets. I would have them placed on north/south expanses where their mountain blocking presence is kept down. Los Angeles and surrounding evirons are built on the "store front and apartment above" model. To see that in it's purist form, can be had if you drive east/west on Las Tunas through Temple City and parts of Alhambra.

Don't get me started on those elevator shoe box or Faux English cottage digs that get city clearance on our mountain sides

Petrea Burchard said...

I was hiking with a friend in the hills above Altadena. When I told her what the houses go for (moneywise) in La Vina, she laughed. She thought I was kidding. "But it's so ugly!" she said.

I guess you got me started, PA.